Jacques vallee uf os - the psychic solution (1977)


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Jacques vallee uf os - the psychic solution (1977)

  1. 1. JACQUES VALLEE holds a masters degree in astrophysicsfrom a French university and a Ph.D. in computer sciencefrom Northwestern, where he spent four years as an associateof Dr J. Allen Hynek, the US Air Force scientific consultanton UFO reports. A Jules Verne Prize winner for his firstscience fiction novel in French, Dr Vallee has published overthirty scientific articles in British, French, and Americanjournals and three books in English about UFO phenomena.The author, who is one of the best known experts on thesubject of Unidentified Flying Objects and is a member of aninternational network of UFO scientists (the InvisibleCollege), believes that these phenomena are neither productsof mass hypnosis nor little green men from another planet­but something even more dramatic. In UFOs: The PsychicSolution, he presents the first intelligent and comprehensivetheory about the nature of the UFO phenomenon.
  2. 2. Jacques Vallee UFOs:The Psychic Solution Panther
  3. 3. Granada Publishing LimitedFirst published in Great Britain in 1977 byPanther Books LtdFrogmore, St Albans, Herts AL2 2NFA Panther UK OriginalFirst published in the USA by E.P. Dutton & Co Incin 1975 under the title of The Invisible CollegeCopyright © Jacques Vallee 1975Made and printed in Great Britain byHazell Watson & Viney LtdAylesbury, BucksSet in Monotype Times RomanThis book is sold subject to the condition that itshall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent,re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated withoutthe publishers prior consent in any form of bindingor cover other than that in which it is publishedand without a similar condition including thiscondition being imposed on the subsequentpurchaser.This book is published at a net price and is suppliedsubject to the Publishers Association StandardConditions of Sale registered under the RestrictiveTrade Practices Act, 1956.
  4. 4. CONTENTSIntroduction 11CHAPTER ONEThe Psychic Component 25Return of a Specter 25Over the Accelerator 28Do Not Report This! 29The Case of Dr X 31Meta-Logic 35Five Statements 38Aveyron, or the Essence of Prophecy 39The Delphos Case 44CHAPTER TWOThe Triple Coverup 48Credibility Gap 48The First Coverup 49Swamp Gas 51Scared Scientists 55What Condon Didnt Know 56Destroying the Data 58The Second Coverup 59The Third Coverup 65The Phenomenon Negates Itself 67
  5. 5. 8 ContentsCHAPTER THREEMemorandum for Archives 74The Contact with SPECTRA 74The Way to Enlightenment? 77The Contact with AFFA 79Universal Association of Planets 81The Contact with 7171 83How Belief Is Born 85The Story of John Dee 90CHAPTER FOURThe Function of OEMII 95A Craft with an Insignia 96A Perfect Case ? 97Analyzing the Capsules 101The Contact with UMMO 102The Messages 104A Mysterious Society 107The Warning to Mankind 109CHAPTER FIVEThe Confrontation 113Seven Categories of Strangeness 114The Hilltop Curve 119Two Letters 121The Case of Jose Antonio 125Out of the Body 127The Case of Paulo Gaetano 128CHAPTER SIXThe Winged Disk 131
  6. 6. Contents 9Phoenician Amulets 133The Case of the Oxford Scorpion· Man 142The Beam of Light 143The Case of the Tranquilizing Light 145CHAPTER SEVENA Morphology of Miracles 148What Happened at Fatima 148The Pattern of Prophecy 150Apparitions of a Flying Globe 152The Angel of Peace 154The Impact of Fatima 156The Secret of Prophecy 159The Physics of the B.V.M. 160Healing Phenomena 164The Case of Guadalupe 168Other Shining Beings 170The Mormon Story 172A Unified Theory of Apparitions 177CHAPTER EIGHTWho Are You, Mr Geller? 184A Personal Appraisal of Uri Geller 184Telepathy Experiments 186Mind over Matter 188The Dangers of Blind Belief 189Building a Bridge 190Experiences from Readers 192
  7. 7. 10 ContentsCHAPTER NINEThe Control System 198The Conditioning of Homo Sapiens 198The Schedule of Reinforcement 200The Level of Control 205The Next Form of Religion 206Conclusion 210Bibliography 213Index 215
  8. 8. INTRODUCTIONIn the last twenty-five years, thousands of people have re­ported the persistent appearances of UFO phenomena. Acareful examination of the patterns of these reports has al­ready shown that they follow definite laws for which noexplanation has been found. These statistical facts havebeen adequately documented elsewhere1 and will not con­cern us here. Instead we will examine a more exciting sub­ject : the role of this phenomenon and its impact on each ofus. The aim of this book is to offer a new point of view onUFOs. It has become important to pose the UFO problem in anew fashion because our cultural beliefs regarding theexistence of forms of consciousness elsewhere in the uni­verse are undergoing major shifts. Perhaps these shifts havebeen precipitated by the realization that outer space hasbeen opened to man and by the feeling of the smallness andthe isolation of our planet brought back by astronauts. Per­haps they are flowing from the hope that .other civilizationsmay already have solved the economic and social prob­lems that concern every country on earth today. The scopeand impact of this cultural change have received some atten­tion, but no attempt has yet been made to understand itsbasic mechanism. In this book I propose to examine the hypothesis thatUFOs may constitute a control system ; that they are not 1. See in particular the book Challenge to Science by Jacques andJanine Vallee (Chicago: Regnery, 1966) and the paper Basic Patternsin UFO Observations by Claude Poher and Jacques Vallee, Paper75-42, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (January,1975), 13th Aerospace Sciences Meeting.
  9. 9. 12 Introductionnecessarily caused by extraterrestrial visitors, nor the resultof misidentifications and hoaxes on the part of deludedwitnesses. If the hypothesis is true, then what the witnesseshave seen were manifestations of a process not unlike thatof a thermostat in a house. The thermostat is a mechanismthat stabilizes the relationship between our body tempera­ture requirements and the changing weather outside. Simi­larly, UFOs may serve to stabilize the relationship betweenmans consciousness needs and the evolving complexities ofthe world which he must understand. This book will explorethis phenomenon. Among those of my scientific colleagues who have takenan interest in UFOs, there have been two major approaches,which might be termed technological and psychological.Several physicists and engineers have examined UFO re­ports from a nuts and bolts point of view; on the otherhand, the same UFO reports have been interpreted bypsychologists as archetypes or as the fulfillment of a psycho­logical need of the percipient. Modern science developed onthe premise that these two domains of the physical and thepsychological must always be carefully separated. In myview this distinction, although convenient, has been arbi­trary. The UFO phenomenon is a direct challenge to thisarbitrary dichotomy between physical reality and spiritualreality. In this book I will not confine myself to the examination of the physical reality, but will frankly step from this to the experiential and even to the mythical. I will approach this inquiry within the framework of descriptive phenomenology, which social scientist Cynthia Nelson has defined as follows: Descriptive phenomenology attempts to communicate the quality and structure of experiences, be they clear and symbolically defined . . . or diffuse and even not sym­ bolized. Its subject matter is any concrete phenomenon in experience.2 2. From a paper, Stress, Religious Experience and Mental Health:A Phenomenological View, presented at the Third International Con­gress of Social Psychiatry, Zagreb,l970.
  10. 10. Introduction 13 Instead of asking, like the physicist, Does the pheno­menon interact with measurable quantities of its environ­ment? or, like the psychologist, What mental impulses orbehavioral needs does the report fulfill? we will reviewwhat is experienced by the witnesses; we will observe whatthey do as a result of these experiences; and we will attemptto correlate them within a total framework. In 1968, during the months following the Six-Day War,many people claimed to have witnessed apparitions of theVirgin Mary in Zeitoun (Egypt). Cynthla Nelson was led toask the question of the meaning of that reality in a way thatis directly applicable to our study of UFOs: As phenomenologists we suspend judgment as to whether the apparition is really real (a question for scientific naturalism) and attempt rather to understand what people do when confronting stress. If men define situa­ tions as real they are real in their consequences.3 In this sense the UFO phenomenon is undoubtedly real.What does it mean, then, to say that it may represent a con­trol system? And what is the quantity that is being con­trolled? I will try to show that what takes place throughclose encounters with UFOs is control of human beliefs,control of the relationshlp between our consciousness andphysical reality, that this control has been in force through­out history, and that it is of secondary importance that itshould now assume the form of sightings of space visitors. When the object we call UFO is visible to us in the realityof everyday life, I thlnk that it constitutes both a physicalentity with mass, inertia, volume, etc., whlch we canmeasure, and a window toward another mode of reality forat least some of the percipients. Is thls why witnesses cangive us at the same time a consistent narrative (At 1 :35 Iwas driving on highway 58 . .) and a description of contact .with forms of life that fit no acceptable framework? Theseforms of life may be similar to projections; they may bereal, yet a product of our dreams. Like our dreams, we can 3./bid.
