Dr. Jacques Vallee has been a welcome guest several times on 21st Century Radio with Dr. Bob Hieronimus, when all of his books were reviewed in depth. Bob's son, Plato Hieronimus, joined him on the air to help interview Dr. Vallee about his book, Forbidden Science, which are Vallee's personal journals published by North Atlantic Books, revealing a unique perspective on the early years of UFO research. This interview was conducted in 1993.
Bob Hieronimus: Many of our listeners and viewers have asked what UFO research do I put the most stock in, or feel is the most valuable. Well, tonight you're going to spend two hours with the researcher whose work I admire most. His name is Dr. Jacques Vallee, the author of an intriguing series of books that I recommend most highly. If you are building a UFO library, his works should be the first to go on your shelves. Dr. Vallee was last with us on this program nearly three years ago to discuss his ground breaking books, Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact by Contemporary Books and Confrontation: A Scientist's Search for Alien Contact by Ballantine Books, 1990. More recently Ballantine Books has published two more Vallee masterpieces. Revelations: Alien Contact and Human Deception and UFO Chronicles of the Soviet Union: A Cosmic Samizdat, 1992. Even more recently, North Atlantic Books came out with Forbidden Science, the journals of Dr. Vallee, published by a frequent 21st Century Radio guest, Dr. Richard Grossinger. Congratulations go to Richard Grossinger for seeing the importance of publishing this significant book.
Before we join Dr. Vallee, let me also introduce my son, Plato Hieronimus, who will be co-hosting this hour. Plato has been with us before during previous interviews with Greg Molenaar, who had joined us to discuss his and Vince DiPietro and Dr. John Brandenberg's book, Unusual Mars Surface Features. Plato also joined us this past Christmas when we were joined by several players from the Negro Baseball Leagues. Plato is now 22 years old, and next fall, he will begin his final year at University of Pennsylvania. His interest is in journalism, in one form or another, so when he asked to join me on the air for a radio program, I could think of no better time to introduce him to the research of Dr. Jacques Vallee than tonight. Mike has read Dr. Vallee's book, Forbidden Science and he helped formulate some of the questions that we'll be asking Dr. Vallee this evening.
Welcome back to 21st Century Radio, Plato!
Plato: Thanks a lot, and it's great to be here.
Dr. Bob: The research of Dr. Jacques Vallee, supports the hypothesis that the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis for the origin of UFOs is partial at best. We've had scores of researchers on the air who propose the ETH: Stanton Friedman, Dr. Bruce Maccabee, Walt Andrus, Zecharia Sitchin, Budd Hopkins, Timothy Good, John Lear, Bill Cooper, Jerry Clark and many more.
We've had fewer researchers who have proposed a multi-dimensional origin: Dr. Peter Rocjcewicz, Don Ware, Dr. Brian O'Leary, Brad Steiger, Dr. David Jacobs, Dr. Plato Grosso, and of course Dr. Jacques Vallee, who will be with us both hours tonight and has been patiently waiting on the line.
Dr. Vallee is a leading researcher on the phenomenon of unidentified flying objects world-wide. Born in France, he studied astrophysics, and received his Ph.D. in computer science in 1967 from Northwestern University. The real-life model for the French scientist played be Francois Truffaut in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Dr. Vallee's books have sold well over a million copies in many languages. And friends, by the end of tonight, I hope they'll sell 10-15 million more.
Besides the trilogy: Dimensions, Confrontations and Revelations, and Forbidden Science, Dr. Vallee has written Anatomy of a Phenomena, Challenge to Science and Messengers of Deception and Passport to Magonia.
Welcome to 21st Century Radio's Hieronimus & Co. where knowledge comes first, Dr. Vallee.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Good evening. Thank you very much.
Dr. Bob: I'm awfully sorry for that long introduction sir.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: By the way, Passport to Magonia is just being reprinted by Contemporary Books in trade paperback.
Dr. Bob: Well, we'll get right on that one. Is Messengers of Deception going to be reprinted soon?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: No. I have no plans to do that. I probably can dig up an old copy and send it to you.
Dr. Bob: I'd love to see it and I certainly would like to send you a copy of my book on America's Secret Destiny. Well, let me introduce you to my son, Plato Hieronimus.
Plato: Hi, how are you doing Dr. Vallee?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: How are you Plato?
Plato: I'm good. It's great to hear your voice after reading your diary.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Thank you.
Dr. Bob: When I first picked up your diary, I said to myself, "Do I want to read a diary?" And then I found out that I learned so much from it. How's your wife Janine and children, Olivier and Catherine?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: They are all very well, in fact Catherine just had her 25th birthday. I just celebrated it with her.
Dr. Bob: Isn't that funny? It's really funny in a way because when you read someone's work I felt like I know your children now and I keep thinking of them as being 5 or 6 years old.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: So do I sometimes.
Dr. Bob: We understand from Jim Moseley's Saucer Smear publication, that there will soon be a motion picture based on your work Messengers of Deception. Is that correct?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Well, I don't really know the status of that. It's one thing to try to understand UFOs and it's another to understand Hollywood. There is a project and I think they are working on a script. I'm not involved at this point and it's a long, long way from working on a script to going into an actual movie.
Dr. Bob: Tracy Torme, is involved?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Yes, Tracy is a good friend and he's been involved. I really don't know whether the studio will make the decision to go forward.
Dr. Bob: Well, Tracy Tormé is really tops. I really think he knows what he's talking about.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: He's certainly one of the central people in Hollywood who really knows his subject well.
