One of the first newsworthy UFO encounters happened at Fort Knox. It’s a little story called the Mantell UFO Incident. Here is a story from a January, 1948 edition of The Gold Standard. For additional reference half of Fort Knox resides in Meade county
“A bright cone-shaped object was spotted by the control tower at Godman Field. Four Kentucky Air National Guard P-51 Mustangs, led by Capt. Thomas Mantell Jr., were called to investigate the sighting. They spotted the object, however three planes were forced to turn back as they could not climb the altitude to investigate it further. As the others turned back, Mantel continued to climb to 22,000 feet and notified that he still saw the object and wanted to get a better look. Soon afterward, Mantell’s plane plummeted back to earth and crashed, killing him.” https://www.fkgoldstandard.com/content/rediscovering-fort-knox-1948-ufo-pursued-p-51-mustang-aviators
Capt. Thomas Mantell Jr. was an experienced pilot; his flight history consisted of 2,167 hours in the air, and he had been honored for his part in the Battle of Normandy during World War II. At about 1:45 p.m., Sgt Quinton Blackwell saw an object from his position in the control tower at Fort Knox. Two other witnesses in the tower also reported a white object in the distance. Base commander Colonel Guy Hix reported an object he described as “very white,” and “about one fourth the size of the full moon … Through binoculars it appeared to have a red border at the bottom … It remained stationary, seemingly, for one and a half hours.” Observers at Clinton County Army Air Field in Ohio described the object “as having the appearance of a flaming red cone trailing a gaseous green mist” and observed the object for around 35 minutes. Another observer at Lockbourne Army Air Field in Ohio noted, “Just before leaving it came to very near the ground, staying down for about ten seconds, then climbed at a very fast rate back to its original altitude, 10,000 feet, leveling off and disappearing into the overcast heading 120 degrees. Its speed was greater than 500 mph in level flight.” Four F-51D Mustangs of C Flight, 165th Fighter Squadron Kentucky Air National Guard—one piloted by Captain Thomas F. Mantell—were already in the air and told to approach the object. Blackwell was in radio communication with the pilots throughout the event. One pilot’s Mustang was low on fuel and he quickly returned to base. The other two pilots accompanied Mantell in steep pursuit of the object. They later reported they saw an object but described it as so small and indistinct that they could not identify it. Mantell ignored suggestions that the pilots should level their altitude and try to more clearly see the object. Ruppelt notes that there was some disagreement amongst the air traffic controllers as to Mantell’s words as he communicated with the tower: some sources reported that Mantell had described an object “[which] looks metallic and of tremendous size,” but according to Ruppelt, others disputed whether or not Mantell actually said this.
Only one of Mantell’s wingmen, Lt. Albert Clements, had an oxygen mask, and his oxygen was in low supply. Clements and the third pilot, Lt. Hammond, called off their pursuit at 22,500 feet (6,900 m). However, Mantell continued to climb. According to the United States Air Force, once Mantell passed 25,000 feet (7,600 m) he blacked out from lack of oxygen and his plane began spiraling back towards the ground. A witness later reported Mantell’s Mustang in a circling descent. His plane crashed on a farm south of Franklin, on Kentucky’s border with Tennessee. Firemen later pulled Mantell’s body from the wreckage. His seat belt was shredded and his wristwatch had stopped at 3:18 p.m., the time of his crash. Meanwhile, by 3:50 p.m. the UFO was no longer visible to observers at Godman Army Airfield. In 1956, Air Force Captain Edward J. Ruppelt (the first head of Project Blue Book) wrote that the Mantell crash was one of three “classic” UFO cases in 1948 that would help to define the UFO phenomenon in the public mind, and would help convince some Air Force intelligence specialists that UFOs were a “real” physical phenomenon.
This is just the first and most prolific of all the Meade/Hardin County sightings. When searching the MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) database there were close to 90 reported UFO sightings since 2008. According to the National UFO Reporting Center, about 30 out of every 100,000 Kentuckians have seen some sort of aerial phenomenon that defied earthly explanation. And those are just the ones that took the time to file an official report.
Upon search of MUFON’s database, here are multiple pieces of interested in and around Meade County.
