The Madisonville encounter, also known as the Mantell incident or the Mantell encounter, happened on January 2, 1948, in Madisonville, Kentucky. The only known "UFO victim" ever, Thomas Mantell, strangely died during the encounter, after following the UFO in his P-51 Mustang.
- "...appeared to be metallic."
- —Thomas Mantell, seconds before he chases the UFO(Usborne World of the Unknown: UFOs)
After a huge flying saucer-type craft was seen over Madisonville, Kentucky, three P-51 Mustang planes were sent to investigate the UFO. After a few minutes, Mantell, a pilot of one of the aircraft, said that the UFO was made of metal. He decided to give it a chase, even after the other two pilots had given up and he lost radio contact.
Later, after the UFO incident settled, Thomas's plane was found obliberated a whole 135 kilometers away from the initial area. This completely puzzled many people, and the press declared Mantell the first-ever UFO victim. The incident caused much panic in the public.