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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Aug > Aug 8

Re: Oz National Archives Release Valentich File

From: Michael Tarbell <mtarbell.nul>
Date: Wed, 08 Aug 2012 11:58:20 -0600
Archived: Wed, 08 Aug 2012 18:43:48 -0400
Subject: Re: Oz National Archives Release Valentich File


>From: Don Ledger<dledger.nul>
>To:<post.nul>
>Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2012 13:09:15 -0300
>Subject: Re: Oz National Archives Release Valentich File

>>From: Michael Tarbell<mtarbell.nul>
>>To: post.nul
>>Date: Mon, 06 Aug 2012 09:15:57 -0600
>>Subject: Re: Oz National Archives Release Valentich File

<snip>

>One caveat re the piece of cowl. It might have been on an
>airplane other than its original platform due to the original
>being damaged and replaced by an older or newer model with the
>same firewall and engine configuration. In this case a
>Continental 0-470 engine (225-230 hp) swinging a constant speed
>prop. Some of the newer cowls were made of fiberglass with thin,
>hard-foam cores which could enable them to float.

>Sounds like the piece found was aluminum. Not sure how it would
>have made it ashore if Valentich's plane crashed or broke up
>nearly a couple of hundred miles to the west.


Hi Don,

Yes, it was aluminum, and evidently quite corroded, which might
seem to support the idea that it had spent a lot of time
immersed in seawater, although I should think that any moist,
ocean shoreline environment would significantly corrode aluminum
if left exposed for several years. And note that, based on the
serial number interval, when the cowling piece was found (1983),
it could have already been exposed to the elements for more than
20 years.

The last known whereabouts of Valentich's aircraft was ~250
miles from Flinders Island. Like you, I have some difficulty
visualizing this debris tumbling along the ocean bottom for some
5 years to arrive, of all places, right next to an airport
runway.

I wish there were further elaboration in Sandercock's letter to
the RAN Research Laboratory, in which he indicates that "there
is reason to believe the piece had not been on the beach more
than a few days". But in any case that would not rule out that
the cowling had a local origin, i.e., from a plane approaching
or departing the Flinders Island airport.

For completeness we should also note that Flinders Island was
well within fuel range of Valentich's last known position,
although if this were a planned disappearance, I should think an
inland Australia landing site would have been a much safer and
inconspicuous choice.


Mike



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