UFO Conjectures

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Valentine for Valentich

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The October 1978 disappearance of 20 year-old Australian Fredrick Valentich, flying in an airplane over Bass Strait just off shore near Melbourne, Australia, is said to be a result of a UFO abduction or an attack by a UFO that destroyed Valentich and his airplane.

Wikipedia tells the tale:

Skeptic Robert Sheaffer offers a probable solution to the incident:

The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry goes after Valentich and the purported episode. Click HERE to read.

The National ENQUIRER provided two sensationalist articles, as was its “reportorial methodology”; one offering an eyewitness, Colin Morgan, who said he saw an object at the time young Valentich was reporting his UFO encounter:

And another ENQUIRER story showed an acquired (from Ground Saucer Watch) UFO photo taken by plumber Roy Manifold at the time of the Valentich incident. (Manifold’s photo showed a black cloud surrounding a metallic structure about 20 feet in diameter:
An April 2014 Herald Sun brought the case up to date. Click HERE to read it.

I find the Valentich tale interesting for a few reasons: one, that skeptics are quick to slander/libel the young pilot (because he can’t respond apparently); two, because it remains an open mystery. (Bill Chalker can tell us more); three, it has the hallmarks of the scene in Spielberg’s film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind where the pilots lost in the Bermuda Triangle debark from the alien UFO, along with other missing folks, a sop to the UFO abduction meme.

Valentich reportedly radioed the Melbourne air tower that he was being followed by a strange aircraft, and at one point traffic controllers were said to have heard “a loud, crunching ‘metallic noise’” lasting 17 seconds before dead silence from Valentich’s radio.

 A fascinating UFO story, as I see it…



  • I have always loved this case, too, Rich.

    When you read the case files that Keith Basterfield uncovered, one can make the case for a suicide (and it seems that some of the official investigators thought the same thing).

    The documents show that the kid had been lying to his parents and was at the end of his rope. I (going from memory) think that he had been cited for reckless flying practices and that he had told his parents that he had passed or was going to pass some certification that was never going to happen.

    He did tell his girlfriend or friends some fabricated information about his plans that night.

    The case file is very interesting to read.

    I think that they did find some wreckage from his plane (to some degree of certainty).


    By Blogger Lance, at Saturday, February 11, 2017  

  • The Herald Sun piece refers to some wreckage found that seemed to be his, Lance.

    It's a sad tale, no matter what the reality is.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, February 11, 2017  

  • Lance's scenario is probably the most prosaic one out there. It's possible he didn't want the anguish and family shame of being a suicide and contrived the vanishing as a compassionate way out. If so, he was fortunate indeed to leave no wreckage and what more can we say about it?

    I don't recall Valentich being cited for reckless flying, but could be wrong. He was certainly laying the groundwork for his disappearance in the couple of weeks prior to the incident; he spoke with his girlfriend about going away with ET.

    What I found intriguing was how many unusual sightings were reported at the time.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Saturday, February 11, 2017  

  • I'll take a romanticized view that he had a wish-fulfillment...as to how that came about is a mystery.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, February 11, 2017  

  • I was a child when I first read the case and, yes, it struck me as very romantic too. There were times I'd lie on the garage roof, look up at the stars and imagine a life out there.

    Probably 11 or 12 and high on sci-fi movies.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Saturday, February 11, 2017  

  • One of the sad things about the Valentich episode is his death or "abduction" at age 20.

    Youth snuffed out always pains me, mostly leaving us with grizzled geezers (me among them).

    You remain a kid, Kandinsky, as I see it.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, February 11, 2017  

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