Working with Fox Mulder
In 1989, Heitz Werber worked very closely with an FBI Agent named Fox Mulder, who he guided through deep hypnotic regression. Mulder was apparently able to recall the night in 1973 when his sister, Samantha, had disappeared from their family home of 2790 Vine Street, Chilmark, Massachusetts. (TXF: "Pilot", "Conduit")
On June 16, 1989, Heitz Werber made a video recording of a session with Agent Mulder. Although Doctor Werber's voice was recorded, he did not make an appearance himself. At the start of the session, Werber counted backwards, from 100 to 96, while Mulder fell into a deep, relaxed state of consciousness. He apparently recalled being at home with his sister, playing a game. He did not feel in any danger while he remembered that, although he and his sister had been arguing, they were only fooling around. However, his fear soon escalated and he began to call out his sister's name, while still hypnotised. (TXF: "Closure")
On June 18 of that year, Heitz Werber made an audio recording of Mulder undergoing hypnosis. He supposedly remembered being paralyzed with his eyes open, but unable to see his sister. However, Mulder also apparently recalled that he had been able to hear his sister while she had repeatedly called out his name. When Heitz Werber asked him if he was scared, Mulder replied that he knew he should be, but wasn't. Doctor Werber then concentrated his questions on a voice that Mulder claimed to hear in his head, telling him not to be afraid, that his sister would not be harmed and that she would someday be returned. (TXF: "Conduit")
Helping Billy Miles
On March 22, 1992, Heitz Werber worked with Billy Miles, a boy from Bellefleur, Oregon, who had been paralyzed in a "waking coma" until recently. While researching an X-file in Oregon, Mulder had met Billy and witnessed him lift a girl named Theresa Nemman up to a bright light in the sky, in Collum National Forest. After the light had dissipated, Billy Miles had no recollection of his actions.
While Mulder watched, Doctor Werber performed hypnotic regression therapy on Billy Miles in the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building. Werber started the session by asking Billy to raise his hand if he could hear him. When the boy slowly did so, the doctor asked him to recall the first time he had seen the light.
According to Billy Miles, he and his friends had been having a party in the woods to celebrate their graduation. The light had taken him to a location that he called "the testing place", where a group had told him to gather his friends so that they could do tests. The tests had been conducted, but had gone wrong and the group had left angrily. Billy Miles was afraid that they were coming back. Heitz Werber told him not to be afraid, assuring him that the FBI were only trying to help. (TXF: "Pilot")
Meeting Cassandra Spender
On August 7, 1994, a man named Duane Barry escaped from a hospital and held a group of people hostage in the belief that he was being called by aliens. Mulder was the only person to believe Duane Barry and assisted him. (TXF: "Duane Barry", "Patient X")
Cassandra Spender, a multiple abductee who no-one believed, read about the incident and was led to Dr. Werber. The doctor, who believed her claims of abductions, conducted hypnotic regression on Cassandra Spender and told her that the same procedure had made Mulder aware that his sister had been abducted. (TXF: "Patient X")
- The fact that Cassandra Spender underwent hypnotic regression can be assumed by her statement to Mulder, "He told me that you had been through hypnotic regression yourself".
In 1998, Dr. Werber was a member of the audience at a Visiting Lecturers' Forum in the Massachusetts Institute, where Mulder had been invited to talk. At this time, Werber was treating "Patient X" - Cassandra Spender - a woman who claimed to have been abducted many times. Werber attended the Visiting Lecturers' Forum expecting Mulder to talk about his progress on the X-files, but was surprised that Mulder had chosen to discuss "Patient X" with the other members of the panel instead. Mulder, who Dr. Werber had not seen in almost five years, disagreed with the opinions voiced by his fellow panellists regarding the woman, doubting her claims of abduction and the very existence of aliens themselves. Although he had seemed entirely sure of their existence when he last met with Dr. Werber, Mulder was now convinced that he had been fooled by a lie concocted by the government.
After the conference ended, Mulder noticed Dr. Werber sitting in a seat in the auditorium. The doctor commented that he had been more than surprised by Mulder's loss of belief in the existence of aliens, in spite of the memories of his sister's abduction that Werber had helped him recover. When Mulder explained that he now distrusted those memories, Doctor Werber thought that Mulder was criticizing his methods, like many who disapproved of his work with alien abductees, and apologized. Mulder clarified that he did not mean to judge the doctor's work, but simply believed that he, himself, had been fooled by an eleborate staging of events into thinking his sister had been abducted. When Dr. Werber questioned that theory, Mulder asked whether Cassandra Spender's claims of abductions were any more plausible. Dr. Werber then confessed that he was her doctor and arranged a meeting between Mulder and the woman, believing that she could change his mind regarding his new theory.
Dr. Werber accompanied Mulder to Cassandra Spender's hospital room and stayed there while they talked. Cassandra Spender recalled that she had found the doctor after having read about Mulder roughly three years ago. She also told Mulder that she was staying at the hospital voluntarily, under Dr. Werber's supervision. Mulder suggested that she leave the hospital as soon as possible and start to live her life, but Dr. Werber explained that Cassandra was experiencing the sensation that she was about to be called by aliens. According to Cassandra Spender, the different alien races were warring and had come to Earth to deliver a message, but something had gone wrong. She thought that Mulder needed to know this information, as she believed he was the only person who could do something about her being taken. (TXF: "Patient X")
- Cassandra's need to tell Mulder this information may have been a reason for Dr. Werber to attend the Visiting Lecturers' Forum.
