The famous story of the abduction of Betty and Barney Hill

The famous story of the abduction of Betty and Barney Hill

On September 19, 1961, an event occurred on a country road in the state of New Hampshire (USA), which rewrote everything that experts knew about UFOs. Up to that moment, there were only a few messages of a similar nature. In addition, it was the first well-publicized report on alien abductions that featured detailed information. What happened that evening near Lancaster made international headlines and made celebrities of Betty and Barney Hill, direct participants in the event.

Betty and Barney Hill became famous after they reported a close encounter with an alien spacecraft in 1961

Betty and Barney were a married couple who lived in Portsmouth (New Hampshire, USA) with their beloved dog Delsie. Betty worked in the Social Security Department, and Barney worked at the post office. They were respected members of the community who belonged to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Unitarian Church. The governor even offered Barney a job on the civil rights committee.

The story of the abduction of Betty and Barney Hill

After a short rest near Niagara Falls, Betty and Barney Hill were returning home along Highway 3 through the White Mountains. Betty was sitting in the passenger seat, looking out the window. Suddenly, she noticed a bright light, which at first seemed to her like a star. It was as if he was chasing them, moving erratically. At first, Barney thought it was an ordinary plane. Betty asked him to stop the car to get a better look at the object, as well as to rest a little.

What happened next is considered the first well-documented, almost legal UFO abduction in history. The couple claimed that they saw two-legged human-like creatures in the windows of a large spaceship that landed in a field. They didn't remember what happened next.

Close contact

Barney stopped the car and took out his binoculars. Betty looked first. She realized that it was not a star when she saw a rotating ship of "strange shape" and flashing colored lights. She handed the binoculars to Barney. Initially, he thought it was a plane, but it was descending too quickly and moving in their direction... The couple rushed to the car and began to move towards Franconia Notch. The ship got closer and closer until it was right in front of the car, forcing Barney to stop.

Barney didn't know what was in front of them. This huge thing was hovering about thirty meters above them. He grabbed a pistol and binoculars and went out to investigate. He noticed windows in the pancake-shaped object. As Barney moved toward him, he saw something that made him turn back to the car. Inside the UFO was 11 aliens that did not look like people. They were looking at him through the windows.

Inside the UFO was 11 aliens

Barney jumped into the car in a frightened state and started driving as fast as he could, but suddenly he and Betty felt a tingling sensation all over their bodies. After that, they didn't remember anything. When they came to their senses, they felt the tingling sensation again. Their car somehow drove more than 50 kilometers along the road, but they did not remember anything about the journey they had made.

The route that Betty and Barney Hill were traveling when they encountered a UFO

The route that Betty and Barney Hill were traveling when they encountered a UFO

Vague uneasiness at home

When Barney and Betty returned home at dawn, they both felt very strange. They knew that they had encountered something strange, but they could not remember what happened after they felt a tingling sensation all over their body.

Betty's dress, which she was wearing on the night of the abduction

Betty's dress, which she was wearing on the night of the abduction

Betty and Barney discovered several oddities after that night: her dress was torn and stained, his shoe was scratched and his binocular belt was damaged. But none of them remembered what had happened. Betty and Barney had a wristwatch, but after the events of last night, it stopped working. A car also attracted their attention. Shiny circles were found on the back of it. When a compass was brought to them, it showed that they were magnetized.

Has the Air Force also seen a UFO?

Betty told her sister about what had happened, who urged her to contact the local Air Force base to report the incident. Barney was worried about being called crazy but allowed his wife to contact Pease AFB on September 21. This was their first report.

Five days later, Major Paul Henderson came to Hill's house and conducted an official interrogation. A report prepared by the National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) concluded that the information available to the Air Force about the events of that night is insufficient.

In fact, one of the missing aspects of this case was that around the time Betty and Barney Hill announced that they had encountered a UFO in the White Mountains, the Air Force Base in Portsmouth confirmed that the radar had detected an unidentified flying object in the mountains. Skeptics say that the Air Force came to the conclusion that the UFO was just a weather balloon.

Betty in search of answers

Ten days after the incident, Betty began to have vivid dreams about a strange event. For five days in a row, she dreamed of little men in uniform who subjected her and her husband to various procedures. Betty decided to write down her dreams in a diary.

Betty went to the library and found a book about the UFO phenomenon written by former Marine Major Donald Keyhoe, the leader of the NICAP. She decided to contact him, and about a month after the incident, an investigation began. Betty and Barney were interviewed in detail by NICAP officials. They said that they saw the same thing – a huge disk. The creatures that Barney saw in the windows did not look like people.

Overcoming difficulties and moving forward

The couple tried to forget what had happened, but could not. Over time, Barney became more and more tense and anxious. Outsiders assumed that this was due to their interracial marriage – a rare phenomenon at that time. Some criticized the couple solely because of their union. The couple had a lot of difficulties; in the end, things got so bad that Barney was forced to take a vacation to try to recover.

Betty wasn't doing much better. However, she decided to find out as much as possible about their alleged encounter with a UFO. Meanwhile, Barney started seeing a therapist. They suffered for two years from the fact that they could not remember exactly what happened on that fateful night.

