Form: 97 Compilation
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 03:08:41 +0100 (BST)
From: daniel wilson <>
Subject: F-51 crash -- Plane "disintegrated " in midair / 1956 Crash list
Cat: N/a
To: Francis Ridge <>

January 31, 1956
Lee Merkel's F-51 "disintegrated" in midair? Sounds a lot like Mantell's crash.
The year of 1956 had many curious military aircraft accidents. Some of the accidents were midair collisions while the planes were in pursuit of unidentified objects.
January 21, 1956, Hungary, two MiG fighter planes collided in midair while pursuing two unidentified aircraft over Hungarian territory.
See: New York Times, Jan. 22, 1956, page 17.
Two jet fighters collided above the sea as they tried to identify a large number of unknown objects detected by the radar of the Air Force Base at Okinawa. (26 Oct. 56)
See: Anatomy Of A Phennomon, Jacques Vallee, page 238
January 27, 1956, Five USAF jets crash in the Far East -- four after they ran out of fuel near Okinawa.
See: New York Times, January 28, 1956, page 3
February 8, 1956, England, Six RAF jets crash when a sudden fog trapped a flight of eight Hunters.
See: New York Times, February 9, 1956, page 9
March 2, 1956, Strasbourg, France, four RCAF F-86's crash, 3 killed , 1 missing
See: New York Times, March 3, 1956, page 6
March 4, 1956, Halsingborg, Sweden, Four Swedish jet fighters crashed into a fog-shrouded hill, all four pilots perished. The article states that last May four jets dived through the ice of Lake Glotern in central Sweden.
See: New York Times, March 5, 1956, page 11   
March 9, 1956, Okinawa, two USAF pilots missing in separate crashes.
See: New York Times, March 10, 1956, page 35
March 26, 1956, Hong Kong, Two British Navy Seahawk jets crashed into a fog-shrouded hill, both pilots were killed.
See: New York Times, March 27, 1956, page 5 
March 26, 1956, Loxley, Alabama, Two Navy training planes collided in flight, killing four men.
See: New York Times, March 27, 1956, page 9
March 27, 1956, London, England, a British European Airways plane and a RAF Vampire jet have near midair collision
See: New York Times, March 28, 1956, page 9
March 26, 1956, Westover AFB, Massachusetts, according to Donald Keyhoe, there was a report of a UFO that was picked up on radar and jets were quickly scrambled and vectored toward the UFO which was described as a round object 100-150 feet in diameter. As the jets tried to close the object climbed away.
See FLYING SAUCERS: Top Secret, pages 78-79, by Donald Keyhoe 
Approximately 200 miles to the west of Westover AFB--Perry, New York
March 27, 1956, Perry, New York, two USAF jets exploded and disintegrated at 25,000 feet over the town of Perry.
See: The Perry Herald, March 29, 1956, page 1, Also: New York Times, March 28, 1956, page 20
May 16, 1956, Orleans, Ontario, Canada, a RCAF CF-100 jet fighter crashed into a rest home for nuns, killing 15. The CF-100 was one of two planes that had been ordered to take off from Uplands Airport to intercept an unidentified aircraft. The plane hit the ground at over 680 mph.
See: New York Times, May 17, 1956, page 3
See also:
Wilbert Smith Lecture

Following is an edited version of a speech given at short notice to the Vancouver Area UFO Club, March 14, 1961. It was entitled "What we are doing in Ottawa."

