A boy and his parents are traveling along an interstate highway in Pennsylvania. The time is approximately 11:30 PM. Nothing untoward has marked the drive when he suddenly feels “shocked into consciousness” and hears his mother say, “Where the hell are we?” They are no longer on the interstate but on a secondary road in a heavily wooded area. They drive until they see a sign and check a map. They are more than fifty miles from the highway and it is now 3:30 AM. They then make their way to their destination without stopping, and without a word of discussion of what has transpired.
A middle-aged woman in a Midwestern state awakens from a night’s sleep with “a terrible flaming sunburn” on her face, not a hint of which had been there when she’d gone to bed that night. She and her husband have no sun tanning equipment in their home, and being pale skinned, she habitually keeps herself covered in direct sunlight. She also feels soreness behind her left ear. Her sister, visiting from out of town, is as shocked at her appearance as she is, and upon examination says, “My God, what is that behind your ear?” With two mirrors the woman sees that there is a gory scab behind her left earlobe. There is another scab on the back of her right knee, below which the women can feel a hard lump.
A thirty four year old building contractor in California goes to sleep in his bedroom following a full day’s work. He awakens during the night to notice a “fluorescent blue-green light” coming from under his bedroom door. The next thing he remembers is that four or five little beings are clustered around the bed. One of them produces a “weird looking instrument” and as he goes to sit up, another of the beings places its hand on his forehead. The man lays back down unable to move. The bed covers are then pulled back and the instrument is moved toward his crotch. The man clearly remembers saying “or thinking loudly” to the beings, “You’re not doctors, you can’t do this.” He then goes unconscious.
A mother, her nine year old daughter and the mother’s best friend are making a routine drive that should take no more than fifteen minutes. They arrive at their destination more than three hours later unable to account for the missing time. The best friend is so disturbed by the episode that she never sees her friend again. The mother is unable to even remember the friend until years later. Sometime after the drive the mother begins to suffer from a reoccurring dream in which the three of them are lying on tables with the daughter screaming in pain and the mother screaming at ‘them’ to leave her baby alone.
A boy growing up in an otherwise "normal" family in England recalls an unpleasant "dream" several times between the ages of five and eleven. In it he is "floated out of his bed, and handled by cold, hard fingers." There is a blue glow in the house and he is "surrounded by indistinct grey reptilian creatures and powerless to move." The "dream" has a radically different feel and character to it than conventional dreams; sharp objects/needles are often involved. He has associated night terrors, and a pronounced phobia of indistinct light emanating from another room at night. He goes through childhood with a terror of gray snakes in his bed by his feet, a dread of hypodermic needles and medical procedures in general. At ten years old he comes upon a UFO magazine at a local news agent's shop and saves up enough pocket money to buy it. The magazine is full of accounts of UFO sightings and features photos of them from all over the world. He reads and rereads it obsessively. As he grows older the "dreams" are replaced by real memories of what we would now characterize as abduction experiences. He goes on to learn as an adult that both his mother and grandmother also seem to have been through similar events in their lives and he knows there is a 'family' connection.
A woman reports having variations on a similar, reoccurring dream. In it she finds herself in a well-lit space along with one or more non-human beings commonly referred to in the literature as “grays.” One of the beings is holding an infant. The baby is human-like in appearance, but not quite human: it seems to possess features shared by both her and them. She is told that the baby is hers and is then asked (always telepathically) to hold it, and by implication or direction, to bond with it.
A twelve year old girl growing up in the village of Rockville Centre, New York is playing with her brother on the front lawn of their home when both observe five or six silvery-white disc-shaped UFOs hovering over the neighborhood. They watch in amazement until the brother goes tearing toward the front door of their home to tell their mother. The girl never forgets the feeling of being lifted off the ground and rising into the air, the bottom of one of the silvery discs growing closer and closer as her long hair streams behind her in the wind.
Sometime thereafter the girl, who suffers from asthma, wakes in the middle of the night bleeding profusely from the nose and sneezing uncontrollably, during the course of which she expels a perfectly round bb-sized object. She is rushed to an ear, nose and throat doctor who examines her and observes a small incision well up in her nasal cavity. The girl responds emphatically in the negative when the doctor asks if she has ever stuck a sharpened pencil into her nostril.
