"Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you,
What's that you say, Mrs. Robinson?
Joltin' Joe has left and gone away."
In the context of the study of the UFO phenomenon, I would paraphrase that as follows:
"Where have you gone, Jacques Vallee?
Ufology turns its lonely eyes to you."
Why does Jacques Vallee, who hasn't been involved, at least publicly, in "ufology" for years now (notwithstanding one conference appearance a year ago), still inspire a great deal of respect and admiration amongst people who take the UFO phenomenon seriously, and engage their imagination?
Because he took it seriously, because he was thoughtful, because he was articulate, and because he always kept an open mind. He was - indeed, is - one of the "giants", along with Hynek, McDonald, Friedman and Keyhoe.
In Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma (the title says it all) he wrote:
The "UFO Phenomenon," with all its disturbing aspects, presents a most unwelcome challenge to the physical and philosophical conception of the universe painstakingly formed in the course of many centuries of civilization on this planet. But it is there; we cannot forever refuse to study it. And it could well be that, in the final analysis, our own existence will be dependent upon the sincerity with which we conduct this research.He's been described as a "heretic amongst heretics." I asked him to participate in Best Evidence: Top 10 UFO Cases, because I have a tremendous amount of respect for his work and his insights, but, alas, he very politely declined, although he provided some keen insight to a couple of questions I had.
If Vallee would ever agree, I would love to do a documentary on his life and times, much like Stanton T. Friedman is Real. That's one UFO-related film that would still interest me.
Until that far-off, probably-never-going-to-happen day, I, like many others interested in the UFO phenomenon, wish that "Joltin' Jacques" would come back, and engage our imaginations once again.
Because the serious study of the UFO phenomenon needs more "heretics" like him, and is poorer for his public absence.