Budd Hopkins discusses alien abduction research – On The Record

UFO

This episode of "On The Record" originally aired on KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, NV in 1990.

MYSTERY WIRE — When Budd Hopkins passed away in 2011, the New York Times described him as  “a distinguished Abstract Expressionist artist who — after what he described as a chance sighting of something flat, silver, airborne and unfathomable — became the father of the alien-abduction movement.”

It was 21 years before this when George Knapp invited Hopkins to be a guest on a weekly television discussion show called “On The Record” that aired on KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, NV.

It was an eye-opening conversation that delved into Hopkin’s work in investigating people, young and old, who say they were abducted by aliens.

Budd Hopkins is also credited with being the inspiration for Dr. John Mack, a Harvard psychiatrist, to begin investigating alien abduction cases.

You can watch the entire unedited episode above, and read the transcript below.


George Knapp
Hello, and welcome to on the record. It’s been almost 30 years since the first modern case of abduction by aliens was reported. Then as now the topic has generated scorn and ridicule, but very little serious research and investigation. My guest today might be called the father of the abduction hypothesis. It was his first book “Missing Time” that triggered intense nationwide even worldwide interest in the field. His second book “Intruders” lent even more credibility to a topic that needs all it can get. Budd Hopkins thanks for being here.

Budd Hopkins
Thank you

George Knapp
To begin with in the in the in the preface of intruders, you say right off the bat, you’re not gonna believe a lot of this, you compare it to the Nazi concentration camps and how the mind the human mind just can’t accept things that are out of a certain realm. Why is that?

Budd Hopkins
Well, I think that we’ve lived with a kind of range of possibility around this, which we all understand and are familiar with. We don’t understand how when that range of possibilities is radically expanded, that it becomes a little terrifying. Look what happened almost to Galileo and Copernicus, when the simple argument was made, that the sun was the center of our particular solar system instead of vice versa. They almost lost their lives for making that kind of assertion. This is the ultimate Copernican revolution. Because the evidence suggests beyond any doubt, as far as I’m concerned, that we’re being visited by some kind of some form of intelligence, which is higher than ours, and some kind of technology which is higher than ours, and it is able to pick up human beings at will, as objects of study the way we might a lesser species, and diddle with their memories, their ability to recall, physical operations take place which leave physical marks on their bodies, there’s an extensive interest in human genetics, this seems to be the core of the whole thing, to admit all of those things as possibility, as a real possibility is to be staggered. So we keep it at arm’s length, conveniently, but it does, I think, upset more and more people, as they see the evidence for it.

George Knapp
You’re not a scientist, but you are as close as we get to an expert on this topic, explain your credentials, how you got started, and, and why you have become something of an expert on it.

Budd Hopkins
Well, I’m essentially a painter and sculptor, I’m an artist. And I got involved in this whole strange subject by the fact of having a UFO sighting myself in the daytime with a couple of friends in 1964. And up until that time, I was fully convinced that the Air Force had said they were balloons or something or other I never knew what, and I accepted that. But then when we saw this thing flying around, it’s a long story in itself. I was very aware that, okay, there’s something up there that has not been explained. And I began looking into it very thoroughly and reading about it. And ultimately, a man I’ve known for many, many years told me about this thing landing near his car, and little men getting out and taking soil samples. He was quite terrified, as he was telling me the story. And all he knew about me was that I was a neighbor and a customer in his store. Not that I had an interest in the subject. And I looked into that case, it occurred right across the Hudson River from Manhattan, in Park in New Jersey. And I found other witnesses to the whole thing from other points of view. And I published an article about it in a New York newspaper. And I concealed deliberately certain details about the UFO, its color, certain details about the weather condition, because I wanted to, I was convinced that there were other witnesses, and I wanted to have some way of checking their veracity. And in fact, we got something like seven or eight other witnesses who were right about these missing details. And so I knew all right, these things are flying around, the whole business is going on. And as I began to look further, I ran into more and more abduction cases. And I simply follow where the evidence led, and I used my best judgment. I think all of us have a kind of innate common sense about this sort of thing about how to go about conducting examinations.
George Knapp
There is a pattern, I guess you could say, a typical abduction Tell me what the pattern – what it entails.

