It's always seemed a little ironic to me that Dr Jacques Vallee has not taken to blogging his thoughts on a regular basis. Ironic because the legendary ufologist is also a distinguished computer scientist, and was heavily involved in the development of the ARPANET back in the 70s. On top of that, Jacques is one of the most original, provocative and eloquent thinkers around - his books on the UFO phenomena such as Passport to Magonia and Messengers of Deception fly in the face of popular (and ufological) opinion, making him somewhat of a 'heretic among heretics'. With his long history in the field of anomalies, in addition to his involvement with the development and financing of emerging technologies, there aren't too many people that I'd rather listen to.
I've been lucky enough to be involved with Jacques in reprinting his classic book Messengers of Deception through Daily Grail Publishing (available from Amazon US and Amazon UK). I've also interviewed Jacques on a couple of occasions, including one I did a few years back for Issue 4 of Sub Rosa (titled "Jacques Vallee: A Man of Many Dimensions"), and more recently about the aforementioned Messengers of Deception reprint. However, I've always wanted to see Jacques have a more regular voice online (including contemplating offering a blog on TDG for his use).
But today, a lovely surprise - because Jacques Vallee is now an occasional blogger on Boing Boing. Here's part of his introduction from Boing Boing's David Pescovitz:
I'm delighted to introduce a new occasional guest blogger on Boing Boing, Dr. Jacques Vallee, who will contribute posts every so often. In the world of computer science, Jacques is best known for his pioneering database research in the 1960s at Stanford Research Institute and then, during the next decade, for leading the development of the the world's first network-based computer conferencing system for the ARPANET. He launched that project, called PLANET, in 1972 at Institute for the Future (IFTF), the non-profit thinktank where I'm a researcher. At IFTF, Jacques and his colleagues studied the social impact of online communication and explored its applications in industry. In 1976, Jacques founded InfoMedia, the first computer conferencing and groupware company. I met Jacques in person several years ago when he popped into IFTF for a visit. It was quite exciting for me as I was quite familiar with his work, albeit in a very, very different context.
For nearly fifty years, Jacques has studied the history and culture of the UFO phenomena and written a slew of fantastic books on the subject, always calling for a scientific investigation of reports rather than an approach rooted in belief.
Looking forward to seeing what Jacques has to say - his first post is on "Waterboarding's Curious Corollaries". Certainly hope he chooses to cover the subject of UFOs and other anomalies (Jacques was also involved early on with remote viewing research), as there's rarely been such a highly qualified, eloquent speaker on these topics with a highly visible platform like Boing Boing. Will also be interesting to see the reaction of the rather 'anti-anomaly' segment of Boing Boing's audience which tends to get loud whenever the topic of UFOs and psi get raised.
For those unfamiliar with the man, here's video from a lecture Jacques presented at the 2007 International Remote Viewing Association Conference in which he discusses remote viewing, the psychic element of UFO sightings, and the French COMETA report on unexplained aerial phenomena (you can pick up the complete DVD series from the IRVA shop):
Previously on TDG: