Real Name: Frederick Valentich
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Cape Otway, Australia
Date: October 21, 1978
Date of Birth: 1958
Marital Status: Dating
Characteristics: Caucasian male
Details: Twenty-year-old Australian pilot Frederick Valentich had been flying for two years, accumulating over 150 hours of solo time. He was employed by Southern Air Services from Moorabbin, Australia. He had dreams of one day becoming a commercial pilot. At 6:19 pm on October 21, 1978, Frederick took off from Robin Airport, near Melbourne, in a Cessna 182 light aircraft.
He planned to fly west for forty minutes along the Australian coast. At Cape Otway, he would head south over Bass Strait towards King Island. It was a route that he had flown many times before. However, while flying over Bass Strait near Cape Otway, he sighted what seemed to be a UFO flying nearby in the vicinity. Upon seeing the object, he maintained radio contact with his airfield for several minutes, describing the object as it darted and swerved around him. The object appeared to be green and long-shaped. He stated that it was traveling at speeds faster than he had ever seen before. The air traffic controller believed that Frederick was afraid of the object. At one point, the object was stationary, hovering above his plane. All of a sudden, the object disappeared.
A few seconds later, it returned from the southwest. Suddenly, his engines started malfunctioning. Finally, he stated: "It's hovering and it's not an aircraft". These were the last words that the air traffic controller heard from him. After that, he heard several mysterious clicking noises. Then, he heard no more noises from Frederick or his aircraft. He was never seen or heard from again.
An extensive water search began for Frederick and his plane. However, no trace of either was ever found. Later, a witness, who asked to remain anonymous, came forward. He claimed that he was traveling with his family when they noticed unusual activity in the sky. The witness saw a lime-green light flying about a hundred feet above a small aircraft. The light and the plane flew closer to each other before disappearing from the witness's view.
Six weeks after the disappearance, amateur photographer Roy Manifold came forward. He claimed that on the evening of the disappearance, he had set up a camera at Cape Otway, planning to take pictures of the sunset. In the last photograph, there was a black spot in the upper right corner. At first, he believed that it was a developing error. However, a photo examiner found no dirt or damage on the negative. The strange mark was determined to be in the photograph. American photo analysts determined that the mark was a metallic object, apparently in a cloud of exhaust. It was apparently a mile from the camera. However, a second and more recent analysis determined that the spot was probably a developing error.
To date, the mysterious disappearance of Frederick Valentich has never been adequately explained. The object that he apparently sighted has never been identified.
Suspects: One theory is that Frederick was abducted by the object he encountered. Another theory is that he was attacked by the object or became disoriented after seeing it and crashed into the sea.
Some have speculated that he may have actually staged his disappearance. Prior to his disappearance, he had made several strange comments to his girlfriend and others. He had also gave conflicting information on the reasons of his flight. Finally, several people stated that he had been obsessed with UFOs prior to his disappearance. However, his family does not believe that he would disappear voluntarily.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the September 29, 1993 episode.
Results: Unsolved. Frederick has since been declared legally dead. No trace of him or his plane has ever been found until 1983 when an engine cowl flap from the same type of Cessna as Valentich's plane washed ashore at Flanders Island. The flap had a partial serial number on it that matched the serial number from his plane. Several people believe that it came from his plane, but this has not been conclusively determined as other similar planes had lost the same part in the same area in the early 1980s.
Recently, some have speculated that he became disoriented after seeing a bright planet, the stars, or a meteor shower in the sky. Another theory is that he became inverted mid-flight and saw reflections off of the water. This theory has not been confirmed.
Sadly, his father Guido passed away in 2000.
- Frederick Valentich at Wikipedia
- 'Truth' was out there after all
- UFO suspicions still cloud disappearance of Frederick Valentich
- Farmer may hold UFO clue to 36-year Valentich plane mystery
- Frederick Valentich at Find a Grave