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Editorial - December 1998

Frederick Valentich - 20 Years On

It was just 20 years ago, on the 21st of October, that a young pilot fired the engine of his Cessna 182L aircraft to fly to King Island. His name was Frederick Valentich. Little did he know that after reporting to Steve Robey on the Flight Service radio, he would fly into the History books as being one of twenty known cases of Pilot Encounters with Unknowns, which ended in disaster.

Steve Robey; the last person to speak to Frederick, unveiled a plaque to his memory, at a private ceremony near the lighthouse at Cape Otway.

Thousands of tourists will be able to view this memorial, which will remain a constant reminder that UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS ARE SERIOUS BUSINESS.

Transcript of the Frederick Valentich plaque unveiling at Cape Otway Lighthouse on the 21st of October, 1998 by S. Robey; G. Valentich and other family members and friends.
Unveiled by Steve Robey.

Guido and Alberta - Thanks for the invitation to Cape Otway. I am happy to be present at this gathering in memory of Frederick who, as we know, disappeared 20 years ago to the South of here.
We all wish that we had the answers to Frederick's disappearance, but we do not, unfortunately.
20 years is a long time to endure the pain of not knowing. I can understand, as I have a son who is 28, and I would hate for him to go missing under such circumstances.
It is hard enough to lose a son and not know his fate, but to have your son disappear in such a mysterious way, in circumstances which involve an unrelenting media for one thing; a media inters which has not lessened over the years, has been extremely difficult for you. I can say that because I have seen it over the long twenty years.
We've all felt for you in your long search for the answers!
Guido, I am sorry that we did not meet until after Frederick's disappearance. I think we should have done. I think it would have been better, I think, soon after Fred's disappearance, because after meeting you and Alberta and the strong, stable influence that Fred grew up in, my view is that he disappeared as a direct result of encountering something that cannot be explained even after 20 years.
The plaque you have placed here in his memory, reminds us there are many mysteries in life that cannot be explained and may never be answered and must be accepted for what they are.
So, in memory of Frederick, from you, Guido, Alberta and Family, I am happy to unveil this plaque today.

Last Updated: January, 2000
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