The Case for UFO Abductions as Physical Events

Part II


By Budd Hopkins

“I can personally attest to the fact that at least a dozen abduction cases were officially reported to the FBI in 1987, to no avail. For public consumption the FBI states – as do the Air Force and other official agencies – that it has no curiosity about such reports.”


It is indisputable that in the last few decades literally thousands of very similar UFO abduction reports have been collected and investigated world-wide. [1] The sheer number of such reports obviously eliminates hoaxes as a single, umbrella explanation for the phenomenon, though undoubtedly some decepti0ns have occurred. We are left with two other explanations: either some - perhaps even most - of these reports describe real, event-level occurrences, or virtually all of them, instead, represent a contemporary, “mental,” psycho-social phenomenon of some kind. Since systematic psychological testing of those claiming UFO abduction experiences has revealed no Psychological explanation for their accounts, the only remaining explanati0n is the most philosophically unacceptable one: the witnesses are describing actual events. [2] To discover the truth about this undeniably extraordinary phenomenon we must begin with a few basic questions:

1. What is the literal content of the initial report?

2. Why did the percipient feel he/she should make the report in the first place? (Thousands of individuals have reported their bizarre experiences to official agencies such as the police, the FBI, the Air Force and NASA, and to civilian UFO investigators and organizations, with no hope of personal gain and with a legitimate fear of ridicule. [3]

3. Where and when did the reported incident take place?

4. Was the incident discussed with family and/or friends at the time it occurred?

Truthful Accounts - Thoroughly Investigated

During the fifteen years in which I’ve been publically identified with UFO abduction research, thousands of people have called or written to me to report their experiences in detail, and consequently my personal data pool is extensive. [4] Because the preliminary questions I’ve just outlined are so very important, I will dip into this pool for a few examples. The following are typical, unprocessed, uninvestigated reports as I first received them. I’ve spent a great deal of time investigating each of these reports, and in my opinion each eventually turned out to be what I consider to be truthful accounts of UFO abduction experiences. The information each contains - apparent content, date, location and number of witnesses - illustrates the complex circumstances which any theory of UFO abduction reports must satisfactorily address at the outset. I ask you, the reader, to consider the details of each of these reports in the light of a single issue: do they seem to be real-world events, or the product of simple, wishful fantasy?

Re-location of Automobile and Missing Hours

1. A young married couple is driving home from a weekend at the Jersey shore in the summer of 1974. It is late Sunday afternoon on a clear, sunny day. In what is perceived by both as the very next instant, it is pitch dark - night - and they are sitting in their silent car. The engine is not running, no lights are on, and their automobile is in the middle of a field rather than on a road. They are terrified, lost and unbelieving. Many unremembered hours have obviously passed. The husband starts the car and they bounce over the field for several minutes before he locates a dirt road and begins to find his way home. In the next few months there ensues a series of panic attacks which affect the husband particularly deeply. Neither he nor his wife thinks for a moment about UFO abductions; neither had read about such phenomena, and, since no UFO sighting is involved, would not consider their experience to be related in any case. It will not be until early 1988 - fourteen years after the event in the field - that the woman in this example encountered a questionnaire I had written for Omni magazine and began to suspect that there might be a connection between the missing time incident in the field and other odd events in her life. As a result of these suspicions she finally contacted me and the investigation began.

Entire Family Affected: Unmoving, Missing Hours, Stunned

2. About 7:00 p.m. one evening in the winter of 1968, Mrs. R is watching the TV news. Her two young daughters and one of her teenage sons are clearing the dinner dishes. Mrs. R’s baby is in his crib, and her oldest son has just driven off with his grandfather to go Christmas shopping. Suddenly the voice and the image on the TV screen change; an odd face appears, and Mrs. R becomes frightened. One of her daughters senses her mother’s fear, and becomes even more afraid because her mother seems transfixed, unable to move. In what seems to be the next instant Mrs. R is heard screaming - but from her bedroom at the back of the house. The teenage son has disappeared from the living room and is later found hiding in a closet in his bedroom, though he does not remember what he is hiding from. Simultaneously, the family car pulls into the driveway; to those inside the house it seems the oldest boy and his grandfather have returned apparently only minutes after their 7:00 o’clock departure, and yet the clock shows that it is now after 9:00 p.m. An enormous noise begins suddenly and the house vibrates as if a jet plane is about to crash into it, sending everyone into deeper panic. One of the terrified daughters looks out the window and sees her brother standing beside the car, pointing up at something above the house. He is unmoving, rigid, as his grandfather standing next to him. The noise abates and moments later the brother bursts into the room with a description of a huge UFO which had been hovering directly over the house, and of his strange feeling of paralysis while observing it. He calls the state police to report the sighting, and is astounded to discover that though he drove up and spotted the UFO at a little after 9:00, it is now past 11:00 p.m.; he has evidently been outside, unmoving, for nearly two hours.

The confusion of time and location and behavior is alarming to all six involved family members, but it is ascribed to “excitement” over the noise and the UFO and the strange image on the TV screen. Nevertheless the incident is remembered and frequently discussed by the entire family. Evidence of trauma remains for months and even years; one of the younger boys insists on sleeping with a baseball bat next to his bed and a daughter will only go to sleep with all the lights on in her room. Twenty years later this same daughter finds my book Intruders in a bookstore, relates the information it contains to her family’s trauma, and contacts me.

