Budd Hopkins (born on June 15, 1931 in Wheeling, West Virginia) is a central figure in abduction phenomenon and related UFO research. He is also a painter and sculptor of note.
Interest in UFOs
In 1964, Hopkins and two others claimed to have seen a flying saucer in daylight for several minutes. Fascinated, he joined UFO research group NICAP and began reading many UFO books and articles.
In 1975, Hopkins and Ted Bloecher studied a multiple-witness UFO report, the North Hudson Park UFO sightings that allegedly occurred in New Jersey. In 1976, the Village Voice printed Hopkins' account of the investigation.
Hopkins began receiving regular letters from other claimed UFO witnesses, including a few cases of what would later be called ''missing time:'' inexplicable gaps in one's memory, associated with UFO encounters.
With Bloecher and psychologist Aphrodite Clamar, Hopkins began investigating the missing time allegations, and eventually came to conclude that the missing time cases were due to alien abduction.
By the late 1980s, Hopkins was one of the most prominent people in ufology, earning a level of mainstream attention that was nearly unprecedented for the field. He established the non-profit Intruders Foundation 1989 to publicize his research.
Hopkins has written several popular books about abduction claimants, notably Missing Time, and is the founder of the Intruders Foundation; a non-profit organization created to document and research alien abductions, and to provide support to abductees.
For about the first seven years of his investigating the abduction phenomenon, Hopkins himself conducted no hypnosis sessions. Rather, he secured the aid of licensed professionals. He notes that three of these therapists who conducted hypnosis sessions (Drs. Robert Naiman, Aphrodite Clamar and Girard Franklin) were quite skeptical of the reality of abduction claims, yet all uncovered detailed abduction scenarios from their patients. (Hopkins, 218)
Controversy has been a persistent feature of Hopkins' career in alien abduction and UFO studies. While few seem to doubt Hopkin's motives or sincerity, critics charge that Hopkins is out of his element when he uses hypnosis, thereby aiding his subjects in confabulation: the blending of fact and fantasy. However, Hopkins insists such criticism is specious. He writes, ''... I have often frequently invited interested therapists, journalists and academics to observe hypnosis sessions. Theoretical psychologist Nicholas Humphrey, who has held teaching positions at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and psychiatrist Donald. F. Klein, director of research at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and professor of psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, are but two of those who have observed my work firsthand. None of these visitors ... have reported anything that suggested I was attempting to lead the subjects.'' (Hopkins, 238-239)
The 1992 film Intruders was based on Hopkins research, and realistically portrayed abduction scenes.