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Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  327 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
An esteemed professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, Dr. John Mack never intended to become an expert in the controversial study of alien abductees. But after investigating over 60 cases of alien abduction through hundreds of hours of interviews and treatment, Dr. Mack now presents the mesmerizing tales of alien encounters ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 10th 1997 by Ballantine Books (first published 1994)
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Dec 24, 2012 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: esoteric
Really good.
It was scary and one night I had to discontinue because I was really creeped out.
I was hearing noises in the house and thought the aliens were coming through the walls; only the cats. ok.
Erik Graff
Dec 15, 2009 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ufologists
Recommended to Erik by: Michael Miley
Shelves: psychology
Frankly, I find psychological case studies boring in general. The few exceptions have been book-length studies by exceptionally good writers. Mack is all right as a writer, but not exceptional, not here.

The theme of these case studies carried me through the exercise, however. The facts that a tenured senior psychiatrist at Harvard, a psychoanalytically trained Pulitzer winner, would give credence to alien abduction accounts by his clients, that there were so many so accounts available to him in
Apr 30, 2008 Patrick\ rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal, science
Best book going on alien abductions. John Mack is no crazy pushing an agenda of proof. The accounts presented by this respected psychiatrist point out a uniformity of abuction experiences that defies rational explanation other than what they claim to be. Mass illusion? Possibly. No paranoia - no government conspiracies - straight reportage with comment. Mack leaves the abductions question open as to authenticity, though only a crack.
Jan 23, 2011 Jackee rated it liked it
I read this book as a child, because I used to be obsessed with Aliens. I didn't believe they existed, but I loved reading about them in a fictional sense. This book scared me so much (in an omg they may exist sense) that I never finished it.
May 11, 2011 Ard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over the years I have read a number of books on UFOs and abductions, and found this one to be one of the most important. Not only because the author/researcher is a Harvard psychiatrist, which admittedly adds to its credibility. But also because the various cases which this book describes gives the reader a careful and balanced impression of the intellectually challenging phenomenon of these encounters. Halfway through the book I found myself watching the film "Intruders" again, also a fair repr ...more
Mike S
Jun 29, 2012 Mike S rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a must read for anyone with questions about what might be behind some UFO sightings. If you think we may be being visited by alien races, this book will be thought-provoking to say the least. Mack comes across as entirely credible, methodical, extremely careful, and quite likeable. He couldn't have done a better job on what could have been a very easy to discredit book. Instead, his expert and careful handling of the subject resulted in a book that is entirely believable, an encyclopedia ...more
Jun 25, 2008 Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is much more analytical and in-depth than others of this type; Dr. Mack is a Harvard Pulitzer Prize winner who documents his cases meticulously. CAUTION: Read in small doses----it gets creepy after a while, but remains fascinating!!
Aug 20, 2008 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
gripping accounts of late night abductions as recited by those under hypnosis. unnerving in a way only a non-fiction book can be, mack spares us of any agendas and tells us the extent of his research. those with an open mind and interest in the subject will enjoy this immensely.
This book is definitely creepy because of the detailed, methodical approach the author uses to basically present pretty convincing evidence that we are not alone...!! However, after a while, the interviews seem the same and I got pretty bored by the middle. I didn't exactly finish the book! :{
Roy Hale
Oct 20, 2016 Roy Hale rated it it was amazing
Interesting perspective and very informative, a great study and followed sad John Died in his prime !
Stanley Trice
Feb 27, 2017 Stanley Trice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature
In 1994 when the book was published, Dr. John E. Mack was a professor of psychiatry at the Cambridge Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He was also the founding director of the Center for Psychology and Social Change.

Abduction by aliens is beyond the understanding or belief of many people. I am reminded of the movie The Matrix where humanity is put into a simulated reality by machines. To many people, it feels better to believe in unreality.

Some reviewers of this book, that is out of print, fo
Jul 23, 2013 Jack rated it it was ok
I started reading this book mainly because I read Whitley Strieber's Communion and it was one of the scariest books I have ever read, but also because I am fascinated with the idea of aliens.

At first, I thought I was going to enjoy this book thoroughly when it talks about how aliens not only push our perception of what is real, but it starts off fairly terrifying because of the factual and scientific data that is presented. You feel a lack of control and that you are going to be visited by alien
Megan Johnson
Apr 02, 2014 Megan Johnson rated it it was ok
The first thought after finishing the last sentence was, "Thank god that is finished!". In all honesty, if I could it would be a 2.5, the .5 coming from the last chapter in which Dr. Mack recovers by adding some sanity to the book. I expected this book to be more critical than what it was, especially for a Harvard professor.
The book is compromised of mostly abduction stories and for me 13 was too many. My two qualms about the book were that Mack used hypnotic regression and his insistance on t
Rachel Pieters
Dec 06, 2013 Rachel Pieters rated it really liked it
This book took me 6 months to read, and it was completely worth it. The reason it took so long is that I wanted to fully absorb everything John Mack put into it, and there is a lot of information, and a lot of intellectual musings (and some jargon) to really dive into, and that took some time to read, understand, and sort.

