On December 9, 1965, a UFO was sighted by thousands of eyewitnesses in six U.S. states and parts of Ontario, Canada as it streaked towards, and eventually crashed near Kecksburg, Pennsylvania.  Witnesses in Kecksburg who saw the object, both in flight and after the crash, described it as a bell-shaped object, about the size of an automobile, with a string of strange hieroglyphics around the bottom edge.  A local newspaper, the Tribune-Review reported the next morning, "Unidentified Flying Object Falls near Kecksburg — Army Ropes off Area". 

John Murphy, the news director for local radio station WHJB was on the scene before the military arrived, and snapped photographs of the object, but claims his photos were confiscated by the military.  He later produced a radio documentary called "Object in the Woods," but just before the documentary was to air, he was once again visited by two mysterious men who warned Murphy not to air the documentary.   A WHJB employee, Linda Foschia, claims the meeting lasted 30 minutes, after which the men confiscated Murphy's audio tapes, leaving Murphy agitated, and despondent. After that incident, Murphy refused to discuss the incident again.  He died in February, 1969, run down in a mysterious, and to this day unsolved, hit-and-run accident while crossing a street.

Die GlockeThe Kecksburg incident might have been relegated to the footnotes of obscure UFO history, until a Polish author named Igor Witkowski published a book called Prawda O Wunderwaffe (The Truth About The Wonder Weapon).  In his book, Witkowski alleged that Nazi scientists working for the SS in a secret facility near the Wenceslaus mine, close to the Czech border, had developed a secret weapon called Die Glocke,  or "The Bell."  According to transcripts from an interrogation of former Nazi SS Officer Jakob Sporrenberg, the device not only generated an anti-gravity field, but with the help of certain optical devices, allowed glimpses into the past.  Curiously, it was also reported that the device sported strange symbols around the lower edge of the device, a result of cultic influences within the Nazi SS.  It also reportedly emitted a deadly radiation that killed several of the scientists working on the project, which in the end didn't matter much, since the Nazis are said to have later executed at least 60 of the scientists working on the project to protect its secrets.

The Nazi BellWitkowski, and later others, speculated that the Nazi secret weapon was smuggled out of Germany before the end of the war, ending up in South America, or possibly even in the U.S. as part of Project Paperclip.  Project Paperclip was the top-secret effort to bring hundreds of top Nazi scientists and their advanced technologies to the U.S. for study.  Many parts of the program are still classified to this day.  Some researchers believe that Die Glocke, or the Nazi flying bell, is what crash-landed in Kecksburg, PA on December 9th, 1965 and was covertly carted away to Wright Patterson Air Force Base by the Army.

One has to admit, it's a great story.  It has everything - evil Nazi mad scientists, UFOs, a sleepy Pennsylvania village, ruthless government agents, and even the unfortunate news reporter who knew too much and paid the ultimate price.  It's tempting to say you couldn't make something this crazy this up, except someone could, and in fact did.

The HengeLet's start with the fact that Witkowski has never been able to produce a single shred of evidence to back up his story of having seen secret transcripts of SS officers.  One tantalizing bit of evidence he offered to back up his conjecture was a site he dubbed "The Henge," which he claimed was used by Nazi scientists to test tethered UFOs.  Unfortunately for his theory, the site has been subsequently verified to be the remnants of an industrial water tower, identical in construction to several others, which happen to be wholly intact, in the region.

There's also the inconveniently coincidental re-entry of the Soviet satellite Cosmos 96, which just happened to be bell-shaped, and which re-entered Earth's atmosphere on - you guessed it - December 9, 1965, the same date as the Kecksburg incident.  An official U.S. government report claims that the Kecksburg object couldn't possibly have been Cosmos 96, because Cosmos crashed in Canada 13 hours before the Kecksburg incident.  Personally, I just find it a easier to believe that the report is a lie, than to believe that everything else surrounding this "UFO crash" is a coincidence.

Berlin-Bell(48620)Credit: David Peevers

The question then remains, where did Igor Witkowski get his story of a secret Nazi wonder-weapon, shaped like a bell, with strange hieroglyphics around the lower edge of the device,  capable of defying gravity and even time itself?  Witkowski, a Polish journalist and author who specializes in writing about World War II, has likely visited the Berlin Olympic Stadium, where coincidentally, there stands a gargantuan bell the size of a small automobile, complete with unique raised  lettering in an archaic font along the lower edge. 

Another astonishing coincidence?  I think not.   I love a good Nazi UFO story as much as the next guy, but I believe it's time to put this one to rest.