Budd Hopkins
Essentially, a person’s abducted first as a tiny child, the way we might pick up a pop from some seal or something that we’re going to follow that child is very often then cut very often that the leg back of the leg from the leg is if a layer cells are being removed systematically, and that leaves two kinds of scars either a circular scoop mark, which I see over and over again, a depression which is perfectly round or oval or a straight line cut, and there’s no bleeding and no pain and the mother’s very upset when she notices this on a child. Especially if it’s a it’s up the back of the leg. And the child was wearing pants and and the mother that night dresses the child, there’s no tear in the pants. And here’s this cut, and it’s associated with the child having been missing. Anyway, that kind of incident childhood is very often one of the very first experiences that people have abduction experiences, then it’s as if they’re tracked through life. There are many, many people who report a needle with a tiny ball on the end, which is inserted up to nostril breaks through up in here hurts when the needle comes out, there’s no little ball on the end, as if an implant has been put in place. Sometimes that needle goes in, in the eye socket under the eyeball or in the ear. And there’s a lot of physical evidence to support this, although we, to my knowledge, we do not have one of these objects in our possession, but we certainly have the traces of them and they have turned up on MRIs, which is a magnetic resonance imaging, it’s a process that hospitals use. And then that person in later years is sampled further in, in terms of reproductive cells, ova and sperm samples are taken. And the whole project is as if that person’s bloodline is being followed, studied in depth. It’s a very complicated story. But this is the pattern that we’ve run into over and over again.

George Knapp
And it’s sometimes the family is followed for generations?

Budd Hopkins
And incidentally, George, we’re dealing with, not with the, you know, the proverbial man in the pickup truck and the bib overalls in the middle of a field somewhere. I’ve worked with abductees one of whom is a NASA scientist. I’ve had now three psychiatrists come to me to help have me help them through hypnosis and otherwise recall their own abduction experiences. I’ve had police officers, I’ve had military personnel, I was dealing with an army officer of very high security clearance recently who’s an abductee, doctors, nurses, scientists, housewives, you name it, whatever it is, and incidentally, some people who are nationally known in the entertainment field and so on, and yet most of these people want anonymity. They do not want ridicule, they do not want their names used. They do not want publicity, they are very frightened by what’s happened to them.

George Knapp
Is there a common denominator? Are they just picked at random? Do you get a feeling for it?

Budd Hopkins
When you think that they’re picked as tiny children, let’s say maybe one year old, two years old. The accent seems to be on the genetic material rather than any kind of personal qualities, which are hard to know, in a one year old child. But it’s very interesting that the psychologists, and this is one of the very first objective studies that was ever done. We commissioned a psychologist to test some abductees without telling the psychologist that these people had reported these experiences. And we said, we’re looking for patterns. What do these people share, we’re also looking for psychopathology. And it turns out that there was no heavy duty, mental illness or psychopathology with any of the nine. But the pattern that turned up was very interesting. She said, all of them showed a low lowered self esteem. These are people who were very capable, in many respects, happy lives, have good lives, and so forth. But they’re so self esteem level was way down, they felt somewhat ill at ease with their physical body, with their sexuality and so forth, somewhat separate from that, and they felt a higher degree of suspicion and have more trouble trusting other people and making relationships work and so forth. And when we told her that these people are reporting these abduction experiences, she said, well if that her test showed that there was no psychopathology, present with any of these nine that would explain these accounts as some sort of psychological aberration. And she said, though, it doesn’t the nothing proves that they had the experience that she said, if they had had these experiences, these are exactly the sorts of problems you would find, as with rape victims, and this is a species of rape in a certain sense.

George Knapp
You mentioned genetics, that’s what it seems to be. Is there some kind of genetic pattern that that’s that’s been seen?

Budd Hopkins
We don’t really know enough to answer that one way or the other.

George Knapp
How many people are we talking about? Now, you’ve had to have dealt with hundreds of cases already. But this is not just limited to the United States.

Budd Hopkins
George, enormous. And that’s one of the most upsetting aspects of the whole thing. Its enormous number there’s an enormous number of people have been through this experience and who are having recurring abduction experiences? I don’t know how it operates on the scale. I don’t know how they can do it, but they’re doing it.