  11. 11. 14 Introductionlook into their hidden meaning, or we can ignore them. Butlike our dreams, they may also shape what we think of asour lives in ways that we do not yet understand. I might as well confess at the outset that I have seenphenomena I can only call UFOs. I have not only seen them,but on two occasions in the course of my professional workhave tracked them, using small telescopes called theodolites.A few of my astronomer colleagues had made similar obser­vations, and after making inquiries, we became aware ofmany similar sightings by professional astronomers theworld over. The objects we were tracking were not spectacular, butthe reaction they elicited among French scientists at thetime fascinated me. Instead of asking if these seeminglymaneuverable and impossible objects could be a mani­festation of some advanced technology (and in some casesit may well have been terrestrial), they thought only of sup­pressing their manifestation. They did this by denying everyobservation, by blaming it on airplanes when the docu­mentation was unassailable, and by destroying the datawhen it was demonstrated to them that no airplane couldhave behaved as the objects did. The insight I derived from this early experience withscientific skepticism proved invaluable. It brought me intocontact with a number of scientists who, like myself, wantedto understand the nature of the UFO phenomenon, andwere especially bent upon determining whether or not it hadan intelligent origin. This group has grown larger over theyears. Whimsically, it calls itself the Invisible College. Dr J. Allen Hynek, in an article called The UFO Mys­tery, published in the FBI Bulletin (Vol. 44, no. 2, Feb. 1975), has said: Way back in the dark ages of science, when scientists themselves were suspected of being in league with the Devil, they had to work privately. They often met clan­ destinely to exchange views and the results of their various experiments. For this reason, they called themselves the
  12. 12. Introduction 15 Invisible College. And it remained invisible until the scientists of that day gained respectability when the Royal Society was chartered by Charles II in the early 1660s. My interest in UFOs has gone through several phasesduring this period, but my curiosity about the behavior ofscientists who destroy, distort, or simply ignore the veryfacts they are supposed to investigate, has never been satis­fied. Scientists are not the only ones to blame for the un­fortunate stigma that is still attached to the subject ofUFOs, but such a gap has appeared between their officialbeliefs and the beliefs of millions of people that a re­examination of the entire problem is now necessary. We have, on one hand, the facts - thousands of unex­plained observations by reliable witnesses. They stand asa monument to the limitations of our understanding. I willnot enumerate these cases again. The curious reader willfind them in such accessible places as the works of J. AllenHynek, of Aime Michel, John Fuller, and others (see thebibliography at the end of this book). One of my own earlierbooks, Passport to Magonia, contains a catalogue of 923unexplained UFO landings, and the size of this evidence isincreasing daily. We have, on the other hand, a paucity of theories toaccount for this richness of data. Either this must be inven­tion, delusion, hoax, and mirages, the experts tell us, or elsewe are being visited by an extraterrestrial race. I cannotsubscribe to either explanation. I have argued for manyyears that the phenomenon could not be explained by hoaxand illusion alone, that it contains an opportunity forgenuinely new knowledge. In this book I hope to show whythese unexplained observations need not represent a visita­tion from space visitors. Much of my motivation for examining critically the extra­terrestrial theory has come from a study of the informationof witness accounts, which I processed on a computer usingmodem techniques of analysis. Many of these accountsdescribe the occupants of the craft; this material is rich
  13. 13. 16 Introductionenough for us to form a good idea of these beings physio­logy and behavior, if it in fact corresponded to the condi­tions of biological evolution we can assume on other planets.What we obtain instead is a picture of a different level ofexistence, a reality that seems to cut through our own atright angles. It is what I call the reality of Magonia. Butthere is more. No theory of UFOs can be deemed acceptable if it doesnot account for the reported psychic effects produced bythese objects. By psychic effects I refer to the space-timedistortions experienced by percipients of craft-like deviceswhich appear or fade away on the spot, in ways that areremiillscent of descriptions of materializations in thespiritualist literature. The data also show that many wit­nesses have had unique experiences with apparently alienvoices or thoughts in connection with the sightings. But Iam especially referring to the fact that certain witnesseshave been changed in a manner that is not explained by theevents they claim to have observed. The best way to illus­trate the complexity of these psychic effects is to examinetwo examples that are particularly instructive. In October, 1973, I met a man who wanted to discusswith me what he called his mission. He was a neatlydressed engineering executive who wore a dark suit andthick glasses. He stressed the importance of preserving hisanonymity - he had experienced a great change in his life,he said, as a result of which he had come to the UnitedStates where he was now working with an electronic com­pany. The change in his life had occurred when he had beentaken aboard a flying saucer and had been taught certainthings. Contrary to most contactees, however, he sought nopublicity, had no message to deliver to humanity, and didnot claim to understand what had happened to him. Heonly knew that he was no longer the same person. At the time of this encounter I had been for over a yearin touch with another man whose story was similar but onthe veracity of which I had reserved judgment. This other
  14. 14. Introduction 17man was Uri Geller, the Israeli psychic who began an enter­ tainment career as a stage magician but later puzzled thescientists who tested his abilities in the laboratory. Like theengineer, Geller had been inside what he described as aUFO. Like him, he had experienced a major life change andleft his country. Like him, he felt that he had been given amission and that he was the center of peculiar physicaleffects. So, when I met the engineer, instead of brushingaside the entire story - as I might have done before myacquaintance with Geller - I spent several hours listeningto him with an open mind trying to understand his experi­ences and his motivations. This series of events had begun in July, 1961, when theengineer, who was then a student, was walking through thecountryside with four other men during an archeologicalfield trip. At some point, he found himself separated f romthe group, wandered behind a cluster of trees, where sud­denly he saw an object on the ground; it was a disk-shapedvehicle about twenty feet wide with a translucent elevatorthat lifted him to a cabin. As in a dream or a movie, the vehicle transported himinto a desolate area far away from this spot and landed neara large machine reminiscent of a computer, about five feethigh and twenty feet long, with row after row ofrecordings.It was not a teaching machine of any known earthly type :during the three hours he spent with the device his im­pression was that it kept playing these recordings and feed­ing their contents directly into his brain. After this sessionhe flew back alone. Eighteen days had elapsed as far as hisfriends and family were concerned. His father, a govern­ment official, had caused several police and military unitsto look for him. He was found within f eet of the spot wherehe had last been seen. He still wore the same flower at hisbuttonhole. His clothes were impeccable. He did not need ashave. The story was unbelievable, as the witness himself soonrealized. To satisfy the unwonted curiosity of the numerous
  15. 15. 18 Introductionpeople who bothered his family, he confessed that it hadbeen a joke. This explanation had the desired effect, and thecase was gradually forgotten. In the meantime this mans life was changing in severalways. For example, for the first six months after the inci­dent, he required an abnormal amount of sleep; he wouldfall asleep about six in the evening and not wake up untilseven in the morning. Then the pattern changed, and herequired less and less sleep. Now he says that he requiresonly a few hours of sleep each night. And also, in the Uni­versity courses he attended, everything that was taught nowcame to him with perfect clarity and total recall. Moreover,he stopped dreaming (or recalling his dreams). Finally, hestates that he has not experienced sickness in any form sincethe incident. This mans experiences following the UFO encounter arevery similar to those of a number of individuals, only a fewof whom attempt to publicize their observations. Uri Geller is an example of one UFO percipient whodeveloped some rather extraordinary beliefs about himselfand about the future as a result of what he describes as anencounter with a flying saucer. An American para-psycholo­gist, Dr Andrija Puharich, brought Geller to the UnitedStates in 1 971 and arranged for the young man to be studiedunder laboratory conditions at several scientific institu­tions. Gellers abilities include what can best be describedas the triggering of a force which affects material objects,and which sometimes even seems to lead to dematerializa­tions. Many of the manifestations around him are similar toclassical poltergeist phenomena as described in the folk­lore of many countries: mysterious breakage and dis­appearance of objects, usually ascribed to the imaginationof the witnesses. The puzzling fact here is that some pheno­mena affecting mass and inertia appear to be reproduciblein the laboratory. Most remarkable for our purpose, how­ever, is the fact that Geller believes himself invested with amission, given to him by a mysterious space source. Someof his followers even suggest that he might be a Messiah.
