- We have all seen the classic Spielberg
film that immortalized J. Allen Hynek's phrase, Close Encounters of the
Third Kind. It is the story of a little boy, a telephone repairman and
a compassionate, wise French scientist who meet at the site of contact
with extraterrestrials. How many of us know that the fictional character
"Lacombe" is based on a real person, a compassionate and wise
French scientist who travels the world in search of the elusive UFO?
- Fewer still know that Dr. Jacques Vallee,
who is the real-life Lacombe, does not (I repeat, not!) espouse the theory
that flying saucers necessarily constitute visitors from other worlds via
spacecraft, saucer-shaped or otherwise. Instead, he postulates that they
may be visitors from other dimensional worlds that coexist with ours, analogous
to the realms of faerie, or may in fact be manifestations of something
- Jacques Vallee received training as an
astrophysicist and a Master's degree and then worked as an astronomer in
France. There he witnessed the destruction of tracking tapes, which he
had helped record, showing unidentified aerial phenomena. This sparked
his interest in UFOs. He obtained his Ph.D. in computer science from Northwestern
University in Chicago and moved to California, where he pioneered computer
science and proceeded to write what some UFOlogists consider to be the
best books on the subject of UFOs.
- _Anatomy of a Phenomenon_ (1966) was
followed by _Challenge to Science_ (1967) co-written with his wife, Janine
Vallee. In his 1970 classic Passport to Magonia, he wrote about the relationship
of UFO contact with the patterns of faerie lore and the Little People.
Five years later he published The Invisible College, which explored the
patterns of influence unexplained phenomena have exerted on humanity historically.
- His investigations led him on a grand
tour of the sinister side of unexplained phenomena, which he encapsulated
in his 1979 book, Messengers of Deception. After a very long period away
from writing, while continuing to research UFOs, he published several technical
books, notably _The Network Revolution_ in 1982. Vallee returned to the
subject of UFOs again in 1988 with _Dimensions_, which summed up UFOs from
a historical perspective.
- His book, Confrontations, (1990) is a
detailed analysis of 100 of his most recent investigations, from northern
California to Brazil.
- Most recently, his book Revelations (1991)
gives us a glimpse of the world of UFO reporting and investigation -- as
well as the paranoid maze of military and intelligence involvement with
UFOs. Unafraid of controversy, always ready to examine unpopular issues,
he remains one of our most intrepid and highly original thinkers on any
- [Note: Green Egg is an "occult"
magazine published by a neo- pagan group calling themselves the Church
of All Worlds (CAW) and loosely fashioned after the group of the same name
in Heinlein's sci-fi classic Stranger in a Strange Land. Although in reading
this interview some may be pleasantly surprised to discover there is far
more to the enigmatic Dr. Vallee than bizarre tales of Pancake-Bearing
Martians, what we found of perhaps even greater interest and significance
than the refreshingly iconoclastic substance of the interview was the fact
that it appeared in this particular publication. Lastly, we offer it here
in loving memory of our dear friend and Water Brother; the recently deceased
CAW Bard, Adam Walks Between Worlds -- may you never thirst, my Brother.
- Daniel Blair Stewart: What aspects, data,
or questions about UFO phenomena are not being addressed by the community
of investigators and researchers?
- Jacques Vallee: To begin with, many aspects
of UFO sightings have to do with the paranormal; yet psychic phenomena,
paranormal phenomena have been consistently pushed under the rug by most
UFO investigators. That is due in part to the fact that witnesses tell
you such things only after you have gained their trust. But very often
they are a challenge to the beliefs or the world view of the investigators.
They may not be ready to hear it or they may not publish it because they
think it would damage their credibility. And since they are in the business
of giving credibility to the subject they don't want to reveal the paranormal
aspects of it.
- Just to give you one example, in the
Redding case that I investigated in northern California, the witnesses
had seen an object three times on their claim near a mine that they worked.
The case had been investigated by various UFO groups and the report had
been published. I went there and gained the trust of the witnesses.
