Budd Hopkins
"I've always felt they (the aliens) are coming here
because they need our spirit."


Exclusive One-On-One Interview with Budd Hopkins
by Dick Farley

Excerpt from:
West Virginia UFO Newsletter
July/August, 1996, Vol. 2 No. 10
(c) 1996 Headline Books, Inc.

DF = Dick Farley
BH = Budd Hopkins


When Budd Hopkins and I sat down to lunch at the Cafe Expresso in the hotel hosting the Mutual UFO Network's 1996 convention, it wasn't the first time we'd met.

Budd and I have been in loose touch since 1987, after publication of his second book about perceived alien abduction" experiences, Intruders. (His first book on the topic, Missing Time, had appeared in 1981.)

And before that, in one of those "coincidences" which veteran "UFO" researchers, scholars and journalists eventually come to accept as part of the territory, Budd and I are from the same home town.

Not only the same home town, (Wheeling, WV), but actually from the same neighborhood (Meadow Estates), where Budd and his older brother Stewart grew up, and where I later grew up.

While older brother Stewart remained in Wheeling to take over the family's Chrysler-Plymouth dealership (Hopkins Motors), Budd, after graduating from Oberlin College in Ohio, "beat feet" to the Big Apple in pursuit of full expression of his inner muses on the New York art scene.

Eventually scoring some successes by having his pieces hang in the Guggenheim (modem art museum) and, perhaps more helpfully, in the pads of well-heeled art patrons, Budd says that after he had a 1964 "UFO" sighting, his interest in the subject was piqued.

As perhaps West Virginia's currently preeminent "UFO guy," and with a long-awaited book about a purported Manhattan abduction with multiple witnesses (the "Linda Cortile" case), Budd and I sat down over lunch in Greensboro to chat.

With his marriage to a very nice lady approaching, and with his new book (Witnessed) slated for publication in August, Budd was his usual kind and candid self.


And, as is also a hallmark of this West Virginian, Budd Hopkins had some surprising things to say...

DF: Where do you see the UFO field heading, and more specifically what do you hope Witnessed will contribute?

BH: What I'm hoping is that when people are confronted with a case like this, they'll realize there are only two options.

Either it's a hoax, with many people going to an awfully lot of trouble and expense to set it up, or it actually happened. After six years of research we have more than 20 people who either were involved in it or were witnesses to it.

And if it did actually happen, then it is important. And it has to be considered fairly, as, well as what is being reported by thousands and thousands of people all around the world as happening to them.

DF: Your views about "alien abductions," as to what seems to be taking place and why, are quite well known. How do you expect Witnessed to influence the general UFO field?

BH: As I said, these scenarios are being reported by people all over the world. And the recent publicity about that new movie, ("Independence Day," which Budd had not yet seen) shows that there is great public interest... maybe even an 'obsession'... in this phenomenon.

I hope Witnessed will help do two things, primarily.

First, I'm hoping a case like this will, in effect, "give people permission" to demand that these events be taken seriously, and enormously support the idea that we need to look into it intelligently.

Secondly, I'd like to pry loose more people from government who have information that pertains to these occurrences, to present enough logical and clear-cut evidence so people interested are free to pursue it all wherever it may lead.

DF: Do you believe the government knows more than it's told?

BH: Maybe so. But I think the government is panicked and has been. They don't know what to do.

As far as the government being in cahoots with aliens, I think that's bullshit. The aliens don't need anybody's permission to do what they're doing.

But I am greatly disturbed at the government's participation in the cover-up, and the damage that it's done to millions of lives.

DF: How so?

BH: What if the government took this same approach to, say, another issue entirely, like a separate more worldly crime, like rape?

Imagine the damage that would be done if, despite the evidence and the obvious trauma exhibited by victims, government authorities refused to acknowledge that the crime even existed, let alone had been committed against the person making the complaint.

