19 September 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of the famous Betty and Barney Hill UFO encounter – an event that, arguably, ushered in the phenomenon that has become known as “Alien Abduction.” But, almost half a century after the Hill’s firmly added a new category to UFO research, what do we truly know about the real nature of abductions? Let’s take a look.

While abduction cases continued to surface now and again in the 1960s, and more so in the 1970s, it was without doubt the 1981 publication of Budd Hopkins’ book “Missing Time” that really thrust the phenomenon into the public-arena, big-time. Then, with the 1987 appearance of Hopkins’ Intruders, the phenomenon gained further publicity.

By now, there was a growing, widespread belief within the UFOlogical research arena that extraterrestrials from some far-away world were engaged in a secret program to kidnap, experiment on, and exploit the Human Race – possibly for reasons relative to genetic manipulation, and the creation of hybrid entities of a definitively half-human/half-alien nature. And, even though this particular theory continues to be championed beyond all others when it comes to abductions, it is far from being alone.