- We went back to the place where the object
had been and I asked them "How did the object take off?" They
said it took off ... sort of at an angle." I looked at the place
and said, "Well, it had to go through the trees, didn't it?"
And they said, "Well, it kind of went through the trees!" I
pointed out, "That's not what you told the other people who investigated
and that's not what's in the published report." And they said, "Well,
this man, he was so nice and obviously he wasn't going to believe it if
we told him it went through the trees."
- Every genuine UFO sighting has some elements
that are shocking to the "rational" view, the nuts-and-bolts
picture that these are simply spacecraft from outer space.
- Another aspect of your question is that
for a long time the UFOlogists have been blind to the fact that the phenomenon
can be manipulated. In particular it can be manipulated by the government,
by various intelligence groups or by different cults with their own agenda.
I published over ten years ago in Messengers of Deception my conclusion
that many of the UFO organizations had been infiltrated. That book got
me in a lot of trouble with my friends in the UFO community who refused
to look at that particular problem.
- Since then, of course, this observation
has been vindicated. One government informant has even come forward to
reveal that he, in fact, had been recruited to befriend various UFOlogists
and to write psychological profiles of them. Every UFO organization is
monitored by government informers.
- On the board of the National Investigation
Commitee on Aerial Phenomena, which was one of the major organizations
in this country in the '50s and '60s, were three people who were among
the founders of psychological warfare. They were people with strong ties
to the government and intelligence community. I'm not saying it's necessarily
illegal or wrong, but it should be recognized.
- One of the recommendations of the 1953
Robertson Panel, convened by the CIA and the Air Force to review the UFO
problem, was that UFO organizations be watched. That report was classified
at the time. That recommendation was in fact implemented. The civilian
UFO groups were being watched and infiltrated as early as the fifties.
They still are.
- I think this aspect has many remarkable
consequences. To what extent were some well-known UFO sightings actually
simulations that were staged for the benefit of someone who wanted to do
social engineering research or psychological warfare research? Perhaps
to see what kind of stimuli it would take to make people change their belief
systems, for example.
- DBS: A lot of investigators have pointed
out that UFOs behave like holograms. I've heard the phrase "a hologram
with mass" more than once.
- JV: In many cases they behaved like a
hologram that had mass. In other words, if a hologram could also interact
with the environment, if it could put holes in the ground and burn the
vegetation, you'd have a good approximation of what the UFO is. In other
words, it is not an object like that car over there is an object. It looks
like a car, it feels like a car, but it isn't a car. It's something totally
different which can look like a car if it wants to.
- To a large extent we know how to do that!
We have devices that could produce something that would look like that
car and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference, including shadows
reflecting on it as objects go by. This is today's technology; not 1950s
or 1960s technology, but it certainly is 1990s technology. But it still
would not have mass. The UFOs do have mass. They leave imprints in the
ground, they interact with the environment, so that's where the analogy
- DBS: Tell us your objections to the extraterrestrial
hypothesis as the explanation for UFOs.
- JV: If we had done this interview 20
years ago I would have told you the best theory we have is that this is
extraterrestrial. We do know that UFOs are a physical phenomenon, they
offer us an opportunity to do some good science, and they seem to come
from the sky. We have the capability to go to the moon and very soon to
go to other planets. I do believe that there is life throughout this Universe.
So why couldn't "they" come here?
- In the last 20 years we've learned a
lot of new things about this phenomenon that contradicts the idea that
it is extraterrestrial.
- We have too many Close Encounters. The
extraterrestrial theory on the first level assumes that these are explorers
on a mission. They are supposed to have evolved on some other planet and
are coming here. But if they have to study us by landing 100,000 times,
they have to be very dumb! That's approximately the volume of data we
have on Close Encounters reports today. If you were to take into account
that those tend to occur at night when there are fewer observers, if you
extrapolate you would actually get into millions of landings.