  16. 16. Introduction 19 The engineer whose experiences I am summarizing herehas developed along lines similar to Geller, although hispsychological makeup is considerably different. He is with­drawn and secretive, while Geller is a showman. The engin­eer is a very quiet and well-organized man whose greatestwish is to remain unknown. He feels that he has receivedcertain information from the teaching machine, that hehas acquired the ability to leave his body, that he is nowable to transfer his consciousness at will into other objectsor into space, and that he can trigger a psychokinetic powersimilar to that of Geller, who claims that he bends orbreaks objects by pure thought. The most directly verifiable consequence of this incidentin the engineers life has been his departure from hiscountry to pursue his mission in the United States, morespecifically in California. Here, he states, some majorchanges will take place. Although he feels they will be socialand political in nature, he does not claim to have been givenany particular message to announce to the world. The entirestory is absurd, yet disturbing. Absurd, too, is the change in his eyesight caused by theexperience. Prior to his alleged abduction this man had per­fect eyesight in both eyes. It deteriorated rapidly afterward,a fact he attributes to a blinding, blinking light that wassituated on top of the machine. Some sort of vibrationgenerated pain under the ear, at the base of the skull,throughout the experience. And a last absurd detail is thisone: the witness states that he saw a vehicle and a machine-but he did not see a pilot, nor an occupant, nor any identi­fiable form of intelligent life in connection with thesedevices! The common denominator in these two stories is thefeeling of absurdity caused by the superimposition of psy­chic effects - psychokinesis, telepathy, travel to a differentspace-time frame- to the array of physical descriptions thathave come to characterize the UFO phenomenon in general.Both these men claim to have observed a craft, to haveentered it, and to have received information from visible
  17. 17. 20 Introductionand tangible devices. It is by concentrating upon· the natureof this apparent absurdity that we can start looking for ageneral framework within which these experiences can findan interpretation. Four major elements have combined in the last few yearsto shape a new framework for the study of UFO reports, aframework I will refer to in Chapter Five as The HilltopTheory. These four elements that forced a revision of pre­vious ideas about UFOs (such as the mass psychosis ideaand the space visitors idea) are: (1) the psychic componentpresent in the apparent space and time alterations and inthe information transfer reported by the percipients; (2) thenature of personal, social, and governmental reaction to thephenomenon, which can be ·described as triple coverup;(3) the observation of patterns of belief (akin to a new re­ligious or mystical movement) among those who claim tobe in contact with nonhuman intelligences; and (4) thesophisticated groups which are already exploiting thesepatterns, such as the UMMO organization in Spain. Achapter will be devoted to each one of the elements. The new framework opens areas of investigation whichhave not until now been tied to the analysis of the totalphenomenon, notably the investigation of the religious ex­perience and the so-called miracles, which we will intro­duce in Chapter Six, and the reports of psychic phenomena,such as those exhibited by Geller. These are the points on which we will build a concept ofthe purpose of the technology that produces the modernsigns in the sky - a technology that can assume many moresurprising forms than it has so far shown. Every human activity has a secret side. Science does notescape this rule. Beyond the dry, humorless reporting ofexperiments in the pages of technical magazines there isthe reality of research as it is lived by many men andwomen. Much of their existence is spent gathering data andobserving facts. Not all the data they gather see the light ofday. Not all the facts they observe become public knowledge.As the Century of Science draws to an end, more and
  18. 18. Introduction 21more of the material that researchers discover fails to be pub­lished because it fits into no convenient, pre-existing frame­work. In particular, the UFO phenomenon is still largelyignored by science although it has been a subject of per­sistent mystery for the last twenty-five years. There is one haunting thought underlying the UFOphenomenon: something mysterious seems to be manifestedin our environment - the things have been seen by thou­sands of people in all countries. They have been tracked onmilitary radar, and they have been photographed by astro­nauts, leading many to the belief that they originated inouter space. They have been filmed by rocket-home camerasand touched by farmers. They have been adored by simplepeople, denied by scientists, prayed to by the devout, cursedby primitives and celebrated by poets. They have beencalled Flying Saucers, Unidentified Flying Objects, Un­correlated Targets. This is not simply a book about UFOs or UCTs. Thisbook presents a personal interpretation of their patterns inthe light of current changes in human consciousness. Basicto this interpretation is the fact that now, as at the end ofthe medieval era, there is a role to play for an InvisibleCollege of scientists interested in totally new concepts. The work of the Invisible College of UFO researchers isrevolutionary because the scientists who compose it (abouta hundred of them in five or six countries) are challengingaccepted ideas in claiming that these strange observationsdeserve to be investigated and that no theory about them- no matter how fantastic by ordinary human standards -should be rejected without study. For a quarter of a centurythey have devoted their time and energy to this task. Theyhave provided discreet support to groups of amateurs whohave assembled the data that could not be obtained throughofficial channels, and they have safeguarded these valuablerecords. Occasionally they have been able to keep the pressand the public informed of the reality of the phenomenaand of the existence of a serious - if inconspicuous - effortto understand it.
  19. 19. 22 Introduction The research of the Invisible College has involved everyavailable piece of scientific equipment - from flying-spotscanners to electronic microscopes - and much informa­tion of a remarkable nature has been found about theelusive saucers. I was introduced to this informal groupover ten years ago, when Dr J. Allen Hynek, the US AirForces expert on UFO matters, invited me to apply mybackground in computer science to a study of the statisticalprocedures used by Project Blue Book. In the ensuing yearsI learned much about UFOs which was not then, and stillis not now, public knowledge. I examined the 10,000 reportscontained at that time in the files of the USAF, spendingfour years in sorting the signal from the noise. I visited theForeign Tephnology Division of Wright-Patterson AirForce Base, where the Air Force centralized its officialdata. I found that frustration concerning this baffling prob­lem was as high or even higher among military personnel asit was among the best informed of my scientific colleagues.And yet it did not seem that anything could be done tobring the facts into a sharper focus. Research went onslowly, and the reality of the problem was met day after dayin the course of our quest. As the significant facts were sorted out from the trivia, astrange and bewildering picture emerged: not only were theobjects seen in the air, they were reported to land in thefields and on the roads of our planet. They affected the livesof human beings who found themselves close to them. Afew of these witnesses gave stories to the press and wereridiculed. A much greater number never spoke at all. Thescientists do not suspect, even now, to what extent the wit­nesses are reluctant to speak. They assume that there isnothing more to UFOs than what they occasionally read inthe newspapers, and they feel justified in rejecting the wholething. Today the events I have been monitoring seem to haveentered a phase that makes our methodology obsolete. Theappearance on the scene of a few individuals with apparentlyabnormal abilities, like Uri Geller, who seeks and receives
  20. 20. Introduction 23much publicity, and of others perhaps equally gifted, likemy engineer friend, who wants absolutely to remain hidden,gives a new twist to this whole problem. It is not possible tostudy such data with the techniques of statistics or physicsalone. The cooperation of a much larger group is needed,not as a new scientific society but as a growing communityof people seriously considering and researching the subject.For this reason I have decided to place on record the factsand the issues as I have perceived them, hiding nothing oftheir complexity and stating what I think are their implica­tions. And I propose the elements of a blueprint for a con­tinued serious examination of the problem. I cannot accept the idea (proposed by Dr Puharich andothers) that mankind is being psychically contacted by abenign intelligence from outer space. I do not believe UriGeller is a new Messiah. Neither can I believe my engineerfriend when he tells me that according to the teachingmachine the beings from outer space who fly the UFOshave no religion in the human sense and live in never­ending love, can make life longer and can replace any organin the body. But how can I say that this man is a sincerewitness, and yet reject his beliefs? This is one of the ques­tions I think my book will answer. I believe that a powerful force has influenced the humanrace in the past and is again influencing it now. Does thisforce originate entirely within human consciousness, or doesit represent alien intervention? This is the question thatforms the basis of the work of the Invisible College. Andhere is what we know. San Francisco, California March, 1975
  21. 21. CHAPTER ONE The Psychic Component In August of 1960 I witnessed the appearance of two UFOs and since that time have had occasional encounters with the phenomena. All of my experiences of this nature have been closely associated with psychic awareness in one form or another. ,-letter from Mr C., August 25, 1 974 During the drive between Burford and Stratford I had some startling and, to me, novel insights into what I can only describe as the nature of reality. They were connected in some way to this shining disk, and have had a profound effect on me, causing what is commonly known as a per­ sonality change. I wont try to explain what those insights were since almost all the religions of the world have tried to do this and have failed. -letter from Ms U. December 13, 1973 Return of a SpecterIt is difficult for the public to tolerate a mystery that refusesto die. When encounters with unidentified flying objectswere suddenly reported all over the United States duringthe first half of October, 1973, and when two men fromPascagoula, Mississippi, told their tale of abduction bygrotesque robot-like creatures, the public recognized thereturn of a specter that the good doctors of science had pro­nounced dead and buried with great pomp just a few yearsbefore. The burial had been performed by the University ofColorado at the cost of nearly half a million dollars, and theeight-hundred-page post-mortem had clearly stated that thestudy of UFOs cannot be justified in the expectation thatscience will be advanced thereby. Professor Condon, who u.F.o.--z
  22. 22. 26 UFOs: The Psychic Solutionled the study, felt so strongly about the uselessness of thewhole thing that he destroyed the project files. (Three daysbefore his death, in March, 1 974, he was still urging aphysicist friend to drop his study of UFOs. When he wastold that a documentary was being prepared he advocatedthat all the footage be burned.) The Air Force subsequentlyclosed down its own public-relations office for the monitor­ing of sighting reports (Project Blue Book) with a similardeclaration. When the sightings exploded again in the world press, itbecame clear that the subject ofUFOs was as alive as ever.It was easy for flying saucer enthusiasts everywhere to ex­claim: We told you so! But it was not so easy for thewitnesses to understand what they had seen. And it waseven harder for them to forget it. Some never will. A husband and wife team who drove atruck in the Midwest were fired from their job when theyreported that an object had followed them along a Missouriroad one October night, emitting a burst of light thatblinded the husband (inducing some loss of eyesight, similarto the case of the engineer I have mentioned in the Intro­duction) and caused the plastic frame of his glasses to melt.Like the Pascagoula story of robot-like monsters, the factswere unbelievable to local scientists, who examined themout of the context of the overall phenomenon. ProfessorCondon had had the same problem: all the members of histeam bad been selected because they had no previous know­ledge of the subject. Yet it is only when one analyzes thethousands of similar occurrences in the last twenty-five yearsand in all countries that one achieves some degree of under­standing. My own statements here are based upon exactlysuch an analysis. We are looking at a phenomenon thatmany have thought dead because they have ignored theglobal nature of its manifestation. In fact UFO activity has not abated in recent years. Evenduring the Colorado study, when investigators were at painsto find sightings in the United States, a large wave of obser­vations was taking place in Spain and Portugal. The U.S.
