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Cosmic Ray’s “Venus Files,” Part I

By Dr. Raymond A. Keller, author of the international awards-winning Venus Rising book series, available on while supplies last


            In these coronavirus-plagued times, with even small gatherings being limited to no more than ten persons or completely curtailed, the usual forums available for me to answer pertinent questions that readers of my books have about the planet Venus and its inhabitants specifically, or the UFO phenomenon in general, have been closed off.  Many thanks are extended to Lon Strickler of for the opportunity of tackling some of these issues in this new column, which I will try and continue on at least a monthly basis.   Should you wish to contact me for the purpose of sharing information about Venus, Venusians, flying saucers or other outer space phenomena, or asking questions about these same topics, please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail to, and I will try my best to find some answers for you and publish them here.  


Kecksburg “Meteor” and Project WHITE STORK

Military personnel allegedly hauled off the bee-hive shaped UFO to Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio.  The UFO crash is frequently referred to as “Pennsylvania’s Roswell.”  See

            At approximately 4:45 p.m. on 9 December 1965, a so-called “meteor” was observed streaking across the northeastern skies of the United States and the southeastern skies of Canada, descending at a steep angle, whence it crashed on the outskirts of the small town of Kecksburg, Pennsylvania.  The incident, and the town, which have come to be known collectively as “Pennsylvania’s Roswell,” has been the subject of ongoing speculation in the UFO community, even becoming a meme of pop culture.  A movie about the incident, appropriately and simply titled Kecksburg, premiered at the State Theatre Center for the Arts on Main Street in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, on 12 September of last year.  For additional information about the movie, directed by Pennsylvania native Cody Knotts, please see

            Last summer, on 27 July, I enjoyed the privilege of attending the annual Kecksburg UFO Festival, being one of the many vendors of UFO-related products at the event, i.e. Venus Rising books and bumper stickers.  World Kecksburg UFO authority, Stan Gordon, provided an outstanding power point presentation on what happened on the fateful day of the UFO crash at that location nearly 54 years ago.  Other presenters discussed various aspects of ufology, in general.  A fellow ufologist, S. W. from Michigan, and I, were examining many of the original drawings, photographs, testimonies in UFO reports and Pennsylvania newspaper articles about the incident that Stan Gordon had spread across his table.   

  1. W. wanted to know what my take on the event was. I explained that there was a definite Venus connection to the Kecksburg UFO that needed further investigation. 

A few hours after the crash, Air Force personnel were dispatched to the debris site to cordon off the area and collect all they could of what remained of the UFO, then transporting it to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, for analysis by National Reconnaissance Office and Project BLUEBOOK personnel. 

Apart from the Air Force brass and President Lyndon Baines Johnson, nobody had any knowledge of what this object was or where it came from.  Speculation was running wild.  Astronomers speculated that it might be some kind of “bolide,” a meteor as bright as a full moon that impacts the Earth, causing a big explosion.  Ufologists said it was a crashed alien spacecraft, and there were even rumors of several four to five-foot extraterrestrial occupants being reported as disembarking from the object and disappearing in the dense woods. 

What fascinated me about this case was the possible connection with one of the many Soviet Venus space probes.  In December 2005, just before the 40th anniversary of the Kecksburg incident, a spokesperson for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released a statement reporting that experts had examined metallic fragments from the area and determined they were from a Soviet spy satellite that re-entered the atmosphere and broke up, but records of their findings were supposedly lost in the 1990s.

For Leslie Kean, an investigative reporter for the Sci-Fi Channel, this was totally unsatisfactory.  Therefore, he sued NASA under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the so-called “lost” NASA records. On 26 October 2007, NASA, being ordered by the court, agreed to search for those records.  Not surprisingly, it wasn’t too long before Steve McConnell, NASA’s public liaison officer, testified that two boxes of papers from the time of the Kecksburg incident were missing.  As with the original tapes of the Apollo 11 Moon mission, the Kecksburg files just “disappeared” from NASA’s prevue with no chain of custody for tracing their disposition.  

The Venus connection with the strange object that crashed in that rural area outside of the village of Kecksburg in Westmoreland County starts with an eyewitness’ account of the event.  In the Wednesday, 9 September 1998 issue of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Post-Gazette, staff writer David Templeton reports that almost immediately after the UFO came down, “Local residents headed toward the landing site.”  He added that, “James Romansky and others trailed the object into the woods by observing the arc-wielding flames and bluish sparklers evident through the trees after the landing.

“The object was 12 feet long and six to seven feet in diameter, and shaped like an acorn. It had a ring around the base, just like an acorn, that bore what Romansky described as backward letters…. The craft had no doors or windows. The metal was seamless, with a dent, but bearing no rivets or welds.

“The local men soon were chased away by United States military officials who announced that the landing site was off-limits to all civilians.”

In 1993, James Oberg, a 22-year veteran NASA engineer and specialist in orbital mechanics, as well as an American space journalist and historian, regarded as the foremost expert on both the Chinese and Russian space programs, weighed in on the Kecksburg controversy and declared that it was his opinion that the object was part of the Soviet Venus probe known as Kosmos 96.  While the United States Space Command reported that the Kosmos 96 crashed landed in Canada shortly after 3 a.m. on 9 December 1965, more than 12 hours before the Kecksburg crash, Oberg believes that the spacecraft broke up into two sections in orbit before falling down to Earth.

