This accident report by the USAF was conducted after the fatal crash of Capt. Thomas Mantell on Jan. 7, 1948. He was flying a P-51 airplane and flew
to investigate the report of an unidentified object that was seen by several witnesses at Godman Field, Kentucky. Mantell and four other planes
spotted the object above them and he flew higher on his own to try to get closer to it. His last radio contact was that he was going to the altitude
of 20,000 feet, which is well above the safety level without oxygen. Later witnesses saw his plane spiraling down and he crashed in a field. Some
believe that the UFO could have shot his plane down, but the official conclusion was that he had blacked out due to hypoxia and the object was a large
skyhook balloon. There are still several inconsistencies with the case that are being debated to this day.
In this document on Page 2 is a handwritten note titled “Description of Object – Godman Observers, with sketches of the object in question. The
following page was also handwritten with Edward Ruppelt’s name, who was investigated the case. The object was described as cone shaped or
On page 15 there is a report on what was believed to have happened. It states that Mantell was rendered unconscious around 25,000 feet, but the plane
probably continued to fly up to an altitude of 30,000 feet and with the decrease in oxygen the plane veered over and spiraled down. As it fell out of
control, forces exceeded the capacity of the airframe and it disintegrated between 20,000 to 10,000 feet, and crashed to the ground without an
After several illegible pages, on page 25 was a description of the object by Mantell that frozen_snowman already covered.
On page 40 a clearly written document describes the event in detail stating the it was the Air Transport Accident Investigation Commission’s (ATIC)
conclusion that the UFO was not directly responsible for the cause of the crash. The object was originally thought to be the planet Venus, but later
determined to be a skyhook balloon.
There is a report by an astronomer showing astronomical data on the planet Venus, and concluded that the object could not have been Venus because it
could not have been seen during the day.
The final page as frozen_snowman pointed out is a diagram of the crash site, and what is strange is that even though Mantell’s body was still in the
cockpit, part of his skull was found about 150 yards behind the crash, with glass from the canopy another 150 yards further back. There is no mention
of this in the report that I know of.
The Mantell Case – Mistaken Identity
Wikipedia: Mantell UFO Incident
TinWiki: Mantell Incident