(The other item that I’m rather proud of resulted from a series of questions that we asked regarding accidental destruction to our aircraft by flying into the vicinity of a flying saucer. And we were informed that although a few of our aircraft had come to an unfortunate end by what they considered the colossal stupidity of our pilots, they were now taking corrective measures to avoid our aircraft. I asked them what happened, and they said, well, the fields around the saucers in order to hold them up, in order to produce the gravity differential, the time field differentials, which were necessary to operate the ship, these sometimes produced field combinations which reduced the strength of materials to the point where they were no longer strong enough to carry the load that the materials were expected to carry.
We have unfortunately a large record of our aeroplanes having done just this. One of these crashes occurred at a place called Issoudon which is about 20 miles south-west of Quebec and 
we investigated the region through which this BOAC aircraft must have passed just prior to the crash. Sure enough, big as life and twice as natural, we found a very large and very strong vortex. Our instruments showed it beyond a doubt. It was about a thousand feet in diameter and roughly circular with a rather sharp line of demarcation at the edge of it. You will recall also that about two years, three years ago, possibly a little longer, a jet aircraft crashed into a nunnery at Orleans, just out from 
Ottawa. It killed a number of people and did a great deal of damage. The jet engine itself was finally dug out of the subsoil about 30 feet below the foundation. We investigated that one—again we found a very strong vortex of reduced binding. We had a number of reports some in from the people in the field who found exactly the same thing. I wrote a very stiff memorandum to the appropriate people in my own department pointing out some of these fact without saying where we got the info. We told them we had instruments which showed the existence of these regions of reduced binding and suggested that something be done about it. The letter wound up on the crank file.
May 19, 1956, Winnipeg, Man. Two RCAF planes collided at 15,000 feet over surburban Charleswood, six airmen were killed.
See: New York Times, May 20, 1956, page 73
May 19, 1956, near Kinross, Michigan, a Canadian plane crashed, two dead including a USAF man.
See: New York Times, May 20, 1956, page 41  
May 22, 1956, Rawdsey, England, two USAF F-84's collided and crashed. One of the jets crashed into a garden, killing an 85 year-old gardener.  
See: New York Times, May 23, 1956, page 3
June 24, 1956, East Sandwich, Mass., two USAF Starfire jets spun out of formation and crashed into the sea. A Coast Guard helicopter returning from the rescue mission crashed into Boston Harbor.
See: New York Times, June 25, 1956, page 10
June 28, 1956, near Danbury, Connecticut, a UFO was reported from here.
See: UFO's The American Scene, page 43, by Michael Hervey.
           Aproximately 20 miles NW of Danbury, CT.
June 29, 1956, Stormville, New York, an F-86D Sabrejet crashed killing the pilot.
See: New York Times, June 30, 1956, page 36
July 6, 1956, Kingsville, Texas, two USN F9F Panther jets collided in midair and crashed killing both pilots.
See: New York Times, July 7, 1956, page 6
July 7, 1956, Moscow, Russia, two MiGs while attempting to intercept a U-2 spy plane flown by Carmen Vito collided and crashed.
See: Skunk Works, by Ben R. Rich, pages 146-147
July 7, 1956, Glenview, Illinois, a US Marine jet crashed into a field after colliding with another jet. The Marine pilot was killed.
See: New York Times, July 8, 1956, page 10
July 22, 1956, Kern County, Calif., an unidentified object hits a USAF C-131D twin-engine plane, taking off parts of the tail and wing. Major Merwin Stenvers was able to land the plane safely.  
See: The Bakersfield Californian, July 23, 1956, page 1
Another article states: Fresno (AP) - Saucers Cited Over Valley, reports of two mysterious flying objects that burned across San Joanquin Valley yesterday.
See: The Bakersfield Californian, July 23, 1956, page 18
July 27, 1956, Wendover, Utah, two USAF F-86 jets collided in midair, one plane crashed while the other landed safely.
See: New York Times, July 28, 1956, page 34
July 27, 1956, Lakenheath Air Force Base, England, a B-47 bomber crashed on take off, four members of the crew were killed.
See: New York Times, July 28, 1956, page 34 
The B-47 crashed into a nuclear weapons storage igloo and burned. Preliminary examination by bomb disposal officer says that it was a miracle that one MK 6 nuclear bomb with exposed detonators didn't go. 
See: TOP SECRET USAF Message To CINCSAC for CINC LeMay from Walsh 
Later accounts would tell of a complete evacuation of the Air Force Base. Civilains near the base were not told though.  
There were 6 MK 6 nuclear bombs in the destroyed igloo.
August 3, 1956, Corpus Christi, Texas, two USN training planes collided in flight and crashed, killing one flier.
See: New York Times, August 4, 1956, page 33
August 7, 1956, Savannah, Georgia, two National Guard jet planes collided in midair, bursting into a ball of flame high over the Atlantic, 50 miles east of Savannah.
See: New York Times, August 8, 1956, page 17
August 13-14, 1956, Bentwaters AFB - Lakenheath RAF Station--mainly Suffolk County, England, many UFOs tracked on radar and seen visually.
See: Various sources
       Aproximately 310 miles east of Bentwaters AFB
August 13, 1956, Zeibrucken, Germany, two RCAF F-86 Sabrejets collided in midair, killing one of the pilots.
See: The Canadair Sabre, by Larry Milberry.
August 23, 1956, Algeria, Lt. General Fernand Besancon, Inspector General of the French artillery forces was killed today in a midair collision.
See: New York Times, August 24, 1956, page 3
August 23, 1956, Sweden, three Swedish Air Force fighter planes crashed while shooting at floating targets
on a lake.
See: New York Times, August 24, 1956, page 13
August 23, 1956, Honolulu, two USN jets crashed in separate accidents within three minutes of each other, off the carrier Bon Homme Richard.
See: New York Times, August 24, 1956, page 13
August 24, 1956, Nailsworth, England, two RAF aircraft, one a Gloster Javelin and a Hunter collided  in midair and crashed.
See: Whitaker's Almanac 1957, page 571
August 26, 1956, Clopton, England, two RAF Meteor jet aircraft collided in midair, both pilots were killed.
See: Whitaker's Almanac 1957, page 571
August 27, 1956, Valdosta, Georgia, two USAF T-33 jet trainers collided in flight killing four.
See: New York Times, August 28, 1956, page 13
September 4, 1956, Palmdale, California, two Air National Guard F-86 Sabrejets collided in flight and crashed into the Angles National Forest, setting a forest fire.
See: New York Times, September 5, 1956, page 18
Sept. 6, 1956; Pasadena, California
Western Airlines pilot reported erratically moving white lights to Air Defense Command; visual confirmation from ground. (UFOE, V)

