Who’s That Floating Toward That UFO Up There?
Witnessed! The True Story of the Brooklyn Bridge UFO Abductions
Budd Hopkins is known worldwide not only for his fine work as a painter and sculptor, but also for his extraordinarily significant research with people who are trying to understand their experiences with extraterrestrial or interdimensional abductions and periods of unexplained missing time. For twenty years he has investigated over 500 abductions and close encounters with a range of people that covers the entire gambit of society. He’s worked with a NASA Research Scientist Ph.D. who’s an abductee, a full colonel in the Army, some very well known names in show business, eight psychiatrists, a surgeon and all kinds of professionals. He has investigated claims of abduction by people from all races and ethnic backgrounds, African Americans, Latinos, people in Brazil, Australia, and several other foreign countries, the old and young, rich and poor, straight and gay, white and black and everything you can possibly imagine. “There seems to be a great wide net that’s being cast here,” said Hopkins on The Zoh Show on October 11, 1996, “but the people, of course, who have these experiences have varying degrees of memory of them, everything ranging from remembering everything about an abduction, to remembering virtually nothing. And, of course, their methods of coping also vary enormously, I mean, some people have tremendous problems coping with these crazy experiences, as one might imagine.”

Since 1989 Budd Hopkins has been painstakingly collecting the research on a landmark abduction case, the subject of his 1996 Pocket Books publication, Witnessed! The True Story of the Brooklyn Bridge UFO Abductions. The case is extraordinary on many levels and “shatters all previous patterns of UFO encounters”, the most remarkable factor being the multiple eye witnesses who came forward saying they watched the abductee being floated out her twelfth story window and into the waiting UFO above.

“The Linda Case” has been discussed and written about many times in the past few years, but very rarely has the abductee, Linda Cortile (a pseudonym), agreed to be interviewed to describe her experiences first hand. Zoh was able to convince her to join Budd Hopkins on The Zoh Show on October 11, 1996, and interestingly Linda says we don’t really know if the creatures responsible for the abductions are extraterrestrial, that’s just an assumption we make, so she almost never uses the word “aliens” or ETs.

One of the first things Budd Hopkins does in assessing a claimed abduction case is to look for patterns that appear in other cases. “If this [phenomenon] were fantasy driven, it would be all over the map,” he said, “in other words, people would be imagining everything you can conceive of.... If it is a real phenomena, actually happening in real time in the real world, you are going to get very carefully repeated patterns, and that’s of course, what we do get.... The first thing we know is that when a person is abducted, it usually begins in childhood and they are abducted again and again as if they are a specimen under extended study, almost lifetime study by another species, another culture from somewhere else. It happens again and again, and very often a person’s children will be abducted as if there is a kind of a longitudinal study of a particular blood line. The focus of the UFO occupants’ interest in human beings to start with is physical, [it is] apparently in people’s genetic makeup, their DNA is really a central area of focus. What seems to be going on... is an attempt on the part of another non-human race to intermingle with us and to create a hybrid mix between themselves and ourselves.”

Of course Budd Hopkins has been saying this since the 1980s and much of how he reached his conclusions is described in his last book, Intruders: The Incredible Visitation at Copley Woods, (Random House, 1987), and similar results have since been replicated by investigators all around the world as abductees report these same sorts of experiences.

physical evidence of alterations that are beyond their control

Although most reported abductions take place in the middle of the night, they can also happen while people are driving their automobiles, in the front yard, walking down the street, from anywhere. From time to time the beings performing the abductions have made some curious “mistakes” in returning abductees, as Budd Hopkins relates. Apparently sometimes many people are taken “from separate buildings and separate homes into a ship, so there might be five or ten or twenty or a hundred people taken at once. They are, of course, undressed and put on examination tables while these various operations take place and then they are dressed again while they are still in kind of an altered state. I have had maybe seven or eight cases where people come back wearing someone else’s clothes, literally! In one case, a woman went to bed wearing her sweat suit which is what she wears, she doesn’t have a nightgown, and her little boy was wearing his little Barney the Dinosaur T-shirt that he loved and a pajama bottom. And in the morning with their partial memories of the experience, she was wearing some woman’s nightgown and her little boy had on some older boy’s pajamas that didn’t fit him, and he was very very sorry to miss his Barney T-shirt. In one totally bizarre case a woman in Ohio was wearing her new Victoria’s Secret nightgown and in the morning after an abduction experience, she was wearing a huge, baggy, green man’s T-shirt, which lead us, of course, to wonder what the man woke up wearing!”

