In 1961, In New Hampshire, Betty and Barney Hill were driving home from a vacation together. All of a sudden they saw a craft. What followed was missing time, confusion, speculation, and trauma from retrieving memories. Were they actually abducted or were they delusional or just plain lying? Join me in learning their story and explore the possibilities of real life aliens.
Disclosure: This story includes talk of alien abduction and detailed experiment accounts. If any of these subjects are a trigger for please take care of yourself, and check out some of my other stories! I never blame nor do I make excuses for people who commit these horrendous crimes. I believe in learning from these tragic events. The history of these awful people is important to think about what led up to the events and how to resolve the problem before it leads to murder.
Eunice Elizabeth Barrett, who went by Betty, was born on June 28, 1919, in Newtown, New Hampshire. I had to really search for family history, but I found that she was born to Raymond H. and Florence Barrett. Betty was the oldest of five children. The Barretts’ raised their children on a chicken farm in Kingston, New Hampshire. In 1937, Betty graduated from Sanborn Seminary, a boarding school that remained in operation until 1966. The town of Kingston bought the school and converted it to a traditional high school.
In 1958, Betty graduated from the University of New Hampshire, attaining a degree in social sciences. She worked as a social worker for child welfare, and aided foster parents in the adoptive process. Soon after, she met the second main person on this story, Barney. She was previously married Robert Stewart from 1939 to an unknown date. Since she married Barney in the 1960s, I am assuming she divorced Robert by the time she graduated. They had three children, named Rose Marie, Constance Jean, and Kenneth James.
On July 20, 1922, Barney Hill Jr. was born in Newport News, Virginia, being the youngest of four children. He enlisted in the United States Army, during World War II, but was discharged after serving his term. He attended Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Barney married a woman named Ruby, but the marriage did not last very long. Although short, the couple had one son together. He worked as a postal worker in Boston, Massachusetts.
On May 12, 1960, Betty married Barney. The couple received a lot of scrutiny, because Betty was a white woman and Barney was a black man. During this time, interracial relationships were uncommon and often criticized. Although, Betty and Barney dealt with dirty looks and rude comments from ignorant people, they remained stable and confident in their relationship.
Shortly after marrying, they moved to Betty’s downtown of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Barney would continue to work as postal worker in Boston, a hour away from Portsmouth, commuting to work every day. The couple were members of the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, because of them being a happy interracial couple. Barney participated in the Civil Rights Commission, eventually receiving recognition for his work. The governor of New Hampshire presented Barney with an award for his outstanding work in the community. In 1963, the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson invited him to Lyndon’s presidential inauguration. Barney gave a speech, after being recognized for his work in the New England Community.
On September 19, 1961, the couple was traveling from vacation in Montreal, Canada and Niagara Falls, New York to Portsmouth. Around 10:30 P.M., a little south of Lancaster, New Hampshire, Betty saw a bright point of light in the sky. Possessing knowledge of astrology, she noticed the light was traveling from below the moon and Jupiter to upward of the moon. While driving along Route 3, she explained to him that she saw what looked like a shooting, but it was moving upward. Betty urged Barney to stop the car, as the light became abnormal and bigger, to get a closer look and to walk their dog. They stooped south of Twin Mountain, at a picnic area.
Betty looked at the light through a pair of binoculars and noticed an “odd-shaped” craft, with multicolored lights, traveling across the moon. Betty wondered if the object was a flying saucer, because her sister had described an object she saw, assuming it was one. At first, Barney thought she was wrong and it was a commercial plane. He soon changed his mind, because the object changed direction towards him.
The couple got back into their vehicle, driving on an isolated road, in Franconia Notch. They drove slowly, observing the object as it became closer. The craft passed a signal tower and restaurant, on the top of Cannon Mountain and exited out of the old man of the mountain. The old man of the mountain is a cliff ledge resembling a stone face. Betty later testified that the craft measured one and a half times longer than the granite cliff profile and was rotating. The couple observed the silent craft moving erratically, back and forth in the sky. The object descended towards their vehicle fast about a mile south of Indian Head. This caused Barney to stop the car in the middle of the highway. The craft hovered 80 to 100 feet above their vehicle, covering the entire view of the windshield, resembling a giant pancake, according to Barney.
