Despite the numerous problems outlined above, we believed it worthwhile to gain additional information because so many people had contacted us with questions. On September 19, 1992, Stefula, Butler, and Hansen traveled to New York City in order to visit the site of the alleged abduction. We found that Linda's apartment complex has a large courtyard with guard house manned 24 hours a day. We talked with the security guard and his supervisor and asked if they had ever heard about a UFO encounter near the complex. They reported hearing nothing about one. We also asked if the police routinely enter the complex and undertake door-to-door canvassing in order to find witnesses to crimes. They said that this was a very rare practice. We obtained the name and phone number of the apartment manager and called him a few days later. He reported knowing nothing about the UFO sighting, nor had he heard anything about it from any of the approximately 1600 residents in the complex.
We also visited the site under the FDR drive where Richard and Dan purportedly parked their car. This was in a direct line of sight and nearly across the street from the loading dock of the New York Post. We spoke with an employee of the Post, who told us that the dock was in use through most of the night. A few days later, we called the New York Post and spoke to the person who was the loading dock manager in 1989. He told us that the dock is in use until 5:00 a.m. and that there are many trucks that come and go frequently during the early morning hours. The manager knew nothing of the UFO which supposedly appeared only a couple blocks away.
Also in September, a colleague of ours contacted the Downtown Heliport, on Pier Six on the East River of Manhattan. That is the only heliport on the east side of Manhattan between Linda's apartment and the lower tip of the island. Our colleague was informed that the normal hours of operation of the heliport are from 7:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m. The Senior Airport Operations Agent researched the records and found that there were no helicopter movements on November 30, 1989 before normal hours. Our colleague was also told that about six months previously, the heliport authorities had been approached by a man in his fifties with white hair who had made a similar inquiry. That man had asked about a UFO that had crashed into the East River.
The Meeting of October 3
On October 3, 1992, we met with Hopkins and his colleagues at his residence in Manhattan. Among those in attendance were David Jacobs, Walter H. Andrus, and Jerome Clark. During our meeting a number of questions were raised, and some of Hopkins' answers revealed a great deal about his investigations as well as the attitudes of Jacobs, Andrus, and Clark. Linda's statements also told us much.
We inquired if Hopkins had asked the guards of the apartment complex whether they had seen the UFO. He indicated that he had not done so. This is quite surprising, considering that the UFO was so bright that the woman on the bridge had to shield her eyes from it even though she was more than a quarter mile distant. One would have thought that Hopkins would have made inquiries of the guards considering the spectacular nature of the event.
We noted that Linda had claimed that police canvassing of her apartment complex was a common occurrence. We asked Hopkins if he had attempted to verify this with the guards or the building manager. He indicated that he did not feel it necessary. Although this is a minor point, it is one of the few directly checkable statements made by Linda, but Hopkins did not attempt to confirm it.
We asked about the weather on the night of the abduction. Amazingly, Hopkins told us that he didn't know the weather conditions for that period. This was perhaps one of the most revealing moments, and it gives great insight into Hopkins' capabilities as an investigator. If the weather had been foggy, rainy, or snowing, the visibility could have been greatly hampered, and the reliability of the testimony of the witnesses would need to be evaluated accordingly. Even the very first form in the MUFON Field Investigator's Manual requests information on weather conditions (Fowler, 1983, p. 30). We ourselves did check the weather and knew the conditions did not impede visibility. But the fact that Hopkins apparently had not bothered to obtain even this most basic investigatory information was illuminating. He claims to have much supporting evidence that he has not revealed to outsiders; however, because of Hopkins' demonstrated failure to check even the most rudimentary facts, we place absolutely no credence in his undisclosed "evidence."
During the discussions, Hopkins' partisans made allusions to other world figures involved in this event, though they did not give names. Hopkins' supporters, who had been given information denied to us, seemed to believe that there was a large motorcade that carried Perez de Cuellar and these other dignitaries in the early morning hours of November 30, 1989. At the meeting, we presented an outside expert consultant who for many years had served in dignitary protective services. He described the extensive preplanning required for moving officials and the massive coordination during the movements. Many people and networks would be alerted if there were any problems at all (such as a car stalling, or a delay in passing checkpoints). His detailed presentation seemed to take Hopkins aback. The consultant listed several specialized terms used by the dignitary protective services and suggested that Hopkins ask Richard and Dan the meaning of those terms as a test of their knowledge, and thus credibility. As far as we know, Hopkins has failed to contact Richard and Dan about that matter.
During the beginning part of the October 3 meeting, Linda's husband answered a few questions (in a very quiet voice). He seemed to have difficulty with some of them, and Linda spoke up to "correct" his memory. He left the meeting very early, even though Linda was under considerable stress, and despite the fact that she was overheard asking him to stay by her side. His leaving raised many questions in our minds.
Linda also responded to questions during the meeting. Early in the discussion, Hansen asked Linda's husband whether he was born and raised in the U.S. He replied that he had come to this country when he was 17. Linda promptly interjected that she knew why Hansen had asked that question. During a prior telephone conversation between Linda and Hansen, Linda had asserted that her husband was born and raised in New York. She acknowledged that she had previously deliberately misled Hansen.
Later in the meeting the question arose about a financial agreement between Linda and Hopkins. Stefula noted that Linda had told him that she and Hopkins had an agreement to split profits from a book. Hopkins denied that there was any such arrangement, and Linda then claimed that she had deliberately planted disinformation.
During the meeting, reports were heard from two psychologists. They concluded that Linda's intelligence was in the "average" range. One suggested that Linda would need the mind of a Bobby Fischer to plan and execute any hoax that could explain this case and that she was not capable of orchestrating such a massive, complex operation. Although these were supposedly professional opinions, we were not given the names of these psychologists.
Ms. Penelope Franklin also attended the meeting. She is a close colleague of Hopkins and the editor of IF--The Bulletin of the Intruders Foundation. Hopkins had previously informed us in writing that Ms. Franklin was a coinvestigator on the Napolitano case. In a conversation during a break in the meeting, Franklin asserted to Hansen that Linda was absolutely justified in lying about the case. This remarkable statement was also witnessed by Vincent Creevy, who happened to be standing between Franklin and Hansen.
Franklin's statement raises very troubling questions, especially given her prominence within Hopkins' circle of colleagues. Her statement appears to violate all norms of scientific integrity. We can only wonder whether Linda has been counseled to lie by Hopkins or his colleagues. Have other abductees been given similar advice? What kind of a social and ethical environment are Hopkins and Franklin creating for abductees? We also cannot help but wonder whether Hopkins and Franklin believe it appropriate for themselves to lie about the case. They owe the UFO research community an explanation for Franklin's statement. If such is not forthcoming, we simply cannot accept them as credible investigators.
End of part 7
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