Plato: OK, now to the book, Forbidden Science. It's a diary covering 13 years from 1957 - 1969. We are wondering what encouraged you to keep a diary. And, eventually, after the 13 year period, why did you stop?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Well, why did I stop is easy. I was in California in 1969. It was a very exciting time, I had a tremendous amount of work. I had joined the computing center at Stanford University, which was and still is one of the leading centers of computing research in the United States and I just didn't have a minute. So, I became caught up in the whirlwind, so to speak, of technology research here. Why I started, I started when my father was dying, I was 17 at the time, and it was just a way for me to reflect on what was happening around me and what was happening to me. And then, I continued because I felt it was a very good format to organize my own thoughts as a student. And then when I came over to the United States, I realized that I was a witness to some things that were fairly extraordinary. Then working with Dr. Hynek and being involved in the Air Force research in those days, I wanted to make sure that I would be a witness, that I could testify as to what had happened. Not so much in terms of my own thoughts, but in terms of scientific history. I felt that at some point, this might be important to science.
Dr. Bob: Well you know, even diaries are certainly very important. I tried keeping mine, Jacques, for 15 or 20 years. Frankly when you get to doing other stuff, you just don't have the energy, at least I didn't.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: I tell you, editing this book is really the hardest thing I've ever done, because you're confronted with a lot of very repetitive, frustrating notes and you have to decide what's important to keep and what might be relevant to others. Also, it makes you painfully aware of all the mistakes you've made along the way. But of course, you can't go back and change. It's a lot easier to write an autobiography or memoir because you can gloss over those little mistakes you may have made along the way and doing a diary, you can't do that.
Dr. Bob: Dr. Vallee, how did you become interested in the order of the Rose Cross, and what value did it have in your growth and development?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: As a young student, I must have been 18 or 19 when I first became interested. I was really looking for information about traditions and I became aware of the fact that science didn't just come out of the imagination of a few people, that there was a tradition of research that went very far back, and that at some period in history had been actually underground. I was looking for information about that. That's what led me to the Rosicrucian tradition.
Dr. Bob: I was surprised also to learn later on that Dr. Hynek was also a member for a number of years.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Yes, I think I relate in my diary the time when we came to discussing this and I was delighted to learn that he had, for many years, gotten information from the tradition as well. We both came to the same conclusion, by the way, that we really didn't need an organization to continue this research, as there were many sources around and that kind of research was best done independently. But those organizations were very sincere and gave us a start.
Plato: From what you say in your diary, in 1955 on a Sunday in May, you were with your mother and you saw what you thought was a UFO. Could you please tell us about it?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: It was a UFO, yes, and I was helping my father. He had a workshop and was very good with woodworking and we were working on something and I heard my mother calling us from downstairs, she was in the yard doing some gardening. I rushed to the window but couldn't see anything from that side of the house. So I went down the stairs. And I saw very clearly. It was about the diameter of a full moon. It was like a silver colored cigar with a sort of bubble or dome on top, as if you put a plexiglass half sphere on top of a fuselage, it would be a good approximation of what we saw. There was absolutely no noise. It was just hovering in the sky. And the next day, I spoke to a friend of mine who was a very good physics student at the college where I was going. And I described what I had seen, he had seen the same thing from his house, which was about a mile away from where we were and he had looked at it with binoculars and had seen exactly the same thing we saw.
Dr. Bob: Well, in February 1959, you met your partner in this life, Janine. Throughout your journals, Forbidden Science, one can trace how she becomes a source of great strength and joy to your growth and development. When did you know she would be your partner in this life, Jacques?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Almost immediately.
Dr. Bob: It seemed that way, at least from the diary.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Yes, well sometimes you just have a sense of those things that just transcend analysis I think.
Dr. Bob: Have you given it any thought that you may have been together in other lifetimes?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: I've wondered about that, but I really don't have or reached any conclusion on reincarnation or anything like this. I've spoken to people doing research on that. In my own experience, I really don't have any real indication or any proof.
Dr. Bob: I think the work of Dr. Ian Stevenson in this particular area is truly outstanding.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Yes, I've always wondered why people have always reincarnated from the past. Those few times when I've had feelings of remembering another life, it was from the future.
Dr. Bob: Interesting, that's very fascinating!
Dr. Jacques Vallee: If we're wrong about the nature of time, I don't see why we should, and if there's such a thing as reincarnation, I don't know why it should be limited to reincarnating from the past.
Dr. Bob: That's fascinating! That is!
Plato: Forbidden Science, what does this title refer to?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Well, it refers to the fact that we are witnessing something very remarkable here. We live in an era where allegedly, science is above board, it's completely rational, it's completely open and it's looking at every possible subject. And yet, here we have evidence that when a group of scientists with the right background and the right degrees, try to study seriously certain subjects, they are ostracized by the rest of the scientific community. I think that from a sociological point of view, that's absolutely fascinating. That research on UFOs should be a forbidden science. It has all the elements where valuable research could be done. We have testimony from very serious and sincere witnesses. We have traces. We have physical elements. We have things that are well within the methodology of modern science and yet, we are not permitted to study it. Officially, we have all the power of the scientific method.
Plato: Why is it that you figure in academia where people are supposed to be searching for what is perceived to be the truth or for knowledge, why is it that it is a forbidden science there? Why is it that they would be ostracized, why do you figure that that would be the case?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Well, to be completely fair to scientists, first this is something very disturbing. It questions a lot of things at the same time. Usually in science, you have incremental developments. You study something and you measure something and it isn't quite right so you have to incrementally build new theories to account for the new observation. Here this is a phenomenon that seem to challenge so many things at the same time that we don't know where to start. We don't even know where it belongs. In my opinion, that's not enough to refuse to study it. I think we should study it anyway. But it calls for a very different methodology.
