Jacques Vallee is a French computer scientist, astronomer and ufologist who has gained significant cultural prominence during a career of scientific inquiry into the topic of unidentified aerial phenomena and alien visitation. Vallee, who, famously, is the inspiration for the French scientist, Claude Lacombe, in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, studied mathematics at the Sorbonne and astrophysics at Lille University before beginning his career as an astronomer at the Paris Observatory. He worked on computerized mapping with NASA and on the internet precursor, ARPANET, and then turned is focus to extraterrestrial phenomena. As a youth, Vallee sighted a UFO over his home in France, prompting his fascination with the subject. He has investigated innumerable UFO sightings around the world and is reported to be analyzing reputed UFO materials in a California laboratory.
Vallee is a proponent of the concept of multidimensional visitation, which suggests that aliens may be multidimensional, beyond space time, rather than visitors from a physically distant planet. Under this explanation, UAP and alien sightings are visitations from other dimensions that exist as part of a multiverse with our own reality and that may have occurred throughout history as reports of supernatural phenomena. Vallee, with J. Allen Hyneck, who was a consultant with the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book, detailed this hypothesis in the 1975 publication, The Edge of Reality: A Progress Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, and also in Vallee’s 1979 publication Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults. Vallee collaborated with Hynek and Project Blue Book on a computer data base of UFO and alien sightings. Vallee has contested the extraterrestrial hypothesis (specifically that the aliens and alien craft sighted on earth are beings or unoccupied drones that have traveled from other planets), setting him at odds with many leading ufologists in the United States, and prompting him to quip that he is a “heretic among heretics.” Vallee detailed his opposition to ETH in “Five Arguments Against the Extraterrestrial Origin of Unidentified Flying Objects” (Journal of Scientific Exploration). Vallee has been featured in a TED Talk, in numerous documentaries and he has authored dozens of books.