That's how the abduction phenomenon has been treated, and the damage that's been done to so many people seeking only help and a degree of understanding is unconscionable.

DF: This brings us to your views about the nature of what is going on, and what might be its purpose. More importantly, how should we as a people feel about it, assuming that it is real? John Mack's position, as he restated here (at MUFON '96) last night, is that these ostensible alien entities have come to Earth "to save us," or at least to save the planet from our excesses. Do you agree with John?

BH: I've known John for several years, since being introduced to him by Robert J. Lifton, after which I helped to spark his interest in this field. And John and I remain very good friends, in fact we had breakfast together this morning. But I disagree with him strongly on this aspect of what might be going on, at a couple of levels.

First, maybe because John is a psychiatrist and has spent his working life dealing with people who are, by definition, in some kind of distress needing psychological help, he sees our species as being in a state of spiritual atrophy.

But perhaps because I come at life from the perspective of an artist, looking at the edges and fringes of human experience as being part of our enrichment I just don't see or feel that atrophy.

DF: So, if the aliens are not coming here, as John Mack believes, to uplift and transform us and our planet for "our own good," why do you personally think it's all happening?

BH: I've always, felt they (the aliens) are coming here because they need our spirit.

I don't really see this as if we (humanity) are gaining spirtually, from their activities and interactions with us.

DF: Whoa! What are you saying here? These guys are parasites?

BH: I just mean I've never seen anything coming in from the aliens to make me think we're getting anything from it at all.

Sure, to many experiencers the memories have had an impact, which some translate into deeper meanings for their lives. In a way, that's like many Vietnam veterans who have had overall a deeper, richer experience in life than, say, a hardware, store clerk in Ohio who had never left home. But that doesn't mean Vietnam was overall a benevolent enrichment of the veteran's experience.

DF: So this is where you differ from John Mack in your "take" on why the aliens are here?

BH: That's right. I've never seen any sign that the aliens bring any attitude of real benevolence. And I think John's error is to assume that this spiritual growth some abductees are feeling is from "them," (the-aliens). It may be from us.

DF: Can you, expand on that?"

BH: Let's look at our astronauts as a kind of "control group." Here are folks who are "taken away" as a group and from space they almost uniformly have reported "transformations" in their world, as well as of their personal approaches to life. And they've all come back feeling very protective of our planet.

It's the same kind of question one has to ask about seemingly "channelled" material, whether it comes from a source other than ourselves...or maybe from an aspect of ourselves which we don't usually acknowledge or allow to "speak" to us.

We shrink the human spirit to think that all of it has to come from "out there."

All of that idea, that help comes from outside, is not unlike a fundamentalist approach to traditional religious experience.

The basic "UFO message" has been pretty much the same since the earliest "contactee" reports back in the 1950s. And this may be our human reaction to our perception of their being here, not that they may not be taking some advantages of that.

DF: But you don't believe that is their intent, to help us?

BH: No. I just don't see this as if we're gaining spiritually from them or their being here.

DF: Well, then, it seems as if your view is more consistent with the theme of the new movie, "Independence Day," where the aliens are here to take over the human race, but we finally get our act together enough, to blow them out of our skies. John Mack told the MUFON convention crowd last night that he was disappointed by the movie and its "American can-do" message of technological triumph over the aliens. So, do you believe Earth is being invaded, given what you have written previously about their human-alien hybridization program?

BH: No, I don't believe at this point that we're dealing with an "invasion." The whole situation, from what I gather, is more misleading than that, not so clear cut, but I can't speculate more than anyone else as to its ultimate purpose or eventual outcome.

DF: Well, if you aren't ready to welcome these aliens with open arms, as John Mack and those of his perspective suggest, what do you believe we humans ought to do?

BH: I would like to see Earth have a sort of resistance to these kinds of events and whatever or whoever is carrying them out. Not in a warlike way, but in a way that demands respect for our own status as living beings with a right to live as we see fit on our own planet, for better or for worse.