Budd Hopkins

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Spurred by a personal 1964 sighting of a daylight disc renowned artistBudd Hopkins, conducted his first UFO field investigation in 1975.  The details of the incident, a landing and occupant sighting in North Hudson Park, NJ, were published in the Village Voice in 1976 and in his first book, Missing Time, in 1981.

Prior to the arrival of Missing Time alien abductions were largely viewed by UFO investigators as rare and puzzling anomalies, highly strange claims that seemed to exist at the periphery of the phenomenon.  There were a few compelling cases, such as the 1961 kidnapping of Betty and Barney Hill, investigated by NICAP and later detailed in John Fuller‘s book, The Interrupted Journey.  Then in 1973 two Mississippi fisherman, Calvin Parker and Charles Hickson, reported a dramatic encounter to local authorities involving capture by floating, robot-like entities.  But reports of this nature were scarce with typical CE3s far outnumbering the sensational abduction claims.

With Missing Time all of that would change as Hopkins presented evidence that abductions were much more common than had been assumed.  He argued that the memories of abductees had been altered by the UFO occupants and that hypnosis was an effective tool for penetrating this imposed amnesia.  When properly investigated CE3s that once had appeared nonsensical and incomplete were made coherent with a proper beginning, middle, and end.  Much of this had been known as Boston psychiatrist, Benjamin Simon, had penetrated a similar memory block in the Hills but this hadn’t been pursued by UFO researchers to the same extent that Hopkins would take it.  So powerful was the amnesia, Hopkins explained, that a person may not recall anything at all, not even a UFO sighting.  In the third chapter of the book he presented the case of Steven Kilburn (Michael Bershad), a man with an irrational fear of a specific stretch of road but no memories of a UFO.  Probing the phobia with hypnotic regression prompted what is now regarded as a classical abduction narrative to emerge.

Hopkins followed up Missing Time in 1987 with Intruders, largely an accounting of abductee, Kathie Davis (Debbie Jordan), and her family.  Here Hopkins details quasi-medical procedures carried out for the purpose of the production of alien/ human “hybrids” and staged parental bonding sessions where abductees are made to hold these offspring.

Three more books have followed, Witnessed (1996), Sight Unseen (2003), and his memoir, ART, LIFE, and UFOs (2009).  In Witnessed Hopkins presented the controversial case of Linda Cortile (Linda Napolitano) who is said to have been abducted from her Manhattan apartment building in view of multiple witnesses, one of them a political figure connected with the UN, Javier Perez de Cuellar.  Sight Unseen (Coauthored with Carol Rainey) looked to bridge the gap between the seemingly impossible capabilities demonstrated by UFOs and their occupants and our own recent technological achievements.

In 1976 Budd Hopkins was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship for painting and he founded the nonprofit Intruders Foundation in 1989.  His work has been influential, inviting to the fray researchers David JacobsJohn MackYvonne Smith, and others.–by Sean Elifritz

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