|Betty and Barney Hill Abduction
The First Widely-publicized Claim of Alien Abduction
Betty and Barney Hill were an American couple who claimed to have been abducted by extraterrestrials on September 19–20, 1961.
As of July 2011, the site of the alleged abduction is marked by a state historical marker. The Hills went back to their regular lives after their alleged abduction. They were willing to discuss the UFO encounter with friends, family and the occasional UFO researcher, but the Hills apparently made no effort to seek publicity.
Barney died of a cerebral hemorrhage on February 25th, 1969, and Betty Hill died of cancer on October 17th, 2004.
It has now been 50 years since this famous case occurred.
The couple's story, called the Hill Abduction, and occasionally the Zeta Reticuli Incident, was that they had been kidnapped for a short time by a UFO.
Theirs was the first widely-publicized claim of alien abduction, adapted into the best-selling 1966 book The Interrupted Journey and the 1975 television movie The UFO Incident.
Its importance is such that many of Betty Hill's notes, tapes and other items have been placed in a permanent collection at the University of New Hampshire, her alma mater.
As of July 2011, the site of the alleged abduction is marked by a state historical marker.
The UFO Encounter
According to a variety of reports given by the Hills, the alleged UFO sighting happened on September 19th, 1961, at around 10:30 p.m.
The Hills were driving back to Portsmouth from a vacation in Niagara Falls and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. There were only a few other cars on the road as they made their way home to New Hampshire's seacoast.
Just south of Lancaster, New Hampshire, Betty claimed to have observed a bright point of light in the sky that moved from below the moon and the planet Jupiter, upward to the west of the moon.
While Barney navigated U.S. Route 3, Betty reasoned that she was observing a falling star, only it moved upward, like a plane or a satellite.
Since it moved erratically and grew bigger and brighter, Betty urged Barney to stop the car for a closer look, as well as to walk their dog, Delsey. Barney stopped at a scenic picnic area just south of Twin Mountain. Worried about the presence of bears, Barney retrieved a pistol that he had concealed in the trunk of the car.
Betty, through binoculars, observed an "odd shaped" craft flashing multicolored lights travel across the face of the moon. Because her sister had confided to her about having a flying saucer sighting several years earlier, Betty thought it may be what she was observing.
Through binoculars Barney observed what he reasoned was a
commercial airliner traveling toward Vermont on its way to Montreal.
Under hypnosis, Barney reported that the binocular strap had broken when he ran from the UFO back to his car. He recalled driving the car away from the UFO, but that afterwards he felt irresistibly compelled to pull off the road, and drive into the woods.
He eventually sighted six men standing in the dirt road. The car stalled and three of the men approached the car. They told Barney to not fear them.
He was still anxious, however, and he reported that the leader told Barney to close his eyes. While hypnotized, Barney said, "I felt like the eyes had pushed into my eyes."
However, he soon changed his mind, because without looking as if it had
turned, the craft rapidly descended in his direction. This observation
caused Barney to realize, "this object that was a plane was not a
He quickly returned to the car and drove toward Franconia Notch, a
narrow, mountainous stretch of the road.
The Hills claimed that they
continued driving on the isolated road, moving very slowly through
Franconia Notch in order to observe the object as it came even closer.
At one point the object passed above a restaurant and signal tower on top of Cannon Mountain. It passed over the mountain and came out near the 48' profile of the Old Man of the Mountain (New Hampshire's State Symbol).
Betty testified that it was at least one and a half times the length of the granite profile and seemed to be rotating.
The couple watched as the silent, lighted craft moved erratically and bounced back and forth in the night sky. As they drove along Route 3 through Franconia Notch, they stated that it seemed to be playing a game of cat and mouse with the couple.
Approximately one mile south of Indian Head, they said, the object rapidly descended toward their vehicle causing Barney to stop directly in the middle of the highway. The huge, silent craft hovered approximately 80–100 feet above the Hills' 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air and filled the entire field of the windshield.
It reminded Barney of a huge pancake.
Carrying his pistol in his pocket, he stepped away from the vehicle and moved closer to the object. Using the binoculars, Barney claimed to have seen about 8 to 11 humanoid figures who were peering out of the craft's windows, seeming to look at him.
In unison, all but one figure moved to what appeared to be a panel on the rear wall of the hallway that encircled the front portion of the craft. The one remaining figure continued to look at Barney and communicated a message telling him to "stay where you are and keep looking."
Red lights on what appeared to be bat-wing fins began to telescope out of the sides of the craft and a long structure descended from the bottom of the craft.
|| Under hypnosis, Barney described the creatures often staring into his eyes, with a terrifying, mesmerizing effect. Under hypnosis, Barney said things like, "Oh, those eyes. They're there in my brain" and I was told to close my eyes because I saw two eyes coming close to mine, and I felt like the eyes had pushed into my eyes." and "All I see are these eyes... I'm not even afraid that they're not connected to a body. They're just there. They're just up close to me, pressing against my eyes."
The silent craft approached to what Barney estimated was within 50–80 feet overhead and 300 feet away from him. On October 21st, 1961, Barney reported to NICAP Investigator Walter Webb, that the "beings were somehow not human".
Barney tore the binoculars away from his eyes and ran back to his car. In a near hysterical state, he told Betty, "They're going to capture us!"
He saw the object again shift its location to directly above the vehicle. He drove away at high speed, telling Betty to look for the object.
She rolled down the window and looked up, but saw only darkness above them, even though it was a bright, starry night.
Almost immediately the Hills heard a rhythmic series of beeping or buzzing sounds which they said seemed to bounce off the trunk of their vehicle.
The car vibrated and a tingling sensation passed through the Hills' bodies. Betty touched the metal on the passenger door expecting to feel an electric shock, but felt only the vibration. The Hills said that at this point in time they experienced the onset of an altered state of consciousness that left their minds dulled.
A second series of codelike beeping or buzzing sounds returned the couple to full consciousness. They found that they had traveled nearly 35 miles south but had only vague, spotty memories of this section of road. They recalled making a sudden unplanned turn, encountering a roadblock, and observing a fiery orb in the road.