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Jacques Vallée: The Man Behind the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Jacques Vallee

Jacques Vallée is a computer scientist, venture capitalist, and author known for his research into unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and his involvement in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Vallée’s work has been instrumental in advancing our understanding of the potential existence of alien life and the impact that it may have on our world.

Early Life and Career

Born in France in 1939, Vallée immigrated to the United States in the early 1960s to study astrophysics at Northwestern University. After receiving his Ph.D., he worked at the University of Texas and the Stanford Research Institute before starting his own computer software firm, which he sold to Broderbund in 1994.

UFO Research

Throughout his career, Vallée has been a leading figure in UFO research. In the 1960s and 1970s, he worked closely with astronomer J. Allen Hynek, who was an advisor to the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book. Vallée criticized the government’s handling of the project and argued that many UFO sightings could not be explained by natural phenomena or misidentification.

Allen Hynek and Jacques Vallee

Vallée’s research led him to develop the theory that UFOs could be linked to a wider phenomenon that he called “the control system.” He argued that this system was capable of manipulating human beliefs and perceptions, and that it may have existed for thousands of years.

SETI Research

In addition to his work on UFOs, Vallée has also been a prominent figure in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. He has served on the board of directors for the SETI Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to the search for alien life.

Vallée has argued that the traditional approach to SETI research, which involves searching for radio signals from other planets, may be too narrow. He has suggested that scientists should be open to the possibility of other forms of communication, such as telepathy or quantum entanglement.


Jacques Vallée’s work has had a profound impact on the study of UFOs and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. His research has challenged conventional thinking and encouraged scientists to explore new ideas and methods. Vallée’s theories about the control system and the potential for non-traditional forms of communication have also influenced popular culture, inspiring movies such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Contact.


Jacques Vallée is a pioneering figure in the fields of UFO research and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. His work has pushed the boundaries of scientific inquiry and inspired a new generation of scientists and thinkers. Vallée’s legacy will continue to inspire us to question our assumptions and explore the unknown, as we continue the search for the truth about our place in the universe.

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