Thursday, August 4, 2011

Vallee on Sturrock - part three

On an October 1972 visit to the offices of NICAP, Vallee met John L Acuff. "Acuff had a letter from Sturrock on his desk, so he asked if I knew him, which showed how uninformed he was. I urged him to cooperate with Peter's project." (p.159.)

Feb 1973. "Over lunch with Sturrock and Harder on Thursday I was finally able to see and touch the famous sample of tungsten silicate that got Allen so excited he wanted to start a new company." (p.180.)

March 1974 saw a joint meeting of the AIAA's UFO sub-committee and Cufos. Present was Peter Sturrock. "Sturrock suggested organizing a workshop of academics at Aspen. We spoke of international cooperation. " (p.241.)

Aug 1974. "A symposium on UFOs and radio astronomy organized at Stanford University by Peter Sturrock and Ron Bracewell has gathered a select group of specialists for the last three days." (p.265.)

Jan 1976. "Peter Sturrock, who came over to our house for breakfast, is preparing a UFO questionnaire aimed at scientists. Cufos proposed to publish it. Peter wisely prefers his independence. 'There is a need to separate this research from Cufos, which promotes a belief in UFOs,' he said. He argues that professional scientists are more likely to respond to a questionnaire from Stanford." (p.324.)

Apr 1976. "Peter Sturrock, who is quietly setting up a real scientific group as a committee of the AIAA, sought my advice about the agenda. I said I would stress physical effect cases and avoid pointless quarrels with Menzel and Klass. " (p.332.)


Although the last three posts may seem old history to some, I find they help me understand where Peter Sturrock was coming from.


  1. Thanks for writing these three posts. Sturrock's work is fascinating and getting a sense of the dynamics between Vallee, Hynek and himself is interesting. They each had a distinct notion of how to take the research forward and yet, here we are, in 2011 with little changed.

    I guess Vallee is too esoteric for the mainstream, Hynek too much of a UFO advocate and Sturrock too scientific for the public? Through several perspectives, we can see how difficult it is to move forward when personalities are as significant as seeking to appeal to diverse, often conflicting, communities.

    All three have also engaged in 'invisible colleges' at one point or other. In this light, it would appear that every approach has been tried to engage public, science and politics without much success.

    'Avoiding pointless quarrels' is definitely advice that holds today!

  2. Hi Kandinsky

    Thanks for your comments. I'm always interested in the origins of an individual's beliefs and views. So it was good to learn of Sturrock's own "UFO" sighting. I recall too, that Vallee had his own daylight sighting in France. I'm not sure just what started Hynek's interest off, unless it was his work with the USAF.

  3. Hiya Pauline, it's something that puzzles me with Vallee. He had a 50s sighting of a technological-looking disc-shaped craft. A friend of his saw the same object from a different location. This would suggest it was an actual material object. Some years later he relates how he saw scientists routinely destroying radar-tapes that showed UFOs entering Earth's atmosphere.

    What I don't understand is how a person can have such 1st-hand experience of something tangible and then subsequently doubt that we are dealing with objects at all.

  4. Hi Kandinsky

    I turned to page 345 of Vallee's Forbidden Science Volume 2. "Unidentified flying objects appear spontaneously, often out of thin air. Yet they take the form of physical, perfectly tangible machines..." He then goes on to speak of medieval folklore, "...what we have here, whether we like it or not, are paranormal apparitions. I am reluctant to come to this conclusion: I have been trying to avoid it all these years."

    "Yet the so-called 'saucers' have too much impact on our culture not to be controlled by some intelligence."

    I wonder if the appearing out of thin air made him uncertain of it being an actual material object? Of course, if an object were able to 'cloak' aka Star Trek it could still be a material object.


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