Aliens in Pennsylvania

Today I visited my first UFO Festival and it was tucked away in the tiny village of Kecksburg, Pennsylvania.  I’d been to Kecksburg before when I was writing the “Travelogue of Horror” book.  You see, decades ago, an object fell from the sky and landed in this offshoot of Mount Pleasant, PA.  The US military descended upon the town and confiscated the object which was either a spaceship shaped like an acorn, a Russian satellite or a time traveling Nazi super weapon depending on who you believe.  You can read all about Kecksburg’s Space Acorn in my book but this article is about the annual UFO Festival which is a must see event in its own right.

The town has clearly embraced its otherworldly fame and lawn signs advertising the festival lined the roads leading into town. Upon entering Kecksburg I discovered the streets filled with cars and all of the parking lots full. Many visitors had parked on the sidewalks and I joined their lawbreaking ranks. I followed the sound of a country music band and the tunes led me to the Volunteer Fire Hall and VFW where the events were taking place.

Carnival type games and food stands occupied one corner of the site but I was more interested in the vendors which had a fantastic variety of UFO and cryptozoology themed merchandise. You could buy everything from an alien lanyard to a giant, chainsaw-carved wooden Sasquatche. Alas, I bought nothing.

After not shopping I took in the UFO Festival Conference which featured experts Stan Gordon, Eric Altman, John Ventre and Brian Seech. I especially enjoyed Altman’s lecture on bigfoot sightings in Western PA and snapped several photos of his presentation. Unfortunately I couldn’t hang around for Seech’s speech(es) on Cryptids of the Ohio Valley but a good time was had nonetheless.

I’d love to return to the UFO Festival next year. Maybe I’ll even enter the UFO Dog Eating Contest. Competitive eating might be a good back up career should this writing thing founder.

Bigfoot looks buff.  Do you even lift, bro?

Bigfoot looks buff. Do you even lift, bro?

Bigfoot is crafty

Bigfoot is crafty

Eric Altman talks bigfoot

Eric Altman talks bigfoot

Patterson Bigfoot cast

Patterson Bigfoot cast

My what big feet you have...

My what big feet you have…

Replica Bigfoot casts

Replica Bigfoot casts

Isn't he the cutest thing?

Isn’t he the cutest thing?

Believe

Believe

Take me to your leader

Take me to your leader

What kid doesn't need a stuffed alien?

What kid doesn’t need a stuffed alien?

That's a big sasquatch!

That’s a big sasquatch!

Chainsaw carved aliens are out of this world

Chainsaw carved aliens are out of this world

I didn't see this guy at the Conference.  False advertising.

I didn’t see this guy at the Conference. False advertising.

Next year will feature Joey Chestnut vs Kobayashi  (not really)

Next year will feature Joey Chestnut vs Kobayashi
(not really)

Apparently the volunteer fire department mascot is some sort of angry chicken. How could they not have an alien for a mascot? So disappointing.

Apparently the volunteer fire department mascot is some sort of angry chicken. How could they not have an alien for a mascot? So disappointing.

We come in peace

We come in peace

This Space Acorn was recreated for the TV show Unsolved Mysteries report on Kecksburg

This Space Acorn was recreated for the TV show Unsolved Mysteries report on Kecksburg

UFO expert John Ventre asks how many people in the audience have been probed by aliens  (not really)

UFO expert John Ventre asks how many people in the audience have been probed by aliens
(not really)

The Finding Bigfoot team is coming to Fayette County, PA

The Finding Bigfoot team is coming to Fayette County, PA

Have you seen this bigfoot?

Have you seen this bigfoot?

Bigfoot or lumberjack - you decide

Bigfoot or lumberjack – you decide

Apparently a cartoon bigfoot walked through this meadow

Apparently a cartoon bigfoot walked through this meadow

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