patterns and physical Evidence

The physical patterns reported in most abduction cases include “a kind of biopsy takes place, a layer of cells is removed by apparently a little scoop-like instrument which leaves a recession, a scar which forms as a hollow on the person’s skin and it seems to heal very, very quickly, almost overnight. These marks are extremely similar from case to case. We also get a long straight line cut which is scalpel-like in its precision, we run into that again and again. There are many kinds of other signs that a person has had these experiences, the missing time issue being one, where a person, let’s say a family is on a half hour drive and they remember the car stopping, but they don’t remember why, and they don’t remember much about it and they get home two hours late and they feel very peculiar. They have partial memories and often, that night, dreams and flash-backs of being taken into a ship and so on. The real operative fact here is that there is a two-hour stretch of time that they simply cannot account for. Often when someone is abducted, someone else finds they are missing, and these abductions usually take about two hours, typically. In a case in the Bronx, two little girls were playing in the little girl’s play room and as far as they remembered, one afternoon, everything was very normal, although they felt kind of odd, they had unsettling, sort of half memories and when one of the little girls came out to go home, there were two police cars out front and all the neighbors and her mother was crying the other mother was crying. The little girls had been missing for two hours and this house had been scoured top-to-bottom, and the neighborhood and they were not there, although they had absolutely no memory of what happened during the hour or two when they were being searched for. So people are physically missing, these are physical experiences. They come back sometimes in the wrong bedroom or the wrong area or they have the wrong clothes on and they have physical marks. There’s all kinds of material supporting the physical reality of these experiences.”

Linda, in fact, began to accept the reality of her abduction experiences after learning that the mysterious scar inside her nose was typical of the encounters. She had actually picked up Budd Hopkins’ book, Intruders, “by accident” when she went to a book store in 1988 to buy Kitty Kelly’s bestseller, The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra. She also bought a copy of Intruders thinking it was a mystery because the cover design showed a dark forest. “I thought the lights I saw looking at the dust jacket was maybe somebody’s garage lights that were on because there might have been an intruder on their property, and so I purchased the book, brought it home, decided to read that one first because it was a smaller book, when I realized it was UFO related. Well, I wanted to get my money back because I have always been a skeptic, I’ve never really thought about things like this, but then I figured well, I paid for it, I might as well read it. I didn’t get past the first chapter when I read a passage about a woman named Kathy Davis who had a mysterious nose surgery, and with that I had to put the book away because 14 years before I bought the book, I found a lump on my nose and... I got scared. I thought it might have been a malignant tumor so I went to a doctor and he went on to tell me that it was built up cartilage from a scar I had way up inside my nose on the right side. He went on to ask me if I had surgery and if so, why? But I never had surgery outside of an impacted wisdom tooth and so I told him I’ve never had surgery before and I thought... maybe I scratched it with a fingernail, but he said no, that scar was made with a scalpel. So, I went home and every time I looked in the mirror, I remembered what that doctor had told me. You know, it didn’t weigh on my mind for all those years, but I thought about it from time to time because it was so strange.”

But despite the physical evidence left behind, which includes anomalous objects that have been surgically removed from inside abductees’ bodies (known as alien implants), most people won’t believe it ‘till they see it with their own eyes -- an experience over a dozen people had with Linda Cortile’s November 30, 1989 abduction. The witnesses involved in this story include international geopolitical figures, agents of the U.S. Government and average citizens who were all in the right places at the right time as a matter of “coincidence”.

In past cases it seemed one of the absolutely central, basic modes of operation of UFO occupants when performing abductions was secrecy. The abductions were never observed, although frequently a UFO near the area is reported by outside witnesses. On November 30, 1989, however, it seems the UFO occupants DESIGNED an abduction in order to have it seen by a maximum number of people, especially a prominent member of the United Nations. “This is the closest we have ever come to the White House lawn landing” that skeptics are always asking for, said Budd Hopkins. This even “has every earmark of being a deliberate display.” As background Hopkins reviews that in late 1989 the whole Soviet bloc was coming apart, Gorbachev was meeting with the Pope, the first meeting between a Russian leader and the Vatican since the Revolution in 1917, a summit meeting with President Bush in Malta was the next day, there were riots in Czechoslovakia, and apparently a major, secret meeting was taking place at the U.N. Hopkins’ research has verified that Lech Walensa (sp??) was definitely in New York that week, and may have been among a number of leaders who were heading down towards Governor’s Island after the U.N. meeting, where they were going to take helicopters out to another meeting. As they traveled down South Street along the East River in Manhattan, all of a sudden their engines died on these various cars. “There were anywhere from three to five automobiles in this procession of important political figures,” says Hopkins, “including some, I believe, high people in the State Department. Their engines died and they didn’t know what was going on and their security details were alarmed. And up on the Brooklyn Bridge car engines died, and on the FDR Drive itself and [when] everyone was sitting there wondering what is going on, this enormously bright object turned on all of its lights above an apartment building in full view of them. Within seconds, four figures flew out the window, twelve stories up, rolled up in a kind of fetal position and arranged themselves vertically. There was an alien up at the top, a small figure with a big head. In the center was a woman, Linda Cortile, in a long white night gown and below her, two other aliens. They were lifted up into the craft very, very quickly as if they were on some kind of invisible elevator, and the craft came zooming down towards one of the cars that was in this procession of political figures.” It’s possible at that point, that the UFO occupants then abducted one of these world leaders and his security guard, and they joined Linda in the craft. Although these men didn’t remember this consciously until later, “people on the Brooklyn Bridge and other places saw this happening. The woman on the Brooklyn Bridge who I dealt with at length is just a simple direct person of working class background and she said, “Budd, it was so real, what I was looking at, that I thought it must be fake, this can’t be real, things like this don’t happen”. So, she said maybe somebody is making a movie, as if this is somehow special effects, before her eyes.”