  23. 23. The Psychic Component 27investigators never heard about these. In 1972 there was apeak of activity in Puerto Rico and many interesting casestook place in Western Europe. Interest was low among thenews media, however, and the fact that the close encounterstend to take place in sparsely populated areas makes thestudy of these waves a difficult matter. In recent years, too, the report of paranormal events inconnection with close encounters with UFOs seems to havebecome the rule rather than the exception, and most in­vestigators have found it very difficult to deal with this aspectof the cases. Such events. might take the form of minorunexplained coincidences in which a man might have hada dream prior to the sighting (or heard a knock on the doorand gone to open it, only to find no one was there, as hap­pened to a policeman who later the same evening reportedbeing paralyzed by two occupants of an unknown craft).Sometimes the event was more significant. A number ofwitnesses, for example, reported perceiving distinct mes­sages inside their heads, a fact they interpreted as an indica­tion of a telepathic ability on the part of the UFO occupants.Still other categories of psychic events are the distortions oftime and space reported by witnesses and the apparentviolations of physical laws represented by the sudden appear­ance and disappearance of physical craft. Close observers,like the engineer mentioned in the Introduction, have re­ported something akin to a trip into a parallel time-stream. These observations constitute what I have termed thepsychic component of the UFO phenomenon. The aspect of the sightings that I find interesting is thevery same aspect that has made scientists from other disci­plines turn away in disgust; I am referring to their apparentabsurdity. My field of research is the nature of information,its use by people, its transliteration in the form of docu­ments, and its representation in the behavior of automata.By using the techniques of this field one can observe howmajor waves of UFO sightings (such as the 1973 wave inthe U.S.) make an impact on our culture: they begin witha sudden series of impressive incidents which receive wide
  24. 24. 28 UFOs: The Psychic Solutionpublicity; soon many people are excited and demand anexplanation; everyday the media report new cases; thisperiod of acute activity may last from a period of a fewweeks to three months. When this initial phase is over, according to the patternsI have traced in previous periods, the genuine cases becomeadulterated with wishful thinking and fakes: some hoaxerconfesses, or some photograph of a sky object enthusi­astically carried on the front page of major newspapers isrecognized as a picture of a weather balloon at sunset. Thepublic laughs, and the wave of ridicule sweeps into oblivionhundreds of genuine sightings that deserved serious scrutiny.Then ·the task of compiling the observations, sorting themout, classifying them, and looking for patterns becomes alonely one again. A few scientists are still pursuing this taskin spite of the apparent absurdity of the data. Their work tounravel the UFO enigma centers increasingly on the psychiccomponent of the reports, that aspect of many accountsthat is indicative either of direct, extrasensory communi­cation between the witness and the phenomenon or of directinfluence of that phenomenon on the witness that is un­explainable by ordinary physical means. Over the AcceleratorIn the foothills of the California coastal range, just west ofthe city of Menlo Park where the Stanford linear acceleratorplunges straight under the newly constructed expressway,there is a spot of unusual beauty. It is situated within a mileor so of a densely populated area, yet it gives one a feelingof utter loneliness; the linear accelerator stretches deep intothis valley, guarded by wire fences, yet the fields around ithave kept a sort of bucolic charm; where the acceleratorends there is a funnel-shaped depression which is not visiblefrom the road. It is from that depression that a man saw anunusual object rise one evening in February, 1972. The man was first attracted to the object by a hummingsound it made (humming sounds, buzzing noises, and some-
  25. 25. The Psychic Component 29thing compared to the swarming of bees are commonly re­ported as the auditory perception associated with a UFO).He stopped his car and he and his companion got out. Thehum became more distinct as the object came into view. Itwas glowing red. It flew in a straight line, up the hill, as iffollowing the roof of the elongated tunnel. Then it flewdown again and was lost from sight in the valley. But notfor long. It soon came back into view and this time it tookoff, rising very high and very fast as it passed overhead. Thetwo men below saw it clearly: it was somewhat like lookingdirectly at the sun, they said, although contours of the lightwere sharp. The impression was not like observing a strongprojector attached to a flying object; it was more like look­ing through a window that opened on the inside of a star. The witness who told me this story mentioned havingpreviously seen unidentified objects.. On a certain occasionin Montana he had observed two disk-shaped craft crossinghis path, and they had come to hover in a field. He walkedtoward them and approached within seventy-five feet. Hehad the intense feeling of being under observation, even atthat distance. He used the word communication. But how could you tell? I asked him. You have men­tioned no window, no indication that there was life onthese objects. Have you ever been close to a whale? the witness askedme, implying that he had the vague feeling that the objectsomehow was aware of him, as a large animal is aware ofthe presence of a man while appearing to ignore him. Do Not Report This!Accounts such as the one I have just quoted abound in acorner of the psychic house that too few people interestedin paranormal phenomena ever take the trouble to visit. Inthe last twenty-five years, at least five thousand sightings ofunidentified flying objects have been filed away unexplainedby competent investigators (I am not referring here to thenumber of cases reported but only to those unsolved, and
  26. 26. 30 UFOs: The Psychic Solutionmy figure is a very conservative one), but no bridge has yetbeen built between this body of data and the evidence thatexists for psychic phenomena such as psychokinesis,prophecy, and telepathy. Such a bridge is needed, not onlybecause current research on parapsychology could help ex­plain some of the more mystifying UFO incidents, but alsobecause ,an understanding of the nature of the UFO pheno­menon could provide new insights into unusual events thathave not yet been duplicated in the laboratory, and wouldgive a clue to the mechanism of some psychic processes. The nature of the problem can be illustrated by anotherexample, a report given to me by a woman living in Berke­ley, California, who once observed a series of five roundobjects crossing the sky over East San Francisco Bay. Sheimmediately thought they must be balloons. Then the firstone accelerated and, upon reaching a certain spot, shotstraight out of sight at an unbelievable speed. The secondobject did the same a few moments later while the otherthree continued. Then the third object dashed ahead andvanished in the sky. And the fourth, and finally the fifth.The sky was empty once again. But in the mind of the witnessthere was a strange thought, the strong suggestion that thiswas all right for her to see. This was accompanied byanother thought which almost came as an explicit message:This was nothing that she should report. And indeed shewent home without breathing a word of the event to anyone,until she attended a lecture where I raised the question ofthe possibility of unconscious or repres�ed contact. Wewill observe throughout this book how frequently witnessesdecide to withhold this kind of information. If we disregard the last part of the womans testimony,she is simply another person among millions of Americanswho believe that, at one time or another, they have seen aUFO. But do we have a right to disregard that section ofher report? And what happens if we do take into considera­tion the fact that she distinctly felt a direct imperativemessage had been implanted in her mind, and that it wasas much a part of the occurrence as her sensory observation
  27. 27. The Psychic Component 31of five luminous objects? What happens if we examine thefiles of UFO sightings with an open mind regarding suchpsychic components? We find that phenomena of pre­cognition, telepathy, and even healing are not unusualamong the reports, especially when they involve close rangeobservation of an object or direct exposure to its light. The Case of Dr XThe following case is among the most thoroughly investigatedaccounts of the interaction between human percipi­ents (those who have perceived the phenomenon by what­ever means) and the phenomenon of UFOs. It involved amedical doctor who holds an important official position insouthern France. What is unusual about this case, whichoccurred the night of November 1-2, 1968, ·is the fact thatcompetent investigators (including an astrophysicist, apsychiatrist and a physiologist) were able to gain rapidaccess to the data and to monitor the development of sub­sequent events without interference from the press or frommilitary authorities. The witness wants absolutely no pub­licity in connection with his experiences: neither his patientsnor his immediate family know of the events, which havebeen presented only in a British publication specialized inhigh-quality documentation of UFO phenomena (the Fly­ing Saucer Review, edited by Mr C. Bowen, cjo Compendi­um Books, 281 Camden High Street, London NWl). Shortly before 4 A.M. that night, the doctor was awakenedby the calls of his 14-month-old baby. Experiencing somepain because three days earlier he had injured his leg whilechopping wood and still had a large haematoma (an area ofaccumulated blood under the skin), he got up and foundthe baby gesturing toward the window with excitement.Through the shutters, the doctor saw what he first took tobe flashes of lightning, but he paid little attention to this,gave a bottle of water to the baby, and went on to inspectthe house, for it was raining very hard (though no thundercould be heard). The light flashes continued, coming from