(Fort Knox 2019, identity withheld) I have some photos and Intel you may be interested in. Firstly I escort vehicles for over-sized loads across the U.S. also, I’d like to suggest you lookup *.*.*. Systems located at **** a billion dollar contractor for the Dept of *******, responsible for development and application of ***** capabilities and Security. Secondly I have photos that supports evidence of a semi large U.F.O. shaped object that was transported from their C****** facility to my local facility. I’m only uploading 2 images but I have more available on request.
(Fort Knox, 1956, identity withheld) I was in US Army radio school at Fort Knox, Ky on an Oct afternoon in 1956. We were outside on break since it was a nice clear day. Someone said ‘hey, look over there’ There were 2 UFOs stationary about 1/2 mile or less away & about 500 – 1,000 feet off the ground. They were cylindrical in shape with a small dome on the top & appeared metallic -about 50 – 75 feet in diameter. They just sat there for close to 10 minutes when they both accelerated at an unbelievable speed & were out of site within a few seconds with no noise or trail. Within a minute 3 jet fighters came from the area of the airfield & appeared to be pursuing them.
There were almost 200 witness (the whole class). I never heard any more about this. It made a believer out of me. In my life I was a State Police officer for 22 years & saw quite a few odd lights in the sky during all those years but never put much stock in them but this episode was, for me, very, very real – they were there.
(Brandenburg, 1995, identity withheld) At home at night after rainstorm, I went outside onto the front porch and stood at the corner of it facing toward town. I looked up at the sky and noticed a very dark cloud. While looking at the cloud, suddenly, there was a greyish white light that revolved around in the cloud. As the light went around from left to right, the light would disappear as if there were a solid object inside the cloud, only to reappear again, as if making a trip around a solid object. This occurred a few times, until there appeared a second light following the first one. They both revolved around the solid object a few times, until on one revolution, the second light caught up with the first light, and merged together, forming only one light revolving around object. I immediately thought the object was a UFO, and it was just silently hovering inside the dark cloud, making no noise whatsoever.
I was not afraid while watching the revolving lights. I felt calm, and I had asked my mother to come out and look at it and she did, but for only a few seconds, then she went back inside her house, but I stayed there looking at the light revolving around the solid object. The object just hovered noiselessly inside the huge cloud. It appeared to be so low in the sky, I felt I could throw a rock at it, to describe how low it was. I thought the object had to be the size of a football field. That’s the best description I can give concerning the incident.
I stood watching the object about ten minutes, then, I just calmly went inside the house. The object remained in the cloud as I left.
(Brandenburg, 2020, identity withheld) It was 4 am I was letting my dogs go to the bathroom and a faint white light appeared in the tree line in front of my house then slowly grew to a bright blue light that lite the whole top of the tree line up but never went down in the trees to light the ground. Then it just started to disappear as quickly as it appeared. It last exactly one minute an when it was gone the sky was black again. It was so bright it looked like the sun was coming up but on the wrong side of the sky and if the sun was bright blue.
Personal interview conducted Oct. 8, 2021. (Webster/Battletown, 2021, identity withheld) this was only a couple of days ago. I went outside with ******** (the dog). There was this bright, solid light above the trees. It just stayed there forever, it had to have been an hour or more. (IW shows several cell phone photographs) ******** now starts making noise so I look down at her. It could not have been more than a second and I looked back up. The light was gone. I checked the entire sky, it didn’t move, it was gone.
Let us not forget that in April 2020, the U.S. Navy released three videos of UFO sightings from 2004 and 2015; the clips were nicknamed “FLIR,” “GOFAST” and “GIMBAL,” and they showed what appeared to be spacecraft traveling at hypersonic speeds with no visible means of propulsion. If you would like to hear more about how 2021 was sheer bonkers, here is a link to the June 25, Director of National Intelligence Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. Or better know as, THERE’S ALIENS YA’LL. If you want to do a little more research, here is a list from National UFO Reporting Center State Report Index For KY. We could probably write a book about aliens in Meade. The majority of individuals in the area have a story or two about lights in the sky. We all remember the green orb incident of 2019, but that is a story for another day.
If you have a story about UFO phenomena or anything weird, hit us up at email@example.com. We have already had some great submissions, but we like to research the history of a location that the story is associated with before we tell the tales. We hope to bring you more of the unknown and weird soon. Until then, stay weird Meade County!