BLOCKBUSTER REPORT ON SO-CALLED "ALIEN ABDUCTIONS":
WILL THIS BE THE FINAL BLOW and NAIL IN THE COFFIN FOR ALIEN ABDUCTION RESEARCH IN
UFOLOGY WRITTEN BY THE EX-WIFE OF A LEADING, HIGHLY-RESPECTED "ALIEN ABDUCTION"
RESEARCHER?! - PARATOPIA Magazine, Vol #1, Issue #1:
ARTICLE: "The PRIESTS of HIGH STRANGENESS: CO-CREATION of 'The ALIEN ABDUCTION
PHENOMENON' " – By Carol Rainey, Three (3) Choice Excerpts Presented, p. 1 of 15!
CHOICE EXCERPT #1 of 3: Sometimes an event comes hurdling along and scatters well-intentioned
plans left and right. I had intended to wait several more years before writing about my hard-won
insights into the alien abduction phenomenon.
DURING my 10-year marriage to UFO researcher Budd Hopkins, I'd actively participated in some of
Budd's UFO cases; edited his third book, Witnessed; co-authored the next book, "Sight Unseen," with
him; shot extensive documentary footage of Budd's research; and produced short films that he used
on the conference circuit.
BUT we haven't been married for the past several years, we've each gotten on with our own lives, and,
since 2004, I've refused to participate in abduction research. There seemed to be a lot to lose and
nothing to gain by speaking up, during my former husband's lifetime, about my perceptions of some
researchers' ethical violations, misuse of human subjects, and their steady manipulation of the
abduction narrative into a rigid doctrine. No need to rush to print.
BUT then along came Emma Woods' story, reaching me last spring while I was living and working in
the 14th century Moroccan walled-city of Fez.
It was an explosive case of subject abuse that shook up many people and would later become the
November 2010 cover story for UFO Magazine.
DURING a long rainy day, waiting for the donkey to deliver my cooking gas, I took the time to carefully
review the material on both sides — on the subject (Emma Woods') web site and also on the Web site
of researcher David Jacobs.
The AUDIO taped excerpts of the sessions provided a trail through the labyrinthine ways in which
researchers are able to "lead" the subject in a certain direction by pre-hypnosis conversation about
other cases they're interested in; how the narrative is manipulated to fit the high strangeness
requirements of the researcher's upcoming book; the tapes also show egregious boundary crossing
and ethical improprieties.
IT ELECTRIFIED me out of my silence and into action. Because Emma's case brought painfully to mind
several other cases that had passed through my own home in the not too distant past—and for any
adverse effect on these individuals' lives that I might have contributed to as the documentary
filmmaker or writer on the scene, I AM GENUINELY SORRY.
CHOICE EXCERPT #2 of 3:
THESE TWO (2) leading abduction investigators [Budd Hopkins and Dr David Jacobs], I now believe,
are driven by the rules of the game they're in to whip up their best cases, to drive them hard. These
UFOlogists, whose ego supplies are dependent on their standing in this marginalized field, are
desperate to keep bringing home the magic.
UNLESS they're to become quickly obsolete, alien abduction experts are expected to deliver the
goods: newer, fresher, stranger, and ever more strange reports. It is not incidental that David Jacobs
was intending to write a book about Emma Woods and several other experiencers, people who shared
a high strangeness narrative focused on the infiltration of hybrid beings into our society.
IN EMMA's audiotapes, we can hear Jacobs, before the regression, telling Emma about his other
cases, which included their hybrids' violent, sadomasochistic sexual behavior and warning her that
they just might discover that in her own upcoming hypnosis session. That isn't even "leading": it's an
outright push for her to then deliver, under hypnosis, the exact narrative he needs for his book.
IT IS ALSO NOT incidental that Budd Hopkins does NOT ever express doubt about the reliability of
LINDA CORTILE's story and the seminal importance of her case. If he did, he might be forced to
question his own ability to sort fact from fiction or to spot a rising hoax before it crests and breaks over
IT's MY PERSONAL BELIEF, knowing both Jacobs and Hopkins, that they are trapped, like Br'er
Rabbit in Tar-Baby, by the very phenomenon they attempt to confront. They can no longer extricate
themselves from the surreal, richly imaginative blend of fantasy and reality that is generated around
anyone who is deeply involved in paranormal research.
WHILE I WAS MOST active in Budd's work, I also felt the powerful, suggestive influence of this
ambiguous phenomenon. If I'd come into a room and hear my husband on the phone, asking: "Did
they come through the wall this time, too?" it no longer struck me as bizarre. In relationship, close to a
partner holding firm to such ideas, I sensed an almost gravitational influence of that other person's
SOMETHING like an unconscious resonance. For a short time, I had come to accept that the alien
abduction phenomenon was what Budd and Dave said it was. But I never stopped asking skeptical
questions — questions that grew increasingly UNwelcome.
THESE investigators believe so completely in the reality of their own interpretation of these
experiences that they have lost touch with both consensus reality and the everyday ethics of human
behavior that go along with it. They genuinely feel that the fate of humanity is at risk and any tactic
taken is justified by the need to WARN THE WORLD OF THE COMING TAKEOVER.