As the author of Final Countdown:  Rockets to Venus (Terra Alta, West Virginia:  Headline Books, 2017), I explore the vast array of space probes sent to Venus by the United States, Russia/former Soviet Union, Japan and the European Union.  To my mind, Oberg is correct in his assessment because Kosmos 96 matches the Kecksburg object in many aspects.  It was shaped like an acorn and possessed the ability to maneuver and land on Venus. As a Venus probe, it also was equipped with state-of-the-art heat shield technology so designed to survive a plummet through the electrically charged ionosphere of the second planet, estimated to be around 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.  That could have allowed the craft to survive the long passage through Earth’s atmosphere before landing in Kecksburg.  The writing on the spacecraft would have been the Russian Cyrillic alphabet; and all Venera probes from the former Soviet Union were fitted with plaques proclaiming the glories of their country and staking a territorial claim on Venus. 

After analyzing all the data, Oberg concluded that the fragments that came down in Canada were most likely the “jettisoned rocket stage of a large piece of space junk, while the probe itself could have headed off toward Kecksburg.”  That explains why the United States military would lie, or at least not divulge everything it really knew about the Kecksburg crash. 

Back in the 1960s, the United States military intelligence agencies were interested in collecting as much of the Soviet military space debris as possible, dispatching operatives of the National Reconnaissance Office to all parts of the free and non-aligned countries to recover these downed objects, or what was left of them.  Stanton Friedman, the famed nuclear physicist from the University of Chicago and prominent UFO investigator, was even dispatched on orders from the Central Intelligence Agency, to West Africa in 1962 to recover a downed Soviet satellite.  While international law required that such debris be returned to the country of origin, we all know that this wasn’t going to happen until every bit of knowledge concerning the design and application of each recovered item had been determined.  Therefore, in the midst of the Cold War, it was clear that hardware from the Kosmos 96, with all of its missile-warhead shielding, would have been much too valuable to return to the Soviet Union.

Kosmos 96 Soviet Venus probe

When it comes down to what crashed in Kecksburg, as far as the former Soviet authorities, and now Russian Space Agency spokespersons are concerned, they would only speculate that anything that crash-landed in American turf was probably American spy technology that the United States was too embarrassed to acknowledge.

In May 1998, Stan Gordon interviewed Russian Cosmonaut Viktor P. Savinykh, who then served as rector of Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography.  Gordon said, “I took the opportunity through an interpreter to ask him whether he could help solve the Kecksburg mystery. He, too, suggested rather emphatically, and with some laughter, that whatever plunged into Kecksburg surely was some faulty American technology.”

But none of this takes into account one of the United States Air Force’s most top secret programs during the 1960s, Project WHITE STORK (United States Air Force Foreign Technology Division, Soviet Effort to Contact Extraterrestrial Life, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, USAF Historical Archives, 1967) whose very purpose was to monitor and report on the Soviet Union’s progress in searching for and establishing communications with extraterrestrial life.  The majority of the space probes dispatched to other bodies in space by the former Soviet Union were targeted for Venus.  In my second book in the Venus Rising series, Final Countdown:  Rockets to Venus, a fuller extent of the WHITE STORK Venus revelations is presented. 

The Kosmos 96, officially designated 3MV-4 No. 6, was a space probe launched as part of the Soviet Venera program, supposedly intended to make a flyby of Venus.  Allegedly, however, there was a launch failure that forced the spacecraft into a low Earth orbit.  TASS, the Soviet News Agency, reported that the Kosmos 96 was launched on 22 November 1965 on a Molniya 8K78 rocket.  In light of the WHITE STORK revelations, however, I wonder if the Kosmos 96 may have actually been sent up during a much earlier launch window, as part of the Soviet Union’s clandestine space program, whence it skimmed samples from the Venusian atmosphere pushed off as a long tail from the planet’s North Pole by the strong solar wind, to be followed by a return voyage to Earth.  The actual samples could then be analyzed by experts from the Soviet Academy of Sciences to prove the existence of a suitable atmosphere for the later human exploration of Venus, and possibly the presence of primitive life forms, like microorganisms, on our sister planet. 

We must always keep in mind that as far as space exploration and the search for extraterrestrial life, primitive or advanced, the official policy of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union has always reflected the Marxist-Leninist materialist philosophy that, “Life is a normal and inevitable consequence of the development of matter, and intelligence is a normal consequence of the existence of life.”

Until next time, keep in mind the words of the Venusian Commander Aura Rhanes of the Moon Base Clarion, “Work, study, meditate.”

(Note:  Dr. Raymond A. Keller, a.k.a. “Cosmic Ray,” will be appearing with Omnec Onec, the Ambassador from Venus, ufologist Laura Eisenhower, and other Venusian contactees, at the Meet the Venusians Mt. Shasta, California, Summer Conference, Wednesday, 26 August – Sunday, 30 August 2020.  For additional information or tickets please call Rob Potter in Mt. Shasta at (530) 925-3502, or visit his website at 

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