There are places that conjure certain images in your mind. Philadelphia brings to mind the Liberty Bell, New York City the Statue of Liberty, and Roswell makes you think of UFOs and little green men. Kecksburg, Pennsylvania may not make you think of anything because you’ve probably never heard of it, but it’s a kindred spirit to Roswell. That’s right, there be UFOs in Kecksburg!
These are the kinds of wondrous things you discover on a road trip. I recently had the pleasure of driving along with fellow TravelingMom Carissa Rogers as a part of the #MadeAcrossAmerica program held in conjunction with the Washington Auto Show. Chrysler flew us to Detroit and then we piled in to cars to drive to Washington, D.C., with the idea of seeing some fun, unusual things along the way.
One of the things that made the list was the Space Acorn. I did not even know this was a thing, but it is a very big thing if you live in Kecksburg. Here’s the story.
On the evening of December 9, 1965 a giant fireball was seen streaking across the sky, followed shortly by a crash in the woods in Kecksburg, a small town about 30 miles outside of Pittsburgh. Residents heard and felt something hit the ground and volunteer firefighters reported later that they found an acorn-shaped object with funky writing like Egyptian hieroglyphs.
This was followed by the appearance of the U.S. military who ordered everyone away. The mystery object was then removed and deemed later to be merely a meteor. Or was it?
Talk about your conspiracy theory!
There’s no one who really knows what happened, but there is a monument to the whole thing just off the road in Kecksburg. It’s a giant acorn. On a pole. It’s even got the weird writing around the edge. The Space Acorn has also become part of the town’s summer celebrations and there’s a gift shop where you can get hats and shirts to prove you made the trip.
If you’re on a road trip and find yourself passing through Pittsburgh, put the Space Acorn on your to-do list. It’s one of those goofy, roadside attractions that will have you all scratching your head and laughing as you pile back into the car to continue your journey. Just look out for little green men trying to catch a ride.
Space Acorn, 5123 Water Street, Kecksburg, PA