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Budd Hopkins Responds

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2011 06:34:41 -0500
Archived: Wed, 16 Feb 2011 06:34:41 -0500
Subject: Budd Hopkins Responds

Source: Kay Wilson's Alien Jigsaw.Com


Deconstructing The Debunkers:

A Response

by Budd Hopkins


Probably no one seriously involved in investigating UFO reports
has escaped the hydra-headed debunking machine and its many busy
attendants. It's long been understood that debunking and
skepticism are two very different things, the former, an
artifact of rigid ideology and the latter an objective,
scientifically-inclined position. At the outset of any
investigation of a UFO incident, the skeptic can accept the case
as possibly legitimate or reject it as possibly a hoax or a
misunderstanding or whatever, but the debunker has only one
fixed option; he/she knows that the incident, whatever it was,
could not have involved a genuine UFO. This rigid stance is akin
to a kind of quasi-religious fundamentalism, and in my paper I
intend to examine the various tenets of such true-believer

The reason I'm writing this article at this point in my life has
to do with both health and age. I am about to celebrate (?) my
80th birthday, and am currently suffering from two almost
certainly fatal diseases, so I've decided, while I still have
the time and energy, to do a bit of deconstruction of the nature
and habits of the debunking mindset. Also, along the way I hope
that my piece will provide a little helpful information for
those who, like me, are involved in the serious investigation of
the UFO abduction phenomenon. As an armature on which to hang my
comments, I have selected a debunking article which appeared
recently, written, surprisingly, by my ex-wife, Carol Rainey.
Though readers may find her authorship either irrelevant or
curiously suggestive, the debunking piece she produced admirably
illustrates many of my points.


Within the wide-ranging areas of UFO research, various subjects
lead to different types of study: for example, the legitimacy of
government cover-up issues might be resolved by a careful study
of the layout and style of purported secret documents, and, in
testing the veracity of alleged UFO photographs, many technical
avenues of examination present themselves. The physical records
of UFO sightings, radar cases and so on also lend themselves to
objective, scientific study so we are not helpless in our quest
to discover the truth about certain kinds of evidence. But
rather than these categories of UFO cases, Ms. Rainey has chosen
UFO abduction reports to use in challenging decades of work by
many serious researchers, myself included, and it is here that
she finds herself with a few different, but quite legitimate,
problems. If scientific analysis can detect flaws in purported
UFO photographs or government documents, thus settling the
issue, how do debunkers such as she dismiss various detailed
reports of accounts that may describe years-old incidents? She
finds herself with one basic avenue of attack: if it is either a
single witness account or one with supporting witnesses, a
committed debunker will disparage the event as a hoax, which, we
will see, is her chosen method. Thus she says that the "marshy
ground [of abduction accounts] is afloat in hoaxes and partial
hoaxes," thereby suggesting that thousands of those who, over
the years have reported such experiences were liars.

Let me say at the outset that, unlike the all too common hoaxing
of UFO documents and photos, abduction hoaxes, among the
thousands of abduction reports I'm aware of, are extraordinarily
rare, and for a number of reasons. First, a hoaxing abductee
must lie and perform convincingly, over and over again, to the
investigators, with no sense that any reward will necessarily
accrue. Second, there are often additional witnesses who
buttress the account, partly because a large percentage of UFO
abductions originally involve more than a single individual.
Third, hoaxers must be very assured of the truthful details of
their carefully memorized "hoaxed" accounts, lest they be
tripped up with the false leads which I often utilize in my
interviews. As Mark Twain once said, always telling the truth
means never having to remember anything.

But there is a genuine problem area for abduction researchers.
In my experience, investigators are often contacted by people
who show signs of mental illness but who may at the same time be
telling the truth about their purported abductions. We refer
such people to mental health professionals for treatment, and
their (possible) abductions are tabled. But it is this group -
those who are suffering from some form of psychological illness
- who make the job of the investigator more difficult, rather
than the mythical pile of numberless hoaxers that Ms. Rainey
prefers to imagine.


One of the basic debunking ploys one encounters is the
marshalling of mainstream scientific opinion against UFO reports
of every kind. Example: a trained military pilot, or perhaps
several pilots flying in formation, sight a UFO at close range
in bright daylight. A debunker, determined to explain the
sighting away, brings in a credentialed astronomer who informs
the public that distances are so great in outer space that 'you
can't get here from there,' and that therefore the pilots all
must have made the same misidentification, of, perhaps, the
planet Venus. So, the debunker may assert, who are these
eyewitness pilots anyway, when measured against a mighty
astronomer with a Ph.D. degree who never saw what the pilots saw
and may never have felt the need to interview them?

