~ Alien Abduction Research ~ 

  Message #8960 - UFO Natl Echo Date: 08-03-92 14:40 From: Don Allen
  To: All Subject: Harvard-mack 1/2 ** Forwarded from Usenet **

  Article 22091 of sci.skeptic: Path:
  news.harvard.edu!husc-news.harvard.edu!husc10!stern6 From:
  stern6@husc10.harvard.edu (Michael Stern) Newsgroups: sci.skeptic
  Subject: Harvard University Gazette endorces alien abductee research
  Message-ID:  Date: 31 Jul 92 02:11:46 GMT
  Article-I.D.: husc10.stern6.712548706 Lines: 174  Nntp-Posting-
  Host: husc10.harvard.edu

  The Harvard University Gazette is a publication largely internal to
  Harvard. It prints information about seminars, research and whatnot,
  along with spotlights on interesting professors and areas of study.

  In the most recent issue (July 24, 1992) a full page is devoted to
  John Mack, an MD affiliated with Harvard who believes that aliens
  routinely abduct midwestern housewives and perform strange
  experiments on them.

  The article is extremely generous to Mack; in fact, it could
  scarcely be more so.

  I would like to write a full response to the Gazette, and was
  wondering if anybody reading this post could point me to relevant
  sources of information about the 'abductions' and 'visitors' and so

  The article follows, in its entirety.


  Accounting for Stories of Alien Abduction Psychiatrist John Mack
  shares his convictons [sic] that these reports are 'authentic and
   disturbing mysteries'

  By Deane W. Lord Gazette Staff

  From Ancient Greece to the present, humankind has asked, Is there
  life beyond planet Earth? And, if so, what form does it take? Last
  month some 100 researchers and mental health professionals gathered
  in Cambridge to explore the possibility of extraterrestrial life and
  to examine and compare the experiences of abductees--men and women
  who claim to have been kidnapped by alien beings, taken aboard
  spacecraft, and eventually released.

  The four-day closed meeting drew some of the most ardent and long-
  term researchers who presented short papers on their work. Chief
  among them was conference co-organizer Medical School Psychiatry
  Professor John Mack, who became involved with the UFO question two
  and a half years ago. Though he began as a total skeptic, he
  admitted, he now believes that the experiences of abductees "are an
  extremely important phenomenon"-and that "we can't begin to
  understand them without a shift in our world view." He believes that
  mental dualism in the West--"we're here, you're there"--will prevent
  many from being open minded about the possibility of alien
  abductions. These experiences are shattering our world view [by
  suggesting] that we may be connected with other beings beyond
  ourselves.... The proposition attacks the arrogance of our ideas and
  makes a mockery of our technology.

  Estimates vary as to how many individuals have had abduction
  experiences. According to a Roper Organization poll, one out of
  every 50 American adults--some 3.7 million people indicate that they
  have had an encounter with an unidentified flying object or an alien
  being. "It is possible that hundreds of thousands, or even millions,
  of people in this country alone have undergone abduction
  experiences," said Mack. Because of the stigma attached to revealing
  such experiences, he believes many people remain underground, too
  ashamed or alarmed to admit the experience. "The more prominent the
  person, the more likely he or she will be reluctant to come forward
  as they have more to lose," he said. "Often, once they seek help,
  abductees prefer to be diagnosed as crazy." A well-known
  psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Mack reports that of the 60 cases he
  has worked on he has found, -to his surprise, that after a battery
  of psychological tests, "no psychiatric or psychosocial explanation
  for these reports is evident. These people are not mentally ill." He
  has spent countless therapeutic hours with these individuals only to
  find that what struck him was the "ordinariness" of the population,
  including arestaurant owner, several secretaries, a prison guard,
  college students, a university administrator, and several
  homemakers. "The majority of abductees do not appear to be deluded,
  confabulating, lying, self-dramatizing, or suffering from a clear
  mental illness," he maintained. He has encountered only one person
  who showed psychotic features.

  The central finding of most researchers, including Mack, is that
  there is one archetypal abduction experience and that most abduction
  memories contain very limited variations on a standard scenario. A
  typical encounter would begin with uneasy feelings of foreboding, a
  fear-inducing appearance of small alien beings, transport to a
  spacecraft, examination and other procedures performed on a special
  table, various tests and tasks given, the introduction of more
  favorable feelings toward the aliens, and finally a return to pre-
  abduction activities and states of consciousness.

