Form: 97 BB
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 16:29:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: Brad Sparks
Subject: Possible Radar in Mantell Case
Cat: 11 / 9?
To:       (

The above document has some very remarkable data.  I have tried to deduce who wrote it from the way it talks about the different airbases and the best I can figure it looks like Godman CO's Office but not Col Hix, someone on his staff. 

Note the constant references to reporting to ADC Hq at Mitchel Field NY and receiving communications from ADC.  Yet the ADC had NO RADARS back then in the interior of the ZI, only a few radars in the Pacific NW and in New England.  Ken Schaffel's air defense history (p. 91) has a map of ADC radars as of June 1948, they only had 9 radar sites, all in Wash, Oregon, N Calif., NJ and NY. 

What the ADC was apparently doing was using AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL radars belonging to the AF's AACS Airways and Air Communications Service on an ad hoc basis and visual sightings by military control towers where there were no air traffic radars.  Since the ADC was not officially connected to AACS and the control towers this had to be done unofficially.  The ADC also had to depend on the AACS which had the AF's most advanced communications systems at the time to help transmit ADC communications relating to urgent air defense alerts. 

This seems to be what was done in the Mantell case.  Note these critical paragraphs:

"Later we received a call from St Louis Tower that a great ball
of light was passing directly over the field - Scott Tower also verified this.

"We then received a call from Air Defense Command through Olmsted Flight Service Center advising us to alert Coffeyville, Kansas, Ft Smith, Arkansas,
and Kansas City, Missouri, and that they had plotted the object as moving
WSW at 250 miles per hour.

I looked at this morning and noticed the ADC "plotted the object as moving
WSW at 250 miles per hour."  That sounds a lot like a radar tracking, except it is still possible that if the object did indeed pass "directly over the field" at St Louis then visual observers might get a good impression of speed and direction.  Plus they say that Scott Field about 20 miles E of St Louis confirmed this, presumably they saw it go over St Louis from a distance whereas St Louis saw it pass directly overhead ASSUMING these reports are accurate and not gross distortions of the Venus sightings in the evening. 

I wondered why were Coffeyville, Ft Smith, and Kansas City picked out for notifications?  The ADC had to ask Godman Tower to send along ADC's alert on the UFO to these other AACS control towers because the AACS had an interphone communication system called Plan 62 that linked them.

As for why these bases it became clear when I looked at a map:  If an object passed directly over St Louis on a WSW heading it would head straight towards Joplin, Mo., or almost directly towards Coffeyville Air Field in SE Kansas.  Ft Smith and KC are on each side of that flight path by about 100 miles.  So the ADC was covering its bases so to speak on where the object might go next.

What we need to know is if St Louis Field was an AF base in 1948 and if it was or not, whether it had air traffic control RADAR in Jan 1948 that could have tracked the UFO.  Same question for Scott AFB which I know was an AFB base. 

Possibly a check by phone with state historical societies in Missouri could yield answers.  Another lead would be to get someone to go to Maxwell AFB's Air Archives and get copies of AACS histories for the late 40's, and ADC for that matter.

INCIDENT NARRATIVE (Godman CO/Standiford CO's Office??)

                         REPORT OF UNUSUAL INCIDENT

At approximately 1400E, 7 January 1948, Kentucky State Police reported
to Ft Knox Military Police they had sighted an unusual aircraft or object
flying, through air, circular in appearance approximately 250 - 350 feet in
diameter, moving westward at "a pretty good clip."  This in turn was report-
ed to the Commanding Officer, Godman Field, Ft Knox, Kentucky, who called
Godman Tower and asked them to have Flight Service check with Flight Test
at Wright Field to see if they had any experimental aircraft in the area.

Captain Hooper at Flight Test Operations stated, "We have no experi-
mental aircraft in that area, however we do have a B-29 and an A-26 on photo
missions in that area."  This information was relayed to Godman Tower, by
dispatcher on duty and a verification on report was asked for.

Godman Tower later called back and stated first report was by radio to
Ft Knox Military Police and followed by telephone call to same from State

Information on P-51's and further reports are reported as follows by
Captain Arthur T. Jehli, Supervisor of the 1600E - 2400E shift.

