The Mantell UFO Incident

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posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 03:49 PM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur
I think we have to imagine the possibility of lighting conditions where the reflectivity off certain parts is so bright that it obscures the image of other parts of the balloon, such that the appearance to an observer under 30,000 feet could become distorted to the point where it no longer looks like a ballon to the naked eye. Once you accept that possibility, it is no longer so hard to accept a pilot might have some difficulty identifying it.

But looking at it through binoculars and saying it looks like a parachute, sure seems like a description closely fitting a skyhook balloon.


Along with the flight characteristics, you're quite correct. But you also have to consider some other factors. It wasn't just the pilots seeing the object. There were multiple ground witnesses, including the guys in the tower at Godwin.

Also you have to consider the length of time where the object was under observation. Reflection is an issue, but the sun is changing position in the sky, the object is changing position as well, the pilots are changing position, so the reflection is going to change too. Maybe I'm giving the aviation pros too much credit.




posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 05:31 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Hey, good questions. Sorry for the messed up link, there was a lot of things that I had to put together for this thread so obviously I made a few typos.


As far as the answer to your "why can't it be a Skyhook" question. It surely could be, but there are some major issues with this story.

  • Remember that this object had to be large enough and low enough for the many witnesses (civilian and military, over 100 in all) that spotted this object near Fort Knox. If the Skyhook was indeed the UFO it would have been (as you said) 80-100,000 feet in the air at this time (unless it had a leak but we know that is not the case as it never 'crash landed' anywhere) and the Skyhook was not large enough in length nor diameter to be visible at the size reported by the witnesses, also the Skyhook does not look like an umbrella. Also keep in mind that an object at that altitude (being the size of the Skyhook) would only appear as a small light (due to the silver reflection of the balloon) if it appeared at all at that extremely high altitude.

  • Skyhook balloons were known by the military, they were not classified, only their launch dates and locations were. For trained personal on the ground and in the air to all mistake a balloon for a "large, circular or umbrella shaped object with changing colors" is a stretch, but yea, it is possible (just not likely).


    • At an average drift speed of 18-25 MPH it is possible that a balloon could travel the 750 miles to Fort Knox with an 8 AM launch on the day prior to the sightings.It is possible if you plot a course from Camp Ripley to Fort Knox to believe that indeed it could have been a simple balloon,however one must take into account the fact that the craft was seen moving westward at times, this is in the wrong direction if the southeastern path is to be taken into account. This could be due to witness mistakes or changes in local wind direction. What about the stationary path reported at 1:45 PM by ground personal? This could be due to localized drift variations, although those are more common in the Summer months. Another aspect to take into account is that Mantell stated the object moving at around 180 MPH, that is not acceptable for a balloon theory.



    Looking at that chart we can see the apparent 'semi-erratic' nature of the object (it seems to appear at places that a linear course would not lead to) Also there is this...



    Updated: 24 August 2007:
    In March of 2006, Drew Speier* of WFIE TV in Evansville, Indiana, asked me to help them produce a segment on the Mantell incident for Channel 14. I advised him that there were much better UFO cases and that there was considerable controversy surrounding the case. In hopes of doing other, much better segments in the future, I consented to do the show for the May showing. The show aired on May 23 (transcript). Our thanks to Mr. Speier and WFIE, as we re-opened the case and found some surprising new information. An update by WFIE was "filmed" on June 28th and shown on the 26th of July (transcript).

