- historical event:
- No trace of the pilot or his Cessna airplane were ever found. Ufologists claim that they were abducted by aliens.
20-year old Australian pilot Frederick Valentich inexplicably disappeared on this day in 1978, while piloting his Cessna 182L aircraft. Valentich took off from a Melbourne airfield and was headed towards King Island, around half way between the southern coast of Australia and Tasmania.
The plane took off at 18:19, and around 19:06 reported sighting an unidentified aircraft to Melbourne flight control. The air traffic controller replied that there are no aircraft registered in that area. Valentich described the aircraft as a large airplane with four landing lights. He could not determine its type, but claimed the airplane had passed around 300 meters above him at great speed.
The controller requested Valentich to estimate the size of the unknown aircraft. Valentich replied that the aircraft has a shiny metal surface and a green light. There was a silence lasting 28 seconds, after which Valentich reported that the aircraft had disappeared. After a further 25 seconds of silence, Valentich said that the aircraft was again approaching, but from a different direction. At 19:12 Valentich reported that his own airplane’s engine was acting funny. After a short pause, Valentich said that the aircraft is now above him, and that it isn’t an airplane. What followed was 17 seconds of what has been described as “metallic, scraping sounds”, after which all contact with the young pilot was lost.
No trace of the pilot or his Cessna airplane were ever found. Ufologists claim that they were abducted by aliens. What really happened remains unexplained.