- Now, it wouldn't take us millions of
landings if there was a civilization on Mars we wanted to study. With
something the size of a beer keg in orbit we could get most of the things
we needed to know about them, especially if they'd been broadcasting "I
Love Lucy" into space for so many years! Then we'd want to land to
check some things and get actual samples. We'd land maybe a few dozen
times, maybe a few hundred times, but we wouldn't need millions of landings.
So that aspect of it is a contradiction with the idea that it's an extraterrestrial
- The second contradiction is the shape
of the beings. They are uniformly humanoid in shape, somewhat bizarre
and weird. They are described as having big eyes and being short with
longer arms and so on, but still they have two legs, two arms. They have
a torso and eyes that are adapted to exactly the same part of the spectrum
as we are. They don't walk around with goggles or strange devices on their
eyes. They seem to hear what we hear; they seem to be breathing our air.
That means they're human or very close to human beings! It's very unlikely
that beings evolving on radically different planets would end up looking
like us, breathing our air, seeing the same part of the spectrum that we
see. I think the biological statistics are against it.
- So you can say, "Well, they are
so smart they are using biogenetic engineering to adapt to this planet
and its gravity." But then why don't they just create complete human
beings? If you can go 99% of the way, why not 100%, and then you'd be
completely undetectable? So I think that's a serious obstacle to the ET
- Another argument is that this is not
a recent phenomenon. It is a phenomenon that has existed, as far as we
can tell, throughout history in one form or another. Without going back
to Ezekiel or to Medieval folklore, we do have excellent UFO report records
from 1897. I personally have a number of sightings that living people
whom I actually met with and interviewed have told me about that they were
witnesses of in the twenties and thirties.
- So this certainly invalidates the idea
that we're dealing with a civilization that has just discovered us and
is coming here now. UFOs seem to have been a part of our environment for
a very long time, perhaps as long as man has existed.
- Another problem with the extraterrestrial
hypothesis is the behavior of these beings. The mainstream of UFOlogy
today claims that these are wise explorers of the galaxy who are coming
here to study us and the proof of that is what they do. In abductions,
for example, they take away human beings. They seem to carry them inside
a craft and they draw blood from them. They take samples from them, such
as sperm and ova and these look like biological experiments to people like
Budd Hopkins and his followers.
- Well, I think it proves entirely the
opposite thing, because the descriptions that are given of the medical
examinations are crude to the point of being absurd. If you had this technology,
disc-shaped vehicles that could fly silently and appear out of nowhere,
paralyze people and remain unnoticed; if you wanted to, you could land
on the roof of the Mayo Clinic or any large research hospital and you'd
have access to the blood bank, the sperm, bank, the frozen embryo banks.
- We are close to having the techniques
for cloning people. You could potentially restart the human race with
what we know today on Earth, yet we have only been doing molecular biology
for about fifteen years. It's a very young science, a new science. Think
about it. If we can already do this and these beings are supposedly a
million years ahead of us, they should be able to perform experiments that
would be way beyond what we do.
- Instead what people describe is victims
coming back with obvious scars. They come back bleeding, they have things
up their nose, they have terrible dreams, intense trauma, and they remember
under hypnosis! The whole thing is completely absurd. The mind control
people in the military already have drugs that can make people forget what
they did for a week or what they did on Tuesday between 2 and 3, and no
hypnotist could simply put them into a trance and recover the memory.
So if we already have that kind of drug, a civilization millions of years
in advance of us should be able to manipulate both the body and the memory
- Another thing that has been swept under
the rug by UFOlogists, which is yet another argument against the extraterrestrial
hypothesis, is that these objects change shape. In other words, they are
not always discs or eggs or cigars. They change shape dynamically.
- When I went to the Soviet Union, I met
a man named Vladimir Azhazha, who is head of the research committee on
UFOs in Moscow. He said, "You know, one of the most important aspects
of this whole phenomenon is that it's polymorphic." I wasn't sure
my interpreter was translating accurately, so I had him repeat that. He
said, "It's polymorphic; they change shapes. An object will appear
as a disc and as it's moving through the sky it will change into a cube
or into a pyramid or it will vanish on the spot."
