We kick things off by finding out what made Budd decide to write a memoir and he details the evolution of book as he wrote it over the last decade or so. To that end, he specifically talks about the "Dodging Hits" chapter of the book and why he included it in the memoir.

We then begin discussion on Budd's career as an artist, beginning with how he drew inspiration at a very early age from his art classes and tasks of drawing tropical fish. He reflects on how these fish, along with his experience as a child going to the 1940 World's Fair, would later emerge in his artistic work. Staying within the realm of Budd's childhood and upbringing, we talk about his fascinating and complex relationship with his father and how he handled discussing it in the book.

Looking at another observation from Budd in the book, we discuss how he noted that his artist friends of the 1950's were wholly uninterested in the world of politics, which he found intriguing and surprising. We then contrast this with the attitude in esoterica, where the opposite seems true and interest in politics often far outweighs interest in entertainment. This segues into a discussion on the literal "state of art" in contemporary times, where painting gives way to 500 channel cable systems. Budd smashes the 4th wall and muses about how the content of his memoir (Art and UFOs) fits into this paradigm of shifting interests.

Having Budd share one of the many stories from Art, Life, and UFOs, he recounts his near-fight with Jack Kerouac and how it exemplified the divide between the 1950's artists of NYC and the then-emerging Beat Poets. Budd also shares a remarkably synchronistic coda to the story, which happened just a few weeks ago. We then look at a big sea change in Budd's career as an artist, when he switched from painting to sculpture as his predominant artistic style and we find out what inspired that dramatic shift in medium.

Budd extrapolates more on the story in the book where he tells Mark Motherwell that one of his 'Spanish Elegy' paintings is a "failure" and also what he meant when he said he destroyed 11 of his older paintings because he considered them to be "failures" as well.

Heading towards the close of the art portion of the interview, we find out why Budd's works are not featured prominently in most, if not all, museums that own pieces of work from him. Budd shares some enlightening insight into the shocking state of museums today. Forming a bridge from the art discussion to the UFO portion of the interview, we discuss Budd's observation, in the book, that New Age enthusiasts seem to gravitate towards the darker Egyptian and Mayan art as opposed to the more humanistic, and less rigid, Greek art. Budd speculates on what this says about New Age beliefs and draws parallels between the coldness of Egyptian art and the reports from abductees.

Beginning our discussion on Budd's UFO and abduction research, we start by going way back to the original Orson Welles' radio broadcast of War of the Worlds (which was heard by a young Budd Hopkins) and how it had a profound effect of the belief in UFOs by not just Budd but the vast majority of Americans at the time.

We then discuss how and why Budd's interest in UFOs led him towards looking into abductions, especially since when he first started investigating them, there literally wasn't a field of abduction research and he did a great deal of pioneering work at the very beginnings of that branch of esoterica. We then get Budd's take on the stark difference between the contactee era of Ufology and the abductee era and why he thinks such a change in ET interaction reports took place. Budd does a masterful job of comparing and contrasting the two separate realms of ET interaction. He also discusses the nature of screen memories and how these may be able to be applied to classic contactee stories.

Budd extrapolates on the concept of 'confirmation anxiety" which effects many abductees when they realize that they were, almost certainly, abducted by aliens. Budd provides a riveting example of one such abductee's experience with 'confirmation anxiety.' We also get Budd's opinion on the theory of 'ETs as robots' and his thoughts on why it seems like the abductors sometimes make simple mistakes such as re-dressing the abductees incorrectly.

Looking at another phrase that Budd has coined based on his years of abduction research, we find out if 'presentation memories' (where female abductees are 'introduced' to their hybrid off-spring) are one-time occurrences or if they continue to happen to the abductee. We discuss Budd's meeting with Shirley MacLaine that is detailed in Art, Life, and UFOs and he elucidates a bit more on why there were a number of high ranking politicians with MacLaine during the meeting.

We then tackle the issue of Ufology's PR problem and discuss Budd's poignant and powerful axiom that "the quantity of evidence behind this extraordinary phenomenon requires an extraordinary investigation" as a counter to Carl Sagan's demand that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." This leads to a discussion about re-framing the UFO question to the general public by asking them to investigate UFOs instead of simply telling them what UFOs are or trying to coerce them into believing the phenomenon is real. The leads to some criticism from Budd for the Exopolitical movement's methods of presenting UFO claims as facts.

Since Budd was at the ground floor of the abduction research community and really was one of the sparks that lit the explosion of abduction interest in the 1980's, we get him to reflect on how he think the portrayal of the phenomenon has evolved over the last 30 years. He responds to the poor portrayal of the phenomenon by the infamous Peter Jennings UFO special and muses about why abductions are a "tough sell" to the public because they are a particularly unsettling phenomenon. We also have Budd reflect on the evolution of abduction research over the last 30 years and why it seems like the next generation's Hopkins/Mack/Jacobs has yet to come into prominence in esoterica as a whole.

Based on his lengthy research into abductions and how they have seemingly evolved over the course of his investigation, we ponder what the 'next step' may be if this is an ongoing program of sorts. We also have Budd contrast the field of abduction research which now, after 30 years, seems to stand beside Ufology as opposed to existing on the peripheral of the field.

Tackling some larger issues and theories that surround abductions, we get Budd's take on the longstanding rumor that the government made some kind of deal with the ETs that allowed them to continue abducting people in exchange for technology. This leads to some discussion on Col. Corso and Budd's problems with his story. We also get Budd to weigh in on the 'alien implant' theory that is often a part of abduction research.

Closing out the interview, we find out what's next for Budd Hopkins, where folks can get Art, Life, and UFOs, and the best way to acquire some of his artwork.

Budd Hopkins is a world-renowned artist, author, and pioneer UFO abduction researcher. Having investigated well over 700 cases, he now heads the Intruders Foundation, a nonprofit, scientific research and support organization. Taken together, his three books, Missing Time, 1981, Intruders, 1987, and Witnessed, 1996, are widely regarded by researchers and skeptics alike as comprising the most influential series of books yet published on the abduction phenomenon. These works, Hopkins' lectures, and his other presentations have been responsible for bringing a number of other noted researchers-David Jacobs, John Carpenter, Yvonne Smith, and John Mack, among others-into this extraordinary area of specialization. His documented discoveries have become the basis of most later abduction investigations and research.

Hopkins' goal has always been to bring an objective, dispassionate scientific intelligence to bear on the UFO abduction phenomenon. To this end, he founded the Intruders Foundation (IF) in 1989. IF is a nonprofit organization devoted to research and public education concerning this extraordinary enigma. They publish a respected journal, as well as offer a nationwide referral service for those wishing to explore their own suspected abduction experiences.

Despite its extremely controversial nature, Hopkins' research has received serious commentary in such mainstream publications as Time, Paris Match, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Omni, People, and Cosmopolitan. He has been a guest on hundreds of television and radio programs including Nightline, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tonight Show, Charlie Rose, Larry King Live, The Charles Grodin Show, Sally Jesse Raphael, The Geraldo Rivera Show, 20/20, 48 Hours, Unsolved Mysteries, Encounters, A Current Affair, Nightwatch, The Late Show, The Art Bell Show, Tom Snyder, The Laura Lee Show, Hieronimus and Company, Weekend Edition (National Public Radio), Voice of America, Armed Forces Radio, numerous BBC affiliates, and many other shows and forums.

His website is www.intrudersfoundation.org

topics discussed:
2 hr 8 min
Budd Hopkins