Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults by Jacques Vallee

Jacques Vallee discusses the dangers of ignoring the UFO phenomena and the possibility of a force using technology to influence social thinking and behavior on a global scale in this book.


  • Reporting is well-structured and reasoned, and presented in a logical manner
  • Fascinating ideas that suggest social control as the motive behind UFO phenomenon
  • Vallee tries to get primary sources when possible, even attending some of the cult meetings and speaking to their leaders
  • The writing and evidence are presented in a way as to make his argument convincing
  • Some startling conclusions and claims made toward the end of the book regarding UFOs and nature of universe


  • No concrete evidence to support his theory, though that’s to be expected for this subject

Jacques Vallee provides a very convincing argument about the nature behind the various UFO phenomena and the consequences of those: that UFOs and their related phenomena may be an attempt to control social behavior and that the avoidance of study on the subject may allow whoever is behind it to continue manipulating society.

People who have read books on various UFO topics have likely run across Jacques Vallee. He’s a well-respected scientist, and he approaches the research into the field without bias, leading to the interesting conclusions in Messengers of Deception.

Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults Review

Messengers of Deception was written in 1979, more than forty years ago. I think the author, and many of the researchers then, would have wanted the whole issue to be resolved today. But here we are, still wondering what’s going on with the UFO sightings, abductions, and encounters.

What’s interesting about Messengers of Deception is that the hypothesis Vallee presents and defends in the book still holds true today. That hypothesis is that UFOs and their related phenomena (contactees, cults, abductions) are phenomena meant to condition or program people. For what reason? We’re no closer to an answer today than we were forty years ago, and that’s the part that is frustrating given technological and knowledge advancements in practically every other field of study.

Vallee discusses some possible social consequences, though there’s no conclusive motive. But he believes that there’s some kind of technology at work here, and that the technology isn’t necessarily extraterrestrial.

Vallee presents his argument in a fairly convincing manner. For instance, he points out some of the holes in the classical Betty and Barney Hill abduction experience. One big criticism is the difference in the stories that Betty and Barney tell.

There are some discrepancies with the Hill interviews as well, and many readers can listen to the recordings or read the transcripts of their individual abduction experience.

Similarly, Vallee’s discussion of the star chart and Marjorie Fish’s model is convincing. Given the complete absence of knowledge we have about the aliens and their craft, those dots and lines can represent any distance or set of stars in the universe, let alone galaxy.

However, the conclusion that Vallee arrives at is that these UFOs and even the technology, are real. Betty and Barney did have an experience. But everything regarding the UFO experience may be some kind of mental or holographic construct meant to confuse people or drive people toward some kind of conclusion. What the motives are or what that conclusion is remains unknown.

What’s more frightening is that this technology has been around a long time, so whatever experiment is going on has been going on for a large part of human history. This is the part that I find the most fascinating—it’s not that UFO-related cults were popular during the 60s and 70s. It’s that whatever the phenomenon is, it has been going on for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

Vallee doesn’t really provide any physical evidence to support his claims. But his analysis of the various UFO events highly suggest that indeed, there’s some kind of mental manipulation going on. Perhaps the most obvious of this manipulation is the lost time that many people claim to experience.

Essential to understanding Vallee’s claims is accepting the possibility that people’s mental states, memories, and sights are being manipulated by some kind of advanced technology. If that’s true, then people aren’t seeing UFOs, being abducted, or boarding ships. Vallee doesn’t immediately jump to the conclusion that aliens from other planets are behind the UFOs. In fact, Vallee provides some convincing reasons for how a group might manipulate people’s emotions and memories.

When Vallee does the math regarding the number of UFO sightings, the result is staggering: millions of people from all around the world have likely seen UFOs that can’t easily be explained. If the purpose of these entities is to remain hidden, then why are there so many sightings? The idea that the aliens want to remain hidden, yet they’re so plainly visible, does appear to be a bit absurd.

I found the discussions regarding the cults to be a little boring, but Vallee makes a good point about not ignoring these UFO cults and contactees. By ignoring them, science is allowing whatever is going on to continue to persist and manipulate people. Because of the ridicule associated with the subject, scientists avoid research into the area. Consequently, whatever is at work manipulating people is able to do so without scrutiny from people who might otherwise be qualified to reveal the mechanisms behind the phenomena.

Ultimately, readers have to ask themselves what’s more plausible: that aliens are visiting Earth from far, far away and showing themselves—but not really—or that there’s some other force behind all of these UFO phenomena that is using yet-unknown technology to advance some kind of malicious goal. Regardless, we’re now forty years away from the original publication of this book, and the public is still no closer to an answer.

I found Messengers of Deception to be an extremely eye-opening book, and as I read page after page, I found myself not only considering other possibilities than just extraterrestrials. And some of these possibilities may very well be terrestrial. Whatever the cause may be, the more important question is of motive. What’s the purpose of all of these clandestine maneuvers?

That the claims made in Jacques Vallee’s Messengers of Deception still remain a viable speaks to the author’s careful research and the credibility of his claims. Those who’d like a more researched and grounded perspective of the UFO phenomena should seriously consider this book.

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