Similarly, in the debunking paper I've been describing, the
writer employs the weight of mainstream, conservative science
against those reporting abduction experiences. To buttress her
case she brings in a man who holds a Ph.D. degree, one Tyler A.
Kokjohn, to cast official doubt on those who report UFO
abductions. However I was astounded that in this context the
name of John Mack is never mentioned. Not once. Obviously, Dr.
Mack, who was a Pulitzer prize winner, an M.D., a Harvard
psychiatrist, and the author of two books on UFO abductions,
'outranks' Tyler A. Kokjohn, so Ms. Rainey perhaps felt it best
to delete Dr. Mack's name and credentials from her piece and
hope that we've forgotten him. Perhaps she has also forgotten a
fact that I mentioned several times in her hearing, that I had
worked with six psychiatrists who had come to me about their
own, personal UFO abduction experiences.


If, as I've suggested, Ms. Rainey chooses to believe that a
multitude of those reporting abductions are liars, what happens
when a single abduction report has many independent witnesses,
such as the Travis Walton case (1975) and the Linda Cortile case
(1989)? Well, for these cases to be debunked, as she attempts
clumsily to do in her piece, she says that Linda Cortile, as in
the multitude of single witness cases, has to be a hoaxer too,
and though she takes a pass on Travis Walton, her logic demands
that both absolutely have to be labeled as hoaxes, involving,
say, five, ten, twenty or more participants or witnesses who
must be conniving together and whose stories have remained
consistent over decades. I worked from 1989 until the
publication of my book Witnessed in 1996 - seven long years - on
the Linda Cortile case, during which I uncovered over a score of
witnesses to one or another aspect of this dramatic incident.
One key witness, driving across the Brooklyn Bridge at 3:00 am,
was stunned to see the UFO, blazing with light, above Linda's
building, and, floating in midair, a white-clad female and three
diminutive figures rising up toward the craft. She sent me a
letter and several drawings to illustrate what she saw, and I
ultimately spoke to her and a relative on the phone and drove to
her hometown in upstate New York. We met at a restaurant and I
tape-recorded a fascinating first-hand account of what she saw
that night.

A second eyewitness described the glowing UFO above Linda's
building as she and a friend drove down the nearby FDR drive.
When we met she brought a swatch of scarlet, metallic Christmas
wrapping paper to illustrate the color of the glowing craft, a
red tone which matched two sets of colored drawings I had
received from other witnesses. She also sketched the simple
architectural details of the structure concealing the water tank
atop the building and very close to the hovering UFO.

A third woman, a more indirect witness who lived in Linda's
apartment complex, awoke and glanced out her window because the
normally shadowed courtyard was flooded with light from above.
She was able to date the incident perfectly because it was her
husband's birthday, and she said she was almost paralyzed when
she looked at the lighted courtyard. I spent time in her
apartment and was able to see the view she had that frightening

I interviewed the three people I've described above, face-to-
face, as well as all of the other witnesses to various later
aspects of the case; the two security agents in the account are
the only two witnesses I've never met face to face, yet I have
received from them many letters and I have, as well, both their
voices on audiotape. (Neither was willing to come forward, due
to security issues involving their positions.) And in yet
another important interview with one of the most central figures
in the case I spoke at length to the so-called Third Man,
(Chapter 32 in Witnessed) in a VIP lounge at O'Hare airport.

I am discussing all of these face-to-face interviews because our
writer, straining to turn this entire case and all its witnesses
into a collection of hoaxers, stated the following: that though
Hopkins received "letters, audiotapes, telephone calls, and
drawings," he had "never come face-to-face with any of the major
players in the story" [my emphasis]. What are we to make of that
statement? A slip of the pen? An outright fabrication?
(Fabrication is a nice way of saying 'lie.') A need to hire a
fact checker in her future musings? Clearly she wants to present
me as an incompetent investigator, so she makes no mention of my
contacts with the NYPD, the US Secret Service, the State
Department, the UN Police Force, the British and Russian
delegations to the UN, and so on. It's as if she never read
Witnessed, a book which she claims to have edited!

In an interesting aside, two of the eyewitnesses reported
independently that their first thought was that they were seeing
a special effects, sci-fi movie being filmed, an image which
demonstrates just how dramatic this very short-lived incident
appeared to them.