One day, Betty and Barney Hill came to church to listen to a pastor named Ben Swett recite his poems. Barney knew that Ben was conducting hypnosis sessions, and began to ask him about it. At the end of the conversation, Betty and her husband asked Swett if hypnotherapy could help them regain their lost memories. They also asked him for help, but he refused them because he considered himself insufficiently qualified. Instead, he advised contacting a psychotherapist with this question. The couple listened to him and found Dr. Simon.

Hypnosis sessions with Dr. Simon

Dr. Benjamin Simon began working with the couple in 1964. For six months, he used hypnotic regression. During the first sessions, he caused each partner to have amnesia in order to reduce the likelihood of potential collusion between them.

During his sessions, Barney remembered a lot of new things, for example, a meeting with a red-haired Irishman. There were also creatures that didn't look like humans. They were all wearing the same uniform with silver edging. Each of them wore a pointed headdress. Moreover, Barney reported that the crew of the ship spoke in a language that he did not understand. However, they did not talk with their mouths, but "mentally".

Sketches of aliens drawn in accordance with the memories of Betty and Barney Hill

Sketches of aliens drawn in accordance with the memories of Betty and Barney Hill

Betty told about similar events during her hypnotic sessions, which were held in the absence of her husband. Both Betty and Barney reported that they were subjected to a medical examination, during which the creatures took various samples from them, including blood, hair, and bodily fluids. Betty also stated that skin samples were taken from her. Much of what Betty mentioned during her sessions was written in her diary.

The Zeta Reticuli 

Something happened on board the ship that only Betty noticed. She said that the aliens showed her a map of where they came from; she drew it during one of the sessions. According to some people, it could indicate the location of the"homeworld". In addition, Betty stated that the creatures showed her the "trade routes" that they often used.

Around 1970, a teacher from Ohio State discovered a match between a map drawn by Betty and the Zeta Grid star system. Some of the stars in it were not cataloged before the incident with Betty and Barney Hill. Some people see this as proof that their experience was genuine.

Carl Sagan, however, presented another point of view during his show "Cosmos".

There is a similarity between the two maps, but this is only because the lines corresponding to the navigation route were copied from the Hill map to the real star map. If we replace the Hill lines with some other ones, we will find that there is nothing in common between the two maps at all

He stated:

Betty Hill claimed that the aliens showed her a map of the place where they came from (left). The Zeta Reticuli star system, pictured years later (right)

The Zeta Reticuli

Different points of view

As soon as Dr. Simon completed the hypnotic sessions, he provided the recordings to the local NKRV investigators. Having interviewed the couple almost immediately after the incident, NCRW officials were impressed by their honesty and intelligence. Both wanted nothing more than to get to the bottom of what had happened to them. Many people believed the Hill family and even Dr. Simon said that they were sincere.

On the other hand, Dr. Simon never believed in UFOs or aliens. He believed that Barney shared the delusion based on Betty's dreams. And although he personally conducted hypnosis sessions, he never succumbed to their testimony. Benn Swett, after listening to the recordings of the sessions, said that Dr. Simon actually tried to find logical, rational explanations for Hill's memories during the sessions, but without success. They stuck to their stories about the abduction.

But let's look logically at this situation. Apart from the evidence obtained under hypnosis, we have no objective data about the abduction. The couple does not remember what happened to them, no one measured the magnetism of their car. There are no other witnesses. Hypnosis sessions are very much influenced by the person who enters into such a state, as well as the information background of the person being introduced into hypnosis. In fact, we do not have objective and verifiable data about this incident.

At the end of the story

At the end of 1965, the Boston Herald Traveler managed to get exclusive material when they somehow got the reports of the initial meeting in their hands. On October 25, the first part of the revelation of the abduction of Betty and Barney Hill by aliens was released. According to Swett, Barney was very upset about the leak, and he called Swett in the middle of the night, being panic-stricken about it. Barney said that he and his wife are afraid that they will be despised and ridiculed, because of which they may also lose their jobs.

Now that the couple had become a media sensation, they both felt that they had no choice. They needed to break their own silence. Before that, neither Barney nor Betty had made such attempts. They and Dr. Simon decided to collaborate with writer John Fuller to create a book based on their experiences. This book, called "The Interrupted Journey Two Lost Hours Aboard A Flying Saucer", appeared in 1966. Betty's niece, Kathleen Marden, wrote a second book called " Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience.".

A historical marker in New Hampshire dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the abduction of Betty and Barney Hill

A historical marker in New Hampshire dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the abduction of Betty and Barney Hill

What happened to Betty and Barney Hill?

We will never know exactly what happened to Betty and Barney Hill on September 19, 1961. The public is divided in opinion about the history of Hill. Some sincerely believed in it, others considered it an invention. Despite this, Betty and Barney Hill became firmly associated with the UFO community. Their experience turned into the most famous case of alien abduction and laid the foundation for many other reports of similar incidents.

In the 1960s, Barney's health began to deteriorate. In February 1969, he died of a brain hemorrhage. Betty never remarried after his death. She died in 2004.

About author:

Ufologist, PhD, blogger, I go on my own expeditions for UFOs. I use scientific methods to investigate the UAP phenomenon

Serg Toporkov

Ufologist, Ph.D., blogger, I go on my own expeditions for UFOs. I use scientific methods to investigate the UAP phenomenon. Write to me

Related tags:

UFO  aliens  abduction  Betty and Barney Hill  1961  Portsmouth  USA  Zeta Reticuli

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