This mysterious part of the world runs from the southern coast of Victoria in Australia over the stretch of water that is the Bass Strait and into the mysterious regions of Tasmania.
While most of the bizarre accounts on this list are connected to the Bass Strait itself, several times, these encounters have seemingly wandered onto the mainlands. Perhaps the most famous of these incidents is the case of Fred Valentich.
On the same day that Fred Valentich disappeared (October 21, 1978), Roy Manifold would capture a picture (shown above) of a strange object in the sky over the Bass Strait. Whether the object in the picture is connected to Valentich’s disappearance or not is open to debate, but it is considered to be a genuine picture (in that there has been no manipulation of the image).
Roy’s son, Jason, was with his father on the evening in question. He says that while his father had gone inside his shed after taking the picture, Jason remained outside watching the sky. Although he didn’t see anything, he could hear the sound of a plane engine overhead. Instead of gradually fading off into the distance, however, the engine suddenly came to a stop “as if someone had turned a radio off.” Then, there was nothing but silence.
In October 1934, while crossing the Bass Strait in perfect weather conditions for flying, the airliner Miss Hobart would vanish without a trace. There were 11 people on board, nine passengers and two pilots. Neither they nor even the smallest amount of wreckage was ever discovered despite extensive searches by military aircraft and vessels.
Aviation experts, both at the time and today, believe the loss of the Miss Hobart to be a genuine mystery, not least due to the de Havilland DH86 aircraft (example pictured above) being one of the most advanced of its era. It made use of four independent engines, with the likelihood of all four engines failing at the same time being almost universally dismissed. Even if that had happened, the plane was designed so that it should have been able to be guided to an emergency landing.
The last transmission from the Miss Hobart spookily shares a detail with that of the Jason Manifold account. The crew allegedly claimed they could hear the sound of a plane around them, and there were even several reports of an “aerial machine” coming toward them. They then reported that the humming sound had suddenly stopped. Nothing more was heard from the Miss Hobart after that.
The Loina Incident
Almost a year following the disappearance of the Miss Hobart airliner, another plane, the Loina, would vanish while traveling from Melbourne to Tasmania. The aircraft had just radioed the control tower in Tasmania to say it was preparing to make its approach to land when it suddenly went silent. It carried three passengers and two pilots.
While none of the five people on board were ever located, a search of the waters did recover some minimal wreckage. Three of the plane’s seats were discovered, as well pieces of the petrol tank.
SS Amelia J
In 1920, while sailing into the Bass Strait, the SS Amelia J. disappeared without a trace shortly after entering the infamous stretch of water. The Australian military would conduct an extensive search of the area. However, two of the military aircraft involved in the search also vanished. Perhaps strangest about the incident are the reports of strange lights being in the skies over the Bass Strait.
Although this is perhaps the first strange occurrence in the Bass Strait to be connected with potential UFO activity, two other very similar accounts took place in the 1900s.
Bruny Island Disappearance
Strange lights were often seen coming from the Bass Strait and over the treetops, or even from one of the 50-something islands that reside within the strait itself. There is also the question of the sheer amount of people who go missing—seemingly vanishing into thin air.
Perhaps the strangest, however, is that of a young woman who went missing from Bruny Island. Following her sudden disappearance, investigators would discover that none of her belongings had been taken and that her room was left as if had she been coming back to it that evening as normal. Her purse, full of money, was also discovered. In short, there was nothing to indicate that she had been planning on leaving.
The Disappearance Of The Charleston
In December 1979, the yacht Charleston, along with the five crew members, would vanish without a trace while sailing along the Bass Strait. The yacht was scheduled to arrive in Sydney for New Year’s Eve. However, after several days with no contact and no arrival, search planes were sent out in a desperate bid to find the apparently stricken vessel.
Nothing of the boat or the people on board was ever discovered. There are plenty of theories as to what might have happened, though.
World War II Accounts
As you might imagine, there were numerous accounts of strange events in the Bass Strait during World War II. However, when it is considered that there were no official reports of any enemy fighters even entering the strait, perhaps it is a little strange that 17 military planes were lost in this stretch of water during the war years alone.
There were also other, less fatal incidents.
In 1944, a strange “dark shadow” came out of nowhere and flew beside a Bristol Beaufort bomber for almost 20 minutes over the Bass Strait. Then, without warning, it shot upward at an amazing pace and vanished.
Two years earlier in 1942, an Australian fighter pilot took his plane over the Bass Strait after orders to investigate reports of strange lights made by fishermen. As he surveyed the area, a huge bronze disc came out of the clouds and settled alongside the plane for several moments before vanishing as quickly as it had appeared.
There are many reports of ships vanishing in the Bass Strait during the 19th century. In fact, the first recorded incident appears to be the disappearance of the Eliza in 1797. (Yes, that’s a bit before the 19th century.) The vessel was part of a salvage operation for the Sydney Cove, which had recently become wrecked on the rocky coast. The Eliza seemingly vanished off the face of the Earth during the rescue attempt.
In 1858, the British ship HMS Sappho met the same fate as it ventured into the strait’s apparently deadly waters.[ A similar event took place 12 years later when the Harlech Castle disappeared, taking all 23 crew members with her.
Now I could go on and on all day about all the strange occurrences that seem to happen around this area. But then I’d be here for quite awhile now wouldn’t I. Also there are most likely hundreds of other undocumented accounts, these are just a few of the most noted ones in history. Either way there is something very strange about this place, I advise you do not visit.