The Disappearance of Frederick Valentich

The Disappearance of Frederick Valentich

A young pilot of a Cessna 182L light aircraft disappeared mysteriously on October 21, 1978 over Bass Strait to King Island, located between the Australian mainland and Tasmania, after reporting that a "strange aircraft" was "hovering on top" of him. His last words were: "It is hovering, and it's not an aircraft." The pilot and his plane were never seen or heard from again.

Fred Valentich was 20 years old when he disappeared in the sky above Bass Strait. He was on a 127 mile training flight that evening, and had about 150 hours of flight experience. The weather was clear, with a light wind.

Valentich took off from the airport in Moorabbin at 18:19. He reached Cape Otway at 19:00. There is no indication of anything odd happening up until this time.

Six minutes later, Valentich made contact with Officer Steve Robey, Melbourne Flight Service Operator, asking for information on other air traffic at his altitude of below 5000 feet. He was told that “there was no known traffic at that level.”

He reported to Melbourne air traffic control that "an aircraft was flying about 1,000 above him." He could see that it was very large and lit by “four bright landing lights.”

The craft was moving extremely fast, and appeared to be playing with Valentich. It was very long, but moving so fast that he couldn’t get any more details.

Thirty seconds later, Valentich reported that the craft was “orbiting” above him. He described it as having a “shiny metal surface” with a “green light on it.”

After twenty-eight seconds of silence, Valentich reported that the craft had disappeared. Twenty-five seconds after that, Valentich came back on and expressed the thought that maybe he was being “tailed by a military aircraft.”

Officer Steve Robey attempted to find out more information about the aircraft. Valentich said that it was coming toward him from the southwest. Twenty-nine seconds after that, Valentich started to experience engine problems, and said he was going to land at King Island.

After a few seconds of silence, Valentich said “it is hovering and it’s not an aircraft” followed by sounds of “metallic scraping.” Then nothing.

Valentich never arrived at King Island. Search and Rescue teams found nothing. The investigation launched by the Department of Transport cited the reason for the disappearance as “undetermined,” and “presumed fatal” for Frederich Valentich.

The metallic scraping sounds were analyzed and described as “thirty-six separate bursts with fairly constant start and stop pulses bounding each one” with “no discernible patterns.” The source of the sounds was undetermined.

Interestingly, a flap of UFO sightings had started about six weeks before the time of the pilot’s disappearance, a significant number of witnesses claimed to have seen unusual activity in the sky including an “erratically moving green light,” a “skyrocket,” and a “star-shaped object.” These reports were made prior to the released report in which Valentich described a green light on the object above him in the sky.

In 2000, a man came forward with information that he had hitherto withheld for fear of ridicule. He claimed that he and his family saw the Cessna and the object with the green light hovering above it. He said the aircraft went down off Cape Marengo, not at all close to the area searched.

One of my sources claims that the original recording of the flight has been lost which included Officer Robey asking about the metal scraping sound several times, and a few words by Valentich at the very end in which he talked about flames coming from the object, “being engulfed in a strange green light and a feeling of burning” before the transmission ended.

Guido Valentich, father of the missing pilot, indicated that he felt strongly “someone from another world” had taken and was holding his son.

Some ufologists speculate that the electromagnetic field of the UFO caused the engine to stall. Some believe the metallic sounds heard were the Cessna disintegrating.

The area in which Valentich vanished is known as the Bass Strait Triangle, has been the location of many disappearances since 1920.


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