THAT's A POWERFUL BELIEF system and in these two men, it is rigid.
There's nothing ambiguous or shifting in their ideas. In a most disturbing way, such a fundamentalist
type of belief structure leaves them highly vulnerable to credulousness, loss of critical judgment, and
GIVEN THE STAKES (and audio/visual evidence gleaned from my own videotapes over a ten year
period), I believe now that these abduction investigators are sometimes trapped by their own deeply
held beliefs into becoming the victims of hoaxers — which they adamantly REFUSE to acknowledge.
CHOICE EXCERPT #3 of 3:
CERTAIN ABDUCTION researchers have been making a lot of mistakes, not just lately, but in the past,
as well. Serious gaffes that keep mainstream scientists and public funding of research far, far away
from that circus. Serious gaffes on an ongoing basis that send fairly knowledgeable people like me
and many others running from the field.
BUT WHEN WILL UFOlogy, as a community, bother to learn from those mistakes? And will the
community ever have the courage to step up to the two Priests of High Strangeness and say:
"Thanks for your courageous and dedicated work in this field, Hopkins and Jacobs. It's been great;
you were true pioneers and we know that your belief system is strict, heartfelt, and sincere as death.
But we'll take it from here.
We just don't think it's possible that you alone, you two, exclusively hold The Truth about this human
experience with The Other. Face it, you've been engaged in an activity that makes it impossible for
you to see clearly; not any more you don't.
SO, THANKS, BUT WE'LL TAKE IT FROM HERE!"
CAROL RAINEY has been making award-winning documentaries for PBS, cable networks, and
commercial distribution for over two decades. Many of those films focused on scientific and medical
RAINEY is currently working on a feature-length documentary about the story of UFO researcher Budd
Hopkins' investigation into the Witnessed case (with Linda Cortile). She has also published short
stories, written feature-length screenplays and teleplays, and co-authored the book "Sight Unseen,"
published in 2003 by Atria: Simon & Schuster.
NOTE: All of the cases referred to in this article will also be featured in the author's up-coming feature
documentary, Something Hidden. Focused on the story of Hopkins' investigation into the Witnessed
case (with Linda Cortile), the film is also the parallel story of Rainey's uniquely personal journey into
the heart of a human enigma — the UFO abduction phenomenon. Additional footage and an
opportunity to participate in the film can be found at:
Read the ENTIRE sordid, seamy, sorry-ass state-of-affairs of "alien
adbduction research" story at:
Copyright © 2011 / Paratopia Magazine
Budd Hopkins Reply:
"DECONSTRUCTING THE DEBUNKERS - A RESPONSE" - By Budd
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Probably no one seriously involved in investigating UFO reports has escaped the hydra-headed
debunking machine and its many busy attendants. It's long been understood that DEBUNKING and
skepticism are two very different things, the former, an artifact of rigid ideology and the latter an
objective, scientifically-inclined position.
At the outset of any investigation of a UFO incident, the skeptic can accept the case as possibly
legitimate or reject it as possibly a hoax or a misunderstanding or whatever, but the debunker has only
one fixed option; he/she knows that the incident, whatever it was, could NOT have involved a genuine
UFO. This rigid stance is akin to a kind of quasi-religious fundamentalism, and in my paper I intend to
examine the various tenets of such true-believer negativity.
The reason I'm writing this article at this point in my life has to do with both health and age. I am about
to celebrate (?!) my 80th birthday, and am currently suffering from two almost certainly fatal diseases,
so I've decided, while I still have the time and energy, to do a bit of deconstruction of the nature and
habits of the debunking mindset.
Also, along the way I hope that my piece will provide a little helpful information for those who, like me,
are involved in the serious investigation of the UFO abduction phenomenon. As an armature on which
to hang my comments, I have selected a debunking article which appeared recently, written,
surprisingly, by my EX-WIFE, CAROL RAINEY.
Though readers may find her authorship either irrelevant or curiously suggestive, the debunking piece
she produced admirably illustrates many of my points.
Within the wide-ranging areas of UFO research, various subjects lead to different types of study: for
example, the legitimacy of government cover-up issues might be resolved by a careful study of the
layout and style of purported secret documents, and, in testing the veracity of alleged UFO
photographs, many technical avenues of examination present themselves.
The physical records of UFO sightings, radar cases and so on also lend themselves to objective,
scientific study so we are not helpless in our quest to discover the truth about certain kinds of evidence.
But rather than these categories of UFO cases, Ms. Rainey has chosen UFO abduction reports to use
in challenging decades of work by many serious researchers, myself included, and it is here that she
finds herself with a few different, but quite legitimate, problems.
If scientific analysis can detect flaws in purported UFO photographs or government documents, thus
settling the issue, how do debunkers such as she dismiss various detailed reports of accounts that may
describe years-old incidents?
She finds herself with one basic avenue of attack: if it is either a single witness account or one with
supporting witnesses, a committed debunker will disparage the event as a hoax, which, we will see, is
her chosen method.
