Jacques Vallée

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Jacques F. Vallée
Allen Hynek Jacques Vallee 1.jpg
Jacques Vallée (right) with J. Allen Hynek
Born (1939-09-24) September 24, 1939 (age 74)
Pontoise, Val-d'Oise, France
Occupation Computer scientist
Ufologist

Jacques Fabrice Vallée (French: [vale]; born September 24, 1939) is a venture capitalist, computer scientist, author, ufologist and former astronomer currently residing in San Francisco, California.

In mainstream science, Vallée is notable for co-developing the first computerized mapping of Mars for NASA and for his work at SRI International on the network information center for the ARPANET, a precursor to the modern Internet. Vallée is also an important figure in the study of unidentified flying objects (UFOs), first noted for a defense of the scientific legitimacy of the extraterrestrial hypothesis and later for promoting the interdimensional hypothesis.

Life and career[edit]

Vallée was born in Pontoise, France. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the Sorbonne, followed by his Master of Science in astrophysics from the University of Lille. He began his professional life as an astronomer at the Paris Observatory in 1961. He was awarded the Jules Verne Prize for his first science-fiction novel in French.

He moved to the United States in 1962 and began working in astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin, at whose MacDonald Observatory he worked on NASA's first project making a detailed informational map of Mars.

In 1967, Vallée received a Ph.D. in computer science from Northwestern University. While at the Institute for the Future from 1972 to 1976 he was a principal investigator on the large NSF project for computer networking, which developed one of the first conferencing systems, Planning Network (PLANET),[1] on the ARPANET many years before the Internet was formed.

He has also served on the National Advisory Committee of the University of Michigan College of Engineering and was involved in early work on artificial intelligence.

Vallée has authored four books on high technology, including Computer Message Systems, Electronic Meetings, The Network Revolution, and The Heart of the Internet.

Along with his mentor, astronomer J. Allen Hynek, Vallée carefully studied the phenomenon of UFOs for many years and served as the real-life model for the character portrayed by François Truffaut in Steven Spielberg’s film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.[2]

His research has taken him to countries all over the world. Considered one of the leading experts in UFO phenomena, Vallée has written several scientific books on the subject.

His current endeavours include his involvement in SBV Ventures,[3] a venture capital fund, as a general partner. He and SBV's other general partner, Graham Burnette,[4] are also in the early stages of launching a second venture capital fund.

He is married and has two children.

Venture capital activity[edit]

A venture capitalist since 1982, Vallée has co-founded four venture capital funds, notably the Euro-America family of venture partnerships, specializing in high technology. As a general partner in these funds, he has spearheaded early-stage investments in over 60 startup companies, 18 of which have become traded on the public markets, either through IPOs or acquisitions. They include:

UFO research and academic work[edit]

In May 1955, Vallée first sighted an unidentified flying object over his Pontoise home. Six years later in 1961, while working on the staff of the French Space Committee, Vallée witnessed the destruction of the tracking tapes of an unknown object orbiting the earth. The particular object was a retrograde satellite – that is, a satellite orbiting the earth in the opposite direction to the earth's rotation. At the time he observed this, there were no rockets powerful enough to launch such a satellite, so the team was quite excited as they assumed that the Earth's gravity had captured a natural satellite (asteroid). A superior came and erased the tape. These events contributed to Vallée's long-standing interest in the UFO phenomenon.

In the mid-1960s, like many other UFO researchers, Vallée initially attempted to validate the popular Extraterrestrial Hypothesis (or ETH). Leading UFO researcher Jerome Clark[5] argues that Vallée's first two UFO books were among the most scientifically sophisticated defenses of the ETH ever mounted.

However, by 1969, Vallée's conclusions had changed, and he publicly stated that the ETH was too narrow and ignored too much data. Vallée began exploring the commonalities between UFOs, cults, religious movements, demons, angels, ghosts, cryptid sightings, and psychic phenomena. Speculation about these potential links were first detailed in Vallée's third UFO book, Passport to Magonia: From Folklore to Flying Saucers.

As an alternative to the extraterrestrial visitation hypothesis, Vallée has suggested a multidimensional visitation hypothesis. This hypothesis represents an extension of the ETH where the alleged extraterrestrials could be potentially from anywhere. The entities could be multidimensional beyond space-time, and thus could coexist with humans, yet remain undetected.