Barney exited the vehicle, carrying his pistol at his side, and walked towards the craft. After looking through the binoculars, Barney allegedly saw 8 to 11 humanoid figures,who were wearing black glossy uniforms and black caps. They seemed to be looking at him through the craft’s windows. All but one figure walked in unison to a panel on the rear wall of the hallway. The panel was enclosed in front of the craft. The figure that did not move continued to look at Barney through the window. It telepathically told him to “stay where you are and keep looking.”
All of a sudden, bat-like wings, with red flashing lights, emerged from the sides of the craft. They then saw a long structure come out from the bottom of the craft. The craft approached 50-80 feet above Barney and 300 feet away from him. Later, on October 21, he reported the non human beings to the National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) investigator Walter Webb.
He got the feeling they wanted him to board the craft. A lot of people assume the figures communicated directions to board , because he freaks out, understandably, and tells Betty they got to go. He drives as fast as he can to get away from the craft.However, Betty seemed to be interested in the figures and kept sticking her head out of the window. As soon as her gaze meets the craft, she hears rhythmic beeping and they begin to feel a tingling sensation through their bodies, which could be frequency from the craft.
They snap back to reality and realize that they traveled 35 miles south. They had no memory of driving there or what happened two hours prior to driving on the road.
Around 5 AM, the next morning, Betty and Barney arrived back home. This is when the couple started to have strange occurrences. Barney suddenly felt very ill with no explanation. Betty had a weird urge to leave their luggage near the back door instead of the main house. Betty had a fear of the luggage being contaminated. Their clocks and watches stopped working. Barney’s binoculars’ leather strap was torn unexplained and his shoes were scuffed. He also felt like he needed to check his genitals, but found nothing wrong. They both took long showers to clean off any possible contamination.
They tried to piece together the timeline of events by talking about what they saw. Betty fell asleep for a few hours, then she woke up and placed the clothes and shoes that she wore, in the closet. She noticed a tear at the hem, zipper, and lining of the dress. Later, when retrieving the items, betty noticed a pink powder. After hanging the dress on the clothesline, the power blew away, but the dress was unable to be mendable. Since the event, the five separate labs have conducted chemical and forensic analyses. Scientific Analysis Director Matthew Moniz discovered that the dress showed proof of degradation by UV lights, which occur in UFO exposure.
They observed shiny, concentric circles on their car’s trunk that had not been there the day before. Wh tile experimenting with a compass, they noticed that when holding it closer to the circles, the compass needle spun rapidly. However, when pulled away, the needle slowed down. The interesting thing about this is the frequency they heard sounded as if it was coming from the trunk. The circles were by the trunk.
That afternoon, Betty decided to call her sister, because she thought she saw a UFO before. Her sister told her that she should call the local Air Force Base, therefore she called them about the sighting. The next day, Betty received a phone call from Major Paul Henderson to take her statement. Betty left out the figures, because she did not want to sound crazy or their story to get ignored. She described the craft looking flat like a pancake. Paul informed her that the Air Force base radar picked up the craft at 2:14 AM that morning. Barney disapproved of Betty reporting the incident, because of fear of ridicule and called crazy by the Air Force.
For the next few days, Paul worked on the report for the couple’s encounter. On September 26, four days later, he filed his report. He concluded they mistaken Jupiter or some optical illusion. The report was dismissed due to lack of data. Betty spent the next few weeks researching UFOs, including reading NICAP investigator Donald Kehoe’s Flying Saucers are Real. I think this is an interesting subject. A lot of people hear UFOs and think space ships and quickly dismiss the topic. UFOs stand for Unidentified Flying Objects, which means any object in the sky, unknown and unable to specify origins.
On September 26, Betty wrote a letter to Donald describing all the events, including the humanoid figures. She expressed a desire to try hypnosis to remember fragmented memories. The letter was then transferred to Boston Astronomer Walter M. Webb. On October 21, Barney met up with Walter and told him everything he remembered. He also told him he felt like he had a mental barrier blocking out some memories. He concluded that their version of the event was truthful,but included some inconsistencies due to normal human error.
