Double-dose of sad news today - the passing of not one, but two well-known identities in the 'alien' research field. Firstly, well-known 'alien abduction' researcher Budd Hopkins has passed away, aged 80:
I’m very sad to announce that Budd Hopkins died today, August 21, at 1:35 pm. Budd had been under hospice care for about three weeks, at his home in New York. The combination of liver cancer and pneumonia led to his death. His daughter Grace Hopkins-Lisle and I were with him almost continuously during these past weeks. He was not in any pain throughout any of the process, and he received the best possible care and loving support from those closest to him. Today he gradually slipped away, and simply quietly stopped breathing. He died peacefully and without any struggle, with Grace, Grace’s husband Andrew, and me by his side.
Thanks to all of you for being such strong supporters of this extraordinary man, who has contributed so much to our lives, in so many different ways.
Along with the late John Mack, Budd Hopkins was among the best-known researchers in the 'abduction' field, having been one of the pioneers in the research of these strange experiences, beginning back in the 1970s. In the past year his methods and theories had come under heavy attack from his ex-wife Carol Rainey, though friends were quick to come to his defence: Fortean author and researcher Jerry Clark described Hopkins as "a kind and compassionate man", who was one of the first to be "moved by the suffering of abductees, shunned and ridiculed by others to whom they recounted their experiences... Just by listening to them and respecting their testimony, Budd did them a service." For a sense of who the man was, and where his research was leading him, have a listen to this Binnall of America podcast interview with him from 2009.
The other bad news filtering out over the weekend was that British UFO researcher, writer and publisher Stuart Miller had died in a motorcycle accident. Stuart did a great job covering all angles of ufology in his online magazine UFO Review, and later in his (sadly short-lived) print publication Alien Worlds. Nick Redfern has posted his thoughts on Stuart's passing, and Paul Kimball has a nice write-up of his personal experience with Stuart over at his blog, describing him as "one of the truly good guys in ufology...a genuinely good man, full of joie de vivre, wit, humour, and a true spirit of adventure and humanity. He will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know him."
Stuart's passing is a real tragedy, and our thoughts go out to his family at this difficult time.