Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Budd Hopkins: In memorium

One of the pioneers of alien abduction research has died.
Budd Hopkins passed away last Sunday.  Here is a statement from UFO researcher, Leslie Kean:

Budd Hopkins
June 15, 1931 – August 21, 2011
I’m very sad to announce that Budd Hopkins died today, August 21, at 1:35 pm. Budd had been under hospice care for about three weeks, at his home in New York. The combination of liver cancer and pneumonia led to his death. His daughter Grace Hopkins-Lisle and I were with him almost continuously during these past weeks. He was not in any pain throughout any of the process, and he received the best possible care and loving support from those closest to him. Today he gradually slipped away, and simply quietly stopped breathing. He died peacefully and without any struggle, with Grace, Grace’s husband Andrew, and me by his side.
Thanks to all of you for being such strong supporters of this extraordinary man, who has contributed so much to our lives, in so many different ways.
- Leslie Kean

While a painter and sculptor by profession, Hopkins began investigating the UFO phenomenon after a sighting of his own.  He eventually began to receive letters from people all over who had experienced “missing time” in conjunction with their UFO sightings (in fact, it was Hopkins who coined the term, “missing time.”)  This in turn led him to research what we now call “alien abduction.” 
Hopkins went on to interview over one thousand individuals from all walks of life who claimed to have been victims of the abduction phenomenon.  He had professionals conduct hypnosis sessions with these abductees, gleaning much of what we now consider to be given aspects of the abduction scenario: a person is paralyzed, brought aboard an apparent alien spacecraft, given an invasive medical exam, and returned to their point of abduction with no recollection of the event.  In time, however, memories of the abduction begin to return.
Hopkins might not have been the first to address the occurrence of humans being abducted by aliens nor will he be the last, but it was Hopkins who truly placed the phenomenon into the mainstream for the first time with books such as Intruders, Missing Time, and Witnessed—the true story of the Brooklyn Bridge UFO abductions.  Along with Whitley Streiber, Budd Hopkins took the concept of alien abduction from New Age fringe to a widely known, even if controversial, subject. 
As mentioned previously, Hopkins was an established artist with his paintings featured in the Guggenheim and Hirshorm Museums as well as the Museum of Modern Art.  He was the recipient of numerous grant awards from The National Endowment for the Arts.

In truth, I was rather skeptical of aspects of Hopkins’ work…the abduction research, not his art…namely the use of hypnosis and the chance of confabulation.  However, I liked his credo of “extraordinary claims deserve extraordinary investigation” and I appreciated the fact that he showed such courage in delving into a subject that was wholly unpopular at the time.  What he did for the field of Fortean researching was nothing less than courageous.  He willingly went in to investigate while the rest of science turned its collective head and giggled.  We owe him a debt of thanks, if not for research he conducted then for the abductees that he helped who irrespective of the cause have experienced real emotional pain. 

Budd Hopkins will be missed.  He is already missed by several people I am sure.

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  1. It takes courage to devote your life to a field of science that is so disrespected within its own community. I'm with you on being skeptical, but you've got to admire the passion of guys like Bud. RIP.


  2. You said it, Aric.
    Thanks for reading.


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