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Jacques Vallee, Critical Thinking, and Intelligent UFOlogy

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This is yet another preface to our upcoming series on UFOlogy—the first was our UFOlogy Library.  In the past month, I’ve received many emails from people who would rather see Brainsturbator move in a different direction.  Some of these messages have been eloquent and polite, some of them have been very confrontational—but they all make the same point: on a planet where over 16,000 children die every single day due to starvation, disease, abuse or warfare, what the fuck am I doing talking about aliens?

Well, first off, I’m not talking about aliens.  The UFO phenomenon is way stranger than mere extraterrestrials.  And that’s precisely why I’m interested in it, and why I will continue to cover it—it’s located at the center of nearly all that is weird and unexplained in the human experience.  This is slippery territory, and it’s very easy to get tripped up on your own assumptions, it’s very easy to make mistakes—huge, retarded mistakes.

In short, UFOlogy is a great study to hone your critical thinking skills—and that’s what todays article will focus on, with some considerable help from our friend, Jacques Vallee.

In Vallee’s (insanely good and essential) book Revelations, he starts off by analyzing three of the bedrock foundations of the modern UFO mythology: the Majestic 12 documents, Area 51, and the Dulce underground base.  His conclusions are vastly more damning than any “skeptical” debunking article, because rather than beginning from the assumption that the claims are false, Vallee actually investigated with an open mind.

“I am probably the only person who doesn’t know what UFOs are.  Most UFOlogists know (or think they know) that UFOs are spacecraft vehicles, in other words, spacecraft from another planet.  We are told that even the question of their motive has been solved: they are coming here to steal our genetic material.  Nine million Americans are said to have experienced abductions.

In the meantime, the vast majority of scientists and technologists continue to regard all this as complete nonsense, they may acknowledge that a strange phenomenon exists, but they know (or think they know) that it is not any more worthy of study now that it was twenty-three years ago when the National Academy of Sciences and the University of Colorado released the Condon report.

Never has the situation been so clearly polarized. Never has it been harder to do good research.”

--pg. 280

Building a New Religion

As we know (or think we know) from experiments performed by Stanley Milgram and Martin Orne, the most effective method of achieving power is commanding it. The statistics back this up—overall, 61% of the time, humans will inflict pain on another human if they are ordered to do so by someone they percieve as an authority figure.  (As a helpful hint, “authority” is achieved just like “power” is.) And perhaps even worse, 90% will perform meaningless and repetitive tasks for hours on end.

So dig: this leads us to the same conclusion that we get from the Prisoner’s Dilemma thought experiment.  It’s an ugly conclusion: the most effective game strategy for life really is being a selfish asshole.  The math don’t lie, brahiem. If you think that means you should be a selfish asshole, it won’t be hard, because odds are you’re already there. (I hope nobody misinterprets that, but I know someone will.)

Here’s what all that has to do with building a new religion: it’s just a numbers game. What’s the difference between Branch Davidians being burnt alive and crushed by tanks, and Scientologists putting out press releases about how Tom Cruise is Jesus?  Money and followers.  More money, more followers, and as much as I hate to write this, Scientologists who say that they will be treated as a legitimate religion in the future are completely right.

Consider the very under-rated and fascinating William Sims Bainbridge, who’s published an article studying “Attitudes Toward Interstellar Communication”.  He’s also the author of a paper which is infamous is some circles—and I’m probably in at least two of them—entitled “Religions for a Galactic Civilization”, in which he makes the following salient points:

“If mankind cannot solve its problems, a semi-religious movement might indeed arise to seek guidance from more advanced beings out in the galaxy. Great resources might be spent listening for radio signals. Perhaps the project would succeed in picking up messages from other technological civilizations, and this in a multitude of ways would stimulate practical development of spaceflight. Thus, we may hear the voices of other “men” through instruments designed to receive the voice of God.

Today there exists one highly effective religion actually derived from science fiction, one which fits all the known sociological requirements for a successful Church of God Galactic. I refer, of course, to Scientology. I must explain at once that I myself am not a Scientologist and do not mean to promote this novel religion. Indeed, two of my published scientific articles might be taken as quite critical of Scientology’s claims and origins. Yet I shall conclude this essay with a discussion of Scientology, because it may indeed be the first of the science fiction religions to become a large, influential denomination and because it does indeed promote galactic civilization.”

