Thursday, April 07, 2016

F Is for Frederick Valentich

This month I'm participating in the A to Z ChallengeMy theme this year is Unsolved Mysteries. Today's letter is:




There are few disappearances more fascinating than vanishing aircraft. How does a plane simply disappear? Where does it go? The fact that it happens so often is the most disturbing part of all.



Frederick Valentich didn't just disappear. He disappeared after saying something very mysterious. And that makes his case the most interesting of all.



On October 21, 1978, Frederick Valentich contacted Melbourne Air Flight Service from his aircraft, a single-engine Cessna 182L. He was flying over Bass Strait, headed for King Island. He asked if there was any known traffic. When the air traffic controller said no, he said he could see a large aircraft with four bright lights that looked like landing lights. The aircraft was at least 1,000 feet above his.



The aircraft was flying at high speeds, passing over him multiple times. Then he said it seemed to stop. "It's a long shape... It’s got a green light and sort of metallic. It’s all shiny on the outside."

The mysterious aircraft vanished and then Valentich reported engine problems. The last words Valentich said before communication cut off were perhaps the most haunting. "It is hovering, and it’s not an aircraft." The transcript then reports an unidentified staccato noise.



Neither Valentich nor his aircraft were ever seen again. The disappearance led many to speculate that the unidentified flying object hovering above Valentich was of the extraterrestrial kind.



There have been other theories over the years, including that he might have been flying upside down, with the lights being his own lights, reflected on the water. Others have said it was suicide or a staged disappearance. Not as interesting, but perhaps more acceptable to some people than this...



What do you think happened to Frederick Valentich and his airplane?

⬅️ E Is for Elisa Lam

52 comments:

  1. Call the X-Files!
    It could have been staged, but to what purpose? Had he robbed a bank or hustled some money and needed to vanish?

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    1. Not that I can tell. Looks like he was a crappy pilot, if that helps! But he seemed like a happy, normal guy aside from that.

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  2. Was there any reason he needed to disappear? If not, seems a very elaborate thing to do just to confuse people. He could have been disorientated and seeing things. Definitely an interesting case.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. He could have led some sort of secret life...or he may have been depressed, although those around him said he was happy.

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  3. Ooh...spooky! I love a good UFO mystery. It was definitely the little green men that got him :-)

    Cheers - Ellen | http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com/2016/04/f-is-for-flares-nancy-drew-investigates.html

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    1. There are a LOT of stories like this one--of pilots and even the military having reported seeing strange things up there.

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  4. I would shrug these off, but there are just so many instances to be ignored.

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    1. There are...I think we have to admit there might be life outside our solar system. We just don't know.

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  5. My guess is that he just doesnt or didnt want to be found and had to come up with a 'likely story' to stage his disappearance. He's probably off partying with DB Cooper!

    Mary
    #AtoZChallenge F is for Fitzgerald

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  6. Definitely the aliens got him... awful thing to happen though, if he had a family. Just disappearing like that messes up any chance of closure.

    Nilanjana
    Madly-in-Verse

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    1. Yes, that is the toughest part of all of these. Behind most of these stories, there are loved ones who suffered (or are still suffering, if they're still alive).

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  7. So mysterious! Hmmm.....aliens seem to be one of the best answers. I do think that a lot of the other suggestions are good. What if he had this elaborate plan because he needed to get away from something else going wrong in his life. Definitely a great mystery!

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    1. That would be an elaborate way to stage a disappearance!

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  8. This is fascinating. I swear half the stuff you are writing about gives me chills. There is an entire book waiting on these things.

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    1. I agree! I love mysteries...it's tough to write them for children without making them too scary, though!

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  9. It's fun to think it was aliens. But I also know it is possible to become disoriented and perhaps he was flying upside down. But even that, I wonder how you don't feel yourself upside, with the force of gravity and all.

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    1. I've heard sometimes you don't know what's up and down when you get up there. I know you can easily be sideways, headed toward ground, without knowing it, but upside down does seem a bit of a stretch!

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  10. That's an interesting case, but I'm still dubious on UFOS given the size of the universe or even the galaxy.

    Anyway I'm not too surprised with airplanes vanishing. Most of it it's on the ocean, and if the plane sinks to the bottom you'll most likely never find it. Even the smallest oceans are huge.

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  11. The idea that he was flying upside down and did not realize it is almost as hard to believe as aliens.

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  12. The idea that he was flying upside down and did not realize it is almost as hard to believe as aliens.