Dr. Bob: Dr. Henry Bauer has joined us many times on 21st Century Radio to discuss his important research including his book, Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method. Boy, that really knocked my socks off. I had forgotten a lot of the problems in academia. I guess because it was such a long time ago for me. Throughout Forbidden Science we are introduced to what I would refer to as the prime movers in UFO research. As a student, you corresponded with Aime Michel. Tell us about the contributions of Michel and some of the struggles you faced together as you tried to have the French Government research UFO sightings.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Well, I had written to Aime Michel when I got his book, which is really the first book that I read on the subject, his book about the European wave of 1964. Aime Michel, who by the way died recently, he died last December, had done something quite remarkable. He had said, "Well, let's not argue whether these people are actually seeing this phenomenon or not, let's assume that they do and let's look for patterns. And in that sense, he introduced for the first time, a rational approach to this subject. And I was very much struck with that. I met Aime Michel a few years later and we started verifying those patterns. And then he was always fighting against those who would say, for example, these patterns cannot exist because UFOs cannot exist and they would actually refuse to even look at them. To them, the skeptics or rationalists in France felt that there was actually no need for them to even look at the data. Because they already knew the answers. That was true even within the French Government. In the diary, you'll see day after day after day, the meetings we had with people like Professor Recaurd, who was by the way, the father of the man who recently was a Prime Minister for France and may be, at some point, President of France, Michel Recaurd. Professor Recaurd was a very eminent physicist. He was at the time, in charge of the French nuclear program. And yet, he did not have the power to convince his colleagues to allow for a small group to be funded to check on the hypothesis that Michel and I were developing.
Dr. Bob: Again, early on you developed a correspondence and later a long-term relationship with Dr. J. Allen Hynek. How did this come about?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Actually, two astronomers, two American astronomers had come to France to visit with Aime Michel in 1958. They were Gerard de Vuclair who is now, by the way, a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States. And J. Allen Hynek. They had kept an interest in the whole subject. They were convinced that Aime Michel had discovered something important. When I decided to leave France to continue this research, I went first to work for Gerard de Vuclair in Texas and then had the opportunity to correspond and meet and, go to work with Dr. Hynek in Chicago.
Plato: Dr. Vallee, could you give us a personal and historical view into Dr. Hynek and his contributions to UFO research?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: In two minutes or less?
Plato: Well, you can take 5 minutes. I know we're hurling these questions at you, but knowledge comes first here.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Dr. Hynek was a remarkable man, he was a very charismatic man. He was also a profound mind. This wasn't always apparent to his colleagues or to people around him because he also had a very good sense of humor and he would make fun of things and fun of himself and disguise his deepest thoughts. He kept saying in this whole UFO business, he was the innocent bystander who got shot. He was drafted into it by the Air Force. Because they needed an astronomer and they thought, frankly, at that time, that the whole of the scientific community thought that all these sightings could be explained in one way or the other, and probably by astronomical causes. So that's how he became enrolled in the Blue Book project and gradually he developed an awareness that there was much more to the whole phenomenon, but he certainly didn't believe that it involved things like landings or actual physical objects. For example, we kept arguing about Aime Michel's finds and about reports of landings and occupants, you know, humanoids seen close to these objects, especially in France in 1954. He said, "Look Jacques, these sound like ghost stories to me. We just don't have cases like that here in America". I kept telling him, "Well, let me go through the files and I'll bet you those cases exist, they're just buried by the Air Force. They are just burying the files. So I became involved in statistical review initially, that he organized. Statistical review of the Blue Book files that he convinced the Air Force Major Quintanilla at the time to organize. This gave me the opportunity to go through the entire Blue Book file. As that process evolved, I was able to convince Dr. Hynek more and more, that this was not only relevant, but very probable, it was important to look at it with the full power of science. We then insisted that the Air Force had to do something. We were helped along the way by things like the Sacol sighting and later by the Michigan case, that focused the attention of the whole nation and in deed of Congress on the whole issue, unfortunately, the result of that, the outcome of all that was the Condon Committee at the University of Colorado and at that point, Dr. Hynek was very deeply disgusted with the whole thing and so was I. That's a thumbnail sketch of the history of that period.
Dr. Bob: Tell us more about Project Blue Book. What was it supposed to be and who were the working members?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Blue Book was never a really important project for the Air Force. It was more of a public relations project than anything else. Hynek's role in it was that of a consultant. In other words, he didn't call the shots, he wasn't saying "Well, I want to study this case." They would call him up and say somebody or the newspapers have reported something to the Air Force in North Dakota and we want you to go there and check into it. The project was always a low priority thing. It was never headed up by someone with a high rank. At the time when I met the people involved, there was one Captain, one Lieutenant and two secretaries at Wright-Patterson Air Force base in Dayton, Ohio working on the project. They were mostly keeping statistics. They wanted to be able to show Congressmen or Senators who came by that they were doing a good job really explaining all these things away to the public.
Dr. Bob: When reading the diary, I just had a wonderful time reading how you explained what they liked to do, which was to go out to bars and dance and drink.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: I was amazed at this.
Dr. Bob: And they would miss the airplane, then they'd go out to another bar and dance and miss the next airplane, right?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Yes, exactly, and I was mad because I felt this is the one chance we have of really doing something. Maybe changing the perception of the Air Force on this whole topic and doing some real science. All they wanted to do was just go out and listen to more music and drink more cocktails.
Dr. Bob: The portraits that you painted of Sgt. Moody, I'll never forget them.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: At one time, I joked with Dr. Hynek, I said, "Look, I'm going to write a book called "The Universe According to Sgt. Moody" because it was a remarkable universe where meteors made 90 degree turns, Venus rose in the north, and all kinds of strange things happened". Comets left depressions in the ground and all sorts of stuff. They could explain anything. At one time, Allen Hynek went there and said what about such and such a case, what happened to it? Sgt. Moody said, Well, I have explained it. Oh, well, what was it? He said I've explained it as an unknown. As long as I had a statistical category this case was closed. I used to go berserk with that. I would say look, these are the cases you should be passing on to scientists, you should be studying. They said no, it was just an unknown and there's only 2% unknown, so there's no reason to be alarmed in any way.
