Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The interview of Jacques Vallée by Marie-Thérèse de Brosses Summarized By Gildas Bourdais
- Part one -

Vallée & Brosses
The interview of Jacques Vallée by Marie-Thérèse de Brosses On the radio " Ici et maintenant " in Paris, Tuesday February 14, 2006

By Gildas Bourdais

This is a summarization with some comments, along with an Annex on Ubatuba; first written in French, and then translated in English, by Gildas Bourdais. The interview was conducted by telephone, with Jacques Vallée at his home in San Francisco.

Gildas Bourdais (sml)     The interview between Ufologist author, “Jacques Vallée,” and long time friend Marie-Thérèse de Brosses of “Ici et maintenant”, was evoked by the recent publication of Vallée’s latest book, a novel entitled, Stratagème (Editions de l’Archipel). It took over 2-½ hrs and the following are the “highlights” of certain aspects of it, along with my comments, for those who couldn’t listen to the broadcast.

It is to be noted right away that the novel in question was discussed only at the end of the talk; so, the discussion consisted mainly in a review of the long Ufological career of Jacques Vallée (hereafter JV), of his books and his ideas. Marie-Thérèse de Brosses (hereafter MTB) presented him as « the most famous Ufologist », for having written a series of largely successful books (the best known being the trilogy Dimensions, Confrontations and Revelations, published in English in 1988, 1989 and 1991, and later in French), and she recalled that he withdrew from the Ufological debate about ten years ago, being in deep disagreement with the new orientations of American UFOlogy, e.g., inquiries into “Roswell” and “abductions” etc.

The "Pentacle memo"
JV wanted to speak in the first place of an affair, which he takes to heart, even today, and that he called the “Pentacle memorandum”. He wrote about it, especially in his book of memoirs, Forbidden Science (1992). Under that curious name, it is in fact a letter of the Battelle Institute, signed by the engineer Howard Cross, addressed to the Blue Book commission of the Air Force, at the beginning of 1953 (January 9). Let’s settle at once a point of controversy: JV, in this talk, affirms that this letter was addressed to the CIA, and notes a first indication that the institute was involved in secret operations. In fact the letter was addressed to an executive of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, to the attention of Captain Edward Ruppelt, head Project Blue Book:
“Mr Miles E. Goll
Box 9575
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
Att: Captain Edward Ruppelt.”
This mistake by JV is curious since he had not made it in his book Forbidden Science. That being said, JV recalls that he discovered a copy of that letter while putting in order the papers of his then “boss”, the astronomer Allan Hynek, scientific adviser of Project Blue Book. JV explained again that he was very shocked by this letter which, to him, revealed a hidden face of American UFOlogy (we are going to see why), meaning deceptions to hide the truth on UfOs to the public, and even to the scientific panel which was going to be convened soon after in Washington DC, in January 1953, co-organized by the USAF and the CIA. This meeting, secret at the time, is now known as the “Robertson Panel”, and we know that its aim was to give a scientific approval to the policy of “debunking” of UfOs (the word is in its final recommendations). JV complains, furthermore, to have been attacked by American Ufologists – whom he does not name – when he revealed and denounced that letter. It was mainly the team from the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS), created by Allan Hynek (deceased in 1987), which publishes the excellent review International UFO Reporter (IUR), and other Ufologists such as Brad Sparks, who have firmly refuted the allegations of JV (IUR of May-June 1993). I must say that I found their arguments quite pertinent, and I have exposed them myself in an article (in French at

In short, CUFOS has explained that the Battelle Institute had written to complain that they were not waiting for the completion of the important statistical study that Blue Book had commissioned to them, under the name of “Project Stork”. Let’s recall that that study was published later as the “Report 14” of Blue Book, and that it remains as one of the strongest documents to support the reality of UfOs (Stanton Friedman never fails to mention it). One can understand the irritation of the institute, seeing the little weight granted to their study in high places. It seemed absurd to them to gather a scientific panel in order to evaluate the reality of UfOs, without waiting for the completion of their study. That’s how we should understand the sentence of the letter quoted by JV:
“Since a meeting of the panel is now definitely scheduled we feel that agreement between Project Stork and ATIC should be reached as to what can and what cannot be discussed at the meeting in Washington on January 14-16 concerning our preliminary recommendation to ATIC”.
Furthermore the letter suggested to put in place a program of observation of UfOs, in a well chosen area (such as New Mexico where many sightings were reported at the time), well equipped, and which would be tested by staging some flights of ordinary aircrafts and balloons without the observers knowing it. A classical scientific procedure, as noted by CUFOS, not a dark conspiracy to stage false UfOs in order to deceive the public, as JV seems to believe, even today.

He has thus commented, at that talk, the polemic he had triggered in 1993: “Ufologists were not up to their task. I was at once accused of all sorts of things. All my books were rejected!” “Wrong, I must cut you here!” replied MTB, stressing how influent his books were, and still are today, to begin with Passport to Magonia (1969). The French title, Chroniques des apparitions extra-terrestres [English Translation: "Chronicles of Extra-Terrestrial Apparitions"] (1972) is a mistranslation, as JV stressed himself, since it is in this book that he began putting in doubt the “extraterrestrial hypothesis”, or ETH, as it is usually called!

JV and MTB then recall several of his books, among which Messengers of Deception (1979), in which JV began to develop a theme to which he is strongly attached, the one of manipulation by disinformation agents. This is where we must pay attention particularly because, according to JV, it is not to hide UfOs but rather the contrary: to make people believe in UfOs, by means of clever rumours and staged events, with the objective of hiding obscure secrets which are, probably, highly secret knowledge and technology! This is a theme that he is going to expose in almost all his books, and on which he talked at length at this meeting.

See Also:Part Two

See Also:Part Three

More . . .

See Also: An Interview with Jacques Vallee


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