Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, Folklore, and Parallel Worlds” as Want to Read:
Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, Folklore, and Parallel Worlds
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, Folklore, and Parallel Worlds

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  304 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Over two decades ago, eminent scientist Vallee wrote a provocative book about alleged UFO landings, folklore, and certain unexplained phenomena. That long-out-of-print book--which discussed the most interesting reports of more than 1,000 apparently reliable witnessess--has become an underground classic and is now being reissued.
Paperback, 372 pages
Published May 1st 1993 by McGraw-Hill/Contemporary (first published January 1st 1969)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Passport to Magonia, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Passport to Magonia

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Heidi The Hippie Reader
Jan 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: paranormal, ufo
Jacques F. Vallee was one of the first scientists to closely study UFO phenomenon. He goes beyond a simple examination and compares it to the fairy religions and mythologies from the past. Passport to Magonia is one of his most well-known works.

Vallee also mentions, in the new preface that he wrote for the book in the early '90s, of the difficulties that he had compiling the thousands of eyewitness accounts that are included in Passport to Magonia. I suppose with the easy connections to the inte
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this back in grade school - as a kid who read lots of flying saucer books starting in third grade or so, this book was one of two (I wish I could remember the name of the other) that really had an impact on me and shifted me out of the classic "metal ships/nuts and bolts" school of thought by focusing on how much overlap there was between folklore and 20th century UFO reports - NOT in a CHARIOTS OF THE GODS mode, but in an actual folkloric sense. Fascinating and probably helped me not becom ...more
This is THE book- it's a masterpiece in the ufology sub-genre in fact- that made me fall in love with Vallee and his work in the field of ufological studies and research. Always taking an open-minded, objective and scholarly approach in his quest and devotion to the scientific study of ufology- all qualities, by the way, which have become his trademark, making Vallee indeed one of those rare gems since he was originally trained as a scientist- He received his Bachelor of Science degree in mathem ...more
Owen Spencer
Apr 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This author documents and discusses the UFO/alien phenomenon, and fully acknowledges its existence, without succumbing to the temptation to speculate. The author makes four major points: 1) Modern UFO/alien accounts are extremely similar to events recorded throughout human history describing manifestations of gods, angels, demons, fairies, dwarves, giants, monsters, etc. The similarities are so striking that most or all of these manifestations appear to have a common origin. 2) Science is an app ...more
Denver Michaels
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A must read for any student of the paranormal. Vallee takes modern-day UFO reports, the airship sightings of the 1890s, fairie lore, etc., and places them in a cultural context. Basically, according to Vallee, we are dealing with the same phenomenon; however, secondary characteristics of the phenomenon are able to change in a way to be understood by the cultures of different places and time periods.
Mark Tallen
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a fascinating read and it well deserves its place in my ufology book collection. It is considered to be a classic seminal book on the subject and after reading it, I can see why. If I had to choose between this book that was originally published in 1969, or his 1988 book called Dimensions, I would choose the latter. The reason being because Dimensions contains much of the material from Magonia and more. What Magonia does have that Dimensions doesn't is an excellent catalogue of case ...more
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
An undoubtedly important book in UFO lore, but no longer a must read. It shows a clear link between ancient folklore and modern ufology, but in this modern era of paranormal research that is a near-accepted fact. While this may be the book that helped shape that view, it now feels like a long read proving something that is already proven. The appendix is interesting but has not been updated, not including anything that happened in recent decades. Still, a good, though not vital read, but an impo ...more
E.S. Wynn
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Definitely a unique book! It posits a theory on UFOs that is very interesting, very unique and hit me almost totally out of left field.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I read this as a teenager. Vallee seems to think that accounts of fairies, gnomes, pixies, etc., are really sightings of aliens. Interesting...
Benjamin Manglos
Jun 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: research
While I think Vallee's argument in Magonia is an intriguing and important one, I think it ends up being his weakest. Some interesting similarities between folklore and UFO lore are drawn, but I was ultimately unconvinced that they were entirely the same phenomena. I think his argument evolved into something far less theoretical and more convincing and his later books are better for it. Still, it's far better written than the average work on the paranormal and therefore recommended.
Bret McCormick
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This impressive examination of strange encounters was published in 1969. It is so comprehensive I find myself wondering what an updated edition would look like. Vallee offers some fascinating observations and, almost fifty years after the fact, still manages to astound. Recommended for any who would like to break out of the redundant take on UFOs offered by the uninspired TV series so common on television.
S.E. Ellis
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There is a reason this is still so highly recommended after decades. It's that good.