    Several official documents indicate that the Skyhook balloon theory does not work.
    1) Skyhook balloons were NOT classified; their missions were. A Popular Science article released only a few months later in May of 1948 proves this. But three years later the Navy made the ridiculous debunking claim in 1951 that secret Skyhooks explained all the "reliable" reports.
    2) A "restricted" document shows that Kentucky State Police and callers described an object as "250-300 feet in diameter and moving at a pretty good clip" which later evidence proved was definitely not a Skyhook. The location of the Skyhook south of Nashville was confirmed in another restricted document mentioning world renowned astronomer, Dr. Carl Seyfert, discoverer of the "Seyfert galaxies," among other observers and is in both AF files and news reports. Columbia, Tennessee observers saw it to the north at about the same time as Seyfert and Nashville witnesses, and this brackets the Skyhook's location in the middle about 150 miles from Godman Field and impossible as a stimulus for the primary cases. Incidentally, the Popular Science article even shows the Skyhook launched on January 6th!!! Three other sets of restricted or confidential documents describe an object 250-300' in diameter and much closer. For details see USAF-SIGN1 280, USAF-SIGN1-376, and MAXW-PBB3 680-681.

    Accident report documents (and others) are also allowing us to construct an accurate flight timetable for the Mantell chase and it apparently proves that all the previous scenarios of what happened are wrong, simply because Mantell's wingmen lied about it afterward to cover up their complicity in flying too high without oxygen.

    www.nicap.org...

    Link to Skyhook launch charts


    In my humble opinion what we likely had we BOTH a Skyhook in the region AND a UFO. The data points to likely two objects, one obviously a Skyhook and the other a UFO. I am curious as to if this was just Skyhook why were there missing transcripts (even if the Navy did not want to be made publically responsible then, with all the mystery still surrounding this event now, 62 years later, you would think they would have come clean if there was nothing on the missing transcripts. Also Mantell is rumored to have said (in these missing transcripts) "My God, I see people in there!"..Hypoxic hallucinations? Possible, but usually hypoxia makes you black out rather quickly (instantly most of the time), so we must keep that in mind as well. Also in combination with the visual sightings of something that does not look like a Skyhook balloon and Mantell's reported statement one logically must take a pause on the Skyhook theory.

    Lastly, even in the jetstream Skyhook balloons (or any for that matter) do not constantly change directions over the course of its flight back and forth like this object was reported to do. This is a VERY interesting and mysterious case, and I feel the recent evidence and further analysis of this case should at the least shed some heavy doubt on that theory. A definite alien spacecraft? NO. A definite Skyhook balloon? NO. Worthy of more investigation or a top spot of UFO cases? YES, in my opinion. Again, thanks for the kind words and great questions.



  • posted on Mar, 13 2010 @ 09:28 AM
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    Just some notes here while they are fresh in my mind...I havent looked over eveything yet so maybe the questions have been addressed.

    If it were a balloon then it is subject to wind speed.


    New York Times, August 21, 1952 Airforce follow up statemnt release.....At about 2:45 PM Captain Mantell reported sighting an unidentified object "directly ahead and above me and moving about half my speed" He said "it appears metallic of termendous size-it appears like the reflection of sunlight on an airplane canopy"

    A few moments later, Captain Mantell reported that the object was moving about his same speed- around 350 miles an hour- and that "it was bright and climbing away from me" at 15000 feet.
    Captain Mantell then said he was going up to 20,000 feet and if he failed to close in on the object, he would abandon the chase. That was his last message.
    No identification of the object has been announced.


    So he is going 350 an hour. No way a ballon is moving that fast. Plus he indicates that the thing is changing speed. He may have been ajusting his first estimation of speed but seems to be close enough to see it not a balloon. And how could something moving like a weather balloon be moving in such a way at to be observable for any length of time? As was the case in some accounts. Col. Guy Hicks.

    As far as oxygen. It is hard to believe that he didnt have any or that he was out of oxygen as they only use it at higher altitude. So one has to ask what was the standard patrol altitude? If they had been on a standard low altitude patrol they would not have been out of oxygen because they wouldnt have used any. His statement that he would break off at 20,000 feet may indicate that he was aware of some oxygen problem. And why were the other craft low on fule and he wasnt?



    [edit on 13-3-2010 by Logarock]



    posted on Mar, 13 2010 @ 09:37 AM
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    reply to post by Logarock
     


    ---

    Really good thoughts. I have to add, Mantell's wreckage (no matter what the (fake?) picture looks like), was immediately grabbed and classified.
    Some of the claimed witnesses said it was totally destroyed and what wreckage found was pin-holed -- perforated, like a colander.

