Jacques Vallée

Jacques Vallée

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Jacques Fabrice Vallée (born September 24, 1939 in Pontoise
Pontoise
Pontoise is a commune in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the centre of Paris, in the "new town" of Cergy-Pontoise.-Administration:...

, Val-d'Oise
Val-d'Oise
Val-d'Oise is a French department, created in 1968 after the split of the Seine-et-Oise department and located in the Île-de-France region. In local slang, it is known as "quatre-vingt quinze" or "neuf cinq"...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

) is a venture capital
Venture capital
Venture capital is financial capital provided to early-stage, high-potential, high risk, growth startup companies. The venture capital fund makes money by owning equity in the companies it invests in, which usually have a novel technology or business model in high technology industries, such as...

ist, computer scientist
Computer scientist
A computer scientist is a scientist who has acquired knowledge of computer science, the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their application in computer systems....

, author, ufologist
Ufology
Ufology is a neologism coined to describe the collective efforts of those who study reports and associated evidence of unidentified flying objects . UFOs have been subject to various investigations over the years by governments, independent groups, and scientists...

 and former astronomer
Astronomer
An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...

 currently residing in San Francisco, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

.

In mainstream science, Vallée is notable for co-developing the first computerized mapping of Mars
Mars
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. It is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance...

 for NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 and for his work at SRI International
SRI International
SRI International , founded as Stanford Research Institute, is one of the world's largest contract research institutes. Based in Menlo Park, California, the trustees of Stanford University established it in 1946 as a center of innovation to support economic development in the region. It was later...

 in creating ARPANET
ARPANET
The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network , was the world's first operational packet switching network and the core network of a set that came to compose the global Internet...

, a precursor to the modern Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

. Vallée is also an important figure in the study of unidentified flying object
Unidentified flying object
A term originally coined by the military, an unidentified flying object is an unusual apparent anomaly in the sky that is not readily identifiable to the observer as any known object...

s (UFOs), first noted for a defense of the scientific legitimacy of the extraterrestrial hypothesis
Extraterrestrial hypothesis
The extraterrestrial hypothesis is the hypothesis that some unidentified flying objects are best explained as being extraterrestrial life or non-human aliens from other planets occupying physical spacecraft visiting Earth.-Etymology:...

 and later for promoting the interdimensional hypothesis
Interdimensional hypothesis
The interdimensional hypothesis , also called the extradimensional hypothesis , is an advanced theory by Jacques Vallée that says unidentified flying objects and related events involve visitations from other "realities" or "dimensions" that coexist separately alongside our own...

.

Life and career


Vallée was born in Pontoise
Pontoise
Pontoise is a commune in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the centre of Paris, in the "new town" of Cergy-Pontoise.-Administration:...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 from the Sorbonne
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

, followed by his Master of Science in astrophysics
Astrophysics
Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties of celestial objects, as well as their interactions and behavior...

 from the University of Lille. He began his professional life as an astronomer at the Paris Observatory
Paris Observatory
The Paris Observatory is the foremost astronomical observatory of France, and one of the largest astronomical centres in the world...

 in 1961. He was awarded the Jules Verne Prize for his first science-fiction novel in French.

He moved to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in 1962 and began working in astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a state research university located in Austin, Texas, USA, and is the flagship institution of the The University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, its campus is located approximately from the Texas State Capitol in Austin...

, at whose MacDonald Observatory he worked on NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

's first project making a detailed informational map of Mars.

In 1967, Vallée received a Ph.D.
Ph.D.
A Ph.D. is a Doctor of Philosophy, an academic degree.Ph.D. may also refer to:* Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*Piled Higher and Deeper, a web comic strip*PhD: Phantasy Degree, a Korean comic series* PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

 in computer science
Computer science
Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

 from Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

. While at the Institute for the Future from 1972 to 1976 he was a principal investigator on the large NSF
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...

 project for computer networking, which developed the first conferencing system, Planning Network (PLANET), on the ARPANET many years before the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 was formed.

He has also served on the National Advisory Committee of the University of Michigan
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...

 College of Engineering and was involved in early work on artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents" where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its...

.

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
J. Allen Hynek
Dr. Josef Allen Hynek was a United States astronomer, professor, and ufologist. He is perhaps best remembered for his UFO research. Hynek acted as scientific adviser to UFO studies undertaken by the U.S. Air Force under three consecutive names: Project Sign , Project Grudge , and Project Blue Book...

, Vallée carefully studied the phenomenon of UFOs for many years and served as the real-life model for the character portrayed by François Truffaut
François Truffaut
François Roland Truffaut was an influential film critic and filmmaker and one of the founders of the French New Wave. In a film career lasting over a quarter of a century, he remains an icon of the French film industry. He was also a screenwriter, producer, and actor working on over twenty-five...

 in Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

’s film Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 science fiction film written and directed by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, Bob Balaban, and Cary Guffey...

.

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 a venture capital fund as a general partner. He and the other general partner, Graham Burnette on SBV are also in the early stages of launching a second venture capital fund.

He is married and has two children.

Venture capital activity


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 Accuray Systems (Nasdaq:ARAY) a medical device company developing surgical robots; Sangstat Medical (acquired by Genzyme) specialized in organ transplantation therapy; Mercury Interactive (acquired in 2006 by HP) a software testing company; Electronics for Imaging (Nasdaq:EFII); Harmonic Lightwaves (Nasdaq:HLIT); Class Data Systems (acquired by Cisco); Ubique (acquired by AOL); Mobilian (acquired by INTEL); and Nanogram Devices (acquired by Greatbatch) a nanotechnology battery manufacturer.

