* Prices may differ from that shown
Witnessed: True Story of the Brooklyn Bridge Abduction was written by Budd Hopkins and published in 1996. The book revolves around what is supposed to be one of the most extraordinary UFO cases ever recorded. In 1989 ordinary housewife Linda Cortile was transported by a blue beam of light from her 12th floor apartment by three grey aliens to a waiting UFO which then shot off over the Brooklyn Bridge. You know how it is. You've got the Bolognese gently bubbling away on a simmer, the spaghetti is about to go into the pan, and a big beam of levitating light enters the kitchen and ruins dinner. The event was apparently witnessed by a senior UN diplomat and several other people and made headlines around the world. Never heard of it over here so Blighty must have been unruffled. It obviously takes more than a housewife being kidnapped by aliens to get us excited or worried! Anyway, in the book, Hopkins (a long time UFO investigator, so alarm bells are already ringing slightly for the reader) says he didn't regard the case to be anything special when he first looked into it (for he had heard dozens of these stories over the years) but that all changed when witnesses started to come forward and corroborate Cortile's account of her experience.
Cortile herself discovered some sort of strange metal implant in her nose and an eyewitness provided sketches that tallied with the abducted Cortile's descriptions of what happened to her and detailed evidence she provided under hypnosis. The plot thickened when two policemen got in touch with the author and said they had witnessed this brazen extraterrestrial New York housewife flying saucer nabbing. They were rather secretive and shadowy though and refused to meet Hopkins. It was later discovered they were CIA men...
On balance, I don't believe that aliens from distant galaxies are surreptitiously visiting Earth and sneaking off with housewives or loggers driving home in a deserted forest at night. No, honestly. I quite like reading about this stuff though but despite dipping into many mysteries volumes I can't say I'd ever heard of this case. The book seems to suggest it is incredibly famous around the world but I don't think Jeremy Paxman was ever required to do an item on this after a piece on the rate of inflation. The fact that witnesses came forward after the incident and supplied spooky drawings and recollections of what they had seen is interesting but doesn't really excite you that much. You'd think that a woman being levitated into a flying saucer by aliens in the middle of New York would have drawn more than a handful of witnesses! If that had really happened these diminutive interstellar rascals would hardly be keeping a low profile. While UFO sightings are fun, alien abductions are something you have to get a much bigger lorry in for to carry all that salt you are going to take it with. For this book you need one of those gritting lorries that fleetingly appear when it snows heavily.
The big twist in the story is that the two policemen who got in touch and said they were witnesses but turned out to be from the CIA. Although there numerous conspiracies that can be drawn this is a problem for the case under discussion. Two policemen would be fantastic witnesses because why would they make up something like that? Two CIA men though are more problematic. It's impossible not to think about the possibility of some sort of disinformation campaign being undertaken, one that took advantage of the story spun to Hopkins about the abduction in the first place. The US government is believed by many to have used the UFO phenomenon as a smokescreen to mask secret weapons programmes and its own monitoring of radiation in the nuclear test sites of the American desert by pilfering cattle. Given that it's an open secret that the CIA and MI6 have 'spun' against people in the United Nations they don't want to see gain too much power and influence, is it not possible here that a furtive campaign against the 'senior UN diplomat' who allegedly witnessed Cortile being whisked away was in progress? What better way to discredit a diplomat than to say that he once claimed to have seen a New York housewife suspended on a beam of light and being taken away by aliens. You wouldn't want that character voting on too many important resolutions!
Hopkins takes the alien abduction racket very seriously in the book. To be fair, it is his job I suppose! These crafty alien visitors are certainly up to no good according to the author and we should all watch the skies. 'Everything I have learned in twenty years of research into the UFO abduction phenomenon leads me to conclude that the aliens' central purpose is not to teach us about taking better care of the environment,' says Hopkins. 'Instead, all of the evidence points to their being here to carry out a complex breeding experiment in which they seem to be working to create a hybrid species, a mix of human and alien characteristics.' There are accounts of Linda Cortile's experience inside the spaceship and also the strange metallic object that was discovered in her nose. This, says the book, could only have been put there by surgery but Cortile had no history of any medical attention to her hooter. The book is generally good fun and some of this stuff is enjoyable eerie but it doesn't ever threaten to live up to the claims and blurbs that come with the book about weaving a giant web of connected evidence that is so comprehensive it can't be ignored by anyone.
Witnessed: True Story of the Brooklyn Bridge Abduction is not a bad read even if you don't really believe that Linda Cortile was diverted from her Crispy Pancakes into a waiting UFO. I prefer the compilation of mysteries structure myself rather than getting bogged down too much in one specific case but if you are interested in UFOs and alien abductions you'll probably enjoy this book. Now, if you'll please excuse me, a strange blue light has just appeared in the garden and I have to go and investigate.
In New York City, on 30 November 1989, at approximately 3:00 am, Linda Cortile, a married mother of two, was seen emerging from an apartment building window 12 storeys above the ground accompanied by three small alien figures. Suspended within a blue beam of light, Linda and her captors were lifted into a large reddish-orange glowing UFO, which then moved off in the direction of the Brooklyn Bridge. Several witnesses, including a world political leader, saw - and later independently corroborated - this event.