Automobile Found in Underbrush - No Tire Tracks Leading to Vehicle

3. In November of 1978 a young man is driving home from work near East Islip, Long Island. He experiences a flash of light and in the next instant he finds himself sitting alongside a different road with his car nowhere in sight. He stands up, dazed and confused. He feels nauseated and discovers some unpleasant physical circumstances: his shirt is buttoned incorrectly, his shoes are untied, his socks are folded neatly in his pants pocket, and worst of all, he has, apparently involuntarily defecated. Then he remembers being in his car while it was stopped, and trying to hide under the dashboard from a group of small, huge-eyed figures who finally pull him out of the vehicle. As these and other related traumatic memories flash into his mind, he eventually finds his car with its lights ablaze, off the road and mired in the underbrush, with no tracks leading to it through the foliage. During the first few hours of confusion he does not identify these frightening recollections and physical sequelae with the UFO phenomenon per se, but he eventually makes that connection and I learn about the case.

Surgeon’s Daughter Abducted

4. On a very cold and snowy winter day in 1979, a fourteen-year-old girl goes for a ride on her snowmobile. She recalls heading into a level field, but then her memory fades. About an hour later a neighbor passing by sees her standing about thirty feet away from her snowmobile which is now lying on its side. He approaches her, asking if she needs help. She is clearly dazed and frightened, and the neighbor also notices that she is not wearing a coat. Moments later he finds her gloves, coat and scarf neatly folded next to the overturned vehicle. She does not remember what happened. The neighbor drives her home and her step-father, a surgeon, examines her carefully for any injuries, particularly to the head. He finds nothing - no mark or sign of an accident, or even any trace of hypothermia. CAT scans follow, as well as several other neurological tests, all negative. Equally perplexing, nothing turns up in the flat, level field which could have caused the normally stable snowmobile to fall onto its side - no skid marks, no hidden wires, holes, rocks, etc. The girl recovers quickly, but begins to suffer from a recurring nightmare in which she finds herself standing immobile beside the overturned vehicle as a group of small, shadowy figures approach.

In 1988 this same young woman is returning from a party near Washington, D.C., with a fellow student. They approach a deserted warehouse/factory area and come upon what they both recognize as a six-car pile-up of wrecked vehicles. The lights of all vehicles are blazing, but the scene is totally deserted. There are no police! no spectators, no drivers, no passengers; no sounds, no emergency lights, no flares. They drive past this strange tableau without stopping and without even thinking that they should report the accident. (They assume it must have just occurred.) The young women arrive home inexplicably late, musing on the oddness of the scene they had passed and their uncharacteristic indifference to the plight of any possibly injured people. Eventually the young woman reads Intruders and writes to me about her snowmobile accident and subsequent dreams; it will be many months before she mentions the odd six-car pile-up witnessed by her friend as well as herself. Neither young woman, nor anyone in either family, initially think of either of these events as connected in any way with the UFO phenomenon.

“Impossible” Military Exercise

5. In April of 1961, a young second lieutenant is driving from New Jersey to Fort Jackson, S.C. Somewhere in North Carolina he realizes that he has only about 1/4 tank of gas, and resolves to stop for fuel in the next town. He slows to a stop as someone he assumes is a policeman flags him down; he is instructed to turn left and detour down a dirt road. He obeys, and as he drives down the narrow, dark lane his car lights go out and the motor dies - yet his car continues on its own to move forward and to rise in the air. The terrified officer begins to pray, and in what he perceives as an instant later he awakens in a motel room, lying fully clothed on top of the bed. He rushes down to the front desk and finds that the motel is just outside the gate to Fort Jackson. Completely bewildered, he goes to the parking lot and locates his car, which, he discovers, still shows 1/4 of a tank on the gas gauge, and about the same mileage reading as he saw the night before on the odometer. The officer decides he must have been drugged by the military in some kind of esoteric training experiment, and that his car was shipped down to its present location on a flat bed truck. For this reason he tells no one except his wife about this “impossible” military exercise - a theory he abandons reluctantly after weeks of consideration. It will be another twenty years before he associates this experience with the UFO phenomenon; he hears a radio program on which periods of missing time are being discussed and contacts me.

Locks on Doors / Windows Securely Bolted From the Inside

6. In the spring and summer of 1989, a married couple in northern California becomes troubled by their four-year-old daughter’s frequent nightmares, in which she describes “monsters,” small, black-eyed figures who come into her room at night “through the wall” and carry her off with them. The child’s mother, uninformed about the UFO abduction phenomenon, tries to assure her daughter that she was only dreaming, despite the child’s claim that the monsters are real. The most frightening moment for the parents comes when they are awakened one night by their daughter’s screams from the front yard. The father unbolts the front door and rushes outside. The little girl stands there terrified, telling her parents through her tears that the monsters with the huge black eyes took her outside and into a “round thing” in the yard; they put her on a table and pressed a needle into her. To her father the most unnerving aspect of this event is the fact that when he searches the house he finds no unlocked windows, and each of the doors, like the front, is securely bolted from the inside. There is simply no way the child can have gone outside. In talking about this traumatic and impossible event with friends, the girl’s mother first learns about similar reports which are allegedly connected with the UFO phenomenon. This disturbing information leads her finally to relate her child’s story to me when I visit the city in which the family resides.

Continue Reading Part III: Eyewitness Testimony of an Observed Abduction, Circumstantial Eyewitness Testimony, Congruency of Detail in UFO Abduction Accounts, Short questions, short answers, Notes

This article is published with the expressed permission of Budd Hopkins for publication on

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Budd Hopkins

Articles by Budd Hopkins

UFO Abductions: The Early Years - Budd Hopkins’ Biography and Early Research Findings

Budd Hopkins’ Position Statement on UFO Alien Abductions

The Case for UFO Abductions as Physical Events

Hypnosis and the Investigation of UFO Abduction Accounts

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Thoughts on Budd Hopkins

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