Jacques Vallee manages the impossible: he maintains his position as a serious scientist looking at hard evidence with skepticism and a rational eye, while coming to the conclusion that the UFO phenomena is something quite different than "nuts & bolts" craft.
Taede Smedes
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ufo-s
Vallée is, next to J. Allen Hynek, one of a view scientists who take UFOs seriously. However, Vallée has a unique view on UFOs, which he tries to explore in this book. He argues that the UFO-sightings from the 1950s onwards are continuous with the sightings of flying airships in the late 1900s, who are continuous with earliers sightings of fairies, elves, gnomes, etc., as well as with religious miracles, Maria-apparitions, etc. UFOs are thus the space-age folklore. This book thus describes the p ...more
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compré este libro porque lo vi patrocinado en el TL de Twitter de una banda que me gusta mucho, sin saber que de verdad tiene algo de fama, Vallée es uno de los primeros investigadores del fenómeno OVNI y este es un de los primeros libros en donde se trata el fenómeno y sus extraños ocupantes sin suponer que son visitantes de otros mundos (cue theremin music)

Y en ese sentido es muy interesante, Vallée habla de los diversos folclores de varias culturas, con un cierto sesgo hacia los escoceses, ir
May 16, 2011 rated it liked it
I primarily started reading this book as it is considered one of the classics in its genre. Also, Jacques Vallée is a reknowned astronomer-turned-ufologist, on who the lead character in "Close encounters" was based.

This was one of the first book that didn't treat UFOs so much as visitors in spacecraft from other planets, but drew paralels to the phenomenon of fairies, gnomes and such, that bear many similarities with modern UFO experiences. In this sense, it's definitely an important volume on t
Bryan Hole
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed Vallee's book. To be honest, the idea of UFOs has always intrigued me and bored me at the same time. Vallee's hypothesis really pulled me in and really put into words what I had always felt were two linked ideas. At times he didn't conclude his ideas as much as I thought he could have though he made compelling arguments; he just didn't seem to pull them all together into one unifying argument in some cases. Great study though.
Dec 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Vallee's thesis is that there are folkloric parallels between UFO reports and phenomena of the mythic past -- encounters with the Fair Folk, zeppelin sightings in the 1890s, religious apparition, etc. While there's an interesting kernel to his theory, I'm not quite sure some of the sources he draws from are meant to be taken in a spirit of anything besides allegory -- Ezekiel and the Wheel, for example.
Ran Prieur
Nov 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Not that well written, but in terms of the ideas, extremely important. Vallee was the smartest of all the big UFO investigators, and this was the first book-length argument that UFO's are not spacecraft from other planets, but something much weirder, that has existed for thousands of years and appeared differently to different cultures.
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ufology
This intriguing little book examines the history of UFO sightings and shows the parallels with fairy lore, particularly Celtic fairy lore. The second half of the book catalogues details of specific sightings and is less interesting (to me) than the first half, which focuses on the historical connections between UFO sightings and fairy lore. Three and a half stars.
Luke Scriven
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Seminal investigation of the similarities between fairy lore and the UFO phenomenon. An essential book for any fortean's bookshelf!
Fredric Mau
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A very fascinating book on cultural narratives, comparing the fairy stories of the past with contemporary techno UFO lore. I don't land where Vallée does, but it is an interesting read!
Sep 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
If you don't know about the great airship flap of the early 1900s, then you have no business dissing this book. Dig?
Edward Sudermann
expected it to be more about ufos. it talked too much about old school folklore like elves and fairies etc. was a dry read.
Cynde Moya
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Vallee has a lucid and educated perspective.
Cats Moulder's
Mar 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the best,if not the best perspectives on unusual phenomenon through the ages.
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jun 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ufos
I appreciate his approach to the subject but am less inclined to favor his theory. I do need to reread it, however, as it has been many years and my memory needs refreshing.
Rhea Cary
rated it it was amazing
Jan 08, 2017
Meg Deguzis
rated it it was amazing
Jan 07, 2018
rated it did not like it
Dec 07, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld
  • Operation Trojan Horse
  • Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah
  • The Big Book of the Unexplained
  • The Book of the Damned
  • Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred
  • Breakthrough: The Next Step
  • UFOs and the National Security State 1: Chronology of a Coverup 1941-73
  • UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record
  • Legends of the Fire Spirits: Jinn and Genies from Arabia to Zanzibar
  • Meeting the Other Crowd
  • Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Cover-up
  • Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism, and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind
  • Crash at Corona: The U.S. Military Retrieval and Cover-Up of a UFO
  • Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens
  • The Irish Fairy Book
  • The ESP Enigma: The Scientific Case for Psychic Phenomena
  • Gods of Eden
Excerpted from wikipedia: Jacques Fabrice Vallée (born September 24, 1939 in Pontoise, Val-d'Oise, France) is a venture capitalist, computer scientist, author, ufologist and former astronomer currently residing in San Francisco, California.
In mainstream science, Vallée is notable for co-developing the first computerized mapping of Mars for NASA and for his work at SRI International in creating ARP
More about Jacques F. Vallée

