Here is an excerpt from Part 1, which Brad kindly sent to me.
This year is the 60th anniversary of the tragic death of the young fighter pilot, Capt. Thomas Mantell. Mantell crashed in his F-51D Mustang prop fighter plane while pursuing an unidentified object almost a hundred miles across the state of Kentucky, on the afternoon of January 7, 1948. He became known as the first fatality in a UFO encounter. He reported over the radio that he saw an object “metallic and tremendous in size,” a famous phrase that has become legendary in UFO history. He was just 25 and left behind a wife and two little children. The case has spawned 60 years of confusion, mystery, sensation, speculation, controversy and finally disdain.If Mantell was not chasing after a Skyhook balloon, or Venus, then what was he chasing 60 years ago? Brad's work definitely makes for riveting reading.
At the time, the US Air Force and Mantell’s Kentucky Air National Guard (ANG) unit put the “blame” (actual word used) on Mantell for his crash because he pursued the UFO at too high an altitude without oxygen supply. The AF explained the sighting as merely the planet Venus then later changed the official explanation to a large Skyhook balloon, once it was admitted that Venus was difficult to see in daytime. Venus was very unlikely to trigger spontaneous sightings by large numbers of people in widely separated areas.
All this has turned out to be false, the no-oxygen claim as well as the official IFO explanations. The Mantell quote, “metallic and tremendous in size,” though sometimes doubted is in fact essentially correct, but his report was a bit more detailed than this. And, for whatever it is worth, the chief investigator of the Mantell accident speculated in the classified Accident Report on the possibility of an “outside force” causing Mantell’s crash.
Stay tuned. In the meantime, for more information on the Mantell case, you can check the NICAP website.