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Debunking Jacques Vallee

BoyintheMachine

Paranormal Maven
Okay, Valle's influence over Hynek and how he effected Ufology is talked about circa the 45 minute mark in the following documentary. It's short but it's explained that Vallee's work gave rise to the psycho-social hypothesis of UFOs, i.e "It's all in their head".

 
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manxman

Paranormal Adept
You stated we don't have the science to understand it. That is part of this anti-science Ufological mumbo jumbo/jargon that is used as an excuse. As I stated earlier, that excuse does not hold up to scrutiny.

We do have the science to understand it. However, by it's very nature we are dealing with a superior intelligence, not an inferior intelligence. People don't appreciate how difficult it is to prove the existence of a superior race. Since people don't get immediate satisfaction they then jump to magical explanations.
Ive never thought about it quite like that, but i am now.
.
 

Double Nought Spy

May I please go back to the zoo now?
Vallee is clearly one of those thinkers whose proliferating ideas call for competent and comprehensive explication by someone who has read and understood everything he's written and can present his thought to those of us who haven't read all that Vallee has written. Is there such a book available now? In the academic world such interpretation and explication is usually provided by one or more of the advanced students of major thinkers and theorists. It may be that, working outside of an academic community, Vallee has not had the benefit of attentive exponents of his works.
One of the great things about Vallee's work is his writing ability. He is not only a first-class thinker, but his writing is lucid and accessible. He seems to do it effortlessly, but I'm sure it's more a matter of his willingness to do the work required. But then you have to have a clear head and some talent to do what he does. Some dingbats will accuse me of worshiping him, but that's as silly as anything in this thread. He has earned the respect of millions of us who have read his work and have taken the time to think about it in an open minded way. Is he right about everything? Of course not, but then he doesn't make many claims and he certainly avoids writing or speaking in absolutes, as any respectable scientist does. That's the realm of internet trolls and other halfwits.

As far as what to read, Chris is probably the one to make those recommendations. I'm not current on what's in print and it's been a while since I've read any of his books. I'm sure most of them are not hard to find used, but Forbidden Science is not the easiest thing to find, especially the first edition. The trilogy, Dimensions; Confrontations; and Revelations (I think those are the titles) might be a good intro. He does not use jargon, overly technical language of any sort unless he is writing a formal paper or something. It's a bit like Hemingway: intimidating until you actually read it. There is a fair amount of repetition if you read a lot of his work, but that is to be expected given the subject matter and his approach. Try it. I think you'll like it.
 

Wade

FeralNormal master
Okay, Valle's influence over Hynek and how he effected Ufology is talked about circa the 45 minute mark in the following documentary. It's short but it's explained that Vallee's work gave rise to the psycho-social hypothesis of UFOs, i.e "It's all in their head".

Not Jung ?



Responding to a query about his then yet to be released book Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies,


The problem of the Ufos is, as you rightly say, a very fascinating one, but it is as puzzling as it is fascinating; since, in spite of all observations I know of, there is no certainty about their very nature. On the other side, there is an overwhelming material pointing to their legendary or mythological aspect. As a matter of fact the psychological aspect is so impressive, that one almost must regret that the Ufos seem to be real after all. I have followed up the literature as much as possible and it looks to me as if something were seen and even confirmed by radar, but nobody knows exactly what is seen. In consideration of the psychological aspect of the phenomenon I have written a booklet about it, which is soon to appear. It is also in the process of being translated into English. Unfortunately being occupied with other tasks I am unable to meet your proposition. Being rather old, I have to economize my energies.
 
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BoyintheMachine

Paranormal Maven
Not Jung ?

Responding to a query about his then yet to be released book Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies,


The problem of the Ufos is, as you rightly say, a very fascinating one, but it is as puzzling as it is fascinating; since, in spite of all observations I know of, there is no certainty about their very nature. On the other side, there is an overwhelming material pointing to their legendary or mythological aspect. As a matter of fact the psychological aspect is so impressive, that one almost must regret that the Ufos seem to be real after all. I have followed up the literature as much as possible and it looks to me as if something were seen and even confirmed by radar, but nobody knows exactly what is seen. In consideration of the psychological aspect of the phenomenon I have written a booklet about it, which is soon to appear. It is also in the process of being translated into English. Unfortunately being occupied with other tasks I am unable to meet your proposition. Being rather old, I have to economize my energies.

