Joshua Tree, California - Last weekend, among the ancient and gnarled joshua trees and placed gently under the firmament of the Milky Way galaxy, was an event that you probably missed. It's been touted as "The Woodstock of UFOs" and indeed you should be bummed you missed it this year, but not for the reasons you think.
You could not imagine a more fitting and cosmic setting to discuss aliens, UFOs and extraterrestrial life; to ponder the vastness of space, the search for meaning or how to find a blowup alien sex doll (yep, that's a thing).
It's a well organized event, has a tremendous list of speakers each year, with attendees from all around the globe. It has a large selection of vendors to begin your cosmic exploration into the fourth-dimensional reality of all things UFO.
Most importantly, I was both inspired and encouraged by the hunger for information on the UFO topic that I observed this year at the event. It was a cavalcade collection of Ufologists; a Willy Wonka worthy extravaganza of fascinated skywatchers, culminating and commingling for four nights in the middle of the mysterious Mojave Desert, also my home.
But if I'm honest with myself, I fear for the future of research in the field of Ufology or Phenomenology.
Despite my personal inclination these days towards solitude and hermetic mountain living, I was a speaker at the event. It's only a few miles - as the UFO flies - from my home in the infamous, Pioneertown California. However, the choice to present my work did not come easy; I have a problem with the UFO field at this time and with the spiritual-hucksters and slytherine-frauds that occupy the empty space with "Newspeak", and messages of Orwellian doom.
If you remember, in George Orwell's book titled, Nineteen Eighty-Four... "Newspeak" was a fabricated language designed to provide a medium of expression for a world-view and mental habits (proper to the devotees), but to make all other modes of thought impossible.
This aspect of disinformation, misinformation and general distortion of the facts is like an ebola infection to the genuine research of UFOs and related phenomena.
Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. - George Orwell
Yes, the UFO charlatans are still out in spades and they will smell your curiosity and attempt to impress upon you the gravity of their role in "Disclosure" (Government acknowledgment of an ET presence engaging humanity). They will go to phantasmagorical lengths to entice your faith, and eventually demand the abduction of your hard-earned-cash for nothing more than smoke and mirrors. They will persecute you for independent thinking, what is considered a "thoughtcrime" by those who want to steal your commonsense and implant their personal cosmology.
They want to harvest your will, and obliterate your reason. If you ask for evidence, think for yourself, or commit any act nearing rationality - your "thoughtcrime" will be punished by cries that you are part of "The Conspiracy" or "The Coverup" - and you will be exiled as a spook or a nefarious M.I.B. (Men In Black), spying on the real truth-tellers and contactees.
“In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” - George Orwell
We have a rich history in the UFO world when it comes to intensional deception. There are more layers of mirage - and by more players interested in controlling "the optics" on the UFO issue - than can be imagined in the heavens or earth. I say this because it’s important to consider the elements at play, when you're playing with the elements.
But do not fear. Truth seekers, X-Files fans, Trekkies or abductees, the mirage comes later, much farther down the rabbit hole. The first sip of Kool-Aid at a UFO conference is always on-the-house; it's a power move really.
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows. George Orwell
I can only speak for myself, but I value honesty, truth, integrity and evidence. Sadly, it appears that NOISE is the new BLACK. It seems that reason and evidence are willfully abandoned due to the tactics of persuasion by UFO Holy Rollers and spiritualists. That glorification is above investigation. That in an an ocean of self-proclaimed and false prophets; fear based deception rules supreme. They will say it's because your government is holding the truth from you (which might have some basis in reality, to a degree) but it is what comes next that really distinguishes some speakers from the rest of the pack.
They will tell you the truth lies within the "unacknowledged" military programs that siphon your tax dollars to play out a cosmic war between good and alien. That our world would be a better place if the stranglehold on "free energy" would simply be released to the public. That we could live in a world without pollution thriving off of antigravity technology that our government has been stashing away for decades. That all our problems will be solved if we just demand for it loud enough. And that, of course, this type of dissidence will cost boatloads of money. However, thankfully, they know where to put those dollars... all you have to do is follow the ancient rule of, "Trust me, I'm a Doctor".
What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy? - George Orwell
As an investigatory filmmaker into the ExtraOrdinary claims of (usually) credible individuals (the jury is still out on some), I have a few questions:
What has happened to the scientific approach? What has happened to asking for proof? Why do people buy blowup alien sex dolls?
As George Knapp, my mentor in journalism often says, "Big questions. Disturbing answers."
This is why I feel a deep sense of duty to you, the reader and to all those who are honestly curious about the biggest mystery of our time - what is this whole UFO problem? And how can we move the needle forward towards understanding?
I have a carefully crafted method for finding the truth. It begins by inundating those who have walked this path before me with impassioned appeals for guidance and help. Yes, I beg.