Now I am surely here not going to re-write my four-hundred page
book, and I feel there is no need to defend the case any
further. After so many years, neither it nor the Travis Walton
case requires any more support. And if the reader has any
remaining doubts about the Linda Cortile case, please reread my
book. As a final note, I should mention that one of the crucial
witnesses in the case was Linda's son Johnny, nine years old at
the time of his involvement. His role is of extraordinary
importance because of an incident in which he dealt face to face
with the Third Man. (If a reader wishes to learn - or recall -
the full text of the complicated story, please consult Chapters
25 and 26 in Witnessed).

When Johnny told me over the phone what he had experienced, I
went to the Cortile apartment that afternoon to interview him in
person, but first I made some preparations. Without telling
either Linda or Johnny I clipped the similarly posed photos of
19 businessmen out of old Business Sections of the Times and
added a related photo I had of the Third Man. After I
interviewed Johnny I told him that I had some pictures that I
wanted him to look at to see which ones, if any, resembled the
man he'd dealt with. I used the term 'resembled' so Johnny would
not expect to see an actual photo of the subject. His father had
a small video camera, and I asked him to tape the inquiry.

Johnny entered into the photo game with smiling excitement, as
if he were participating in a real-life police drama. I
instructed him to make two piles - one of pictures which did not
resemble the Third Man, and another of those which did, even if
perhaps only a little. I had put the Third Man's photo close to
the end, and as I went through the 20, one by one, he had found
three or four which somewhat resembled the man he's conversed
with. But when I got to the actual picture, he said, "Wait a
minute=85now that looks more like him. Maybe that's him=85yeah,
maybe that's him."

The videotape of this identification shows that Johnny never
once glanced inquiringly at his mother, desperate for clues; he
behaved exactly like a nine-year old involved excitingly in a
real-life police procedural. Everything that he said and did
that day was, to me, limpidly honest and direct.

Obviously, either Johnny's behavior and testimony had been
unerringly memorized and he had been professionally coached by
his mother, or he was simply telling the truth. Logic demands
that if he'd been forced into a more than twenty-person hoax,
his mother would have thereby handed him an enormous Damocles
sword to hold over her head for the rest of her life. For any
reader with a nine-year-old, think about what that would mean:
"Do what I want, Mommy, or I'll tell on you!"

Finally, remember that the little boy in the recent 'balloon
hoax' accidentally spilled the beans the same day as the


Now to bring up another aspect of the debunking mindset, there
is the "tail wagging the dog" device in which any trivial piece
of 'disconfirming evidence' is adduced to supposedly refute the
mass of supporting evidence. This device is used frequently, not
because it is persuasive but in the hope that it may plant a
doubt in the reader's mind about the case.

Example: One evening in 1973, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, two
friends, Charlie Hickson and Calvin Parker went fishing. A UFO
landed near their pier, they were paralyzed and taken aboard.
After they had been returned and the UFO departed, the terrified
men went to the police to report their experience. Put in the
interrogation room, the officers left to 'get them some coffee,'
after switching on a hidden recorder. The police fully expected
them to whisper about how their 'hoax' was working, but when
they later played the tape, one of the men was praying and both
were lost in the terror of the moment. The police officers, as
well as Dr. J. Allen Hynek the next day, stated that the two had
truly experienced something traumatic; there was no possibility
that they had invented the story and were just consummate

Other evidence in the case surfaced, including an eyewitness to
the UFO as it sped away. I will not dwell more on this incident,
the 'dog,' in my homely metaphor, except to describe the 'tail'
that a debunker presented. Some distance away is a drawbridge
which contained a small room where the man in charge sits and
listens for toots from boats wishing to have him open the
bridge. (There are few at night.) But because this man
apparently didn't witness the abduction - Was he napping?
Looking out the wrong window in the wrong direction? Reading?
Watching TV? Whatever he was doing, since he hadn't seen the
UFO, it proved to the debunker that the incident never happened.
This flimsy little tail was wagging a very substantial dog. And
oh, yes, sometime later Hickson requested, and passed, a
polygraph test.

Reading her piece I realize that Ms. Rainey is a master at
introducing such scrawny, tail-wags-the-dog details in her
attack on Linda Cortile. An example is this beauty: "I've never
met anybody, for example, who could get an unexpected phone call
from an admirer and so effortlessly spin a spontaneously
fabricated, intricate, family-related reason for not meeting him
for coffee, all the while winking broadly at me." Really? Has
our author never done the same, in the same situation? I
certainly have, because an invented family excuse often seems
easier on the caller's ego than telling him the truth: I don't
want to see you, or I'm too busy to bother, or something
similarly dismissive. Does an anecdote like this - the
scrawniest of dog tails, deserve even to be recorded?