I agree that Jung contributed but it was Vallee who really set the stage on fire. It was a novel thing back then. It was more of a consequence thing. What Vallee was describing led to the creation of the psychological-social explanation because it was much simpler to believe in than what Vallee was proposing.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Vallée is not anti-science - he's freed up scientific thinking to allow for the possibility of other sciences we've just started to consider to be applied.
P.S. you totally miss the point of Vallée, and his own evolution of thinking on the subject - it's never been about it all just being in your head, though I do believe a good chunk of the paranormal & UFO experience is caught up in sociological history and how it interacts with our neurochemistry.
I agree that Vallee is not 'anti-science'. It's clear that while pursuing the effects of ufos on consciousness he has continued to personally investigate cases of ufo sightings, landings, physical traces, etc., recognizing that there is indeed a physical aspect to many ufos. A number of physicists, including physicists at NASA, continue to explore the possible physics of ufos and ufo propulsion that so far elude our species' current understanding of physical nature. I also applaud Vallee's attempt to turn ufo inquiry toward additional consideration of what we might learn about ufos through their effects on human consciousness and mind. But BIMT is correct, I think, in observing that Vallee's thinking in that direction has trickled down to popular culture in an oversimplied way, motivating an impulse to dismiss ufo research pointing to the physical reality of some ufos -- a problem, a real situation, yet to be understood by science and accounted for to the mass of humanity.

P.S. you totally miss the point of Vallée, and his own evolution of thinking on the subject - it's never been about it all just being in your head, though I do believe a good chunk of the paranormal & UFO experience is caught up in sociological history and how it interacts with our neurochemistry.
We live in a physical world but our experiences in it are often inexplicable in physically material terms, suggesting that we are open to, capable of experiencing, dimensions of reality beyond the materiality of our local environments. The 130-year history of psychical and parapsychological research concerns itself not only with recording and investigating reports of inexplicable experiences and events [both experimental and spontaneous events] but, more importantly, with assessing the veridicality of what is learned or demonstrated in those experiences, experiments, and events. Neither sociology nor neuroscience can account for the gap between our material existence and our psychic abilities. UFO-psychical research needs to be informed of and apply what has been learned in psychical and parapsychological research to date. Who among the leading spokespersons of the new Vallee-inspired direction in ufo studies is engaging all that prior research? If no one is doing that, the popular discussion along these lines will remain at the level of pure speculation about intentional powers or entities 'messing with us'. Note that psychical and parapsychological researchers do not postulate such entitities to account for anomalous psychical experiences but study the experiences themselves. Perhaps Vallee or another opinion leader has suggested that what has been learned in psychical research should be applied to ufo-psychical speculations. If so, that suggestion should be followed.

Vallee ultimately inflicted a serious blow to Ufology for insisting that UFOs aren't "real", aren't nuts and bolts. Because of Vallee scientists left Ufology in droves and the "psycho-social hypothesis" of UFOs was formed.
I have to agree. It isn't a question of Vallee's intentions but of how the full meaning and significance of what he has researched and theorized has trickled down in broad and apparently distorted strokes in popular perception (and also provided science in general with an excuse to continue ignoring ufo phenomena). In fact, he is the one with the obligation to clarify what he actually believes at this point. Failing that, he needs the services of a capable exponent of his published writings to do that for him.
 

BoyintheMachine

Paranormal Maven
Constance,

If you are reading this, Vallee basically was very similar to Keel and others in that he proposed there was a mysterious phenomenon that was using fairies, ghosts, demons, gods, angels, and aliens in order to manipulate us throughout time. So this mysterious phenomenon was none of these things but was just using them like puppets. And Vallee has talked about the art work on the book cover:



Vallee said that originally the grey alien was a puppet with a human arm inside it, manipulating the grey puppet as it manipulated the masks. So ultimately Vallee's beliefs were very similar to Keel that we are being manipulated by something that is pretending to be multiple things.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
One of the great things about Vallee's work is his writing ability. He is not only a first-class thinker, but his writing is lucid and accessible. He seems to do it effortlessly, but I'm sure it's more a matter of his willingness to do the work required. But then you have to have a clear head and some talent to do what he does. Some dingbats will accuse me of worshiping him, but that's as silly as anything in this thread. He has earned the respect of millions of us who have read his work and have taken the time to think about it in an open minded way. Is he right about everything? Of course not, but then he doesn't make many claims and he certainly avoids writing or speaking in absolutes, as any respectable scientist does. That's the realm of internet trolls and other halfwits.

As far as what to read, Chris is probably the one to make those recommendations. I'm not current on what's in print and it's been a while since I've read any of his books. I'm sure most of them are not hard to find used, but Forbidden Science is not the easiest thing to find, especially the first edition. The trilogy, Dimensions; Confrontations; and Revelations (I think those are the titles) might be a good intro. He does not use jargon, overly technical language of any sort unless he is writing a formal paper or something. It's a bit like Hemingway: intimidating until you actually read it. There is a fair amount of repetition if you read a lot of his work, but that is to be expected given the subject matter and his approach. Try it. I think you'll like it.
I think what you write there bears out my argument that Vallee needs to articulate his ideas in a single volume, or get a competent researcher and writer to do that for him and publish it with his endorsement. I doubt that millions of people have read all of Vallee, and presently not all of his books are in print. If they were, millions of people would not read them. We live in a big world booming with new ideas and developments in many fields that we all want to keep up with. If Vallee is the most important thinker regarding ufos, most of us need to be presented with the reasons why. I see a lot of generalizations and hand-waving here and in some other sites about Vallee's significance but very little effort to demonstrate that significance. I think Vallee's followers might be at risk of becoming something rather like a hermetic cult, speaking only to one another.
 