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  13. Yikes, I know many pilots and planes have disappeared, but this is really creepy. He saw something. I'm guessing he wasn't flying upside down either.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  14. Why not a UFO? There are 'billions and billions' an maybe even '3-4 trillion' planets in the universe (I looked it up). And Earth is the 1 planet in all those that has intelligent life? What are the odds? :p

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  15. Oh this one was interesting. I read the full report by James McGaba and Joe Nickll with full explanation how this case was solved.

    The down aircraft was found five years after it's disappearance with partially matching serial numbers in Bass Strait. The young pilot was inexperience and had failed many time at getting a pilot licence and took private lessons. He was not trained to fly ay night and the bright lights he saw were planets. He firmly believed in UFO and got focused on the lights and then got disoriented and thus what he thought was orbiting, he was death spiraling down into the strait.

    Case solved.
    Hugs,
    JB

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  16. Flying at night in the dark is very disorienting (JFK jr.) so that theory makes sense, however I would not rule out the UFO...there is stuff out there.

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  17. Flying at night in the dark is very disorienting (JFK jr.) so that theory makes sense, however I would not rule out the UFO...there is stuff out there.

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  18. Airplanes and boats disappear more thoroughly than just about anything, because if you crash in the ocean it's nearly impossible to find. Especially if you don't have time to radio your coordinates. "Somewhere in the Atlantic" just doesn't give searchers much to work with.

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  19. I had heard about this and it is very weird. Even if they found the plane etc.. we can't believe that we are the only ones in the entire galaxy, if not universe, that is just arrogant and very lonely.

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  20. I've heard of this mystery. I find the flying upside down theory hard to believe. Wouldn't he have realized? Felt the blood rushing to his head?

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  21. Omg I heard about this story is this weird UFO program I went to at college. Lol. It was a pretty funny story, but I remember this guy! xxxooo

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  22. Your posts frighten the life out of me and yet I still keep coming back!
    Fran
    @FranClarkAuthor
    Writing Women’s Fiction

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  23. Intriguing. And like most (all?) of the cases you have featured very sad.

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  24. Very creepy! It's amazing how many people, boats, and planes go missing every year, never to be seen again. What happens to them all?

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  25. I think if he was flying upside down he would've been aware of that. Pieces of aircraft can be recovered from water. So it is odd that even the aircraft was never found.

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  26. Indeed a mystery. And like you said, it keeps happening. Creepy indeed.

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  27. I've flown in an Cesna 182, a nice four-seater. I asked my pilot husband. He said he needs more info but said it could have been a brain aneurysm too, which might have caused hallucinations. Disorientation if at night was possible too, like with John Kennedy. That loud staccato noise is a mystery though. I have no idea.

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  28. Was that over the Devil's Triangle by chance? Tons of disappearances in that area. If indeed it was aliens I'm not surprised they kept the aircraft too, since we've reportedly held onto theirs.

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  29. Wow, that was fascinating! Wonder what really did happen?

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  30. Fascinating story, I would love to know what really happened but I guess we never will. I'm inclined to think if there is a race out there intelligent enough to fly here, they would be able to hide their space ships better!
    Debbie

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  31. This sounds like an X-Files episode!

    Yvonne V

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  32. I wonder if they ever searched for his plane or wreckage. Maybe the answer is deep under water. Or not...

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  33. That's creepy! Poor guy, I wonder what happened...But for him to say all that, it's definitely fascinating.

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  34. Gosh, I haven't known about Frederick Valentich until your post, Stephanie. One more mystery here. There are so many questions behind missing planes, missing people (Amelia Earhart), and missing crew on ships (Mary Celeste). And I'm afraid most of those questions might never get answered.

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  35. I think it's possible that an alien ship might have pulled his airplane up into it. Maybe I watch too much science fiction. It seem though that some trace of the airplane and pilot should have been found. Love a good mystery.

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  36. A friend who used to be in the Air Force said they were called in and told that "they didn't see anything" more than once. Mysterious...

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  37. It's fascinating. How can we be sure that we are the only intelligent beings in the universe? I hope they were kind if they did take him to a far away galaxy.
    www.lorihenriksen.com

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  38. What a fantastic story! (Especially if you're Fox Mulder!)

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  39. Hmmm...interesting. I am loving your atoz topic. These are great mysteries.

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  40. That is a really long list of missing aircraft! Very strange story, really does make me wonder...

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  41. I definitely wouldn't rule out UFOs. Just can't believe we are the only ones out here!

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