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

A biography of Dr. John Mack has been written by Ralph Blumenthal, the award-winning reporter who broke the news of a secret Pentagon UFO unit.

The Believer will be published in March 2021.

The Believer is the weird and chilling true story of Dr. John Mack. This eminent Harvard psychiatrist and Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer risked his career to investigate the phenomenon of human encounters with aliens and to give credibility to the stupefying tales shared by people who were utterly convinced they had happened.

Nothing in Mack’s four decades of psychiatry had prepared him for the otherworldly accounts of a cross-section of humanity including young children who reported being taken against their wills by alien beings. Over the course of his career his interest in alien abduction grew from curiosity to wonder, ultimately developing into a limitless, unwavering passion.

Based on exclusive access to Mack’s archives, journals, and psychiatric notes and interviews with his family and closest associates, The Believer reveals the life and work of a man who explored the deepest of scientific conundrums and further leads us to the hidden dimensions and alternate realities that captivated Mack until the end of his life.

Ralph Blumenthal was an award-winning reporter for the New York Times. He coauthored the Times article in 2017 that broke the news of a secret Pentagon unit investigating UFOs, and he is the author of four nonfiction books including Miracle at Sing Sing: How One Man Transformed the Lives of America’s Most Dangerous Prisoners. A distinguished lecturer at Baruch College, he lives in New York City.

The Believer was independently written; the book is not endorsed by, affiliated with, authorized, or sponsored by JEMI.

“This extraordinary biography reads like a fast-paced thriller. It deftly weaves the detailed richness of John Mack’s genius and complex life through the historical backdrop of the alien-abduction phenomena. Ralph Blumenthal has so beautifully captured the essence of Mack’s soul and his relentless curiosity that by the end of the book I mourned that Mack is no longer with us.”
— Trish MacGregor, coauthor of Aliens in the Backyard: UFO Encounters, Abductions, and Synchronicity

“As a person sane enough to hold a driver’s license, I say, what are we to make of Mack’s findings? Read this gripping, factual account of a mental-health pioneer and truth-seeker by a soundly accredited successful author, veteran New York Times foreign correspondent, and reporter. Decide for yourselves and then tell me!”
— Dan Aykroyd

“Anyone who is intrigued by the involvement of John Mack, a psychiatrist on the faculty of Harvard, or by the interest of psychiatrists in the anomalous in general and UFOs in particular, should not miss reading this book! It is filled with details on the topic, both pro and con, that are not publicly available in any other place that I know.”
— David J. Hufford, author of The Terror that Comes in the Night: An Experience-Centered Study of Supernatural Assault Traditions

“John Mack was one of the few prominent American intellectuals who saw and said what was, and still is, really at stake in the UFO phenomenon—reality itself. And Ralph Blumenthal is the perfect biographer to take up Mack and bring him to life, in all his humanity and complexity, on the page. A major achievement.”
— Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge


US Pre-orders (coming soon): Amazon.com

For more information: Please visit the publisher’s website, UNMPress

Remembering Dr. John Mack

Remembering the late Dr. John Mack, and his courageous defense of “experiencers” of alien contact, on this anniversary of his birth (Oct 4, 1929).

Japanese edition of Passport to the Cosmos by Dr. John Mack

September 1, 2020 – A Japanese edition of Dr John Mack’s Passport to the Cosmos may be in the works. We say “may” because the publisher’s schedule seems to have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. We are hopeful that an announcement will come in 2021. This would be the first time that Mack’s “final word” on the alien encounter phenomenon has been translated into Japanese.

If you are a publisher interested in releasing Passport to the Cosmos in your country, please contact us. This book has been released in several languages (see the links in the footer of the website) but we would like to see it released in many more.

“Ariel Phenomenon” documentary filmmaker releases a statement

AUGUST 2017 – The filmmaker who is developing a documentary about the extraordinary events at the Ariel School has released a statement that we’d like to share:

Randy Nickerson, Filmmaker, String Theory Films

Now with seeing somewhat the light of day on this extensive project, it brings me back to the beginning when I first received the BetaCam footage from the Dr John Mack family members. After seeing this footage, I could understand what Mack saw in the testimony of these children and the events around the Ariel School sightings. That was in 2007. This film was supposed to be just a DVD project with John Mack’s material for online sales but I had so many questions that his interviews did not answer. That began the quest to find the school in 2008. I was told it had burnt down, that it no longer existed, and then I found the name of the reporter who helped out John Mack in 1994. She informed me the school was still there and so were some of the original teachers. I booked the flight to South Africa within days. Landed in Johannesburg, South Africa and was shuttled to where I was staying. There was an armed guard with an M4 in front of the 12 foot wall that surrounded the building. I was definitely not in Kansas anymore. Went into Zimbabwe a week later with a reporter with warnings from our US State Department not to do so. Zimbabwe was in civil unrest due to the elections and the dictatorships actions against its own people. People were starving. It left an impression on me that changed me fundamentally. To be in Zimbabwe covering a story and there being another big story happening at the same time, was overwhelming. I stayed in a shack about 7 miles from the Ariel school with no electricity, no hot water. I had to charge batteries and do everything from generator power when it was running. It was a humbling and I had to buck up and face the music in ways that I was not prepared for.