Two whoppers in there: for one, I’m actually not the first person to think of loading up a satellite full of “Alien” transmissions, launching it into space, and setting it to begin “transmitting” high-power threats—or promises—once it was outside the solar system.  (...and hilarity ensues.) And for two, sociologists are looking towards Scientology as a potential candidate for the Next Big Religion. 

Some Vallee again:

“Over the last ten years the UFO enigma has become an important theme in the development of new belief systems.  In the following chapters I will show that it is a suitable framework for those who want to build new cults, or simply to observe the social dynamics of marginal groups.

The manipulations of belief that is evident in the mythology built around the aliens, and that continues with the sophisticated simulation of close encounters ...goes far deeper into our culture than the casual reader of supermarket tabloids, or even the serious student of UFO lore, would suspect. 

--pg. 37

He continues this thread later in the book:

“The expectation of extraterrestrials is a sociological effect which in itself can be, and is exploited for down-to-earth, sophisticated psychological warfare.  While little money has been spent researching UFOs, considerable effort has been made to study, document and exploit the belief in extraterrestrials.  Someone has been using (and is still using) the sociological impact of the phenomenon for their own purpose, muddying up the waters and making the life of an objective researcher very difficult.

--pg. 284

...And We All Remember Psychological Warfare

The man to the left is Michael Aquino, and he’s worth taking a closer look at, in relation to this material.  I first ran across Micheal Acquino back when he was a Satanist child molester, implicated in the very weird Satanic Ritual Abuse scandal at the Presidio in California.  (He’s also been connected to the Franklin Coverup by Noreen Gosch.) Acquino is also the former High Priest of the Temple of Set, a west-coast faction of Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan—and he’s written a very curious “debunking” of Remote Viewing, “Project Star Gate: 20 Million up in Smoke (and Mirrors)”.  It’s curious for two reasons: first, that a high-ranking active occultist would write such an essay to begin with, and second, it’s written as if Quantum Physics never happened, relying on outdated but “common sense” logic.  Although it’s only my opinion, I do feel it’s pretty obvious he’s just trying to stir up mud in a dark pond.

Where Michael Aquino really intersects with today’s article is his early work for the US Military: two papers on Psychological Warfare.  The first is Psychological Operations: The Ethical Dimension and the follow-up is From PsyOps to MindWar: The Psychology of Victory.  Both documents are important reads, and if anything, they’re even worse than they sound.

Whatever darker perversions Aquino may be involved with are secrets which will probably die with him, should they exist at all.  However, his military intelligence pedigree is a matter of public record, he proudly provides a resume on his website.  Although that might be a psychological operation unto itself, who knows…

Vallee Chats With William Cooper

I get a lot of emails from people asking me if I’ve read Behold a Pale Horse.  Hell yeah, that book blew my mind when I was 12.  Of course, I’m 25 now, so hopefully the following will help those people understand why I never wrote them back.

In Revelations, Vallee meets William Cooper for an interview over dinner.  I’m going to transcribe the meaty parts of his recollection of the events:

“There are four types of aliens,” resumed Bill Cooper after the waitress had brought him a second Chivas. “There are two kinds of Grays, including one race, not commonly seen, that has a large nose.  Then there are the Nordic types, tall blond Aryans, and finally the Orange ones.”

“Where do they come from?”

“I remember seeing several points of origin mentioned [in Gov’t reports he saw]: Orion, the Pleiades, Betelguese, Barnard’s star, and Zeta Riticuli.”

“You mentioned we had a treaty with them?”

“Since 1964.”

“Why would they go through the trouble of entering into a treaty with us, since their technology is far ahead of ours? John Lear mentioned a billion years.”

“They needed the government to keep their presence secret.  Remember, we had one of the aliens in our custody. One radar affected their navigation system and threw their craft off balance.”

I didn’t tell Bill that I had spent the whole afternoon being brief on advanced microwave devices by an electronic warfare company.  That company, based in Orange County, made a radar simulator among it’s other military products.  The idea that our primitive radars of 1949 would have repeatedly knocked alien spacecraft out of the sky was utterly ludicrous.  Our own aircraft carry a device lovingly known in the electronic warfare trade as a DERFUM (for “Digital Radio Frequency Modulator") which is a little bigger than a shoe box and and has the capability to learn instantly all the characteristics of the electromagnetic sources that are operating in it’s vicinity, to respond to them and even to provide false information if necessary, in a matter of seconds.  It is hard to believe that visiting spacecraft a billion years ahead of us would not have similar, or superior, capabilities.”

