UFO Conjecture(s)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Jacques Vallee's analysis of metal fragments from 10 classic UFO cases

With the current "excitement" about the alleged non-Earthly aspects of metal(s) found near where the Roswell incident supposedly occurred, here is a paper by Jacques Vallee about the analysis of metal fragments that accompanied some famous or infamous UFO episodes.

Click here for the paper -- a PDF


  • Rich & CO,

    What a breath of fresh air! Thanks for posting this.

    Another case (which flew under the radar–pun intended) aside from recounting "balls of fire"; one person shooting at the objects and "negroes" praying, as they thought it might be the end of the world! What got my attention however, was the ejecta that was described as "tinfoil":



    By Blogger Frank Warren, at Saturday, July 16, 2011  

  • From memory, I think Vallee complained about the chain of evidence of metal samples in 'Confrontations.' Although his 'trace evidence' paper is interesting and thought-provoking, I can't help but wonder about the way our assumptions filter the possibilities. Even with a good 'chain of evidence,' there's an expectation that anything dressed as *proof* will be totally distinct from anything terrestrial. Consequently, no matter the provenance of samples, if they conform to Earthly benchmarks, under analysis, they can't be extraordinary.

    A couple of the samples iirc were within our capabilities of manufacture, but limited to only a few specialised places of production. Naturally, this leads to speculation that some Earthly agency was deliberately leading researchers to consider an ET origin. Who knows?

    In the 50s and 60s there was also a Geiger-fetish whereby any evidence of radiation implied ET and the opposite indicated hoaxes or misidentifications. NICAP and APRO field investigators considered Geiger-counters as tools of the trade.

    For the sake of argument, what if UFOs were really technological craft and weren't always radioactive or made from materials from other galaxies? If this was the case, all the studies would be barking up the wrong tree.

    For what it's worth, I'm not drawing any conclusions from Vallee's paper (who would?), or the alleged evidence from incontinent saucers. I'm just wondering if we overlook evidence in our laps by presupposing that everything that isn't 'us' will be identifiably 'alien.'

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Saturday, July 16, 2011  

  • Frank:

    What piques my interest is how those flying thingies manage to zoom around, being constructed of tin-foil.

    It's a feat that only aliens could manage.

    And Kandinsky:

    You seem to be in the Moody, CDA camp of skepticism, which is a really okay thing with me, just so long as it doesn't warp your intellectual bent....(that's not to say that Lance or CDA are not intellectual -- they are, and a goodly offset to what passes for intelligent scrutiny in the UFO arena).


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, July 16, 2011  

  • Rich,

    I have often wondered if the "ejecta" reported in so many instances is possibly remnants from chemical decomposition in regards to a means of propulsion.

    For example: in cracking H20 and separating its elements i.e., hydrogen & oxygen using say, gallium coated aluminum; in the aftermath alumina is the by-product (which can be reconstituted) and used again.

    In this instance, "hydrogen" as a source of energy would be the goal. Hydrogen of course is the most abundant element in the universe ( as we know it).


    By Blogger Frank Warren, at Sunday, July 17, 2011  

  • I doubt either gentleman would appreciate the comparison! I'm much lower down on the scale of skepticism and the mark of believer is upon me. :)

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Sunday, July 17, 2011  

  • Frank:

    Your hypothesis is worthy of serious scrutiny, and valid merit, as I see it.

    One would hope that it is picked up by credentialed scientist who resides, subliminally, inside the UFO habitation.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, July 17, 2011  

  • Kandinsky:

    I think the "believer-mark" is embedded upon CDA and Lance too.

    They just want to scrape away the detritus that scums the topic.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, July 17, 2011  

  • Magnesium is always interesting especially since duralumin and magnalium are it's alloys that are used for a very tough, pliable and lightweight skin, that also have the advantage of being electrically neutral, with the exception being that when placed in a field, magnesium skin conducts the field.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Sunday, July 17, 2011  

  • Regarding the Ubatuba sample, the Condon committee did a lab examination of it as well, the results partly contradicting the previous ones organised by APRO, but Vallee makes no mention of this.

    As for skepticism, I am around 90 per cent skeptic, conceding that there are a few, very few, truly unexplained cases. I was much more enthusiastic when younger but the passage of time has severely dented this enthusiasm. Such can probably be said of many today.

    By Blogger cda, at Sunday, July 17, 2011  

  • One of the issues this paper has, and Vallee essentially says this himself within the article for SSE/JSE from 13 years ago, is that not only is the chain of evidence in most of the cases cited problematical, but also the chain of custody of the samples themselves.

    Furthermore, a number of questionable sources are cited, as case examples, and the materials tested in all cases seem mundane or prosaic, in the sense that none tested could not have been created on earth with technologies available at the time--no unearthly radio isotope ratios that would point to extraterrestrial sources, for example, or materials of advanced composition--no meta-materials, alloys, or nano-structures evident.

