Thursday, July 17, 2008

Vallee interview

Greg Taylor of the The Daily Grail, which has just re-published Jacques Vallee's classic book Messengers of Deception, has a new interview with Vallee available that makes for very interesting reading. My favourite quote, which could be applied to the remaining defenders of MJ-12 is Vallee's observation that
"Many erstwhile ufologists don’t want the deceptive reports exposed, just as the Catholic Church long denied instances of abuse in its ranks... the best way to gain the respect of the intellectual community is to expose hoaxes, sloppy research and manipulation whenever we encounter them."
A few more choice bits:

"The evidence for an “undercurrent” of deceit behind some alleged UFO cases only becomes visible when you spend time in the field interviewing witnesses and tracking down the evidence. It became annoying to me because it represented a waste of time and a distraction from studying genuine observations. Researchers who collect reports only through books or media accounts would not necessarily encounter this level of the phenomenon and would understandably resist the suggestion that the belief in extraterrestrial intervention is being manipulated to serve political or cultist goals."

"If we do not establish a high standard for the data we publish, the entire field suffers. Then it becomes easy for skeptics to claim that the phenomenon only appears before “cranks and weirdoes,” as astrophysicist Stephen Hawking recently stated in England. This is exacerbated by the increased credulity of the public and its blatant exploitation by the media. It seems that people – including some highly educated folks – are ready to believe almost anything they see on the Internet or on Larry King."

"I don’t believe a UFO observation makes anyone “psychic,” to use the popular terminology, but the phenomenon comes in an environment of manifestations that include heightened awareness of synchronicities, paranormal sounds and lights and occasionally absurd coincidences similar to those described in the poltergeist literature."
You don't have to adhere to Vallee's particular conclusions about the nature of the UFO phenomenon to admire his way of thinking, and to appreciate his observations not just of the phenomenon (or "phenomena"), but of the people who study it as well.

You can read the rest of the interview here.

Paul Kimball

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What Jacques Vallee had to say about exposing hoaxes is so true. If you don’t do that, in order to try and protect a marginal field of research from further ridicule, all you do is strengthen the hand of those who ridicule it by handing them proof of how useless that field of research is.

I have been open about my opinion that an alien abduction case of David Jacobs’, which he is currently writing a book about, is a hoax. In this particular case, he believes that he is in communication with “hybrids” on instant messenger via his webmasters’ computer, who have been giving him the low down on who they are and what they do, and so on. I am of the opinion that the evidence is overwhelming that his webmaster is writing the “hybrid” communications. I have to say that initially I had some trepidation about speaking out about this, because I was aware that debunkers might use it to try and discredit all research into the phenomenon. However, I decided to be open about it, partly because the person who perpetrated it involved my own case in her claims, but also because I think that it is important that hoaxes are exposed, to ultimately protect research on the “alien abduction” phenomenon, whatever the cause of those experiences are.

A well meaning person, who hosts a website on the abduction phenomenon, wrote to me and told me that I should not say anything because Dr. Jacobs is “one of the few researchers we can trust.” Budd Hopkins also wrote a letter to me, although he had his facts completely wrong about what I was actually saying so his letter was rather confused. However, at one point he said that if I spoke out about concerns that I had about Dr. Jacobs that I would be, “doing terrible damage to all UFO abductees and researchers. This is because the vicious corps of debunkers is just waiting for such a thing to happen to provide ammunition against the reality of UFO abductions.” While I sympathize with both their concerns, I think that not exposing hoaxes, or sloppy research in the area, only harms the research that we want to protect.