Ten days later, Betty experienced nightmares of the figures abducting them and conducting experiments. These dreams occurred for five days then went away. They were vivid and hung around during the day. At first, Betty told Barney, but quit after he blew her off and said to get over it. She went awhile with no dreams, but just as soon as she thought they were gone, she began having more.
In November 1961, Betty began to write down all her dreams. In one of these dreams, she and Barney were driving until they arrived at the roadblock. While stopped, a group of men surrounded their vehicle. She lost consciousness and the men forced Betty into a dark forest with Barney following behind her. She attempted to yell at him, but received no response, as if he seemed to be in a deep trance.
Betty described the men to measure 5 feet 4 inches, wearing blue uniforms and military cadet-like caps. They appeared to look human, but with dark eyes, black hair, gray, pale skin, prominent nose, and blueish tinted lips. The couple walked with the men, up a ramp, to a metallic, disc-shaped craft. While inside, the men separated them into different rooms. While in a room, Betty noticed a man walking in and conducting experiments. The examiner, accompanied by the leader, seemed calm and pleasant. Betty said that they spoke English, but she could not understand them much, because they spoke little of it. The humanoids told Betty that they planned on conducting tests to understand thew the difference between humans and them.
The figures placed Betty on a sterile table, with a bright light beaming in her direction. The examiner started to cut off some of her hair. He then started to examine arms, legs, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, and throat. He saved her finger nail trimmings. Then He scraped some skin using a dull knife and placing on what she describes to look like cellophane. The examiner told Betty that they wanted to test her nervous system. They then inserted a large needle into her belly button. She said this was extremely painful. She started screaming and crying until the leader waved his hand in front of her eyes and the pain suddenly stopped.
The examiner left the room and Betty started to have a conversation with the leader. He handed her a book with symbols on the cover and told her she could take it home. She asked where they come from and he showed Betty a map with stars on it and pointed a place on it. The men started to escort her and Barney out of the craft and fight between some figures on the craft. The leader told her that she could not bring the book after all. Apparently some other men got mad, because they did not want her to remember the encounter. Then they took them to their car and ordered them not to leave until after they left.
This is when her dream ended. She believed it was a memory disguised as a dream.The subconscious is a complex thing,some people seem to regain memory through what seems to be dreams. The drive normally took four hours but took the couple almost three additional hours. So what happened in the hours they had no memory of? Studies show that long-term memories are stored while asleep, but can mix them with new “memories”, which can lead to implanted memories. For this case, I think her dream may include a mixture of repressed memories and fantasy.
After they described seeing a fiery orb, saying they thought it was the moon setting, the investigators said that there was no way, because it set hours before. They suggested they go through hypnosis. Although Barney was reluctant, he agreed to try it. Barney agreed because he thought it may end her dreams, which he considered nonsense.
On November 23, 1962, they attended church, as they normally would. The meeting included a guest speaker named Captain Ben H. Swett, from the United States Air Force, who spoke about hypnotism. After the meeting concluded, they spoke to him in private and told him about the incident. He became very intrigued about their missing time. However, he declined to hypnotize him, and advised them to go to a professional. He referred the couple to a guy named Mr. Stephens, who in turn referred them to a Boston Physiatrist and neurologist named Benjamin Simon.
Initially Benjamin diagnosed their experience as anxiety. When I first read this, it did not make sense to me, but then I remembered this case happened over 60 years ago. A lot of disorders were misdiagnosed, therefore, anxiety probably was not really understood. At any rate, after talking to the couple more, he realized there was more to the incident, and recommended regressive hypnosis. He completed several sessions between January 4, 1964 and June 6, 1964. He decided to hypnotize them separately so the other person would not overhear their memories and it alter their session.
Barney became very emotional during his sessions and said he kept his eyes during the abduction. He did remember his binocular strap became torn when he ran from the craft to his car. He then drove away as fast as possible, but felt a strong urge to drive until the woods. This is when he saw six men on the side of the road. The car stalled suddenly and three of the men approached the vehicle. The leader told him not to worry, but he still felt anxious.