Thus she says that the "marshy ground [of abduction accounts] is afloat in hoaxes and partial hoaxes,"
thereby suggesting that thousands of those who, over the years have reported such experiences were
Let me say at the outset that, unlike the all too common hoaxing of UFO documents and photos,
abduction hoaxes, among the thousands of abduction reports I'm aware of, are extraordinarily rare,
and for a number of reasons.
FIRST, a hoaxing abductee must lie and perform convincingly, over and over again, to the
investigators, with no sense that any reward will necessarily accrue.
SECOND, there are often additional witnesses who buttress the account, partly because a large
percentage of UFO abductions originally involve more than a single individual.
THIRD, hoaxers must be very assured of the truthful details of their carefully memorized "hoaxed"
accounts, lest they be tripped up with the false leads which I often utilize in my interviews. As Mark
Twain once said, always telling the truth means never having to remember anything.
But there is a genuine problem area for abduction researchers. In my experience, investigators are
often contacted by people who show signs of mental illness but who may at the same time be telling the
truth about their purported abductions.
We refer such people to mental health professionals for treatment, and their (possible) abductions are
tabled. But it is this group -- those who are suffering from some form of psychological illness -- who
make the job of the investigator more difficult, rather than the mythical pile of numberless hoaxers that
Ms. RAINEY prefers to imagine.
One of the basic debunking ploys one encounters is the marshalling of mainstream scientific opinion
against UFO reports of every kind.
Example: a trained military pilot, or perhaps several pilots flying in formation, sight a UFO at close
range in bright daylight.
A DEBUNKER, determined to explain the sighting away, brings in a credentialed astronomer who
informs the public that distances are so great in outer space that 'you can't get here from there,' and
that therefore the pilots all must have made the same misidentification, of, perhaps, the planet Venus.
So, the debunker may assert, who are these eyewitness pilots anyway, when measured against a
mighty astronomer with a Ph.D. degree who never saw what the pilots saw and may never have felt the
need to interview them?
Similarly, in the debunking paper I've been describing, the writer employs the weight of mainstream,
conservative science against those reporting abduction experiences. To buttress her case she brings
in a man who holds a Ph.D. degree, one Tyler A. Kokjohn, to cast official doubt on those who report
UFO abductions. However I was astounded that in this context the name of John Mack is never
Obviously, Dr. Mack, who was a Pulitzer prize winner, an M.D., a Harvard psychiatrist, and the author of
two books on UFO abductions, 'outranks' Tyler A. Kokjohn, so Ms. Rainey perhaps felt it best to delete
Dr. Mack's name and credentials from her piece and hope that we've forgotten him.
Perhaps she has also forgotten a fact that I mentioned several times in her hearing, that I had worked
with six psychiatrists who had come to me about their own, personal UFO abduction experiences.
If, as I've suggested, Ms. Rainey chooses to believe that a multitude of those reporting abductions are
liars, what happens when a single abduction report has many independent witnesses, such as the
TRAVIS WALTON case (1975) and the LINDA CORTILE case (1989)?
Well, for these cases to be debunked, as she attempts clumsily to do in her piece, she says that Linda
Cortile, as in the multitude of single witness cases, has to be a hoaxer too, and though she takes a
pass on Travis Walton, her logic demands that both absolutely have to be labeled as hoaxes,
involving, say, five, 10, 20 or more participants or witnesses who must be conniving together and
whose stories have remained consistent over decades.
I worked from 1989 until the publication of my book "Witnessed" in 1996 -- seven long years -- on the
Linda Cortile case, during which I uncovered over a score of witnesses to one or another aspect of this
ONE key witness, driving across the Brooklyn Bridge at 3:00 am, was stunned to see the UFO, blazing
with light, above Linda's building, and, floating in midair, a white-clad female and three diminutive
figures rising up toward the craft.
She sent me a letter and several drawings to illustrate what she saw, and I ultimately spoke to her and
a relative on the phone and drove to her hometown in upstate New York. We met at a restaurant and I
tape-recorded a fascinating first-hand account of what she saw that night.
A SECOND eyewitness described the glowing UFO above Linda's building as she and a friend drove
down the nearby FDR drive. When we met she brought a swatch of scarlet, metallic Christmas
wrapping paper to illustrate the color of the glowing craft, a red tone which matched two sets of colored
drawings I had received from other witnesses. She also sketched the simple architectural details of the
structure concealing the water tank atop the building and very close to the hovering UFO.
A THIRD woman, a more indirect witness who lived in Linda's apartment complex, awoke and glanced
out her window because the normally shadowed courtyard was flooded with light from above. She was
able to date the incident perfectly because it was her husband's birthday, and she said she was almost
paralyzed when she looked at the lighted courtyard. I spent time in her apartment and was able to see
the view she had that frightening night.
I interviewed the three (3) people I've described above, face-to-face, as well as all of the other
witnesses to various later aspects of the case; the two security agents in the account are the only two
witnesses I've never met face to face, yet I have received from them many letters and I have, as well,
both their voices on audiotape. (Neither was willing to come forward, due to security issues involving
And in yet another important interview with one of the most central figures in the case I spoke at length
to the so-called Third Man, (Chapter 32 in Witnessed) in a VIP lounge at O'Hare airport.