George Knapp
Mass delusion possibility or mass almost indoctrination You know, there’s we’ve all seen the alien pictures and the alien movies now is, that could be a function and some of the cases.

Budd Hopkins
Could be but the experiences are the people I’ve worked with experiences. I’m convinced they’re genuine experiences. These are not fantasies. It’s very easy to tell actually. Although one could be fooled, I’m sure I don’t want to. But, but the point is that it’s happened to a huge number of people. It’s an extremely upsetting situation because we have looked at UFOs. For years we have tried to get take pictures of them and many wonderful pictures in this new book, especially on the Gulf Breeze. They turn up on radar, we have followed them around and chase them and so forth. And we never wanted to face what they were really up to. And as a friend of mine, said, very wittily. He said, it took us 30 years before we could admit these things had an inside. It was just a kind of an object, tracking them and trying to photograph them, study them, get drawings of the exterior, etc. was a little bit like trying to get the license plate number on the getaway car without having figured out what the crime was. The crime is that they’re interested in us and they’re not asking anyone’s permission. They are picking up children, there are some horrifyingly sad stories, children, one little girl pleaded with her mother recently, to strap her into her stroller, not put her in bed and put her in the hallway where there were no windows so she could sleep there. Because in her bedroom, she had seen these little people come in the window. She had been taken out the window, they had hurt her, etc. And there were physical marks on this child. It’s it’s not a pleasant phenomenon to deal with.

George Knapp
We’re gonna take a short break. We’ll be right back with more On the Record.

George Knapp
Welcome back. We’re talking with Budd Hopkins about the abduction hypothesis, I guess it’s more than a hypothesis from from your experience. A lot of folks say it’s movies, it’s things like that, that, conditioned people and that’s why they all have the same vision of these aliens with big heads and everything. But it’s worldwide, isn’t it? Not just American phenomenon.

Budd Hopkins
Exactly. And on top of that, of course, the the the the only film version that really was widespread that looks like the alien drawings, to a great extent is the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And of course, those aliens were based on drawings that Allen Hynek of the Center for UFO studies had given to Spielberg so that his people could try to be accurate about what an alien supposed to look like. We have cases from either case from the Catskill Mountains that has certain details. It’s an abduction that only turned up in, in a case in Zimbabwe, Southern Africa, and we have situations there where people simply report exactly what we report here. They’ll describe the figures and the ships the same way, except that they folded into their belief systems and say, well, those are the ghosts of our ancestors. And there was a wonderful story on that where the man described the silver suits the pale white skin, and of course, he was a dark skinned African. And he said they were the ghosts of the ancestors. And the investigators said, How could that be? They would have looked different. And the clothing and he said, Well, I don’t know. He said, times change.

George Knapp
Tell me, let’s talk about some specific cases, the most disturbing or perhaps, exhilarating, and most revealing case that you’ve ever worked with in a nutshell?

Budd Hopkins
Well, I think that the Kathy Davis case that I wrote about in intruders was the most important case I’ve looked into because it was the first case I was able to follow through the genetic aspect of the abduction in the sense that she had been evidently abducted, artificially inseminated the sounds off the wall to our viewers. But it’s going on. And later he abducted and the developing fetus was removed. And in, she remembered little pieces of this in her real life, suddenly she wasn’t pregnant anymore. And the wildest part of this is that years later, she was abducted and shown the small child.

George Knapp
You’ve written about something called wise baby dreams. What is a wise baby dream?

Budd Hopkins
Well, it’s these are essentially dreams that probably are either real experiences that are remembered as dream because that dream-like. They’re remembered in the guise of dreams, but they would be experiences where people are being shown these tiny children. most bizarre thing about this totally bizarre phenomenon is that there seems to be a goal to create on the part of the UFO occupants to create a hybrid species between them, and us. And they then want us to somehow interact with these tiny little strange looking half human babies, figures, children, and they seem to need the bonding, they want us to hold these tiny children, it seems totally crazy and so forth. Yet, in the most recent, one of the most recent cases I have, a little boy has had several abduction experiences. He’s six years old. And of course, needless to say, has not read Intruders, or anything else. But he’s come back with physical marks has been missing. Sometimes the child turns up out in the front yard in the middle of the night with all the doors locked. So they’re being taken. But anyway, this little boy said that he’s been made to play with these strange little children who have big heads. And they don’t have much hair. But they have they do have his white. And he doesn’t like them because they don’t understand his games. And he doesn’t understand their games. But he’s evidently being taken and put in a context to socialize. I don’t know what all of this means. But one can’t dismiss the reports because they sound so outrageous. So weird. It certainly is.