Nonfiction Deals

  • Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany
    $15.99 $3.99
  • The Monster of Florence
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Westies: Inside New York's Irish Mob
    $9.99 $1.99
  • April 1865 (P.S.)
    $11.74 $1.99
  • Jesus Is ______: Find a New Way to Be Human
    $7.99 $0.99
  • Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Lab 257
    $8.74 $1.99
  • How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Girl in the Woods: A Memoir
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype--and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Last Lecture
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
    $12.74 $1.99
  • Not Tonight, Honey: Wait 'Til I'm A Size 6
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases
    $10.99 $1.99
  • An Appetite For Wonder: The Making Of A Scientist
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
    $27.99 $2.99
  • Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip-Confessions of a Cynical Waiter
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Dakota: A Spiritual Geography (Dakotas)
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Restless: Because You Were Made for More
    $7.49 $1.99
  • Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and The Dawn of the Modern Woman
    $10.24 $1.99
  • The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions
    $16.99 $2.99
  • Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
    $13.99 $3.99
  • Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Pukka: The Pup After Merle
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Buddhist Boot Camp
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Flour: A Baker's Collection of Spectacular Recipes
    $21.99 $3.99
  • The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Van Gogh
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Woman's Worth
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Do the Work
    $4.99 $1.49
  • The Lost Tribe of Coney Island: Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man Who Pulled Off the Spectacle of the Century
    $4.99 $1.99
  • I Suck at Girls
    $10.74 $1.99
  • The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women
    $14.99 $2.99
  • A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives
    $18.99 $1.99
  • The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Wright Brothers
    $12.99 $3.99
  • The Power of Moments: Why Certain Moments Have Extraordinary Impact
    $14.99 $3.99
  • Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest
    $12.99 $3.99
  • The Last Black Unicorn
    $12.99 $4.99
  • Peace Is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook
    $13.99 $3.99
  • Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art
    $14.99 $1.99
  • The Affluent Society
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now--As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It
    $7.24 $1.99
  • Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Life
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society
    $13.24 $2.99
  • Grace, Not Perfection (with Bonus Content): Celebrating Simplicity, Embracing Joy
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Promise and the Dream: The Untold Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. And Robert F. Kennedy
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Through the Eyes of a Lion: Facing Impossible Pain, Finding Incredible Power
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Why We Run: A Natural History
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called Living
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple
    $12.99 $2.99