Jacobs, David M.

As an associate professor of history at Temple University in Philadelphia, David M. Jacobs specializes in the histories of American popular culture, twentieth-century America, and film. He is far better known, however, for his research into the alien abduction phenomenon, whereby people say that they have seen UFOs and have been abducted by their extraterrestrial occupants. As part of this research, which he conducted during the 1980s along with author Budd Hopkins, Jacobs hypnotized more than 130 abductees, in more than 850 sessions, in order to acquire details about their abduction experiences that could not be accessed when the subjects were awake. He published the results of this work in a 1992 book, Secret Life: Firsthand Accounts of UFO Abductions, which discussed common elements among abduction accounts. In 1998 he published The Threat, which offered his theories regarding why people have abduction experiences, and in 2000 he published UFOs and Abductions: Challenging the Borders of Knowledge, which is an anthology of UFOand abduction-related articles by ten other authors. Jacobs first became interested in UFOs in the late 1960s, when he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the history of American views on the subject. (In 1973 this material was published in revised form as a book titled The UFO Controversy in America.) Jacobs was also the first university professor to regularly teach a course on UFOs, which he called “UFOs in American Society,” and he has given workshops to mental health professionals regarding methods for conducting hypnosis sessions and therapy on people who claim to have been abducted by aliens. In 1994, with Budd Hopkins, he wrote “Suggestions for Hypnosis and Therapy of Abductees,” a treatise for other experts dealing with abductees. He continues to write about hypnosis methodology as it relates to treating purported victims of alien abductions, in addition to researching a variety of anomalous experiences. Jacobs also continues to do research on anti-Communist attitudes in America following World War II.


  • Alien Abduction Experiences
  • Budd Hopkins
  • Hypnosis


The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena – written by Patricia D. Netzley © 2006 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning