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Budd Hopkins' new memoir is out

from the January 2010 Star Beacon

Budd Hopkins: Art, Life and UFOs, A Memoir, Annalist Books, San Antonio (2009), with a few references from Missing Time (Hopkins, 1981)

Review by James Parsons

        Almost everyone in the UFO field has heard of Budd Hopkins, the abduction researcher, conference speaker, author of five books, numerous articles and interviews. Hopkins’ fifth book, an autobiography, reveals a thoughtful educated man who has led an extraordinary life and is willing to share it with readers.
       At first Hopkins was skeptical about UFOs and abductions. This mindset changed, however, after he and two friends experienced a close daylight sighting of a “roundish metallic thing” in 1964 over Cape Cod. Hopkins began reading about UFOs, keeping an open mind, and talking with friends about the subject.
       In 1975, almost by accident, he stumbled upon his first UFO case. Known as the North Hudson Valley Landing, the case involves a close sighting of a UFO and occupants by a wine seller friend of Hopkins. The wine seller friend, a “teetotaler,” left his shop late one evening, homeward bound to New Jersey. A craft flew low over his car and hovered above the ground in a field next to the highway. The craft appeared to be 30 feet in length. A panel opened, a “ladder” was extended, and nine or 10 small figures descended... “they looked like kids in snow suits,” the wine seller commented. The small “kids” dug holes for a time, while the wine seller watched from 60 feet away. Then they rejoined their ship and flew off.
       In Hopkins’ investigation 10 months after the event, landing traces were found and corroborating witnesses were located. Hopkins found a family that as a group had gone outside their home to witness the low flying craft pass over their home. At least two other eyewitnesses saw something strange and a large plate glass window was shattered in a nearby apartment building, apparently after the craft took off.
       I should mention that Hopkins is an abstract painter/sculptor from New York City and is well known. His life story includes polio, his struggle to become a successful artist, his marriages, his many friends and some of his detailed UFO research efforts.
       In his early days of UFO research, Hopkins connected with Ted Bloecher, the MUFON state director for New York and a person who was to become an invaluable aide to Hopkins as a research associate and consultant.
       Bloecher connected Hopkins to a young fellow named Stephen Kilburn, who believed something strange and upsetting happened to himself, but he didn’t know what. Recognizing a sincerity about the young man, Hopkins connected Kilburn with two psychologists — Drs. Franklin and Clamar — and a neurosurgeon by the name of Paul Cooper.
       Hopkins hoped hypnosis could help the troubled youth as it had helped Betty and Barney Hill understand their trauma in Interrupted Journey. Under hypnosis, Kilburn related how his car on a lonely highway was “jerked” to the side of the road as if by a “magnet.” He found himself surrounded by several “big-eyed” beings wearing “hooded one-piece suits,” faces and hands “whitish,” fingers smooth like “putty.” Kilburn was encouraged to climb a ramp, enter a “saucer,” and get on a table where he was examined. Dr. Cooper commented that he found the medical “spellbinding.” The full story and tapes are related by Hopkins in Missing Time (1981) and abstracted in his memoir.
       From the Kilburn tapes, Hopkins realized that hypnosis could be a valuable tool to unlock blocked memories in persons who believed they may have had alien contact or were suffering from psychic trauma of unknown origin. The artist apprenticed under eight or nine medical hypnotists over seven years before conducting his own medical regressions. His success with these cases — and some failures — are fascinating to read and ponder.
       The author/artist includes in his memoir conversations and interactions with some of the most controversial men and women in the UFO field — Whitley Strieber, Carl Sagan, J. Allen Hynek, Shirley MacLaine and John Mack among others. Mack dedicated his book Abduction to “Budd Hopkins, who led the way.”
       After a careful reading of this smoothly written and gutsy study of the UFO field, it is clear Hopkins continues to lead, probe the alien mind, and inform the public.

       James Parsons was an Air Force navigator in the 1950s, and is a member of MUFON and an art dealer living in Taos, New Mexico.

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