I am discussing all of these face-to-face interviews because our writer, straining to turn this entire case
and all its witnesses into a collection of hoaxers, stated the following: that though Hopkins received
"letters, audiotapes, telephone calls, and drawings," he had "never come face-to-face with any of the
major players in the story" [my emphasis]. What are we to make of that statement? A slip of the pen? An
outright fabrication? (Fabrication is a nice way of saying 'lie.')
A need to hire a fact checker in her future musings? Clearly she wants to present me as an
incompetent investigator, so she makes no mention of my contacts with the NYPD, the U.S. Secret
Service, the State Department, the UN Police Force, the British and Russian delegations to the UN, and
so on. It's as if she never read Witnessed, a book which she claims to have edited!
In an interesting aside, two of the eyewitnesses reported independently that their first thought was that
they were seeing a special effects, sci-fi movie being filmed, an image which demonstrates just how
dramatic this very short-lived incident appeared to them.
Now, I am surely here not going to re-write my 400-page book, and I feel there is NO need to defend
the case any further. After so many years, neither it nor the TRAVIS WALTON case requires any more
support. And if the reader has any remaining doubts about the Linda Cortile case, please reread my
As a FINAL note, I should mention that one of the crucial witnesses in the case was Linda's son
Johnny, nine years old at the time of his involvement. His role is of extraordinary importance because
of an incident in which he dealt face to face with the Third Man. (If a reader wishes to learn -- or recall
-- the full text of the complicated story, please consult Chapters 25 and 26 in "Witnessed").
When Johnny told me over the phone what he had experienced, I went to the Cortile apartment that
afternoon to interview him in person, but first I made some preparations. Without telling either Linda or
Johnny I clipped the similarly posed photos of 19 businessmen out of old Business Sections of the
Times and added a related photo I had of the Third Man.
After I interviewed Johnny I told him that I had some pictures that I wanted him to look at to see which
ones, if any, resembled the man he'd dealt with. I used the term 'resembled' so Johnny would not
expect to see an actual photo of the subject. His father had a small video camera, and I asked him to
tape the inquiry.
Johnny entered into the photo game with smiling excitement, as if he were participating in a real-life
police drama. I instructed him to make two piles - one of pictures which did not resemble the Third Man,
and another of those which did, even if perhaps only a little.
I had put the Third Man's photo close to the end, and as I went through the 20, one by one, he had
found three or four which somewhat resembled the man he's conversed with. But when I got to the
actual picture, he said, "Wait a minute.now that looks more like him. Maybe that's him . yeah, maybe
The videotape of this identification shows that Johnny never once glanced inquiringly at his mother,
desperate for clues; he behaved exactly like a nine-year old involved excitingly in a real-life police
procedural. Everything that he said and did that day was, to me, limpidly honest and direct.
Obviously, either Johnny's behavior and testimony had been unerringly memorized and he had been
professionally coached by his mother, or he was simply telling the truth. Logic demands that if he'd
been forced into a more than twenty-person hoax, his mother would have thereby handed him an
enormous Damocles sword to hold over her head for the rest of her life.
For any reader with a 9-year-old, think about what that would mean: "Do what I want, Mommy, or I'll tell
Finally, remember that the little boy in the recent 'balloon hoax' accidentally spilled the beans the same
day as the incident.
Now to bring up another aspect of the debunking mindset, there is the "tail wagging the dog" device in
which any trivial piece of 'disconfirming evidence' is adduced to supposedly refute the mass of
supporting evidence. This device is used frequently, not because it is persuasive but in the hope that it
may plant a doubt in the reader's mind about the case.
EXAMPLE: One evening in 1973, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, two friends, Charlie Hickson and Calvin
Parker went fishing. A UFO landed near their pier, they were paralyzed and taken aboard. After they
had been returned and the UFO departed, the terrified men went to the police to report their
Put in the interrogation room, the officers left to 'get them some coffee,' after switching on a hidden
recorder. The police fully expected them to whisper about how their 'hoax' was working, but when they
later played the tape, one of the men was praying and both were lost in the terror of the moment.
The police officers, as well as Dr. J. Allen Hynek the next day, stated that the two had truly experienced
something traumatic; there was NO possibility that they had invented the story and were just
Other evidence in the case surfaced, including an eyewitness to the UFO as it sped away. I will not
dwell more on this incident, the 'dog,' in my homely metaphor, except to describe the 'tail' that a
debunker presented. Some distance away is a drawbridge which contained a small room where the
man in charge sits and listens for toots from boats wishing to have him open the bridge. (There are few
But because this man apparently didn't witness the abduction - Was he napping? Looking out the
wrong window in the wrong direction? Reading? Watching TV? Whatever he was doing, since he hadn't
seen the UFO, it proved to the debunker that the incident never happened. This flimsy little tail was
wagging a very substantial dog. And oh, yes, sometime later Hickson requested, and passed, a
Reading her piece I realize that Ms. Rainey is a master at introducing such scrawny, tail-wags-the-dog
details in her attack on Linda Cortile.