He then was ordered to close his eyes and described feeling as if their eyes pushed into his. His description of the exam is less detailed, because of him keeping his eyes closed. He remembered feeling a cup-like device on his genitals. He said he thought they obtained a sperm sample, because he felt as if he did not orgasm or anything. Barney also described what sounds like a probe in his anal cavity. Before taking them back to their car, they checked his spine with a tool and counted his vertebrae.
His description of their appearance sounded very similar to Betty’s, however, he stated that he did not understand the language they spoke. Betty said they spoke English, but at times she could not understand them. He also explained they spoke through what he called thought transference, but had no knowledge of telepathy.
Betty’s hypnosis remained similar to her dream, with the exception of her exam experience. Before, it seemed like she was accepting of the experience and intrigued. While going through hypnosis, she cried and screamed, like they tortured her. It seemed worse than Barney’s experience. Their memories seemed pretty consistent with each other. After the hypnosis session, Benjamin asked Betty to draw a star map. She described it as a three dimensional hologram with a lot of stars on it. This consisted of twelve prominent stars, connected by solid lines, and three smaller ones in the shape of a triangle with dashed lines. The solid lines were trade routes and the dashed lines were less traveled routes.
Benjamin concluded that the couple suffered from a Singular psychological aberration. This basically meant that they shared this false experience, fueled by Betty’s fantasies. He wrote about this in the journal Psychiatric Opinion.
No one could make sense of the star map until Marjorie Fish, an elementary school teacher who was interested in astronomy, realized it matched the double star system of Zeta Reticuli, located 39 light years from earth. Zeta Reticuli is believed to be an alien civilization. She sent her theory to Walter Webb and after agreeing, her sent the information to Terence Dickinson, editor of the magazine Astronomy. However, He thought it was randomly pointy that it just happened to match the star map. But he did allow a debate about UFOs, the first in the magazine’s history.
Betty and Barney went back to their normal life. They would discuss UFO’s to close friends and people if they asked, but never sought out media attention. On October 1965, journalist John H. Luttrell wrote a piece on their story, which made it to the front page. This gave them international attention. In 1966, after receiving permission from the Hill’s and Benjamin, John H. Fuller released a book called Interrupted Journey. The book is where Marjorie was able to compare the star map to Zeta Reticuli. On February 25, 1969, Barney died Cerebral Hemorrhage. Betty continued to tell their story and be an activist. She later died on October 17, 2004, of Lung Cancer. In 2007, Kathleen Marden, Betty’s niece, wrote a book about the abduction with scientist Stanton T. Friedman.
Although the couples had a lot of supporters, they also had a lot of nonbelievers. In the area where they allegedly were abducted from, resident Jim McDonald said that what they saw as a craft was actually an aircraft warning light on Cannon Mountain. He explained the light appears and disappears around the same time they supposedly saw the craft. A common explanation for the misconception was sleep deprivation. Also, Martin Kottmeyer wrote an article in 1990, called Entirely Unpredisposed. He suggested the couple could have been influenced by the TV series Outer Limits. An episode portrayed aliens in the same way Barney described them in his sessions, which aired two weeks before his first sessions. Betty refuted the claim and stated that she never even heard of the show. In 1953, the movie Invaders from Mars also had similar features to their story.
I usually remain skeptical on UFO abduction stories. It is not that i do not believe in Aliens. I truly think there is life on other planets and possibly other galaxies. Space is so large and undiscovered, therefore there is no way of knowing what is out there. I do lean towards believing this one. Sure there are similarities in movies. But fiction often comes from real life. What if the creators seen something similar or heard about it from somewhere.
As for the sleep deprivation, I do not really believe this. If they were that tired they probably would have slept longer then three hours. I feel like they had more to lose than gain by lying. They were a multiracial couple, who people would quickly dismiss and call crazy. Overall, I think the descriptions of what they possibly went through sound completely terrifying and hope I never experience what they did.