High Strangeness: UFO Secrets in Rubbermaid Bins -- Part II

Monday, January 15, 2018

UFO Secrets in Rubbermaid Bins -- Part II

Well, this didn't go as expected.

In my last post, I described how, in the course of researching my book I had discovered the true identity of the person who inspired "Lacombe," the French UFOlogist character in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but I didn't drop any names, in the hopes of building up some suspense. Well, that's all moot now, so here are the names:

The guy we all thought inspired Lacombe: real-life French UFOlogist Dr. Jacques Vallee
The guy Dr. Hynek said inspired Lacombe: real-life French UFOlogist Dr. Claude Poher

The story I thought I was going to tell in this follow-up post was about how Dr. Vallee contacted me last summer to tell me how upset he was that I put that quote in my book, and I was going to tell how he had just contacted me over the holidays, just as upset, and that he had cc'd a prominent journalist both times which made me wonder whether this whole thing was going to end up in print somewhere.
Drs. Hynek (left) and Vallee

That's the story I thought I was going to tell. But then something else happened. What happened was, when Dr. Vallee wrote to me over the holidays, I started reading between the lines. And when I did that I sensed that Dr. Vallee may have been upset because he thought that my book was officially sponsored by Dr. J. Allen Hynek's Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS). While it's true that Dr. Mark Rodeghier, the scientific director of he Center, gave me the opportunity to write the book, the book itself is not a CUFOS product. So, I wrote back to Dr. Vallee and explained this to him.

I knew that there had been some bad blood between Dr. Vallee and CUFOS some time ago, so it suddenly made sense to me that I should assure Dr. Vallee about the independent nature of my work.

Well, a couple weeks went by with me not knowing what might be happening, and then just yesterday I got the nicest letter from Dr. Vallee. Turned out he really was concerned that my book was being used as a vehicle for CUFOS to take pot-shots at him, and he seemed very grateful that I had cleared that up.

I wrote back to him today and we now have a very nice dialog going... No mention of the "Lacombe" affair at all! In fact, in his letters today he was complimenting my book and telling me about Volume 4 of his published personal journals, "Forbidden Science," hinting at some of the stories he'll be telling. I can't wait to read it, and I hope you all will, too!

 

14 comments:

Robert Sheaffer said...

For years Vallee has been telling people that the Lacombe character was based on him. Once when we were on a TV show together, I asked Vallee how, other than being French, was Lacombe based on him? Oh, it was, it was based on me, he insisted.

No surprise that he is upset that you're telling people otherwise!

Anonymous said...

hello mark, do you have any information about release date of Forbidden Science 4?
thanks!

Mark OC said...

HI said that he's working on it, but he didn't give a timeframe.

Anonymous said...

ok, thanks so much Mark!

Tom Mellett said...

Mark,

Have you seen Recluse’s treatment of Hynek and Vallee in his latest 10 part series on High Weirdness and the Right Wing.

Here is Part 6 and the section about Hynek and Valle starts about halfway down the page.
http://visupview.blogspot.com/2017/01/fringe-strange-and-terrible-history-of_29.html

Recluse’s latest is about Bob Bigelow and the half century history of what led up to the present Tom DeLonge Disclosure circus. Jacques Vallee is mentioned briefly, but Jacques is definitely a player in deLonge’s organization.
http://visupview.blogspot.com/2017/12/fringe-strange-dealings-of-bob-bigelow.html

Tom

purrlgurrl said...

And here I always thought Lacombe was a character developed as a Frenchman to give Spielberg a chance to work with one of his favorite directors, Truffaut.

UFO buffs tend to read way too much into Spielberg's ET films.

Mark OC said...

Hey Tom, there's a lot of wrong information about Hynek in that "WISUP" blog. Right off the bat, the blogger says that Hynek worked on Project Grudge, which is not true, and that he was a "participant" in the Robertson Panel, which is a dramatic overstatement. After that I read the rest with high skepticism... Then I came across Richard Dolan's name and stopped reading.

Yes, I was aware that Vallee wrote the foreword to DeLonge's book. He mentioned DeLonge in one of his recent letters to me, but he did not sound like a DeLonge acolyte, more like an interested observer (which would describe a lot of us, I think).

Purrlgurrl, you'd never guess it, but the "Lacombe" character in CE3K was initially written as an American!

Jacques Vallee, www.jacquesvallee.com said...

In an email to Mark on 22 December 2017 I reminded him that Allen Hynek (who once honestly thought the character was based on Poher, as he told me himself) had not been aware of many developments that occurred during the filming of Close Encounters and of the way characters evolved. As Mark correctly points out, "Lacombe" was initially an American. Steven Spielberg clarified the issue in person during one of our meetings in Hollywood at a lunch with Marcia Seligson, who reported on it in a 1977 article ("Not Alone" in New West, 7 Nov. 1977) that I submitted to Mark, so I am surprised the misunderstanding continues. I can post that article again if that can help clarify the issue further.