  28. 28. 32 UFOs: The Psychic Solutionthe western part of the wide landscape that can be seenfrom the south of the house, which is built on the side of ahill. Opening a large window that leads onto the terrace,the witness observed the objects for the first time. Therewere two of them, disk-shaped, horizontal, silvery-white ontop and bright red underneath. Other details of the objects that the doctor was later ableto recall include. horizontal antennae and a vertical one ontop, while a beam of white light, perfectly cylindrical,illuminated the mist under the disks. The flashes, whichoccurred with a periodicity of about one second, weremarked by a brief increase in the luminosity of both disks,followed by a sudden burst of light between them. Theobjects were moving in unison toward the left,- that is tosay, toward the center of the doctors field of view - andthey were coming closer, their apparent size increasing whilethe object that seemed farthest away came to align itselfwith the closer one. While they were still approaching(following the trajectory of the beams on the gro11nd en­abled the witness to ascertain that they were indeed comingcloser) these two disks went through a remarkable trans­formation: their antennae came into contact, the twobeams interpenetrated, the flashing activity stopped, andthe two craft merged. There was now a single disk, directly facing the windowand still coming nearer, with a single beam of white lightunderneath. After a time (the witness is unable to recall howlong), the disk began flipping from a horizontal to a verticalposition, until it was seen as a circle standing on edge. Theshaft of light, which had been drawn by the rotation into asweeping movement toward the house, came to illuminatethe entire front and shone straight into the doctors face.At that instant a bang was heard and the disk demateri­alized, leaving behind a whitish glow which was slowlyblown away by the wind. I have summarized these events from an excellent reportpublished in the Flying Saucer Review, reported by Mr
  29. 29. The Psychic Component 33Aime Michel, a science writer and a leading figure in thestudy of paranormal phenomena in France. After these events the witness wrote a detailed account ofhis sighting, with sketches. He awoke his wife and told herwhat had happened. At that point it was she who observed,with considerable amazement, that the swelling and pain inhis leg had completely disappeared. In the days that followed,he became aware that all the sequelae of a wound he hadreceived during the Algerian war had also disappeared (hehad suffered from right hemiparesis, a high degree offatiguability on the right side, and pain while standing; hehad been unable to keep his balance when standing on theright foot only). The reader should keep in mind the spon­taneous healing of this mans leg. We shall have occasionto discuss it again in Chapter Seven. Mr Michel visited the witness on November 8, six daysafter the sighting, and found him tired; he had lost weightsince the observation and was very much distressed by whathad happened to him. That same day he experienced crampsand pains in the abdomen, and a red pigmentation appearedaround the navel, forming a triangle. By November 17 thispreposterous phenomenon was well developed. Examina­tions by a dermatologist led to negative results, but thespecialist was so intrigued by this triangular pigmentationwithout a cause that he decided to document it as a reportto the French Academy of Medicine. The witness - who hadnot told the specialist that everything had started with hisobservation of a UFO - requested that on the contrary hegive the phenomenon no publicity. During the night ofNovember 13-14, the doctor had had a dream in which atriangular pattern was seen connected with a flying disk.The same triangle appeared on the babys stomach a day or so after the witness examination. The psychosomatic ex­ planation first proposed by Aime Michel had to be dis­ carded. When the investigator (who kept the witness under close observation) published the results of his two-year followup
  30. 30. 34 UFOs: The Psychic Solutionof the case, he noted that there had been no recurrence ofeither the war sequelae or the wound on the leg; the pecu­liar triangle, however, continued to come and go on boththe father and the son, and would stay visible for two orthree days at a time, even when the child was away andstaying with his grandmother (who to this day knowsnothing of the sighting and is very much alarmed when shesees the triangular pigmentation). Like the grandmother, friends of the family still knownothing, but they have noted a change in the mental atti­tudes of the doctor and his wife: they seem to have acquiredan almost mystical acceptance of the events of life anddeath, which is puzzling to those who had known them pre­viously. Finally, there is the matter of the paranormalphenomena that now take place around them. Coincidencesof a telepathic nature are frequently reported, and the doc­tor has even, on at least one occasion, experienced levitationwithout being able to control it. Clocks and electricalcircuits have been affected, apparently without cause. Such phenomena are not unprecedented. Cases of un­controlled levitation or gravity effects have been reported inconnection with UFOs. In one case, which took place in1954 in the French countryside, a man who was comingback from the fields with his horse had to let go of thebridle as the animal was lifted several feet into the air - adark, circular object was flying fast over the trail they werefollowing. Neither is the change in life patterns an uncommon factamong witnesses of close encounters with such objects. Anawareness of the paranormal has been inspired by suchsightings in men like Uri Geller and Edgar Cayce. Theformers experiences are well known to many readers, butthe latters encounter may be less familiar. As a child,Edgar Cayce met a woman who appeared Ollt of a sphere ofradiant light and told him that he would be able to heal thesick when he grew up. As soon as the weather was good he went back to his
  31. 31. The Psychic Component 35 retreat in the woods. There, one afternoon in May . . • he became aware of the presence of someone else. He looked up. A woman was standing before him . •Your . prayers have been heard, she said, tell me what you would like most of all, so that I may give it to you. Most of all I would like to be helpful to others, and especially to children when they are sick. Suddenly she was no longer there. He looked at the place where she had stood, trying to see her in the beams of light, but she was gone.1 Edgar Cayces sighting is reminiscent of several casesthat fall into the category of religious experiences, althoughthe initial observation is often linked to an unusual flyingobject, as in the miracles of Lourdes and Fatima, which wewill analyze in Chapter Seven, and in the visions that led tothe founding of the Mormon ch.rrch. It is noteworthy thatsuch miracles often give to the percipients healing or pro­phetic powers. In the case of Uri Geller, who, like theFrench doctor, traces his paranormal abilities to his ex­posure to a peculiar beam of light that came from the sky,we have an example of psychokinetic phenomena where thesensitive believes the source of his power to be an extra­terrestrial one. In the concluding section of this chapter wewill have occasion to question this interpretation, but it isalready clear that such statements place the problem ofcontact in a totally new framework. Meta-LogicWhat do we know of the nature of the communication thatis reported to occur between human witnesses and theUFOs they perceive? I have earlier commented that, on thesurface, such communication appears to be simply absurd.The word absurd, however, is misleading; I prefer the ex­pression meta-logical. When a witness meets a UFO occu­pant who asks, What time is it? and replies, Its 2 : 30, 1. Thomas Sugrue, There Is a River (New York: Dell paperback,1970), p. 45.
  32. 32. 36 UFOs: The Psychic Solutiononly to be bluntly told, You lie - it is 4 oclock (thisactually happened in France in 1954), the story is notsimply absurd. It has a symbolic meaning beyond theapparent contradiction of the dialogue. Could it be that thetrue meaning of the dialogue is time is not what you thinkit is, or any measurement of time can only be relative? In1961, similarly, Barney Hill found himself trying to explainto the humanoid examining him that time was an importantconcept for us on earth. The humanoid appeared not tounderstand what he meant. In an even more remarkablecase in South America, a man who found himself inside aUFO could see the pilots consulting a device contained ina box, He managed to look into this box and saw whatlooked like a clock, but the clock had no hands. The point �of these incidents seems to have been to .convey the factthat consciousness transcended time itself. "" Situatio s ch as these often have the deep poetic andparadoxical ality of Eastern religious tales (What is thesound of nd clapping?) and the mystical expressionsof the Ca ala, such as references to a dark flame. If youstrive to convey a truth that lies beyond the semantic levelmade possible by your audiences language, you must con­struct apparent contradictions in terms of ordinary mean­ing. In the above contact case in France, the next questionwas about space, and again was absurd (Am I in Italy orGermany? asked the UFO pilot). What scientist wouldtake such a story seriously? What public official would riskhis reputation by reacting in earnest? Even a priest mightavoid it, for fear of demons ! In fact, some witnesses havethought they had seen demons because the creature had theunpredictability and mischievousness associated with popu­lar conceptions of the devil. If you wanted to bypass theintelligentsia and the Church, remain undetectable to themilitary system, and leave undisturbed the political andadministrative levels of a society, and at the same time im­plant deep within that society far-reaching doubts con­cerning its basic philosophical tenets, this is exactly how youwould have to act. At the same time, of course, such a pro-
  33. 33. The Psychic Component 37cess would have to provide its own explanation to makeultimate detection impossible. In other words, it would haveto project an image just beyond the belief structure of thetarget society. I think the current belief among most flyingsaucer enthusiasts that the unidentified flying objects aresimply craft used by visitors from another planet is a nai:veconcept. The explanation is too simpleminded to accountfor the diversity of the reported behavior of the occupantsand their perceived interaction with human beings. Couldthis concept serve precisely a diversionary role in maskingthe real, infinitely more complex nature of the technologythat gives rise to the sightings ? Observations similar to the landing at Pascagoula (wheretwo fishermen claimed to have been abducted by claw-men.)have been made every year in the United States since 1947.A computer catalogue of close encounter cases which I amcompiling for purposes of content analysis will hold thedetails of nearly two thousand cases of that type, from allcountries, indicating that a formidable impact is being madeon our collective psyche. Yet what trace has this producedon scientific pattern s ? A very small one indeed : a fewcourageous astronomers are beginning to revise the prob­ability estimates for other civilizations in space ; much ismade of the possibility of detecting radio signals from othersolar systems ; and a few physicists are timidly beginning tovoice their doubts concerning Dr Condons biases. Againstsuch a background I am afraid that my own speculationswill contradict both the ideas of the believers and theassumptions of the skeptics. I would not feel justified inoffering them here if I had not had the opportunity to dis­cuss them privately with professional scientists forming theInvisible College of UFO research. All have encouraged meto share these speculations with a wider public, in the hopethat some piece of the puzzle, as yet undisclosed, may cometo light.
