Thursday, August 4, 2011

Vallee on Sturrock - part one

Dear readers

Yesterday, Adelaide's maximum temperature for August, our winter, hit an all time record 25 degrees Celsius. Today, however, the usual cold front and rain has reduced it to the more average 17 degrees.

I have just posted a review of Peter Sturrock's excellent book, in which he laments science's inability to come to grips with the UFO phenomenon. The book also mentioned that Sturrock at one time recruited Jacques Vallee as an assistant. I thought I would delve back into Jacques Vallee's "Forbidden Science Volume 2" to see what mentions there are of Sturrock.

In December 1970, Vallee writes "During my visit to Santa Cruz an astronomer told me that professor Peter Sturrock, a Stanford physicist engaged in pulsar research, was looking for computational help. I decided to go see him." (p.61.)

"I have programmed some pulsar computations that Peter Sturrock had requested to test my skills. They revealed an intriguing periodicity in the frequency of three pulsars, and this could lead to determining their diameter. Peter Sturrock will talk about this result at an astronomy conference in Austin. We are thinking of co-authoring a note about this result." (p.62.)

In a diary entry dated 28 Dec 1980 Vallee writes "I have moved to an office in the electronics laboratories, where I am now consulting for Peter Sturrock's Plasma Research Institute." (p.62.)

In November 1971, "Last Tuesday Peter and Marilyn Sturrock came over for dinner with Larry Berman...Peter encourages my work on UFOs...I found out about his private interests when he asked me to computerize an index to his personal collection of reprints. It contained the keyword "ESP" which could have applied to such topics as Elementary Statistical Projection or Electron Spin Potential. When I inquired about the meaning he said 'Extrasensory perception, of course!' It was my turn to tell him of my interests, which led to his requesting a copy of my books." (p.108.)

7 Feb 1972 "When Allen Hynek came over on Wednesday I introduced him to Peter Sturrock. The two men offer an interesting contrast because Peter is intensely focused, a theoretical physicist, a British academic to the top of his fingernails...Allen informs and entertains but he has missed the opportunity to build a consensus among scientists. In contrast, it is precisely such a movement that Peter Sturrock tells me he intends to form, a true scientific society dedicated to frontier topics. " (p.113.)

Continued in next post.

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