Thursday, December 16, 2021

Jacques Vallee and Ten Unexplained UFO Cases and Metallic Debris

 Back in May of this year, I, along with several thousand of my friends, received a press release about a new book by Jacques Vallee about a reported UFO crash near San Antonio, New Mexico in 1945. It predated Roswell by nearly two years, though some of the elements seemed to foreshadow that case. I put up a preliminary analysis of the case which you can read here:

And, there was a story about fragments recovered in the crash that had been analyzed. That information can be found here:

I did have the opportunity to read the book and provided an analysis, more of a review, which can be read here:

Don Schmitt and I discussed this last spring when the information first broke. Don said that he had talked with one of the primary witnesses about the case. Our discussion, in the first segment, can be heard here:

And finally, I had the opportunity to speak with both Jacques Vallee and Paola Harris about their book about the San Antonio crash. Most of the conversation was with Vallee. You can access that information and listen to the show here:

All this was triggered by a peer reviewed journal article, Physical Analyses in Ten of Unexplained Aerial Objects with Material Samples, that is available online now, though the scheduled publication is January 2022. It has very little to do with the San Antonio crash but does provide some insight into the reason Vallee seems to accept this tale. In it, Vallee writes about ten incidents in which strange and unexplained debris has been recovered in cases associated with UFO sightings, or suspected UFO sightings.

Jacques Vallee

Among those ten cases is one that is an obvious hoax and that is the report from Maury Island in early June 1947. It is clear from the investigations by the military and by private UFO researchers that the case is a hoax, though Vallee suggests there might be something of value in it. You can read about that here:

For those interested, you can read more about this hoax in Crash: When UFOs Fall from the Sky; Alien Mysteries, Conspiracies and Cover-Ups, and in Jerry Clark’s massive UFO Encyclopedia. George Earley published a two-part expose of the hoax in Fate in March and April 1981 and a three-part expose in UFO magazine in October 2010, January 2011 and October 2011.

Some of the other cases are shaky at best. The source of some of those seems to be Frank Edwards who often wrote from memory without bothering to check the facts. More than once I have found substantial errors in works by Edwards, though he often gets a few of the facts right.

It is with the Council Bluffs, Iowa, case from December 17, 1977, that Vallee devotes the most space to in the article, including an analysis of the metal that was recovered. There seems to be no doubt that something fell into the Big Lake Park during the evening. Three people were on their way to a local store when they spotted the glowing, reddish object about five hundred feet in the air falling straight down. It disappeared behind the trees and there was a flash of bluish-white light shooting upwards suggesting an impact.

Witnesses summoned the fire department and Assistant Fire Chief Jack Moore arrived in time to see the still glowing molten mass. He said that it was some sort of metal that couldn’t be bent or broken that was covering an area of about four by six feet. They did attempt to alert the Air Force, but this was several years after the closure of Project Blue Book and the Air Force officers at Offutt Air Force Base weren’t interested.

There were other witnesses and most of them were interviewed. Their stories all basically matched about a glowing object falling to the ground. For a time after crashing, it, whatever it was, threw off sparks reminding the witnesses of those old-fashioned sparklers that were once among the few Fourth of July “fireworks” allowed in Iowa.

Samples of the metal were collected and subjected to testing at several labs including those at Iowa State University. The metal was high-carbon steel of terrestrial origin. There was nothing in the samples to suggest an alien technology, though no one could explain where the metal originated or what the object was that fell into the park. There were a couple of manufacturing plants in the area at the time that might have been the source, but no one could explain how the glowing metal had gotten from the plants to the park or why it seemed to have fallen from the sky.

There are those who suggest that what fell hadn’t actually landed directly on the levee, but had fallen into the lake. They thought a search of the lake by divers might offer an explanation. To date, that hasn’t been done.