Each of these accounts, all from people as real as you and me, are matched by reports from equally credible individuals of transcendentally positive encounters filled with messages of love and learning that are often accompanied by messages of warning for those who do not heed their admonitions and predictions of dire consequences to our planet and to humanity. The many thousands of people who have come forward to put such memories and accounts on the public record hail from every imaginable cultural and socioeconomic background imaginable. Their ranks include business owners and public servants, wage earners and educators, artists and lawyers, doctors and factory workers, and everything else imaginable. One of them may be your coworker or friend or acquaintance, perhaps even a relative. Another may well be seated right next to you in this hall.
So how is it that they share what for some may be wild-beyond-belief memories and feelings? Is it a manifestation of some yet-undiagnosed mental condition, or a confluence of physiological abnormalities that have somehow conspired to convince them that they have had such an experience? Was it the result of an uncontrollable desire to ‘feel special’ or perpetrate a hoax? Are these alleged ‘abductees’ and ‘experiencers’ under the controlling influence of some nefarious individual whose intention is to make them believe such obviously impossible memories were authentic to their experience? Could it possibly be that some profoundly Perhaps some particularly well-made science fiction film or well-written sci-fi book somehow ‘imprinted’ itself on their unconscious, or, that they are they just plain liars intent upon making people like me and my colleagues appear foolish in public? Are they acting on some deeply-driven desire to achieve fame (‘cause it sure ain’t fortune) by associating themselves with just about the most controversial subject imaginable? Or – are they actually reporting on, and sharing with us events that actually happened, events that are as real to them as this moment is to you.
This of course makes most people’s minds reel, and for a number of easy-to-grasp reasons, understandably so. most ‘right thinking’ people understandably prefer to dismiss such a thought as outright fantasy, which for many is based on this simple equation: it can’t be, therefore it isn’t. Therefore it must be something else. Likely I’d be among them if it weren’t for several things. Throughout most of the eighties and nineties I was assistant to Budd Hopkins, the man who pioneered much of the field of abduction studies. His books on the subject are indispensable to understanding this extremely troubling and challenging subject. My responsibilities included evaluating and responding to hundreds and hundreds, if not in excess of a thousand letters from people all over the world who were concerned or convinced they had had these kinds of experiences. And such information and findings are hardly the exclusive domain of Hopkins. Investigators worldwide have collected thousands of similar accounts.
During this period I met many of these people. I was also privy to supporting accounts from spouses, partners, relatives and friends. I saw and handled a wide assortment of physical evidences in support of their claims, and, in a handful of situations, was allowed to review supporting information from their doctors and/or therapists. I attended support group meetings organized by Budd where I observed first hand the sincerity, confusion, fear, anger and catharsis of those in attendance. In some cases I made friendships which have endured to the present day.
My own studies and investigation into this phenomenon have continued in the intervening years, as have my meetings and correspondence with otherwise normal people who are likewise convinced that such things have happened to them – and continue to happen to them. Even so, please do not confuse me with an abduction “believer.” I am a confirmed skeptic. I have to be in my line of work. I’ve approached every claim of visitation or abduction with my critical facilities very much in gear, and balanced an otherwise open mind with caution and a somewhat plodding, nuts-and-bolts methodology. My conclusions? To quote from a formerly classified September 1947 UFO memorandum written by Brigadier General Nathan M. Twining, “The phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious.”
Up until the nineteen seventies abduction reports were quite rare, the best known being Betty and Barney Hill’s 1961 New Hampshire abduction. Extensive news coverage caused this one to become fairly well known, as did the release of the powerful 1975 made for TV movie, The UFO Incident, based on John Fuller’s book, The Interrupted Journey. Initially the UFO research community approached the subject with understandable skepticism. Since the nineteen forties they had been fixated on the UFOs themselves to the exclusion of the craft’s “pilots,” and who really needed the additional ridicule sure to be directed toward their studies?
Nonetheless, a small handful of investigators began to study the claims of the Hills along with a handful of others. If such claims proved to be legitimate, they postulated, surely they’d be rare and random, much like lightning striking twice in the same location, and certainly never happen to the same person twice. But careful and dedicated study revealed an absolutely opposing pattern, namely, if it had happened to someone, it had happened repeatedly, and began in childhood, and that this pattern follows specific families and bloodlines.
