For heavens sakes, guys! I thought my memory problems were bad,
but you all make me feel better. The whole business about oxygen in the
Mantell case has been on the record all along. A quick look at the
two-volume edition of Jerry Clark's Encyclopedia found this:
: "Mantell's right wingman, 1st Lt. Albert Clements, put on his
oxygen mask. Already the air was getiing dangerously thin [at 16,000
feet] and Mantell and the left wingman, 2nd Lt. B.A. Hammond, had not
brought oxygen masks with them." Mantell, without oxygen, said he
wanted to go up to 25,000 for 10 minutes, then if he could get no
closer he would abandon the chase.
The wingmewn broke off the pursuit at 22,500 feet, and the last
they saw of Mantell he was "still climbing almost directly into the
sun," according to Clements. A couple of minutes later his plane was
seen circling lazily around, and it seems obvious that he had passed
out from lack of oxygen. The ground witness saw it start to spiral down
and it started to break up in the air before pancaking to the ground.
The best guess is that Mantell was excited by the object he was
viewing and committed a lapse of judgment under the very unusual
circumstances. - Dick
From: Steven Kaeser <steve@KONSULTING.COM>
Reply-To: Discussions about UFOs and research for CURRENT
Subject: Re: Mantell a Mystery?
Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 15:21:17 -0400
Has the original report on this crash been located? Some
sort of official investigation would have taken place after this
incident, but haven't seen any discussion of what it says about the
Until Ray's post earlier today, I had not heard any reports that
Mantell might have had oxygen, which I'll admit changes the story (if
it's true). But I'm not sure we'll be able to resolve this without an
official report that states the case.
Another question was raised regarding the debris field, and the
fact that it didn't appear that this plane crashed from as high an
altitude as alleged. In addition, one of the plane's wings had become
seperated from the plane and was found a quarter of amile away, which
would require a lot of stress to the plane. Aviation writer, Don
Berliner, indicated that it wasn't impossible for a plane to spiral
down and land upright (as Mantell's appears to have), but it would have
been unusual. He said that the wing could also have been broken
off while the plane was tumbling to the ground, but (again) that would
have been very unusual.
So, a case that is probably older than most of us discussing it,
has again reared its ugly head and confused us with evidence that we
can either ignore or deal with. Frustration has been
expressed regarding the re-opening of this case to debate, but to my
knowledge there are no major UFO cases that have been fully proven as
mundane, and the Mantell crash is no different.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Francis Ridge"
Sent: Wednesday, May 31, 2006 2:34 PM
Subject: Re: Mantell a Mystery?
At 01:01 PM 5/31/2006 -0300, Don wrote:
That's one I'd never heard before. As you say, hearsay,
however. That portion of dialogue between the controllers and Mantell
has never been mentioned, either to support that Mantell had the oxygen
or that he did not. Frankly it has always bothered me that an
experienced fighter pilot would ever climb past 12,000 feet [daytime
flight] without oxygen. Excited he may have been about chasing the
"object" but it would not compare with the various and heightened
emotions that fighter pilots would experience when engaging an enemy.
That part has always bothered me, and you expressed it very
well. I had said that Mantell had been in stressful situations in
aerial combat, yet going after an unidentified object in broad daylight
shouldn't have affected his mind enough to do something life
And while it was true that Mantell would have trouble reaching
the balloon height (his 30,000 verses 50-100,000 ' for the balloon),
the speed of the then one of the fastest airplanes we had of almost 450
mph would have overshot the higher object very quickly, not traveling
faster or even "at half my speed".