That is, until you take into account his final radio transmissions, which are about the creepiest thing you'll ever read.
The Unsettling Evidence:
In his final words with Melbourne Air Traffic Control, which can be read in its creepy-ass entirety here, Valentich described being followed by a UFO:
Valentich: Melbourne, this is Delta Sierra Juliet. Is there any known traffic below five thousand?
Melbourne: No known traffic.
Valentich: I am... seems to be a large aircraft below five thousand.
Melbourne: What type of aircraft is it?
Valentich: I cannot affirm. It is four bright... it seems to me like landing lights.
Like Gorman, Valentich claimed the aircraft was intentionally buzzing him, zipping past, getting too close and going incredibly fast. At one point Valentich said the aircraft stopped in mid-air, and he orbited around it to get a good look:
Valentich: It's got a green light and sort of metallic like... it's all shiny on the outside... ... it just vanished...
Valentich: Ah... Melbourne that strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again... (two seconds open microphone)... it is hovering and it's not an aircraft...
Those were Valentich's last words to Air Traffic Control, and maybe his last words to anyone. What followed were 17 seconds of a metallic scraping sound. Neither Valentich nor his plane were ever seen again. The investigation has been one, long, frustrating dead end. No wreckage of the plane has been found, but he was close enough to the ocean that he could have wound up crashing there. Of course, he was close enough to land for lots and lots of eyewitnesses to come forward to say they saw the EXACT same UFO Valentich reported ... which would be great if they weren't all coming forward after the story had hit the newspapers. They even had two experts examine the 17 seconds of metallic scraping at the end of the radio transmission. The conclusion was a shrug and, "Yep, that's pretty fuckin' weird, isn't it?"
"Weird as shit."
The Official Explanation:
One of the cruel realities of life is that it's pretty easy to blame whoever isn't around to defend themselves. So "Valentich was crazy/stupid/disoriented" immediately becomes the default explanation. For instance, some have suggested Valentich became disoriented and was actually flying upside down the entire time. The lights he saw being his own in the reflection of the ocean.
"Wow, an upside down world with forests and trees and everything! It's like Narnia!"
This would, of course, make him an even worse pilot than George "I tried to shoot down Jupiter" Gorman.
Some have suggested it was an elaborate suicide, the UFO thing a final hoax to keep people talking. Or maybe he just imagined the whole thing from the start. Who knows? He's not around for us to ask.
Our favorite theory is that the guy just got fed up with his life and flew off to go start a new one somewhere where nobody knew him. Who hasn't felt like doing that?
I'm never wearing pants again! Fuck you, society!
Or, maybe it was aliens.
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For more of the unexplainable, check out The 5 Creepiest Unsolved Crimes Nobody Can Explain and 6 Insane Discoveries That Science Can't Explain.
Make sure to stop by Linkstorm (Updated 08.06.10) to figure out what really happened to Ross.
And find out which famous prime minister may have hidden a UFO report over at AOL Weird News.
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