An example is this beauty: "I've never met anybody, for example, who could get an unexpected phone
call from an admirer and so effortlessly spin a spontaneously fabricated, intricate, family-related reason
for not meeting him for coffee, all the while winking broadly at me."
Really? Has our author never done the same, in the same situation? I certainly have, because an
invented family excuse often seems easier on the caller's ego than telling him the truth: I don't want to
see you, or I'm too busy to bother, or something similarly dismissive. Does an anecdote like this -- the
scrawniest of dog tails, deserve even to be recorded?
There are more such tail-wagging-the dog attempts in her piece, but in the face of the masses of
evidence supporting Linda's veracity, they do not warrant my spending any more time on them. (One
involves my original misunderstanding of an incident with Linda and her cousin Connie; if anyone is
interested, ask me about it.)
As I said at the outset, my health and advanced age have sapped my energy -- plus I'm a terrible typist
-- so I will soon have to shorten my rejoinders to this kind of hyperbolic -- and endless -- debunking.
But first I want to mention another aspect of the debunkers' game, and it has to do with boundaries, an
issue which causes them serious problems.
The truest among them do not believe that there are any unknown, solid, metallic objects maneuvering
in our skies, and that every single UFO sighting, photograph and radar return, no matter how many
people report it, can somehow be explained away.
This is, naturally, a very difficult position to maintain, but should a debunker then narrow his/her
boundaries and say that such mysterious foreign craft do, or might, exist, the question arises: if so, and
UFOs have been seen for decades, what are they doing here? For this, the debunker has no coherent
answer, but abduction researchers do.
And what if a DEBUNKER like Ms. RAINEY posits the theory that a huge number of abduction accounts
are lies and hoaxes, does she believe that there are some legitimate cases? Does she think that
genuine UFOs actually exist and are flying around?
If so she doesn't say, and her article goes begging. If she should later say that not all abduction
accounts are lies and hoaxes, which, then, are legitimate, which are not, and how can she tell the
difference? Boundaries, boundaries, problems, problems!
The case in which she seems to be most heavily invested involved a man named Jim Mortellaro, and it
was here that I made a major error: I went public with the case before I had thoroughly checked out all
of its many dangling appurtenances.
In my quasi-therapeutic role I automatically seek to protect the witness in order to gently learn the
details of his/her claimed experience, but at the same time it was becoming clear to me that
psychologically, Mortellaro was decidedly fragile. Yet since his case seemed to provide a wealth of
physical evidence, I continued with it longer than I should have.
After working for decades with hundreds of people reporting UFO experiences and trying my best to
help them, I guess I'm entitled to at least one unfortunate error of judgment.
One of the problems with the Mortellaro case is the fact that the man was personally rather odd which
cast him into an unusual category, a rarity among abductees I've worked with. Also, Ms. Rainey clearly
did not like him from the first moment, and since the poor, arrogant man seemed to have few friends or
supporters and a seriously ill wife at home -- or so he claimed -- I granted him more leeway than I
(I seem to instinctively gravitate to the underdog, a personal quirk I discuss at length in my memoir, Art,
Life and UFOs.)
Though my ex was never what one would call an independent investigator of UFO abduction cases,
she did function as a kind of kibitzer in the Mortellaro case, wandering into meetings of our IF advisory
committee, listening for a bit, expressing her anti-Mortellaro position, and then leaving. But essentially,
this case is the centerpiece of her article, occupying as it does about eight columns of print.
Here, again, the reader must be on the alert for her characteristic hyperbole and exaggerations of fact.
About the increasing dissension among us over Mortellaro's trustworthiness, she asserts that "three .
Committee members eventually resigned including two psychotherapists and an engineer." Pretty
damning stuff, except that it's NOT true.
One of the only two therapists in the group, Jed Turnbull, is still with us and the second had to drop out
months after the Mortellaro affair because he had married, moved far out on Long Island, become a
new father, and consequently found it difficult to come to Manhattan to our meetings and seminars. We
had no 'engineer' on the committee, though my friend Joe Orsini, a medical writer and researcher, did
resign, partly because of the Mortellaro question.
The irony of all of this is that Mortellaro's increasingly bizarre claims -- mostly about non-UFO issues --
were uncovered 'in-house,' and it was a final phone call I made to him and a trick question that ended
all doubt. So, instead of the case being undone by an intrepid outside debunker (or by Ms. Rainey), it
was ultimately broken by us, the IF advisory committee, and that was that. Why she now makes so
much of it is a mystery to me.
In retrospect, because of my early interviews with his parents in which they described Jim's childhood
behavior as similar to that which I'd often noticed in traumatized young abductees, and because of
certain things he later said in my interviews with him, I am still not sure if he is simply a fantasist, lying
and inventing because of some major psychological flaw, or if he is an abductee with unusual mental
problems. You pays your money and you takes your choice, though mental problems obtrude in either
Unfortunately, such psychological problems as his are not rare. All of us have probably at one time or
another known people who project a heightened, even perhaps grandiose and infallible, sense of
themselves, despite a real lifetime of quite middling accomplishments.