Heidi Lemmer

Paranormal Adept
Okay, Valle's influence over Hynek and how he effected Ufology is talked about circa the 45 minute mark in the following documentary. It's short but it's explained that Vallee's work gave rise to the psycho-social hypothesis of UFOs, i.e "It's all in their head".

Excellent vid.
 

Heidi Lemmer

Paranormal Adept
I think what you write there bears out my argument that Vallee needs to articulate his ideas in a single volume, or get a competent researcher and writer to do that for him and publish it with his endorsement. I doubt that millions of people have read all of Vallee, and presently not all of his books are in print. If they were, millions of people would not read them. We live in a big world booming with new ideas and developments in many fields that we all want to keep up with. If Vallee is the most important thinker regarding ufos, most of us need to be presented with the reasons why. I see a lot of generalizations and hand-waving here and in some other sites about Vallee's significance but very little effort to demonstrate that significance. I think Vallee's followers might be at risk of becoming something rather like a hermetic cult, speaking only to one another.
That's what I've been seeing also. But hey, nothing like seeing 50 images of mystical nothing after reading a bunch of pilot reports.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Constance,

If you are reading this, Vallee basically was very similar to Keel and others in that he proposed there was a mysterious phenomenon that was using fairies, ghosts, demons, gods, angels, and aliens in order to manipulate us throughout time. So this mysterious phenomenon was none of these things but was just using them like puppets. And Vallee has talked about the art work on the book cover:



Vallee said that originally the grey alien was a puppet with a human arm inside it, manipulating the grey puppet as it manipulated the masks. So ultimately Vallee's beliefs were very similar to Keel that we are being manipulated by something that is pretending to be multiple things.
So ultimately Vallee's beliefs were very similar to Keel that we are being manipulated by something that is pretending to be multiple things.

Thanks. I had gathered most of that from what Burnt has written here. And wondered why an apparently sizeable group of people find that hypothesis persuasive.
 

Double Nought Spy

May I please go back to the zoo now?
If you can't be troubled to read any of it, then you probably shouldn't be arguing about it. Read Passport to Magonia. It's old, but still good.
 

Heidi Lemmer

Paranormal Adept
I actually went back to it and started reading it again to better understand the OP as my understanding of Vallée, thorough researcher that he is, that he is trying to draw express parallels between the modern UFO experience and the borderlines between humans and elves, spirits, faeiries, demons etc. as expressed in our lengthy history of mythology, folklore and the recorded stories across time that recount similar strange encounters. He's not trying to sell Magonia as ET so much as positing Magonia as a central metaphor for understanding the human relationship to these otherworldly parts of human imagination. The 900 cases listed in that text along with his wonderful detailed selections of UFO encounters are juxtaposed quite smartly up against very similar tales in the folkloric literature. These memorates are defining features of our persistent encounters with what appears to be otherworldly beings. Magonia, IMHO, is just a placeholder for a modern myth in the making.

Yes, in the past demons could be great stand ins for the greys, for the succubus that comes for us in the night. And you can also see how Keel, in his own crotchety manner, would place even more emphasis on the demonic aspects of these encounters - that was his own perspective on the narratives as he understood them, the way that Jacobs sees the imminent hybrid takeover, or Mack saw them as internal experiences. If anything, Vallée is much more flexible, evolving and probing in his imaginative approaches to the conundrum, but the one thing he is not is a slack academic.
The focus, be it Vallee, be it government, debunkers, hoaxers, you name it....is less on the phenomenon and instead on the witness. I've heard Vallee countless times say he does not know what the UFO is so I don't see him as a wedge in this issue. But what I do see is people who pull away from the actual accounts /reports and grab on to people like Vallee as their shield from this "unknown." Just as people grab onto Menzel, Klass and Pinty for the idea that all reports can be explained most likely by an ordinary event. The tiresome thing about all of this.... we spent countless years sidestepping the science before anyone notices that the entire field has been hijacked , long ago.....simply because of fear and impatience.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
That's what I've been seeing also. But hey, nothing like seeing 50 images of mystical nothing after reading a bunch of pilot reports.
Right. I've been through both Richard Haines's and Dominique Weinstein's catalogues of pilot sightings, as well as other extensive databases of sightings in general (including Bill Chalker's) and of physical traces of ufos (Ted Phillips). The pressure of the assembled data leaves one with no option but to recognize the consistency and seriousness of the physical reality of some ufos. I recently read, I think in something by Michael Swords, that another researcher is in the process of constructing a database of radar and other EM confirmations of evidently physically real ufos in cases and investigations over the last 65 years. I personally find all of this to be research of the most interesting and pressing type and am perplexed by calls for its abandonment..
 

