What Happened to Frederick Valentich? Part 1

When it comes to UFO occurrences that end in an abduction or disappearance, Australians are quite familiar with the tale of Frederick Valentich, who vanished on October 21st, 1978. Before disappearing into thin air, Valentich reported an encounter involving a rather large unidentified craft that was moving with speed. As he flew over the Bass Strait to King Island, Australia in his Cessna 182L aircraft, contact was lost and so was he. The details regarding his disappearance has since moved an array of media outlets to suspect UFO foul play. Additional fine points are mentioned within this article.  


The million-dollar question pertaining to this tale is what happened to Frederick Valentich or his Cessna? Not a trace of him or his aircraft has been found. After the Department of Transport conducted an accident investigation that came up with no known cause for his disappearance and left it as an undetermined event in time.


When Valentich took to the air in 1978, he had no idea that this would be the last time he would touch the air or the ground alive. The pilot possessed a Class Four instrument rating and had 150 hours of flight experience under his belt. On October 21st, he submitted a flight plan that would take him from the Moorabbin Airport Melbourne to King Island Tasmania. At the time of his departure, the weather was good, visibility was decent, and only a light wind decorated the air.


Valentich left Moorabbin at 18:19 hours at the local time and made contact with Melbourne’s Flight Service Unit to let him know he was in the sky. At 19:00 hours, he was reported as reaching Cape Otway. He was of sound mind and fine at the time of his check-in.


By 19:06 hours, Valentich contacted Melbourne and asked if there were any other aircraft traveling at his altitude; he requested their information. FSU controllers told Valentich that no known traffic should be at his level, but Valentich exclaimed that he could see a large unknown aircraft, which seem to illuminate the skies with four, bright landing lights.


He could not make a positive identification, but told controllers that the craft passed him about 1000 feet overhead and that it possessed a great amount of speed. He then concluded that the unknown object was coming closer to him and he showed concern that the pilot behind the controls was messing with him on purpose. At 19:09 hours, the controller asked Valentich if he could confirm his height, but no concrete details were given except that the unknown aircraft was long and fast.


30 seconds passed by and Valentich was silent. The controller asked the young pilot about the size of the craft, when Valentich declared that it was now “orbiting” above him and that a shiny metal surface and green light were now visible. 28 seconds of silence followed before Valentich resumed communication and reported that the aircraft was now nowhere in sight. 25 seconds of silence followed when Valentich pondered whether or not a military aircraft was following him.


The controller tried to desperately collect additional details, but the unidentified aircraft remained a mystery, as did its location. Valentich reported that it was now approaching him from the southwest. 29 seconds passed by and Valentich now declared that he was experiencing trouble with his engine and decided to keep going to King Island. The time was now 1912:09. A brief silence surfaced and he returned to utter the words, ” it is hovering and it’s not an aircraft.” Following this disturbing statement, a strange, unidentifiable noise was herd for about 17 seconds, which resembled the sound of scraping metal. This is when all contact with Valentich was severed.