New York Times reporter Ralph Blumenthal has written a brilliant and much deserved biography of a mysterious, amazing and brilliant hero: Dr. John Mack. As a tenured Harvard professor and a licensed psychiatrist, Dr. Mack put his life, his livelihood and his reputation on the line when he began publicly advocating that close encounter witnesses were NOT insane or liars, but were simply reporting their experiences.

This caused a firestorm to erupt in his life and nearly ended his career. Whitley Strieber 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.

To get The Believer, click here.

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  1. Years (many) ago, I read John Mack’s impressive Pulitzer Prize winning biography of T.E. Lawrence, and ‘Abduction’ and ‘Passport to the Cosmos’ have been on my bookshelf for a while too.

    For those who have not seen the footage of his trip to the Ariel School, and his poignant interviews with the children that witnessed the beings and UFO event, it is recommended viewing. Back in 2015, I got involved as an investor in the documentary of the event, ‘Ariel Phenomenon’, which is still in post production. Dr. Mack had a lot to do with my interest in this particular event and the documentary. No, I never met him, but suffice to say that his spirit is still strong and very much with us. That’s all I’ll say…🙂


  2. Great show, bravo. Hope to one day find time to read it! (So many books, so little time). Have 3 small kids… p.s. i like the video format. Picture was a bit small this time, though.

  3. Great interview! Can’t wait to get the book. Art Bell felt that John was killed and it was not just an accident.

  4. Thanks for another great interview. Dr. Mack and Ralph Blumenthal are both the type of skilled and courageous people we need to advance our undedstanding of this phenomenon in the public space.

    Dr. Mack’s statement that a yearning for love motivated his search for extraterrerestrial intelligence reminded me of the MOTK’s claim that “being serves joy.” After hearing Dr. Mack’s statement and remembering the gentle way he interviewed the Ariel school children, I have no doubt that Dr. Mack’s work in the abduction field was in service of joy, and that he knew it. What an unfortunate loss.

  5. Excellent show! Love your sense of humor Whitley. It is good to laugh even when there are important issues being discussed.

  6. I very much appreciate the video versions of Dreamland. Having something to look at helps my focus on the show much more than the audio Dreamland.

  7. Author

    Glad you do. For those who prefer to listen or want to listen in their car, etc., all of our audio streams remain available both on the site and all of our other venues such as Apple Podcasts, KGRA, Tune-In Radio, Castro and Alexa.

  8. Adored this segment and I will get the book. Wonderful discussion, thank you both.

    Dr John Mack was HEAD of the Harvard Psychiatry Department and I can just imagine the kind of self serving outrage coming from the Harvard staff psychiatrist/psychology professors nipping at his heals with their competitive egos. As a reader of his books and a psychologist, I appreciated his case studies but I thought, how is he getting BY with being so public? And then he went on Oprah?! I thought maybe he was so high up that he could range further afield and get by with it, but no, not so much.

    The field of psychology fiercely protects its own legitimacy by holding closely and rigidly to diagnostic standards. Always has and probably always will. Every psychologist or psychiatrist fears losing their license to practice by stepping too far out from those rigid norms.

    Whitley, rather than label you as delusional, the more compassionate response from any mental health professional should be to explore how they can support you in healing any trauma, validate your feelings about your reality as you are experiencing the unusual, and support your growth and integration of the experiences. (Instead, over time, you had to do that on your own.)

    In the therapeutic setting, I have no business telling someone else what to believe, and I have no business even deciding whether I believe you or not. What I believe is not the point and not mine to share, just as I wouldn’t tell someone what to believe in their own religious experience. You have never expressed anything delusional.

    By and large, my profession fails experiencers and that’s a shame. I’m retired now but I worked with a handful (maybe more) of experiencers through word of mouth because I would never have dared “advertise” a specialty in the area because my psych. board would have had me for lunch.

  9. Incidentally the Kecksburg,Pennsylvania UFO incident also had a hit and run that killed a pedestrian as well. He was a radio disk jockey who had taped evidence on his person and had been previously threatened by military officials
    In Pennsylvania! His wife went on record to say she believed that he was intentionally killed. It makes you wonder how many witnesses through the years have really been intentionally murdered!

  10. Half way through the book. Extremely interesting. Well worth the money and time spent reading it.

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