Harvard educated psychiatrist John E. Mack was at the peak of a distinguished career as a doctor, Harvard professor, writer and researcher. He even won the Pulitzer Prize for literature and enjoyed universal respect. Then in 1994 he astonished everyone by daring to publish a UFO book.
It was as if every accomplishment of his entire life was now called into question. A Harvard “kangaroo committee” began to investigate him. High-level academic peers condemned him. Public ridicule followed.
Ironically, Mack’s 1994 book “Abduction” was a bestseller and probably made him a ton of money – opening him up to that old skeptic’s attack over anything to do with UFOs – ‘he did it to cash in.’ I remember other quotes in the media from egg-head academics that went something like this: “John Mack is a really brilliant guy, but for some reason, he just lost it.”
But Mack was only going where the science was leading him. As a therapist, he was intrigued that he was getting an increasing number of patients who claimed to have been abducted by UFO aliens. They were distressed over their experiences, but Mack was perplexed that, outside their bizarre tales of abductions, these people seemed altogether normal and mentally healthy in all other respects. They wanted to stay anonymous; in fact, they were desperate to keep their experiences a secret. It was clear they were not just a bunch of nutty attention seekers, or deeply neurotic or psychotic lunatics. They were ordinary people who needed to deal with a traumatic event.
And so what really got Mack into hot water, especially among the academic and scientific community, is that he had the audacity to suggest that maybe these people really had been abducted by aliens! That maybe they were telling the truth! It was blasphemy!
In my view, Mack, who died in 2004, was treated in much the same way the Catholic Church treated Galileo when he dared support the idea that the sun did not revolve around the earth. In the end, Mack faced no disciplinary action from Harvard, and he didn’t lose his license to practice psychiatry, but he endured a scathing wind of condemnation from the “established elite” and sacrificed his standing in the medical and academic community.
Just as I found Mack’s “Abductions” a riveting read, I give stellar marks to this book, “Passport to the Cosmos.” It’s an amazing book in many ways – it’s not even really so much a book about alien abduction as it is about spiritual transformation. “Passport to the Cosmos” bears greater relationship to such spiritual classics as “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda than to other books about UFO-related phenomenon – although there is plenty of “alien and UFO” discussion underpinning all of the content.
In addition to the experiences or ordinary Americans, Mack also highlights the UFO-like experiences of three modern day shamans – Sequoyah Trueblood, Bernardo Peixoto and Credo Mutwa. This is significant because Mack rather brilliantly shows us the UFO phenomenon through the eyes of a different culture – perspectives that are not as entangled in the highly rational, secular, materialistic, scientific mindset of Western society. It gives us another way to look at and consider just what might be going on with this whole UFO thing. It forces us to look at it in a new light.
For many readers who have read Mack’s “Abductions,” this book may seem like “more of the same” but my view is that Mack’s thoughts and ideas about what is going on with abduction patients (“experiencers”) and the UFO phenomenon have advanced and solidified, and are stated more firmly around a more coherent theory in this book.
This is an important book. I wish millions of people would read it, and give it serious thought.
Ken Korczak is the author of The Fairy Redemption of Jubal Cranch JUBAL CRANCH