    Decoy



    posted on Mar, 13 2010 @ 09:56 AM
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    " perforated, like a colander"...thats scary. Brings to mind the case of the two migs, Cuban, the wingman said the other jet just fell apart disintegrated.

    And yes I noticed that the wreck didnt look like much of a wreck that would account for a high speed nose dive. And there is not much reason to believe the plane broke up do to structure failure.



    posted on Apr, 29 2010 @ 11:49 PM
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    Just read your story and would like to say BRAVO. I am left wondering though about the number if sightings then compared to now. Less frequent or less reported? Also I wonder what would have been the outcome if Mantell would have had a oxy mask? And finally what if Mantell had been piloting an F22 Raptor?


    Just a thought



    posted on Apr, 30 2010 @ 08:27 AM
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    reply to post by Loken68
     



    It is hard to believe Mantell didnt have a oxygen set up or if he did was out of oxygen. Considering the mission of the Air Guard wings were to fight high altitude Russian bombers if they would happen to show.

    Air craft are supposed to be check listed before flight. One idea was that he didnt have it on and got carried away?



    posted on Apr, 30 2010 @ 11:21 AM
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    Sometimes one has to approach these things from a slightly side ways angle to dig out the possible reality of the situation.

    In the documentary called "The British X Files", there is an interview with the crew of a Vampire Jet, who reported a sighting in the early 1950s. What is mentioned, by one of the crew in passing is along the lines of the following.


    "We were a little concerned about closing with the object as we had heard that the Americans had had one of their planes disintegrated by an encounter with one of these objects" . I believe they quote *over California", but I'm guessing it's the Mantel case they are talking about. If not, we have an "encounter" that is still unpublished .

    It strikes me we are party to the "mess talk" that was obviously doing the rounds, even as far away as Britain, that an aircraft had been lost during an encounter with a UFO. OK, so even given for exaggeration and the inevitable Chinese whispers that would occur. It is still fascinating to hear two very experienced aircrew openly saying, "They were aware of a NATO plane being lost in an encounter with a UFO".

    If nothing else, it shows that aircrew on active service, in the 1950s, were well aware of the UFO phenomenon and obviously were talking about it. That is something that, is often dismissed as bunkum, yet their testimony clearly shows UFOs were a topic discussed by operational staff.

    Iv'e shown the photo's of the wreckage to a couple f pilots. their estimation is that, it's probably, commensurate with the sort of crash Mantel was reported to have had. That said, there are still questions about the crash, as yet, unresolved. There are a couple of witness reports that claim. There was no blood at all present in the craft. There also seems to be some controversy over whether any of Mantel's family, ever saw his body, to identify it, before he was buried. I believe there were moves to exhume Mantel's body for further study, but they were met with opposition and nothing came to pass.



    posted on Apr, 30 2010 @ 11:27 AM
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    reply to post by FireMoon
     




    Good info.

    Had been thinking of his body. Maybe it was also "perforated, like a colander"... or something unusual.



    posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 05:49 AM
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    Because I assume that there could be still some interest in the famous Mantell Incident, I want to give this marvelous informative thread from my old friend jkrog08 a well deserved bump.

    At the same time I want to make it known as far as it is not yet known here that there is since December 15, 2010 at www.nicap.org... a five year re-investigation posted about this case with very likely some more additional information.


    Francis L. Ridge NICAP Site Coordinator The Briefing Room December 15, 2010

    Greetings Colleagues & Fellow Enthusiasts,
    This day marks the 13th year anniversary of the NICAP web site.
    After a five year re-investigation, we are officially releasing our massive report on The Mantell Incident.
    The Mantell Incident: An Anatomy Of An Investigation



    This report is fully documented and proves the case was not only unexplained, but there was a major cover-up.



    www.nicap.org...


