John E Mack

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 14 October 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:920

Psychiatrist who studied claims of alien abduction and won the Pulitzer prize for biography

John E Mack, a psychiatrist at Harvard, won the Pulitzer prize for his 1976 biography of T E Lawrence, A Prince of Our Disorder, and both fame and notoriety for his 1994 bestseller Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens.

He was concerned with social causes, especially nuclear threats and the human environment. His disparate personas—from esteemed professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School to social activist and believer in alien abductions—were as incongruent as the extraordinary assemblage of his supporters, who included venture capitalist Laurence Rockefeller and attorney Daniel Sheehan, best known for his defence of left-leaning causes.

Dr Mack was the founding director of the Center for Psychological Studies in the Nuclear Age and was active as a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility and of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear …

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