  34. 34. 38 UFOs: The Psychic Solution Five StatementsHere, then, is a necessarily brief statement of five usefulpropositions : 1. The things we call unidentified flying objects areneither objects nor flying. They can dematerialize, as somerecent photographs show, and they violate the laws ofmotion as we know them. 2. UFOs have been seen throughout history and haveconsistently received (or provided) their own explanationwithin the framework of each culture. In antiquity theiroccupants were regarded as gods; in medieval times, asmagicians; in the nineteenth century, as scientific geniuses.And finally, in our own time, as interplanetary travelers.(Statements made by occupants of the 1 8 97 airship includedsuch declarations as We are from Kansas and evenWe are from ANYWHERE • • but well be in Cuba to­ .morrow.) 3. UFO reports are not necessarily caused by visits fromspace travelers. The phenomenon could be a manifestationof a much more complex technology. If time and space arenot as simple in structure as physicists have assumed untilnow, then the question, where do they come from? may bemeaningless : they could come from a place in time. If con­sciousness can be manifested outside the body, then therange of hypotheses can be even wider. 4. The key to an understanding of the phenomenon liesin the psychic effects it produces (or the psychic awarenessit makes possible) in its observers. Their lives are oftendeeply changed, and they develop unusual talents withwhich they may find it difficult to cope. The proportion ofwitnesses who do come forward and publish accounts ofthese experiences seems to be quite low; most of themchoose to remain silent. 5. Contact between human percipients and the UFOphenomenon occurs under conditions controlled by thelatter. Its characteristic feature is a constant factor of absur-
  35. 35. The Psychic Component 39dity that leads to a rejection of the story by the upperlayers of the target society and an absorption at a deep un­conscious level of the symbols conveyed by the encounter.The mechanism of this resonance between thf1 UFOsymbol and the archetypes of the human unconscious hasbeen abundantly demonstrated by Carl Jung, whose book,Flying Saucers, makes many references to the age-old signi­ficance of the signs in the sky. I am not regarding the phenomenon of the UFOs as theunknowable, uncontrollable game of a higher order ofbeings. Neither is it likely, in my view, that an encounterwith them would add to the human being anything it didnot already possess - at an unconscious level, possibly.Everything works, in my opinion, as if the phenomenonwere the product of a technology that followed well-definedrules and patterns, though fantastic by ordinary humanstandards. The phenomenon has so far posed no apparentthreat to national defence and seems to be indifferent to thewelfare of individual witnesses, leading many to assume thatwe may be dealing with a still-undiscovered natural occur­rence (It cannot be intelligent - say these people - becauseit does not attack us !). But its impact in shaping manslong-term creativity and unconscious impulses is probablyenormous. The fact that we have no methodology to dealwith such an impact is only an indication of how little weknow about our own psychic world. Aveyron, or the Essence of ProphecyTwo well-investigated cases of recent years have containedpsychic elements. One took place in Aveyron, France, andthe other one in Kansas. On June 15, 1966, in Aveyron (a region of France situ­ated near the mid-Pyrenees) a 76-year-old woman mal;le thefirst in a long and fascinating series of sightings thatcentered on an isolated farm. The farmhouse itself is veryold, with ten rooms whose windows face south and com­mand an excellent view.
  36. 36. 40 UFOs: The Psychic Solution I was at the window - just for a moment - because at my age you need a breath of air wherever you are. But never have I seen lights like that, nor things like that ! They werent just lights, they were fires ! The old woman became fearful, and the words she usedto describe her anguish convey the precise feeling thatmany witnesses have tried to express in all languages: All these fires - Im too old, I dont want to see things like that. If this things going to move about like that, whats to become of us all? Afterwards it moved again, over by the comer of the vineyard, you remember [speak­ ing to her son-in-law], thats when I called you, thats when I was frightened, but if that comes any closer, thats going to go in the bam and everything will go up in smoke, the house and us with it - so I called him, I called him. Mr Femand Lagarde, who conducted a very thoroughinvestigation of the events, reports in his summary (pub­lished in Flying Saucer Review Sept./Oct. 1970) that thehaunting thought of fire frightens all country people, andso, distracted and scared, she calls her son-in-law to help,and later she will tell us that she went to bed fully clothed,for fear of what might be to come. This is a story with allthe ring of truth about it. The fiery objects are in fact spherical in shape, and theycross the fields with deliberate motion. The son-in-law, whoworks the farm, also observed what the old woman hasseen, and goes out to investigate. The objects, he says, are rounded on top and rather flattened underneath, and theyvanish on the spot as if controlled by a switch. At one pointthere are six of them, less than a mile away; they move inone line at the speed of a tractor, and they enter a largerluminous object that appears as a sort of fiery tree, anilluminated shell. Everything disappears, and the witnessesretire in complete puzzlement. This feeling was still very clear in the taped interviews
  37. 37. The Psychic Component 41that I heard during a recent trip to France, and Mr Lagardeconfirmed that everything appeared to them disconcertingand irrational. It went on in the calm night, without asound, unreal and dreamlike. The luminous spheres cameback to the farm in Aveyron six months later - on January6, 1967, to be exact. The farmer had gone out to check onthe animals when he suddenly saw one sphere not more thanfifty yards away. He decided to get round behind that thingto see what it is, having assumed that it had a front and aback, but when he got outside the gate, the sphere was nextto it, waiting for him. He had left it inside the yard amoment before. The man then decided to take a small paththrough the fields and again get behind that object, but thesphere proceeded to follow him over about sixty yards, andwent to block the entrance to the path ! That there thing followed me for about 60 metres, near enough . . . and then there was a narrow bit where I wanted to get through, I did . . . sos to get round behind, then that followed me right along, right along . . . till I stopped there, where I wanted to get round behind, and the machine stops there too, right at the narrow bit. So I says, now . taint no use to argue • . . •I cant get • past !Coming back into the house, the farmer called his son, andgoing outside they saw six spheres this time, and were soafraid that they went back inside the house. The largershell-shaped object was there, too, and. it was giving off abeam of light, as a searchlight would: There was a searchlight on top, right at the end of it, and it lit up that window up there, lit up the whole room it did . . . I had the window open there opposite. Was it a diffused beam, or rather very concentrated? Oh, concentrated, very concentrated. And it lit up your room? Yes, lit it up all right • off and on like • . . it was • . turning • • • kept on turning.
  38. 38. 42 UFOs : The Psychic Solution It was turning round and round, like a beacon ?· Yes, sometimes it lit up the next room down there . . • kept on turning around . . . but there it was, 23 :00 already, maybe 23 : 1 5, something like that. Then, sudden-like, everything died out. It all died out, and I didnt see anything more. I dont know if it had gone, or if it was still there. The culmination of the series of sightings in Aveyron,which I am merely summarizing here, took place on January1 1 , 1967, when the son saw the shell coming down near thehouse. He drove near it and could see that it was very largeindeed: Two of the smaller spheres entered it, then it be­came very bright and the witness heard a whistling sound.It tilted at a 45-degree angle and .was gone at an incrediblespeed. Another object came. It was shaped like a disk, with twotransparent cupolas on top of it, and inside . . . Well now, inside . . . it seemed to me to be lit up inside with a green light . . . inside the two domes . . . and I saw • mind you I cant be sure about this . . . it was • . very dark, you might have said there was some sort of fog, either inside or outside . dont know which . • . . • inside or outside the two domes. Anyway I thought I saw two . . . well, I saw two people like . . . human beings, see ? . . . Cosmonauts. They wore overalls like aircrew, green trimmed with white.The object itself was hovering, with a motion forward andback, pitching and rolling. The investigator asked morequestions : Did you have the car doors shut during this time ? Yes,. yes . . . I must have opened the window, I think. • . Or perhaps it was afterwards, when it went off, that . I opened the window . . . and then I felt a wave of heat, and I felt myself almost I couldnt move hand or foot, . • . for as long as it lasted.
