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FOIA: PBB Investigaton File - Capt. Mantell Case 07Jan48

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posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 10:06 AM
Capt_Mamtell_Case_Jan_7_1948.pdf< br /> PBB File on Capt. Mantell Case of Sighting and Crash of P-51 07JAN48
Investigation of the sightings which included a plane pursuit which resulted in the crash of a National Guard P-51 at Franklin, Kentucky

Document date: 1111-11-11
Department: USAF
Author: Unknown
Document type: Investigation File
pages: 73


Archivist's Notes: The file is in fairly good condition with most of the file legible. It describes sightings of what appears to be at least two different objects, one ice cream cone shaped slow moving object and a round white/aluminum shaped fast moving object which was the one that was pursued by National Guard P-51's resulting in the crash of the plane piloted by Capt. Mantell. This object was determined to be a balloon as recorded on the page 1 record card but I cannot see how this could be the case, at least in the plane crash incident, there is also a report where someone described that the plane exploded in the air and this would explain that the wreckage was scattered over a one mile radius.

The last dozen or so pages include photocopies of crash photos and a road map of the state with some areas circled which could be locations of sightings of the object(s) seen on that day.

It will be interesting to see what the members can squeeze out of the information provided in this report.


posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 12:19 PM
Almost exactly 60 years ago, 7 January 1948, on of the best known tragedies connected with UFOs occurred near Ft Knox, Ky. On that day a flight of National Guard planes were passing near Goodman Field when they were asked to investigate a UFO. The object, reported by police and civilians, and plainly seen by tower personnel, was somewhere in the afternoon sky above Kentucky.

The flight leader, Captain Mantell agreed to take a look, and with two other planes from the formation went in pursuit. Captain Mantell is reported to have described the object as "metallic" and to have observed it at both 180mph and later at 360mph. He also stated that it was very large, and in every way seemed to be describing an actual object.

The other two planes eventually leveled out, but somewhere above 20,000 feet contact with Captain Mantell was lost. The planes that broke off returned while the flight leader's continued trying to close on the object. Captain Mantell's plane was later reported crashed on a farm near Franklin, Kentucky.

These are the facts of the case as found in these documents. Controversy has surrounded the crash ever since, with speculation that the P-51 was shot out of the sky by the UFO. The military admits in these reports that it seems unlikely that Venus or Jupiter were mistaken for the UFO, an indication that they were searching for some known phenomenon to account for the crash.

The documents here seem to actually leave the cause open. It is noteworthy that the object is once described as looking like an "ice cream cone" and to have a red glow to it. There is also what appears to be a newspaper report of another UFO appearing while the crash recovery is underway, though just how this fits in to the original report is unclear.

As a side note, Captain Mantell was the first Kentucky Air National Guard killed in the line of duty.

What seems an even stranger quirk of fate is the fact that he was born in Franklin, Kentucky-the place where he crashed.

posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 12:48 PM
One interesting portion of a report from page 34:

It states that two unspecified planes were reported to be taking off from Standiford Field to help in identifying the object near Godman, these planes never appeared, nor did anything in the report seem to explain this in any way.

These could not be confused with the 4 P-51's since they were already in the air over Godman at 1500hrs.

posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 12:55 PM
There are some holes in the reports, for sure. This is a prime example. I tend to think that for some reason these other planes were unsuited for the job and told to abort, and the fact is just not mentioned in the documents and statements. Just sloppy investigative work.

Another loose end is the fact that Mantell had a problem at 20,000 feet, and later statements seem to suggest that he passed out from hypoxia. Then why is the plane that returned to base and refueled able to go back up looking and climb to an altitude of 33,000 feet? Was it the only one with H2O on board?

posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 01:05 PM
reply to post by NGC2736

One thing for sure the more I go over these incidents is the fact that most of the information discussing how a determination was made on what an object officially is, is absent from these files.

I find it very hard to believe that the miltary could be this shoddy in their investigations.

It just appears this way because key documents have not been released, or more than likely destroyed.

I would love to see how they finally came to the conclusion that all of the descriptions of sighted objects that day to be a balloon.

At the time though, all of this information provided to us by Mr Stone, was kept under lock & key, considered Top Secret, now that it is out, the people involved have most likely passed on.

I would like to see better versions of the crash site, those photocopies drive me crazy!

[edit on 1/6/2008 by JacKatMtn]

posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 01:21 PM
reply to post by JacKatMtn

There seems little doubt that some of the more important items get "misplaced" when these documents get released. A half truth is just as much a lie as any other, in my opinion.

Did you notice that even though it was requested, there was apparently no type of autopsy on Cpt. Mantell? No statement from a doctor? No description from eyewitnesses at the crash scene? No report of what became of the wreckage? No statements from the other two pilots who also chased the UFO?

