Form: 97 PRESS
Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 14:06:34 -0500
From: Francis Ridge <>
Subject: 1952 Life Article mentions Mantell as "unsolved"
Cat: 11

In the April 7, 1952 article by Robert Ginna, "Have We Visitors From Space?"

Ginna says:
"Nevertheless in serious moments most people were a little worried by all the 'chromium hubcaps,' 'flying washtubs' and 'whirling doughnuts' in the sky. Buried in the heap of hysterical reports were some sobering cases. One was the calamity that befell Air Force Captain Thomas F. Mantell on Jan. 7, 1948. That afternoon Mantell and two other F-51 fighter pilots sighted an object that looked like 'an ice-cream cone topped with red' over Godman Air Force Base and Fort Knox, Ky. Mantell followed the strange object up to 20,000 feet and disappeared. Later in the day his body was found in a nearby field, the wreckage of his plane scattered for a half mile around. It now seems possible that Mantell was one of the very few sighters who actually were deceived by a Skyhook balloon, but the incident is still listed as unsolved by the Air Force files."

Fran Ridge:
When newsmen began asking Ruppelt whether the article was Air Force inspired, Ruppelt replied that they had furnished Life with some raw data. "My answer was purposely weasel worded", he said, "because I knew that the Air Force had unofficially inspired the Life article... [and also knew that the strongly implied answer that UFOs were interplanetary] was the personal opinion of several very high-ranking officers in the Pentagon - so high that their personal opinion was almost policy." (Ruppelt, p. 132.)