Witnessing a scene like this totally shreds the fabric of belief about what is possible and what isn’t possible in the world, and the woman on the bridge decided it was fictional. “In other words, what I’m looking at is real, but it can’t be real so therefore, it has to be something somebody is making up, creating before us like a movie set.”

How It Looked from Linda’s Side of the Window

On the night of the abduction in question, Linda had no idea she was being observed. To her it was just another in a long series of abductions. She remembers finishing the family laundry and going to bed where she was in the middle of saying the Lord’s Prayer, something she did mentally since childhood to protect her from bad dreams when, “I felt this numbness creep up from my toes up towards my legs,” a feeling she recognized as the onset of an abduction having worked with Budd Hopkins at that point for about seven months. In the past she had visited several doctors complaining about a poor blood circulation problem, only to be told she was perfectly healthy. She felt “a presence in the room after that and was afraid to open my eyes, I was afraid that I’d see something I didn’t want to see. I tried to wake my husband up but he wouldn’t wake up, then I figured after a while I’d better open my eyes if I want to protect my family and myself, so I did and I saw this thing just standing there at the foot of my bed.... He was short, possibly between 31/2 to 4 feet and he had this large head shaped like a large tear drop. His eyes were just huge, he had these huge black eyes that didn’t seem to have any color to them except for black and that’s not a color, but they were wet. I felt as though I could just drown in them and I didn’t know what to do. I just picked up a pillow and threw it and he fell back and the next thing I felt and remembered was the numbness throughout my whole body... and the next thing I remembered after that was falling [back] into my bed.... The first thing I did was jump out of bed -- remember I wasn’t asleep when this happened, they caught me right in the middle of saying the Lord’s Prayer -- so I jumped out of bed and I ran into my children’s room.” Things didn’t seem right in the bedroom of her two small boys, it was too quiet, says Linda, and she panicked. “I didn’t hear John breathing... I put my cheek close to his nose hoping that I’d feel breath and there was none... so I ran to the bathroom, got a small compact mirror, ran back, put it under his nose, but I couldn’t see the mist if there was any because I was crying a lot and it sort of distorted my vision.” She kept holding the mirror and wiping her eyes until she did see a mist over the mirror and relief washed over her, easing her fear that “they” had sought retribution on her family because she had thrown that pillow.

Abducted by Aliens and Humans Alike

That would have been the end of it for Linda if she had never learned there had been an audience on the street as she was transported out of her window that night. But eventually, two security agents at the behest of the important political figure they were guarding (he has refused to become public about this case and is known as “the third man”) decided to contact the woman who floated out the window to find out if she was all right. “After months and months of feeling guilty and confused about what happened,” said Hopkins, “they decided they couldn’t live with their guilt any more. They said here we are law enforcement people, we did nothing to protect her, we have to find out if she’s alive and well. They wrote me a letter, because “the third man” had done a little research and decided that I was probably the most visible person in the field and had a reputation for integrity and so forth. They wanted the story made public, they just didn’t want their names attached.”

From Linda’s point of view the abduction was routine as far as abductions go, filled with the normal amount of terror and physical examination that she remembered under hypnosis. Her case took on an extraordinary dimension, however, when the two security agents entered her life.

