They’re Coming,rnThey’re Comingrnby Samuel FrancisrnThe Threat: ^Fhe SecretrnAlien Agendarnby David M. JacobsrnNew York: Simon and Schuster;rn288 pp., $23.00rnThinking about unidentified flyingrnobjects can be a useful exercise,rnwhatever we believe about extraterrestrialrnlife and its presence among us. Ifrnnothing else, it forces us to deal seriouslyrnwitli those perennial questions that are asrnuseful to scientists and philosophers asrnthey are to lawyers and politicians onrncongressional investigating committees:rnWhat do we know? How do we know it?rnDavid M. Jacobs, an historian at TemplernUniversity, has been thinking aboutrnUFOs since his graduate school days,rnand what he has published about thernsubject over the years is among the mostrnrespected work on it. Mr. Jacobs believesrnUFOs are real—that is, that they are therninterstellar transportahon vehicles of anrnintelligent species of beings from anotherrnplanet—and that a good deal of whatrnis reported about them and their occupantsrnis also real.rnHis chief concern is with the phenomenonrnof “abductions”—that is, thernclaims by a wide variety of people thatrnthey have been kidnapped by UFOs andrnsubjected to various sorts of examinationrnand manipulafion by the aliens. ThoughrnMr. Jacobs believes the abduction phenomenonrnis as real as UFOs themselves,rnhe does not, like many people, view interstellarrntravelers ophmistically. In fact,rnhe believes they represent an imminentrncatastrophe for the human race.rnThe bulk of Mr. Jacobs’ book is devotedrnto analyzing the nature of the aliensrnand their purposes, as inferred from accountsrnof abducfions by the abducteesrnunder a form of hypnosis. His treatmentrnof the obvious evidentiary problems —rnthe possibility of fantasies and false mem-rnTO SUBSCRIBE…rn1-800-877-5459rnories —is sober, and the sheer volume ofrnthe reports he has collected and the clearrnpatterns that he claims to discern fromrnthe stories have convinced him that thernabductions are really taking place.rnUnfortunately (or perhaps fortunately),rnthat is not enough. Jacobs’ statementsrnto the contrary, there seems to bernvirtually no reliable physical evidence orrndocumentation of either UFOs or abductions.rnAlthough some abductees, hernreports, have been “taken” as many asrneight times a year, there apparently havernbeen no serious or concerted efforts tornobserve or record the abductions. Ifrnthese really occur—and occur so frequentlyrnto the same people—why can’t arnteam of researchers arrange to witness orrnfilm the experience (let alone try to stoprnit), and why can’t neighbors or others inrnthe vicinity confirm the abductees’ unexplainedrnabsences? Mr. Jacobs says thernlatter has happened, but the one instancernof it he offers is not convincing.rnOne standard objection to the realityrnof UFOs is that interstellar distances andrnthe time required to travel to Earth fromrnanother solar system are prohibitive, butrnthat argument does not take into accountrnan alien physiological and psychologicalrnnature that is presumably radically differentrnfrom that of humans. If, perhaps, thernaliens have life spans of several hundredrnyears, they might not mind spending arnfew decades zipping across the stars. Butrnthe aliens in Mr. Jacobs’ book are, psychologicallyrnspeaking, remarkably human:rnthey exhibit anger, annoyance, humor,rnboredom, and even something likernlove. Their emotional resemblance tornhumans only makes their objective existencernmore problematic. But most of all,rnin Mr. Jacobs’ account, they show deceitfulness.rnThe aliens’ mission, he has concluded,rnis entirely self-serving, despite theirrnpretenses to the contrary. The purposernof the abductions is to impregnate humanrnfemales with alien hybrid embryos,rnwhich are then raised to adulthood andrninfiltiated among the terrestiial population.rn(The way this program supposedlyrnworks, however, also raises doubts aboutrnthe veracity of the abduction reports.rnGiven the advanced technologies at thernaliens’ fingertips —assuming they havernfingertips —it is rather remarkable thatrnthey can’t just synthesize humanoidrncreatures from scratch instead of havingrnto rely on old-fashioned sex with humanrnfemales to breed hybrids.) In any case,rnthe alien program—”the threat” of Mr.rnJacobs’ title —is ominous. The aliens arernvery concerned about the welfare and fijturernof the planet, but Mr. Jacobs notesrnthat it is stiange they never express anyrnconcern for the welfare and future ofrnmankind.rnAccording to the author, the aliens seernno future for mankind. What they wantrnis the planet itself and perhaps those fewrnhumans lucky enough to have been usedrnas breeders. The breeding program, hernclaims, has been going on for somerndecades and is now reaching its culmination.rn”The Change,” as he and his abducteesrncall it, is coming very soon.rnSome say as soon as 1999, though Mr. Jacobsrnthinks it could be any time withinrnthe next five years to the next two generations.rn”The insectiike aliens will be inrncomplete contiol. There will be no necessityrnto continue national governments.rnThere will be ‘one system’ andrn’one goal.'” Of course, even without thernaliens, insectiike or otherwise, that seemsrnto be happening.rnMr. Jacobs’ pessimism is actually refreshing.rnFor years, space aliens in fictionalrnand even supposedly factual accountsrnhave been used to push petrnpolitical agendas or debunk social andrnpolitical institutions, the assumption beingrnalways that the aliens are not onlyrnsmarter but far, far wiser and morernbenevolent than we are. Mr. Jacobsrndoesn’t doubt their smarts, but he isrnright—if we grant the factuality of the abductees’rnaccounts—to question their intentionsrntoward mankind. A species thatrngoes around kidnapping, raping and impregnating,rnand psychologically harmingrnhuman beings against their will is notrnfriendly. Oddly, Mr. Jacobs seems to bernone of the few researchers who acceptsrnthe reality of abductions to have reachedrnthis conclusion, though it is a fairly obviousrnone.rnDespite flaws in the logic that underliesrnhis conviction, Mr. Jacobs is clearly arnsober man and a serious student. But arnphenomenon as bizarre and as threateningrnas he describes requires a good dealrnmore material substantiation than whatrnhe offers; abduction, if it is real and asrnthreatening as he claims, deserves morernefforts at substantiation than either he orrnanyone else seems interested in providing.rnSamuel Francis is a contributing editor tornChronicles and author, most recently, ofrnRevolution from the Middle (MiddlernAmerican Press).rn38/CHRONICLESrnrnrn