There are more such tail-wagging-the dog attempts in her piece,
but in the face of the masses of evidence supporting Linda's
veracity, they do not warrant my spending any more time on them.
(One involves my original misunderstanding of an incident with
Linda and her cousin Connie; if anyone is interested, ask me
about it.)


As I said at the outset, my health and advanced age have sapped
my energy - plus I'm a terrible typist - so I will soon have to
shorten my rejoinders to this kind of hyperbolic - and endless -
debunking. But first I want to mention another aspect of the
debunkers' game, and it has to do with boundaries, an issue
which causes them serious problems. The truest among them do not
believe that there are any unknown, solid, metallic objects
maneuvering in our skies, and that every single UFO sighting,
photograph and radar return, no matter how many people report
it, can somehow be explained away. This is, naturally, a very
difficult position to maintain, but should a debunker then
narrow his/her boundaries and say that such mysterious foreign
craft do, or might, exist, the question arises: if so, and UFOs
have been seen for decades, what are they doing here? For this,
the debunker has no coherent answer, but abduction researchers
do. And what if a debunker like Ms. Rainey posits the theory
that a huge number of abduction accounts are lies and hoaxes,
does she believe that there are some legitimate cases? Does she
think that genuine UFOs actually exist and are flying around? If
so she doesn't say, and her article goes begging. If she should
later say that not all abduction accounts are lies and hoaxes,
which, then, are legitimate, which are not, and how can she tell
the difference? Boundaries, boundaries, problems, problems!


The case in which she seems to be most heavily invested involved
a man named Jim Mortellaro, and it was here that I made a major
error: I went public with the case before I had thoroughly
checked out all of its many dangling appurtenances. In my quasi-
therapeutic role I automatically seek to protect the witness in
order to gently learn the details of his/her claimed experience,
but at the same time it was becoming clear to me that
psychologically, Mortellaro was decidedly fragile. Yet since his
case seemed to provide a wealth of physical evidence, I
continued with it longer than I should have. After working for
decades with hundreds of people reporting UFO experiences and
trying my best to help them, I guess I'm entitled to at least
one unfortunate error of judgment.

One of the problems with the Mortellaro case is the fact that
the man was personally rather odd which cast him into an unusual
category, a rarity among abductees I've worked with. Also, Ms.
Rainey clearly did not like him from the first moment, and since
the poor, arrogant man seemed to have few friends or supporters
and a seriously ill wife at home - or so he claimed - I granted
him more leeway than I should have. (I seem to instinctively
gravitate to the underdog, a personal quirk I discuss at length
in my memoir, Art, Life and UFOs.) Though my ex was never what
one would call an independent investigator of UFO abduction
cases, she did function as a kind of kibitzer in the Mortellaro
case, wandering into meetings of our IF advisory committee,
listening for a bit, expressing her anti-Mortellaro position,
and then leaving. But essentially, this case is the centerpiece
of her article, occupying as it does about eight columns of

Here, again, the reader must be on the alert for her
characteristic hyperbole and exaggerations of fact. About the
increasing dissension among us over Mortellaro's
trustworthiness, she asserts that "three=85Committee members
eventually resigned including two psychotherapists and an
engineer." Pretty damning stuff, except that it's not true. One
of the only two therapists in the group, Jed Turnbull, is still
with us and the second had to drop out months after the
Mortellaro affair because he had married, moved far out on Long
Island, become a new father, and consequently found it difficult
to come to Manhattan to our meetings and seminars. We had no
'engineer' on the committee, though my friend Joe Orsini, a
medical writer and researcher, did resign, partly because of the
Mortellaro question. The irony of all of this is that
Mortellaro's increasingly bizarre claims - mostly about non-UFO
issues - were uncovered 'in-house,' and it was a final phone
call I made to him and a trick question that ended all doubt.
So, instead of the case being undone by an intrepid outside
debunker (or by Ms. Rainey), it was ultimately broken by us, the
IF advisory committee, and that was that. Why she now makes so
much of it is a mystery to me.

In retrospect, because of my early interviews with his parents
in which they described Jim's childhood behavior as similar to
that which I'd often noticed in traumatized young abductees, and
because of certain things he later said in my interviews with
him, I am still not sure if he is simply a fantasist, lying and
inventing because of some major psychological flaw, or if he is
an abductee with unusual mental problems. You pays your money
and you takes your choice, though mental problems obtrude in
either decision.