“One day Budd telephoned me,” Linda recounts, “and he told me that he received a letter from two men who said they were police officers and that they had witnessed an alien abduction on my street, and he thought it might have been ME.... I kind of felt, sure, anything is possible, but I’m not the only one here in New York City, and it couldn’t have been me. Budd just felt that he needed to tell me because these two men said they were going to look for her, and just in case it WAS me he wanted to alert me and prepare me for that. He didn’t tell me very much, he just gave me the barest details of what they wrote in their letter. About three weeks later I get a knock on the door and it was Richard and Dan... I can’t help but think what would have happened if I hadn’t known Budd Hopkins.... I would have thought that I had two big bruisers who were out of their minds in my home. When I looked through the peep hole and saw two plain clothes men, I thought they might have been two detectives, because the area I live in, at times there is crime, and when something like that happens in the middle of the night, they look up all the buildings where the crime was committed to see if there were any lights on so that you know then they may have witnesses to a crime, so that’s what I thought, I thought there might have been a crime and since I am always up late at night, someone might have seen my lights on and I just thought they were detectives.

“...Dan sat on the couch and he put his head in his hands, looked at Richard -- Richard was the nicer one -- and said, “That’s the one, that’s her.” He looked up at me as though he was holding me responsible for what had happened, I mean, that’s like saying a woman is responsible for her own rape. That’s what he said to me, he said “What did you do?” So I said I didn’t do anything. He said, “Well, you were outside your window, levitated up twelve stories, surely you must have done something.” Dan was convinced Linda worked for a secret government agency.

“...So I went on to tell him that I didn’t do a thing and it was “their” fault, and it was just a terrible thing. They looked out my window to see if they could see where they [had been] sitting in their car from my window, and then they left.... To tell you the truth, up until that time, with wishful thinking on my part, I thought it was a joke. I was hoping it was a joke until I looked through that peak hole [after they left] and they didn’t know I was watching them. I saw Dan grab Richard by the lapels and he kept pushing him up against the wall and saying “Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, Rich, Jesus Christ.” And I knew then that it was no joke. They were serious.”

And they weren’t finished with Linda, yet, either, by a long shot. A short time later, Linda continued, “I was on my way to the supermarket to buy some apples, it was early in the morning, about 7:30, I had just left my younger boy at that time to go to school, I waited for the school bus, and then I went to the supermarket. And on my way there I met Richard, and we had some general talk and then he asked me to go for a ride with him in the car which I wasn’t going to do. No way was I going to do that, although he was nice, he was still a stranger. And so I protested and very politely said I had a lot of things to do, errands to run and sorry, I can’t go for a ride with you in your car. I stepped off the curb to the street and I felt this hand on my upper arm and before I knew it he was dragging me towards the car with its back door open and he pulled me into the car. We spent three hours driving around. He was asking me questions. I did a whole lot of yelling and screaming because I felt that I was never going to see my family or friends again. I really thought that they might even chop me up into little pieces, and throw my remains into the East River. I just couldn’t understand why they were doing this. It started off so innocently and has become a living nightmare.”

Richard and Dan then began several months of harassment mixed with confusing amorous attention that is all detailed in Budd Hopkins’ book, Witnessed, which at times reads like a spy thriller. One of the most distressing developments for Linda was learning that she and Richard had known each other as children.

For veteran investigator Budd Hopkins there were two entirely new elements to the abduction phenomenon discovered through this case, which were totally unknown to him before. The first is obviously that the abduction was witnessed by several people, and the other is what he refers to in the book as “the Micky and Baby Ann phenomenon”. Not only do abductions seem to happen as a life-long series of events covering decades of someone’s life -- as if the aliens are interested in who you are, how you got that way and how you change -- but another pattern has also emerged. Sometimes a little boy and a little girl are abducted in childhood and are brought together and allowed to interrelate within an alien context, under alien observation, and then they are returned back to their normal environments. They are re-abducted and reunited again and again and actually grow up together. Many of them believe they have imaginary playmates, or their friend is just someone they dream about, but when these people run into each other in the real world, they suddenly recognize each other, though they don’t know how they know each other. Budd says he now has collected twelve or thirteen similar cases, and ironically attended a wedding last summer of a young man and a woman who, to put it crudely, he says, “met in a UFO.... The young man went into a lecture hall and sitting across the way was this woman and her girlfriend and she pointed to the man and turned to her girlfriend and said I know that guy, I use to date him, but she couldn’t remember how she knew him. And at some point, he looked at her across the room and came over and said he knew her and they started talking as if they were old friends, and they went through every place they had gone to school, jobs, everything. They could not find any way that they had actually met, yet they took up their relationship almost as if it had existed in the past and been dropped somehow.... At some point, they began to remember spontaneously about one particular meeting they had when they were teenagers and they were in this strange space and he remembered part of the conversation. They were talking about the musical groups he liked and at any rate, we had to look into this using hypnosis and keeping them absolutely separate from one another just so we had a way of checking the veracity of each other’s stories and they checked out absolutely and they remembered more and more.”

