David Jacobs, The Threat. The Secret Agenda: What the Aliens Want, and How They Plan To Get It. (Simon & Schuster, $23)
Nobody who knows David Jacobs -- a sensible history professor at
Temple University -- will be surprised to learn that his publisher made up this lurid title. But it exaggerates only one thing: Jacobs hasn't figured out exactly how the aliens will carry out their final plan. He thinks he knows
what it is, though, and that's news. To my knowledge, no other reputable UFO researcher has ever gone that far. And Jacobs's findings aren't any fun. There is an alien threat, he's concluded; the aliens are going to take
over. They plan to replace us with alien-human hybrids, the very hybrids that -- according to Jacobs and his abduction research colleague Budd Hopkins -- abductees have given birth to, and have been commanded to hug during their
Just how crazy is this?
The first thing to understand is that The Threat is a sequel to Jacobs's 1992 book, Secret Life.
His premise there was that we can learn exactly what the alien abductors do, if we carefully put together everything abductees tell us under hypnosis. Though there's one little catch -- we can only trust what abductees say if we ask the right questions. And our list of proven alien traits can only include things we've heard independently from more than one abductee.
Given those cautions, Jacobs says, abductions don't have to be mysterious. He collates abductee accounts, and -- in meticulous detail -- he tells us what's going on. To anyone who thinks abductions are nonsense,
this book has to be the greatest nonsense of all (or at least the greatest nonsense till The Threat) because Jacobs writes with real certainty. He could just as well be describing a tribe on a Pacific island, or some
neighbors whom he didn't know well but had been observing for years. In a world where abductions aren't accepted as reality, even by many UFO researchers, this causes obvious problems. But I thought Secret Life was brave,
and even necessary. Someone who thought abductions are real had to sit down and say, "OK, let's figure out what's going on."
The Threat -- methodologically speaking -- just continues this research. In
we learned that the aliens use us to breed hybrids. (Budd Hopkins has been saying that, too, of course.) Now, with more information, Jacobs tells us that breeding hybrids is the center of the alien plan, and that the aliens have now bred several generations of them. They plan, as I've said, to replace us with those hybrids, and this is going to happen soon, maybe within a few years, but certainly within a generation or two.
As I've also said, many people will think this is worse nonsense than Secret Life. But put aside Jacobs's conclusions for a moment, and think about his method. If we can learn anything at all about
abductions, why can't we eventually learn enough to tell us nearly everything? If abductions are genuine (which of course is quite a stretch for many people), why can't we figure out what they're all about? Again I'd say Jacobs is
doing something brave and necessary. Maybe, as some claim, abductions are too magical or too paranormal for us to comprehend; maybe the aliens think in ways that we could never grasp. Maybe, too, they're fooling us, planting false
memories in abductees. But then maybe none of this is true. Maybe the aliens are beings like us, no matter how advanced their science might be. And if that's true, why can't we try to understand them? And we'd better try, if
they're abducting us. Let me repeat that -- if abductions are really going on, somebody had better figure out what they mean for the human race. Jacobs is the first researcher who has tried in any systematic way to do that. Reject
what he's concluded, if you like, but don't damn him for trying.
Along the way, he comes up with fascinating details. To anyone who doesn't buy the Hopkins/Jacobs abduction accounts, these may not mean much, but for people who have followed the story
with even mild interest, Jacobs fills important gaps. Take, for instance, the reports of aliens forcing abductees to have sex with each other. Why would they do that, if their goal is to breed hybrid
babies? In fact, Jacobs tells us in The Threat, they compel the man to withdraw before he ejaculates, so they can catch his sperm. The sex between abductees only happens, Jacobs now
says, when the aliens can't get a male abductee to ejaculate any other way.
Jacobs also unveils another alien technique -- the aliens implant women not just with fetuses, but with "extrauterine gestational
units," sacs of some kind that cradle the baby inside the woman. Thus, even women who've had hysterectomies can bear hybrids for them.