There is one part of the paper that is quite interesting. According to Vallee, the Ubatuba, Brazil, sample that was seen to fall onto the beach and into the Atlantic Ocean, did not happen in September, 1957, as most of us believed. The metal was actually recovered in 1933 or 1934 and wasn’t sent to the magazine writer in Brazil until 1957. The man who originally brought this to our attention, Dr. Olavo Fontes, a colleague of Coral and Jim Lorenzen, presented a number of dubious UFO reports in the 1960s. This might have been one of them.

Ubatuba samples have been analyzed by many labs over the years and the consensus seems to be of extremely pure magnesium. While interesting, the case was originally plagued by the lack of a solid provenance. Although the magazine writer was identified, the actual source, the person who sent it to him, was unknown. Vallee has made that an even bigger problem suggesting that the date used by all of us is wrong as well.

At the end of the day, we are again treated to a number of dubious cases, some of them obvious hoaxes, but provided the wrappings of science. We have analyses of the cases, but if the metal is part of the hoax, then any conclusion drawn is worthless. And, if the metal is found to be of Earthly origin, then what do we have. Nothing that takes us to the extraterrestrial except the claims of strange objects associated with the finds and even that isn’t always the case


Gene Steinberg said...

If it's the article I found online, it's dated 1998.

Is that a different one?


Richard Bejtlich said...

Hello Lt Col Randle,

When you mentioned

Physical Analyses in 10 cases of Unexplained Aerial Objects with Material Samples

were you referring to this 1998 paper?



Joeschmoe said...

As other participants have previously replied on this blog, which was originally posted over 7 months ago, this is unbecoming for Vallee and may have tarnished the crededible work he has previously brought forth to the subject.

KRandle said...

I have uncovered the area of confusion here. I referenced the 1998 paper but should have made it clear that what had triggered my response was an article that can be found here:

It was a new review of some of the material collected at Council Bluffs in 1977. That article became available online on December 9, 2021 and is somewhat related to that earlier article.

Richard Bejtlich said...

Roger that -- thanks for the clarification.


Shane said...

Hello Kevin. Shane Ryan from Canberra here.

Slightly off-topic, but, if I wanted to confirm the presence or otherwise of a soldier at the Roswell Army Air Base in 1947, how could I go about that? Am I right in thinking you have a list of the people who were on the base at that time?

The family of an apparent Roswell serviceman witness has contacted me wanting to know how they might go about confirming his presence there and his stated involvement in the incident. The man, who emigrated to Australia, has now passed away, but his children are still alive.



Alex Foyle said...

Thanks for the info. Just in case here is a link to the full paper by Vallee, Nolan et al.

Vallee also posted a confused rebuttal to the legion of critics of his latest book Trinity here

It's very sad to see that a hero of my youth appears to be nothing more than another UFO scam artist, sorry. Trinity is an unscientific desaster of a book and there seem to be good reasons that the materials from that alleged crash are not included in Vallees & Nolans paper.

Keep up the good work, Kevin.



KRandle said...

Shane -

I have several documents that provide the names of those who were in Roswell in July 1947. Contact me at and provide the name. I'll check it out. I believe, given the documents I have that I have about 90%+ of those there.

John Steiger said...

Alex Foyle: To refer to Jacques Vallee as "nothing more than another UFO scam artist" is unfair. While personally I am not a big fan of Dr. Vallee, I believe he engaged in some important UFO studies prior to going off-tangent to Magonia.

That said, Trinity and this upcoming journal article may be his most wayward works yet.

Alex Foyle said...

John Steiger: Thanks, you're right, I should have said UFO profiteer instead of scam artist. I was actually a very big fan of Vallee, even bought the expensive limited edition of his "Wonders in the Sky", although that is also riddled with unscientifc research/sources and (consequently) findings.

Owning and having read all his work I think his most valuable efforts are his memories/diaries as published in the Forbidden Science series and in Revelations, Confrontations, Dimensions & Messengers of Deception. He lets all the experiencers have their word and lets them tell their story without ever judging either way. That's probably also the reason why his rumoured Aviary nickname in the heady 1980s was Parrot ...

