On October 21, 1978, 20-year-old Frederick Valentich disappeared in unexplained circumstances while piloting a Cessna 182L light aircraft over the Bass Strait to King Island, Australia.
Prior to his disappearance, Valentich reported via radio that he had encountered an unidentified craft which was moving at the same speed of his plane, and was hovering over him. No trace of Valentich or his aircraft was ever found.
Shortly before Valentich’s last reported contact, plumber Roy Manifold set up a time lapse camera and tripod on the shoreline in order to photograph the sun setting over the water. When his pictures were developed they appeared to show a fast moving object exiting the water. Manifold gave the time that the pictures were taken as being approximately 6:47 pm (18:47 hrs), or 20 minutes before Valentich reported having difficulties.
Moments before a strange noise terminated Valentich’s communications, he said: “My intentions are – ah – to go to King Island – ah – Melbourne. That strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again (open microphone for two seconds). It is hovering and it’s not an aircraft.”
Frederick Valentich has never been found.