Capt. Mantell's Death Chasing A UFO
From Frank Warren
New Data, Ideas About Flying Saucers
And Death of Pilot Who Chased One
April 27, 1949
By United Press

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DAYTON, Ohio - The only airman who ever got near a flying saucer crashed and died before he could describe it, the Dayton Journal-Herald said today.
The newspaper printed a lengthy dispatch on the mysterious flying discs, based it said, on hitherto unpublished reports assembled at the Wright-Patterson Air Force base. The Air Force investigation has proved that the flying saucers "are not a joke." Neither are they a cause for alarm to the population" the newspaper said.
The closest any airman to the mystery discs was on Jan. 7th, 1948, when one was sighted over Fort Knox, Kentucky the dispatch said. Four fighterplanes were sent aloft to intercept it, but only Capt. Thomas F. Mantell was able to get close.
"I', closing in to take a good look," the newspaper quoted him as reporting by radio. "It looks metallic and of tremendous size. It's going up now as fast as I am. That's 350 miles an hour. I'm going up after it. At 20,000 ft., if I'm no closer I'll abandon chase."
Mantell's plane crashed a few minutes later and he was killed.
The paper said a report on now file at Wright-Patterson Airforce Base lists 240 domestic and 30 foreign accounts of flying discs as having been investigated. Of these 30 per cent seem to have been weather balloons and the like and 30 per cent more are perhaps explainable conventionally-leaving 40 per cent unexplained.
The Air Force recently said there was no evidence that the discs were guided missiles fired from some other country, but that on the other hand it was not impossible that they were. Later the Air Force announced it was not making any further comments on the discs.
The Dayton paper says the report on which it's story is based as "evaluation teams" stated:
"We can't prove pr disprove the existence of some of the remaining unidentified objects as real aircraft of unconventional design. The possibility that the saucers < the rest is illegible>