Trinity in my opinion is definitely his weakest work ever and there are tons of reasons, some of which have been pointed out and discussed here on Kevin's excellent blog. I'd be happy to exchange via DM with you if you wish. Trinity has really made me lose faith in Vallee and his research abilities, the book is an unedited and unresearched disaster.

Regarding his research with Nolan, that could be wayward if they wouldn't be wasting their time and credibility on toxic waste from Maury Island, for example. Some of the other cases under investigation are "shaky at best" as Kevin put it mildly. So I'm not getting my hopes up here. Ironic that the allegedly retrieved pieces from the crash described in Trinity are not being investigated, they have been found to be of earthly origin long before Trinity was published. Which materials would be worthwhile for the study of Vallee and Nolan?

P.S.: Just saw that somebody at the Anomalist posted a kind of a reply to Kevin's article here. It's short so I just copy and paste:

Jacques Vallee and Ten Unexplained UFO Cases and Metallic Debris A Different Perspective

Kevin Randle reacts to a 1998 Journal of Scientific Exploration paper by Jacques Vallee, available at Physical Analyses in Ten Cases of Unexplained Aerial Objects with Material Samples. Kevin objects to Vallee's methodology of including controversial examples in a study producing even preliminary conclusions. Note: Vallee and Garry Nolan et al's article in the January 2022 journal Progress in Aerospace Sciences entitled Improved Instrumental Techniques, Including Isotopic Analysis, Applicable to the Characterization of Unusual Materials with Potential Relevance to Aerospace Forensics emphasizes procedures and generates a negative conclusion about its focus, the 1977 Council Bluffs, Iowa case, which is also analyzed at some length in Vallee's solo 1998 effort. In EM Effects and Current UFO Sightings Kevin continues emphasizing recent interesting reports, and in Pilot Sightings he offers more old and new ones. Kevin's comments about the attitude in Washington came before Congress passed the FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, but he still seems guarded regarding progress in resolving the UFO conundrum. And Kevin's Halloween-inspired Flying Humans and Tall Whites is still a bit creepy. (WM)

Source & links: (scroll down to December 24)

Chas buckles said...

while not from cedar rapids im from nearby in the land of drinkin,after near 5 milliontruck miles on the interstate heading for the west coast ive seen several uap one quite close.told by family dont worry its one of ours,having only read about a thousand of the tens of thousands of ufo books many of which(better ones i might add are yours,i have eliminated any with even the faintest connection to the military industrial complex.They seem to change their minds A a life member of CUFOS i would defend the late TED PHILIPS research on trace cases as being much deeper than dr. vallees examination,further the Utah las vegas case of the early 60s which you so wonderfully covered is another example of denying eye witness testimony in favor of speculative dismissal for lack of concrete proof akin to okc,911,etc.Given the eyewitness testimony at kecksburg,and leslie keans excellent work at traversing the legal minefield only to be laughed at by the military in the face of substantial documentary evidence denied to exist by the military charged with defending against such threats,until some stray copy finds its way into the mainstream narrative, see rendlesham,Richard Russell, ad infinitum,I have looked pretty closely at the council bluffs affair,and wish to state,that many earlier cases lacked the technologically advanced methodology to be studied in a informative way,and if eye witness testimony is to be marginalized,particularly like the military has done with enthusiasm,as it searches for WMD amongst the purloined no longer available evidence as reported by those present time and again,one is presented with a binary choice which leads inevitably to denial,a luxury not all have the ability to enjoy..and how to deny a ton of red heat iron albeit high carbon type running across the ground on a weekend night when the local foundries are closed outside temps below freezing.witnesses arrive within minutes,some claim to have seen it fall! Indian lake aint the same paradigm,but has a strikingly similair government response, i realize im missing metaphors here, and mean no offense but also must conclude that eyewitness testimony encapsulates a reality undeniable to those who cannot afford the luxury of doubt.