- A researcher backed by cable television's Sci Fi Channel
plans to sue NASA for records she contends the agency has of a UFO that
reportedly crash landed and was recovered by government workers in southwestern
Pennsylvania in 1965.
- The Associated Press obtained an advance copy of the
lawsuit to be filed Tuesday in federal court in Washington, D.C., on behalf
of Leslie Kean, a San Rafael, Calif., investigative reporter backed by
the cable channel and a group called the Coalition for Freedom of Information.
- "Our lawsuit is aimed at getting NASA to tell the
public what it knew and when it knew it," said Ed Rothschild, a lobbyist
the Sci Fi Channel hired from the Washington firm PodestaMattoon, who is
also identified as CFI's executive director. Former President Clinton's
one-time chief of staff John Podesta, whose brother is a principal in the
lobbying firm, has supported the cable channel's effort to declassify the
- Bob Jacobs, a spokesman for the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration, said he was unaware of the lawsuit and could
- Tuesday's filing will mark the 38th anniversary of the
Kecksburg UFO incident, which occurred Dec. 9, 1965, in the unincorporated
hamlet about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
- Witnesses described a "fireball" in the evening
sky, and a metallic, acorn-shaped object about 12 to 15 feet high and 8
to 12 feet in diameter that landed in the woods, according to media accounts
in the Tribune-Review of Greensburg and other outlets at the time.
- Military personnel quickly surrounded the site, removed
the object, threatened residents who tried to inquire about it, and left,
later calling the object a "meteor," according to media accounts.
- James Romansky, 57, of Derry Township, was then a 19-year-old
volunteer firefighter. He told The Associated Press on Friday that he was
among those who drove to the landing site.
- "Now, I'm prepared for a smashed-up airplane ...
and I'm thinking, 'What in the hell is this?' I'm looking for wings, propellers,
motors, a fuselage _ but there's none of that," Romansky said. "There's
no rivet marks on it, no weld marks on it, no windows, no doors, no possible
way of getting in and out of this thing that I seen.
- "There was writing on it, but not writing that you
or I could understand. I always referred to it as something like the ancient
Egyptian hieroglyphics. There was dots and dashes and circles," Romansky
- The cable network announced in June that it was backing
the effort to research the Kecksburg incident in promoting a documentary,
"Out of the Blue," which examined various UFO reports.
- "This should have been done a long time ago,"
Romansky said. "The United States government has given us a snow job
for the last God knows when. I can't understand it for the life of me.
They can't come out and say it's nothing because I was 10, 20 feet away
- Sci Fi Channel officials said they're looking for an
explanation of what occurred. They're also looking for viewers.
- A November 2002 documentary on the suspected 1947 UFO
crash in Roswell, New Mexico, was the highest-rated special in the network's
11-year history. It was seen by nearly 2.4 million people, or about 2 1/2
times Sci Fi's usual prime-time audience.
- The lawsuit contends NASA has thwarted Kean's efforts
to retrieve official files on the incident by sending her irrelevant information
or nothing in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.
- "Despite our serious effort to uncover the facts,
NASA still refuses to provide the public with any information," said
Sci Fi Channel president Bonnie Hammer. "We are hopeful that our legal
system will help us find out what really happened in the woods outside
- Related Links
- COALITION FOR FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: http://www.freedomofinfo.org/
- SCIFI CHANNEL http://www.scifi.com/
- NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION (NASA)