The passing of Budd Hopkins on Aug. 21 was ignored by the mass media. Most commentators probably wouldn’t recognize the name. Yet, Budd Hopkins was a pioneer, who boldly ventured into the strange borderland realm of alien abductions. An artist by profession, Budd took an interest in people who witnessed UFOs and subsequently found they had somehow moved ahead in time, often by a couple of hours.
His first book, Missing Time, explored those missing hours through hypnotic regression, which revealed alien abduction experiences. We read that book when it first came out and were reminded of the earlier abduction experience of Betty and Barney Hill. But Hopkins revealed that such abductions were now widespread, yet virtually unknown to the world.
In early 1986, OMNI Magazine assigned us to cover a UFO convention in South Florida, where we met Budd and accompanied him on an abductee investigation. (We’ve previously written in detail about that experience .)
We remember Hopkins commenting that he had recently met with a famous novelist, who was abductee. He wouldn’t tell us the writer’s name, but it wasn’t long before we found out it was Whitley Strieber. At the time, Strieber was best known for his novels, including The Hunger, The Wolfen, and Warday.
It would be Strieber who became the face of the alien abduction scenario – for better or worse – when he wrote Communion, and Hopkins became a secondary figure in the eyes of the mass media.
Meanwhile, Budd continued his work with abductees and went on to write Intruders, Witnessed, and other books. He also pursued his career as an artist, and became a nationally known abstract expressionist painter with works in the collections of the Guggenheim, Whitney, and Metropolitan Museums, as well as Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
I remember asking Budd if he thought his work in the UFO field was affecting his art. He answered simply: “I hope not.” He also maintained that he was not an abductee himself, but when pressed by Trish he conceded that he had a scar on the back on his left calf and didn’t know how it had gotten there. He looked uncomfortable and didn’t want to say any more about it.
Budd’s last book, published in 2009, was a memoir that brought it all together. It’s called: BUDD HOPKINS: Art, Life, and UFOs. We wish Budd well on his new adventure in the afterlife. And we hope he has found the answers to his many questions.