The same thing happened to Linda and Richard. As Richard explored more about the UFO abduction phenomenon and what he had witnessed happening to Linda, it persistently nagged him that he recognized her from somewhere. Finally he wrote to Budd Hopkins and said he remembered being with her when she was a little girl, and they would visit one another in this very bright, white place, not knowing where it was. They were the only two there except for a couple of adults who would bring her to him and then they would play and talk until the two tall adults would come and take her away. Apparently this went on for many years, but Linda didn’t remember any of it until she and Richard started to talk about childhood friends, or imaginary friends. “He asked me one day if I had ever had an imaginary friend and yes, I did, and he asked me what his name was and I really couldn’t remember.... So Budd regressed me under hypnosis and there it was. I called him Mickey, he called me Baby Ann and we grew up together with what we thought was in our dreams. But it turned out it wasn’t a dream at all, he had really known me and he remembered me from seeing me in the light of the UFO that night that I was abducted. Isn’t that bizarre?”

The most difficult thing for Linda is the idea that the aliens or whatever they are, are studying are our emotions. She said, “I think it is cruel and I think it is unfair to take two small children, have them grow up together and then separate you when you become adults. I am married now with two children and when Richard telephoned me last week, I thought I would die, because I have feelings for him, but there is nothing I can do about that.... For me, it is just a cruel thing. I know there are some people out there that may have had experiences and they find their experiences pleasant and enlightening, well I don’t, I just don’t because of what has happened to me.” Zoh asked if she had heard from Richard since Budd Hopkins’ book had come out, and in fact, he had called her just a week earlier. “It was the first time I had ever spoken to him on the phone. He would call and leave cryptic messages. This time I was home and I picked up the phone and there he was, and I just couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t heard from him in three years and he just called to find out how everything was. He said he purchased Budd’s book and that he liked it but he hadn’t finished it yet and I have mixed feelings about it. I feel for him, I really do.”

To her horror, Linda has discovered that one of her sons may also be undergoing the same kind of partnering through abduction experiences with a little girl he has called Melody. “It breaks my heart,” she says. “I wonder now about his future. Is he going to go through life feeling the way I feel now? Well, he’s a young boy. I found out about this or remembered this in my adulthood. What’s going to happen now to my John? Is he going to spend the rest of his life looking for her? Will she ever come to him and if she ever does, will it be too late to be married? Will they take her away from him? Will he ever find her, will they find each other? This is terrible and I just feel as an American citizen and a human being, to warn people is my duty.”

Linda is definitely not one of the growing number of abductees who believe they were chosen or agreed to the experiences or that she has some kind of mission. She believes the experiencers are chosen randomly because “they” want to know more about us. But then she wonders, “but they’ve been doing this for so many years, you know, haven’t they learned what they are looking for? I really don’t understand it.... I have to consider myself very lucky, because not everyone has a Budd Hopkins to go to. I am lucky because Budd lives about four or five miles away from me, and I bought his book by accident.”

Budd Hopkins believes their mission involves genetic breeding for a new hybrid race, but notes that “they seem to be equally interested in studying human emotions, the range of how we treat one another, how we fall in love, how we form relationships and especially, how we treat our children. These things seem to be emotional territories that are outside their normal range, and they seem to be extremely interested. I am very pleased about that part of it, because rather than hearing reports again and again... which we don’t, [that are] malevolent in the sense of movies like Independence Day, that they are simply here to blow us up, they seem to be here to study us and to get to BE like us in a strange way, almost as if they have evolved to some kind of dead end and they need to revivify their own species, both physically and emotionally.”

Beware of any messages, however, Hopkins warns, because “deception is part of the basic alien operating method in this world, leaving screen memories that are deceptive so we mis-remember what we have seen and blocking out memories and so forth, there is a lot of deception. I would say that there are two groups in the world never to believe automatically, one is the aliens themselves and the other is the United States government, because the government lies and the aliens lie.

Hopkins also wonders about the implications that “they” apparently chose that point in 1989 to make themselves known in a public way to many important world leaders. He says this apparent attempt to contact leaders of this world to at least demonstrate what they can do “has never happened before, and I think that’s astonishing. It also adds greatly to the weight of evidence supporting the fact that these are real events.”

For more information write The Intruders Foundation at P.O. Box 30233, New York, NY 10011. Budd Hopkins is the founder and Executive Director of IF, the Intruders Foundation, an organization devoted to research and public education concerning UFO abductions phenomena.