June 3rd, 2006; the beginning of another day into the re-investigation of the Mantell Incident. Just the night before, we had been talking about the Venus answer that the Air Force was trying to use to explain everything that happened in the region, except for the encounter by Mantell and maybe some of his wingmen. But now the evidence for something else in the area was starting to mount.
Between 7:20 and 7:55 P.M., Control Tower operators and four members of the alert crew at Clinton County Air Base, observed a bright object leaving a gaseous green mist. The object gained and lost altitude at terrific bursts of speed.
MAXW-PBB3-408-429 (For detailed transcripts see Part 2-8,9, & 10)
I know some docs _say_ that but I read all of the actual witness statements from Clinton County AAF/AFB and some report they saw it beginning at 7:00 PM rather than 7:20 and some say it disappeared at 8:00 PM rather than 7:55 (they all reported in EST so the CST times for consistency would be given as 6:00 to 7:00 PM CST), and they have drawings showing a cone shaped object, as they describe.
Vladimir Rubtsov, RIAP:
Dear Mr. Thouanel, (you said Mantell case is a mystery, a real one. Nobody knows what happened. Even today) Completely agree! As far back as the late 1970 I happened to discuss this case with some competent people in the Borisoglebsk Air Force Flight School (Russia) and all of them believed that Mantell case could not be easily "explained away".
Mantell chased the object for 90 miles at up to 360 mph (he specifically radioed that was his speed before the final climb). Secondly how come he didn't catch up with it going 6 miles a minute, it would take less than 5 minutes??? Instead he chases it for 1/2 HOUR?? I would only add one more comment: Maximum possible range to see a 100 ft Skyhook is 50-60 miles otherwise it is smaller than the MAR subtended angle of about 1 arcminute. And that 50-60 miles is assuming very generously that ALL 100 feet of the Skyhook is lit up by sunlight in the daytime of course (NOT visible at all at NIGHT) which I doubt very much. Looking at the 1994 CAUS article photos of the Jan 6, 1948, launch NOT from Camp Ripley (Moore lied even about that) but launched from 50 miles away at Milaca, Minn., it looks like maybe the 100 foot length includes about 50 feet of cabling to the instrument package and about 50 feet of balloon. IF that is correct (it needs to be checked out) and the Skyhook balloon envelope was only about 50 feet in size then it could not have been seen farther than 25-30 miles away.
That's been the whole haunting part of the incident to me all along. Steve Curtiss is a friend of mine, a local pilot. F-51's can really cruise.
It is now a serious question in my mind as to how anyone could have even seen the alleged Skyhook and perceive shape details unless it was within about 10 MILES of the observer. It looks like the balloon sac was only half of the 100 feet cited, or only 50 feet in size. Mantell could not have seen such a Skyhook from 90 miles away, couldn't chase it for 1/2 hour at speeds of 200-360 mph (3-6 miles per minute).
The one thing I do see is on the 7th in Nashville we have a wind speed of 20 and then 10, 10...not sure how this relates to altitude or if it does, but it does pick up faster later (or higher?) so this may account for that apparent STATIONARY report for a time so in two hours it would have covered 20 miles. If spotted first in Maysville then Ft. Knox area..., but again I get temp, direction, speed, but geo_hgt and press_mb I am lost and don't know how it interrelated.
Since the soundings from Nashville at 3 PM on Jan 7, 1948, cut off at 11,000 ft, I looked at 3 PM on the days before and after to see what the general pattern was and to see if they got higher altitude readings. (I should not have to explain why 3 AM soundings are IRRELEVANT to what was going on with the winds around Mantell's crash at 3 PM on Jan 7, as night weather is different from late afternoon for meteorology reasons I don't need to go into. Of course 3 AM soundings will be relevant farther back up a Skyhook path to Minn. but not at NASHVILLE where Seyfert sighted a balloon-like object at 4:30-4:45 PM.)
Brad, I have attached the pages from Loren's 1948 History that pertain to this incident.
So there were 1:00 and 1:10 PM sightings then at 1:20. Godman/Ft Knox itself had sightings reported to Godman Tower from MP's. Obviously Loren's notes show he got all this from BB files so they must be in there somewhere. Also he has LOTS of errors including MISQUOTING Seyfert to drop out the "first" seen moving SSE and omits "then W."
These are some of the reports (I saw a few that turned up in Allen Hynek's personal files several years ago) that convince me something more than a Skyhook balloon was there. Skyhooks simply don't zoom up and down at high speed. Maybe there was a Skyhook present that caused some of the sightings (even that has not been clearly established, I don't think), but if so, Brad Sparks has done a pretty good analysis disputing that interpretation for the Mantell object. It is quite possible that a Skyhook intermittently visible could have been present and caused some sightings. Wouldn't be the first time in UFO history that witnesses confused two separate objects. I recall a MUFON case where police had a legitimate UFO sighting, then began to confuse a distant USAF aircraft for the UFO they had seen earlier. Those things happen.
Document shows concern over similar crash in 1964 (Oregon).
Yes indeed. And I suspect, my inference reading between the lines, that the FAA was bothered that in the Oregon case the body was a mess but with Mantell it was mostly intact. Also the Mantell Accident Summary says there was no evidence of any sliding along the ground. It came down absolutely 90 degrees vertically. That's surprising.
Right off the bat I can see that Flight B on 1-6-48 went slightly W of S at about a heading of 190 degs, reaching its maximum altitude of 80,000 ft in 3 hours -- thus we can forget about the Skyhook being at 100,000 ft over Kentucky. Its MAXIMUM height was only 80,000 ft. I don't know where the 100,000 ft came from but the actual tracking shows it is WRONG.
These November 1948 documents below show that even nine months AFTER the Mantell incident, it was listed as unexplained.
are pages from a restricted Routing and Record Sheet document, signed by A. B. Deyarmond, Asst. Deputy for Technical Analysis, AMC, part of which is presented here from frame 28:
"ROUTING AND RECORD SHEET
"SUBJECT: Godman Field Air Force Base Sightings - 7 Jan 1948 and 19 Aug 1948
"From MCIAXO-3 TO MCIAO
"1. Re Sighting of 7 Jan 1948 : Reference is made to your conversation with Capt. Sneider on 19 October 1948 concerning your desire for a check on the position and visibility of Venus on 7 Jan 1948 between the hours 1330 and 1350 as compared to the position of an unidentified aerial object.
"4. The evidence obtained from MCREXE44 conclusively proves that this object was not the planet Venus."