  39. 39. The Psychic Component 43 After about a week, the witness began to have troublewith his sleeping habits. He would sleep as much as twenty hours a day, and in spite of his parents advice he didnt want to consult a doctor. He simply couldnt stay on his feet when it hit him, and this went on for about two months. Something else happened to him in connection with his sleeping pattern: in the early morning hours, between 4 and 5 A.M., it seemed to him that he was floating off. Hismind would be alert, although his body was paralyzed, andhe would feel his consciousness leaving his body. In later conversations with the investigators I learnedseveral facts that they regard as outside the scope of the UFO phenomenon itself; these facts will be seen to be inthe perspective of the present approach, however, when Imention that they involve changes in the witness behaviorand belief system ; these changes take the form of a newawareness of the world around him. He surprised everyonein this remote area of France by recommending to youngpeople that they study astronomy and science in generalwith great care ; and in a private discussion with one of theresearchers who have for several years followed up this re­markable case, he casually mentioned that he might soonhave to write a book. It was pointed out to him that hecould hardly write the most simple letter. THEY told menot to worry about that, he said ! When the time is right,I will know what to put on paper. We are touching here the very essence of prophecy. THEY told him . . . But who are THEY ? It seems that,in recurrent dreams since the incident with the flying disk,he has seen a number of men, dressed in red, and eachholding a book and pointing at it. Nothing else happensin the dream. Just the men, and the book. More recently he has traveled over two hundred milesto visit the investigator, who had left precise instructionsto keep him closely informed of any new and importantdevelopment. But when he was in the investigators househe could not talk. The part of his brain that handled verbalexpression and the mechanism of language could not pro-
  40. 40. 44 UFOs: The Psychic Solutioncess the data that he knew were there. We will come backagain to this type of effect in the course of this book. Wehave much new and exciting ground to cover. From Aveyronto Uri Geller, something is happening to human conscious­ness. We see it again in a case that took place in the U.S. The Delphos CaseIn the evening of November 2, 1971, on the Johnson farmlocated near Delphos, Kansas, eleven miles South of Min­neapolis, an unknown object was reported to come downalmost to ground level and took off again. It was seen by ayoung man and later by his parents, and it would simplyhave gone into the annals of ufology as one of many thou­sands of landings if it had not been for several secondaryeffects the object created : it affected animals; it left peculiartraces on the ground ; and, as in the French case of Aveyron,it affected the witness sleeping pattern. Here again the young son of the farmer is the main wit­ness. Sixteen-year-old Ronald Johnson was tending thesheep, accompanied by his dog, when it happened. Whatthey suddenly saw was a mushroom-shaped object, illumi­nated by multicolored lights over its entire surface, andhovering within two feet of the ground twenty-five yardsaway. Its diameter was about nine feet. The glow from the object was such that he could see nodetails, and it was making a sound like an old washingmachine which vibrates. Then it brightened at the base andtook off. The witness reportedly became temporarily blind.During all this the dog was very quiet. After several minutes Ronald, regaining his sight, raninto the house to call his parents, and all came out again tosee the object, now high in the sky and over half the fullmoon in size. It vanished into the distance. The three witnesses went around the house to the site ofthe near landing and were surprised, they said, to observea glowing ring on the ground. Parts of nearby trees werealso glowing. The texture of the soil, reports an investiga-
  41. 41. The Psychic Component 45tor, Mr Ted Phillips, felt strange, like a slick crust, as ifthe soil was crystallized. And Mrs Johnson noticed that herfingers went n�mb, as if a local anesthetic had been applied.She is a nurse at a nearby hospital, and for two weeks thiscondition prevented her from taking the pulse of herpatients. The next day the ring was still clearly visible, with a dryand crusty appearance. The inside and the outside of thering were damp from recent rains, but the ring itself wasperfectly dry ! Thirty-two days later, when Ted Phillips wasable to go to the scene, snow had fallen and was meltingboth outside and inside the ring, but the one-foot widecircle was perfectly white. We removed snow from one section of the ring and intro- . duced water into the exposed ring area : the soil would not permit the water to pass through the surface. This was most remarkable, as there had been several inches of rain and snow.2Phillips removed a sample from the ring and obsetved thatit contained a high concentration of a whitish material. Thesoil under the ring was dry to a depth of at least one foot. This is not an .isolated occurrence. Hundreds of reportsof ring-shaped patterns have been gathered, and many ofthem refer to a white substance or powder at the site. A verysimilar occurrence took place in New Zealand, at a placenamed Waihoke, in January, 1965. The ring there wasvisible for four years before it was finally covered withgrass. It is curious that in spite of all the excitement causedby the Delphos case and the attention it received fromscientific ufologists and from skeptics, no one ever botheredto identif the white substance itself. Thorough analyses of ythe soil have been made, however, showing no significantdifference between the inside and the outside of the ring. Iobtained a sample of the white substance from Mr Phillipsand forwarded it to a biological laboratory in France, whereit was examined under a microscope with magnifications 2 Case Histories, Flying Saucer Review (February, 1972).
  42. 42. 46 . UFOs : The Psychic Solutionranging from a few diameters to the maximum enlargementpossible under the oil immersion technique. The white sub­stance was resolved into fibers (thus destroying the ex­planation of the case put forth by Philip Klass in his book UFOs Explained, where he claimed the substance was pro­duced by the urine of sheep feeding from a circular device).The fibres were vegetal in nature and belonged to anorganism of the order of the Actinomycetales, which is anintermediate organism between bacteria and fungus. (TheFrench biologist who identified it, and who has wished notto be named in this book determined that the organismbelongs to the family of the Actinomycetaceae and thegenus Nocardia.) It is often found together with a fungusof the order of the Bacidiomycepes, which may fluoresceunder certain conditions. This fungus can cause a circularpattern to be visible on the surface of the ground. This isundoubtedly the explanation for Some UFO rings, but thecoincidence of this fungus ring with the observation madeby the Johnsons remains to be explained. One possibleinterpretation is that high-energy stimulation triggered thespectacular growth of the Nocardia and of an existingfungus and caused the latter to flu oresce. If this is the case,then further examination of the white fibers might give aclue to the physical nature of the phenomenon. The effects of the glowing object on animals were con­sistent with other landing cases. During the sighting itself,the dog was very quiet : he did not move at all nor did hebark. The sheep were bellowing, but like the dog they werealmost glued to the spot. The boy could not move either,but it was not clear to him whether this was due to fear orto another cause. The behavior of the animals after thesighting was remarkable. For about two weeks, everyevening at sunset, the sheep would jump out of the pen andrun wildly. The dog would furiously try to get into the houseat nightfall. He practically destroyed the screen door, andthe only way to keep him outside was to replace it with astronger metal door. There were striking effects on the witness himself, too.
  43. 43. The Psychic Component 47First he suffered from strong eye irritation - his eyes werered and watery. Then came the headaches, and the night­mares. These nightmares, lasting about one week, were soreal and vivid that he would wake up his parents with hisloud screams. He had the same dream, night after night, inwhich human-like creatures were looking into his windowfrom the outside. Two or three times, when coming intohis bedroom, his parents found him screaming, standingby the window.
  44. 44. CHAPTER TWO The Triple Coverup We are pleased to acknowledge receipt of your letter . . . regarding the photographs showing UFOs in forma­ tional flight, which you mention were taken by Captain Orrego of the Chilean Navy near Antarctica in 1 948. Regarding this matter we wish to inform you that re­ cently we received a communication from Captain Orrego stating that he had not seen any UFOs over the Antarctica in 1948. Therefore the photographs requested by you do not exist. - Letter from the Chief of the Chilean Naval Mission to an American writer It is forbidden for T.V., radio, newspapers, and other news media to divulge UFO reports without the prior censorship of the Brazilian Air Force. - Institutional Act No. 5, State Security, Brazilian Government Regulation Credibility GapIn 1971, after an unusual UFO sighting, several puzzlingobjects fell from the sky. These mysterious fragments werepicked up by a Texan who showed them to his friends. Thenext day two men from Air Force Intelligence came to hisdoor, exhibited their identification papers, and politely re­quested the evidence. The witness threw them out rudelywith a statement that I find admirable : God has madeeverything in this world, and He has made Flying Saucerstoo, whatever they are. These fragments have fallen into mybackyard and therefore God clearly intended for me to have
  45. 45. The Triple Coverup 49them. If He had wanted the Air Force to have them, Hewould have dumped them on the Pentagon ! In a recent survey of technically trained witnesses whohad seen an unidentified flying object, it was found that theproportion of those who had bothered to call the Air Forcewas only one in twelve ! This attitude toward the authoritiesis an important component of the UFO phenomenon. Itenables the idea of a cosmic mystery to linger in the moreshadowy areas of our imagination, and thus to influencemuch more powerfully our collective behavior, reflected intreatment of UFO stories in the media and in books. Couldit be that our reaction to the reports, individually and col­lectively, is as much a part of the UFO phenomenon as theobjects themselves ? In the first chapter we discussed thepsychic component of the UFO phenomenon. Now wemust look at the chaotic reaction of our official levels con­fronted by this mystery, resulting in the existence of threelevels of coverup. The First CoverupThe first level of coverup is in the reporting of UFOs. It isthe result of the negative attitude of government, scientific,and military authorities. More specifically, I apply the ex­pression first coverup to the efforts that are made by menin a position of authority to discourage the reporting of aUFO incident. This can range from the laughter of a localdeputy sheriff to intimidation of pilots by their commandingofficer. In some cases the public is led to believe that re­porting UFOs is unnecessary because the governmentknows all about them. An indication that official statementsabout UFOs were biased and deliberately inaccurate cameto my attention in 1 964. Until then, I had naturally beenaware of the strange games played by officials who weretrying to explain UFOs at all costs. Such games had beenput forth in several books claiming that the U.S. govern­ment knew everything about the reality of the saucers. How­ever, I had not seen any direct evidence that confirmed U.F.0.-3
  46. 46. 50 UFOs : The Psychic Solutionthese claims either in my contacts with the Air Force orwith scientific colleagues. Late in 1 964, several friends in Paris sent me interestingdata. It seems that somebody there was trying to spreadUFO-related stories through the French news media (theFrench word for such spreading of rumors is intoxica­tion). .A former member of the Intelligence Service, forinstance, who was regarded as a reliable source, madestatements to the effect that the British military was care­fully monitoring the UFO situation and was pooling its in­formation with the Russians ! The idea seemed preposterous,but he offered it in all seriousness and went on to say thatboth countries had now come to the conclusion that theobjects were real. Another story that circulated among Parisnewsmen came from an American who claimed that federallaw enforcement agencies had compiled exhaustive studiesof the U.S. cases, a rumor that appears at least partiallytrue, because some landing cases have had elements thatbrought the event within the jurisdiction of these agencies. In both these stories which originated from quasi-officialsources, there was the same reassuring theme : people shouldnot worry about UFOs and should leave the investigation inthe hands of the competent authorities, who knew everythingthere was to know. We were well protected. In the meantime I was observing a very different situationand a state of mounting uneasiness among the scientists whohad been involved, even remotely, in the UFO debate:Observations were not simply coming from farmers andtruck drivers but from jet pilots, and occasionally from agrave professor or two. In August, 1 965, Colonel Spauldingmade inquiries among top scientists associated with hisoffice at the Air Force. He asked them specifically what they thought of submitting the UFO files to the Academy of Sciences or to some such highly respected body, in an effort to reassure the public. Early in November, 1965, the Scientific Advisory Boardof the Air Force met in Dallas and discussed the UFOquestion. The idea of an independent study was first con-
  47. 47. The Triple Coverup 51sidered at that meeting. It eventually led to the Condoninvestigation. A physicist, Dr Brien OBrien, headed aspecial study group that came back with the recommenda­tion that the Air Force spend $250,000 a year to obtainhigh-grade data. The very fact that a new study was recom­mended seems to show that any suppression of informationor any leaking of wild rumors was not the result of asecret military policy on the UFO subject or the work of asinister Silence Group but more likely a product of theconfusion that was evident at all levels of the bureaucracy.The military was reacting to the sightings in direct pro­portion to their impact on the press, which they were tryingto minimize, and these reactions were clumsy. The con­fusion that resulted was unbelievable. The best example ofthis was the Swamp Gas crisis. Swamp GasThe Swamp Gas episode has been told many times, and Ido not intend to devote a great deal of space to it here. Thefact is that, for better or worse, it played a decisive role ininfluencing public opinion and so it provides a model forlocal and national passion that we should keep in mind. TheSwamp Gas crisis began for me on Monday morning, March21, 1 966. I was listening to a Chicago radio programwhen the news of the then recent Michigan sightings wasbroadcast : four objects were said to have flown over a farmnear Ann Arbor, and one of them had landed in a swampyarea. It sounded fairly typical. In 1964 I had establishedthat landings tended to occur in desolate places, a fact thatwas first apparent in the computer analysis of French cases.Allen Hynek and I later verified it, using Air Force data.Swamps like the Everglades region of Florida were amongthe places that UFOs seemed to prefer. In 1965 there hadbeen a series of reports by Australian farmers describingcraft that left circular traces in the vegetation covering theswamps there. People had even created a new expression,UFO nests, to describe these markings.