- I showed him an article where I had said
essentially the same thing. He looked at me and he said, "You know,
it's as if you and I had been working together for the last ten years."
This shows something rather remarkable about the phenomenon, which is
that two people who have been studying it in earnest in completely different
parts of the world under completely different conditions will arrive at
the same conclusions about it.
- If it changes shape, if it can appear
out of nowhere and disappear into nowhere, this is not just a bunch of
spacecraft. This is a much more interesting technology that manipulates
dimensions. It manipulates space-time. And if it can do that, then it
can be from anywhere and anytime.
- DBS: Where are they coming from, if not
from outer space?
- JV: Let me try to separate what I think
I can prove from personal speculation. I would feel comfortable standing
up in front of a scientific committee and I think I could argue convincingly
that the UFO phenomenon is a real, unrecognized phenomenon; that it is
physical and that it can manipulate space and time in ways that we don't
- Beyond that, my own personal speculation
which I could not prove is that the phenomenon represents a form of consciousness
that is nonhuman. There's a big distinction here. A lot of people might
agree that there are unrecognized phenomena in nature, but wouldn't necessarily
agree that they are conscious even though they are nonhuman. If UFOs represent
a form of consciousness then obviously it could originate in outer space,
but not with the first level, nuts-and-bolts extraterrestrial hypothesis.
It would have to be a lot more sophisticated than that. There could be
a form of consciousness out in space that can manipulate dimensions. But
it could just as easily be here on earth. It could be using the Earth
as its home port.
- It could also be tied to human consciousness.
The Collective Unconscious could be doing this to us, projecting images
that are important during the current crisis we are going through. It could
also come from a form of creature that has always lived on Earth with us
and is not an alien consciousness, in the sense that we usually think of
aliens. This goes back to the traditions about the faeries and gnomes
and Little People: what I have called the Magonia tradition, that in fact
there is another Universe right here. Perhaps most of us just don't see
it, but it's here.
- When I started _Passport to Magonia_,
I gathered all the old books about the faeries and the Good People, the
Good Neighbors. This is a wonderful body of literature. These beings did
approximately what the UFO beings do today. They would fly at night in
strange cone-shaped luminous craft, they would abduct human beings, they
even had little pins that would paralyze you. This is centuries ago, okay?
And it matches reports from people who see UFOs today.
- So I think that parallel is very interesting.
It's still one of my favorite theories but there could be others! You
could argue that there are natural phenomena that play a role in all this.
For instance, Paul Devereux has written several books about "Earth
lights" which he has shown to be tied to several megalithic sites.
Whether the megaliths have anything to do with UFOs, or whether those
sites tended to have strange lights so that over the years people used
them for their temple and put a rock there, is open to question. Perhaps
it was a natural phenomenon all along. That's a possibility, but it really
does not explain all UFOs.
- The other possibility is that there may
be forces within the Earth tied to some old traditions. There may be unrecognized
telluric currents, forces within the Earth that could manifest in the form
of electromagnetic phenomena that could become luminous and float through
the air. Usually those things we don't think of as being intelligent but
who knows? Maybe it could be a form of consciousness.
- There are other way-out theories that
I find entertaining. We could imagine superconductive clouds moving through
the galaxy taking any shape they want. Say, if you were a superconductive
hydrogen cloud ten times the size of the solar system and you wanted to
look like a Volkswagen, who could stop you from looking like a Volkswagen?
You could do anything you wanted to! There is a book called _The Black
Cloud_ by Fred Hoyle, who is one of our greatest living astronomers. It
is a science fiction story about a conscious hydrogen cloud. Now, of course
if there was such a cloud we'd presumably see it as it came closer to the
Earth. But there may be forms of plasma that we don't know how to detect
yet, or maybe we're simply not looking for them.