Dr. Bob: I also like some of Dr. Menzel's snap judgments on how they explain them in a half-hour, right?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Yeah, well, you can always explain any one sighting if allowed to stretch the facts a little.
Dr. Bob: Well, many researchers have suspected that Blue Book was a cover or a "white wash." When did you suspect this might be so?
Dr.Jacques Vallee: Um, that was always a topic of discussion and of course, the credit really goes to people like Major Kehoe and so on for having pointed that out, that Major Kehoe thought from the beginning from the 1950's that the whole thing was a cover up and there was a real project somewhere. He called it a "Silent Group," that was keeping the sightings hidden and keeping them from the press. Now, that of course, doesn't mean that somebody is studying it. You see, the whole subject was really an annoyance from the public relations point of view because the Air Force had this enormous budget to deploy radars and jets and everything else to protect us from something coming through the air, to invade the United States and here where those things that in many cases were not detectable on radar, flew at incredible speeds, were seen by pilots and so on and so they were afraid that, they were really afraid of panic or they were afraid of negative publicity at least that might adversely affect their budget. And so they really didn't want those observations and those sightings to get to the press. So they were actually debunking the whole issue. That doesn't necessarily mean that there was a group of scientists somewhere studying the whole thing and that of course is the issue we're still struggling with today. Frankly, I don't know where I stand on that. I think that there is certainly a building full of data some where in the Washington area that should be turned over to the scientific community and it's a crime that it's not turned over to the scientific community. That does not mean that the Pentagon necessarily has the answer to the UFO puzzle. Now to the same degree that we have all the data we want about cancer, and we still can't cure it, you know what I mean? Having all the data about a scientific problem doesn't mean you have the answer.
Plato: When did Dr. Hynek come to the realization that he was being used by the Air Force?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: I think the turning point was the time when there was a particular case that I heard about that we discussed, he knew that the Air Force had a report on it and they wouldn't show it to him. Then he just went through the roof. Another time was, and I relayed this in the diary, I was in touch, I was contacted by someone from the Italian Intelligence Service, who had been for many years compiling reports and statistics and actual investigations about UFOs and had communicated with the Air Force and project Blue Book had never been informed on that, and again, Dr. Hynek just went through the roof on that one.
Dr. Bob: We've previously talked about the Robertson Panel of 1953 and the harm it did to UFO research. Could you review for us who was on this prestigious panel and what was the purpose of its creation?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Well, you have to realize that the panel was convened secretly. It was convened overtly to assess the UFO phenomenon as a potential threat to the United States. So it was not convened to do science, they were convened to give an assessment of the potential threat. The people convened were Professor Louis Alvarez, Nobel prize in physics; Larry Berkner, leading space scientist; Sam Goudsmit, who was at the time, director of Brookehaven National Laboratory, one of the leaders of American Nuclear physics; Thorton Page, one of the most respected astronomers in the land. And the chairman was Dr. Robertson, world renown physicist at Cal Tech, California Institute of Technology. These were fairly the five most powerful physical researchers in the country. All of them had top secret clearances. The panel was convened by the Air Force but was really convened by the CIA under cover of the Air Force. Their recommendations, they spent a couple of days looking at data that was shown to them, had been selected by the Air Force. In other words, they did not do an independent assessment of the science. They were shown, they were briefed on the few selected cases. And they deliberated and gave an assessment that said essentially they didn't see that there was any threat there. They were concerned as well as the Air Force by the fact that the communications channels might be clogged up by a simulated UFO wave. In other words, a clever enemy might plant stories about flying saucers throughout the country. Those stories would then get to the military. And then the military's communications lines would be clogged up. And then real information about real threats at the time, such as an invasion by bombers coming from overseas, might go unnoticed because it would be drowned in all the noise, if you will, from this fake UFO wave. Now this sounds preposterous, but it really wasn't at the time. In 1962, there were so many cases of some sort of wave during the UFO wave of 1962. There were so many cases reported to the Air Force that in fact, some communications channels got bogged down. So their recommendation, which was secret for many years, was to actually debunk the whole subject. To educate the public to the fact that there were no such things as UFOs. And also, to infiltrate the amateur groups, the civilian organizations to make sure they were not used as a channel for various propaganda from other countries.
Plato: During your time at Northwestern, you were picking through Dr. Hynek's files on another one of those mass expenditures of time.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: I wasn't actually digging through them, I reorganized them from top to bottom.