    This is the original account of the famous Mantell Incident, as told by Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, in his book in 1956


    Part 1 - 1: The Mantell Case - Original Account January 7, 1948



    This is the original account of the famous Mantell Incident, as told by Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, in his book in 1956. (Ref.1). Nothing has been changed in this version so that the reader can quickly get through the main gist of the story which has been told many times by many people. If you are well-versed in that regard, you may skip this section and move on. - Francis Ridge

    Edward J. Ruppelt:
    On January 7 all of the late papers in the U.S. carried headlines similar to those in the Louisville Courier: "F-51 and Capt. Mantell Destroyed Chasing Flying Saucer." This was Volume I of "The Classics," the Mantell Incident.

    (snip)

    Somewhere in the archives of the Air Force or the Navy there are records that will show whether or not a balloon was launched from Clinton County AFB, Ohio, on January 7, 1948. I never could find these records. People who were working with the early skyhook projects "remember" operating out of Clinton County AFB in 1947 but refuse to be pinned down to a January 7 flight. Maybe, they said.

    The Mantell Incident is the same old UFO jigsaw puzzle. By assuming the shape of one piece, a balloon launched from southwestern Ohio, the whole picture neatly falls together. It shows a huge balloon that Captain Thomas Mantell died trying to reach. He didn't know that he was chasing a balloon because he had never heard of a huge, 100-foot-diameter skyhook balloon, let alone seen one. Leave out the one piece of the jigsaw puzzle and the picture is a UFO, "metallic and tremendous in size."

    It could have been a balloon. This is the answer I phoned back to the Pentagon.

    www.nicap.org...


    Here is for instance a new to me and absolutely important piece of information.

    Part 1 - 4: 2005 - Prior to Re-Investigation


    4) On November 10th, 2005, Dan Wilson submitted this four-page AF Form 14, Report of Major accident, Jan. 7, 1948, near Franklin, Ky, Capt. Thomas F. Mantell 0-806873, Fatal.

    The accident summary says that Mantell went up to 25,000 feet and possibly as high as 30,000 feet, and that he passed out for lack of oxygen.

    According to other reports, Mantell's last words was that he was at 15,000 feet and would go to 20,000 feet and if no closer would abandon chase. USAF-SIGN1-310 held a vital clue, but a better version of those documents was uncovered by Wilson on June 1st of 2006.

    Fact: Mantell had oxygen!
    From the very beginning we had the evidence right under our noses, and later, analyst Brad Sparks amply pointed this out and was able to use other evidence to prove it.

    www.nicap.org...


    For all the information from this five year re-investigation about this really intriguing case look here.

    www.nicap.org...

    And here one can find some very interesting UFO related Authorized Full-Length Versions ONLINE BOOKS

    www.nicap.org...



    posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 06:01 AM
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    Originally posted by spacevisitor

    Fact: Mantell had oxygen!
    Yes he did, until he ran out.

    That's why the other two planes turned back, theirs was low and they didn't want to run out.

    www.unmuseum.org...


    The three planes rose together nearing 22,000 feet. Because the air is so thin at high altitudes, pilots in planes with non-pressurized cabins operating above 14,000 feet are required to use oxygen masks. Without supplementary oxygen a pilot can became delirious and blackout. Two of the Mustangs broke off the pursuit because their oxygen tanks were low. Mantell, apparently believing he was getting enough oxygen, kept going.



    posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 09:54 AM
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    reply to post by Arbitrageur
     



    I must ask how an escort fighter like this could run out of oxygen? Considering the capacity the tank must have held ie long flights durring war at high altitudes. The tanks must have had a measure of oxygen that was consistant with fule capasity and range. Unless in the states they had something like an acceptable measure of depletion for domestic patrol flights.



    posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 10:08 AM
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    reply to post by Logarock
     
    If you really want to know, someone on the P-51 special interest group forum might be able to answer your question: p51sig.com...

    I think Mantell was flying a P-51D.