UFO research and academic work


In May 1955, Vallée first sighted an unidentified flying object
Unidentified flying object
A term originally coined by the military, an unidentified flying object is an unusual apparent anomaly in the sky that is not readily identifiable to the observer as any known object...

 over his Pontoise
Pontoise
Pontoise is a commune in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the centre of Paris, in the "new town" of Cergy-Pontoise.-Administration:...

 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
Extraterrestrial hypothesis
The extraterrestrial hypothesis is the hypothesis that some unidentified flying objects are best explained as being extraterrestrial life or non-human aliens from other planets occupying physical spacecraft visiting Earth.-Etymology:...

 (or ETH). Leading UFO researcher Jerome Clark
Jerome Clark
Jerome Clark is an American researcher and writer, specializing in unidentified flying objects and other anomalous phenomena; he is also a songwriter of some note....

 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, cult
Cult
The word cult in current popular usage usually refers to a group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre. The word originally denoted a system of ritual practices...

s, religious movements, demon
Demon
call - 1347 531 7769 for more infoIn Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which may cause demonic possession, to be addressed with an act of exorcism...

s, angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

s, ghost
Ghost
In traditional belief and fiction, a ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living. Descriptions of the apparition of ghosts vary widely from an invisible presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes, to...

s, cryptid
Cryptid
In cryptozoology and sometimes in cryptobotany, a cryptid is a creature or plant whose existence has been suggested but is unrecognized by scientific consensus and often regarded as highly unlikely. Famous examples include the Yeti in the Himalayas and the Loch Ness Monster in...

 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
Interdimensional hypothesis
The interdimensional hypothesis , also called the extradimensional hypothesis , is an advanced theory by Jacques Vallée that says unidentified flying objects and related events involve visitations from other "realities" or "dimensions" that coexist separately alongside our own...

. 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
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

 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
    Earth
    Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

    ;
  2. the humanoid body structure of the alleged "aliens" is not likely to have originated on another planet
    Planet
    A planet is a celestial body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and has cleared its neighbouring region of planetesimals.The term planet is ancient, with ties to history, science,...

     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
Our Lady of Fatima
Our Lady of Fátima is a famous title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary as she appeared in apparitions reported by three shepherd children at Fátima in Portugal. These occurred on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on May 13...

 and Marian apparitions
Marian apparitions
A Marian apparition is an event in which the Blessed Virgin Mary is believed to have supernaturally appeared to one or more people. They are often given names based on the town in which they were reported, or on the sobriquet which was given to Mary on the occasion of the apparition...

. 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
Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes is the name used to refer to the Marian apparition said to have appeared before various individuals on separate occasions around Lourdes, France...

 and the revelations to Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith was founder of what later became known as the Latter Day Saint movement or Mormons.Joseph Smith may also refer to:-Latter Day Saints:* Joseph Smith, Sr. , father of 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.

Film appearance


In the Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 science fiction film written and directed by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, Bob Balaban, and Cary Guffey...

Vallée served as the model for the French researcher character, Lacombe (François Truffaut
François Truffaut
François Roland Truffaut was an influential film critic and filmmaker and one of the founders of the French New Wave. In a film career lasting over a quarter of a century, he remains an icon of the French film industry. He was also a screenwriter, producer, and actor working on over twenty-five...

).

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.'"

Interpretation of the UFO evidence


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 analysed, suggests an underlying plan for the deception of mankind by means of unknown, highly advanced methods. Vallee 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. Only this can reveal the true nature of the UFO phenomenon.

View of UFO investigative efforts


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.

Concerns regarding the UFO subculture


Vallée expresses concern about the often authoritarian political and religious views expressed by many contactees. Amongst the groups profiled are the nascent Raëlian movement and an early form of the Heaven's Gate
Heaven's Gate (religious group)
Heaven's Gate was an American UFO religion based in San Diego, California, founded and led by Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles...

 suicide cult, against which Vallée prophetically warned potential converts, "you only risk your life!" He also argues that Scientology
Scientology
Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by science fiction and fantasy author L. Ron Hubbard , starting in 1952, as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics...

 is another example of a UFO cult which has organized itself as a religious organization.

Finance



Novel


Jacques Vallée has also written four science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 novels, two under the pseudonym
Pseudonym
A pseudonym is a name that a person assumes for a particular purpose and that differs from his or her original orthonym...

 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)

UFO books

Reissue:
  • Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma – with Janine Vallée (1966)
  • The Edge of Reality – Jacques Vallée and Dr. J. Allen Hynek (1975)
  • UFO Chronicles of the Soviet Union : A Cosmic Samizdat (1992)
  • Forbidden Science: Journals, 1957-1969 (1992)

Research papers


See also

  • Magonia (mythology)
    Magonia (mythology)
    According to the treatise on weather magic composed by Carolingian bishop Agobard of Lyon in 815, Magonia is the name of the cloud realm from where felonious aerial sailors were said to have come....

  • Magonia, a Fortean
    Fortean
    Fortean refers to:*Charles Fort's ideas and philosophy and the people and things inspired by it*Fortean Society, formed by New York's literati led by Theodore Dreiser, Booth Tarkington, Ben Hecht...

     journal partially inspired by Vallée's work

External links