Jacques Vallée

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Jacques Fabrice Vallée (born 24 September 1939) is an astronomer who was born in France, and specializes in the study of unidentified flying objects (UFO). He received a B.S. in mathematics at the Sorbonne and an M.S. in astrophysics at Lille University. He later received a doctorate in computer science at Northwestern University.[1] Vallée co-developed the first computerized mapping of Mars for NASA and was a developer in the ARPANET.

He participated in the 1997 Physical Evidence from UFO Reports symposium.[2]

Vallée developed a taxonomy for UFO observations, which includes interactions between humans and aliens. *AN1: Viewing anomalous lights or explosions in the sky that do not affect the witness or the environment.

  • AN2: Reports that show lasting effects such as flattened grass, poltergeist activity or anomalous photographs.
  • AN3: Cases that include entities. This could include ghosts, yetis (Abominable Snowman), elves, spirits and cryptozoology.
  • AN4: The witness reports interaction with the entities within the reality of the entities themselves. This type of experience could include near-death experiences, religious visions and out-of-body experiences (OBEs).
  • MA1: A UFO that drops, maneuvers, loops.
  • MA2: A UFO that includes a physical interaction with the environment while performing drops, maneuvers or loops. An example of this would be seeing a UFO near a power plant.
  • MA3: Witnessing entities on board a UFO while performing the above mentioned maneuvers.
  • MA4: The UFO witness observes the listed actions and goes through a transformational experience during the event.
  • MA5: The UFO witness suffers serious or injury as a result of seeing a UFO in the sky.

The character of Claude Lacombe, played by François Truffaut in Steven Spielberg's 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, was patterned after Vallée.[3]


  1. Autobiography of Jacques Vallée
  2. P.A. Sturrock et al. (1998), "Physical Evidence from UFO Reports", Journal of Scientific Exploration 12 (2): 179-229
  3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). American Film Institute. Retrieved on 4 November 2013.