There's as much left out, if not more, than is released here. I can see some shoddy investigation work happening, but this is just more than is believable.

posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 01:30 PM
reply to post by NGC2736

True, the next file I am working on is the Mantell Accident Report which hopefully will shed more light on the accident. Maybe we can piece more of this event together from the other files associated with the incident.

Pure speculation disclaimer

In the file there was a description of the plane exploding before it struck the ground, however in the file from 1964 requesting the autopsy file and accident pics to compare to another hypoxia blamed crash in Oregon where the plane came apart before hitting the ground.

I know that Tesla was discussing technology using electricity to disable aircraft engines in flight, which kinda leads me to an EMP blast which would have rendered the plane & radio inoperable causing it to plummet to the earth and explain no distress call.

Oh the wonderful world of speculation

posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 03:53 PM
The Mantell case has been one of the more controversial UFO cases due to the fact that Captain Mantell died from the incident. Up to that point, the wave of UFO sightings was considered harmless, but after his death, the military took a more serious approach to the phenomenon.

The controversy was due to speculation that Mantell was shot down by the object, which shows hostile intentions. The other aspect of the controversy is that the object was identified later to fit the description of a skyhook balloon, which was a top-secret project that no one was aware of including Mantell. The problem with this explanation though was that they supposedly were not used at that time, but it was later confirmed that early flights were launched at that time.

Here is an excellent discussion in which our resident expert Gazrok came to the same conclusion that this case did not involve a UFO and that it was most likely a skyhook balloon.

The Mantell Case – Mistaken Identity

I am still going through the document, but thought I would post this info.

Related Links:
Wikipedia: Mantell UFO Incident
TinWiki: Mantell Incident

posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 06:34 PM
reply to post by Hal9000

Yes, I have read the same explanation, (different source than these documents), and it makes a certain sense that this was a balloon, or at least that one could have been in the area.

But what could have been on the balloon to cause this crash? I find it unlikely that Mantell didn't know how high he could go without hypoxia danger; after all, he was the flight leader, and from the reports here it seems the junior pilots knew when to call it quits. (It's interesting that so far I have found no evidence that he did not have H2O and a mask on board.)

Edit for spelling

[edit on 6-1-2008 by NGC2736]

posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 07:01 PM
reply to post by NGC2736

Well if you think about it, back at that time was right after WW2. People still had war jitters and there were a rash of UFO sightings and no one knew what they were. He probably felt that this was a good chance to find out what it was and was worth the risk. I think if you put it into context it makes more sense.

I really haven't looked into this case that much, so I can't say that is what happened without a doubt. I also think that during the debate on this case, there were those who didn't want this incident to be seen as a hostile act, so it was in their interest to find a reasonable explanation. There are also those on the other side of the debate that do want to make aliens out to be hostile so I keep these motives in mind when looking at a case like this.

This has turned out to be a more interesting case than I thought.

posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 07:14 PM
reply to post by Hal9000

I agree completely. A logical reason for both sides of this issue exists. And because there's no "closure" on this, it is one of those debates that will last for as long as there are people knowing about it.

This was good ammo for both sides to manipulate, and over the years it has been. I doubt that we will ever learn too much about this one, unless some earth shaking paperwork comes to light. Most of those there at that time are likely dead by now.

I do recall seeing some pictures of the crash a few years ago, though I cannot vouch for their authenticity. I have been doing a web search off and on as new ideas on where to look come to mind. So far I've had no luck. It seems they were in a book I thumbed through in a second hand book store.

Oh well, maybe I'll get lucky.

posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 09:31 PM
I was wondering why the case was re-opened in 1964, and it explains in a letter on page 28 dated July 23,1964 said the reason for the new investigation was because of a similar incident and the cause of death was identical. Later on page 41 in another letter from the Foreign Technology Division, it said that it was interested in the Mantell case because of another P-51 crash in Oregon due to the pilot passed out due to hypoxia and the plane also exploded in mid-air.

The photos of the wreckage starting on page 51 are in poor condition, so I found some better copies on the web.

That is about it for this document. The last pages are of maps of the area.

Maybe other documents will have more info in this case.

posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 11:38 PM
reply to post by Hal9000

But what gets strange here is that I can find no record of an investigation by the Civil Aeronautics Board for a crash in Oregon of a P-51 between 1960 and 1965. The reference was to needing this material to aid them in a plane crash. If it was a military craft, why would a civil agency be doing the investigation? And why no record if they did?

Now maybe I didn't dig deep enough. Hell, I'm no genius at this type of search anyway. Maybe when others read this, someone can find the story on that crash. It's made me curious now if there was something strange about it too, aside from a dead pilot over 20,000 feet running out of air.

posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 11:49 PM

Hell, I'm no genius at this type of search anyway.

I am in the same boat BUT, I think that it is advantageous for me to peruse these docs as a virgin so to speak, I may be amazed by something which has been scrutinized by many, BUT I may find something in these files which could have been overlooked, to me this is a great opportunity for all of us to explore (if new) and review (if this is old news) I think many questions have surfaced from the threads already, that is definitely a good thing.

