WFIE Interviews Maj. Gen. Philip P. Ardery (May 2005)

The man, who was the Commander of the Kentucky Air National Guard at the time of the Mantell incident, is retired General Phillip Ardery. He's now 93 and lives in Louisville. He remembers the Mantell case. General Ardery recalls:

"I'm fascinated with it, that's all I can say about it. I find it a very, very interesting part of my experience."

Ardery believes Mantell was confused and didn't realize he had reached an altitude with no oxygen. He also believes Mantell wasn't chasing a UFO at all. General Ardery argues:

"There are times, we can imagine things that really are not there."

In a second interview in June of this year and aired on July 26 Ardery stated:

"It doesn't seem to be much of a mystery to me. We pretty much know what happened."

Philip P. Ardery, Major General (retired) was born in Lexington on March 6, 1914, growing up in adjoining Bourbon County. He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1935 and Harvard Law School in 1938. After receiving an ROTC commission in the infantry at UK, he traded it to be an aviation cadet, graduating from the USAAF school at Kelly Field, Texas in April 1941. He then taught basic flying and four-engine flying at San Angelo, Texas until shipping overseas as a bomber pilot with the 564th Bomb Squadron. He then went to the ETO (European Theater of Operations) as Commander of the 2nd Combat Bomb Wing for the D-Day invasion. After WWII and the establishing of the Kentucky Air National Guard in 1947, he became its first commander. During the Korean War, the unit was activated and shipped to Air Base RAF, Manston, England, where Ardery was Base Commander. After taking the position of Information Officer with the Secretary of the USAF, he received his final promotion to Major General. Some of the medals and awards that he has received are: the Silver Star, The Distinguished Flying Cross (two times), four Air Medals, and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm. He was honored by being one of five inductees into the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame in 1996. Recently he published Bomber Pilot, a book about his personal experience in WWII as a bomber pilot.