Vallée's opposition to the popular ETH hypothesis was not well received by prominent U.S. ufologists, hence he was viewed as something of an outcast. Indeed, Vallée refers to himself as a "heretic among heretics".

Vallée's opposition to the ETH theory is summarised in his paper, "Five Arguments Against the Extraterrestrial Origin of Unidentified Flying Objects", Journal of Scientific Exploration, 1990:

Scientific opinion has generally followed public opinion in the belief that unidentified flying objects either do not exist (the "natural phenomena hypothesis") or, if they do, must represent evidence of a visitation by some advanced race of space travellers (the extraterrestrial hypothesis or "ETH"). It is the view of the author that research on UFOs need not be restricted to these two alternatives. On the contrary, the accumulated data base exhibits several patterns tending to indicate that UFOs are real, represent a previously unrecognized phenomenon, and that the facts do not support the common concept of "space visitors." Five specific arguments articulated here contradict the ETH:

  1. unexplained close encounters are far more numerous than required for any physical survey of the earth;
  2. the humanoid body structure of the alleged "aliens" is not likely to have originated on another planet and is not biologically adapted to space travel;
  3. the reported behavior in thousands of abduction reports contradicts the hypothesis of genetic or scientific experimentation on humans by an advanced race;
  4. the extension of the phenomenon throughout recorded human history demonstrates that UFOs are not a contemporary phenomenon; and
  5. the apparent ability of UFOs to manipulate space and time suggests radically different and richer alternatives.

Vallée has contributed to the investigation of the Miracle at Fatima and Marian apparitions. His work has been used to support the Fatima UFO Hypothesis. Vallée is one of the first people to speculate publicly about the possibility that the "solar dance" at Fatima was a UFO. The idea of UFOs was not unknown in 1917, but most of the people in attendance at the Fatima apparitions would not have attributed the claimed phenomena there to UFOs, let alone to extraterrestrials. Vallée has also speculated about the possibility that other religious apparitions may have been the result of UFO activity including Our Lady of Lourdes and the revelations to Joseph Smith. Vallée and other researchers have advocated further study of unusual phenomena in the academic community. They don't believe that this should be handled solely by theologians.[6][7][8]

Film appearance[edit]

In the Steven Spielberg film Close Encounters of the Third Kind Vallée served as the model for the French researcher character, Lacombe (François Truffaut).[9]

In 1979, Robert Emenegger and Alan Sandler updated their 1974 UFOs, Past, Present and Future documentary with new 1979 footage narrated by Jacques Vallée. The updated version is entitled "UFOs: It Has Begun".

Jacques Vallée attempted to interest Spielberg in an alternative explanation for the phenomenon. In an interview on Conspire.com, Vallée said, "I argued with him that the subject was even more interesting if it wasn't extraterrestrials. If it was real, physical, but not ET. So he said, 'You're probably right, but that's not what the public is expecting — this is Hollywood and I want to give people something that's close to what they expect.'"[10]

Interpretation of the UFO evidence[edit]

Vallée proposes that there is a genuine UFO phenomenon, partly associated with a form of non-human consciousness that manipulates space and time. The phenomenon has been active throughout human history, and seems to masquerade in various forms to different cultures. In his opinion, the intelligence behind the phenomenon attempts social manipulation by using deception on the humans with whom they interact.

Vallée also proposes that a secondary aspect of the UFO phenomenon involves human manipulation by humans. Witnesses of UFO phenomena undergo a manipulative and staged spectacle, meant to alter their belief system, and eventually, influence human society by suggesting alien intervention from outer space. The ultimate motivation for this deception is probably a projected major change of human society, the breaking down of old belief systems and the implementation of new ones. Vallée states that the evidence, if carefully analyzed, suggests an underlying plan for the deception of mankind by means of unknown, highly advanced methods. Vallée states that it is highly unlikely that governments actually conceal alien evidence, as the popular myth suggests. Rather, it is much more likely that that is exactly what the manipulators want us to believe. Vallée feels the entire subject of UFOs is mystified by charlatans and science fiction. He advocates a stronger and more serious involvement of science in the UFO research and debate.[11] Only this can reveal the true nature of the UFO phenomenon.

