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Bud Hopkins - Alien Abductions

One often-dismissed corner of the UFO mystery is the investigation of alien abductions and hypnotic regression. Budd Hopkins practically gave birth to this line of study. Since 1975 he has dealt with scores of people who reportedly levitated out of windows into hovering spacecraft, enduring medical examinations by weird humanoid creatures.

Many abductees spoke of what Hopkins dubbed “missing time.” Abductions, impregnation, hybrid children, radiation sickness-these phenomena cast the alien business in a sinister light. The author of several best-sellers-Missing Time, Intruders, Witnessed and Sight Unseen – Hopkins proclaims, “We don’t have much that’s benign.”

HUSTLER: Your first book, Missing Time, claimed that at least 70% of alien-abduction experiences went unreported. Do you think that figure has changed?

BUDD HOPKINS: It’s difficult to say. It isn’t just that people fear ridicule. In general the public believes the reality of abductions and the reality of UFOs. There have been so many new, interesting incidents-the [Stephenville] Texas flap and the O’Hare incident [where a possible UFO was reportedly sighted by pilots and ground personnel at the Chicago airport on November 7, 2006].

When I started, in ’76, there were maybe ten or 11 known abduction cases. In each one, people remembered a huge amount, like [Betty and Barney] Hill. They remembered the craft, the aliens in the window. There was the ’73 Pascagoula, Mississippi, incident, where Charlie Hickson and Alvin Parker remembered being taken inside a craft. They remembered all of this before hypnosis.

In later cases people remembered very little, but knew that something terrible had happened. How did you train to become an expert in regression? I’m ultimately self-taught. As I went along, I had to conduct police-style investigations. Folklore changes all the time, but these phenomena don’t change. I’m hoping to present a mini-handbook for investigators on how to handle people who might be abductees: What to say and not to say.

When I first started running into abduction cases in ’76, I hooked up with psychologist Dr. Aphrodite Clamar. For seven years I would watch her techniques, writing notes. The major issues are how you handle the emotions of the people, how to question without leading, how to elicit information despite a block. Your investigations have revealed similar patterns in different cases and disparate areas: people “frozen” or pulled from cars, being “immobilized” or “switched off” while their companion is abducted.

Many of these patterns emerged while I wrote Missing Time. For instance, a “screen memory” is a false image imposed by the aliens in order to soften their actual physical appearance and reduce the abductee’s fear. I don’t know of any abduction researcher who doesn’t accept all of these patterns. In Intruders you mentioned alien implants.

Subsequently, California podiatrist Dr. Roger Leir began performing implant-removal operations. What are your thoughts on these alleged implants? I definitely feel that implants have been placed in people. I have no idea why they would’ve been put there, all without a scar! When Dr. Leir performs one of these removals, some TV shows have the object taken to a lab, which later says, “The material components of this could have been produced terrestrially.”

It’s very hard to prove a negative. That’s Dr. Leir’s problem once he’s removed one of these weird things: establishing that it could not have been manufactured on Earth. It just needs a huge amount of intense lab work, which is unfortunately very expensive.

The entire business should give you an uneasy feeling. The theory that [alien implants] are tracking devices is so anthropomorphic. That’s the way we think about wild animals. I don’t think we have any idea what these things are for. Does it seem abductions increase during political or global crises, or does it seem that the extraterrestrials’ agendas remain baffling? I haven’t seen much evidence that they’re concerned with Earth politics.

Linda Cortile was the only case that I have ever run into where there seems to be a deliberate attempt to have an abductee present themselves to world leaders. [Cortile's experience was described in Hopkins's book Witnessed. The New York housewife allegedly levitated out of her Manhattan high-rise during a series of abductions, then was given complex messages about the environment that she was supposedly ordered to tell world leaders.] In some cases the aliens present imagery of a beautiful, lush Earth, and then it’s all burning up.

That may have to do with the aliens’ concern that we ought to take better care of the planet. But is that resulting planet for us or them? As for attempting to communicate with political leaders, or affect what’s going on here socially or politically on Earth, this has never been a central issue. Don’t forget, there are abductions going back to the 1920s and all through World War II, decades before the atomic bomb and the murders of hundreds of thousands of people.