Such narcissists paper over their own failings with invented or padded C. V's (two Ph.D.s in Jim's case),
forged documents or the like, and present themselves as accomplished authorities in some often
arcane field of endeavor (his was electronics). When challenged they often react with anger and a
growing sense of paranoia; thus they invariably have few friends (Jim had almost none) and fraught
personal and family relationships.
They can also be extraordinarily vindictive. (In Mortellaro's case, I knew that he sometimes carried a
gun.) Such mentally skewed people are to be pitied, of course, and I, to my ultimate regret, pitied Jim
The Beanie Case: During a trip to Albuquerque in the early Nineties, I worked with a delightful woman,
"Brenda," who recalled a number of personal abduction experiences. Her husband, "Tom," a retired
New Mexico State Police officer, was completely supportive of his wife's explorations with me, and some
time after I returned to New York Brenda and her husband phoned me with an intriguing story.
At a local MUFON meeting they had been approached by a woman about their age (mid-to-late-60s?)
who wanted desperately to talk to someone about troubling memories of a UFO experience she'd had
some thirty years before. Beanie, so nicknamed because her last name was Bean, had seen a
notice in the paper about the MUFON meeting and attended, seeking help.
She told Brenda and Tom that she had been watching a TV program which included troubling images
from Somalia of starving children with wizened bodies and disproportionately large craniums. These
distorted bodies caused her to remember an incident she had long ago tried to put out of her mind.
At the time, around 1963, she was the medical technician in a tiny hospital in the town of Santa Rosa,
some distance down the highway from Albuquerque, and one of her jobs was to ride in the ambulance,
answering emergency calls and administering first aid. She explained that one day she had received a
call and her friend, the owner of the ambulance, a reconfigured station wagon picked her up.
The only information they had, she said, was the location and the report that there had been an
accident. When they arrived in the designated area, she saw two state police cars parked in one of the
barren fields, so they drove up to the site. Each police car was manned by a single state trooper, and
when Beanie and the ambulance driver got out, the two men showed them three little bodies laid out,
all three somewhat burned and all obviously dead.
She vividly recalls asking, "Where are their parents?" The older trooper, a friend of Beanie's,
explained, "I don't know what we have here, but I better call the Air Force."
Now for anyone reading this account of the case who finds himself/herself bored or confused, please
understand that the incident is unfamiliar to most everyone in the UFO field, having never been much
written about or publicly discussed.
The account my ex presents in her screed is extremely brief, concentrating as it does on any little
details that she felt might tend to make it seem false or outrageous, so I feel an obligation to at least
get the facts down clearly and accurately.
Beanie told Brenda and Tom what she later told me, that she saw some metallic wreckage wedged in a
hillock, and that the wrecked object was about the size of a Volkswagen beetle. She checked the
bodies for vital signs and then she and her driver put two of the obviously dead figures on the gurney
and took them to the ambulance; a folding stretcher was used for the third. At the hospital the bodies
were taken as usual through the rear emergency room door and into the X-ray room where she
X-rayed all of them.
"I could get all of one body from the neck to the pelvis on one palette, they were that small," she later
told me. The sole doctor in the town was summoned to examine them and sign the death certificates,
but apparently few if any others went into the room.
(It may be significant that the hospital was run by a religious order of nuns, a regime that ended a few
Beanie made some notes and hung her X-rays on their hangers to dry, but shortly thereafter a group
of military officers and men arrived and brusquely removed both the bodies and the X-rays. They
demanded all of Beanie's notes, ordered no one to ever speak about the incident, made a
few final threats -- "Remember, the army has a long arm" -- and left. "They even took my hangers for
the X-rays," she complained later.
After hearing many of these details from Brenda and Tom, I chatted with Beanie by phone and said
that I wanted to come to Santa Rosa and talk with her face-to-face. I queried her on many details, far
more than I've mentioned here. Meanwhile I spoke to Brenda's husband Tom, the retired state trooper,
and he told me that Beanie well remembered the older trooper who had been at the accident, and she
was insistent that they locate him.
"She was extremely anxious to find him, not knowing where he might reside or even if he was still alive,"
Tom said. "It seems like ever since she had allowed herself to remember the incident, she was
determined to find corroboration, and she'd known that trooper, Dutch, very well."
This detail was, of course, extremely important, because the last person a hoaxer wants to locate is a
"designated witness" who says, "I don't know what you're talking about. What incident?" Hoaxers of
anything, when the subject of possible witnesses arises, will say something like, "I don't remember him
exactly but I think he might have had . blonde hair. I don't remember his name."
Beanie's intense search for Dutch was a mark on the side of her honesty. Despite the strangeness of
what I was hearing, that detail alone left me eager to learn more.
In my many phone calls back and forth between Tom and Brenda and me, I learned that Tom, through
a state police old boys network, had located the town where Dutch had retired. Beanie, he said, was
ecstatic, but when she and Tom inquired further they discovered that the poor man had just had a
serious heart attack and was in the hospital. Beanie wanted to go to the city where he lay in the
hospital and talk to him there, but Tom demurred. The man was evidently very sick and in fact died a
few days later.
