The Strange Disappearance of Frederick Valentich

On the evening of October 21st, 1978; a lone Cessna 182L was flying over the waters of Bass Straight as it made its way from Melbourne, to an Island north of Tasmania.  The pilot  was Frederick Valentich; a twenty year old, with 150 hours of flight time in the books.
 
At 7:06pm, Melbourne Air Traffic Control received a transmission from the Valentich's Cessna, reporting an unidentified aircraft that seemed to be trailing him at approximately 4,500 feet in altitude.
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Air Traffic Controllers advised they had no known traffic in his area.
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Valentich then continued with observations on a large shiny metallic object that appeared to be illuminated by four bright landing lights. approximately 1,000 feet "orbiting" overhead his altitude, and moving at a high rate.
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Valentich then reported that he was experiencing engine problems. ATC once again asked Valentich to identify the aircraft, to which Valentich radioed, "It's not an aircraft.”
 
His transmission was then abruptly cut short by unidentified noise described as being "metallic, scraping sounds”
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No further contact was received from the Cessna that night...
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An air and sea search and rescue operation was immediately launched, including multiple surface vessels,  an RAAF P-3 Orion, and several civilian aircraft, in an attempt to cover an area that encompassed over 1,000 square miles of ocean. 
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All search efforts were unsuccessful, and recovery operations ceased on October 25th, 1978.
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Interestingly, a plumber named Roy Manifold reportedly witnessed a fast-moving object exiting the water near Cape Otway Lighthouse, "of moderate dimensions, surrounded by a cloud-like vapour/exhaust residue"
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Who knows what really happened that night....Loss of situational awareness? Inadvertent entry to a graveyard spiral? Venus? Swamp gas, or refracting light? We can say once thing for certain , it's time to move on...there is nothing to see here.  
 
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1 comment


  • Daniel K Albers

    That was a total waste of time. You could at least make something up.


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