    OTOH, wouldn't it be interesting if, for plausible deniability (and speculative purposes here), some recovered metallic residues were from UFOs, just that "they" are advanced enough not to allow or leave any undeniably extraterrestrial evidence behind--just enough substance as to leave even our best science and analysis always wondering, WTF? Those cosmic jokers! 8^}

    By Blogger steve sawyer, at Sunday, July 17, 2011  

  • 'OTOH, wouldn't it be interesting if, for plausible deniability (and speculative purposes here), some recovered metallic residues were from UFOs...etc'

    This is what I was getting at.

    *If* some UFOs are technological craft, and they've been around us for a long time, is it a null proposition that some of their material could be terrestrially sourced?

    It's something I've considered in light of Vallee's account of a molten pile of slag being found on a frosty morning. IIRC there were several witnesses to a UFO discharging it.

    Just thinking aloud...

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Sunday, July 17, 2011  

  • Von Neumann probes using terrestrial materials for self-replication and forensic camouflage?

    See: http://tinyurl.com/2lntqz

    Since we're speculating here, and such might be hypothetically possible (and could explain some things), the proposition is not null.

    Shades of Clarke's "2010!"

    (Although, my friend HAL says we should probably avoid Europa for the indefinite future...) 8^}

    By Blogger steve sawyer, at Sunday, July 17, 2011  

  • But why, Steve, would UFO "aliens" need to camouflage themselves?

    They haven't done anything to warrant such a measure.

    UFOs/flying saucers have been,
    discounting the abduction stories, essentially benign.

    It would be like you or me camouflaging ourselves to go to McDonald's.

    Nope! UFO are something totally outside the realm of SciFi imaginers.

    And the fun in pursuing their mystery comes from trying to discern just what they are, their purpose for being, and how they have been able to avoid explanation -- so far.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, July 17, 2011  

  • "But why, Steve, would UFO "aliens" need to camouflage themselves?

    "They haven't done anything to warrant such a measure."

    Why, indeed?

    Note I referred to "forensic camouflage," meaning possibly prosaic or earthly materials being recovered from UFO CE II (ground trace) incidents, perhaps so that no truly anomalous or unearthly material for analysis is "left behind," maybe to maintain a homeostatic level of co-evolving plausible deniability.

    But, to your more general question, I can think of several logical reasons why some form of inherent "camouflage" or elusive, liminal "displays" might have a variety of purposes, if you want some serious speculative responses to this quite important question.

    I will have to get some sleep and and take the time to compose a 2-part reply, by tomorrow if you'd like.

    This is one of the penultimate questions, IMHO. Let me know, here, either way, if you want me to more fully flesh out the differing hypothetical reasons.

    By Blogger steve sawyer, at Sunday, July 17, 2011  

  • Steve, buddy...

    Do you mean "second to last" (penultimate) or ultimate?

    If it's really the one next to the last question, cut to the chase and give us the last question.

    Life is short...


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, July 17, 2011  

  • "Do you mean "second to last" (penultimate) or ultimate?

    "If it's really the one next to the last question, cut to the chase and give us the last question."

    Part 1 of 2:

    Well, I guess I could resort to the erudite semantics of Dr. Seuss and say I said what I mean and I mean what I said, but just to clarify, I think there can only be penultimate questions asked presently due to the fact that without verified, absolute data as to the nature of those aspects of the UFO phenomenon that seem to represent or suggest, via appearance and behavior, etc., some form(s) of non-human sentience, we don't know what the ultimate questions might be, other than generally what the origins, actual nature, and intent, if any, of those kinds of UFO phenomena are or would mean, to us.

    Even then, with our relatively (?) limited intellectual, analytical, and perceptual parameters, we still might not or ever "know."

    So for now, all we can ask are anthropocentric, secondary-level or "penultimate" questions, regardless of how much more is ever concretely and provably known (and which I doubt will occur anytime soon anyway, perhaps at least as long as our species exists in its present form), as how does one define or know what an "ultimate" question, let alone answer, is, ontologically or phenomenologically?

    We can only be arbiters of human concerns, not the ultimate, as that's a concept, like perfection, not reality, AFAIK.

    It is an "unknown unknown," to quote Donald Rumsfeld, or that "there are things we do not know we don't know." Bit of a quandry.

    There may be so different and/or higher levels of meaning, intelligence, and consciousness we are simply unable to clearly comprehend them, IMHO.

    So, I hope this helps explain what I meant by a penultimate question. Next, I will explain what it all means, or as Vonnegut might say, Hi ho. ;')

    By Blogger steve sawyer, at Sunday, July 24, 2011  

  • Steve:

    You're an intelligent guy....but you don't have the definition of penultimate under your belt, and it's quandary, not quandry.

