Could his disappearance be attributed to a UFO that he, and others, reported seeing that evening?
A Pilot Disappears
This case however, unlike the missing Adelaide siblings, has a paranormal twist, with it being claimed that Valentich may have been killed or abducted by a UFO.
Frederick Valentich was born on 9th June, 1958, and lived, together with his 3 siblings and parents, in a suburb of Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria in south-eastern Australia. A budding pilot, he was a member of the Air Cadets, an organisation aimed at youth who wish to be trained particular skills to pursue careers in the military. He twice enlisted in the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) but had been rejected as he didn't have enough qualifications.
Valentich also had an avid interest in UFO's and was said to watch movies and read books regarding the topic. However, as well as being fascinated he expressed fear of the unknown, once saying he was worried about what UFO's were capable of.
His father, Guido, was quoted as saying that his son had taken the study of UFO's up as a hobby, using information he had obtained from the Air Force.
The Fateful Flight and Last Words
Valentich left Moorabbin Airport around 6:15pm and just over 50 minutes later asked Melbourne air traffic control about any other aircraft in the vicinity. When he was told there was no other traffic in the area he reported a large unknown aircraft that was lit up by four landing lights, also stating that the craft was moving at high speed and had passed about 1,000 feet over him. He then reported that the aircraft was approaching him from the East.
An unidentified noise, described as "scraping sounds of a metallic nature", followed for the next 20 seconds before communication went dead forever.
Valentich failed to make it to King Island. A sea and air search was launched, with 2 Air Force planes searching the Strait for the next week. A two-week investigation by the Department of Transport was unable to determine a cause, but was "presumed fatal" for Valentich.
Nearby UFO Activity...
After his disappearance became public knowledge, many eyewitnesses came forward to claim they saw bright lights in the sky, with one person claiming they saw a bright green light trailing Valentich and that he was in a steep dive at the time.
Information regarding his description of the craft was kept from the public until 1982, and many UFOlogists cite this as significant to the theory that a UFO was responsible for his death or disappearance, as well as what he described seeing to air traffic control.
Did Frederick Valentich crash into Bass Strait after perhaps becoming disorientated by a UFO? Or was he abducted by aliens? Will we ever know for sure?
In 2004 Adelaide researcher and skeptic Keith Basterfield found a supposedly "lost or destroyed" official file on the disappearance while searching the National Archives online. The 315-page file states that wreckage, possibly from a Cessna, was observed by a pilot sometime after the disappearance but it was presumed sunk before a position could be fixed on its location. Also, parts of aircraft had been discovered off Bass Straight five years after Valentich disappeared, and it is concluded that he and aircraft crashed into the sea and sunk, caused by disorientation caused by possible meteorite or the planet Venus.
However this is not conclusive proof of what actually occurred in 1978.
Put together by Ashley Hall 2013