Thomas Mantell was a Kentucky Air National Guard pilot who was dispatched to identify a UFO on January 7th, 1948. Mantell, an experienced pilot, had over 2100 hours of flight experience and was a decorated pilot due to his part in the Battle of Normandy during World War II.
At approximately 1:45 p.m. Sergeant Quinton Blackwell spotted an object from the Fort Knox control tower that was white and in the distance. The object was described as “very white” and “about one fourth the size of the full moon.” Viewing the object through binoculars it appeared to have a red border near the bottom and was stationary in the sky for approximately one and a half hours.
Witnesses closer to the object stated it had the appearance of a flaming red cone that trailed a green gaseous mist behind it. Once the object started to move from its stationary position it moved with incredibly agility. The object, just before vanishing, came very close to the ground for about ten seconds before climbing to an altitude of around 10,000 feet at a speed greater than 500mph in flight.
Thomas Mantell, one of four F-51D Mustangs dispatched, were ordered to approach the object to aid in identifying it. The flight of four F-51D Mustangs were already in the air when the sighting began. Only one of the planes had an oxygen mask and it was in low supply so three of the four planes cut off their pursuit as the object continued to climb above 22,500 feet. Mantell continued his pursuit, now the only pilot still engaged with the object to around 30,000 feet.
It was at this point that radio communication with Mantell was lost. Prior to losing communication it was reported, and disputed, that Mantell described the object as metallic and of tremendous size. Some dispute that this is what was actually said by Mantell, however it cannot be confirmed or denied.
It is generally assumed that Mantell lost consciousness after passing the altitude of 25,500 feet. The aircraft wreckage, and body, were found several hours later in a field nearby. The pilots wrist watch stopped at 3:18 p.m. which was believed to be the time of the crash. The craft remained visible until around 3:50 p.m.
When the media heard of the incident a wide range of stories broke. Some including that he was shot down by a beam, others that the plane was brought down by a Soviet missile, some stating that Mantell’s body was full of bullet holes, and finally some stated that the body was missing from the wreckage completely.
Later, the Military stated that Mantell was chasing a Skyhook balloon and this was not a UFO at all. An investigation report later confirmed that the body had not burned or disintegrated and was not full of bullet holes. It also confirmed that his craft was not magnetized or radioactive.
I do not believe the explanation of a Skyhook balloon being the cause of the sighting. Balloons do not have the ability to climb from ground level to 10,000 feet in a matter of seconds or travel in level flight at speeds of over 500 mph. The sightings via binoculars and at closer range also explain that the object had a flaming red cone and a trail of a green gaseous mist following behind it. This does not sound like a Skyhook balloon to me.
In addition, Mantell, with over 2100 hours of flight experience would have known the limitations of his body and his oxygen levels. He would have know that further pursuit of the craft would not have been possible. This leads me to believe that he was pushing the boundaries of what he thought he could endure in an effort to truly identity this object. This leads me to believe that he was not viewing an easily identifiable object like a Skyhook balloon.
Lastly, the way the media responded to his incident, by almost making a mockery of it, is further proof that this may have been a cover-up by the Military. We know that the U.S. government has been working with media insiders since the late 30’s and early 40’s. This to me seems like a classic use of the media to discredit the truth. Reports or magnetic death rays, Soviet missiles, and Skyhook balloons were all put out in an effective effort to cloud the truth.
I have no doubt that this was a legitimate UFO and that it was actively covered up by our media and government.