The Abduction Experience
A Dialogue In Boston
with John Mack and Budd Hopkins
By Victor Viggiani, B.A., M. Ed.
It was always told to me that just because the sun rose today and for a billion times in the past doesn’t necessarily mean it will rise tomorrow. The sun does however, rise each morning and there is a very high probability that it will again rise tomorrow morning. This is our constant reality. I was in Boston Massachusetts to listen to a dialogue between Budd Hopkins and Dr. John Mack on the abduction experience not fully realizing how this experience was to alter my view of reality.
It is a cold and very windy March evening. The Boston night sky is as clear as the sound made by the crack of a bat hitting a baseball. The stars seem to be spectators as crowds of people make their approach along Berkeley street in downtown Boston to the John Hancock Hall were the dialogue is to take place.
A group of us meet at the Legal Seafood Restaurant not far from the convention center for calamari, raw oysters and Boston Beers. As we leave the restaurant to join the crowd walking toward the convention center, a strange thought comes to mind. I find it somewhat ironic that just mere weeks after reading about the Toronto Blue Jays abducting the legendary Roger Clemens from the Boston Red Sox line-up, I found myself in that same city attending a conference on the reality of Alien Abductions. Being from Toronto I felt somewhat like a thief returning to the scene of the crime. I had the indelicate urge to stop at the next busy intersection and shout “Hey Boston! We got Clemens now!” However, prudence being the better part brashness, I remained reserved and continued my trek toward the conference hall with the throng this brisk evening. No sense disturbing Boston’s baseball reality any further.
The evening is filled with anticipation. The sky is still clear as we enter the hall. The stars are looking downward as if they too, wish to enter the conference center, but realize they have their place far beyond in their own reality.
The Boston Dialogue on the Alien Abduction Experience between Dr. Mack and Budd Hopkins is set to begin at 7:30. It is sponsored by P.E.E.R., Program for Extraordinary Experience Research founded by Dr. John Mack in 1993; in conjunction with The Intruders Foundation (IF) founded by Budd Hopkins in New York in 1989.
The John Hancock Center is a massive building of stores, hotel rooms and quaint restaurants. The press, local visitors and those from parts unknown mill about surveying literature, pamphlets and familiar faces in the carpeted foyer. The stairway to the auditorium releases upwards into the expansive hall. The auditorium seats 1000. We enter with the crowd joining an audience of over 600.
The auditorium reveals rows of padded seats leading to a large stage with a soft wooden floor, heavy blue curtains and backdrop. A blue haze of video cameras flicker on elaborate tripods; floor microphones and a light oak podium to stage left allude to sumptuous preparations which hope to capture the moments ahead.
Center stage is interestingly set. Upon a large patterned carpet, three comfortable red cushioned antique armchairs with pillows are positioned; two of which are separated from a moderator’s chair by a small table and brass lamp with a soft white shade. The lighting is subdued. In front of the chairs on a casual, but tasteful coffee table rest a carafe of water and three glasses. The stage appears set.
A representative from P.E.E.R. assumes the podium microphone. She introduces the proceedings. The videos begin to roll. After words of welcome on behalf of P.E.E.R. and the Intruders Foundation she introduces the evening’s moderator Christopher Lydon, a local broadcaster on WBUR Boston’s National News station. Mr. Lydon is a print, radio and television journalist having contributed to the New York Times, Boston Globe and Columbia Journalism Review. In turn, the P.E.E.R. representative introduces Budd Hopkins and Dr. John Mack.
The basic premise of the evening’s dialogue is to present two differing views of the Alien Abduction Experience through the perceptions of two individuals engaged in work with people reporting anomalous experiences with alien beings.
Amidst initial problems with poor sound, microphone placement and frequent ear piercing feedback, the evening begins. Some in the audience are less tolerant than others and shout their displeasure at the poor sound. Most of the audience appears to be patient in allowing the sound technician to adjust the microphones to the proper level. This presents more of a challenge than he is capable of handling. In spite it all, things press on. Technical glitches seem to pale in the face of this immensely engrossing topic.
The evening’s moderator addresses the audience. He freely admits to being a relative novice on the evening’s topic, but feels his role is one to facilitate and guide the dialogue.
Mr. Lydon sets the stage by calling for an open dialogue and discourse on the issue. He freely admits that the “reality question,” “is this real or not?” is a question that will not be settled, but rather explored. He contends that this is not about “belief,” but about listening and asking questions. Mr. Lydon asks how this reality is different from the religious or philosophical realities which have confronted humanity over the ages. How “real” is this? He asserts that this subject matter is extra-ordinarily “unconventional” and as such, there should therefore be extra-ordinary efforts to explore it as well as extra-ordinary evidence as to its reality.
Mr. Lydon asks how the material of this evening differs in fabric from ways rendered to us in the bible about God speaking to humanity. The major issues upon which he will challenge the two speakers this evening will be:
Is this phenomenon a Transformational or Traumatic event for experiencers? Is this experience a Physical reality or Spiritual reality?
It is clear from his comments that this evening’s dialogue is not structured as a debate, but rather, as an exchange of views and an exploration of a very perplexing phenomenon by two of its finest pioneers.
Continue Reading Part II: Dialogue with Budd Hopkins and John E. Mack, M.D.
This article is published with the expressed written permission of Victor Viggiani for publication on The Alien Jigsaw: alienjigsaw.com