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Touched offers a uniquely contemplative perspective on the alien abduction phenomenon
[and] presents the 'experiencers' and their stories with sensitivity and without judgement.”
 —Boston's Weekly Dig

Touched shone as a piece of filmmaking... I'd recommend the film highly, if one wants to hear human stories about seemingly normal, yet torn people, and the people in their lives. I'd also recommend it as a superb piece of documentary filmmaking... Ms Chiten is to be commended for her artistry.”
  —Nick DiCiaccio,    
     Freedom of Mind Resource Ctr

“Chiten's masterful accomplishment combines great tenderness towards the 'experiencers' with rigorous questioning. It's a mind-expanding journey that will ignite any classroom debate.”
 Eleanor Nichols Director,
    Sonoma Film Institute,
    Sonoma State University

“I screened Touched at a symposium for undergraduate juniors. Students' initial skepticism about the subject was replaced with curiosity, tolerance, and a desire to understand. They could not stop asking questions!”
 Edward A. Kravitz, Ph.D.     Professor,
    Harvard Medical School

Touched opens up questions about the complexity of human psychological experience, human relationships, and scientific investigation. It does all this with sensitivity, humor, and impressive cinematic flair. Highly recommended for a lively classroom discussion.”
 Anne Harrington, Ph.D.,
    History of Science,
    Harvard University

“An extraordinary evening. I highly recommend bringing this film to communities around the world if you want to spread the message of the possibility of intelligent life beyond the earth and our unfolding role in the evolving universe.
 —Gary E. Schwartz, Ph.D.
    Professor of Psychology
    University of Arizona

       in Imagine Magazine
       about alien encounters
       Albuquerque Journal
       North Bay Bohemian

       12 minute video preview
       of Touched


A few years ago, Harvard psychiatrist John Mack, a leading researcher in the alien encounter phenomenon, approached me after seeing my recent film The Jew in the Lotus.
He wanted me to consider making a movie about encounters with these alien life forms. I told him no. I knew next to nothing about alien abduction, had no interest and thought it was all rather foolish.
     Then, he invited me to meet some of the people who claim to have had these experiences. They seemed rather normal and spoke about their feelings of connection and longing for these uninvited intruders to return. I had stumbled into a world filled by people who had been touched by something ... and had their lives blown apart because of it. I was mesmerized. I feel that I was abducted by John Mack.
     This started my journey into the lives and minds of alleged abductees around the world, and into my own personal journey through skepticism, fear, insomnia, fascination, confusion and led to many many questions.
     These “experiencers,” as many of them call themselves, bring with them reports of missing time, bodily probing, sperm extraction, impregnation, a strange project to create a hybrid/alien-human race and apocalyptic warnings. According to various studies, the number of people world wide reporting alien abductions reaches into the hundreds of thousands. As there is no conclusive physical proof, the debate as to whether these stories are true or not could go on forever. Instead, I became more interested in the people — those who have had their lives both torn apart and transformed by this experience.
What happens when the unexplained intrudes into our lives, and how do lives and relationships respond when credulity is strained to a breaking point? This is the leading question I set out to explore. This is a film about the human experience — about longing for connection and fear of separation.
When a person is confronted by something that is so powerful, so indescribably outside the realm of everyday life, it forces a reexamination of everything previously taken for granted. The experience redefines every relationship: with one's self, family, and reality itself.
     Following the lead of those like Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell the audience will witness an archetypal “Hero's Journey.” For the subjects of our film, this experience has resulted in a kind of Holy Grail search for truth. Beneath the sensational aspects of alien abduction, these are real people looking for answers. Touched follows a human quest to solve a mystery — perhaps only to find that the answer is the quest itself.
     I now call myself agnostic. I am not convinced that these people have been visited by “aliens,” but I do believe that something profound has happened to them. And maybe, just maybe, everything they have described is, in fact, completely true.

—Laurel Chiten
    Blind Dog Films



Suggested For Students of:

• Psychology
• Psychiatry
• Theology
• Spirituality
• Philosophy
• Sociology
• History of Science
• Cognitive Science and Philosophy of Mind

Touched has been purchasedby and screened by many fine educational institutions including

Harvard University • Stanford University • Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio • Cal State San Marcos • Southern Methodist University, Dept of Psychology, Dallas, Texas • Argosy University, Twin Cities, Minnesota • Bosque School (6-12), Albuquerque, New Mexico • Cedar Rapids Public Library • William Woods University, Fulton, Missouri • University of Great Falls, Montana • Covenant College, Georgia • Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut • Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio


Touched weaves together stories of people whose lives have been in some way “touched” by the alien encounter experience, including:




An “experiencer” of alien contact, Karin's quest to understand the meaning of her experiences has led her from her home in Florida to the Cambridge office of Dr John Mack, and on to other parts of the world.

