Unsolved Mysteries of the World
The Valentich UFO Incident
On October 21, 1978, a 20-year-old Frederick Valentich rented a single engine plane out of Victoria’s Moorabbin Airport with plans of heading to Tasmania’s King Island to catch seafood.
But things took a terrifying turn when he noticed he was being followed by another aircraft.
It has been 40 years since the young Aussie pilot disappeared over the Bass Strait and in that time no one has come any closer to finding out what happened to him.
The only clue left behind was a radio conversation between him and Melbourne Airflight Service Controller, Steve Robey.
It was 7pm when Valentich radioed in to ask if there were any known aircraft in the area, just after something zoomed overhead.
Robey informed him that there was “no known traffic” in the area and inquired as to what type of plane it was.
“I cannot affirm. It is four bright, it seems to me, like landing lights. The aircraft has just passed over me at least a thousand feet above,” Valentich said.
As the transmission went on things got even more unnerving, with Valentich reporting that the mystery aircraft was “playing” with him.
“It seems to me that he’s playing some sort of game,” he said.
“He’s flying over me two, three times, at a time at speeds I could not identify.”
The conversation continues with the controller trying to get more information about what the object actually is.
Valentich describes it as long, metallic and with a green light.
At one point the aircraft vanishes before suddenly reappearing on his other side.
It’s at this point that Valentich says his final, terrifying words: “It is hovering and it is not an aircraft.”
There is silence for 17 seconds before the transmission abruptly cuts off.
An extensive search was conducted of the water and any surrounding land but Valentich nor any indication of a crash site was ever found.
UFO enthusiasts suggest he was abducted by a UFO, while pilot's believe the inexperienced pilot was flying upside down and the lights he saw were his own reflections on the water before he crashed.
Valentich had applied twice to the Royal Australian Air Force, and was rejected both times for inadequate educational experience. He was also studying to be a commercial pilot but had failed his examinations twice. He had also received several warnings, after flying once into a restricted zone in Sydney, and twice into clouds.
Others point out that Valentich was perhaps suicidal and crashed his own plane and made up the UFO to create a story. Valentich was also known to have been studying UFOs previously and deathly scared that he would encounter one while flying.
Adding to the mystery there were belated reports of a UFO sighting in Australia on the night of the disappearance.
A farmer near Adelaide reportedly witnessed a 30m craft hovering over his property the morning after Valentich went missing.
It is claimed the Cessna was stuck to the side of the craft, leaking oil. The farmer even scratched the plane’s registration number on to his tractor but never came forward with the information because he was ridiculed by the few friends he told. The farmer remains anonymous.
Other witnesses claimed to have seen "an erratically moving green light in the sky" and in one instance a witnesses, located about 2km west of Apollo Bay, Victoria, stated that they saw a green light trailing or shadowing Valentich's plane, and that he was in a steep dive at the time.
Search and Rescue crews tried to find his remains or that of his Cessna, but were unsuccessful at the time. Five years later, however, and engine cowel flap was located on the shores of Flinder's Island. In 1983, The Royal Australian Navy Research Laboratory confirmed the flap could have washed ashore on the island and that the part has been identified as having come from a Cessna 182 aircraft between a certain range of serial numbers which included Valentich's aircraft. It is not 100% proof, but it is very circumstantial.
The only tangible thing that now remains is a small plague at Otway lighthouse commemorating his strange disappearance.
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