Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 15:51:23 -0500
From: "Speier, Drew" <>
Subject: FW: : Mantell Stories

From Mantel's grandson. []
Sent: Thu 5/25/2006 4:14 PM
To: Speier, Drew
Subject: Thomas Mantell

Hi Drew

My name is Terry Mantell and I am the Grandson of Thomas Mantell. I live in Louisville and saw your story you did on him on the web site. I wanted to tell you I thought you did a great job. My Grandmother lives here in Louisville as well and she can not wait to come over to my house to watch it on the web. Just a little bit more info on the dad was 2 when this happen and his brother, my Uncle was 4. I really think Thomas thought this was very important to the US. I know that with me being a father of a 3 year old, I would not doing anything to risk my life, unless it was important.  I just wanted to say hi and say you did a really great job.


Terry Mantell
Sales Representative
JCI Parts & Repair Center Sales
Tel.      800-482-2778
Fax:     800-811-1338
Direct:  502-671-7314
Email -


From: Trowbridge, John (Historical Society) []
Sent: Wed 5/24/2006 6:21 AM
To: Speier, Drew
Subject: Tom Mantell

Nice piece on the Tom Mantell story.  Just a couple things, Mantell was not a WWII Ace, he flew transports during the war.  I worked with the folks down in Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky a couple years ago to establish a historical marker near the site of the crash. Additionally, his body was recovered and he is buried in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville.

One of the most interesting points I discovered in my research was the fact that Mantell was not from Louisville.  At the time of his birth the family was living in southern Kentucky.  There were complications with his birth (at home) his mother was taken to the nearest hospital (located in the adjacent county) where she gave birth and a few days later returned to their home.  When still a child the family moved to Louisville where he would spend the majority of his life.  Following his WWII service he returned to Louisville, eventually joining the newly organized Kentucky Air National Guard.  His flight was near Godman Field, Ft. Knox when they were asked by the field tower to check out the object in the sky that they (Godman Tower) had been tracking for some time.  When Mantell's airplane crashed it was within within 3 or 4 miles of where he had been born in Simpson County.  From what I was able to discover the only time he had been in Simpson County was when he was born and when he died.

Interesting story, don't believe we will ever discover what really happened.

John M. Trowbridge
Military Historian/Archivist
Kentucky Historical Society
100 West Broadway


From one of the General's
Ed Tonini 
Sent: Wed 5/24/2006 8:19 AM
To: Speier, Drew
Subject: RE: : Mantell Stories

Wow, this is some excellent work!  What would be a good time to call and ask you how you did some of the things I see?  Congratulations on an extremely well produced piece, I think you have a future in feature length films.

Ed Tonini

Gen. Tonin,
We aired the two stories on the Mantell case yesterday at 6 PM and 10 PM. This email should have a link to the first report. To view the second report just click the photo "Big Mystery." If you have any problems, let me know. Drew

Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 12:40:37 -0500
From: "Speier, Drew" <>
Subject: FW: : Mantell Stories
Thread-topic: : Mantell Stories   
From the General...How about this!!!!

From: Ed Tonini []
Sent: Thu 7/27/2006 12:22 PM
To: Speier, Drew
Subject: RE: : Mantell Stories

Drew –


Wow!  Very interesting work, you’ll be working for one of the major networks soon enough.  Please keep me updated as more is learned.  I am not beyond changing my mind with enough strong evidence.


<>Ed Tonini


Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 13:30:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Mantell - The Latest

Hi Francis

That is a great site you sent me.  I would guess you know  alot about the case. What people I think forget sometimes, is Thomas had 2 kids at home when this happend and i really do not think he would risk his life unless he thought it was something very important. My dad was only 2 when this happen and my Uncle was 5. They both live here in Louisville, as does my grandmother  (Thomas's wife).  I look forward to talking to you. My cell number is 502-767-6840. The best time to call me is anytime after 6:00 pm or 2-3/2:30 to 3:30 during the week.  If you have a number I can try to reach you as well.

Terry Mantell


Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 21:32:59 -0400
From: Ed Tonini
Subject: RE: Mantell Directory
To: 'Francis Ridge' <>

Mr. Ridge --

<>Thanks for the note.  I look forward to any further developments in the Mantell Case.  As I told Drew originally I joined the KyANG in 1969, so the Mantell case was just something that was talked about by the "old timers"...I have no first hand knowledge of the incident.

Brig Gen (Ret.) Ed Tonini

-----Original Message-----
From: Francis Ridge []
Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2006 2:32 PM
To: Ed Tonini
Subject: Mantell Directory

Dear Mr. Tonini,

<>Keeping your address confidential I just wanted to tell you that I was VERY reluctant to pursue the first interview because all my colleagues and I had written the Mantell case off as a Skyhook. We have around 1500 better reports right from Blue Book files that are listed as unknowns. But, like a defense attorney, sometimes you have to defend lost causes. We were surprised to find what we did, and it isn't over.

<>As a rapid deployment team head in 1960 I had a techical adviser by the name of Lewis G. Blevins, a GS-11 in 1960, who had worked on the secret Project SIGN. He told me then that the Mantell incident was still unexplained and had shaken a lot of people up. Being involved in civilian investigations I just let it drop and did my thing.

<>Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that we are not what some people would refer to as "believers". We do serious reserach. We just found the Popular Science article written at the time of the Mantell incident and released in late April of 1948, which although it mentions a secret PROJECT, it shows the Skyhook balloon that was launched the day before (6th) and was located over Nashville the next day.

<>Hope we get to do our third update before Drew gets promoted to bigger and better things <GRIN>.

Francis Ridge
NICAP Site Coordinato