Unfortunately, such psychological problems as his are not rare.
All of us have probably at one time or another known people who
project a heightened, even perhaps grandiose and infallible,
sense of themselves, despite a real lifetime of quite middling
accomplishments. Such narcissists paper over their own failings
with invented or padded C. V's (two Ph.D.s in Jim's case),
forged documents or the like, and present themselves as
accomplished authorities in some often arcane field of endeavor
(his was electronics). When challenged they often react with
anger and a growing sense of paranoia; thus they invariably have
few friends (Jim had almost none) and fraught personal and
family relationships. They can also be extraordinarily
vindictive. (In Mortellaro's case, I knew that he sometimes
carried a gun.)

Such mentally skewed people are to be pitied, of course, and I,
to my ultimate regret, pitied Jim Mortellaro.


The Beanie Case: During a trip to Albuquerque in the early
Nineties, I worked with a delightful woman, "Brenda," who
recalled a number of personal abduction experiences. Her
husband, "Tom," a retired New Mexico State Police officer, was
completely supportive of his wife's explorations with me, and
some time after I returned to New York Brenda and her husband
phoned me with an intriguing story. At a local MUFON meeting
they had been approached by a woman about their age (mid-to-
late-sixties?) who wanted desperately to talk to someone about
troubling memories of a UFO experience she'd had some thirty
years before. Beanie, so nicknamed because her last name was
Bean, had seen a notice in the paper about the MUFON meeting and
attended, seeking help.

She told Brenda and Tom that she had been watching a TV program
which included troubling images from Somalia of starving
children with wizened bodies and disproportionately large
craniums. These distorted bodies caused her to remember an
incident she had long ago tried to put out of her mind. At the
time, around 1963, she was the medical technician in a tiny
hospital in the town of Santa Rosa, some distance down the
highway from Albuquerque, and one of her jobs was to ride in the
ambulance, answering emergency calls and administering first
aid. She explained that one day she had received a call and her
friend, the owner of the ambulance, a reconfigured station wagon
picked her up. The only information they had, she said, was the
location and the report that there had been an accident. When
they arrived in the designated area, she saw two state police
cars parked in one of the barren fields, so they drove up to the
site. Each police car was manned by a single state trooper, and
when Beanie and the ambulance driver got out, the two men showed
them three little bodies laid out, all three somewhat burned and
all obviously dead. She vividly recalls asking, "Where are their
parents?" The older trooper, a friend of Beanie's, explained, "I
don't know what we have here, but I better call the Air Force."

Now for anyone reading this account of the case who finds
himself/herself bored or confused, please understand that the
incident is unfamiliar to most everyone in the UFO field, having
never been much written about or publicly discussed. The account
my ex presents in her screed is extremely brief, concentrating
as it does on any little details that she felt might tend to
make it seem false or outrageous, so I feel an obligation to at
least get the facts down clearly and accurately.

Beanie told Brenda and Tom what she later told me, that she saw
some metallic wreckage wedged in a hillock, and that the wrecked
object was about the size of a Volkswagen beetle. She checked
the bodies for vital signs and then she and her driver put two
of the obviously dead figures on the gurney and took them to the
ambulance; a folding stretcher was used for the third. At the
hospital the bodies were taken as usual through the rear
emergency room door and into the X-ray room where she X-rayed
all of them. "I could get all of one body from the neck to the
pelvis on one palette, they were that small," she later told me.
The sole doctor in the town was summoned to examine them and
sign the death certificates, but apparently few if any others
went into the room. (It may be significant that the hospital was
run by a religious order of nuns, a regime that ended a few
years later). Beanie made some notes and hung her X-rays on
their hangers to dry, but shortly thereafter a group of military
officers and men arrived and brusquely removed both the bodies
and the X-rays. They demanded all of Beanie's notes, ordered no
one to ever speak about the incident, made a few final threats -
"Remember, the army has a long arm" - and left. "They even took
my hangers for the X-rays," she complained later.

After hearing many of these details from Brenda and Tom, I
chatted with Beanie by phone and said that I wanted to come to
Santa Rosa and talk with her face-to-face. I queried her on many
details, far more than I've mentioned here. Meanwhile I spoke to
Brenda's husband Tom, the retired state trooper, and he told me
that Beanie well remembered the older trooper who had been at
the accident, and she was insistent that they locate him. "She
was extremely anxious to find him, not knowing where he might
reside or even if he was still alive," Tom said. "It seems like
ever since she had allowed herself to remember the incident, she
was determined to find corroboration, and she'd known that
trooper, Dutch, very well."

This detail was, of course, extremely important, because the
last person a hoaxer wants to locate is a "designated witness"
who says, "I don't know what you're talking about. What
incident?" Hoaxers of anything, when the subject of possible
witnesses arises, will say something like, "I don't remember him
exactly but I think he might have had=85blonde hair=85 I don't
remember his name." Beanie's intense search for Dutch was a mark
on the side of her honesty. Despite the strangeness of what I
was hearing, that detail alone left me eager to learn more.

In my many phone calls back and forth between Tom and Brenda and
me, I learned that Tom, through a state police old boys network,
had located the town where Dutch had retired. Beanie, he said,
was ecstatic, but when she and Tom inquired further they
discovered that the poor man had just had a serious heart attack
and was in the hospital. Beanie wanted to go to the city where
he lay in the hospital and talk to him there, but Tom demurred.
The man was evidently very sick and in fact died a few days
later. Beanie then wanted to attend the funeral to talk to his
widow, and actually persuaded Brenda and Tom to take her there,
but according to Tom the widow was far from interested in
talking to anyone about such a subject at such an emotional
moment. Interestingly, Beanie did talk to Dutch's brother,
himself a sheriff, who said that his brother had never said
anything to him about the incident, but he was not surprised;
his brother was such an intense patriot that if the army had
sworn him to secrecy, he would never have said anything about
it, even to his own brother.

Meanwhile my friend Robert Bigelow agreed to pay my way to Santa
Rosa, and that of astronomer Walter Webb, to look further into
the case, and I immediately took him up on the offer. I flew to
Albuquerque, met with Brenda and Tom, and began to spend time
with Beanie. She was a short, plump, feisty woman who, like me,
had suffered from both polio and cancer, but she seemed to be
truthful and quite intelligent, speaking in a charming,
homespun, country argot. Later, when Webb arrived, we chatted
about the case which seemed to him rather dubious; for many
researchers, UFO crash-retrievals were - and still are - a hard
sell. I was also aware that he was not informed about many
aspects of the Beanie case of which I had become aware.
Essentially Walt was an astronomer, not someone with extensive
experience in working face to face with people like Beanie and I
was right to be concerned.

In a rented car Walt, Beanie and I drove out to Santa Rosa and
when we arrived at the house of the widow of the ambulance
driver, I asked Walt to wait in the car for a few minutes until
I came out and invited him in. I was afraid that two strangers
'from the East,' charging in together at an elderly woman's
house, bearing a tape recorder and microphone, might seem a bit
off-putting. I hoped that, along with Beanie, I could make some
ingratiating small talk to put the widow at her ease, thereby
beginning our questioning as gently as possible.

We were received politely by our hostess - in years past she and
Beanie had been friends - and by several other family members,
but it was clear that a visitor like me, inquiring about this
strange subject, would have a job putting everyone at ease.
After a few minutes of small talk, I decided to bring Walt into
the conversation. I excused myself, saying that a colleague was
waiting in the car and, making up some excuse for his absence,
went out and brought him in. He came in quickly, bearing his
equipment, and immediately asked the widow for a table so that
he could put his instrument in the center of what he hastily
improvised as a kind of circle so that he could record everyone.
Since I had not yet mentioned tape recording any of the family,
or asked permission, one can imagine the family's shocked

If Walter Webb had set off a small cherry bomb in the room he
couldn't have caused more of a disruption. Family members
scurried around, moving furniture and glancing uncertainly at
one other, while I sat frozen with embarrassment. On the drive
home I never said anything to Walt about his gaffe, not wanting
to hurt his feelings, but I did tell Bob Bigelow about the
problems his brusque and thoughtless behavior had caused.
Needless to say, very little emerged from this first abortive
visit to the family home, but my next visit, months later, at a
calmer time and absent Mr. Webb, was extremely rewarding.

Because I was no longer a total stranger to the widow and her
family I was received with warmth and a sense of friendship, so
I will, at this point, jump ahead to what I learned during this
last trip to Santa Rosa. I've made it clear that neither Beanie
nor anyone else seemed to know, beyond, probably, 1963, exactly
when the central incident with the bodies and the military's
arrival occurred. However, the family ambulance service was then
a kind of cottage industry and the driver 's wife, now the
elderly widow I was visiting, had managed all its business -
paperwork, trip tickets, billing and so forth. It was on this
visit to Santa Rosa that she explained to me they were never
paid for the trip to pick up the bodies, and what's more, she
recalled that her trip book had a number of consecutive pages
missing around the same time. And then came the shocker. She
said that the next day the Air Force had gone to the ambulance
and removed everything from the rear area - the sheets, various
pieces of portable equipment and so on. "And we were never paid
for any of it."