It's unfortunate that he died in a car accident in the 90s as he was an award winning psychiatrist, and his research in the field of abductions was unparalleled, especially bec
Apr 24, 2007 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in psychology of psychosis and speculative fiction
This is not a fictional book. It is a collection of stories from the files of a psychiatrist who has specialized in working with those who claim they have been abducted by aliens.

They are fascinating stories. What is most fascinating is that their stories are so similar, though how they "interpret" their experiences are dissimilar.

As a psychiatrist, John Mack feels that such people need to be treated carefully, not because they are dangerous people, but because they need to be able to tell their
Laura Crean
Apr 24, 2014 Laura Crean rated it liked it
This was a very thorough recording of a sample of John's case studies of people who had reportedly been abducted by aliens. He recounted their stories and their experiences under hypnosis. He also links them all very well and hints at something deeper to do with altered states of consciousness and possible multi-dimensional realities. However I found this book to be lacking somehow, I'm not sure why. I felt that as a psychologist John actually wrote a book that could be used to come to a conclus ...more
Sep 19, 2016 Lora rated it it was amazing
John E. Mack, psychiatrist, professor at Harvard Medical School, Pulitzer prize winning biographer, writes about the spiritual transformation of people who've experienced what is usually known as alien abduction.

With no axe to grind, John Mack looked at a phenomenon that other scientific minds judged rather than researched. Mack draws few conclusions, although he appears to believe the accounts given to him. His main focus is relating & examining the experience of the human psyche when it co
Dr. Barrett  Dylan Brown, Phd
Aug 18, 2008 Dr. Barrett Dylan Brown, Phd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alien Enthusiast, Doctors, Tight-Assed Academics
Amazing and utterly astonishing. John Mack is a Harvard Psychiatrist and winner of the Pullitzer prize. This book was nothing like anyone could ever expect it to be like. It has completely changed my conceptions about what alien abductions could possibly be about while at the same time utterly validating the fact that they occur, respectible main-stream acadamia is aware of this, and still people pretend they aren't. Fucking mind-blowing. Still, the guy is a real Psychiatrist so the book gets pe ...more
Adam  McPhee
Jan 31, 2014 Adam McPhee rated it liked it
I used to have an intense fear of aliens as a kid. The Grey aliens scared the shit out of me. I was obsessed with them. I can't say I believe in them as a thing that exists, but this book brought the fear out in me. Reminded me of being a kid and having nightmares about aliens walking around my room examining things as I slept, with Hitler crouching in the window and holding a knife between his teeth.
Jul 19, 2016 Kathleen rated it liked it
“It is difficult to ignore the fact that the UFO abduction phenomenon is taking place in the context of a planetary crisis of major proportions. Human power and greed, made invincible by technologies that are ravaging the earth’s environment, are bringing the planet’s Biosystems to the edge of collapse. Positive efforts to arrest this process are evident at every level, but the overall destructive trend continues."
Wendy Wax
Feb 21, 2010 Wendy Wax rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book about aliens written by Pulitzer Prize winner and professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School's Cambridge Hospital, John E. Mack, MD. Before his death in 2004, Mack investigated 76 UFO abduction cases and summarizes 13 of them, also offering his scholarly comments and controversial conclusions.
Aug 11, 2008 Rowan rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008
The writing isn't particularly engaging, but for a book that seems on the surface (the cover and title, at least) to be the worst kind of popular tripe, it's quite intelligent and evenhanded in its presentation of information.
Feb 16, 2013 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A fascinating book. I have no idea if alien abduction exists, but from a purely psychological point of view, the book is thought-provoking and strangely spiritual. And also truly scary. I've read it several times and keep coming back for more.
Jun 28, 2016 Hal rated it it was amazing
Sometimes I'm glad it hasn't happened to me, sometimes I hope I'm next.
Cynde Moya
Jul 31, 2011 Cynde Moya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another scholar of UFO phenomena, moved into amateur hypnotic regressions to collect (plant?) evidence from potential abductees.
Ron Lubovich
Aug 17, 2012 Ron Lubovich rated it really liked it
Fascinating case history of a phenomena fully understood by no one.
Mike Simpson
Soooo much detail
Aug 24, 2013 Katy rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved this book. It looked at alien encounters through a more spiritual and psychological perspective rather than trying to prove what's real and what's not real.
Jan 09, 2016 Dana rated it did not like it
what a disappointment
Sue rated it it was amazing
Jan 10, 2016
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American psychiatrist, writer, and professor at Harvard Medical School.

He was a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, and a leading authority on the spiritual or transformational effects of alleged alien abduction experiences.
More about John E. Mack...

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