Beanie then wanted to attend the funeral to talk to his widow, and actually persuaded Brenda and Tom
to take her there, but according to Tom the widow was far from interested in talking to anyone about
such a subject at such an emotional moment.
Interestingly, Beanie did talk to Dutch's brother, himself a sheriff, who said that his brother had never
said anything to him about the incident, but he was NOT surprised; his brother was such an intense
patriot that if the army had sworn him to secrecy, he would never have said anything about it, even to
his own brother.
Meanwhile my friend Robert Bigelow agreed to pay my way to Santa Rosa, and that of astronomer
Walter Webb, to look further into the case, and I immediately took him up on the offer. I flew to
Albuquerque, met with Brenda and Tom, and began to spend time with Beanie. She was a short,
plump, feisty woman who, like me, had suffered from both polio and cancer, but she seemed to be
truthful and quite intelligent, speaking in a charming, homespun, country argot.
Later, when Webb arrived, we chatted about the case which seemed to him rather dubious; for many
researchers, UFO crash-retrievals were -- and still are -- a hard sell. I was also aware that he was not
informed about many aspects of the Beanie case of which I had become aware. Essentially Walt was
an astronomer, not someone with extensive experience in working face to face with people like Beanie
and I was right to be concerned.
In a rented car Walt, Beanie and I drove out to Santa Rosa and when we arrived at the house of the
widow of the ambulance driver, I asked Walt to wait in the car for a few minutes until I came out and
invited him in. I was afraid that two strangers 'from the East,' charging in together at an elderly woman's
house, bearing a tape recorder and microphone, might seem a bit off-putting.
I hoped that, along with Beanie, I could make some ingratiating small talk to put the widow at her ease,
thereby beginning our questioning as gently as possible. We were received politely by our hostess --
in years past she and Beanie had been friends -- and by several other family members, but it was clear
that a visitor like me, inquiring about this strange subject, would have a job putting everyone at ease.
After a few minutes of small talk, I decided to bring Walt into the conversation. I excused myself, saying
that a colleague was waiting in the car and, making up some excuse for his absence, went out and
brought him in.
He came in quickly, bearing his equipment, and immediately asked the widow for a table so that he
could put his instrument in the center of what he hastily improvised as a kind of circle so that he could
record everyone. Since I had not yet mentioned tape recording any of the family, or asked permission,
one can imagine the family's shocked response.
If Walter Webb had set off a small cherry bomb in the room he couldn't have caused more of a
disruption. Family members scurried around, moving furniture and glancing uncertainly at one other,
while I sat frozen with embarrassment.
On the drive home I never said anything to Walt about his gaffe, not wanting to hurt his feelings, but I
did tell Bob Bigelow about the problems his brusque and thoughtless behavior had caused. Needless to
say, very little emerged from this first abortive visit to the family home, but my next visit, months later, at
a calmer time and absent Mr. Webb, was extremely rewarding.
Because I was no longer a total stranger to the widow and her family I was received with warmth and a
sense of friendship, so I will, at this point, jump ahead to what I learned during this last trip to Santa
Rosa. I've made it clear that neither Beanie nor anyone else seemed to know, beyond, probably, 1963,
exactly when the central incident with the bodies and the military's arrival occurred.
However, the family ambulance service was then a kind of cottage industry and the driver 's wife, now
the elderly widow I was visiting, had managed all its business -- paperwork, trip tickets, billing and so
forth. It was on this visit to Santa Rosa that she explained to me they were never paid for the trip to pick
up the bodies, and what's more, she recalled that her trip book had a number of consecutive pages
missing around the same time.
And then came the shocker. She said that the next day the Air Force had gone to the ambulance and
removed everything from the rear area - the sheets, various pieces of portable equipment and so on.
"And we were never paid for any of it."
This was, of course, an absolutely crucial piece of information. There is no reason that any
'government body' should seize sheets and other objects without explanation from the back of
someone's privately owned ambulance -- unless it is a matter of so called "national security."
The combination of the missing pages from her ticket book, the stolen sheets and ambulance
equipment, and the widow's still obvious anger about it after thirty years, went a long, long way to
establishing the veracity of Beanie's account.
I should mention that Ms. Rainey was present during this visit, and she video-taped the widow's words,
but considering her recently expressed theory that the UFO phenomenon is "afloat" with hoaxes, she
must now believe that this elderly woman is also a hoaxer.
In her paper she dismisses the widow's testimony in this way: "When pressed, she seemed to vaguely
recall that the Air Force had indeed once stripped the ambulance clean and taken the billable trip
ticket, as Beanie claimed." Ms. Rainey is good with adverbs: note the word "vaguely."
But she also wields verbs as well: "when pressed" I assume that what she is trying to get across is the
idea that since she believes there was never an Air Force visit to the ambulance and no missing trip
ticket, (facts Beanie had only learned from the widow) she is claiming that Beanie somehow forced the
old lady to join her hoax by accepting her -- Beanie's -- lies and then passing them on to me.
