Jacques Vallee's long career investigating UFOs

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An excellent new biographical essay on Jacques Vallee, at https://www.wired.com/story/jacques-vall...-ufos-are/ . It lays out his long career investigating this phenomenon. He still doesn't know what they are, even after six decades of work. I suppose this is to be expected, since this phenomenon is very complicated, being apparently composed of several different types of phenomena of fundamentally different natures (some involving the paranormal) that interact in various ways. 

It seems to me he might need to break up the problem into more manageable chunks, namely the different categories of sightings, and perhaps focus just on sightings by pilots and other good observers of apparently manufactured vehicles involving EM interaction with radars and radios and ELINT gear, optical media, etc. I think this category of UFO has accumulated more than enough evidence to establish its physical reality as somebody else's hardware from somewhere not of this Earth, regardless of the existence of other much weirder UFO-related phenomena.

I wonder what he makes of cases like the Chiles-Whitted episode, and the RB-47 ELINT case, other than that these are best explained by the extraterrestrial hypothesis.

Brief summaries of these two cases:

The Chiles-Whitted case was in 1948, early in the twentieth century history of the phenomenon. From Wiki:

Quote:“In the early morning hours of July 24, 1948, Clarence Chiles, chief pilot, and John Whitted, co-pilot, were flying an Eastern Air Lines Douglas DC-3 passenger plane near Montgomery, Alabama, at about 5,000 feet altitude. The night sky was clear with “the Moon, four days past full, shining through scattered clouds.”

At about 2:45 AM, Chiles “saw a dull red glow above and ahead of the aircraft.” He told Whitted, “Look, here comes a new Army jet job.” The object closed on their DC-3 in a matter of seconds, and both men later said they saw the object fly past the right side of their plane at high speed before it pulled “up with a tremendous burst of flame out of its rear and zoomed up into the clouds.” They observed the object for a total of ten to fifteen seconds. Chiles and Whitted stated that the object “looked like a wingless aircraft…it seemed to have two rows of windows through which glowed a very bright light, as brilliant as a magnesium flare.”Both pilots claimed the object was 100 feet long and 25-30 feet in diameter, torpedo- or cigar-shaped, “similar to a B-29 fuselage”, with flames coming out of its tail. Only one of the plane’s passengers was awake, C.L. McKelvie. He reported seeing a “bright streak of light” that flashed by his window.”

UFO skeptics later claimed it was a large meteor, but this explanation is untenable due to the obvious characteristics of an actual vehicle. The witnesses (trained pilots and good observers) would have to have been on drugs to so misinterpret what they saw and experienced."


Then there’s the RB-47 multiple air and ground electromagnetic signals interaction case, summarized at https://science.howstuffworks.com/space/...47-ufo.htm. This has been considered one of the best UFO vehicle cases ever. A better and more detailed account is at http://www.noufors.com/the_RB-47_ufo_encounter.html .


Quote:“Possessing the most sophisticated electronic intelligence (ELINT) gear available to the U.S. Air Force, the RB-47 could handle anything.

Unfortunately, in the morning hours of July 17, 1957, over the southern United States, an RB-47 came across something it was unprepared for.

In the first hint of what was to come, one of the three officers who operate the electronic countermeasures (ECM) equipment detected an odd signal. Moving up the radar screen, the blip passed some distance in front of the RB-47, then over Mississippi. Though puzzled, he sai­d nothing. However, a few minutes later, at 4:10 A.M., the sudden appearance of an intense blue light bearing down on the aircraft shook the pilot and copilot. Even more unnerving, the object changed course in the blink of an eye and disappeared at the two o’clock position. The aircraft radar picked up a strong signal in the same spot. The UFO maintained this position even as the RB-47 continued toward east Texas.

The pilot then observed a “huge” light, attached, he suspected, to an even bigger something that the darkness obscured. When the electronics gear noted the presence of another UFO in the same general location as the first, the pilot turned the plane and accelerated toward it. The UFO shot away. By now the crew had alerted the Duncanville, Texas, Air Force ground radar station, and it was soon tracking the one UFO that remained (the second had disappeared after a brief time). At 4:50 radar showed the UFO abruptly stopping as the RB-47 passed under it. Barely seconds later it was gone.

This incredible case — considered one of the most significant UFO reports ever — remained classified for years. When it became known years later, the Air Force declared that the RB-47 crew had tracked an airliner. Physicist Gordon David Thayer, who investigated the incident for the University of Colorado UFO Project, called this explanation “literally ridiculous."
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