U.F.O. Sightings and Encounters January 7 1948 Louisville, Kentucky

About a U.F.O. sighting on Januray 7th, 1948 in Louisville, Kentucky, history and account of the encounter with the spaceship.

IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE--WHAT IS IT?

Encounters with UFOs

If you bet against UFOs you'd be betting against an almost sure thing. There are so many stars that it's mathematically improbable that there aren't other life sources in the universe.

-Astronaut John W. Young

JAN. 7, 1948--LOUISVILLE, KY.

Incident

At a few minutes past one on that January afternoon, the outside phone rang in the control tower at Godman Air Force Base. The State Highway Patrol wanted to know if any unusual aircraft were in the area. Residents of Maysville, 80 mi. east of Louisville, had reported sighting a strange flying object. Soon reports of other sightings were coming in from several of the small towns of the area.

"It was circular," one caller said, "and about 300 ft. in diameter, moving westward at a pretty good clip."

Half an hour after the first call had come in, the tower operators sighted the object themselves. Within minutes the base operations officer, the intelligence officer, and other key personnel crowded into the control tower to watch the strange and unidentified object over the horizon.

The tower radioed Captain Mantell, the 25-year-old flight leader of four F-51's that were in the area on a training flight. One plane dropped out due to low fuel, but Mantell and the other two flew toward the object to investigate. As they climbed to 10,000 ft. in pursuit, the two wingmen lost sight of Mantel. The F-51's were not equipped with oxygen, and at 15,000 ft. they dropped out of the chase, knowing that without oxygen they would soon black out from anoxia.

Mantell, however, for reasons that no one can ever know, disregarded the danger and pursued the object to 20,000 ft. As he flew he radioed back an excited description of his prey, the last words anyone ever heard him speak.

A pilot who knew Mantell for years described him as a cautious, knowledgeable pilot. "The only thing I can think," he said, "was that he was after something that he believed to be more important than his life or his family."

According to one eyewitness, Glen Mays, Mantell's F-51 was "flying at an extremely high altitude just before it seemed to explode in the air." The official view, however, is that Mantell lost consciousness from lack of oxygen, and his plane went into a dive and crashed.

Eyewitness Report

"I am closing in now to take a good look. It is directly ahead of me and still moving at about half my speed. The thing looks metallic and of tremendous size. It's going up and forward as fast as I am. That's 360 mph. I'm going to 20,000 ft., and if I'm no closer. I'll abandon chase."

-Captain Mantell

Official Comment

". . . might have been Venus or it could have been a balloon. Maybe two balloons [but] it probably was Venus except that this is doubtful because Venus was too dim to be seen in the afternoon."--Air Force release

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