The vanishing by Mark Greenwood

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‘History Hunters collect and analyse evidence in memories, letters, reports, maps and newspaper clippings. Books are sources of inspiration and information – as are declassified government files!’ Mark Greenwood p98. The Vanishing.

Award-winning Australian author Mark Greenwood whose well-known books include History Mysteries and 2024 CBCA Eve Pownall Shortlisted book Our Country: Where History Happened has written the second in a four book series aimed at younger readers. The Vanishing tells the compelling story of pilot Fred Valentich’s flight from Moorabbin to King Island on Saturday October 21, 1978. A flight which never landed and a plane and pilot who vanished. Missing pilot Fred Valentich was a responsible and determined twenty year old man who was fascinated with all aspects of flight and space. He also had a passionate interest in the possibility of UFOs.

UFOs have long been a source of discussion and division in Australian culture. There are those that strongly believe and have experienced a glimpse of the presence of something out of this world and those that are completely sceptical. In the case of Fred Valentich, the lack of any form of physical evidence that he had an accident led to wild speculation as well as numerous UFO sightings on and about the time he disappeared. During Mark Greenwood’s extensive research into the disappearance, he has uncovered many examples of what others have seen and shares this information with the reader.

This book, which details the search for Fred Valentich, leaves the reader with many unanswered questions and perhaps the urge to find out more. In the author’s words: ‘In this History Hunters case file, the facts raise more questions than answers. But without physical proof, will we ever know what happened? How could an entire aircraft disappear and leave no trace? Is there evidence waiting to be discovered?’

In the final pages is a ‘More to Explore’ section with references to books, archives, newspapers and websites plus acknowledgements with a special mention of the family and fiance of Fred Valentich.

The Vanishing is a highly engaging read which may provide an opportunity for intense discussion surrounding the possibility of UFOs as well as Government secrets.

Themes: History, Flight, Unidentified Flying Object (UFO), Search, Missing Pilot.

Kathryn Beilby