--pgs 66-67

[Vallee] “Do you think it’s that easy to fool people?”

“The truth is so incredible...look at this magnificent ship. [Vallee and Cooper are having dinner aboard the Queen Mary] Imagine the Queen Mary sailing past an island where the population was still living in the stone age...what would they say about it?  That’s our situation with respect to alien craft.”

Precisely.  The Queen Mary doesn’t bother to enter into a treaty with the king of every little island. Again, Bill, I don’t understand why the aliens would need a formal treaty with us, if they’re so advanced.  It seems to me they would ignore us completely.”

“They needed to make sure our government would keep their existence from the public.”

--pg. 70

2007: A Thousand Suckers Born Every Minute

Sadly, Revelations was written in 1991.  Today the rumors and myths of early UFOlogy, which Vallee was trying to do investigative work in the middle of, have calcified into rock hard dogmas.  Consider the Dulce mythology, a vast hidden underground base (“the size of Manhattan”) where Gray aliens perform horrible experiments on the humans they abduct, all with the co-operation of the United States government and military.  Here’s Vallee trying to understand that one, nearly two decades ago:

“Where is Area 51 anyway?” I asked, feeling like an ignorant kid among an assembly of scholars.

“In Nevada,” said Bill Moore.  “Nellis Air Force Base.”

“At Groom Lake,” added Linda Howe.

They told me that, according to John Lear and others, it is the headquarters for projects called Redlight and Snowbird.  But the major installation is supposed to be in New Mexico.

“Why doesn’t anyone know about it?” I asked.

“It’s underground, hidden in the desert.  You can’t see it.”

“How large is it?”

“The size of Manhattan.”

“Who takes out the garbage?”

The group looked at me in shock...

As they burrow further into specifics, Vallee only grows more doubtful:

“Well, it’s a fair question, isn’t it?  Who takes out the garbage?” I repeated.  “You just told me there’s was a city the size of Manhattan underneath New Mexico.  They will need water.  They will generate solid waste.  There would be massive changes to the environment.  Where is the evidence for it?”

“There are ways to hide large underground installations,” I was told somberly.  “Just look at NORAD, Cheyenne Mountain.”

“What about the infrared signature?  Everybody can see NORAD on the satellite pictures.  There are roads heading to the mountain.  And the base would be a major source of heat.  It would stick out like a sore thumb on infrared satellite imagery.”

The group looked at me suspiciously. “Nobody has access to those satellites,” said Bill. “Those are highly classified.”

“Nonsense.  The French SPOT satellite, which is commercially available to to industrial and news organizations, has a ten-meter definition.  By smart computer processing, the definition can be improved by at least a factor of two.  There is no such thing as a hidden underground base of that magnitude anymore.”

“The government can keep the lid on that information,” someone said.

“Even if you could keep this knowledge from the American citizens, you would be unable to keep it from the British, the Russians, the French, and the Israelis.” [Note—that list is much, much longer in 2007—anyone looked for Dulce with GoogleEarth?]

--pgs. 56-57

Further Reading for Curious Primates

For general UFOlogy recommended readings, check out our previous Brainsturbator Library post.  Of special interest to anyone entertaining the thought of “UFO phenomena being manipulated towards a new religion” would especially benefit from the MUFON document tracking 50 years of public opinion surveys on UFOs, available here.

Hopefully this gives the reader a sense of where the Brainsturbator UFOlogy series will be headed.  Hopefully this further offended the bitter activists who’ve been emailing me.  Most of all, hopefully you enjoyed reading this. And please, don’t misconstrue me: am I implying that if you read Cooper’s book “Behold a Pale Horse” and consider it to be a truthful document to this day, you’re some sort of moron or idiot? Yes, absolutely, I am. It’s no biggie, I still love you and all.

