MELBOURNE(UPI)- The girlfriend of a pilot who vanished
in his light plane after radioing he was being followed by a UFO says he is
still alive but that details of his mysterious disappearance are "top secret".
"I know Fred is alive. We will see him soon," said 16-year-old Rhonda Rushton
She said she had met with transport department officials concerning the
disappearance of Frederick Valentich, 20.
"We all know Fred is alive and we have told the authorities this, but it is
still all top secret now," Ms. Rushton said. "I will not be saying any more
A department spokesman said, "We assured her we would keep details of the
interview confidential and we must abide by that condition."
Valentich was flying his single-engine Cessna 182 from Melbourne to King
Island, 130 miles to the south, when he asked traffic controllers at 7 p.m. if
there were any aircraft in his area flying below 5,000 feet.
When controllers told him there were no aircraft in the vicinity, Valentich
said he was flying at 4,500 feet and could see an object with four bright
Asked by the control tower if he could identify the aircraft, Valentich
replied "It's not an aircraft. It's ..." then there was a break in
A department spokesman said there was a long metallic noise over the radio and
contact with the aircraft was lost. One report described the noise as "like
two empty beer cans being banged together."