Mack the life, and maybe a film
By Alex Beam
John Mack is back.
Dr. Mack, a decorated Harvard Medical School psychiatrist and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his brilliant and controversial biography of T.E. Lawrence, suffered a silly and ignominious end: While visiting London in 2004, he stepped off a curb, checking for traffic over his left shoulder. A speeding driver struck him from the right, killing Mack more or less instantly.
At the time he was at the apogee of his fame, or the absolute nadir of his self-abasement, depending on whom you talked to.
Mack had achieved notoriety by investigating “experiencers,” men and women who claimed they had been abducted by aliens traveling to earth on spaceships. “These people are not lying, and they are not crazy,” he declared. Mack wrote a best-selling book, “Abduction,” appeared on “Oprah,” and became the target of a secret Harvard Medical School investigation into his activities.
Now Hollywood filmmaker Denise David Williams wants to make a feature film about Mack, using materials that his family has so far kept hidden from view: an unpublished manuscript about the Harvard investigation; a full transcript of the secret inquiry; and Mack’s complete archive of interviews with purported abductees.
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