The Believer: Alien Encounters, Hard Science, and the Passion of John Mack

High Road. Mar. 2021. 312p. ISBN 9780826362315. $29.95. PARAPSYCH
Blumenthal (Miracle at Sing Sing), a former investigative reporter for the New York Times, has written a compelling biography of Dr. John E. Mack (1929–2004), the Pulitzer Prize–winning Harvard psychiatrist who provided mental health care in Cambridge, MA. Dr. Mack’s interests in alien abductions and alternate realities set him apart from his colleagues, but his defiance of scientific expectation in giving credibility to alien abductees’ accounts was risky for an academic and a scientist. The story begins in June 1992 at a secretive Alien Discussions conference held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and proceeds to follow Dr. Mack on his mission to discover whether we have been misunderstanding the basic concept of reality all along. This well-researched account uses Mack’s personal journals, archives, and notes, along with interviews of close friends and family members, to capture the full picture of Mack’s life and genius.
VERDICT Likely to appeal to those with an interest in mental health or the anomalous, this book tells the story of a man with an insatiable thirst for knowledge who “believed in taking risks and breaking boundaries to boldly explore the deepest secrets of existence, which no one yet has come close to fathoming.”
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing