Thursday, September 12, 2013

Valentich disappearance - Rhonda Rushton

Hi all,

I have written several posts about the disappearance of pilot Frederick Valentich, back in 1978. For those who may have missed these posts, they are:

New documentary:

A new documentary about the Valentich incident, shot in Australia in March 2013, has just aired in the USA. You can watch it at

Congratulations for a job well done, must be given to Melbourne researcher George Simpson, for all his work on the documentary. The show features George as he interviews the original Air Traffic Controller Steve Robey; photographer Roy Manifold (click here to see one of Manifold's photographs);  Richard Valentich (Frederick's older brother); and other participants in the event.

Rhonda Rushton:

Interestingly, one of the key participants who does not appear in the new documentary is Rhonda Rushton, who was Frederick Valentich's girlfriend at the time.

Rhonda was interviewed in 1978 by the Bureau of Air Safety Investigations (BASI) (click here for information on BASI) and this detailed interview appears in the official BASI Department of Transport file V116/783/1047 which you can read in full on the National Archives of Australia website.

I was fortunate to be able to communicate with Rhonda in 2005 (click here for Disclosure Project Newsletter mention of this.)  She asked what official documents we had found on Valentich. The answer at that stage was very little.

Unfortunately, I lost contact with her at that stage and at the present moment do not have contact details for her.

If any blog reader knows of her whereabouts I'd be delighted to hear from you, as I would like to acquaint Rhonda with the contents of the official files which have been found since I last communicated with her in 2005. Please email me at


  1. I have now located, and had an opportunity to exchange emails with Rhonda. She advises that she has been given a copy of the National Archive file.

  2. What did she make of them Keith..?
    and what does Rhonda think happened is the ring a week early true..?

  3. Hi Raymond,

    Rhonda declined to comment on the contents of the files, or the cause of the event, and made no references to anything personal about her involvement.

  4. You might be interested to know that the Skeptoid podcast released an episode on the Valentich Case. The host speculates that Valentich was trying to 'play out' the control tower sequence from Close Encounters of the Third Kind and then became disoriented.

    1. Hi Graham, Thank you for drawing my attention to the Skeptoid podcast.



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