John Edward Mack's Weird World Of Alien Abductions
    By Hank Campbell | June 6th 2013 05:00 AM | 12 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    John Edward Mack, Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer and Harvard Medical School psychiatrist, believed lots of people had been abducted by aliens.

    Never heard of him? Most people haven't. His fame as an Ivy League believer in alien abductions was more novelty than anything enduring but 'experiencers - alien abductees don't want to be called abductees - said he was “the most important scientist ever to dare to admit the truth about the abduction phenomenon.” 

    Which means they don't know what a scientist is. Nor did Oprah Winfrey, who unsurprisingly had him on her show. Eventually, Harvard didn't like looking like crackpots so he was subjected to an investigation - "ontological fascism", Mack called it. He was basically cleared. To prove aliens do not exist is nearly as hard as proving psychology does.

    But the generation of social scientists who wanted things a little looser than what science would allow in the early part of the 20th century couldn't have anticipated Mack, who did a 'psychological study' of Lawrence of Arabia, was a devoted anti-nuclear protester and engaged in LSD "consciousness expansion". If a whole lot of people claimed to be abducted by aliens, he determined, it must be true. At least in a symptom-based field like psychiatry.

    Now he is getting a motion picture made about him, courtesy of no less (and, really, no surprise) Robert Redford, who seems to be still trapped in 1987 in lots of ways.

    Ralph Blumenthal at Vanity Fair has the whole story, in Alien Nation: Have Humans Been Abducted by Extraterrestrials?


    How does an uninformed, talent-less hack like you get on the first page of google news search results? You obviously pay to have your worthless opinion appear anywhere. If you knew how to read i would suggest you do some research before attacking a Harvard scientist who accomplished more in a month of his life than you will in your lifetime even if you live forever.
    Try reviewing fast food restaurants or better yet roach coaches where your intellectual equals can benefit from your opinion.

    Harvard did not agree on his worth. Unfortunately for them, it is impossible to get rid of someone with tenure.  Geoffrey Miller can blatantly tell fat people they are too lazy to get a PhD - in psychology of all things - and UNM can't fire him, for example. Mack was lucky enough to get a job in the weird, waning days of paranormal investigations. Today, when psychiatry would like to become more scientific and less 'we are willing to believe you', he couldn't get a real job.

    Were you abducted by aliens? Sorry, did you experience an alien abduction?  You seem to have a lot invested in a guy who has been dead for almost a decade.
    As I am hosting the 2013 Symposium on UAP in Greensboro NC and bringing in Govt. officials, scientist, PHD's, and military witnesses and have had my own sighting of a UAP, I invite you to attend. Why would you write such an article about Dr. Mack? I only wish you were standing with the 64 children in Zimbabwe in 93, or with the police from 4 townships in Illinois in 2000. Actually I wish you were standing next to Betty Cash in 1980. Gen. Jafari and Col. Halt will be there and feel free to question, then you and Dr. Westrum and Dr. Wendt can discuss your position. If you are bold enough to write this article, then be bold enough to attend. If you don't attend, maybe someone should put a red tick at the start of your articles as stated in the comments.

    I'm a freelancer, people pay me to write articles. If you want to commission me to go to your event, I am happy to do so. 

    This isn't an article, it is a link to an article about Mack, and I post it because he used no evidence. Anecdotes are not evidence. Far be it from me to say there are no mysteries of the universe but I wouldn't be any more forgiving if he said astrologers from another planet kidnapped people or that fracking would cause the earth to deflate.
    "I'm a freelancer, people pay me to write articles. If you want to commission me to go to your event, I am happy to do so."

    *Crickets chirping in the background*

    Right, it's only important when they want people to fly around the country and see their alien abduction shows on our own dimes.
    Such short shrift, and strident tone with a man who stood up to the Harvard Medical Board, and proved to their satisfaction that his research methods were sound, not to mention, your run down a man who's dead. Easy target. So people pay you to write much does it cost to get a more in depth story, with opposing facts, and with less bias, or countering points of view?

    I take it you're not making enough money on your own to get to the UFO Symposium, perhaps a kickstarter group of skeptics would pay your way.

    If that's not possible, I'd suggest you interview any one or all of the CHD Hearing witnesses, especially Paul Hellyer, and Richard Dolan, and downloadable from If they're too boring for you, how about Stephen Bassett, or Stephen Greer? The truth, as much can be knownm is out there, Mr. Campbell, and I'll not bother reading your tripe until you check deeply into what is known, and knowable.

    I am heartened that you have so much confidence in academic bureaucracy - that you believe he had to simply show his awesome data and they were convinced. They were not even remotely convinced, but it is darn hard to fire someone without proof of fraud.  Being a likable crackpot is not fraudulent.

    Were you, Barry, abducted by an alien?
    Gerhard Adam
    Where exactly is the data though?  There's more than enough indications of physical evidence if there was any validity to these claims, yet where is it?

    This becomes especially relevant when you even mentioned Betty Cash, since it seems that there isn't even any clear evidence to suggest that the helicopters were in the area.  Now you can certainly allege government conspiracy, but that simply lends more credence to the point that any UAP would be terrestrial rather than supporting the assertion that it is alien.
    Mundus vult decipi
    John Hasenkam
    ohn Edward Mack, Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer and Harvard Medical School psychiatrist, believed lots of people had been abducted by aliens.

    Hank, as a friend of mine who is a neuropsychologist once told me: a New York post grad school in psychology had to start checking their possible students because so many applying were sick puppies. Elkhonon Goldberg, a Russian neuropsychologist now in New York, stated that they had exactly the same problem at a post grad school in Moscow and when screening applicants would place big red tick to indicate another sick puppy had showed up. I refer to it as trying to be on the wrong side of the desk and it does seem to be a problem in psychology in particular though it is interesting to note that R.D. Laing, who played a major role in starting the anti-psychiatry movement, was institutionalised. Additionally a psychiatrist told me how some of his colleagues had met Szasz, another leader of that movement, and thought he had a few too many kangaroos loose in the top paddock. 

    tony athas has left two copies of his comment.  I have a theory about that.  He left his comment, then he was abducted by aliens who wiped his memory and then he left his comment.

    He sure doesn't know how Google news search works.  Just for him and any other like-minded people:  the Google news computer program ranks newest stories highest.  Got that ?  No money involved whatsoever.
    I am a bit shocked to see the extreme comments on this topic.  Even people who take abductions seriously must realize that healthy skepticism is the name of the game for everyone else.  Getting that angry about Hank's article is a bit out of line.   

    This particular topic needs concrete evidence to be taken seriously.  Eyewitnesses are notoriously problematic and science does recognize that particular problem.  If that is the only proof a person has, then there is no substantive evidence.  Ad hominem attacks on the skeptics is not really an effective way to convince people that you have a valid point.
    Show me the data!!!