    Has the heat gotten to you?

    (And don't start looking for my flubs -- I'd be mortally embarrassed.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, July 24, 2011  

  • Part 2 of 2:

    As to why UFOs (or, to be specific, those that have characteristics and apparent behavior suggesting forms of guided, reactive, or interactive behavior, etc.) might display differing and variable kinds of morphology and behavioral display, on a liminal basis (not overt, formal, or testable) as a potential form of elemental camouflage, my best current guess (subject to revision and debate) would be a cross between a kind of "leaky embargo" hypothesis (James Deardorff, et al) and a sort of possibly intentional incomplete "prime imperative" (Cap'n Kirk...KHAAAN!!!). 8^}

    But, as usual, that too is just more "idle speculation." [I can almost always only say maybe, but then again, it all depends--sorry to be so ambiguously... equivocal. Sigh...]

    Frankly, I don't think humanity could coherently accept or deal with any extremely advanced non-human intelligent organic or inorganic "lifeform," even if completely "benign," particularly if it weren't even humanoid, which I suspect may be the case, due to our own survival instincts--we want to be the "alpha" intellect hereabouts.

    It would be just too difficult to encompass without the potential of massive disruption and deterioration of human will and endeavor, or whatever what might otherwise be our "natural" evolutionary prospects, "timeline," and long-term survival as a "self-directed" species.

    Two most likely consequent scenarios which could transpire would be either extraordinary xenophobia and conflict or some forms of religious and material co-dependence or worse, a kind of psychological "subjugation."

    If any advanced intelligence was or is here now, it may already fully know, maybe from prior experience, that making its presence overtly and undeniably known may lead to our collapse as a viable, "independent" species, and that perhaps the criteria for genuine contact is based on whether we can ultimately overcome our own self-destructive tendencies and live, thrive, and evolve from within our limited biosphere into something else able to eventually succeed on our own to be able to move beyond current limitations to other parts of the galaxy and greater multiverse, and by doing so, be on a more equal footing, but it's impossible to really say. Just today's offhand 2 cent guesstimate.

    I think the test may be to be able to do that on our own, although the odds are against it, or for us to at least think we will do that without direct assistance from whatever "others" there may be.

    But, who the fuck really knows? To be or not to be...more than we are...is one of the penultimate questions we need to answer, for our own evolutionary sustainability, and in order to have any kind of genuine future or advancement.

    Consider the alternatives if we don't or can't--stagnation, decline, and probably eventual extinction.

    By Blogger steve sawyer, at Sunday, July 24, 2011  

  • Steve:

    You are starting to sound like Bruce Duensing, without the arcane references.

    UFOs are either a benign phenomenon or the constructs of an unEarthly life-form that is itself benign.

    You make too much of the things.

    They don't impact and haven't really impacted humanity.

    Man's inhumanity to man has had a greater deleterious impact than UFOs.

    UFOs are merely a phenomenological curiosity, and should be treated as such by us.

    (I think Paul Kimball has come to that conclusion -- God bless him.)

    And how your comments (and mine) have anything to do with Jacques Vallee's metal fragments is beyond me.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, July 24, 2011  

  • @RR:

    Your comment posted while I was still composing my part 2 of 2.

    Yep, I know penultimate is defined as next to last, or second to last. I guess I was just trying to use it in a different way, or repurpose it, ...or something. And you're correct about the spelling of quandary.

    [Disney's "Goofy," sotto voce:
    "Garsh! How embarrasskin"!] 8^}

    I do feel a little "off my game" today, maybe due to not getting sufficient tar and nicotine in my diet lately--been about a month and half of trying quit smoking and cutback on coffee, and things have been a tad...EDGY!!! Heh. I'm sure my kind of pedantic thoughts above reflect that, and some degree of shark-jumping.

    And yeah, the recent heat wave doesn't help. Oh, mea culpa! It's so damn grammatically edifying posting here, ain't it?

    BTW, since you asked me, I was wondering what you thought were some of the "penultimate" (giggle) or most important questions regarding the UFO phenomenon yourself...care to point out what you consider most pertinent or overlooked in this enigmatic arena? Hmmmmmmmm....?

    By Blogger steve sawyer, at Sunday, July 24, 2011  

  • Steve:

    There are no important questions about UFOs that need to be explored.....for me.

    When you have millions of humans (in Somalia/Kenya) starving and ill, or when you have a little guy killed by a maniac in New York or a slew of innocents murdered by a psychopath in Norway, UFOs end up with a low priority around here.

    That's why I mentioned Paul Kimball.

    He seems to have repurposed his blogging and interests in things more relevant, philosophically, than UFOs.

    We are heading in that same direction.

    UFOs are an interesting, intriguing mystery. A curiosity, that's all.

    To provide the phenomenon more attention than it deserves indicates a pathology.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, July 24, 2011  

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