September 5, 1956, Nagoya, Japan, two USAF jet fighters collided in flight and crashed, killing one pilot.
See: New York Times, September 6, 1956, page 4  
September 20, 1956, Cherry Point, North Carolina, two USMC jets crash.
See: New York Times, September 21, 1956, page 14
September 21, 1956, New York City area, N.Y., two military jets crash.
See: New York Times, September 22, 1956.
September 20-21, 1956, Brooklyn, New York, UFOs reported
See: Project Blue Book Master Index
October 11, 1956, Lake Michigan, two USAF F-86 Sabrejets collided in midair, one pilot went missing in the lake.
See: New York Times, October 12, 1956, page 59
 October 1956 - Two jet fighters collided above the sea as they tried to identify a large number of unknown objects detected by the radar of the Air Force Base at Okinawa. (26 Oct. 56)
See: Anatomy Of A Phennomon, Jacques Vallee, page 238
Daily Herald-Telephone Newspaper
Bloomington, Indiana
Wednesday Feb. 1, 1956
Air Guardsman Killed In Crash
Witnesses Report Noise, Explosion
Air Force officials today were investigating the crash of an F-51 Mustang plane on a Southern Monroe County farm field Tuesday afternoon and the death of its National Guard pilot

Lt. Col. Lee J. Merkel, 37, commander of an Air National Guard unit at Louisville, was killed as his plane plunged to earth in a field on the Roma Southern farm about 12 miles south of Bloomington near Harrodsburg.
Fuselage Pieces 

Mrs. Warren Wisely, Route 4, said she heard the plane go over, and when she looked out, she saw pieces of fuselage flying in the air

The aircraft apparently plummeted to earth at a sharp angle, because most of the forward section was buried in the earth. Only one wing and the top of the wreckage were visible. The area surrounding the wreck scene for a quarter-mile radius was sprinkled with fragments of the plane.

The pilot's dismembered body was approximately 30 feet behind the wreckage, and the red and white parachute was strung out beyond that point.

Gene Maddox, a resident of the area and a member of the Ground Observer Corps, said the plane circled the area twice before the crash. At one time it nearly hit the Harrodsburg School.

Armel Prince, of R. 4, a farmer near the crash scene said the plane dove over his farm home and rammed into the field on the adjacent Roma Southern farm. Prince said  the plane appeared to explode during its dive and then "disintegrated."

Albert McKnight, Delmar Turner and Warren Wisely, of Route 4, were reported to have been first on the scene after the crash.