Forbidden Science: Journals, 1957-1969

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North Atlantic Books, 1992 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 466 pages
"It is unusual for scientists to keep diaries and even more unusual for them to make them public..." remarks Jacques Vallee in this expose of the methods of science as it deals with the challenge of anomalous phenomena. Widely recognized for his pioneering work in UFO research, Dr. Vallee reveals what he uncovered as a young scientist when he became involved in the mystery of unidentified flying objects at the height of the U.S. Air Force investigations in the mid-sixties. From the extraordinary Socorro landing of 1964 to the notorious "Marsh Gas case," Dr. Vallee details behind-the-scenes conversations and heated debates among researchers. He describes the hopes and fears he felt every day as new sightings were reported and as he and his colleagues struggled to develop research methodology for this new phenomenon. Going beyond his best-selling Alien Contact trilogy, Dimensions, Confrontations and Revelations, Forbidden Science is also the richly personal story of a young Frenchman fascinated with the stars and the sky. Vallee becomes an astrophysicist and computer scientist in the nascent French computer industry, leaving France in 1962 for the United States to pursue work in the early computer languages - and work with other scientists on the phenomenon of unidentified flying objects. When the Air Force funded a major university to evaluate sightings of UFOs in 1967, Dr. Vallee and his mentor, Professor J. Allen Hynek, were part of the first briefing. Day by day he details in this beautifully written journal how "the problem" became not just a proliferation of sightings, but a complex layered public relations challenge. Debates developed not only on the study of these new phenomena, but on the way they were explained to the American people. Dr. Vallee reveals the process by which major American scientists already had been led astray by the intelligence community as early as 1953, for reasons that had little to do with the pursuit of scientific knowledge. Behind closed doors, and without the knowledge of the public, secret data and classified recommendations were evaluated and debated by faceless analysts. "The problem" was never studied at the high intellectual level which a phenomenon refuting so many known scientific values would seem to demand. In the midst of a swirl of media attention and public hunger to understand UFO sightings, Dr. Vallee recorded in his diaries not the cold, official face of science but the human side of research, as a few people eagerly tried to meet the challenge of the unknown. Moving beyond the question of the possible reality of unidentified flying objects, a mystery he does not claim to explain, Dr. Vallee asks, If science refuses to deal with such topics, then what is science for? Forbidden Science questions how we use scientific research to describe anomalous phenomena in the physical world and challenges us to face our assumptions about ourselves and the tenuous concept we call reality.

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Forbidden Science: Journals, 1957-1969

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Vallee's Anatomy of a Phenomenon ( LJ 6/1/65) was one of the first popular studies of UFOs written by a scientist. A computer specialist, Vallee became interested in UFOs after seeing an unidentified ... Read full review


Pontoise 25 December 1957
Paris 25 August 1958
Paris 10 February 1959
Lille 24 October 1959
Paris 12 August 1961
Blue Book
Austin 29 November 1962
Chicago 19 October 1963
Chicago 28 September 1966
Chicago 30 January 1967
Chicago 18 June 1967
Paris 10 October 1967
SaintGermain 13 May 1968
Edinburgh 14 August 1968
Willingboro 16 November 1968

Pontoise 24 March 1964
Chicago 24 October 1964
Chicago 8 May 1965
Chicago 23 March 1966
Paris 29 July 1966
Stanford 1 July 1969
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About the author (1992)

Dr. Jacques Vallee is a leading researcher on the phenomenon of unidentified flying objects world-wide. Born in France, he studied astrophysics, and received his Ph.D. in computer science in 1967 from Northwestern University. The real-life model for the French scientist played by Francois Truffant in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Dr. Vallee's books have sold well over a million copies in many languages.

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