Mainstream Review Of
David Jacobs Ominious
ET Book "The Threat"
By Leonard W. Boasberg
The Philadelphia Inquirer
From Stig Agermose <>
So you're walking down Walnut Street and you see this guy coming toward you, and he looks like an attorney or maybe an accountant.
Well, maybe he is, or maybe he's one of those hybrid alien/humans that Temple University professor David M. Jacobs writes about in The Threat, just published by Simon & Schuster.
There are thousands of these beings, he contends. They could be anyone. "Some hybrids look really quite human," Jacobs said in a recent interview in his Victorian-style home near Chestnut Hill.
But many look like the kind of extraterrestrials you've seen in movies and trash tabloids. That's the way people have described them to Jacobs: large heads; big black eyes; no hair, ears or nose; slits for mouths; thin arms and legs; grayish bodies.
What about that young woman taking her baby out for a stroll in Rittenhouse Square? Could she be one? "I do not think they are walking among us," Jacobs says, "or that they have a job at the 7-Eleven, or something like that."
What the young woman might be, though, is one of the thousands of people who, according to Jacobs, have been abducted by extraterrestrial beings and taken onto spaceships, stripped, and used for experimental procedures, including the removal of ova or sperm.
And the baby? Don't ask. Embarrassing. Frightening. Jacobs himself is frightened.
The aliens from outer space, he contends, do not come to earth with benign motives. On the contrary. They have an agenda. As he describes in The Threat, with the subtitle The Secret Agenda: What the Aliens Really Want . . . and How They Plan to Get It, the motive is nothing less than "the systematic and clandestine physiological exploitation, and perhaps alteration, of human beings for the purposes of passing on their genetic capabilities to progeny who will integrate into the human society and, without doubt, control it."
And it may be too late to stop them. "My own complacency is long gone, replaced," he writes, "by a sense of profound apprehension and even dread."
Jacobs, 55, a tenured associate professor of history at Temple, special izing in 20th-century America, is also, according to his publisher, "the world's foremost expert on the UFO and abduction phenomenon."
A man of medium height, with a halo of white hair and a white moustache, he speaks with the confidence of a man who knows his subject. He's been studying UFOs since 1965. He's written two previous books on the subject. He appears regularly on the TV talk show circuit -- Larry King Live, Howard Stern, Geraldo, A&E, the Learning Channel, the Discovery Channel. He recently returned from the sixth annual international UFO conference sponsored by the Republic of San Marino.
Jacobs started studying UFOs as a student at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he majored in history. In 1973, he obtained a master's degree in history at the University of Wisconsin and, later, his doctorate, with a dissertation on the UFO controversy.
In The Threat, Jacobs recounts the abduction experiences that people he's interviewed have described. He writes that he has used hypnosis in more than 700 abduction investigations. He learned it on his own: "Doing hypnosis is the easiest thing in the world."
There is something, for example, that he calls "mindscam," in which the abductors stare into the abductees' eyes at a distance of a few inches or less, sometimes provoking intense sexual arousal in both men and women.
A woman Jacobs calls "Laura" said that one night she was lying in bed with her husband when five of these creatures entered the bedroom, and one of them got on top of her. There was nothing she could do to stop him.
"Donna," when she was 20, met a hybrid on a beach in Maine. He was wearing a T-shirt and jeans, and his hair was down past his ears. He began kissing her, she recalled, and "you feel your brain exploding and your toes tingling and everything in between absolutely -- firecrackers!"
Unfortunately, all we have to go on is Laura's and Donna's word. All we have to go on in all the cases that Jacobs describes is what the people involved told him.
"Anecdotal evidence is not evidence at all," says James Randi, a professional magician, also known as the Amazing Randi, who has gone around the world debunking claims of the paranormal, supernatural and occult.
Randi, who received a MacArthur Foundation award for his work in investigating such claims, says he has offered a million dollars "for the performance of any paranormal, supernatural or occult phenomenon under proper observing conditions, and that includes contact with alien beings from nonterrestrial sources." The money, he says, is in negotiable bonds at Goldman Sachs in New York. So far, no claimants.
What about it, professor? There's a million dollars waiting for you.
Randi, Jacobs says, is like a lot of other critics who "have done absolutely no research whatsoever."
Even if we had an ashtray stamped "made in Mars," Jacobs contends, the skeptics would claim it had been made on earth. "Ultimately, what you need is an alien. You need one of these little guys wiggling on the end of a pole, and then you would have something. That would be convincing."
What about photographs? Didn't it occur to any of these people who claim multiple abductions to have a camera handy the next time?
The problem, he explains, is that there's a consciousness alteration at the beginning of every abduction that renders the abductee passive.
Sure, people hijacked aboard those spacecraft have picked up things. But see, they're naked, so there's no place to hide them.
How is it, a Wall Street Journal reviewer of The Threat wondered, that the aliens always seem to abduct people no one's ever heard of? Why don't they abduct somebody important, like Alan Greenspan or Kathie Lee Gifford?
"The answer," says Jacobs, "is that they do." Like who? "Can't tell you. If the people want to come forward, they will. . . . I cannot give you names right now."
Jacobs, like many UFO researchers, contends that the government, along with the media and the scientific community, determined long ago that the phenomenon had no objective reality. So "because the normal avenues of academic discourse have been closed to UFO researchers," he said, "they have been forced to take to the popular culture airways to bring their message."
"There are no alien spaceships. There never have been," said Robert Baker, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky. "There's absolutely no respectable scientific evidence of any alien invasion or that aliens have abducted any human being."
How then does he explain how people who come from all walks of life have told Jacobs such similar stories? of being abducted by aliens from outer space?
It's a phenomenon, well-known to psychiatrists and psychologists, called "sleep paralysis" -- people wake up in the middle of the night, find themselves paralyzed, and have psychological experiences in which they think their dreams are real, Baker said.
"It's a universal human experience that has been reported from the beginning of time," he said.
At Temple, Jacobs, in addition to his main job of teaching 20th-century American history, also conducts a course called "UFOs in American Society," in the American studies program. He believes it's the only course on UFOs taught at any American university, and he's pretty sure there's nothing of the kind anywhere else in the real world.
He teaches both sides of the issue, he says, including required reading of a debunking book by Philip Klass, UFO Abductions: A Dangerous Game, "that contends I'm a total jerk."
Jacobs' colleagues in the Temple history department speak highly of his teaching. There is, said Morris Vogel, former department chair, "a fundamental disconnect between the David Jacobs of The Threat and who is on Howard Stern and the David Jacobs we see every day as a colleague and a teacher. In the classroom, he's a gifted instructor who covers the same 19th and 20th century United States in the way most of his colleagues do . . . and differs from us only in doing that teaching with more success."
Jacobs admits he's never seen one of these extraterrestrials himself, but he knows they exist. How can he be sure they haven't installed thoughts in his mind? Laughing, Jacobs dismisses the question. He knows that many people, including some of his colleagues, think he's a nutcase.
"I've learned to accept that," he says. It's a sacrifice he makes to "have the opportunity to make a contribution in a field of potentially surpassing importance."
"You have to remember," he says seriously, "that I've come to these conclusions after an adult lifetime of studying this subject, and I've come to them with full realization of how fringy they are, of how off-to-the-side they are. I've come to them with the full realization of the damage it does to my career and to my credibility. And yet, as an academic and as a person who is intellectually honest, I feel I must go where the evidence leads me."

Sightings HomePage