This was, of course, an absolutely crucial piece of information.
There is no reason that any 'government body' should seize
sheets and other objects without explanation from the back of
someone's privately owned ambulance - unless it is a matter of
so called "national security." The combination of the missing
pages from her ticket book, the stolen sheets and ambulance
equipment, and the widow's still obvious anger about it after
thirty years, went a long, long way to establishing the veracity
of Beanie's account.

I should mention that Ms. Rainey was present during this visit,
and she video-taped the widow's words, but considering her
recently expressed theory that the UFO phenomenon is "afloat"
with hoaxes, she must now believe that this elderly woman is
also a hoaxer. In her paper she dismisses the widow's testimony
in this way: "When pressed, she seemed to vaguely recall that
the Air Force had indeed once stripped the ambulance clean and
taken the billable trip ticket, as Beanie claimed." Ms. Rainey
is good with adverbs: note the word "vaguely." But she also
wields verbs as well: "when pressed" I assume that what she is
trying to get across is the idea that since she believes there
was never an Air Force visit to the ambulance and no missing
trip ticket, (facts Beanie had only learned from the widow) she
is claiming that Beanie somehow forced the old lady to join her
hoax by accepting her - Beanie's - lies and then passing them on
to me.

Another important statement was made that day by the widow's
son. Beanie had earlier thought that the ambulance might have
been driven by this young man that fateful day, but she later
decided that it had been his father. During this second visit to
Santa Rosa, the son, now thirty years older, and with his family
present, told me this: "I worked part-time in those days as a
police dispatcher, so I was often around the police station, and
I remember there was some talk about alien bodies." Score
another one for Beanie - unless, in Ms. Rainey's rather paranoid
view, the son, too, was also party to a gigantic, purposeless

The first time I visited Santa Rosa, Beanie and I made a long
drive to another town some distance away. She thought that a
certain young trooper just may have been the officer in the
second car that day, and through Tom we learned his address. I
suggested that we not call the man in advance, that we just show
up to take anyone there by surprise and thereby get a thoroughly
unrehearsed account. So we drove and drove, endlessly it seemed,
and when we arrived, the ex-trooper's divorced wife was home and
told us that her husband had moved out years ago and she had
lost contact with him, though she recalled that he was possibly
working for a security company in the far east somewhere. That
was that, and I only mention this abortive trip because my ex
put it this way: "Neither she [Beanie] or Budd had tracked down
or spoken to any of the long list of witnesses." [Emphasis mine]
I wish we had had even a short list of witnesses from this
thirty-year-old incident, but we didn't, so apparently the
helpful Ms. Rainey invented such a list for us, but then scorns
us for not trying to find them.

She quotes from an early letter from Walt Webb in which he
berates Beanie for reporting some details about her initial
experience which vary, one from one another. In isolation it
doesn't bother me that a woman of her age gets a few things
mixed up about a frightening thirty-year-old experience;
hoaxers, in fact, usually try to keep everything very straight,
lest they trip themselves up. Obviously, Beanie had no such
fear. My ex also attacks Beanie for "embellishing" her account,
an activity which often accompanies a witness's recollection of
a long-ago experience; he or she often begins to wonder just how
many odd incidents in one's past might be UFO connected. For a
long time a necessary aspect of my work involves trying to
convince such witnesses that not every odd thing in their past
is UFO connected, and that common sense must be brought to bear
to sort things out. Also, the UFO community has accepted -
perhaps uncritically - the complex, ongoing nature of one's
actual UFO experiences. One ostensible abductee has had three
substantial books written about her ongoing UFO experiences by a
prominent researcher, and no one seems to have complained.
Beanie's similar adventures might fill a paragraph or two.

I must apologize for trying the readers patience by their having
to read all of this, but Ms. Rainey's rather vicious tactics
require it. Because it comes down to this: to be taken in by
someone like Jim Mortellaro and to solve the case 'in-house' is
unfortunate but it harms very few people, while, in effect, to
claim or imply that innocent people like Beanie and the elderly
widow and her son, and Linda and her little boy and the score of
witnesses in the Cortile case are all hoaxers is to call all of
them liars, lowlife=85virtual criminals. Just think, if they are
simply telling the truth and that some of them were genuinely
traumatized by actual events, they are being labeled as crooks
and so on by my angry ex-wife. What a travesty of justice that
would be. I can excuse readers who were temporarily taken in by
her honest-seeming literary style, but I cannot excuse her,
herself. She knows better, and if she has even the slightest
doubt about her accusations, then she owes the individuals an
apology and a retraction.