  For most of the abductees, the experience is fearful and many
  repress the details. Often, hypnosis brings back the traumatic
  episode and helps the abductee recover memories of the entire event,
  Mack and others have found. "Particularly impressive to me has been
  the intense resistance and disturbing affect, especially fear, as
  memories of traumatic abduction experiences begin to emerge under
  hypnosis or through conscious recall," said Mack. He and others find
  it hard to explain the marks left on some bodies from red triangles
  on the chest to incisions on arms and legs. Several have had
  implants in their ears and noses but, upon study, physicists and
  biochemists find no unearthly material. "Any adequate theory of
  alien abductions, even a useful hypothesis, must account for a broad
  range of puzzling phenomena," said Mack. In his inventory of
  occurrences, he includes narrative consistency. "The stories that
   abductees tell vary in their details, but they have a hard
   edge  of narrative consistency," he found. He dismisses the
  argument that abductees influence one another and believes that
  "what more often happens is that when abductees communicate with
  each other about their abductions or watch television or film
  versions of abductions, they fill in details of what they have
  already experienced and are trying to clarify." Even though many
  abductions occur independent of UFO sightings, a close association
  between UFO encounters and abduction experiences has been
  consistently observed, noted Mack. Mack believes a convincing theory
  must be found for the bizarre physical effects, such as termination
  of pregnancy, sexual liaisons, incisions, and implants that
  abductees report. A way also must be found to account for the
  abduction reports of children as young as 2. These are, Mack said,
  "emotionally intense and seemingly authentic, detailed experiences
  [from young people] whose exposure to outside sources of information
  has been limited." The abduction phenomenon, said Mack, "confronts
  us with an authentic and disturbing mystery. There is no way, I
  believe, that we can even make sense, let alone provide a convincing
  explanation, of this matter within the framework of our existing
  views of what is real or possible. Our psychological theories do not
  include a way of accounting for the simultaneous occurrence among
  thousands of people, unacquainted with each other, including small
  children, of complex, elaborate, and sometimes overwhelmingly
  powerful experiences that resemble one another in minute detail,
  accompanied by equally peculiar physical phenomena." Mack also
  thinks that the current understanding of physical reality "whereby a
  population of beings from some other space/time realm can enter our
  world with such limited detection and affect so many people" defies
  our accepted notions of scientific reality.

  Like others, Mack believes the phenomenon is worthy of more inquiry.
  "The phenomenon may deliver to us a kind of fourth blow to our
  collective egoism, following those of Copernicus, Darwin, and Freud.
  We may be led to realize that we are not physically at the center of
  the universe, . . . we are not even the preeminent or dominant
  intelligence in the cosmos in control of our psychological and
  physical existences. "It appears that we can be 'invaded' or taken
  over, if not literally by other creatures, then by some other form
  of being or consciousness that seems able to do with us what it will
  for a purpose we cannot yet fathom." Sidebar:

  Research on human lives, with purpose and idealism

  About three years ago, a colleague asked John Mack to meet writer
  Budd Hopkins, the author of Intruders, a book recently made into a
  television movie on the experiences of abductees. Mack was highly
  skeptical; "there was no way I could understand the phenomena," he

  But Mack did meet with Hopkins, and became fascinated by the stories
  he heard. The conversation ultimately led Mack into abductee
  research; from 1990 to January of this year, he interviewed 34
  adults and children who claim to have encountered aliens, and will
  write a book about the phenomenon. His work with abductees impressed
  him "with the powerful dimension of personal growth that accompanies
  the traumatic experiences. An intense concern for the planet's
  survival and a powerful ecological consciousness seem to develop for
  many abductees. For me and other investigators, abduction research
  has had a shattering impact on our views of the nature of the
  cosmos." He is most proud of his work at Cambridge Hospital's
  psychiatry department, which he founded in 1962. He won a 1977
  Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Lawrence of Arabia, A Prince of
  Our Disorder: The Life of T.E. Lawrence (Little, Brown and Co.). He
  has also published extensively in the areas of psychobiography and
  the psychosocial effects of the nuclear arms race. As an
  investigator of the psychology of the nuclear arms race, Mack, 62,
  founded the Center for Psychology and Social Change, a Cambridge-
  based research organization devoted to the psychosocial study of
  human violence, conflict, and images of the enemy. The center has
  recently enlarged its focus to include the preservation of the
  environment. Mack received his M.D. from Harvard in 1955, and
  graduated from the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute in 1967 and was
  certified as a child analyst in 1969. He graduated from Oberlin
  College, phi beta kappa.

  He has been a professor of psychiatry at the Cambridge Hospital, an
  affiliate of the the Medical School [sic], since 1972 and was head
  of the Department of Psychiatry there from 1973 to 1977. A faculty
  member of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society, he is also currently
  president of the International Society for Political Psychology.