Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Second Valentich disappearance file digitised

Hi all,


In the last post I advised details of the Australian Government Department of Transport's Air Accident Investigation file on the 1978 disappearance of Australian pilot Frederick Valentich. Now, thanks to the work of Andrew Arnold and his Melbourne based team at Victorian UFO Action, we have access to the digitised version of a second file on the Valentich disappearance.

There is information on this file which does not appear on the Air Accident file, and both the files need to be read to completely understand the incident.

National Archives of Australia (NAA) file series A4703, control symbol 1978/1205 is titled "VH-DSJ Light aircraft overdue King Island," barcode 11485989, and held at the Canberra office of the NAA. The file, of 292 pages was owned by the Department of Transport's Marine Operations Centre, and is a MARSAR (Marine Search and Rescue) file.


The file contains:

Details of aircraft which completed:

* a coastal search between Torquay and Cape Otway to Warrnambool and return
* a search of 15NM radius based on latitude 3925S and longitude 14352E
* a land search of King island.

By 25 Oct 1978 there had been air searches:

* of the complete coastline of King Island (twice)
* of the northern part of King Island ( four times)
* of the Victorian coastline between Torquay to Warrnambool (6 times)
* of the coastline between Cape Otway and Torquay (3 times).

There were sightings of:

* Boxes in the water at 3917S 14406E
* An oil slick at 3919S 14401E
* An underwater object at 3919S 14354E
* Two objects in the water at 3847S 14400E
* 4 pieces of material 400m off 90 Mile Beach.

The file contains ten references to "UFO" which includes:

* Aircraft VH-DRB a C421 enroute Tennant Creek to Darwin at FL180 which reported "...a brilliant white light at level 30 miles north of him, in the Tindal area, on descent then disappearing." VH-CKU a C402 from Mataranka on the same track and lower saw some things at 0946Z on the 22 Oct 1978. "Brilliant white light falling fast and irridesent, nothing in area, nothing on radar, cannot explain it..."

* "Report from Empress of Australia may be relevant to plane search in strait. 3rd mate and lookout both reported what they describe as a brilliant white light moving very fast, no indication of height, moving from E to W of them. Posn 3952S 14534E 1245pm last night (221445z) course of ship 334/17.0."

Read the second file for yourself:

1. Go to http://www.naa.gov.au/
2. Click on search the collection
3. Click on Begin your search
4. Upcomes RecordSearch
5. In the keywords box type VH-DSJ
6. Up comes this file
7. Click on the View digital copy icon.


As with my previous post, I'd appreciate blog readers comments about this second file, in the comments section of this post.


  1. Thank you so much Keith for your continuos updates and efforts.

    I have a question about one discrepancy in the description. It is mentioned that file has 292 pages. However, NAA shows only 217 pages? Do you maybe know reason for that?

    Best Wishes and kudos once again.
    Keep up the great work.


  2. Hi Giuliano

    That is a good question. I have a hard physical copy of the file in front of me and there are 292 pages of documents here. Yet the NAA digital version has 217 pages as you say. I have just done a quick check of hard copy versus digital copy and there are double copies of some documents in the photocopied hard copy. Over the next few days I will check to see if this accounts for the difference between digital 217 and physical 292. I have had duplicate copies in hard physical photocopied files from the NAA before. This is probably the answer but I will check.

    1. Keith, I agree my copy also has duplicate pages.
      Andrew Arnold

  3. Hi Keith,
    thanks for this interesting posts regarding the Valentich event.
    Is there a direct download avilable of this files? This would be great. :)
    Kind regards,

  4. Hi Jochen

    Someone told me that Dr David Clark's UFO blog in the UK mentions a pdf being available of the initial file.

  5. Hi all. For anyone who wants to download the pdf feel free to grab a copy from scribd:


    If anyone's interested in making their own pdfs from the digital scans found in the Australian National Archives. I'd recommend checking out this tool I threw together this past weekend:


    Hope it helps. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date Keith!

  6. Thanks Keith for clarification. That is probably a good guess as there are also some doubles in the previous file.

    Re to Jochen:

    I have compiled both PDF's (the first one of these created is also available at Clarke's blog), so if anyone is interested you can contact me at:

    giuliano.marinkovic (at) gmail.com

    I will gladly help.

    Also, user Extreme from ATS forum made another version.

    Best wishes.

  7. G'Day Folks.

    Keith thanks for bringing the NAA files of Valentich to our attention.

    I don't think there is such a thing as retirement in Ufology.

    I don't know if a link has been placed to Paul Norman's and Dr Haines work on the Valentich case so here it is.


    Not happy about the words "New Conclusion" New Theory to me is more to the point.

    It's based on witnesses and data the two had collected as opposed to the rubbish I've heard from day one from the media and armchair experts.

    It's excepting Fred encounter of an unidentified object and working the data around it.
    I think it's a good read though just for the data alone.
    Cheers Les

  8. Hello Keith.

    I greatly appreciate your work as well as the non-dogmatic scholarly approach you take.

    Are you aware of the recent CSISCOP "solving" of the case?

    I offered my own critical thoughts on this here

    Since we are both interested in discovering the truth (if possible), I think it would be really great if you were to respond to my post.

    You know the case extremely better than I do and so I'd be truly thankful for your help.

    Friendly greetings.

    Friendly greetings from Lancashire.

  9. Hi Marc

    I have read both the CSISCOP hypothesis, and your own analysis. Unfortunately, anything else which I might add, would only be more speculation. I cannot see any way, after all this time, to advance research on this case.



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