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DR. JOHN MACK

Throughout his career as a psychiatrist, Dr. Mack has explored the question of identity-how we, as human beings, experience ourselves in relation to one another, to the earth and its many life forms, and to the universe. He addressed this question on the individual level in his early clinical explorations of dreams, nightmares, and adolescent suicide, and in his biographical researches.

Later, he applied the insights of depth psychology to seek out the roots of collective experiences­the Cold War, the global ecological crisis, ethnonationalism and regional conflict­that inform our understanding of human identity. These pursuits led Dr. Mack to the field of transpersonal psychology, a thirty-year-old branch of psychology that investigates mystical experiences and the like, experiences that are “trans,” or beyond, our ordinary personal and biological selves. His intellectual and experiential studies of the transpersonal opened Dr. Mack to an expanded notion of reality, one which allows for experiences that don't fit our usual understanding.

In 1990, after meeting artist and UFO researcher Budd Hopkins, Dr. Mack began seeing clients who reported having anomalous interactions, against their will, with non-human intelligences. Struck especially by the intrusion of these experiences into the physical realm, he devoted increasing efforts to their study. To date, he has engaged in clinical investigation with more than 200 individuals who report such experiences. The portrait that has emerged shows narrative consistency, a close association with UFO sightings, and characteristic small scars, even in children as young as two years, for which no convincing clinical explanation yet exists (see Why the Abduction Phenomenon Cannot Be Explained Psychiatrically in our research section). Dr. Mack's many lectures and his 1994 book, Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens­in which he points out that the phenomenon, whatever its source, raises many questions about our place and role in the cosmos­have met with a spectrum of response. In addition to widespread support, the work has also encountered vocal opposition that many articulate experiencers and talented researchers might understandably be unwilling to face. It has become clear that, in order to foster the collaboration that is needed on this complex subject, our research must be accompanied by consistent cultivation of a social environment of conscious listening.

Dr. Mack passed away in 2004, but his work and research is being continued through others

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