George Knapp
The Gulf Breeze case, you mentioned that briefly. Everyone knows that were pictures taken. But I don’t think everyone is familiar that there was an abduction.

Budd Hopkins
There are many there have been many abduction experiences connected with the Gulf Breeze series of cases, whenever there are UFO reports and they’re down low, and people see UFOs closely, they’re not just flying around, they’re doing something they are busy with human beings. One of the Gulf Breeze cases, which is very interesting is that a mother when she came back to the well, when she turned on the television set, and it was a one of the photographs of Gulf Breeze was being shown her little child flaps and Terrance said, Mommy, that’s the thing that’s in the backyard that took me that I go into when the little people come. And this child has gone through a tremendous terror, the mother described to me herself waking up and seeing standing in the doorway of the kitchen. This little figure she was paralyzed, unable to move. It was ultimately abduction experience on her own. This is right in the Gulf Breeze area. And one of those little telling details, I said how tall was the figure? And she said, Mr. Hopkins, he came right up to the microwave. And when you hear a detail like that, you know, it’s it’s something the woman was looking at. This was not something that the mind invented for her.

George Knapp
Physical evidence, other than the scars, there’s other physical?

Budd Hopkins
There is other physical evidence. First of all, we have on CAT scans and MRIs, spots, which suggest that these objects these little implants are near the optic nerves, no way to know where to get them out very, very dangerous. I have some radiologists and a neurosurgeon who had been advising me and all of this, they were extremely intrigued.

George Knapp
Maybe we need to wait for somebody to die.

Budd Hopkins
Well, that’s one of the more morbid sides of this. But there’s truth in that attitude. Actually, that idea. A second thing is we have on the ground many times and especially in the case I wrote about intruders when a UFO comes down, it doesn’t seem to always happen. But sometimes the grass is killed. It is the soil is baked to kind of rock like hardness. And we don’t know what does that but there is a circle of absolutely dead grass and absolutely rock like soil, which will not then support life. You can test it by taking a sample of it and then control soil from two feet outside the circle. Put seeds in them, water them so forth, you get nothing from it’s as if it’s been sterilized. Now we have something like 2,000 cases like this, and we cannot duplicate it in the laboratory. We can’t take some of the control soil, put it in the microwave or heated or do anything to it to get it to this particular degree of hardness and sterility. We don’t know what the energy sources are that are causing this effect, but you have to say we have a phenomenon here. That that absolutely requires investigation.

George Knapp
Any other physical manifestation?

Budd Hopkins
Well, of course, they can turn up on radar very frequently and they can be photographed. And we have videotapes films we have. We have every kind of evidence that one could imagine except presumably, we don’t know what the government is holding. But whatever branch of the government is involved in this, but we have everything you could possibly want except presumably a piece of a UFO, as Allen Hynek used to say, I mean, you and I don’t have a piece of UFO or an implant. But as Allen Hynek used to say, you know, 747’s are flying over the outback of Australia every day. And the aborigines looked up, and none of them have a piece of one, you know, but they know what they’re seeing. These things are there. And the evidence is, is enormous in its complexity. And one of the details just a quick thing. I’ve been collecting drawings that people have made of a notational system, it would seem numbers, letters, whatever that they see inside UFOs on a wall or a page or something. And they’re virtually identical. They said, never been published obviously, they’re one of my ways of being able to test the veracity of a new witness. But I’ve had a situation once where recently where a woman made these drawings, she had remembered what she’d seen in the UFO, it should remember under hypnosis and partially normally made the drawings. And I was so stunned, I showed her a couple of other people’s drawings to at that point to show was exactly the same. And she took one look at the other drawings and burst into tears. Because she was not ready for this to be so real.