- Now, I don't specifically believe all
that, but these are fun theories that should be looked at. Paul Devereux's
hypothesis of the Earth Lights is a very important one.
- Geologists today are beginning to reassess
the descriptions by people who said they saw lights before an earthquake:
"I saw this globe of light and it flew down the canyon and ten minutes
later there was an earthquake!" Geologists used to say those were
ignorant farmers who didn't know their physics. Now they are beginning
to realize that before an earthquake the friction forces within the Earth
could well create plasma or electromagnetic discharges that could become
visible. In fact, scientists like Dr. John Derr at the US Geological Survey
have found a correlation of these lights with fault lines and earthquakes.
- DBS: Do you think our awareness of UFOs
has been detrimental or beneficial?
- JV: In _Confrontations_ we report on
a trip Janine and I took to Brazil where there seemed to be evidence of
UFO hostility. Objects would literally zap people with beams. In several
cases it seemed that it killed them. It certainly injured them. We couldn't
really prove a direct cause-and effect relationship in the cases of death,
but there was a cause-and-effect relationship in the cases of injuries.
People were, in fact, injured by those beams.
- The phenomenon really doesn't seem to
care at all whether it's perceived as good or bad. It does seem to have
an influence on our culture, but we may not be able to detect it because
our view of it is so short. Historically, we're only aware of things for
a few months or a few years. We don't tend to get the big picture of contemporary
events. If we did, the science of economics would be in much better shape
than it is!
- It is very difficult for us to deal both
with transient and slow- changing, long-term thing like the UFO phenomenon.
It seems to be a control system. If it is a control system, then it affects
our culture. We probably would be unable to detect whether it is doing
good or bad to us. In fact, it may be beyond the level at which humans
would define good and evil.
- DBS: How vast might this phenomenon be?
- JV: My impression is that it extends
to every culture, every race, every religion on Earth. I really have not
found a single place that doesn't have a tradition about this phenomenon.
What is fascinating is that most of the anthropologists have completely
missed it! You have to look at the footnotes in their books to find any
mention of it. It's never mentioned in the mainstream. It's a peripheral
vision effect, you know? Something that's just off to the side of your
- DBS: Tell us about your trip to Russia.
- JV: In Russia I had a chance to talk
to a number of groups who are actually doing UFO research. One of the
groups was even interested in New Age pursuits, astrology and a number
of other topics. We were amazed because when we went there we had no idea
that this sort of work went on.
- These people were also interested in
natural healing and herbal medicine. They had an entire storehouse of
primitive plant remedies that obviously came from a long Russian tradition.
So we asked them, "How come the Russian culture has preserved all
this with the kind of regime you've had all these years?" And they
answered, "It's very simple. In this respect we are ahead because
you have had all these so-called 'rationalist' thinkers in the West. The
Russian tradition has always preserved some of the ancient ways, even under
- So I said, "Why do you think there
is such a difference between these two cultures when it comes to these
traditions about nature?" And they answered: "Well, you killed
all your witches! So you've eliminated the genes from the gene pool. We've
had an orthodox church here for centuries but they never killed the witches.
Neither did the Communists. They did many horrible things, but only the
Western church slaughtered the witches."
- Oddly enough, parapsychology research
went on in the Soviet Union even under Stalin's regime. They never stopped
doing that kind of research and they never stopped natural healing and
natural medicine, side by side with the official medicine. Don't get me
wrong, this wasn't approved officially by the Academy of Sciences and all
that, but they didn't kill these people. They didn't send them to labor
- I had never thought of that. The east
European countries never eliminated those abilities from their gene pool.
- We went there because there were a series
of sightings in Voronezh, which is a city a few hundred miles south of
Moscow. Some of the UFO sightings were reported in the Western press, but
in a very superficial way. We found that there were many more witnesses
than had been reported. There were not only Close Encounters but also
things seen in the sky by up to 500 witnesses at the same time.
