Thomas Mantell Case
While chasing a UFO, Captain Charles Mantell crashed his P-51 and subsequently died.
On January 7th 1948 at 1.20pm the Godman Air Field tower crew sighted a bright, disc shaped object. The sighting was quickly brought to the attention of the base operations officer, the intelligence officer and finally , the base commander, Colonel Guy F. Hix.
For 90 minutes, dozens of people, including Hix watched the UFO as it hung almost motionless in the sky. People as far as 100 miles could see the UFO.
At 2.45pm a flight of F-51s flew over Godman. The object was still visible and the flight commander, Thomas Mantell, was asked if he could investigate. The F-51s then preceded to climb to 15,000ft. Soon after this 2 of the planes had to turn back as their craft were not equipped with oxygen. The other pilots tried to contact Mantell but were unsuccessful.
In the tower, they heard Mantell make a call at 15,000ft. He said "above and ahead of me and appears to be moving at half my speed". This was followed by another call in which he said "it's metallic and tremendous in size".
For thirty minutes the rest of the planes slow turned back as one by one they ran out of oxygen. At 3.10 and at 23,000ft Mantell was the last plane still flying towards the UFO. He made no further calls and visual and radio contact was lost. At 3.15pm a search was launched.
Just after 5.00pm, on a farm near Franklin, Kentucky, the remains of the F-51 were found scattered over half a mile. Mantell's body was inside the cockpit still and his watch had stopped at 3.18pm. It was believed that the crash had killed Mantell and stopped his watch.
The Air Force began an investigation. First they stated that Mantell had been chasing a huge balloon, later they changed this to Venus, and then lastly to Venus and 2 Balloons!
The microfilm copy of the investigation was mysteriously damaged and no skyhook balloon launches could be found to coincide with the incident.
We will probably never know what Mantell was chasing, but he was too experienced a pilot to die chasing a balloon or the planet Venus.
1948/01/07 SW/FRANKLIN, KY: USAF Pilot MANTELL CRASHES chasing UFO.
Dozens of calls from Maysville, Madisonville and other Kentucky locations.
Almost universally dismissed as Skyhook Balloon, then a secret device.
/r28p220; /r90p4; /APRO June'77; /r89p19; and numerous others.
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