Frederick Valentich

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Frederick Valentich (1958 - ?) was an Australian pilot who disappeared on October 21, 1978. His disappearance is surrounded by mystery, controversy and skepticism. The reason for this is that his disappearance seems to be connected to an unidentified flying object that Valentich himself claimed was ‘playing games’ with him in the minutes before radio control lost all contact with him. He was twenty-years-old at the time.

On October 21, 1978, at 6:19 p.m., Frederick Valentich left Melbourne, Australia to begin a 125-mile training flight to King’s Island. It was only Valentich’s second solo night flight. He was flying a single engine Cessna 182L. At a little after 7:06 p.m., Frederick Valentich made radio contact with air traffic controllers in Melbourne to inquire if there were any other aircraft known to be flying in the area. The answer from Melbourne was no, an answer that was confirmed again during the odd communication that followed.

From Frederick Valentich’s six-minute exchange with air traffic control, we can piece together some information about what it is that he saw, claimed he saw or thought he saw in the sky over Bass Strait that night. After receiving information that he was supposed to be the only thing in the sky at his location, Valentich told controllers in Melbourne that something was flying near him. When asked if he could confirm that it was an aircraft, he said that he could not, a statement that he repeated several times during the exchange. He described the object as having at least four lights and one green light, he said it was elongated (many sources say cigar-shaped, but Valentich made no such statement.) and “all shiny on the outside.”

At one point, Frederick Valentich said that he was unable to tell what it was because of the speed at which it was traveling. However, the unidentified flying object supposedly went out of sight and then approached him from different angles several times, so he was able to ascertain the above information, but nothing more. Near the end of the exchange between Melbourne air traffic controllers and Frederick Valentich, Frederick complained that his engine was coughing. Not long after, radio communication was lost.

The last words that air traffic controllers officially heard Frederick Valentich speak were “It is not an aircraft.” Extensive searches for the pilot were conducted. No sign of Frederick or the Cessna was ever seen again.

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