The aliens, says Jacobs, may themselves be a failed attempt at
breeding hybrids, or at least the little gray ones might be. (Aliens, he reports, have let this slip to abductees.) Now they can't reproduce, so they've come to us for our unwilling help. Their
current hybrids come in many flavors, from mostly alien to almost wholly human (in appearance, anyway). This, says Jacobs, is because the aliens first breed hybrids, then breed us with the
hybrids, creating successive generations that look more and more like us. He thinks this explains all reports of humans seen in abductions, from the fabled "Nordics" (late-generation hybrids, he
says, are often blonde) to Leah Haley-style accounts of military personnel working with the aliens, or staging abductions on their own (they're simply hybrids wearing uniforms).
The hybrids, being partly human, have human emotions. They get bored on the aliens' ships, doing the aliens' work. One of them, speaking to an abductee, unhappily compared himself to a robot.
Some of them tattle on the aliens, revealing formerly secret details to abductees. (This, in fact, is how Jacobs says he got some of the data that tells him the aliens' ultimate goals.)
Sometimes the hybrids fall in love with their human partners, or, as they put it, with their "projects." Sometimes, though, they grow unstable (as even an alien once supposedly admitted), and then
they get abusive, the result, Jacobs says, of frustration, sexual and otherwise. The Threat has lurid passages about male hybrid abuse of female abductees, strongly X-rated stuff, involving rape and beatings.
And watch out -- the hybrids walk among us, though apparently they don't live among us yet. Sometimes they're given a few hours to wander here on earth, where they meet their "projects" for
impromptu abduction dates, and ask questions about things they see humans doing. Sometimes they take abductees to abandoned military bases, or unused parts of active installations. (This sounds dicey. Why would they do that?)
There's a hierarchy among the aliens. Anyone who's read the standard Hopkins/Jacobs abduction stories knows that the abductors come in two flavors, small aliens who do the grunt work
and big ones who supervise. But above the tall aliens are insect-like alien commanders, who wear robes and give the final orders. When the aliens take over earth, the hierarchy will run like
this: insectoids, then grays, then hybrids, next abductees, and, way down on the bottom, the rest of humanity, who may be kept in special preserves as breeding stock in case the hybrid program
runs into unexpected trouble. (Which sounds as if most non-abductees are going to be killed or otherwise removed from the scene, unless these preserves encompass most of the planet.
Jacobs doesn't clarify this rather crucial detail. But he does talk about "The Change," his term for the alien takeover -- modeled, apparently, on how he says the hybrids and aliens speak to
abductees -- , which might be accompanied by the catastrophes the aliens supposedly predict to abductees.)
So much for major revelations. The book also has something else that's new -- a long, thorough chapter on Jacobs's way of working, the most substantial discussion I've yet seen in print from
any abduction researcher about the methodology of abduction research. How do we know that abductees aren't simply suffering from dissasociative fantasies? How do we know they aren't
prompted under hypnosis with leading questions, or that they're not confabulating? ("Confabulation" is a technical term that means, very simply, "making things up.") Skeptics, of course, have made
these charges, and Jacobs answers them and others, in great detail. Are abduction stories caused by media contamination? If they were, says Jacobs, he would be getting reports of the dancing
fat blue aliens in the film of Whitley Strieber's Communion, and he never has. Are abduction reports an example of false memory syndrome? No, says Jacobs, because, unlike people with this
syndrome -- who believe in sexual abuse that never happened -- abductees consciously remember their abductions without being prompted by a therapist or investigator, and don't only report
childhood events. They're also physically missing when they say they've been abducted, and can sometimes provide independent confirmation (from another abductee who was abducted at the
same time). I do think Jacobs should present more proof of what he says -- how many cases can he cite of abductees who truly disappear, and what proof does he have? But from now on, any
skeptic who writes about abductions without addressing Jacobs's arguments will stand revealed as irresponsible.
For the first time, too, at least in print, Jacobs takes issue -- again in careful detail --
with John Mack, Edith Fiore, Richard Boylan and other researchers who believe the aliens are benevolent. Jacobs, by the way, doesn't rule out alien benevolence. He's willing to concede that the alien plan might be in
our best interest. He just doesn't see any evidence that this is so.