    I don't know what the oxygen capacity was but unlike you, I DON'T make any assumptions about the oxygen capacity necessarily being sufficient for any possible flight at any altitude.

    Do you suspect that the other planes turned back for some reason other than low oxygen and that is a lie?

    edit on 14-1-2011 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



    posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 10:27 AM
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    Something else, secret or not, if anyone was going to let go a ballon of that size at Clinton.....they would have had to tell the tower or communicate with the tower if in fact the tower couldnt see the thing being set up anyway! The launchers would have had to know about other fights leaving or inbound. And how is it that this same air field reported a UFO durring this operation?

    Around this same time we have a UFO report north of Clinton at Lockborne Air Field. The thing almost lands and then speeds off. Certainly an alert went out. And we end up having three air bases reporting UFOs in the same time frame one north of Clinton. Without explaining other details what are the chances a baloon would fly over these three air fields and if such is true it couldnt have been launched at clinton but somewhere north of Columbus ohio which would mean the thing would have been very high by the time it was over Kentuky. But it stoped off and hung around Lockborne, Clinton and Kentucky?



    posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 10:39 AM
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    Originally posted by Arbitrageur

    I don't know what the oxygen capacity was but unlike you, I DON'T make any assumptions about the oxygen capacity necessarily being sufficient for any possible flight at any altitude.



    Why are you jumping my a##. It was a question. What I believe is that when they put these planes together they factor in the size of the oxygen tank to be compatible with escorting high altitude B-17 on 12 hour flights along with oxygen sucking pilots engaged in dog fights at some point or points along the way.

    Thanks for the link by the way.
    edit on 14-1-2011 by Logarock because: sp



    posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 11:33 AM
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    The P-51 Mustang had a service ceiling of 41,000ft so this object was well within the fighters limitations.

    As mentioned by others, these aircraft escorted B17 bombers at altitudes of 30-35,000 for many hours whilst conducting raids over Germany, they carried supplimental oxygen systems, so a non-pressurised cockpit is not an issue.

    Hypoxia can occur above 10,000ft (in Australia where I learnt to fly, no aircraft is allowed to fly above this altitude without having supplimental oxygen on board)

    My understanding from the reports I read was that the second two aircraft returned not because of lack of oxygen, but because one of the pilots was becoming disorientated about his wherabouts and felt unable to return to base without getting lost. He was escorted back to base by the second, more experienced pilot.

    Sadly, it was not uncommon (especially in a quick climb) for the metal bearing that was part of the regulator in the on demand system for the oxygen, to become frozen in place (condensation in the pipes being an all to frequent occurence in these early systems...as many gunners in B17's will attest to) thus jamming the system closed. By it's very nature, the pilot will not realise what has happened and may make erroneous actions and comments (not unlike being drunk) until passing out.

    The aircraft was trimmed to climb. In all likelihood, as was the nature of the P-51, if stalling in a trimmed configuration, the aircraft would enter A FLAT SPIN.......which, if commenced at altitude, may enable enough revolutions of the craft to allow sufficient lateral forces for the aircraft to be torn apart, failing that the aircraft would strike the ground almost horizontally, thus limiting the damage to the craft on impact (as opposed to a nose first attitude which would strike the ground with a higher velocity and hence much greater force).

    So, please, no more invisible force fields or energy weapons. What was in the sky that day I cannot say, but what caused the crash was a system malfunction leading to loss of aircraft control and subsequent destruction.



    posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 01:00 PM
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    Originally posted by Logarock
    Why are you jumping my a##. It was a question.