I still need to check out Hal's link to Gazrok's thread on this subject but I still find quite a few things in here which haven't been explained to the point of certainty, especially the determination that their was one object sighted that day.

posted on Jan, 7 2008 @ 06:43 AM
reply to post by NGC2736

The first letter on page 28 was from the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA), and another later was from the Foreign Technology Division of the Army, if that helps in your search. Did you see something I missed? What made you look up under the Civil Aeronautics Board?

Also keep in mind in 1964, the P-51 was probably no longer used by the military, but a few may have still been around for other reasons.

What I find interesting about the investigation by the Foreign Technology Division, is that they were the ones to investigate aircraft from other countries and back engineer the technology. This was also the division in the Army that Col. Corso said he worked at that time when he claims to have distributed items from the crash at Roswell to several defense contractors.

Why would the Foreign Technology Division be interested in the crash of a P-51 that was obsolete at that time? There must be more to the story.

posted on Jan, 7 2008 @ 05:37 PM
I just wanted to point out that this object was in the proximity of Fort Knox. This was the reason for the authorities to get in touch with the Godman Air Force base.

On January 7, 1948 at the beginning of the afternoon, an enormous round and brilliant object is seen above Madisonville in Kentucky by tens of witnesses. The authorities worry about this presence in the proximity of Fort Knox, the gold reserve of the United States, and give alarm at 01:30pm

Taken from is an awesome site with lots of info about the mantell case and there are some FOIA documents to read (in the reference section)…..

The following is the picture of the Mantell wreckage taken from UFOcasebook

According to the The Mantell Case Re-Investigation it is believed that the Skyhook balloon theory is another disinformation attempt to hide the true nature of the incident.

posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 11:43 AM
reply to post by frozen_snowman

It was another attempt at disinformation. If you read the reports very carefully, you will find that the object was in the same position as Venus. However, on that day Venus was very dim and if you did not know exactly where to look, you would not see it at all. Prof. Hynek knew this at the time and informed Capt. Ruppelt several years later. In 1952 reporters questioned a Colonel at the Pentagon as to the conclusion that the object was, in fact, Venus. The Colonel responded that the Air Force had made another check and was sure the object was Venus. Prof. Hynek never felt comfortable with this conclusion and wanted it to be a balloon. Years later the USAF conclusion was that the initial sighting was Venus, leading to Capt. Mantell chasing a skyhook balloon. Neither explanation was correct and as yet to be proven. Capt. Mantell observed something that he felt was worth risking his life to get a closer look. This is the opinion of one of the fellow pilots and close friend of Mantell's. His statement is included in the Mantell file.

God Bless

[edit on 15-1-2008 by CLIFFORD STONE]

posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 06:00 PM
Greetings Mr. Stone.
Awesome to see you online.

I’m very happy that we are getting some “divine” guidance from you.

With your reply to my post, I was not sure which part you consider a disinformation attempt?
The Fort Knox proximity or the report from the
Or both?

Anyway – I thought I add both stories, because my fellow archivists covered the supplied PDF report very well and this gives the story another “kick”.
Of course , we don’t know if the info is true or not.

posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 07:23 PM
reply to post by frozen_snowman

Actually, I was referring to the case file. Prof. Hynek made it clear, he did not buy the "Venus" explanation and that he would feel more comfortable if a balloon explanation could be provided. In 1952, the theory that a Skyhook Balloon was the culprit first appeared. As more and more people became aware that even if Venus could have been seen, it would have been very dim and difficult to find again, once you looked away. So, the USAF changed the conclusion to the initial sightings as being Venus and in the excitement of the time, Capt. Mantell chased the Skyhook Balloon. This conclusion was meant to made the case more reasonable and put the Mentell case to bed. In the 1949 Project Grudge Report, Prof. Hynek stated that he wished he could find a balloon explanation for the Mantell case as this would be more believable. Why do think it took the USAF from 1948 to 1952 to finally come up with the "Skyhook Balloon" explanation?

God Bless

[edit on 15-1-2008 by CLIFFORD STONE]

posted on Jan, 16 2008 @ 11:15 PM
Hello to all-
A now deceased associate of mine was in Scott AFB tower during the Mantell incident. He pointed out a couple of things that are worth thinking about. He tells me that the aircraft did not crash, or auger in. It was dropped from about 50 feet up in a horizontal manner and Mantell was impaled on the stick. Take a very close look at this last picture and you can see that the frame of the plane indicates what this person has said. Note the wing is disconnected at the cord, but was not disintegrated from hitting the thick grove of trees that the plane came down into.
For years I was skeptical of this witnesses comments, but close scrutiny of this picture indicates that he may have been correct.
He also told me that the watch that Mantell was wearing stopped over an hour after the plane would have run out of fuel (and when the transmissions stopped.)

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