Hopkins had a lifelong interest in aliens and UFOs, sparked when he was a child hearing the Orson Welles “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast. His interest was renewed in 1964 when he saw, along with several others, a UFO flying off Cape Cod. At that point, suspecting a government cover-up, Hopkins started collecting stories from people claiming to have encountered UFOs and aliens.
By the 1970s, Hopkins had started devoting a great deal of time to the study of alien abductions (2) and “missing time,” which allegedly happens when an abductee is taken on board an alien spaceship. Though he lacked any formal training as a psychologist, Hopkins would help to conduct psychological tests of alleged abductees.
He developed the theory that aliens were kidnapping humans to perform experiments on them. He believed they would impregnate women with hybrid babies with the idea of creating a new race to colonize the Earth.
Hopkins’ third wife, Carol Rainey, recounts one such case her husband delved into in an excerpt from a memoir called “The Abductionist’s Wife” in the form of two blog posts (3)(4). Rainey, a writer and documentary filmmaker, was recording some of Hopkins’ sessions.
Mental Health Issues
The case was of an apparently famous musician whom Rainey calls “Arlene Love” (not her real name), who she met in the 1990s. Arlene had met Hopkins 10 years before and was one of his earlier abductee cases.
She had reached the zenith of her music career in the 1970s and had been on the cover of “Rolling Stone.” She sang covers for Linda Ronstadt and Paul Simon, had performed on “Saturday Night Live,” and had been nominated for a Grammy.
Since then, mental health issues had caused Arlene’s career to go into a tailspin. The fact that her daughter “Julia” (also not her real name) was severely malformed and brain damaged, requiring Arlene to be a full-time caregiver, did not help matters. The cause of Julia’s medical problems is said to have baffled doctors.
Arlene, incredibly, believed that her daughter was the result of alien experiments conducted on her, thanks to her alleged abduction almost 20 years before. Arlene thought that Julia was a genetic mistake caused by the experiment and wanted Hopkins’ help in proving that supposition.
Hopkins denied to Rainey that he had ever planted the idea in Arlene’s mind and expressed skepticism about it. Rainey was not so sure, wondering whether her husband’s zeal was dangerous to two fragile people like Arlene and Julia. Rainey began to do library research on what medical science had to say about Julia’s condition.
Rainey concluded that Julia had Noonan syndrome (5), a genetic disorder that prevents normal development of various parts of the human body. It can show up as part of an inherited dominant gene or as a mutation. Her conclusions sparked an argument with Hopkins. Her husband seemed to reject any conventional medical explanation for Julia’s condition. However, he closed Arlene’s case and essentially abandoned her and her daughter.
Rainey began to research Hopkins’ sessions with alleged abductees. She found the audio tapes that her husband had made of his sessions with Arlene and found, to her horror, that he had indeed implanted the idea of an alien genetic experiment gone wrong while Arlene was under hypnosis.
“In his thinking, how had this man justified to himself that he had no knowledge of what was abnormal in the girl, and how had he justified making no attempt at all to distinguish the hypothetical, alien-created abnormalities from spontaneously arising birth defects? Just ‘Boom!’ and out comes a conclusion that had no established basis in science or in pediatric medicine.
“In this particular case from 1987, the evidence was right on the desk before me: Budd, despite his public persona, was not even attempting to work in the realm of modern science. He was taking Arlene right along with him into his own conjured world of alien intruders as coldly calculating doctors and conquerors.”
Rainey would not reveal what she had found out for another 20 years. Julia died at the age of 31, an immense age for someone with her condition. Arlene dealt with her loss with an electric performance at the Bird Club, a venue for jazz music in New York. Then, a few years later, she died of a cerebral hemorrhage.
References & Image Credits:
(1) Wikipedia: Budd Hopkins
(2) TSW: Could There Be Psychosis Behind Alien Abduction
(3) UFO Trail
(4) UFO Trail Post # 2
(5) Mayo Clinic