Plato: A massive project I'm sure. But you came across an important letter referred to as the "Pentacle Letter". What did its contents divulge?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: I feel more free to talk about this now, I did not feel free to talk about it in the book because the document had a secret stamp on it. My attorney and I were unable to determine whether it was still secret today. The document was dated 1953. However, it has now been released officially and so I don't feel now under any obligation to keep it secret anymore. The document that I had, that I found in the files, was a carbon of a letter sent by an organization working under Project Stalk, which was in fact, Battelle Memorial Institute in Ohio which had been hired by the Air Force to do a very thorough, statistical investigation of the patterns in UFO sightings. Now, that investigation eventually was published as a very well known report called Report 14. What struck me was that the letter, it was a 2 page, single spaced letter, which was very, very well written by someone who obviously was very, very familiar with the scientific method. It explained what we already know by the way, that they were; Battelle at that time, was doing a massive statistical study on UFO sightings. However, it also discloses two things that have never been disclosed before. First, they have found patterns in those sightings. They wanted to go on studying before any kind of scientific panel was convened. So they were telling the CIA to stop this top secret meeting of the five scientists. Now, when I read this, I almost fell from my chair. I mean, who were these people nobody had ever heard of before? They were actually telling the CIA to stop this top secret meeting of the five leading physicists in the land. Then they, went on saying that they wanted to discuss what could and could not be told to those scientists. Now, from a, if you will, from a historical point of view or from a ufological point of view, that may or my not be significant. From a scientific point of view, it's amazing, I mean, science relies on the ability of researchers to get the data and if there is somebody who is in the background telling agencies of a government what can and cannot be told to the scientists who are hired to make an assessment of the potential threat to the security of the country; I mean, this is... this is extraordinary. And they went on to say something even more extraordinary and more ominous, although it's really not a smoking gun. But one of the paragraphs in the memo, in the Pentacle Letter, suggested before convening any panel, that they wanted to do a series of experiments, essentially to simulate UFO waves. This is not just putting cameras here and there and pointing them at the sky, and seeing what percentage of balloons are going to be recorded, and what percentage of meteors or whatever. This is actually simulating, what they were suggesting was simulating an actual UFO wave. And they said this would be on the scale of a secret military maneuver. So the question this raises is - this was 1953 - but was this actually done, and could this explain some of the more recent manipulations that we have been seeing in this field? I don't have to tell you that this field is becoming more and more bizarre. And there are more and more rumors flying around and there are more and more planted stories. People are seeing very strange things that in many cases do not match what UFOs have been known to do in years past. And so the question of possible manipulation should be raised.
Plato: So the Robertson Panel or the meeting of his five scientists could then be regarded as another cover up.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Well, I don't think these men were aware of what was going on in the background. They were briefed, the meeting went on probably because the government agencies felt that they actually had to have some guidance on the whole issue. According to Dr. Hynek, who was there, they were never briefed on the contents of that letter. They were briefed on Project Stalk, which was the Battelle work, statistical work. In other words, they were told that this work was in progress and would result in a report and in fact it did result in Report 14, which does not say anything about either concentrations of sightings in certain areas that needed to be probed further, or about simulating UFO waves to better educate scientists on how to solve the real signal from the noise in UFO waves, which was the topic of the memo. So, in other words, the five scientists made an assessment based on partial data, partial evidence and they were not briefed on the recommendations of the Pentacle, of the people writing that memo.
Dr. Bob: Well then, when did you share this knowledge of the Pentacle Letter with Dr. Hynek?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Well, I agonized over it. My first thought was, I wasn't supposed to see this at the time, I really had no excuse for having seen this. I thought I should just put it back in the file and forget it. And obviously, Dr. Hynek forgot that he ever had this, I mean this was ten years later that I found it, more than ten years, twelve years later and then I thought, I don't have the right to do that, I mean this is too important. So, I confided to a man from the University of Chicago with whom I'd been working all those years, Fred Beckman, and he was equally amazed as I was and said, "Look, we have to share this with Allen". So, we had a very, very serious long talk with Allen Hynek. And later he took notes from that document. I returned the document to him. He took notes from it and went to Battelle. He said that they just jumped on him, they said, "Look, you're not supposed to have this, this didn't happen" and they snatched the notes out of his hand. And Dr. Hynek was not one to go for confrontation, he was a very mild mannered man. He was very respectful of authority, he was respectful of the military and he decided not to pursue the matter.
Dr. Bob: What I find fascinating about this, is that for several decades, I think you saw it in 1967 or 68, Jacques, I'm not sure.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: It was, I'd have to look it up, I think it was 1967.
Dr. Bob: Well, somewhere around there, then you were aware of the possibility that there were staged UFO landings by...
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Sightings.
Dr. Bob: ... Sightings by our government. That is really, really something.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Yes, I've taken a lot of flack from the UFO community and perhaps rightly so, for calling attention to the possibility that some of those cases were fakes and I really didn't feel that I could defend myself. Because to defend myself, I'd have to pull out that memo and, you know, I'm a loyal U.S. citizen and I didn't feel I had the right to do that. So this long time has elapsed before I had the guts to tell the truth about it.
Dr. Bob: And then you say that this letter has now become unclassified or is it, how has it been brought to light?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Disseminated throughout the UFO community at this point. I mean once people knew of its existence and then they could get it and then it was out of my hands.
Dr. Bob: Well, in the May 15th issue of James Moseley's Saucer Smear, a part of your letter is printed and you note: "There are hints of on-going manipulations, of fake abductions, and even of a certain Pentacle Memorandum" suggesting that UFO history, as we know it, may have been greatly in error... " Let's depart a bit from Forbidden Science and move into some of the research found in your trilogy: Dimensions, Confrontations and Revelations published by Contemporary (Dimensions) and Ballantine Books.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: By the way, all three of them are now in mass paperback, in paperback from Ballantine.
Dr. Bob: Well friends, let me tell you friends, go out there tomorrow, purchase all three of them, don't waste any time. I'm fortunate enough to get hold of the hardbacks which are relatively expensive so to speak in this country, but when you get paperbacks that are $4.95 and you can get all three of them at one shot, that's just terrific. I'm glad to hear that Jacques. Now, when last we spoke about three years ago, we talked about the possibility that some UFO sightings may have been staged and therefore not an E.T. experience. A few weeks ago, our guest was Marc Davenport, author of Wild Flower Press's Visitors from Time: The Secret of the UFOs. Marc said he had sent you a copy of his book. Have you received it yet?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Yes, he did.
Dr. Bob: What did you think of it?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: I think it's obviously one of the theories we have to look at, one of the hypotheses we have to look at.