Among abduction researchers there are significantly divergent theories as to why this is happening, and who is responsible for it. Speaking broadly, these views break down accordingly – the abductors are from ‘somewhere out there’ and are involved in a program to breed hybrid beings who are part us and part them for reasons we can only ponder, and that this “program” – for a program is just what it is – is far more likely to their benefit than ours. Others maintain that the intelligences involved are following this line of behavior, but overall, that it is in the interests of humanity. Then there are those who maintain that while some abductions are being conducted by “aliens,” others are the product of a highly classified military program whose nefarious purpose is to discredit these other intelligences and create fear when we should really be welcoming their assistance. Finally, there is that group which maintains that the intelligences are categorically good, and that literally all abductions reported are the product of a highly classified military black op, the intention of which is to discredit the good work which the “aliens” are intent on.
How common are UFO related abductions and visitations? Of course no one knows for sure, but based on more than three decades in this field, accounts of the many people who have sought me out over that time, and confidences shared by those in my own circle of friends and acquaintances, that every one of us knows at least one person and likely more who is living with this reality, or “secret life,” as the distinguished historian and abduction researcher Dr. David Jacobs titled his first book. One thing I can say with genuine certainty is that the UFO abduction phenomenon is central to our understanding of (truly anomalous) UFOs, and as important a subject as humanity has ever faced.
Is there anything else you should know about why I have become convinced of the reality of this situation? Yes. In February of 1975, a time well before abductions were the fodder of tabloid TV and popular science fiction, my sister Helen (1949-2000) told me about her ongoing memories of being taken. She was the little girl from Rockville Centre, NY who remembered flying through the air and who sneezed out something which had been implanted well up her nasal cavity. Of course if you feel this somehow compromises my objectivity or discredits what you have read here, you are more than welcome to your opinion. There are times I find myself wishing that I still had the luxury of disbelief.
This article is obviously limited in its scope and was undertaken purely as an introduction to this subject and should not be interpreted as anything more. I do not ask the reader to take my word for anything you have read here, only that you keep an open mind and consider seeking out some of the information sources noted below and come to your own conclusions.
Some recommended sources of information:
Close Encounters of the Forth Kind: Alien Abduction, UFOs, and the Conference at M.I.T., Bryan, C.D.B., Knoph, NY, 1995.
The Watchers: The Secret Design Behind UFO Abduction, Fowler, Raymond E., Bantam, 1990.
Captured: The Betty and Barney Hill Experience, Friedman, Stanton T., and Marden, Kathleen, New Page Books, Franklin Lakes, NJ, 2007.
Science Was Wrong, Friedman, Stanton T., and Marden, Kathleen, New Page Books of Career Press, Pompton Plains, NJ, 2010.
The Interrupted Journey: Two Lost Hours Aboard a Flying Saucer, Fuller, John, The Dial Press, NY, 1966.
Missing Time: A Documented Study of UFO Abductions, Hopkins, Budd, Marek, NY, 1981.
Intruders: The Incredible Visitations At Copley Woods, Hopkins, Budd, Random House, NY, 1987.
Witnessed: The True Story of the Brooklyn Bridge UFO Abductions, Hopkins, Budd, Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster), NY, 1996.
Sight Unseen: Science, UFO Invisibility and Transgenic Beings, Hopkins, Budd and Rainey, Carol, Atria, NY, 2003.
Also various papers, monographs and articles by Budd Hopkins, some of which are available from The Intruders Foundation, PO Box 30233, NYC, NY 10011. IF website: .
Secret Life: Firsthand Accounts of UFO Abductions, Jacobs, David M., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster, NY, 1992.
The Threat – The Secret Agenda: What the Aliens Really Want, and How They Plan to Get It, Jacobs, David M., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster, NY, 1998.
UFOs and Abductions: Challenging the Borders of the Unknown, Jacobs, David M., Ph.D., The University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, KS, 2000. Visit < http://www.ufoabduction.com/> to learn more about Dr. Jacobs work.
About the author: Peter Robbins is one of the most respected investigative writers and lecturers with regard to the subject of UFOs. He has been involved in the field for more than thirty years as a researcher, investigator, writer, lecturer, activist and author. A regular guest on radio shows around the country, Robbins has appeared on and been consultant to numerous documentaries and television shows. He has lectured extensively both here and abroad and is co-author, along with Larry Warren, of the British best-seller, Left at East Gate: A First-Hand Account of the Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident, Its Cover-Up and Investigation. The current updated and expanded edition is available from Cosimo Books.