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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Feb > Feb 6

Re: Budd Hopkins

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2011 09:52:16 -0600
Archived: Sun, 06 Feb 2011 11:55:26 -0500
Subject: Re: Budd Hopkins

>From: John Kubish <dooleys09.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2011 15:55:27 EST
>Subject: Budd Hopkins

>With all the posts about Budd Hopkins, I would like to say the
>following in his defense. Budd worked with me about 7 years ago.
>We had lengthy phone discussions on several occasions years
>before I came to New York to meet with him. I have been
>hypnotized by the State Police helping in an investigation back
>in the 60's. Budd used similar methods also. At no time did Budd
>try to influence, plant ideas or lead the session in any
>direction. He was always very careful in the questions he asked
>and everything was recorded and notes taken, including the phone
>conversations prior to our meeting several years before.


Budd Hopkins has been a valued friend of mine since the 1980s.
Because I live far from New York City, others (such as the
estimable John Velez) are better qualified to assess what goes
on between Budd and abductees than I am.

What I can say is that I once attended a meeting of his
abduction group. I have spoken with medical professionals whom
Budd brought into his researches. They supported his efforts
even if not all agreed with Budd's conclusions about the overall
meaning of the phenomenon. No abductee with whom Budd worked has
come to me with allegations of misconduct. Complaints from
abductees with whom he's worked have been relatively few, and
even these generally muted. At the risk of being called names, I
will simply state (as a divorced man myself) that ex-spouses'
claims about the character of their ex-spouses need to be read
with due caution.

It also bears mentioning that most of Budd's fiercest critics
have never met him. The more excitable among them seem to
believe that Budd in some sense "invented" the phenomenon. He
didn't, of course, and as I know from my experience
investigating and interacting with abductees in the 1970s
(before I knew what a "Budd Hopkins" might be), he didn't invent
the phenomenology of the experience. Eddie Bullard's empirical
analyses of the data have shown as much.

I do know that as a kind and compassionate man Budd early on was
moved by the suffering of abductees, shunned and ridiculed by
others to whom they recounted their experiences. Just by
listening to them and respecting their testimony, Budd did them
a service. As I can testify from my own conversations with him,
he also gave a lot of thought to the proper use of hypnosis.

Like all of us, including his critics, Budd is imperfect. When
he entered the abduction arena, he could have had no idea what
he was getting into. In time he was overwhelmed, not only by
strange accounts but by the human suffering associated with
them. He was also prey (and hardly alone in that) to the
occasional psychopath who wandered through the door.

My own view of the phenomenon parted from his in the wake of the
Roper poll in the early 1990s. Ufology's abduction era ended
when it became apparent that theory had exceeded evidence by a
considerable margin. (That's also true, by the way, of Budd's
critics, who are nothing if not determined theoriticians.) I no
longer consider abductions to be event phenomena, even as the
phenomenon solely from an experience angle remains deeply
puzzling, resistant to any explanation - prosaic or
extraordinary - that makes much sense. It would do us all good,
in my opinion, if we would just stand back, take a deep breath,
and acknowledge the obvious: a conclusive solution remains
elusive. Not exciting, I know, but surely the only demonstrable
reality at this stage.

Still, perhaps if I were in Budd's shoes, I would not have done
things much differently from the way he did them. It's the
easiest thing in the world to judge coolly from a perspective
outside the hothouse. I am certain that history will offer this
judgment of Budd Hopkins's work: he did the best he could under
the circumstances. Because of him, we know more about one
curious, often frightening and bewildering variety of human
experience than we would have otherwise.

Finally, reading the often unwarranted, sometimes sickening
attacks on this good man, I make this plea to whatever basic
decency remains in ufology. Budd Hopkins is gravely ill, now
involved with a personal crisis each one of us without exception
will confront one day. Let us hope that when this happens,
people who hate us and seek to discredit us are not out there
frothing at the mouth and howling our name at the moon. Agree or
disagree with him, he has worked hard. He has given and
sacrificed much. For now, basic decency (if it still exists in
this field) requires, at the least, a lowered polemical volume.

Jerry Clark

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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