Double Nought Spy

May I please go back to the zoo now?
I just looked, and as I thought, a lot of the fun stuff is in Dimensions and Confrontations. They are worth reading just for the excellent field work in them. Yes, Vallee actually goes out and talks to witnesses, measures things, talks to the local authorities, digs into meteorological records, you know, all the things a competent investigator does. Chapter 11 in Confrontations is called "Happy Camp" and has some of my favorite weirdness of all time in it, including my all time favorite Men in Black episode. It's funny as hell. Those two books are aimed at the mass market, and did quite well as I recall. The third in the trilogy, Revelations, is full of dark gummint stuff that is pretty unsettling. True to his ideals of going where the evidence leads him, Vallee examines all of it, no matter how weird or unpleasant it may be.

Edit: Constance, you posted while I was typing. What pisses a lot of us off about the distorted claims of what Vallee says and believes is the idiotic claim that he says the phenomenon is not real. I have no idea where these geniuses get that idea. I think it comes from a deep seated inability in the nuts and bolts fundamentalists to deal with reality. Vallee and Hynek approached the whole thing with the idea that these honest and competent witnesses were not hallucinating or anything of the sort. How can we even begin to have an intelligent discussion about Vallee's work when basic facts are thrown out the window by the trolls?

Read the goddamn books!
 
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Constance

Paranormal Adept
If you can't be troubled to read any of it, then you probably shouldn't be arguing about it. Read Passport to Magonia. It's old, but still good.
I've read several books by Vallee including that one, enough to support my viewpoint concerning his relative significance in ufo studies. You realize I'm far from the only person expressing this viewpoint?
 

Heidi Lemmer

Paranormal Adept
It's not Vallee that's the problem, it's what people do with his ideas, explorations, etc....that's the problem. Because he doesn't put a period at the end, people do it for him, hiding behind his work instead of searching for further explanation. That's why I'm optimistic with someone like Sanford who might come through one day with images/data that knock our socks off. I hope more folks come along finding innovative ways to document these sightings. It's just a guess....but I bet they don't capture pink unicorns flying around our pilots.
 

Double Nought Spy

May I please go back to the zoo now?
Constance, you were looking for some kind of summary earlier. I took that to mean you were not familiar with his work. Are you of the opinion that Vallee thinks UFOs are not real? He does not say that anywhere, as far as I know. In fact he says the opposite, in so many words, in Forbidden Science. I recall the exact sentence: "Yet they are real." He was speaking of aliens, actually. Weird looking aliens reported by witnesses.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Constance, you were looking for some kind of summary earlier. I took that to mean you were not familiar with his work. Are you of the opinion that Vallee thinks UFOs are not real? He does not say that anywhere, as far as I know. In fact he says the opposite, in so many words, in Forbidden Science. I recall the exact sentence: "Yet they are real." He was speaking of aliens, actually. Weird looking aliens reported by witnesses.
Re the highlighted question, the answer is no. As I've indicated in at least one post today, it's evident that he has continued to pursue physical investigations of ufo cases that interest him. The problem some of us here are having concerns the rejection of most ufo investigations and research of the past six decades in favor of a celebration of Vallee's other interest -- the psychological/psychical/mythical conceptualization of ufos, which a number of internet personae seem ready to accept as the 'real story'. With little exercise of reason in my opinion.
 

Double Nought Spy

May I please go back to the zoo now?
Who is it doing the rejecting? I'm not sure what you mean exactly.

Back in the "good old days" the nuts and bolts fundamentalist pine for, there were only two options: Flying saucers were either spaceships welded together on another planet and flown here by strange looking creatures, or they were imaginary. Three possibilities I suppose, if you include the guy who makes that other kind of fundamentalism possible, the Devil. Yes, some intellectuals were intrigued by Jung's ideas but he wasn't writing very much UFO literature. "Imaginary" was winning when people like Vallee started getting attention in the popular literature, thanks to things like Hynek's swamp gas, the Condon farce, the Robertson Panel, and so on. Vallee's work represented an intelligent way forward for those of us who were very uncomfortable with the habit everyone seemed to have of ignoring large parts of the evidence pile just because it didn't fit with their favorite theory, which was usually the standard ETH. As far as I can determine, all Vallee is really saying is there is a hell of a lot more going on than sightings of metal spaceships made on some other planet. I think it's a bit of a stretch to hold him responsible for the nonsense others cook up after reading his work.
 


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