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The UFO Phenomenon

Mystery of pilot who vanished after spotting a UFO endures 44 years on

By T.K. Randall
October 22, 2022 · Comment icon 19 comments

The fate of Valentich remains a complete mystery. Image Credit: Pixabay / Lukas_Rychvalsky
Back in 1978, Frederick Valentich disappeared without a trace after encountering a UFO on a flight to King Island, Tasmania.
Some mysteries - even relatively modern ones - can be said to have stood the test of time and the disappearance of a young pilot following a UFO sighting in Australia 44 years ago remains one of the most intriguing (and tragic) aviation mysteries of the modern age.

The 20-year-old Australian, who had rented a single engine plane from Victoria's Moorabbin Airport on October 21st, 1978, had intended to fly to King Island which was situated around 125 miles away.

Everything had been going fine until, at 7pm, he initiated communications with Melbourne Airflight Service Controller Steve Robey to ask if there were any other aircraft in the area.

He reported that he had observed an object zooming past his plane at considerable speed.

Robey replied to state that there was no sign of any other aircraft on radar.

"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 insisted. "It seems to me that he's playing some sort of game."
"He's flying over me two, three times, at a time at speeds I could not identify."

The young pilot described the object as long and metallic with a green light on the top. At one point, he reported that it had disappeared from one side of him before reappearing on the other.

"It is hovering and it is not an aircraft," he said.

17 seconds later, the transmission ended and Valentich was never seen again.

While some believe that he may have had a close encounter with an object not of this world, skeptics argue that he most likely became distracted and disoriented by a natural optical illusion.

Others, again, suggest that he may have faked his own death and started a new life elsewhere.

Sadly, though, we may never know for sure exactly what happened to him.

Source: Simply Flying | Comments (19)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by the13bats 1 year ago
I never found this case all that odd there are countless missing aircraft and while it sounds cool to blame it on paranirmal reasons not once has that been the proven cause of disappearance. This was a 20 yo kid and we cant prove he wasnt on drugs, drinking or simply sadly incompetent.  
Comment icon #11 Posted by Alchopwn 1 year ago
This happened before I started living in Melbourne.  It really is a quaint old city.  Lots of old Victorian era buildings.   As to poor Fred Valentich, what isn't stated is that prior to his disappearance is that he was a big UFO enthusiast, and he was having loads of personal issues around the time of his disappearance. The UFO sighting in Melbourne which did my head in was:  
Comment icon #12 Posted by psyche101 1 year ago
Not sure why people think this is a mystery. A broken part of his plane washed up. He crashed into Bass Strait.  @the13bats he actually was a lousy pilot. Failed time after time trying to get his licence. His reputation was very poor in that regard. His father and family were UFO nuts. His father started the UFO rumours.
Comment icon #13 Posted by the13bats 1 year ago
Thank you! I didnt follow up this one much because it was mundane to me. Many well known cases involve "ufo nuts".  
Comment icon #14 Posted by psyche101 1 year ago
No worries glad to help Everything anyone wanted to know, or not lol, is well condensed at this link: https://skepticalinquirer.org/2013/11/the-valentich-disappearance-another-ufo-cold-case-solved/  
Comment icon #15 Posted by Ell 1 year ago
It seems to me that there may indeed have been a ufo present and that that ufo deliberately interfered with the young man's plane's engine, causing his plane to crash.   But why? Merely to eliminate a witness?
Comment icon #16 Posted by the13bats 1 year ago
That site is great, very unbiased and open to what evidence is there.
Comment icon #17 Posted by the13bats 1 year ago
Then it was an epic fail on the UFOs part as believers still grasp at it decades later.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Ell 1 year ago
For what reason did he go to King's Island / Tasmania?
Comment icon #19 Posted by the13bats 1 year ago
  When i was 20 i thought i knew it all and being a gear head a group of us would late night street race our hot rods, very stupid and dangerous. I think a dreamy fantasy based 20 yo green as grass pilot who wasnt a good one went joy flying and lack of experience etc cost him his life no aliens needed. If i had wrapped my camaro around a tree i wouldnt need to blame wood nymphs.


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