The Alienist

Artist Brings UFO Abduction Home To New York

The case gets weirder. The woman who saw the abduction from her car on the Brooklyn Bridge spoke to Hopkins, but now refuses to be interviewed. The two other witnesses were unidentified "agents" whom Hopkins never met and who continually harassed Cortile to explain what had happened. One even claimed to have been abducted repeatedly with Cortile (and to have fathered one of her kids). If that weren't enough to undermine credibility, Cortile herself must have floated through grilles on her window to even make it into the open air. "You can't really believe them," says Greg Sandow, a New York journalist and moderator at the conference. "On the other hand, the more I looked into it, it's a hoax of unimaginable complexity because of the number of people that had to be involved."

Hoax or not, Hopkins is doing a kind of social work right in the gap. He brought Cortile to a free monthly support group for abductees he runs out of his art studio, and she's been attending ever since. "I didn't know what to expect, but they were people just like me," she says. "I made friends and they pulled me through." Unfortunately, there's no cure for the stories they're now living with. "I wish I was crazy," Cortile says, exasperated. "There's a treatment for that."

The 1999 UFO Abduction Conference will be held at the O. Henry Learning Center on West 17th Street, Saturday, April 10. Call 645-5278 for full information.

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