Newly restored audio of classic Mack/Hopkins debate now available

March 30, 2021 – A classic 1997 debate between two researchers of alien encounters – Harvard psychiatrist John Mack and New York-based artist / author Budd Hopkins – is now available as a free download on John Mack’s website.

The audio edition of this event has been expanded to an hour and 52 minutes in length – more than 50 minutes longer than a previously-released video version.

Click here for: Budd Hopkins & John Mack: A Dialogue on the Alien Abduction Experience (Expanded Audio Edition)

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The Believer: A conversation with Whitley Strieber & Ralph Blumenthal

Best-selling author of Communion, Whitley Strieber, interviewed Ralph Blumenthal, author of the new biography about John Mack, The Believer.

Whitley says, “I’ll never forget the moment that John called me to tell me that both his tenure and his license to practice psychiatry were on the line. I said to him that he had to get legal help immediately, that he could not advocate for himself against such opposition. He did, and the story that Ralph Blumenthal tells about his life, his battles and his tremendous courage will stir your soul and open your mind to a great mystery in a whole new way.”

The first hour of Strieber’s interview with Blumenthal is available for free on Strieber’s website:

Members of Strieber’s website can watch an expanded version of the recording that includes discussion about Mack’s visit to the Ariel School in Zimbabwe.

And here is the photo from Mack’s archives that Whitley refers to in the interview, taken in May 1997 at Medway. Pictured left to right are Whitley Strieber, Trish Pfeiffer, John Mack, and Laurance Rockefeller.

Also from the archives: Dr Mack wrote an endorsement of Communion in late 2000 when he was asked to name some books that are essential introductions to the subject of alien encounters.

Communion, by Whitley Strieber, is easy to read and compelling in its content. It is a ‘rapid-entry’ book into the awesome power of the alien-encounter phenomenon and makes a persuasive case for the reality Strieber was forced to confront – its power, and the fearfulness with which he initially responded to it. Though I had spoken with Budd Hopkins and even met some experiencers, this was the first book I read on this phenomenon – it’s so vivid and clear that it rapidly drew me more deeply into the subject.”

German translations of articles are on the glidepath!

March 11, 2021 – JEMI is pleased to announce that German translations of several articles on this website will be provided over the next few months by Patrik Hübner. A native German-speaker with an interest in this subject matter, Hübner is perfectly suited to providing these translations as his time allows. The translations will also be appearing on his blog. We are grateful for his volunteer service.

In advance of the first article, Hübner kindly provided a primer on how some common alien encounter terms appear in German.

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The Believer by Ralph Blumenthal: Virtual Book Launch with Leslie Kean

Join the Virtual Book Launch of the biography about Dr. John Mack live on Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 6:30pm EST via Zoom.

Update: A replay of this event is now available at

Related: Ralph Blumenthal discusses his book about Dr John Mack, The Believer, with Dan Aykroyd. Recorded Wed, March 17, 2021. A replay is available; click to sign in and stream the recording. Presented by Skylight Books. (Be aware there were extensive technical glitches during the livestream.)
More interviews with Ralph Blumenthal about The Believer are on YouTube.

What do Alien Abduction and Psychedelic Experiences have in Common? Let Dr. John E. Mack’s Work Explain

January 4, 2021 – “What do Alien Abduction and Psychedelic Experiences have in Common? Let Dr. John E. Mack’s Work Explain” is available online at Psychedelics Today.

Michelle Janikian’s article is “The story of the Harvard psychiatrist who wanted to believe – and ended up introducing the entire culture to the possibility of transpersonal experiences”.

Includes a new interview with his former research associate and girlfriend, Dominique Callimanopulos.

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 hardcover:

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).

The Joe Rogan Experience touches on the Ariel School event and Dr. John Mack

July 17, 2020 – Jeremy Corbell brings up the Ariel School event in this interview by Joe Rogan. That leads Rogan to mention that his friend Maura Tierney (with whom he was staring on the acclaimed sitcom NewsRadio) suggested that he read John Mack’s book Abduction. “This is right up your alley,” she told him, “it’s so crazy.”

Earlier in the program, Rogan explains that when asked if he believes in alien encounters, he has said, “I don’t. I don’t believe in them – but I don’t not believe in them either. I just keep a blank slate with this.”

Good advice from one of the most influential voices in podcasting.

Watch the podcast: The Joe Rogan Experience, episode 1510 with George Knapp & Jeremy Corbell (should start playing at time index 7442)

“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.