Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mike Conley's Tales of the Weird: Pilot's flight remains a mystery

Meanwhile back at the airport, Robey tried to get more information about the unidentified flying object and its location. Valentich reported that it was now coming at him from the southwest. About 29 seconds later, he stated that he was experiencing engine problems and was going to proceed to King Island. After a brief silence, he came back and said "it is hovering and it's not an aircraft." This was followed by 17 seconds of unidentified noise, later described as being "metallic, scraping sounds." Then all contact with Valentich was lost at 7:12 p.m.

(Via The Anomalist.)

Greg Bishop might justifiably ask why Valentich's engine didn't stall in the UFO's presence.

1 comment:

Greg Bishop said...

Ahh, someone apparently solved (or perhaps solved) this conundrum on my post about aircraft engines (of the internal combustion kind anyway.)

The aircraft engine's spark plugs are powered in a different way than the automobile's.

Here's an explanation from "Jimmy" in the comments:

Because there’s a fundamental difference between automobile and aircraft ignition systems. Both of them, before all this here fancy electronical stuff came along, used a low-voltage direct current, chopped by a set of contacts (”points”) to drive a transformer that produced a high voltage for the spark plugs. The automobile engine got its low voltage from the battery, or from the generator/alternator, when the engine was running; the aircraft engine used magnetos, which generate their own and which were generally driven off the engine’s crankshaft. Thus in any scenario in which the low-voltage supply from the battery/generator/alternator is interrupted, the auto engine stops and the airplane engine doesn’t.