Dr. Bob: Well, could you give us several examples of sightings that appear to have been staged, such as say, the UMMO case?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Well, I think the UMMO case is a classic. This extends over many years but it started with letters that were sent to people. They originated all over the world. Some came from Australia, Czechoslovakia, Japan. They were sent to UFO researchers and they were allegedly from a group of extraterrestrials living here on Earth. This was validated, if you want to use that expression by a series of sightings that took place in Spain. Some of which, were proven by photograph or physical traces. Unfortunately, the photographers were never found, the physical traces were very, very bizarre and the whole thing appears to have been designed to create a cult and it was, to a large extent successful. It derailed, for many years, UFO research, serious UFO research in Spain. I found traces of it even in Argentina. There was a cult in Argentina that operated a medical clinic that claimed to have received instructions from extraterrestrials of UMMO. UMMO is supposed to be a planet going around a star called Yuma. And the letters describe the language, physics, the medicine, the philosophy and so on of that people. There are a number of alleged revelations like that floating around. If you go to any New Age bookstore, you'll find lavishly illustrated books that have photographs of crafts and everything from Sirius and the Pleiades, and all over the Universe. Of course, each time the story's a little bit different but it tends to evolve around Utopia. Essentially, planets out there, where there is no war, no poverty, no misery, they've solved all of our problem and of course, for a slight fee they will tell us how to do it here.
Dr. Bob: Now the key thing, one of the key things I want to keep stressing here is that when these stagings occur, it is to derail the other researchers, is that correct?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: There could be many reasons. You know, I have friends in the French equivalent of NASA, the CNES, who have studied the UMMO documents and they were really struck by the level of knowledge of physics that some of these documents represented. I mean, it was not all Utopia. I'm really doing a bad description of it when I use that word. Some of it was quite remarkable. They traced come of the ideas. The ideas for example, were about multi-dimensional universes and the structure of the cosmoses. They were gauged in terms of theoretical physics. Now, some of those ideas could be traced to Andre Sakarov, who was certainly one of the brightest contemporary physicists who died a couple of years ago. Those were ideas that Sakarov had never published. So they are wondering if it wasn't an intelligence group of some sort that had access to the notes of Sakarov and used that to give credibility to a group they were creating in the west. And the purposes of that could be many things. It probably doesn't have anything to do with UFOs. It could be used of course, for many other reasons such as getting scientific intelligence, all just as a cover for something else.
Dr. Bob: There's another case called Purple Justice, a possible hoax. Could you please tell us about Purple Justice Dr. Jacques Vallee?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: I think, in both cases, it was more than a hoax. I mean, a hoax conveys the idea of the witnesses themselves being lying. I think in those cases, it was much more complex, the witnesses were exposed to something that was a manipulation. The witnesses were describing it in good faith. What happened at Purple Justice (Purple Justice is an area in the Poitou in France), where in December, 1979, three young men saw some strange globes of light in the sky. And one of them disappeared. Now, he was away from the other two, he was getting into the car. He was getting the car started, this was very early in the morning. These globes of light came around the car and then the next thing that happened was that this young fellow had disappeared. The other two called the police, and the police started looking for Frans Autenne and Frans Autenne was nowhere to be found. All the police forces in France looked for him for a week and could not find him. They suspected that the other two might have murdered him, they suspected everybody and everything; they of course, did not believe the story of the globes of light coming down from the sky. They were looking for a terrestrial explanation. And exactly one week later, Frans Autenne reappeared I read and to him, only an instant had gone by. He couldn't understand why everybody was so excited and he had no awareness that a whole week had elapsed. Now, the case was, later, now I make a very long story very short here, what's fascinating is to see how different strata of society reacted to the sightings. The scientists thought that it was a hoax. The police thought that it was some kind of con game designed to get money. The media were of course all excited about it because it was a great front page story for several weeks. And ufologists were debating whether this was a real abduction or not. Most of them at the time, thought it was a real genuine abduction. If you remember, this was shortly after the Travis Walton abduction in the U.S. and it followed pretty much the same model. Now, I reinvestigated the case after interest in it had died down and my friends and I came to a very different conclusion. This young man that I interrogated, has really no idea where he spent that week. His friends have confessed that it was a hoax. They confessed, I think, because they were tired of the publicity, they were tired of being harassed, actually by everybody. They realized after a few months, that they couldn't really get any money out of it and they thought "To hell with it" you know, and they confessed that it was a hoax. There is no way, from the evidence, as it stands today, that it could have been a hoax. In other words, there is no way that they could hide this fellow for an entire week when everybody was looking for him, including his family, including journalists, including the police and what is likely to have happened, and in fact, we have an actual confession from one of the people operating the manipulation, is that he was actually abducted by humans. He was abducted by a group that was doing a test and the configuration of where it takes place shows that it would have been very easy to drug him and to take him away and to simulate the balls of light in the sky and use either a gas or a needle injection to make him unaware of his surroundings and then to keep him drugged for a week. NOW, this sounds very outlandish and very strange. It seems that this was explain UFOs. The problem that we have, is to eliminate those-cases to be on the alert for them so that we can go on looking at the real phenomenon.