“I stuffed all the experiences away so I could be normal, so I could fit in. But I had only put a band-aid over the wound. This is real. I can't walk away from it. I can't ignore it because every day there is still the voice inside of me that says this happened.” — Karin

Dr. John Mack
John Mack was a professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, happily married with three sons and considered a genius by many.
     In 1990, he became intrigued by the reports of people who claimed they'd had contact with aliens. Mack naively went public with a best selling book, Abduction, appearing in the media on talk shows such as The Today Show and Oprah. He then suffered ostracism from colleagues and friends, and became subject of an unprecedented investigation by Harvard to discover where he must have gone wrong. After Harvard took no action against him, Mack returned to his controversial work undeterred.
     In his second book about alien encounters, Passport to the Cosmos, Mack suggests that alien encounters can affect “personal, societal and global transformation.” He believes these “aliens” are beings from another dimension, appearing here as a “wake up call” for a new way of examining the nature of reality, and our place in the cosmos.

“The Dean pulls me over to the window and throws it open, it was a nice sunny day, there were students walking around Harvard yard, birds are singing...and he shouts, 'Look, John, they're not here, they haven't landed!'
      The way it was explained to me was if I just said that this was some new psychiatric condition I wouldn't have gotten into trouble. They said it was because I had asked us to look at reality differently, that I'd challenged the scientific method as the sole way of knowing about the world, that's what they had a problem with.” — John Mack

Peter was happily married and living in the Caribbean, when a series of disturbing and intimate alien encounters left him with a sense of spiritual connection to an alien world — a world which his wife could not be a part of.
     We focus on his wife's story, exploring what happened when she was forced to confront her husband's beliefs and experiences head on.



Touched was filmed over a three-year period in the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Brazil. In addition to extensive cooperation on the part of Dr. John Mack, Karin, Peter, and Dr. Arnold Relman, interviews were conducted with British mythologian Patrick Harpur, former Vatican demonologist Monsignor Corrado Balducci, Brazilian clinical psychologist Gilda Moura, Radcliff Fellow and social critic Wendy Kaminer, and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School Alan M. Dershowitz. No editorial control was exercised by Dr. Mack nor by any of the other participants.

Touched was produced by Blind Dog Films in partnership with the Center for Independent Documentary. It was made possible with funding from the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the LEF Foundation and in large part by the generous contributions of individuals like you.

Touched premiered in the United States at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston on Feb 20, 2003 to a capacity audience, with reporters from Boston's Weekly Dig and the New York Times Magazine in attendence. A reception followed with filmmaker Laurel Chiten and psychiatrist Dr. John Mack. Additional screenings were held at the MFA in March and April, followed by a return engagement in August in September.

Touched won Best Documentary at its Canadian premiere at the Female Eye Film Festival (FeFF) in Toronto on November 22, 2003. Touched also won Best Documentary of 2003 in the “Abductee or Contactee” category (!) at a long-running UFO convention, The International UFO Congress in Laughlin, Nevada, in 2004. Touched also screened at the Santa Fe Film Festival and was invited back to Santa Fe for additional screenings. Touched is now touring the country, and is also being made available to classrooms.

The educational premiere of Touched was at Harvard University, at a Mind / Brain / Behavior Junior Symposium: “Schizophrenia, Dreams, and Alien Encounters” convened in September 2003 by Edward Kravitz, Ph.D. of the Neurobiology Department of Harvard Medical School. In response to the favorable reception of the film by the students and faculty at this day-long symposium, educational distribution of Touched to colleges and universities began in January 2004; institutions that have purchased Touched include Stanford University; Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio; Bates College, Lewiston, Maine; Cal State San Marcos; Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas; Argosy University, Twin Cities, Minnesota; Bosque School (6-12), Albuquerque, New Mexico; William Woods University, Fulton, Missouri; University of Great Falls, Montana; Covenant College, Georgia; Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio; Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut; The Hume Center, Concord, California.



Touched is available on DVD from

Dr John Mack's book Passport to the Cosmos is available from , Amazon Kindle and iTunes

For more information visit:

Blind Dog Films