"When the 1600E - 2400E shift reported for duty we were advised that a
"disc", or balloon, or some strange object was seen hovering in the vici-
nity of Godman Field.  This object was seen by the Commanding Officer and
Operations Officer of Godman Field who advised that they would attempt to
send aircraft to ascertain the size and shape of the object.

"At this time there was a flight of 4 P51's enroute from Marietta,
Georgia to Standiford Field, Louisville, Kentucky.  The lead ship was NG 3869,
pilot Mantell.  The Commanding Officer, Godman Field contacted this pilot
and requested that he investigate the object overhead.

"One of the ships of the formation, NG 336 pilot Hendrichs [sic], landed at
Standiford Field.  The 3 other aircraft started to climb toward the object.

"At 22,000 feet pilot Hammond, NG 737, advised Clements, NG 200, that
he had no oxygen equipment.  Both pilots then returned to Standiford Field;
pilot Mantell, NG 3869, continued climbing.

"Pilot Clements, NG 800, refueled and went back up to 32,000 feet but
did not see either the strange object or the aircraft NG 3869 again, and so
returned to Standiford Field.

"At 1750E, Standiford Field advised that NG 3869, pilot Mantell, crash-
ed 5 miles SW Franklin, Kentucky at approximately 1645C.

"We then sent an arrival of 1500C for the 3 aircraft, NG 336, NG 737,
NG 800, also notified Maxwell Flight Service Center that NG 3869 had

"Maxwell Flight Service Center made a long distance call to Franklin,
Kentucky and spoke to police officer Joe Walker, who took charge at the
scene of the accident.

"Officer Walker stated that when he arrived the pilots body had been
removed from the aircraft.  Upon questioning eye witnesses, Officer Walker
learned that the aircraft had exploded in the air before it hit the ground,
but, that the aircraft did not burn  upon contact with the ground.

"The wreckage was scattered over an area of about one mile, and at that
time the tail section, one wing, and the propeller had not been located.

"Lt Tyler, Operations Officer at Standiford Field, departed Standiford
Field for Bolling [sic] Green, Kentucky in NG 8101 to investigate the accident -
Also at our suggestion an investigation party and Military Police were dis-
patched from Godman Field to the scene.

"So much for the accident -- now hold on to your hat!

"Godman Tower again contacted us to report that there was a large light
in the sky in the approximate position of the object seen earlier.  Then
Lockbourne Tower and Clinton County Tower advised a great ball of light
traveling southwest across the sky.

"We then contacted Olmsted Flight Service Center and gave them all the
information available to deliver to the Air Defense Command at Mitchel Field,
Hempstead, New York.

"Later we received a call from St Louis Tower that a great ball
of light was passing directly over the field - Scott Tower also verified this.

"We then received a call from Air Defense Command through Olmsted Flight
Service Center advising us to alert Coffeyville, Kansas, Ft Smith, Arkansas,
and Kansas City, Missouri, and that they had plotted the object as moving
WSW at 250 miles per hour.

"We then received information from Maxwell Flight Service Center that a
Dr. Seyfert, an astronomer at Vanderbilt University, had spotted an object
SSE of Nashville, Tennessee that he identified as a pear shaped balloon with
cables and a basket attached, moving first SSE, then W, at a speed of 10
 miles per hour at 25,000 feet. This was observed between 1630C and 1645C.

"Olmsted Flight Service Center then advised us to instruct Godman Field
to forward a complete report of the whole incident to Air Defense Command at
Mitchel Field, Hempstead, New York as soon as possible.

"The Military Police at the scene of the accident called back and ad-
vised Godman Field that someone at Madisonville, Kentucky had observed, through
a Finch telescope an object described as cone shaped, 100 feet from top to bottom,
43 feet across, and 4 miles high proceeding SW at 10 miles per hour.

                                                     Inc #33
"All this time the weather observer at Godman Field was spotting the
object with a Theodolite and keeping a record of times, elevations and

"St Louis ATC advised of an article printed in the "Edwardsville Intel-
ligencer", Edwardsville, Illinois,, describing an object, over the town at
0720C, of aluminum appearance without apparent wings or control surfaces
which was moving southwest.  This object remained visible for about 30
minutes.  This article went on to describe the amazement and wondering
of the editor - regarding this object and you can bet that he was no more
confused than I am at this moment."