Yet in all that time there’s no record that aliens rescued even one single baby from Auschwitz, or anything like it. In 1993 you learned of an official government investigation into Linda Cortile’s case. What agency might have conducted it? I have reason to believe that the agents were with the NSA, the National Security Agency, but I have no hard evidence.

Obviously, somebody is doing it for the government. Why do certain types of individuals seem targeted for abduction and not others? Why are Midwestern housewives being whisked off as opposed to quantum physicists? The point is that the abductions-the removal of sperm and ova, the reproductive experiments, which result in the production of these little “babies” that are presented to their “parents” later on [as reported by abductees]-I don’t think anyone wrote about this before I did.

I think of it as the Rosetta Stone of the UFO phenomena because it explains the whole thing and why it’s covert. The fact is that they’re taking chunks of people-literally, their flesh! They’re not only taking sex cells, they’re also taking samples of flesh, leaving little “scoop marks.” Regarding housewives, aliens can actually take anybody. I’ve met an abductee who is a NASA research scientist, obviously extremely intelligent.

I’ve worked with a lot of people who are bright, incredibly gifted: high-ranking military officers, eight psychiatrists. I’ve worked with two MacArthur Foundation grant recipients, but they didn’t want to come forward. The higher up the socioeconomic ladder, the less likely the person is to come forward.

Were you the first UFO researcher to use the term “hybrid”?
Yes, although I think a better term would be “genetically altered beings.” We don’t know why they are being produced, but the implications aren’t good. What is your opinion of “exo-politicians,” the self-professed experts claiming to know about intergalactic protocol with assorted extraterrestrial races? I think these exo-politicians are doing enormous harm.

They have their lists of how many different alien races there are, which absolutely nobody knows, and they’re ready when the aliens land. You have people like Stephen Bassett claiming the government’s about ready to announce disclosure. He holds a press conference, then gets totally lambasted. Or someone who claims New Mexico Governor [Bill] Richardson was a CIA agent privy to UFO secrets.

They present this nonsense to the press, who immediately think of all of us-my work, everyone who’s serious-in the same way as the exo-politicians or the Ashtar Command [a group that claims it receives messages from the godlike space brothers on another planet]. I was speaking at a conference in Italy, and this exo-politician had a PowerPoint presentation explaining about 20 different alien races. In his presentation he quoted people I knew to be total nutcases, who claimed to have seen alien beings wings.

And these crazy flying-critter stories would be listed by this guy as one of the races! When he came to the famous Betty and Barney Hill case, this guy got their name wrong-he called them Betty and Barney Woods! He was ignorant of the most basic material. This guy and the other exo-politician “experts” claim there are 57 different varieties of races or some such number. Sometimes this disinformation is spread intentionally.

I’ve known two military officers who were shown different documents. One paper claimed there were 13 alien races visiting Earth; another claimed 69 of them. Obviously, they can’t both be right, and possibly they’re both wrong. Who knows? That smells like [intentional government] disinformation. So who is abducting people? And what is their agenda? We don’t know their program, their techniques or their goals. Will they take over?

Will they coexist with us? They do seem to all be working together, however. It’s not one group doing one procedure, and another doing something else. It’s interesting, frightening and suspicious. We really don’t know the alien capabilities. We might not even know our own! This is all secret stuff. You’ve probably seen on television the ray that can be emitted from a truck. It doesn’t paralyze a target or do permanent harm, but it can knock people down from 80 or 100 feet away. You just aim it at the guy, and down he goes.

But despite all this talk about remote viewing, soldiers had to stumble over Saddam Hussein! Even our smart bombs miss their targets occasionally. We don’t seem to have anything anywhere near alien efficiency, with their ability to paralyze people or control humans’ behavior by simple eye contact.

And I certainly hope we don’t get it very soon either!

Skylaire Alfvegren-whose first UFO sighting, she says, occurred in childhood- began her gonzo journalism career as a consultant for Strange Universe, Fox’s onetime “paranormal news program.” Besides conducting research for SyFy (formerly the SCI FI Channel), she has written about movies, music and unexplained phenomena for HUSTLER, LA Weekly, Las Vegas CityLife, The Believer and Fortean Times.


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