Plato: Well, you just said the possibility of the staging of these 3 cases, the UMMO, the Purple Justice and the Bentwaters. You originally learned about this possibility from the Pentacle Letter in the late 60's. What is the purpose of these dramas and who do you believe is perpetrating them? How long, would you say, have they been doing this?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: There could be, well, let's speculate together, some of the reasons could be very mundane. They could have nothing to do with UFOs at all. It could just be that UFO phenomenon is a convenient target. That the belief in UFOs, the expectation of extraterrestrials is an interesting sociological fact that can be used to manipulate people and that somebody's playing with that... Now, that's only one level. Another level could be that this is done for training. For training people in staging disaster situations; it could be used as disinformation, to distract the press or the media or the scientific community away from looking at something that someone wants to keep hidden. By the way, there's a perfect example of that and this is maybe a link into the discussion of the Soviet Union, but when my book in the Soviet Union was published, Jim Oberg, who is something of a skeptic, but is really an expert on space research, wrote to me and pointed out that some of the sightings I described were probably manipulations by the KGB. And I looked back at the evidence and I think he is right in this case, as much as I don't like to agree with the skeptics, I think, in this particular case, Jim Oberg is absolutely right. There were a number of cases in 1967 in the Soviet Union, when people described in good faith, sincere witnesses described things that were like a half moon, moving in the sky. This is not typical of UFO sightings. It's an unusual shape for a UFO, especially since this happened in a large number of sightings. This was mentioned in catalogues of UFO sightings by Philip Zegow, who was an aviation expert in the Soviet Union and I quoted a number of these cases in my book. Jim Oberg told me that that half-moon was actually the double exhaust of a rocket booster that was launching, what were at the time illegal satellites. The Soviet Union had signed a treaty with the United States against launching nuclear satellites and they were, in fact, at that time, violating the treaty. Of course, they could not hide the rocket in the sky over those regions when they were launching the rocket, but they planted systematically the idea that there were UFOs in the sky on those particular nights to confuse the issue, to discredit the witnesses, and this actually worked. I'm sorry that I didn't catch that, but you learn something every day in this business.
Dr. Bob: Throughout your book, Revelations, you note that you have knowledge that the American government has created UFO-like craft as a type of monitoring device. Could you elaborate on these craft? What do they look like and ...?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: I think this is again, something that most ufologists have trouble believing. That anybody who follows for example, Aviation Week or Defense, Electronics or any of the high-tech magazines will actually see photographs of those things. I mean, some of them are, I'm sure some of them are classified. But many of them are not, for example, there are small spheres about one meter, you know, 3 or 4 feet in diameter, that can hover, they can move in any direction, almost silently or in some cases silently. They are used as ranging devices. For example, if you are going to fire a missile over a certain area in a battlefield, you need to know the exact direction and range of the target. And you're not in direct view of the target at that point, these devices will carry lasers and ranging devices that will identify the target for you and guide the missile. Those things have been, you know, technically achievable certainly for the last ten years. These can be used for reconnaissance, they could carry a camera. They're essentially platforms, remotely piloted platforms, that can, that are highly maneuverable.
Dr. Bob: So, some can, are in the area of 8 inches up to 3 feet spheres? Is that correct Jacques?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: I think they would be at least 1 foot, I don't. have exact knowledge of this, ok? And I'm not privy to those characteristics. But, the ones that I know about, would be in the range of 1 to 4 feet. Of course, there is a whole range of remotely piloted vehicles that are well documented in Jane's catalogs for example, that have been used since WWII and those are essentially model airplanes or model helicopters that can carry devices that can be piloted by radio. Those have been in existence for a long time and they're well known.
Dr. Bob: In the failed Desert One operation of April, 1980, organized by the Carter Administration in an attempt to rescue the American hostages from Teheran, it was reported that one of these platforms for non-lethal weapons was put to use. Could you tell us about these reports and what such a platform would accomplish?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Well, from what-more and more information is now being released, I think, about non-lethal platforms. Of course, those range over wide spectrum of capabilities. One of the more intriguing capabilities would be one to, would be to do what UFOs have been reported to do, namely to paralyze people at a distance. And this is perhaps where we should go back and look at history a little bit more carefully and see when some of that research may have started and whether or not it was inspired by observations of UFOs, because UFOs, of course, since the 40's have been described as being able to stop cars at a distance. Very often the witness will say, well, I was driving along on the highway and my car died and I got out to see what was wrong, and then I, this object came into view from behind a hill or something. In many cases, witnesses describe being paralyzed or even losing consciousness, or being, having a missing time effect., All of these effects can now be explained or emulated with physical technology that we have. Now, this certainly was not true in the 40's or the 50's or the 60's , and probably not the 70's. But, using pulsed microwaves, it's possible to create some of these effects. Using the full range of electromagnetic radiation, you certainly can cause physiological effects that can go from paralysis to death. So, it is quite within the range of what's conceivable that those stories about Teheran would be true. There would have been a plan or scenario at least, to deploy some of those weapons. For example, to paralyze the guards long enough for a commando to land and take the hostages away. This would have been a very high risk operation because I don't know to what extent these weapons have been actually tested at the time, but this certainly would be an interesting thing to follow as new information gets disseminated about those capabilities.
Dr. Bob: Was the size of that platform in the area of 30 feet?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: That's what I had heard, but I don't really have a reliable source for that.
Dr. Bob: That's an interesting same size that's repeated throughout UFO observations. Could the Roswell Incident actually have been one of these craft?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: No. No. Whatever happened at Roswell and frankly, I don't have a personal conclusion about Roswell, except that I'm very skeptical until proof of the contrary. I have an open mind on it but, I'm skeptical of the idea that it was a UFO. There is no, you see, there is a logical flow in the way these questions are approached. We say something fell at Roswell and there was a coverup, by the Air Force, therefore, it was a flying saucer. Now, the first term is true, I mean, something did fall on this guy's ranch. There's no question about it. Some massive amount of material fell on his ranch, and it's true that the Air Force pulled out this ridiculous explanation that this was some weather balloon. Those two things are true. But, you cannot say, therefore it was a flying saucer. All you can say is that it was something else, something that was not a weather balloon. And, then it could have been a number of things. One of the things it could have been, is a flying saucer, but we already don't have any proof of that and in fact, the material that was described and the shape and so on, none of that matches what we would expect UFOs to do. For example, the material was very flimsy. The shape was not round or oval, after that, the story becomes very confused. I think that all of us, a couple of years ago hoped that there would be a, very quickly there would be, with the amount of research that has been done, there would be an answer to that and the answer has not been forthcoming.