- Very active research was being done by
several official commissions and by private scientists. I was impressed
by the number of people doing research and by the quality of the research.
- DBS: Many books depict the UFO phenomenon
as benevolent and peaceful. Your descriptions of UFOs in _Confrontations_
make it appear sinister. How would you account for this discrepancy?
- JV: I can understand why the expectation
has grown that this could be helpful and benevolent. It's a very complex,
unexplained phenomenon and we always tend to project our own human fantasies
into every such thing that comes along. It would be nice if somebody came
down from the sky and told us how to stop wars and how to cure cancer.
Unfortunately the phenomenon itself, when you look at it objectively,
doesn't seem to care about us at all. It seems to be benevolent in some
cases and hostile or at least harmful in other cases.
- Notice that we could say the same thing
about electricity. We couldn't live without electricity, but if you put
your fingers in the socket it could kill you! That doesn't mean the utility
company is hostile to you, it just means that there's a very powerful force
out there and it doesn't care if it kills you or not. Electricity really
doesn't give a damn one way or the other, and I think that, to some extent,
the UFO phenomenon is the same way. It does whatever it has to do according
to a pattern we haven't detected. When people get in the way they get
- In Close Encounter situations there is
often a profound long- term psychological behavior change in the witness.
Sometimes it's for the better and sometimes it's for the worse. You occasionally
meet people who seem very enlightened, who have a very positive attitude
toward life, who think they have psychic abilities, and when you ask them
when they first became aware of this they will trace it to a time when
they saw a UFO.
- Some witnesses have actually described
to us being healed as they were caught in the beam from a UFO. There is
a case like that in _Confrontations_, a doctor in France who had been blown
up by a mine in Algeria. He had a form of paralysis that was gone after
he was exposed to light from the object.
- There are also numerous cases in which
the reverse happens. People are confronted with a UFO and their whole life
changes for the worse. When they tell their story, the local people don't
believe them. They are ostracized, they get fired from their jobs, their
wives leave them, they go through a tailspin, they sometimes end up as
- That happened in the '60s and '70s to
several American cops. The phenomenon tends to happen away from towns,
between, say, 1 and 4:00 in the morning. Who is going to be away from
a town between 1 and 4:00 in the morning, but the highway patrol! So very
often in places like Nebraska, North Dakota, Minnesota, there are cases
of Close Encounters at night involving highway patrolmen. In numerous
cases their lives were destroyed or broken; they had to leave the force
because people wouldn't respect them anymore. They were suspected of seeing
things, maybe of drinking.
- DBS: In your book _The Invisible College_
you stated that matter might have three aspects: substantial, energetical,
and informational. Could you elaborate on this and show how it applies
to UFO phenonmena?
- JV: We learn in school that energy and
information are two sides of the same coin, okay? That you can translate
energy into information and vice versa. And yet, the only physics we learn
is the physics of energy! The physics of energy should have a little sister,
the physics of information, but nobody talks about it! It's interesting
to ask what might be in that physics.
- My speculation is that that physics of
information exists and that it is what people through the ages have called
magic. The magical tradition asks, how does the mind deal with information
structures? And how does it relate to the rest of Nature?
- DBS: Tell me what perhaps idealistic
changes you might make in our present that would improve our future?
- JV: By idealistic, what do you mean?
If I could change human beings, I would make them more loving, more open,
but I don't know how to do that. So I'm going to take your question on
a different level: if I had the power to make changes in the way things
are in the world, what would I change without changing human nature? I
have to assume human nature is a given.
- DBS: We'll have to assume that. But
now we're going to give you temporary control of the world.
- JV: Good! (Laughter, a long pause.)
The reason I am silent is that it's so easy to come up with idealistic
things. Jesus Christ did it, every prophet has done it, and usually they
ended up with the exact opposite of what they wanted. The prophets say:
"Let there be love!" and people say, "Yeah, let there be
love, but of course it has to be my way and not this other guys's way!"
and they end up fighting.