Society has always to demand a little more from human beings than it will get in practice. - George Orwell
Here is where you begin to see a glimmer of light within the darkness at Contact In The Desert this year because we heard a voice. A voice that has gently whispered for over half a century on this topic; an information scientist, venture capitalist, author, former astronomer and the man that served as the real-life model for the character portrayed by François Truffaut in Steven Spielberg’s 1977 film, Close Encounter of the Third Kind.
A man named Jacques Vallee is the reason you should have been at Contact In The Desert.
Jacques was born in France, has a thick accent, is multilingual, and remains one of the deepest thinkers to ever exist in the fields of Ufology and Phenomenology. He stands at over six feet tall, and at 77 years of age has a full head of silver hair. He speaks softly, but about powerful things. His pale blue eyes are of significant contrast to the colors of the Mojave Desert. The only thing that seems familiar about meeting Jacques is the dissident twinkle in his gaze when you say something that he knows more about, than you. Wearing all white, he has not one spec of desert dirt on him, but he definitely has some desert in him; silence paired with knowledge is an an ancient combination that we know well here in the Mojave.
Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious. - George Orwell
It was said to me that Jacques tends to draw a large circle of silence around him and stays within it. It is also said that he developed the first computerized data system for cataloguing UFO sightings into categories for the American government's UFO study, Project Blue Book, back in the early 1960's, with his colleague and friend J. Allen Hynek. It's safe to say this is not his first UFO rodeo - down the well oiled corridors of deception.
"Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it." - George Orwell
If you take a look, you will find a wide selection of academic literation that Jacques has published about the UFO problem over the decades. Books like Messengers of Deception, The Invisible College, Dimensions, Passport to Magonia and his most recent contribution, Wonders In The Sky (a book about historical and sometimes ancient UFO sightings and contacts that exclude the possibility of modern-day drones or military vehicles).
In essence, Jacques is a giant among men in the hunt for the truth about UFOs. He will be the first to gutturally twinge at my account of him. That's what I like about him. He's not here for the lime-light, the spectacle or the noise. So why is Jacques here at the "Woodstock of UFOs"? This was my first question I presented to him when I was asked by the good people and organizers of Contact In The Desert to do the introduction for Jacques lecture, "What Do We Know About the Material Composition of UFOs?"
With a title like that, Jacques had my full and undivided attention (free from "doublethink").
It turns out that Jacques is on a trail, like a bloodhound, secretly and skillfully practiced at weaving through obstacles towards a chosen target. He's on the trail for sure, and he's not going to stop until he achieves his destination or the road evaporates into the abyss of wonder.
This is where you come in.
Jacques was speaking at Contact In The Desert for selfish reasons; he wants your UFO debris. Granted, most of us don't have any spare pieces from the Roswell craft lying around in our cupboards, but some of us might. That's what Jacques is betting on. He's betting on you.
We're entering a new domain in the field of Ufology. With atomic milling and broad-spectrum elemental and isotopic analysis, we're finally entering a place within humanities scientific capacity - to make sense of non-sensical things.
Jacques did not come empty handed to the conference. Indeed he already has interrogated anomalous artifacts from known and verified UFO crash and landing sights from multiple historic locations across the globe. He revealed to us, the audience, a preview of analysis from a selection of fifteen samples that are undergoing testing currently. He has already hit the ground running and, once again, has proven to outpace even the most progressive and critical thinkers within this field.
It's what I call the "Vallee curse", which is to be so far ahead of the average learning curve, that your research looks like magic. It may take decades but eventually, I believe, Jacques Vallee's current work will become the bedrock of studying the material composition of UFOs. Twenty years ago, Jacques redefined the study of UFOs by specifying the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis, and then later, reaching far beyond the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis.
He's doing it all over again today. He's stirring the pot.
“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” - George Orwell
Jacques' voice on the UFO issue has evolved over the years. He has never sensationalized, and never overstated his thoughts and findings. He has hinted at possible conclusions along the way and seemingly has chosen to speak up - once again - to capture your imagination and direct your attention. He has accumulated new data and is waiting for you to contribute to his research. He will continue to follow where the data leads him, and so should you.
In the hope that the field of Ufology can recover some of the integrity it has lost, many of us look towards Jacques' new endeavor as he embarks towards solving a piece of the UFO mystery.
Back at my ranch in Pioneertown, sitting on my laptop under the shade of an ancient and particularly Dr. Suessian looking joshua tree, I am grateful for my (and your) opportunity to experience Jacques and his enthusiasm for discovery. His presence at Contact In The Desert was both a beacon and a mirage. It was brief and subtle, yet illuminating and promising. What will Contact 2018 bring us? What will we have learned?
Like the Coachellaites recent "re-discovery" of The Beatles through XM-Radio, and Generation Z's introduction to their music by seeing Sir Paul McCartney play a 200 person show at Pappy & Harriet's, this was your chance to grasp a message from an man who's work has impacted your daily life - even if you didn't know it.
"The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history." - George Orwell