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Thomas Eddie Bullard (born 1949) is an American folklorist best known for his research into UFOs and the abduction phenomenon. His articles have been published in the Journal of American Folklore and the Journal of UFO Studies, among other journals.


Interested in UFOs since childhood, Bullard read books and magazines by the likes of Ray Palmer, Major Donald E. Keyhoe, and many NICAP publications.

He studied at the University of North Carolinamarker, and earned his Ph.D. at Indiana University in 1982. His doctoral thesis was titled "Mysteries in the Eye of the Beholder: UFOs and Their Correlates as a Folkloric Theme Past and Present".

In the 1980s, Bullard began a large-scale comparative analysis of about 300 alleged cases of alien abduction, some of them dating to the mid-1950s. His study was published in 1987 as "UFO Abductions: The Measure of a Mystery. Volume 1: Comparative Study of Abduction Reports." It was perhaps the first time an academic had examined the phenomena, and it remains a landmark effort. Though he disagrees with some of Bullard's conclusions in the study, Martin Kottmeyer nonetheless calls it "massively impressive." Dr. Michael D. Swords lists this and other of Bullard's research as some of the very rare "serious, objctive and scholarly" work in ufology.

When asked in a 2001 interview to explain his conclusions regarding alien abduction, Bullard said:
I’ll have to hedge a bit on that. I found a degree of consistency that I could not explain in any of the psychological or folkloric terms such as urban legends. None of the conventional explanations that came readily to mind would account for this. So either there is literal truth to the accounts or it’s a very interesting socio-psychological problem of a sort that take us into uncharted territory. I can’t go one way or the other.(see "external links" below for full interview)


  1. [1]
  2. The CUFON Interview of Michael D. Swords, Ph.D (September 1995)

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