I conclude with one of the “seven pitfalls” of human thinking which Vallee explains in the conclusion of the first section in Revelations:

PITFALL ONE: THE TRANSITIVITY OF STRANGENESS

We are all prone to this fallacy, which works as follows: someone makes an extremely strange statement we will call (A).  For instance, (A) could be the assertion “I am in contact with an extraterrestrial civilization.” When challenged to prove this assertion, the subject will make a second very strange statement we will call (B).  For instance, he or she might say “They have given me the power to bend your spoon just by thinking about it.”

Naturally you will challenge this second assertion by saying something like “Oh yeah? Well, prove it, wise guy.”

In the next few minutes the subject proceeds to turn your spoon from a treasured heirloom to a pitiful, useless, unrecognizable shred of twisted metal, leaving you amazed and breathless.  From then on, you will probably tell all your friends that the individual in question is indeed in contact with extraterrestrials.

A truly independent thinker, on the contrary, would have realized the fallacy.  The subject has only demonstrated assertion (B), namely the fact they could bend your spoon…

The human mind, which loves to jump to conclusions, has established a transition (B is true, and it was stated in the context of A, so A must be true) which is completely unwarranted.

22 responses to "Jacques Vallee, Critical Thinking, and Intelligent UFOlogy"

  • avatar

    Jan 24, 2007 at 12:54 AM
    supes
    says...

    so then whats the difference between the three wise men and little green men?

  • avatar

    Jan 24, 2007 at 1:16 AM
    thirtyseven
    says...

    ^^Yeah, that’s gonna be the focus of a super-offensive upcoming article, “LIES FROM SPACE”.

  • avatar

    Jan 24, 2007 at 1:33 AM
    Alex
    says...

    That quote that said that UFO’s could be used as a method of control (psychological warfare) reminded me of that part in the Illuminatus! trilogy where it is revealed that UFOs are a government conspiracy so that if China and Russia defeated each other, than we’d still have an enemy.

    That book is amazingly prophetic.

  • avatar

    Jan 24, 2007 at 2:17 AM
    Natalie
    says...

    Interesting point regarding the time/money spent on studying the belief in extraterrestrial life verses the time/money spent on actually searching for extraterrestrial life. Have people like Micheal Acquino tapped into and manifested some sort of alien/extraterrestrial energy or frequency? There is a certain weirdness and alien quality possessed by truly evil people, it seems: some strange, inorganic energy. Can pure evil be described as “inorganic?” Am I making any sense?

  • avatar

    Jan 24, 2007 at 11:17 AM
    North Channel!
    says...

    You should do an article on what Vallee has done in regards to contacting the phenomenon himself.

    He’s alluded, as you will recall, that it would take a “daring” method but one that would not necessarily involve a lot of people.

    I wonder if he’s discovered any more about such methods.
    Give him a call!

    I think this is where things get really juicy.

  • avatar

    Jan 24, 2007 at 12:16 PM
    p
    says...

    That quote that said that UFO’s could be used as a method of control (psychological warfare)

    Not to mention Watchmen.

  • avatar

    Jan 24, 2007 at 3:26 PM
    jingo
    says...

    We would all be selfish assholes if life were the Prisoner’s Dilemma, but luckily for us it is more like the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma. In that utopia we pretend to be cooperative friends until we judge the right moment to screw over the other person. We should all be sociopaths. And supes, whoever you are, can you handle any emails on this, if necessary? Thanks.

  • avatar

    Jan 24, 2007 at 4:45 PM
    Bling Finger
    says...

    I haven’t quite worked out this feature for brainsturbator yet, but if anyone reading this article uses Digg, here’s the link to our
    story.

  • avatar

    Jan 25, 2007 at 4:25 AM
    Mac Tonnies
    says...

    Very nice work.  Keep the “alien” posts coming.  *I* get it.  grin

  • avatar

    Jan 25, 2007 at 7:07 AM
    Archetype
    says...

    Tom Cruise is Jesus Christ. He may not be now, while he is alive, while we’re alive, but in a few hundred years, there’s every chance he will be viewed as a Christ-like figure. The Scientologists are right.

    It’s for this reason that I dearly hope someone out there is closely tracking the progression of Scientology. This is the perfect opportunity to watch the rise of a religion, one which has all the potential to become a major religion in the exact same way that the others have. There are so many parallels between Scientology’s beginnings and Christianity’s. I’m willing to bet that the one which will become the most important is its ‘humble’ beginnings as a persecuted cult, and its saviour.

    Keep up the good work.