View of UFO investigative efforts[edit]

Vallée is often highly critical of UFO investigators overall, both believers and skeptics, asserting that what often passes for an acceptable level of investigation in a UFO context would be considered sloppy and seriously inadequate investigation in other fields. He has pointed out logical flaws and methodological flaws common in such research. Unlike many critics of UFO investigative efforts, his critiques are not condescending and dismissive and he indicates that he is simply interested in good science.[citation needed]

Books[edit]

Finance[edit]

Vallée, Jacques (January 2001). The Four Elements of Financial Alchemy: A New Formula for Personal Prosperity (1st paperback ed.). Ten Speed Press. p. 195 pp. ISBN 1-58008-218-1. 

Novels[edit]

Jacques Vallée has also written four science fiction novels, the first two under the pseudonym of Jérôme Sériel:

  • Le Sub-Espace [Sub-Space] (1961)
  • Le Satellite Sombre [The Dark Satellite] (1963)
  • Alintel (as Jacques Vallée) (1986) (provided partial basis for Fastwalker)
  • La Mémoire de Markov (as Jacques Vallée) (1986)

Technical books[edit]

  • Computer Message Systems (hardcover ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill (Data Communications Book Series). August 1984. p. 163 pp. ISBN 0-07-051031-8. 
  • Johansen, Robert; Valles, Jacques and Spangler, Kathi (July 1979). Electronic Meetings: Technical Alternatives. Addison-Wesley Series on Decision Support (1st hardcover ed.). Addison-Wesley Publ. Co., Inc. p. 244 pp. ISBN 0-201-03478-6. 
  • The Network Revolution - confessions of a computer scientist (paperback ed.). England: Penguin Books. 1982. p. 213 pp. ISBN 0-14-007117-2. 
  • The Heart of the Internet

UFO books[edit]

  • Anatomy of a phenomenon: unidentified objects in space – a scientific appraisal (1st hardcover ed.). NTC/Contemporary Publishing. January 1965. ISBN 0-8092-9888-0. 
Reissue: UFO's In Space: Anatomy of A Phenomenon (paperback reissue ed.). Ballantine Books. April 1987. p. 284. ISBN 0-345-34437-5. 
  • Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma – with Janine Vallée (1966)
  • Passport to Magonia: From Folklore to Flying Saucers. Chicago, IL, U.S.A.: Publ. Henry Regnery Co. 1969. 
  • The Invisible College : What a Group of Scientists Has Discovered About UFO Influences on the Human Race (1st ed.). 1975. 
  • The Edge of Reality – Jacques Vallée and Dr. J. Allen Hynek (1975)
  • Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults (paperback ed.). Ronin Publ. June 1979. p. 243. ISBN 0-915904-38-1. 
  • Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact (1st ed.). Contemporary Books. April 1988. p. 304. ISBN 0-8092-4586-8. 
  • Confrontations – A Scientist's Search for Alien Contact (1st ed.). Ballantine Books. March 1990. p. 263 hardcover. ISBN 0-345-36453-8. 
  • Revelations: Alien Contact and Human Deception (1st ed.). Ballantine Books. September 1991. p. 273 hardcover. ISBN 0-345-37172-0. 
  • UFO Chronicles of the Soviet Union : A Cosmic Samizdat (1992)
  • Forbidden Science: Journals, 1957-1969 (1992)
  • Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times (1st ed.). Tarcher. 2010. p. 528 paperback. ISBN 1-58542-820-5. 

Research papers[edit]

Film appearances[edit]

  • UFOs: It Has Begun (1979)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "PLANET – IRC History, ARPANET Chat, Conferencing, Jacques Vallee, Internet".
  2. ^ Jacques Vallee, Dimensions (1988), page 269.
  3. ^ SBV Ventures
  4. ^ Graham Burnette on SBV
  5. ^ Clark, Jerome, The UFO Encyclopedia: 2nd Edition; Volume 1, A-K; Omnigraphics, Inc, 1998, ISBN 0-7808-0097-4
  6. ^ Joaquim Fernandes, Fernando Fernandes and Raul Berenguel, Fatima Revisited (2008) p.186-200
  7. ^ Jacques Vallee, Anatomy of a Phenomenon 1965 p.148-51
  8. ^ Jacques Vallee, Dimensions 1988/2008 p.195-205
  9. ^ http://www.filmsite.org/clos.html
  10. ^ Mack White, "Heretic Among Heretics"
  11. ^ Jacques Vallée, Revelations. Ballantine Books, 1991, p.247-252

External links[edit]