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A question for pilots


JoeE
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Hi,

 

I have a question which i would love to get a pilot's perspective on.

 

I am currently researching a documentary of the disappearance of Pilot, Frederick Valentich in 1978. In a nutshell, Valentich was making a flight from Moorabbin, Victoria to King Island, Tasmania in Australia. During the flight he radioed air traffic control and reported he was being followed by a UFO. This was the last time he or his plane were seen or heard from again. He was flying a Cessna 182L light aircraft and had limited flying experience. The time of the flight was around 7pm, so dark.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentich_disappearance

 

Now, one of the proposed explanations is Valentich became disorientated and either

 

1. was flying upside and mistook his own lights for those of a UFO, before crashing into the ocean

 

2. mistook Venus (which was at its brightest) and possibly a combination of Mercury, Mars and Antares for landing lights before becoming disoriented and crashing.

 

or another proposed solution:

 

3. suffered from hypoxia and hallucinated the aircraft.

 

I would love to get an actual pilot's opinion on the subject. I am wondering, is such as optical illusion possible? What do you guys think happened?

 

Thank you very much. Any opinions on the subject would be greatly appreciated.

 

Joe

 

 

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Who knows what happened. It was a very strange case (and by all accounts he was a bit strange too), and created a lot of discussion at the time. Anyway, and for what it's worth (not much):

 

1. A 182 is not designed to fly upside down. For one thing, its fuel system wouldn't allow it to fly inverted for any length of time.

 

2. It's very easy to become disoriented at night, especially if you think you're being chased by UFO's. As for landing lights, what landing lights? Where did he think he was - certainly nowhere near an airfield.

 

3. He shouldn't have been high enough for hypoxia to have been an issue.

 

Probably the simplest explanation is that he panicked because he thought he was being followed by UFO's (or maybe he was, who knows) and became disoriented (or maybe vice versa), lost control and finished up in the ocean.

 

rgmwa

 

 

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bit harsh Deb, Aliens could've beamed him up just before his aircraft spiralled into the sea.. seriously though Joe, night flying can be daunting particularly on really dark nights without too many visual cues other than a starry night sky. not many 182L Cessnas had auto-pilots so would have been easy for a low time pilot to get himself into trouble if he got disoriented with stars being reflected onto the sea surface as was discussed may have been the cause at the time of his disappearance.

 

 

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aliens did not take his plane for sure as wreckage was later found on tas coastlineyou have not got option four that an alien did actualy chase him

 

Prety sure I read a number of people said he was a below averege pilot

you do know that 50% of us are below average ! 004_oh_yeah.gif.82b3078adb230b2d9519fd79c5873d7f.gif

 

 

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you do know that 50% of us are below average ! 004_oh_yeah.gif.82b3078adb230b2d9519fd79c5873d7f.gif

Now that's not strictly true. :no no no:For instance if my IQ is 75, and four other people in the room have an IQ of 100, then those four are all going to be above average. So maybe only one in five is below average.........072_teacher.gif.7912536ad0b89695f6408008328df571.gif

 

 

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It's a weird one that's for sure

 

His dad was never upset! Kind of happy at the prospect of his son,s fantacy becoming reality..

 

The pilot was obsessed with E.T life and longed to be taken by them...

 

IMO. I think he wanted it that bad that he perceived some form of light as a UFO becoming distracted and lost control..

 

Suicide also gets thrown around considering he told his girl friend ( and others) a bs flight plan objective! Who knows?

 

I wonder if he forgot his foil helmet? That would leave the aliens open to control his brain would it not? Lol

 

 

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Now that's not strictly true. :no no no:For instance if my IQ is 75, and four other people in the room have an IQ of 100, then those four are all going to be above average. So maybe only one in five is below average.........072_teacher.gif.7912536ad0b89695f6408008328df571.gif

But that sample is too small for your results to have statistical significance.

 

 

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But that sample is too small for your results to have statistical significance.

Correct, but it was not offered as fact, just proof that the original statement has little chance of being correct, and if you don't agree you will have to join me in the lower 50% 008_roflmao.gif.692a1fa1bc264885482c2a384583e343.gif

 

 

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My money is on disorientation at night. Once I was downwind doing night circuits when I felt an overwhelming sensation that I was heading straight for the ground in level flight. With few visual cues on a dark night, it happens very quickly. Hypoxia could be an option, particularly if he was a heavy smoker (don't know if he was but it makes a difference). Carbon monoxide can lead to hallucinations, especially if primed by belief in aliens!

 

 

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Who knows what happened. It was a very strange case (and by all accounts he was a bit strange too), and created a lot of discussion at the time. Anyway, and for what it's worth (not much):1. A 182 is not designed to fly upside down. For one thing, its fuel system wouldn't allow it to fly inverted for any length of time.

 

2. It's very easy to become disoriented at night, especially if you think you're being chased by UFO's. As for landing lights, what landing lights? Where did he think he was - certainly nowhere near an airfield.

 

3. He shouldn't have been high enough for hypoxia to have been an issue.

 

Probably the simplest explanation is that he panicked because he thought he was being followed by UFO's (or maybe he was, who knows) and became disoriented (or maybe vice versa), lost control and finished up in the ocean.

 

rgmwa

Any observed flying object that is not identified is, by definition, an Unidentified Flying Object ...or a UFO.

 

 

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Any observed flying object that is not identified is, by definition, an Unidentified Flying Object ...or a UFO.

Correct, and they must not to be confused with flying saucers, which have been identified as a type of saucer.

 

rgmwa

 

 

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Correct, and they must not to be confused with flying saucers, which have been identified as a type of saucer.rgmwa

Weather balloons and swamp gas have both been identified as well, and are surprisingly common

 

 

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