George Knapp
Okay, we’re gonna take another short break. We’ll be right back.

George Knapp
Welcome back. We have a few minutes left with Budd Hopkins, what’s the what’s the general opinion of the scientific community about this stuff? I mean, has there ever been a purely scientific study, or any big name scientists ever look at this stuff?

Budd Hopkins
Well there are a lot of big name scientists who are extremely interested in this, but do it in a sub Rosa way, simply because they’re worried about their reputations. This is that kind of a problem. I’m right now working with two major psychiatrists who are extremely interested in this, because they recognize the validity of the accounts these people are coming up with.

George Knapp
It’s sad something that important that you can’t, can’t work out it on it out in the open.

Budd Hopkins
I can say that year by year, month by month, more and more people are coming out and talking about this on a serious level. And I there are a few things I think, coming up within the next six or eight months that are going to be helpful on just exactly this level. There’s still a tremendous bias against it. Now, the interesting thing about this is it. Most people believe, the Gallup polls show, most people believe that that UFOs are physically real rather than imaginary. That’s what the polls say. But the same, the different poll also shows that those same people believe that other people don’t believe that UFOs are physically real. Otherwise, it’s an unpopular idea. Yet, we have found connections between without any doubt between accepting this as a serious problem of study and legitimate area of scientific research and the educational level of the people answering the questions.

George Knapp
One of the big problems some people have with a whole field is the use of hypnosis. That it may be that as a tool, it’s over exaggerated. There have been abuses in how its approached, your defense hypnosis?

Budd Hopkins
Well, essentially we have the most important thing to start with is as between 20 and 30%. Of all the cases we have people remember them without hypnosis. Some of the most famous cases the Travis Walton case of Charles Hickson, Pascagoula case many, many cases where they remember it all without hypnosis. So what you remembering under hypnosis is exactly the same as what that turns up in just normal recall. I think that all the tape recordings that I have my hypnotic sessions I would certainly defend. I’m certainly allow somebody listened to one of those tape recordings, if they had any suspicion that witnesses are being led or anything of that sort. It is abused by I think it’s a subtle business and not everybody knows how to do it right. That’s one of the things that I’m trying to do is to train therapists, psychologists, investigators, and so on in the particular use of hypnosis in these cases, but I can assure you that people are not being led. I make attempts sometimes to try to lead them in a direction that I know to be false and they immediately say no and back.

George Knapp
One of the other things you’re trying to do is help some of the people have been through this experience, to get through it. You have a new newsletter, the intruder newsletter, and the purpose of that?

Budd Hopkins
Well, the Intruders Foundation, it’s which which we use the acronym IF is a an organization, which is now national, of therapists, investigators, psychologists, others, who can help people look into their experiences, help them cope with these experiences. Afterwards, we’re setting up support groups, we have a number of support groups in different cities, where abductees regularly get together and we don’t talk about the experience itself. But how one handles these things? How one talks to one’s children.

George Knapp
Much like a rape crisis center.

Budd Hopkins
Exactly.

George Knapp
We have about a minute left. Any kind of indication, any kind of common thread in terms of communication alien to human, that you hear time and time again? Do they ever say anything? Like what what they want to do? Or you gonna be okay?

Budd Hopkins
Yeah, there’s a constant stroking that goes on the conversation, you’ll be fine, we’ll bring you home, everything will be alright. Don’t be afraid you won’t be heard that kind of thing. The sort of thing a pediatrician tells a six year old before he gives him a shot. That’s the central kind of communication, we get all the big questions. There’s nothing there’s nothing like where they’re from what the ultimate bottom line is here. What this is ultimately for. Is this for us? Is this for them. What is this all about? Nothing to that in that area, and no permission. The basic thing is many people will say if they explain what they’re doing, and told me why and ask my permission, I might say okay, I will be part of your experiment here. But ask my permission first and explain yourself. And we get nothing on those two levels.

George Knapp
With 30 seconds. You don’t have any theories of your own. why they’re here?

Budd Hopkins
I think they’re here because they’re in trouble. And I think they need some kind of revivification that they can get through our genetic richness and variety and so forth. I think they’re here because they need us.

George Knapp
Budd Hopkins, fascinating stuff. Thanks for joining us.

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