Seeing the school for the first time was a moment I will never forget and meeting the teachers and those that were there in 1994 was fascinating. The school and the Head Mistress were so gracious and accommodating given the circumstances that they were under.

The Headmistress shared with me photos, drawings, and the story of the 1994 incident.

My question was “ Do you really believe it happened?” Her and the 2 other teachers I spoke with and interviewed were convinced that it did. I walked the playground for days and the site where the witnesses said this silver disc was. I met with parents of the some of the children and people from Ruwa that also witnessed unusual things in the sky the day before. A paramedic who met with some of the children who were traumatized after the event. It became more and more apparent that there was an incredible story here.

I noticed on a tiled brick wall and on the walkway were the names of the children that attended Ariel School in 1994. That was the moment when I said to myself, I can find them. I didn’t know how but I was determined to do it. A woman in Johannesburg helped me set up a Facebook page. It was the advent of Facebook and social media that made it possible to find these now adult kids.

It was in 2008 that I interviewed the first witness who was in grade 7 in 1994.It began a long journey of tracking people down.It was not my intention to be an investigative reporter but that is what I had to become in order to tell this story. Locating the BBC reporter who was first on scene was a big moment. I had been looking for him for years and when I heard from him, out of the blue, I flew to England to interview him. He had kept everything from covering that event in 94. Every piece of video and even his paper scratch notes, I found other reporters and investigators had done the same thing. Whatever happened there was important enough for people to make a special place in their homes to save everything from that time.

I would find that these children were scattered all across the globe now due to the situation in Zimbabwe.

Funds were an issue and the credits will be filled with so many people who helped me. Getting to these kids was difficult. It took time, lots of effort and I was learning how to make a feature documentary all at the same time. It was gorilla film making at its core.

I had made several short films with the longest being 18 minutes but a feature documentary was an entirely different animal. The further I went and the more I found out about this story, the more I was convinced that this had to be a done properly no matter what.

There is so much more to this story, John Mack’s story, and the whole issue of life outside this planet. As I get closer to the end of this film I can finally start to talk about the journey and all the things I have kept close to the chest for so long. I look forward to that time and it is near. Thank God! It is indeed time to tell the story and bring the facts around this event to screen.

In Memory of Richmond Mayo-Smith

September 3, 2015 — We are sadly overdue in honoring John Mack’s friend and colleague, renowned educator Richmond Mayo-Smith, who died at the age of 92 in Boston on January 10th, 2015. Ever the thoughtful teacher, Richmond wrote some thoughts that were shared at his own memorial service.

“Life is more beautiful than I ever imagined.
Life on earth is a school.
Don’t be confused by what you have been taught,
rather close your eyes and listen deeply to your
inner resonance. There you come to know what is
true. Everyone must be courageous to follow a
deeper calling than societies’ prescription.
I am no longer worried, for I now see a deeper
truth.”

Richmond’s complete remarks are available here (click for pdf, 4 pages)

We can do little more at this moment than say that Richmond was among the wisest people who John knew.

Those of us who met Richmond through John’s work would all say that it was a privilege and honor.

Dr. John Mack’s book Passport to the Cosmos to be released in Italian in January 2016

For our Italian readers, an announcement regarding the first-ever Italian translation of Passport to the Cosmos by John E. Mack, M.D..

Coming in January 2016: Dr. John Mack’s book, Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters, in Italian!

Venexia Editrice says: “It is with great pleasure that Venexia presents a new series of books devoted to ufology. Many of our readers have asked us to explain this choice, as most know our publishing house for its selection of texts about esotericism and spirituality rather than for other topics. Here’s a quick response.

The mysteries of the universe are endless. We don’t know what may be occurring; if there may exist extraterrestrial beings who inhabit our galaxy, creatures who may dwell in a multiverse, entities who may be close to us yet whom our senses prevent us from perceiving, or who knows what else. All we can be sure of at this time is that something is going on that is at once psychic, mythical, imaginary and tangible. Too many people have had experiences with unfamiliar beings for the phenomenon of UFOs to be ignored and – most importantly from our perspective – all are transformed with the certitude that the way we interpret the world is limited, if not downright harmful to life on Earth.

Venexia is happy to offer its readers important books that deal with these topics, such as Passport to the Cosmos by John E. Mack, a Harvard psychiatry professor, Pulitzer Prize-winner and highest authority on the phenomenon of abductions by alien beings. In all these books, the personal experiences and professional research lead towards a renewed sense of the sacred and of reverence for nature that can make us reflect upon, and be delighted by, possibilities of extraordinary beauty.”

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