It’s one of the strange things.
Back in 1994, Pulitzer Prize winner and Harvard psychiatrist Dr. John Mack came out with a book of analysis.
Analyzing is something psychiatrists practice as a living.
And to great acclaim, this scholar had done so with children contemplating suicide and also teens mentally tortured by thoughts of nuclear war.
They were the kind of endeavors Harvard expects of its faculty.
What made Dr. Mack unusual — strange — and got him into trouble (both academically and, from our viewpoint, spiritually), but brought yet more renown — was a third area of study, which led to the 1994 book and a title that explains why this soft-spoken, accomplished, perspicacious man nearly lost his Harvard position and became the subject of hot controversy.
The title of Dr. Mack’s book was Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens, and it was a psychiatric analysis of those who believe they have encountered beings from another planet, and in some instances, were abducted and medically examined aboard flying saucers, their reproductive organs often examined or otherwise meddled with, as if extraterrestrials were trying to create a new race of beings.
To say this is a “bizarre” assertion begs the limits of that word, and Harvard initiated more than a year of secret administrative meetings trying to figure out how to deal with Dr. Mack, reportedly discussing even the (for Harvard) unprecedented measure of stripping his tenure.
It was an unusual career, hitting its peak (or nadir, depending on viewpoint) in Zimbabwe, Africa, when the professor interviewed schoolchildren in Ruwa, where at least sixty-two of them claimed with remarkable consistency to have witnessed the landing of UFOs on a field next to a private Christian school and encountered a slender alien with bulbous head and jet-black eyes. This “being” telepathically spoke to some of them, warning, among other things, that mankind was causing enormous damage to the planet.
The problem with this experience and the others studied by Dr. Mack is that it was not a pleasant experience. The episode left those kids utterly terrified. In short, it was a “close encounter” of the traumatic kind [caution, tabloid].
That — as well as the entire UFO upsurge in recent years, now reaching fever pitch — does not speak of the “extraterrestrial” so much as the spiritual, starting with those unnerving eyes (so commonly described, in precisely the same way, during exorcisms). In fact just this week is a tabloid story about Pentagon types warning that UFO phenomena are not physical but spiritual, and more precisely, demonic.
Most jarring are those cases Dr. Mack logged wherein people insisted they were taken aboard interplanetary or interdimensional craft, examined by beings often are described as short “gray” entities with bulbous heads and huge black eyes, or as reptilian-like creatures, compared often to a praying mantis and reporting, it seems, to human-like aliens with even more piercing eyes and tall, fit stature. Many have claimed that instruments were stuck into their bellies or reproductive organs, and some claim ova (eggs) or sperm was extracted, apparently to create “hybrids” (some of which are later seen, upon re-abduction, in glass-like compartments as they develop into full-sized entities).
Is it mass insanity (again, thousands claim the experience, with great similarity in detail), or a simple demonic deception?
There are those who draw comparisons to giant beings, the Nephilim in the Book of Genesis (“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans, who bore children to them.”)
These were the “heroes that were of old, warriors of renown,” notes Encyclopedia Brittanica.
They were also, say certain Bible scholars, what led God to send The Flood. For in reality, they were evil spirits corrupting humankind.
Whatever one’s view (that it’s all psychological balderdash; that extraterrestrials are indeed visiting earth; or that it’s a demonic phenomenon), interest in it is rampant in our time.
We don’t doubt the possibility that life exists on other planets, nor even the chance (far from proven) that extraterrestrials have or are visiting. It’s a large universe!
But this is creepy stuff — the abductions — and one notes that periodically there have been eruptions through the years at other schools in Africa, whereby demons were reported en masse by students and sometimes faculty, leading to temporary closures and international headlines. In Uganda, a school head teacher and the diocesan secretary for education actually confirmed that the students had been possessed by assorted evil minions.
As for the outbacks of South America, disturbing footage emerged in 2017 of a girl writhing like a snake in a rural village where locals believed eleven teenagers had been “possessed.”
Similar reports have originated from Kenya and Tanzania — at times with fingers pointed at local voodooists, who certainly have their prominence. In India, it’s the “monkey man.” In Upstate New York, more than a couple dozen students were afflicted and in some cases hospitalized due to a bizarre disorder that caused uncontrollable twitching and outrageous laughter.
Fodder for study — or more to the point, prayer.
As for Dr. Mack, he refused to back down, and in the end, he kept his job and maintained pursuit of the alien hypothesis, his life cut short when a drunken driver jumped a curb and hit him as he was walking in London during a conference. He’s the subject of an episode on Netflix about so-called “UFOs.” The accident occurred at age seventy-four in 1997.
Prayer need indeed.
[resources: Lying Wonders, Strangest Things]