  • avatar

    Jan 25, 2007 at 10:10 AM
    John G
    says...

    Vallee is a notorious liar on a par with Joseph Smith of Mormon fame when it comes to non-existent gold tablets with words on (Ecuador).
    Pls avoid discredited writers.

  • avatar

    Jan 25, 2007 at 10:33 AM
    mahone
    says...

    Vallee a liar? Please.  John G. you don’t know what you’re talking about.  He’s a freaking respected scientist and probably the most intelligent and objective researher into the UFO phenomena.

  • avatar

    Jan 25, 2007 at 1:31 PM
    OpLan
    says...

    great stuff 37.I like your humour,which is sadly lacking in most ufology/weirdness writers.

  • avatar

    Jan 25, 2007 at 5:37 PM
    Miqel
    says...

    check your sources John G,
    and check your sources sources just to be sure.

    Ususally the only people who diss Vallee are ‘hardcore believers’ who actually think they “KNOW” what the phenomenon is.

    The Spoon-bending logic trap mentioned is an essential part of understanding the ‘why’ of most people’s beliefs on UFOs (including me, you & 37 too. Nobody’s immune to intellectual shell-games)

    I’m trying to discard ALL beliefs & replace them with demonstrable evidence, instrumental measurement and/or direct experience ... but it is an on-going process wink ... we form new beliefs all the time unless we are a ZEN MASTER, Enlightened, etc

    hey 37! I read ‘behold a pale horse’ as somewhat of a kid too .. thanks for saying what i’ve wanted to say! Much of it is total disinfo ... other parts are right on target. Bill was a well-meaning guy & a mixed-up christian/anarchist/gun-fanatic/alcoholic with a grudge against the feds. It’s clear that SOMETHING happened to him and it drove him a little nuts.
    I used to listen to his “Hour of the Time” Short-wave radio show!!! It was AWESOME, like the best chiller-theater ever. Long drunken rants about this & that, rants about public apathy w/ frequent use of his catch-phrase “SHEEPLE”, alternating with well researched presentations on globalization, seret societies and all the rest. I still have 2 bags with about 45 1 hour cassete tapes of the SW show! I should digitize them ... but fuck man, i don’t have time.

  • avatar

    Jan 26, 2007 at 4:43 PM
    George
    says...

    I liked how Valles entered the simplest logic into the discussion, and it blew their circuits. What? The garbage? *crackling electric sound*
    As for TomChrist, one thing’s for sure about his religion, at least they’re more than open to the idea of extra-terrestrial beginnings. (God forbid) you suggest an alien being, instead of an old man in robes with a beard as our creator to any other religious person , and you’re a blasphemer, the devil incarnate, etc.
    I think Science would be a cool global religion. At least we could have proof of almost anything.

  • avatar

    Jan 26, 2007 at 9:05 PM
    53880
    says...

    relative proof is all science is good for…

  • avatar

    Jan 27, 2007 at 7:43 AM
    John G.
    says...

    Ref APOLOGY----J F VALLEE---NOT A LIAR (Correction)
    I fully apologise to all (& tks to Mahone for countering me!) for a mistake. i mixed up Jacques F. Vallee of UFO fame with another Jacques Vallee, linked with Juan ("Janos") Moricz...one of the pseudo Ancient Astronaut brigade.

  • avatar

    Jan 27, 2007 at 6:45 PM
    Metajake
    says...

    What on “earth” is the Global Brain discovering??!!

    Thanks 37. The writing style is awesome.

    Trickster WHAT

  • avatar

    Jan 29, 2007 at 11:33 AM
    David Hawkins
    says...

    You need to clean up your language and turn your
    ungodly life over to the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • avatar

    Jan 30, 2007 at 4:33 AM
    Dick Hefacheese
    says...

    ^^^^I’d be willing to do that if pig fucking wasn’t so frowned upon by the church.

  • avatar

    Feb 01, 2007 at 6:00 AM
    Duane M Thomas
    says...

    I got news for ya’ll.  Aliens do exist only they’re not called “aliens”.  They’re called the “spiritual wickedness in high places”.

  • avatar

    Feb 11, 2007 at 9:00 AM
    deluol dit Genest
    says...

    vous avez bien raison de saluer jacques Vallee!bravo et merci! thanks you for vallée!deluol dit genest("3001" odyssee")

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