Not only did Steven Spielberg tell Marcia and me that the character was based on me, but he added that he had read my book Anatomy of a Phenomenon (1965) when he was a young cinematographer and that he had been intrigued by the character of a Frenchman investigating UFOs in the US, as I did. To now imply that "Lacombe" is not based on me , based on rampant rumors in the notoriously contentious field of ufology, is tantamount to accusing the three of us of being liars. I have given Mark free access to my published diaries, which include a description of the lunch written at the time, and of the subsequent events in the development of CE3K in which I participated. Why the rumor continues to be cultivated while ignoring the recorded entries and the published account of that meeting is a mystery. I hope such an obscure episode in Allen's life will not detract from the work we did together to build a scientific basis for the study of this field.

Regarding other matters, any quarrel with CUFOS dates from the time when Dr. Hynek himself decided to leave for Arizona, and that has been resolved a long time ago.

Tom Mellett said...

Hello Mark,

This morning I received an email notification of Jacques Vallee’s response to you, as a comment on this blog page, but I don’t see it now. Not sure what happened, but I did copy Jacques’ response and post it on Jason Colavito’s blog here since Jason addresses the topic of Jacques’ “reputation management.”

http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/a-strange-account-of-jacques-vallees-efforts-at-reputation-management

Tom

Jacques Vallee said...

Hi Tom,
Thanks for pointing out that my comment was deleted by some technical glitch.
I obviously have a primary right to comment on this issue, so I am posting it
again:

"In an email to Mark on 22 December 2017 I reminded him that Allen Hynek (who once honestly thought the character was based on Poher, as he told me himself) had not been aware of many developments that occurred during the filming of Close Encounters and of the way characters evolved.

"As Mark correctly points out, "Lacombe" was initially an American. Steven Spielberg clarified the issue in person during one of our meetings in Hollywood at a lunch with Marcia Seligson, who reported on it in a 1977 article ("Not Alone" in New West, 7 Nov. 1977) that I submitted to Mark, so I am surprised the misunderstanding continues. I can post that article again if that can help clarify the issue further.

"Not only did Steven Spielberg tell Marcia and me that the character was based on me, but he added that he had read my book Anatomy of a Phenomenon (1965) when he was a young cinematographer and that he had been intrigued by the character of a Frenchman investigating UFOs in the US, as I did.

"To now imply that "Lacombe" is not based on me , based on rampant rumors in the notoriously contentious field of ufology, is tantamount to accusing the three of us of being liars.

"I have given Mark free access to my published diaries, which include a description of the lunch written at the time, and of the subsequent events in the development of CE3K in which I participated.

"Why the rumor continues to be cultivated while ignoring the recorded entries and the published account of that meeting is a mystery. I hope such an obscure episode in Allen's life will not detract from the work we did together to build a scientific basis for the study of this field.

Regarding other matters, any quarrel with CUFOS dates from the time when Dr. Hynek himself decided to leave for Arizona, and that has been resolved a long time ago."

Jacques Vallee said...

I don't understand why my prior entries were deleted. I am re-posting this comment to Mark O’Connell:

==============

"In an email to Mark on 22 December 2017 I reminded him that Allen Hynek (who once honestly thought the character was based on Poher, as he told me himself) had not been aware of many developments that occurred during the filming of Close Encounters and of the way characters evolved.

"As Mark correctly points out, "Lacombe" was initially an American. Steven Spielberg clarified the issue in person during one of our meetings in Hollywood at a lunch with Marcia Seligson, who reported on it in a 1977 article ("Not Alone" in New West, 7 Nov. 1977) that I submitted to Mark, so I am surprised the misunderstanding continues. I can post that article again if that can help clarify the issue further.

"Not only did Steven Spielberg tell Marcia and me that the character was based on me, but he added that he had read my book Anatomy of a Phenomenon (1965) when he was a young cinematographer and that he had been intrigued by the character of a Frenchman investigating UFOs in the US, as I did.

"To now imply that "Lacombe" is not based on me , based on rampant rumors in the notoriously contentious field of ufology, is tantamount to accusing the three of us of being liars.

"I have given Mark free access to my published diaries, which include a description of the lunch written at the time, and of the subsequent events in the development of CE3K in which I participated.

"Why the rumor continues to be cultivated while ignoring the recorded entries and the published account of that meeting is a mystery. I hope such an obscure episode in Allen's life will not detract from the work we did together to build a scientific basis for the study of this field.

Regarding other matters, any quarrel with CUFOS dates from the time when Dr. Hynek himself decided to leave for Arizona, and that has been resolved a long time ago."

==========

danno6169 said...

Hi Mark.

Just curious about the Richard Dolan comment. Why do you not approve?

Mark OC said...

I disagree with Dolan's simplistic take on "Disclosure," and he got on stage in Mexico City a few years back in support of the so-called "Roswell slides."

Mark OC said...

Hey Tom, I haven't been able to spend a whole lot of time here the past 2 weeks, and I'm trying to catch up today. I'm not sure why Dr. Vallee's post disappeared, but I did not delete it.