Harvard professor researches alien abductions. Those were five words that moved me to buy a book back in 1994. I was just starting graduate school in Bloomington, Indiana, and happened upon this book at a local bookstore. Little did I know it would make such a colossal impact on me.
Back then, I had a very, very small room in the basement of a red brick house on the corner of Jordan and Atwater. My room was right off the kitchen. There was a tiny shower and sink across the hall, and the nearest toilet was two flights up. My room consisted of a bed and a dresser and one of those slitty basement windows that makes you feel like you’re living in solitary confinement. There was a bar right around the corner, Bears Place, and that was good. Anyway, I willingly locked myself away in that room and devoured Abductions: Human Encounters with Aliens by Harvard psychiatrist, John E. Mack.
Mention alien abductions and most people give you a look like, “Uh-oh, here comes the fruit basket.” But that’s just what fascinated me about Mack’s book. I mean, this is usually tabloid crap, but here was a Harvard professor who had taken on the task of honoring the subject with real research. Who wouldn’t want to know what he found?
I’ve grown passionate about Dr. Mack over the years. I’ve come to see him as something of a modern-day Galileo. Mack faced tremendous
pressure from some of his colleagues at Harvard to quit his research on alien abductees, but he persevered. The Dean of Harvard Medical School appointed a committee to confidentially investigate the academic and scientific merit of Mack’s research, the first time in history that a tenured Harvard professor had ever been subjected to such an investigation. In fact, he had to hire a legal defense, at his own expense, and it became quite a scandal until Harvard finally backed off, concluding the Dean had “reaffirmed Dr. Mack’s academic freedom to study what he wishes and to state his opinions without impediment,” and “Dr. Mack remains a member in good standing of the Harvard Faculty of Medicine.”
What makes his research so fascinating? I’ll share some in the coming posts, it’s a huge topic, but for now, let’s just say that, if we are being visited by aliens, they have a powerful message for humanity. Laugh if you like, but read the book. After all, if a Harvard professor thinks it’s a worthy topic for research, don’t you want to know what he may have discovered?