- I do wish that the impulse to search,
to question reality, to search beyond the obvious face of reality, became
more widespread. I wish that people had more of an interest in the mysteries
- I also wish that there was a simple,
medical way for all of us to experience what goes on in the moment of death
without dying. I think that if people had that simple experience once,
the rest of their lives would be very, very different. I have a few friends
who have had a near-death experience, usually under very traumatic circumstances
like a head-on collision. They changed radically the way they thought
about their careers, their relationships, their life, their view of death.
In some cases it eliminated their fear of death completely. When you
don't fear death anymore your life is going to change radically. So if
there was one thing ...
- You cannot wish for people to have head-on
collisions! I'm just wishing there was a way for people to have the experience
of dying, to take it with them into the mainstream of their life without
going through the trauma of an accident. Of course, that's what initiation
does, in part, with a lot of work. A head-on collision gives you that
instant initiation, assuming you survive it. To some extent the UFO Close
Encounter has the characteristics of a near death experience.
- DBS: In quantum physics and biology scientists
are considering models that no longer resemble the mechanistic models of
the 19th Century. In particular, quantum physicists speculate that the
observer influences the phenomenon observed. In biology microbiologists
are examining relationships to determine if Earth qualifies as a literally
living thing. How do you respond to these models? Will breakthroughs
in these fields apply to UFO phenomena?
- JV: In both of those cases you have an
example of the relationship of information with energy.
- What we seem to be discovering in genetics
is that what's important is information storage. DNA is essentially a
machine to store a lot of information. When you alter the information
you alter the whole being. Essentially you are dealing here with software,
not hardware. There may be other ways of representing it, other than DNA.
It just seems to be an extraordinarily efficient way of storing information
perfectly and duplicating it perfectly.
- I'm not a physicist, but I do talk to
a lot of physicists who are very puzzled these days. When you draw information
out of an experiment, theoretically you're drawing energy, because energy
and information are related; in fact, they are identical. So if I observe
a certain phenomenon at the quantum level, the answer is translatable in
terms of energy. That energy had to come from somewhere! So I've actually
had an impact on the experiment. It might not have happened the same way
if I had not been observing it.
- That's another mechanism in which you
see information and energy being related and unless we take that equation
into account we don't have a real picture of the Universe. That leads
to the question of what is the role of consciousness in the Universe. This
also relates to magic, because in magic you are manipulating information
structures that have a relationship to the material world around you.
So I think that both of those examples are very relevant to the question
of information versus energy. Increasingly we may find that information
is the more important of the two.
- I think UFOs are a special case that
forces us to question what we call reality. In Close Encounter cases there
is a point at which the witness seems to enter a different reality. There
is an English researcher named Jenny Randles who calls this "the Oz
factor." There is a point where all of a sudden reality has split
and the reality of the observer has been replaced by another reality.
If we could measure that, if we could instrument the witness, we might
be able to learn about what we call physical reality. But that also raises
the question: how do we know that this reality is the real one? How would
we prove that it's the real one? This reality is merely a human consensus.
- There are interesting experiments that
have been done where a newborn cat is given goggles that have vertical
slits, and the cat can't take the goggles off. It's known that visual
reality is created in the first two weeks in the life of a cat. So after
two weeks they remove those goggles and the cat has a vertical reality!
The cat could not think of horizontal structures. The cat would never
jump on this bench, for example. She would negotiate her way around a vertical
structure, but she has no concept of horizontal things. If the goggles
had horizontal slits, then that cat would have a horizontal reality.
- The point is that we all have goggles
over our minds and that's where the UFO phenomenon comes in. It challenges
these goggles! Our goggles are called culture, education, tradition and
so on, and these are the things through which we see the world! We're
incapable of seeing the world through a different set of goggles. One of
the opportunities that the UFO phenomenon is giving us is to look at reality
in a much larger context.
- Whatever UFOs turn out to be, the opportunity
is here. Simply by stretching our minds and forcing us to look at the
Universe in other ways.