Award-winning documentary filmmaker and writer, Carol Rainey, has posted on her YouTube channel several video excerpts from her upcoming film, Something Hidden (a working title). In 1994, Rainey was first introduced to people reporting anomalous experiences by the man who later became her husband, artist and alien abduction researcher, Budd Hopkins. Open-minded, but always questioning, Rainey was fascinated. She says:
“I was intrigued by the resonance of modern-day stories that carried echoes from past centuries and other cultures. What was happening to these people?”
For over ten years, Rainey worked closely with Hopkins on many of his cases of alleged alien abduction. She documented the experiences being reported by individuals who’d come to see him, from the initial intake interview through multiple hypnotic regressions and field investigations.
But Rainey’s doubts about this work grew persistent and troubled her. She had come from a background of making films with physicians and epidemiologists; she also wrote research proposals to the National Institutes of Health and was funded. She knew that research protocols provided for protection of human subjects, oversight of the researchers, and the best ways to ensure the findings were valid. But in the unstructured field of ufology, none of those safeguards were in place.
On a regular basis, Rainey observed flawed methods and an investigator who had become increasingly credulous, leaving him vulnerable to hoaxers.
After private research into new neurological discoveries and past recovered memory movements, Rainey concluded that hypnosis was not a sound or safe way to learn anything objective about either the human experience of anomalous events or about the UFO phenomenon itself. In specific incidents, she saw how hypnotic regression (or “recovered memory”) had clearly harmed vulnerable people.
Hopkins taught David M. Jacobs, PhD, of Temple University, recently retired, how to perform hypnosis, although neither had professional qualifications in hypnosis or psychology. Hopkins also profoundly influenced Jacobs’ apocalyptic take on the phenomenon. They were close collaborators in alien abduction research for decades, and each others best friends. When Hopkins died in 2011, Jacobs told colleagues, “I’ve just lost my mentor.” Rainey says:
“One especially appalling case caused me to break my silence, many years after I had refused further involvement in abduction research; and five years after Budd and I had separated. It was Emma Woods’s story – a case of subject abuse by Hopkins’ best friend and fellow researcher, David Jacobs – that compelled me to speak up before their ‘abduction work’ damaged even more vulnerable people.”
Rainey’s concerns were strongly presented in her important article, “The Priests of High Strangeness: Co-Creation of the ‘Alien Abduction Phenomenon'”, featured in the first issue of Paratopia Magazine.
Rainey and the publishers of Paratopia Magazine, Jeff Ritzmann and Jeremy Vaeni, kindly allowed me to provide a PDF of Rainey’s feature article on this website.
- “The Priests of High Strangeness: Co-Creation of the ‘Alien Abduction Phenomenon'”, by Carol Rainey (PDF)
In film excerpts and in her upcoming memoir, Rainey explores what drew her to the bright, energetic Hopkins and his certainty that alien beings were abducting millions of people. Through the lens of the “Witnessed” case, she reveals research methods and manipulations of the narrative that ultimately caused her to leave both ufology and the marriage.
The following videos on Rainey’s YouTube channel are excerpts from Something Hidden.
Budd Hopkins on the Brooklyn Bridge – The Linda Case (1:21)
“Budd Hopkins, investigator of a spectacular alleged UFO case, shows what a witness on the Brooklyn Bridge claims to have seen on November 29th, 1989. Excerpt from a documentary in progress, directed by Carol Rainey and based on events in Hopkins’ book ‘Witnessed.'”
The Two Major Players of Budd Hopkins’ Witnessed Case (3:59)
“Excerpts of interviews with investigator and writer Budd Hopkins reveal his empathy with the experiencer. Linda explains how she came to contact Budd and unintentionally gives me something to worry about.”
Agent Provocateur (4:57)
” … Budd and I are on our way to a UFO conference in San Marino, Italy. I take the opportunity to play Doubting Thomas and ask some tough questions.”
1996 Symbols Revealed as Evidence of Alien Abduction (12:54)
“This segment shows Budd Hopkins revealing strikingly similar symbols that numerous abductees have reported seeing aboard alien spacecraft. Rainey looks at whether faulty research methods may have invalidated the use of these abductee drawings as evidence for the phenomenon.”
A Key Witness in the Linda Cortile UFO Abduction Case (11:45)
“Other evidence for the case came to Budd as an ongoing series of letters from government agents and the United Nations leader who allegedly witnessed the UFO abduction. A forensics expert is asked to evaluate these written materials.”
1996 Budd Hopkins Hears of New Danger from Linda Cortile (18:38)
“Linda Cortile, main subject of the book “Witnessed,” has stated on several occasions that 80-85% of her memories of alien abduction were retrieved during hypnosis sessions. Her interactions with investigator Budd Hopkins are at the heart of this 18 minute segment.”
For further information about Rainey’s upcoming film, see:
George P. Hansen Articles
Researcher and author, George P. Hansen, was:
” … professionally employed in parapsychology laboratories … at the Rhine Research Center in Durham, North Carolina, and … at Psychophysical Research Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey. … His papers in scientific journals cover mathematical statistics, fraud and deception, the skeptics movement, conjurors in parapsychology, and exposés of hoaxes.”
Source: Hansen’s website, The Trickster and the Paranormal
Hansen has published several articles critiquing Hopkins’ investigation of the Linda Cortile case, that are consistent with Rainey’s exposé of Hopkins’ research practices.
- “A Critique of Budd Hopkins’ Case of the UFO Abduction of Linda Napolitano”, by Joseph J. Stefula, Richard D. Butler, and George P. Hansen. Published in Third Eyes Only, Issue No. 8, January, 1993, pp. 10-34; and other publications.
- “Attempted Murder vs. The Politics of Ufology: A Question of Priorities in the Linda Napolitano Case”, by George P. Hansen (PDF). Published in The New Jersey Chronicle, Vol. 3, Nos. 1/2, September-December, 1992; MUFON of Ohio Newsletter, No. 3, Second November 1992 Issue; Third Eyes Only, No. 6, November 1992; UFO Spotters Newsletter, No. 16, 1992; Minnesota MUFON Newsletter, No. 37, October 1992; and other publications.
- “‘Torquemada’ Responds to Jerome Clark”, by George P. Hansen (PDF). Published in Third Eyes Only, Issue No. 7, 1992, pp. 68-72; and other publications.
All photos copyright Carol Rainey. Used with permission.
- Paratopia Magazine Articles (PDFs provided)
- Carol Rainey Articles (PDFs provided)
- George P. Hansen Articles (Coming Soon)