I recently read Jacques Vallee's "UFO Chronicles of the Soviet Union" and would have to say it easily one of his most engaging works. Vallee is considered by many to the world's premiere ufologist (if such a field truly exists). A trained mathematician, astrophysicist, and computer scientist, Vallee's pedigree and analytic background stands higher than most in the fringe field of ufo studies.
The background of the book is set amongst Russian Glasnot in 1989. With the great social strain placed upon the Russian people moving from Communism to a more "open and transparent" society and government, an unparalleled UFO wave was unleashed upon the country. Hundreds of sightings, witnesses to occupants, and even attempted alien abductions were realized by the Russian people.
There are two things that I find absolutely fascinating in Vallee's work regarding the UFO wave of 1989. First, Vallee makes note of, if indirectly, the relationship between social structure change and UFO sightings. Is there a correlation between a social structure stress upon a population and the frequency of UFO encounters? Second, Vallee is quick to point out his interest in understanding why a Soviet UFO investigative group made of scientists and scholars use biolocation techniques in investigating UFO landing areas.
Biolocation, as defined in the book and through Soviet literature, is "dowsing, or radiethesa, the detection of hidden mineral, water, or living entities by paranormal means". In other words, the Soviets employed paranormal investigative techniques in response to UFO incidents. I've read many books on the subject of the paranormal, and I honestly don't recall mention of parapsychological techniques used in Western UFO investigations.
Unfortunately, Vallee doesn't quite get to the bottom of the Soviet's dependence or justification on the use of biolocation methods. The means and tools have been employed by the Soviet researchers for some time, but the rationale for the use of biolocation is lost in translation. My sense is that there may be some inference between energy radiated by polymorphic craft and their occupants and the ability to detect the energy's presence through dowsing rods, but I can only guess on that assumption.
Besides the inquiry into Soviet research methods, Vallee hits on many other interesting phenomenon findings in post Communist Russia. Spending time with many researchers, the book includes fascinating revelations regarding :
- The Perm Region or M-Zone : similar to our own Skinwalker Ranch Basin, Europe's Hoia-Baciu Forest, and other anomalous areas around globe, the Perm region features UFOs, occupants, poltergeist activity, electrical disturbances, and other paranormal activity. The chapter highlighting some of the cases received by one Russian researcher in that area is one of the better chapters of the book
- Magonian Correlations : on more than one occasion, Russian researchers point out that parallels made between Vallee's work in the West and Soviet work completed over the past decades. References made to "fairy folk" behavior, sightings, and encounters are noted in the Soviet Union in respect to UFO activity. One case documented went so far to state that a tall occupant dressed in silver boots and overalls approached a homeowner, asked the homeowner for food, and then later stole the balance of the homeowner's food when the owner went to work. As with many similar situations, the homeowner and his wife had serious relationship issues after the incident and the two nearly divorced.
- Data collection bias : unlike so many Western researchers, Vallee highly commends Soviet researcher ability to collect and analyze ALL data points. So often, the past Western researcher ignores cases/incidents that don't fit the researcher's theory. Occupant encounters that don't resemble large black eyed, diminutive grey beings are not ignored but instead are included in the Soviet data sets. Perhaps with no motive to sell books or movies, the Soviets have no agenda to slice and dice the data as they see fit. To the West's credit, many investigators are now moving in this Vallee/Keel direction of modern research.
The book isn't to say the state of Soviet ufology is perfect. Vallee's points out his concern with the Soviet's use of hypnotic regression as a research tool. I do not pretend to be an expert in hypnosis, but my understanding is that hypnotic regression outcomes are easily influenced by the person conducting the hypnosis. This was a big "to do" of late on the Web and podcasts in respect to the Dr Jacob's work, but it is obvious that legitimate UFO research has pointed out the inherent flaws of regression over the past forty years.
All that said, please check out the book. The book does a great job of cataloging the initial impact of "social openness" in post Communist Russian. Examples given of the mood (and gloom) of the population, the paranoia of Vallee and his companions towards Russian security, and the heated debates between Vallee and the Soviety UFO community and Soviet academia are fascinating in and of themselves. And, as a followup to the book, one will be left to ask "has any further research been made in respect to biolocation methods?" One follow up for me is to further research the question.