Do UFOs swallow planes?
It sounds absurd, if not outright impossible: the notion that an entire manmade aircraft could vanish into thin air, and in mid-flight, leaving no trace of its whereabouts. And yet in several instances, this is precisely what seems to have happened. Hence, the disappearance of aircraft from our skies–both civilian and military–remains a persistent, though under-reported mystery of our time.
The greater question, of course, has to do with how an object the size of an airplane could simply vanish, let alone doing so while still airborne. Stories like the disappearance of Frederick Valentich, who went missing in 1978 while flying a Cessna 182L between Tasmania and the Australian mainland, only fuel the controversy. Valentich’s story is well known in UFO circles: he had been a civilian pilot flying on course for King Island, when he contacted Melbourne Air Traffic Control to alert them about the presence of a mysterious “aircraft” accompanying him. As he described the green glowing object, Valentich’s last dispatch to ATC would be, “That strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again… it is hovering and it’s not an aircraft.”
Neither Valentich, nor his plane, were ever seen again, and hence speculation about the disappearance included claims that the 20-year-old pilot may simply have become disoriented, or worse, had staged an alleged UFO incident as part of an elaborate suicide. While the circumstances behind Valentich’s disappearance are truly strange, there are even more perplexing cases that involve military aircraft which have gone missing in similar fashion; and often paired with different varieties of unexplained aerial phenomenon.
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