UFO Gatherings

Hosted byGeorge Knapp

UFO Gatherings

About the show

In the first half of the program, George Knapp was joined by legendary ufologist Jacques Vallee, who discussed a recent discrete gathering of international UFO experts that was not mentioned to the public. He revealed that the two-day conference was organized by the French version of NASA, known as CNES, and featured 30 presentations to about 100 attendees. According to Vallee, the focus of the conference revolved around determining the best way to gather and research UFO cases as well as how to synthesize that data. He attributed the event to a change in the French scientific community, where a new generation has emerged that is willing to take a fresh look at the UFO phenomenon. Unlike UFO research in the United States, which is beset with ideological disputes, Vallee noted, this examination of the phenomenon centered around "a good long look at the data."

To that end, Vallee explained that, fifteen years ago, he designed a data warehouse to collect various UFO sighting databases. Based on conversations from the CNES conference, he declared that "I'm now taking it to the next level." He speculated that there are around 200,000 well-documented cases from groups collecting UFO reports all over the world and this massive trove of information can be mined for new insights into the phenomenon, such as global patterns, physical facts, and special locations where events seem to occur with more frequently. This statistical approach, Vallee argued, eschews presupposed conclusions and, instead, allows for an unbiased investigation of "researchable questions" that may allow for the ability to predict UFO behavior. Additionally, he marveled that, given the plethora of data, technology, and expertise already available, such a project can begin immediately and in earnest.


In the latter half, writer, reporter and media personality, Lee Speigel, reflected on a special meeting he had with the UN in 1978 (along with Jacques Vallee) where he presented his case about UFOs. He recalled that the impetus for the UN event came from then-Prime Minister of Grenada, Eric Gairy, who had been giving speeches throughout 1977 where he claimed his country was a UFO hot spot and proposed sharing of information about the phenomenon amongst UN countries. Seeing that Gairy's proclamations were being ignored, Speigel reached out to the Grenadian government offering to help spread the message. In a private meeting shortly thereafter, Gairy made a handshake deal with Speigel to sponsor his UN presentation with the assurance that the top UFO researchers would be part of the event.

Over the course of the next year, Speigel gathered the experts and witnesses needed for the UN presentation. One surprising ally who emerged during this process was legendary film director Steven Spielberg, who flew Speigel, Jacques Vallee, and J. Allen Hynek to Hollywood for a meeting because he "wanted to know if there was anything he could do to help with the presentation." Ultimately, on November 27, 1978, Speigel and his colleagues made their presentation to the United Nations, which subsequently adopted decision GA426, a resolution that allowed member nations to "coordinate and share data about UFOs if they so desire." However, when the United States and USSR displayed no interest in the initiative, other nations followed suit and also opted not to participate. As a result, Speigel said, "that resolution has been lying dormant to this day," waiting for willing nations to put it to use.

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