Another important statement was made that day by the widow's son. Beanie had earlier thought that
the ambulance might have been driven by this young man that fateful day, but she later decided that it
had been his father.
During this second visit to Santa Rosa, the son, now thirty years older, and with his family present, told
me this: "I worked part-time in those days as a police dispatcher, so I was often around the police
station, and I remember there was some talk about alien bodies."
Score another one for Beanie -- unless, in Ms. Rainey's rather paranoid view, the son, too, was also
party to a gigantic, purposeless hoax.
The first time I visited Santa Rosa, Beanie and I made a long drive to another town some distance
away. She thought that a certain young trooper just may have been the officer in the second car that
day, and through Tom we learned his address. I suggested that we not call the man in advance, that
we just show up to take anyone there by surprise and thereby get a thoroughly unrehearsed account.
So we drove and drove, endlessly it seemed, and when we arrived, the ex-trooper's divorced wife was
home and told us that her husband had moved out years ago and she had lost contact with him,
though she recalled that he was possibly working for a security company in the far east somewhere.
That was that, and I only mention this abortive trip because my ex put it this way: "Neither she [Beanie]
or Budd had tracked down or spoken to any of the long list of witnesses." [Emphasis mine] I wish we
had had even a short list of witnesses from this thirty-year-old incident, but we didn't, so apparently the
helpful Ms. Rainey invented such a list for us, but then scorns us for not trying to find them.
She quotes from an early letter from Walt Webb in which he berates Beanie for reporting some details
about her initial experience which vary, one from one another. In isolation it doesn't bother me that a
woman of her age gets a few things mixed up about a frightening 30-year-old experience; hoaxers, in
fact, usually try to keep everything very straight, lest they trip themselves up.
Obviously, Beanie had no such fear. My ex also attacks Beanie for "embellishing" her account, an
activity which often accompanies a witness's recollection of a long-ago experience; he or she often
begins to wonder just how many odd incidents in one's past might be UFO connected. For a long time
a necessary aspect of my work involves trying to convince such witnesses that not every odd thing in
their past is UFO connected, and that common sense must be brought to bear to sort things out.
Also, the UFO community has accepted -- perhaps uncritically -- the complex, ongoing nature of one's
actual UFO experiences. One ostensible abductee has had three substantial books written about her
ongoing UFO experiences by a prominent researcher, and no one seems to have complained.
Beanie's similar adventures might fill a paragraph or two.
I must apologize for trying the readers patience by their having to read all of this, but Ms. Rainey's
rather vicious tactics require it. Because it comes down to this: to be taken in by someone like Jim
Mortellaro and to solve the case 'in-house' is unfortunate but it harms very few people, while, in effect,
to claim or imply that innocent people like Beanie and the elderly widow and her son, and Linda and
her little boy and the score of witnesses in the Cortile case are all hoaxers is to call all of them liars,
lowlife . virtual criminals.
Just think, if they are simply telling the truth and that some of them were genuinely traumatized by
actual events, they are being labeled as crooks and so on by my angry ex-wife. What a travesty of
justice that would be.
I can excuse readers who were temporarily taken in by her honest-seeming literary style, but I cannot
excuse her, herself. She KNOWS better, and if she has even the slightest doubt about her
accusations, then she owes the individuals an apology and a retraction.
A few added remarks: I am NOT addressing the so-called Dora case because I remember very little
about it except my view that her bizarre "Colin Powell and Ralph Nader" claims made me reject the case
at the time. No colleague I've talked to recalls my ever mentioning the case to them, either.
The problem may be that I often receive calls from people whose psychological problems are obvious,
and I may speak to them if only to offer some kind of friendship and support to obviously needy people.
I might have done so in her case.
Readers will note that David Jacobs and I, being two different people with different case portfolios, are
NOT both dealt with in my paper. We are not identical twins, as Ms. Rainey would like to imply. David, I
believe, is writing his own response to "Emma's" endless attacks, while I have produced this overlong
I had NOT intended to be so detailed and long-winded, but once I got started I realized how many of
Ms. Rainey's false and misleading statements had to be answered. And the Beanie case, not being
widely known, needed an extended discussion.
Now some brief comments about my investigative methods: For some 30 years I've been aware of the
problems inherent in researching such a bizarre subject, one that's compounded by the trauma and
fear experienced by many of our subjects.
Since the established psychological community does not take the subject of UFO abductions seriously,
those concerned that they may have had such experiences have few choices about where to go for
help. I've always been concerned that some of those who contact me have read books about
UFOs and abductions, and so are aware of my work in the field and the things I've learned over the
Obviously I'm NOT able to control how this factor might affect any future interviews, hypnosis sessions,
or any expectations the subjects may have as a result; I can only stay as neutral as possible and
inform the person that I will not be able to tell him whether his experience is "real" or not. My mantra is
to say, "I wasn't there when those things happened to you and I can't be in your head; therefore only
you can decide if it was all real or not."
To mitigate some of these problems, I've always asked those contacting me with suspected abductions
what they've already read, so I have a kind of baseline about their level of information. I also tell them to
immediately cease reading anything about the subject (although in many instances they have.)