Budd Hopkins, the father of the alien-abduction movement, died on Aug. 21 at his home in Manhattan. He was 80.
A painter and sculptor, Mr. Hopkins was part of the circle of New York artists that in the 1950s and ’60s included Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell and Franz Kline.
His work — which by the late ’60s included Mondrian-like paintings of huge geometric forms anointed with flat planes of color — is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington and the British Museum, among others.
Mr. Hopkins had a fascination with otherworldly visitors, and was a well known as a U.F.O. investigator. And he has long been considered The Father of the Alien Abduction movement.
Hopkins at first said ahe had never been abducted himself. But after what he described as his own U.F.O. sighting, on Cape Cod in 1964, he began gathering the stories of people who said they had not only seen spaceships but had also been spirited away in them on involuntary and unpleasant journeys. And then, in 1966, he was abducted.
As the first person to collect and publish such stories in quantity, Mr. Hopkins is widely credited with having begun the alien-abduction movement, a subgenre of U.F.O. studies. Later high-profile writers on the subject, includingWhitle Streiber and the Harvard psychiatrist John Mack, credited him with having ignited their interest in the field.
What he found, in story after story, was this:
The aliens were technically sophisticated and many spoke improbably good English. They were short, bug-eyed, thin-lipped and gray-skinned, stripped their subjects naked and probed them with instruments, often removing sperm or eggs.
These narratives, Mr. Hopkins wrote, led him to a distasteful but inescapable conclusion: The aliens — or “visitors,” as he preferred to call them — were practicing a form of extraterrestrial eugenics, aiming to shore up their declining race by crossbreeding with Homo sapiens.
In 1989 Mr. Hopkins founded the Intruders Foundation, based in Manhattan, to help sound the alarm.
He wrote four books on the subject, including “Intruders: The Incredible Visitations at Copley Woods” (1987), which spent four weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and was the basis of a 1992 TV movie starring Richard Crenna.
After the Cape Cod sighting he described — a silvery disc over Truro, Mass. — Mr. Hopkins began researching U.F.O.’s. In 1976 he published an article about abductions in The Village Voice, which led to an article in Cosmopolitan.
The exposure drew sacks of letters from readers wondering if they too had been abducted, and his second career was born. By the 1980s, it had eclipsed the first.
His memoir, “Art, Life and UFOs“” was published in 2009 by Anomalist Books.
So, Budd Hopkins has died. BUT… many believe that aliens finally abducted him.