    Thanks for the link by the way.
    You're welcome for the link. Sorry if you thought I was jumping you, that wasn't my intent, I'm just saying we can't assume too much, in fact what's even more shocking is the statement in the Wiki I just read:

    Mantell_UFO_incident


    Only one of Mantell's companions, Lt. Albert Clemmons, had an oxygen mask, and his oxygen was in low supply. Clemmons and a Lt. Hammond called off their pursuit at 22,500 feet (6,900 m). Mantell continued to climb, however. According to the Air Force, once Mantell passed 25,000 feet (7,600 m) he blacked out from the lack of oxygen (hypoxia), and his plane began spiraling back towards the ground. A witness later reported Mantell's Mustang in a circling descent.
    So according to that, Clemmons had an oxygen mask but was low in oxygen, and the other pilot, Lt. Hammond, didn't even have an oxygen mask! So if true, that reinforces my thought we can't assume they are prepared for extended high altitude flying. Maybe the flight plan didn't call for exceeding 14,000 feet in which case they shouldn't have needed oxygen or an oxygen mask? I don't know, but the lack of an oxygen mask seems even stranger than low oxygen.


    Originally posted by dentarthurdent
    My understanding from the reports I read was that the second two aircraft returned not because of lack of oxygen, but because one of the pilots was becoming disorientated about his wherabouts and felt unable to return to base without getting lost. He was escorted back to base by the second, more experienced pilot.
    I read that version of events also, but is it possible his disorientation might have been due to low oxygen so it's really the same story and not so much different? Disorientation is one of the possible symptoms that can result from hypoxia.


    Originally posted by Logarock
    Something else, secret or not, if anyone was going to let go a ballon of that size at Clinton.....they would have had to tell the tower or communicate with the tower if in fact the tower couldnt see the thing being set up anyway!
    Well if you read the thread and believe the OP, and I think he's probably right, then it didn't come from Clinton:
    www.abovetopsecret.com...


    Originally posted by jkrog08
    • We are left with the fact that the nearest point of origin for a Skyhook was Camp Ripley, Minnesota.

    • At an average drift speed of 18-25 MPH it is possible that a balloon could travel the 750 miles to Fort Knox with an 8 AM launch on the day prior to the sightings.
    • It is possible if you plot a course from Camp Ripley to Fort Knox to believe that indeed it could have been a simple balloon
    So if it came from Camp Riley MN, 750 miles away, that might explain why the locals were unaware of the launch, right?



    posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 01:20 PM
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    It's roughly 700 miles from Camp Ridley to Godman AFB, incident was 31 hours after balloon launch, that's 22 MPH. Object reported as traveling half the speed of a P-51, which cruises at just under 300 mph. So the balloon basically crawls about 600 miles until it hits Kentucky and then jumps several times in speed. Not likely in my view. I think Kevin Randle got a better grip on the case . . .

    www.nicap.org...

    . . . but from my sense of it, with a pilot death involved, no one was chomping at the bit to "take credit" for launching the weather balloon that caused this incident, hence a lot of lost records.

    This from Captain Edward Ruppelt, who headed up the USAF Project Blue Book and conducted the final investigation into the Ruppelt crash.

    www.nicap.org...



    posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 01:30 PM
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    reply to post by UFO Partisan
     
    You're giving the pilot's speed estimate way more credibility than I am.
    I don't think he knew the altitude, distance or speed accurately.



    posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 01:35 PM
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    Originally posted by Arbitrageur

    Originally posted by jkrog08

    • It is possible if you plot a course from Camp Ripley to Fort Knox to believe that indeed it could have been a simple balloon


    So if it came from Camp Riley MN, 750 miles away, that might explain why the locals were unaware of the launch, right?


    Well, after I did read the rest of that quote from jkrog08, it looks more to me as that he did come to the conclusion that that was nevertheless not an acceptable possibility.


    Originally posted by jkrog08
    • It is possible if you plot a course from Camp Ripley to Fort Knox to believe that indeed it could have been a simple balloon, however one must take into account the fact that the craft was seen moving westward at times, this is in the wrong direction if the southeastern path is to be taken into account. This could be due to witness mistakes or changes in local wind direction. What about the stationary path reported at 1:45 PM by ground personal? This could be due to localized drift variations, although those are more common in the Summer months. Another aspect to take into account is that Mantell stated the object moving at around 180 MPH, that is not acceptable for a balloon theory.





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