I can’t honestly tell if he has simply deluded himself into believing that he is uncovering the real hidden meaning by selectively editing texts or if he feels like Graham Hancock and Erich von Däniken that he has no obligation to be fair but rather to manipulate and fabricate (“I use … innuendo and anything else that works,” as Hancock says) to advocate for a conclusion (“it’s like a war we have to win,” as von Däniken said). But it’s just so very wrong, and what’s worse is that ufologists and ancient astronaut believers—and even academics!—treat his manipulated, falsified garbage as though it had merit.
This is what I read in Vallee’s Wonders in the Air (2009) today:
Case 96 in Vallee’s list of the “best” evidence for prehistoric UFOs cites a 1972 Italian popular mystery magazine as the sole source for the claim that Frederick Barbarossa saw three UFOs in the sky at his coronation in 1152. This is followed by Vallee’s “hope” that future researchers could track down some sort of real source. Either Vallee or the Italian source is hopelessly confused, unable to distinguish between Frederick’s royal coronation in 1152 as King of Germany at Aachen and his imperial coronation in 1155 as Holy Roman Emperor at Rome. I have no idea what the warrant is for the UFO claim; I can find no mention of stars or lights at either coronation.
Case 98 is worse because it is more subtly wrong. Here’s how Vallee gives the text of Nicholas Trivet’s Annales sex regum Angilae: “At the watch night (vigilia) of the Lord’s Nativity, two fiery stars appeared in the western sky. One was large, the other small. At first, they appeared joined together. Afterwards, they were for a long time separated distinctly.” This would be December 24, 1167. Now, here’s the actual Latin text followed by my translation:
Regina Alienora in Angliam transiens filium peperit, quem Joannem vocavit, in vigilia Nativitatis Dominicae, in qua apparuerunt in occidente duae stellae ignei coloris; una magna, et altera parva; primo conjunctae, sed postmodum ab invicem longo spatio sunt distinctae.
Crossing into England, Queen Eleanor gave birth to a son, whom she called John, in the fourth part of the night of the Lord’s Nativity, in which there appeared in the west two stars of a fiery color, one large and the other small. At first they were conjoined, but afterward they were mutually separated by a great space.
There is a second text, unknown to Vallee, that provides the same information and shows that the “color” was an integral part of the story. It’s from Robert of Torigni, the abbot at Mont Saint-Michel; and his account, which Trivet was copying almost verbatim, precedes Trivet’s by a century and was near contemporary with events. Again the original Latin is followed by my translation:
Regina Alienor transfretavit in Angliam, ducens secum filiam suam Mathildem. In vigilia Natalis Domini, duae stellae ignei coloris, quarum una erat magna, altera parva, apparuerunt in Occidente, et erant quasi conjunctae; postea disjunctae sunt longo spacio, et apparere desiverunt. Natus est Johannes filius regis Anglorum.
Queen Eleanor crossed over into England, leading her daughter Matilda with her. During the fourth part of the night of Our Lord’s Nativity, there appeared in the West two stars of a fiery color, of which one was great and the other small. And they were as if conjoined; afterward, they were separated by a large space, and they ceased to be visible. John was born the son of the King of England.
In sum, Vallee and his coauthor, Chris Aubeck, are either incompetent at translation and lazy or incompetent at research, or they are intentionally fabricating material in support of UFOs. Now why again am I supposed to take the hypotheses derived from this falsified material seriously?