A few added remarks: I am not  addressing the so-called Dora
case because I remember very little about it except my view that
her bizarre "Colin Powell and Ralph Nader" claims made me reject
the case at the time. No colleague I've talked to recalls my
ever mentioning the case to them, either. The problem may be
that I often receive calls from people whose psychological
problems are obvious, and I may speak to them if only to offer
some kind of friendship and support to obviously needy people. I
might have done so in her case.

Readers will note that David Jacobs and I, being two different
people with different case portfolios, are not both dealt with
in my paper. We are not identical twins, as Ms. Rainey would
like to imply. David, I believe, is writing his own response to
"Emma's" endless attacks, while I have produced this overlong

I had not intended to be so detailed and long-winded, but once I
got started I realized how many of Ms. Rainey's false and
misleading statements had to be answered. And the Beanie case,
not being widely known, needed an extended discussion.

Now some brief comments about my investigative methods: For some
thirty years I've been aware of the problems inherent in
researching such a bizarre subject, one that's compounded by the
trauma and fear experienced by many of our subjects. Since the
established psychological community does not take the subject of
UFO abductions seriously, those concerned that they may have had
such experiences have few choices about where to go for help.
I've always been concerned that some of those who contact me
have read books about UFOs and abductions, and so are aware of
my work in the field and the things I've learned over the
decades. Obviously I'm not able to control how this factor might
affect any future interviews, hypnosis sessions, or any
expectations the subjects may have as a result; I can only stay
as neutral as possible and  inform the person that I will not be
able to tell him whether his experience is "real" or not. My
mantra is to say, "I wasn't there when those things happened to
you and I can't be in your head; therefore only you can decide
if it was all real or not."

To mitigate some of these problems, I've always asked those
contacting me with suspected abductions what they've already
read, so I have a kind of baseline about their level of
information. I also tell them to immediately cease reading
anything about the subject (although in many instances they have
not read anything). I inquire about additional witnesses or
anyone they may have spoken to about their experiences shortly
afterwards, and I ask them not to have any further discussions
about the incidents. Obviously these other witnesses might be
able to provide useful information in future independent
interviews. In short, I'm very clear about the need to minimize
outside influences on case information as much as possible, and
Rainey's concerns about this manageable problem within the
investigative process - exaggerated and used by her to dismiss
decades of careful work by many researchers - are nothing new to
me or to other serious investigators. At this point, it is the
large volume of independent, similar accounts from around the
world that compose a compelling wealth of case data.

When someone first contacts me about a possible UFO abduction, I
always look for a number of different clues which indicate that
the individual may, in fact, be an abductee, such as a few
dramatic missing time episodes, childhood memories of 'little
people' in their room, a scoop mark or two and signs of PTSD.
So, by the time I agree to work with that person I feel I'm not
wasting my time. I'm an artist and I have a life, so I don't
want to deal with iffy cases, and always want to avoid all time-
wasting moments (such as the necessity for this long response).
Also, both in general conversation and under hypnosis, I always
pose a few false leading questions to see if the person is
susceptible and thus seems to be trying to prove to me that he
is a 'real abductee.'

Finally, as for the issue of hypnosis, I've written, in a peer-
reviewed, university press book, what I feel is a definitive
statement of its value. I'm not hopeful enough to assume the
readers of this piece have read this more academic piece in UFOs
& Abductions - Challenging the Borders of Knowledge, edited by
Dr. David M. Jacobs, and published by the University Press of
Kansas, but if you have doubts about hypnosis, please look it
up. One example: a large percentage of abductees report their
experiences, or major aspects of them, from conscious memory,
without hypnosis. But what they recall is virtually the same as
what emerges from others under hypnosis. So what can we assume?

Many more things can be said about my investigative technique.
In all my books I've published long transcripts of interviews
and hypnotic sessions, but apparently no one ever seems to find
fault by pointing out errors. So go back to my books if you
wish, and good luck in finding any mistakes or leading moments
you'd like to quote against me. I'm actually quite content with
the investigative methods I've used for decades.

Lastly, throughout all this work, my priority has always been,
first and foremost, aiding the person with the experience.
Research always follows as number two, and I've done the best I
could following those priorities. My only regret at this point
in my life are that there is not a larger pool of qualified
people willing to continue this challenging work, despite the
many lives that have been helped along the way, and despite the
massive amount of intriguing data that have already been
accumulated. -- Budd Hopkins, New York, February, 2011

Note from Kay Wilson: To read comments of support, praises and
tributes that are being sent in for Budd Hopkins, click here:


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