Dr. Bob: Uh huh, well, Richard in Baltimore called us to tell us that New York Times today as a matter of fact, had a story, at least, he doesn't give us a title of it, but, it's about the Pentagon and the CIA keeping information in secret. And they have a line in there about "more than a few people believe a UFO crashed in Roswell in 1947." But, there was nothing more in the article about UFOs and that's one of the reasons we wanted to make sure-we touched on that.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Well, it's true that many people believe that. One of the remarkable things about the Pentacle paper, Pentacle memo, is what it doesn't say. You see, these people, presumably were briefed on everything that the Air Force knew about UFOs. That's not necessarily, completely true, but, we have to, from the context, it seems that they had very, very complete information and yet they, at no point do they mention hardware or any kind of captured artifacts.
Dr. Bob: Well, Charles, also from east Baltimore, he asks, do you express any validity in the references to UFOs in the Bible?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: When you look at this phenomenon, you have to ask, when did it start? Did it start at WWII? We know that there were cases before WWII. I have, some of my readers have written to me cases dating back to the 30's or 20's. I've mentioned some of those cases in my books. I've actually researched some of those cases. In the 19th century, there were waves of sightings. I found waves of sightings in the French chronicles of the 9th century in the archives of the church in Lyon, for example, in Lyon, France. That's where the term Magonia comes from. People then thought that the creatures they saw in the, what they called the cloud ships, came from the land of Magonia, which was a magical land above the clouds. Of course, you can go all the way back to the Bible. The Bible is full of references to pillars of fire and things in the sky.
Dr. Bob: So, you're not opposed to that idea at all.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: That is a valid area of speculation as long as you realize that we don't really have a good context for that. For example, the Ezekiel sighting. The Ezekiel description is absolutely amazing and I took it to an expert in Middle Eastern religion at Stanford in the Humanities department, who went back to the original text and said that there were words in that description that did not occur anywhere else in the Bible. So, Ezekiel was obviously at a loss for words at describing what he saw. If you remember, what he described was essentially an abduction.
Dr. Bob: Well, before we run out of time, friends, there is so much great information in this trilogy. And we're talking more about Revelations than the other books. But, in the appendix of Revelations, you list five arguments against ET origins of UFOs. I think these are enormously important. I'll just mention them and you can just fill in between the lines since these are yours.
1. Unexplained close encounters are far more numerous than required for any physical survey of the Earth.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Yes, well, again you see, there is this logical, this apparently logical argument that says, UFOs seem to exist, the phenomenon is not explained, therefore, we are being visited by aliens from outer space. Well, I don't buy the "Therefore." We do have an unknown phenomenon. I would argue that it seems to be caused by known human consciousness. A form of consciousness we have not identified before. That does not mean necessarily that we are being visited by aliens from outer space. There are other possibilities that are even more exciting. The five arguments of course, we would always have to consider the possibility that these come from outer space. I believe that there is life throughout the universe as certainly, I have not forgotten the lessons of astronomy. I think that life exists on other stars, other solar systems. But these five arguments are that, first, there are just too many landings, millions and millions of landings that simply cannot be explained by a physical survey of our planet. (2nd) The humanoid body structure of these aliens is a contradiction to the idea that they originated on another completely different physical environment - I mean, look at the variety of beings with whom we share the Earth'. I mean, the giraffes and the whales and the mosquitoes and so on. And yet, these beings coming associated with UFOs seem to be humanoid. They seem to breath our air and even be assimilated in our culture. Number 3, the abduction reports are absurd. The abduction reports, and here I am really, I disagree completely with the thesis that the abductions represent the creation of a hybrid species or a biological experiment, because we would already know (with the genetic engineering technology that we have here on Earth) we would know how to do that without creating any trauma, without abducting millions of people in the middle of the night.
Dr. Bob: Well, we're almost out of time. Number 4, you've basically covered, but number 5...
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Number 4 would be that fact that the phenomenon occurred throughout history and also the ability to manipulate space and time suggests that we're dealing with a phenomenon that can manipulate dimensions. And, that's why I'm really excited about it. Because, I think that's where we can do some new science.
Dr. Bob: Well, so do I.
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Giving us a wonderful opportunity to do some good science.
Dr. Bob: Well, Dr. Jacques Vallee, I want to thank you. Boy, of course we couldn't get to all the other questions. We didn't touch on the Soviet Union and UFOs, etc. But I want to thank you for joining us tonight on 21st Century Radio. And we hope that you'll be joining us in the years to come. Please say hello to your lovely wife and children who are actually having children now too, huh? Isn't that lovely?
Dr. Jacques Vallee: Thanks for the opportunity to have this dialogue with you.
Dr. Bob: Many of you friends out there have asked me time and again, who I would recommend reading first in the ufological research. Now you know and now you know why. Dr. Jacques Vallee's books, Forbidden Science, North Atlantic Books, Confrontations, Revelations, and UFO Chronicles of the Soviet Union by Ballantine Books and Dimensions from Contemporary Books. Get them as soon as you can. Put them in your library. Click on the titles of the in-print books to order them directly from Amazon.com. Your best bet for finding the out-of-print books is Arcturus Books at http://www.ufocity.com/arcturus/index. Click here for ordering information for tapes of Dr. Jacques Vallee's interviews on 21st Century Radio. Today (August 2000) my son, Plato Hieronimus, is a budding writer living in Los Angeles. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.