Hopkins, Budd (1931– )
Budd Hopkins, the major exponent of the importance of
the abduction phenomenon within ufology, was born June 15,
1931, in Wheeling, West Virginia. He graduated from Oberlin
College in 1953 and moved to New York City, where he began
a successful career as an artist. His paintings now hang in many
outstanding museums, and he has been a frequent contributor
to art magazines and an art lecturer at colleges.
Hopkins became interested in UFOs in 1964 when he and
two other people observed for several minutes a disc flying in
broad daylight. He joined the National Investigations Committee
on Aerial Phenomenona and began reading about ufology.
He published an initial article in 1975 in the Village Voice on the
case of a UFO landing in New Jersey. This led to his receiving
additional reports, and he began studying incidents of claimed
UFO contact with other UFO investigators and several psychologists.
His first book, Missing Time A Documented Study of UFO
Abductions, published in 1981, placed the issue of abductions
before the ufological community. He had become convinced by
the sheer number of people who reported such abductions; he
found it entirely credible that their stories of being abducted
by visitants from outer space were accounts of actual events.
As described by Hopkins, many people, now in their middle
years, have experienced one or more abductions earlier in their
lives, the first occurrence often happening in childhood. These
early abductions have been forgotten and are recovered only
through hypnosis or dream recall techniques over a period of
time. These abductions occurred for the purpose of medical experimentation
and study. The victim of an abduction frequently
reports a ‘‘cell sampling,’’ in which tissue is removed and he
or she is left with an identifying scar. The aim of the abductions
might be to produce a hybrid alien-human race, considering
that human female abductees supposedly have become pregnant
as a result of their encounters.
Hopkins’s first book not only sparked popular interest in
the field but led to further research by ufologists that tended
to confirm Hopkins’s data, the most important being that of T.
Eddie Bullard, a folklorist who conducted a comparative study
of abduction stories and confirmed their high level of similarity
in spite of the abductees’ lack of contact with each other. By the
time Hopkins published his second book, Intruders The Incredible
Visitations at Copley Woods (1987), abductions had become the
central focus of ufology. He has found strong support from
such leading UFO figures as David M. Jacobs, and his work has
prompted studies by psychiatrists such as Rima E. Laibow (who
founded an organization, Treatment and Research on Experienced
Anomalous Trauma, to study abductions). Popular attention
to Hopkins’s work was provided by author Whitley Strieber,
whose 1987 account of his own abduction, Communion,
became a best seller and was made into a movie.
Hopkins has not, of course, been without his critics. Included
are milder critics such as ufologist Michael D. Swords, who
argued that UFO abduction accounts are shield fantasies,
which hide traumatic experiences from the abductee’s earlier
life that are too painful to discuss directly. Hopkins’ third book
Witnessed recounts people’s abduction stories, which continues
to be a controversial subject in ufology.
Sources
Hopkins, Budd. Intruders The Incredible Visitations at Copley
Woods. New York Random House, 1987.
———. Missing Time A Documented Study of UFO Abductions.
New York Richard Marek, 1981.
———. Witnessed The True Story of the Brooklyn Bridge UFO
Abductions. New York Pocket Books, 1996.

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