Jacques Vallee is one of the most respected investigators of the UFO phenomenon, over the course of more than four decades. He has perhaps the widest experience and knowledge about the topic of any person living today. However, Dr Vallee brings far more to the field of ufology than simply his experience – he also brings quite impressive credentials in terms of academic and professional achievements.
Born and raised in France, Jacques Vallee received a B.S. in mathematics at the Sorbonne and an M.S. in astrophysics at Lille University. After coming to the United States as an astronomer at the University of Texas – where he co-developed the first computer-based map of Mars – Dr Vallee later moved to Northwestern University where he received his Ph.D. in computer science.
He went on to work at SRI International and the Institute for the Future, where he directed the project to build the world's first network-based conferencing system as a Principal Investigator on Arpanet, the prototype for the Internet. He has since become a successful venture capitalist, and currently serves as a General Partner of Euro-America, a Silicon Valley group that invests in North America and Europe, primarily in high-technology.
In May 1955, aged 16, Dr Vallee first sighted a UFO over his Pontoise home. Six years later in 1961, while working as an astronomer, he witnessed the destruction of tapes which had recorded the tracking of unknown objects orbiting the earth. His interest in the UFO phenomenon became a career (of sorts) when he joined with Dr J. Allen Hynek in researching the UFO phenomenon for the U.S. Air Force’s well known investigation, Project Blue Book. His contribution to the field was recognized by Steven Spielberg in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, in which the French scientist played by François Truffaut was modeled on him.
Since the 1960s, Dr Vallee has written a series of ground-breaking books on the UFO phenomenon. His 1969 book Passport to Magonia was instrumental in changing the perspective on anomalous sightings and experiences, as he set forth the hypothesis that the phenomenon was simply the latest incarnation of something which had been happening throughout human history (explained in past ages as fairies, demons, and signs from God). Dr Vallee’s rejection of the ‘nuts and bolts’ explanation of UFOs (as interstellar spaceships) gained him a hostile reception from some parts of the research field, leading him to describe himself at one point as a "heretic among heretics." In 1979 he again challenged the ufological community with the publication of his book Messengers of Deception, in which he warned against the dangers of UFO cults, government deception, and the trickster nature of the phenomenon.
Dr Vallee continues to investigate ‘border phenomena’ in his own time, around the globe. He also serves on the scientific advisory board of Bigelow Aerospace in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Anatomy of a Phenomenon
- Challenge to Science (with Janine Vallee)
- Passport to Magonia
- The Invisible College
- The Edge of Reality (with J. Allen Hynek)
- Messengers of Deception
- UFO Chronicles of the Soviet Union
- Forbidden Science