  48. 48. 52 UFOs : The Psychic Solution I called Dr Hynek to alert him to the sightings, _and he inturn called Project Blue Book in Dayton, Ohio, to proposethat they investigate at once. He suggested that he go therebefore reporters and curiosity-seekers destroyed all the evi­dence. The officer in Dayton was not interested, as AllenHynek later told me : The case hasnt been reported officially to the Air Force, he said. Thats not very scientific, Hynek remarked. I dont give a damn, was the literal answer.Half an hour later, Project Blue Book called back : How soon can you be in Ann Arbor ? I thought you werent interested ! Well, someone has reported the case officially to us just a minute ago. Who was that ? The Pentagon ! They are deluged with calls. Every reporter in the country wants to know whats going on. The next morning, Dr Hynek was in Michigan. Whathappened in Ann Arbor is a classic example of misunder-standing with the press ; Hynek had to release a statementprematurely, at the urging of public-relations people fromthe Air Force. In his statement, he called for a thorough in­vestigation of the phenomenon, but mentioned also thatsome people in Michigan might have seen swamp gas. Thepress took this for a final verdict and exploded with anger.How dare this academic man from Chicago challenge theword of an honest farmer and seriously suggest that he hadnot seen what was evidently a real flying saucer ? Those irate comments came from the same newspaperswho for years had ridiculed witnesses just like this poorfarmer, and had given no support whatsoever to Hynekhimself when he begged them to report UFO cases moreregularly and more accurately. Suddenly it had becomefashionable to believe in flying saucers, just as tomorrow itwill perhaps be fashionable to believe in UMMO, AFFA,
  49. 49. The Triple Coverup 53or SPECTRA, or any of the mysterious entities that wewill investigate in the next few chapters. In March, 1966,newsmen were beating the bushes of Michigan looking forMartians and UFO experts. The switch took the Air Forceby surprise and destroyed the image of Project Blue Bookin a few short days. Public reaction following the swamp gas statement carriedthe case to Washington, with help from a then local poli­tician, Gerald Ford, who demanded that full attention begiven to what had become known as the Swamp Gasscandal. A meeting of the space committee of the Senatepondered the question first and decided that NASA shouldnot get involved. The space agency had its public image topreserve and declined to have anything to do with the sub­ject. So they handed this hot potato to the armed forcescommittee of the House. Early in April, 1 966, the Secretary of the Air Force washimself reported to be in favor of a scientific analysis ofthe 648 cases that were classified as unidentified at thattime in the Blue Book files. Late that month, the governorof Florida and several newsmen saw an unknown flyingobject from the governors private plane. These reportscreated a stir, but the outrage over the Michigan incidenthad already subsided. It was almost two months old andno longer newsworthy. The public-relations people inWashington knew this well. On television a beautiful docu­mentary was released, carrying the debunking of the subjectto new heights : it showed astronomer Donald Menzel pour­ing some benzine over a tankful of acetone to demonstrateoptical properties that were common knowledge since theeighteenth century. He was trying to convince the audiencethat UFOs were nothing but mirages. Let me know next time it rains benzine, will you? I askedmy wife. Well go out and watch the flying saucers ! Menzels number was followed by a classic interview witha contactee who was relied upon to provide comic reliefby describing his meetings with the space brothers. Hisstatements were carefully chosen, possibly out of hours of
  50. 50. 54 UFOs : The Psychic Solutioninterviews, to make him look as silly as possible. In contrastwith this man, the next interview was a very impressive dis­cussion with another astronomer who stated with authoritythat extraterrestrial visitations were most improbable. Whathe knew well, and did not say, is that he was merely offeringa statistical estimate whose reliability was totally unveri­fiable. He fell victim to the faulty reasoning : Either its allnonsense or we are visited by beings from another planet. The documentary also contained an interview with amilitary officer who stated that no UFOs were ever detectedon radar screens, and an interview with an astronomer whodeclared that no UFOs were ever seen or photographed bythe S;J.tellite tracking stations. Both statements were, in myopinion, misleading. It is true that radars never see U FOs,but that is only due to the fact that the radar operators callthem something else ! In their jargon they speak of UCTs,for uncorrelated targets ! At the time when the documen­tary was shown, the Western Defense System was recordingabout seven hundred of these baffling UCTs per month !There had even been a suggestion by a highly respectedastronomer that the military modify their computer pro­gram to gather information about these UCTs rather thanignoring them because they didnt fit the trajectory of in­coming rockets. Even coming from such a source as this,the suggestion was not implemented. In a letter to a scientist who had investigated a certainUFO sighting in 1953, a witness wrote, thirteen years later : I was told in 1953 to not reveal any facts about this case and have rigidly maintained my secrecy through the years. To be perfectly frank Id just as soon not become in­ volved again but . . . if you think it might possibly do some good, I will . . . try to reveal what I remember . . . It has been my personal observation that whenever anyone mentions having seen a UFO, the general public is in­ clined to nod their head, smile wryly and mention some­ thing about candidates to the funny farm.
  51. 51. The Triple Coverup 55 Scared ScientistsWhy were the scientists remaining silent ? Many astrono­mers must have known what I knew from my days at ParisObservatory, namely that we were tracking unidentifiedobjects, and even photographing them. There were films,too. Were professional scientists afraid of the emotionalreaction their statements might trigger in a generally unin­formed and credulous public ? Was it due to their desire toavoid making statements before all the facts were in ? What­ever the reason, it could not really justify the deliberate de­struction of scientific data. Even the idea of not sayinganything that might cause fear did not hold water. TheMichigan incident proved that fear could spread muchfaster, and with much more destructive effects, among apopulation that had been kept systematically ignorant ofthe facts. Child psychologists know very well that it is betterto prepare the child for the idea that his grandfather is notgoing to live forever than to let him discover it when deathsuddenly strikes. Similarly, by denying the existence of themystery the scientific community was taking serious chanceswith the belief system of the public. In my opinion, suchattitudes have contributed to the long-term loss of popularsupport and popular respect for science. Much was happening under the surface. Several scientistswho had been associated with the UFO field throughperiodicals or books began receiving letters and phone callsfrom specialists who wanted to participate in the investi­gation of the phenomenon. In his absorbing book The UFOExperience Dr Hynek has described how this little groupgrew during the late sixties. If this network ever decided tobecome visible, a very brilliant panel of scientists couldrapidly be assembled from its ranks to deal effectively withthis new area of research. Given current conditions, how­ever, it is probably best for these men to t�ke few chancesand to continue their investigations in private. The historyof the Condon investigation at the University of Coloradoconvinced many of us of this fact.