Incident at Ruskin Dam
Cassandra Spender later disappeared from the hospital where she had been staying. Her son, an FBI agent named Jeffrey Spender, was in her hospital room with Dr. Werber when he received a phone call from Mulder. Jeffrey Spender told Mulder that Cassandra had suddenly gone and that Mulder's partner, Dana Scully, had also disappeared. (TXF: "Patient X")
Scully was eventually found on a bridge above Ruskin Dam, in Pennsylvania - the site of two closely related mass burnings. Fifty people had died there after having been burnt alive and many more had suffered serious or critical injuries. Unfortunately, Cassandra Spender was not found at the dam and Scully had no memory of what had taken place. In an attempt to learn more about the incident, an appointment for Scully to see Dr. Werber was arranged. Scully had previously met the doctor, and talked to him over the phone before her appointment with him. In their discussion, they talked about Ruskin Dam.
- It is unknown whether Mulder scheduled Scully's appointment, or if she organized the meeting herself.
Mulder accompanied Scully to Dr. Werber's office in Silver Spring, Maryland, and was present during their meeting. He sat beside her on a couch, facing Dr. Werber and a female assistant who took notes while an audio recording of the session was also being made.
Dr. Werber asked Scully if she had ever been hypnotized before, as he had not asked her that during their phone call. When Scully replied that her single experience of the procedure had not been very successful, Dr. Werber stated that he hoped he and Scully could achieve better results. He then told her that he would be using a slightly different method known as hypnogogic trance, a light trance state to relax a patient's filtering processes.
After Dr. Werber's assistant had reclined the couch, the doctor instructed Scully to remember the dam, to close her eyes and to relax all parts of her body. However, after only a few moments, Scully doubted that the procedure was working. Suddenly, she was able to recall vivid memories of the incident.
According to her perceptions, she had been with Cassandra Spender and the victims of the mass burning at the dam, which Dr. Werber referred to as the "night place". A large unidentified craft had been hovering in the sky above Cassandra and Scully. A beam of blue light had suddenly emanated from the gigantic craft and been shone on Cassandra, but had been quickly withdrawn and the craft had sped away across the night sky.
A group of men with no eyes or faces had approached the crowd where Scully was, and begun to set the crowd on fire. The faceless men had then surrounded the crowd and continued to burn them. Scully had seen another ship, which had approached and attacked the faceless men.
At this point in Scully's meeting with Dr. Werber, the doctor asked her if she would like to stop the procedure but Scully replied negatively. She then apparently remembered that the second flying craft had approached the crowd and taken Cassandra. Dr. Werber attempted to end Scully's visions of the incident but, as her memories were extremely intense, Scully resisted the doctor's first two instructions to open her eyes and return to reality. She eventually complied with the instruction and was surprised to find Mulder sitting beside her when she finally opened her eyes. (TXF: "The Red and the Black")
Criticisms of Work with Scully
After Scully left Dr. Werber's office with Mulder, she listened to the audio recording of her supposed recollections several times. She did not remember saying the things on the recording clearly, but was unable to see a reason for stating them.
In a briefing with Skinner, Scully mentioned that she had also been unprepared for what she had heard. Mulder commented that he had previously encountered hundreds of other abduction scenarios which were similar to Scully's supposed recollections and believed that she had witnessed a very powerful event, not unlike the one which he had described on his own regression tape that detailed his false memory of his sister's abduction. He was convinced that the incident at Ruskin Dam had been staged to test or cover up a classified military project and that Cassandra Spender had been taken aboard a military aircraft as part of the staging.
Skinner, faced with the problem of writing a factual report, was hindered by Mulder and Scully's differing interpretations of the incident. After having considered both interpretations, he decided to doubt Mulder's theory that the military was responsible. Instead, he chose to blame the extraterrestrial phenomena that Scully had talked about on the recording, as he believed that was the more plausible explanation.
Scully went to the X-files office on the basement of FBI Headquarters and found Jeffrey Spender there. He told her that Dr. Werber had notified him of Scully's visit. Agent Spender also showed Scully video footage of himself as an 11 year old child undergoing hypnosis and claiming that he had been abducted by aliens, recounting a fictitious story that his mother, Cassandra, had told him so many times that he had begun to believe it himself. He claimed that the reason he wanted to show Scully the video was because he thought Dr. Werber and his regression of memory was bogus. Agent Spender remarked that the procedure was like having a dream and pretending it was reality. He was angered by his belief that Dr. Werber was a dangerous man who had "indulged and infantilized" Cassandra Spender for his own purposes. Agent Spender hoped that Scully would question the results of her experiences with the doctor. (TXF: "The Red and the Black")
Heitz Werber was played by Jim Jansen.
The Fox network initially misunderstood the character. Chris Carter recalls, "I remember getting a note from the network, at the very beginning of The X-Files, reading the name 'Heitz Werber', and asking me, 'Please do not have him speak with a thick Austrian accent'; I think they thought we were casting Sigmund Freud." ("The Red and the Black" audio commentary)