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The best known case of alien abduction. While driving home from vacation, Betty and husband Barney Hill would lose two hours of time during an alien encounter. They would undergo physical exams at the hands of their alien captors. This case was the subject of a book and a movie.
Many early researchers into the mystery of UFOs had distinctive lines of belief. It is in the realm of possibility that someone could see and report a UFO, but it is impossible that the alien beings flying the UFO would interact with humans, and certainly not take them against their will. This line of distinction would forever disappear because of one flagship case of alien abduction, the Betty and Barney Hill encounter. Their journey into the unknown began in New Hampshire in September, 1961, and would forever change the course of Ufology.
Star Moved Erratically:
The Hills were an interracial couple. Barney, a 39 year-old black man, worked for the postal service, and Betty, a 41 year-old white woman, was a supervisor for the child welfare department. Because of Barney's ulcer problems, the two had embarked on a vacation into Canada. On September 19, they began their journey back home. At about 10:00 PM, Barney, who was driving, saw a star which seemed to move erratically. He told Betty about it, and they both kept tabs on it as they drove along.
Multicolored Lights, Rows of Windows:
They were just north of North Woodstock, when Barney noticed that the star was moving in a very unusual manner. When they arrived at Indian Head, they stopped their car, and got out to have a better look. Using binoculars, Barney zoomed in what he thought was a star. This was no star! He could make out different colors of lights and see several rows of windows around a flying craft. The object moved closer, and now Barney could actually see people inside the ship. Was this strange flying object being piloted by humans?
Thirty-Five Miles in Two Minutes:
The next thing the Hills recalled was being frightened by the unusual flying object, and the occupants inside of it. Barney scurried back to the car where Betty was waiting. They jumped into the car, and raced down the highway. Looking for the object, they found that it was now gone. As they drove on, they began to hear a beeping sound... once, then again. Although they had been driving only a couple of minutes, they were 35 miles down the road!
UFO Confirmed by Radar:
Betty and Barney finally arrived home safely. After seeing the UFO, the rest of their trip home had been uneventful. They were tired from their journey, and immediately went to bed. When Betty awoke the next day, she telephoned Janet, her sister, and told her about the strange object they had seen. Janet urged her to call Pease Air Force Base, and tell them what her and Barney had seen. After hearing Betty's report, Major Paul W. Henderson, told her:
"The UFO was also confirmed by our radar."
Two Hours of Missing Time:
At least the Hills were not seeing things, and they were trying to put the incident behind them. But soon Betty began to have nightmares. In her dreams she would see her and her husband being physically forced into some type of craft. Before long, two writers heard about the Hill's story, and contacted them. The Hills, with the aid of the writers, compiled a time chart of the events of September 19. There could be no doubt that the couple had lost about two hours of time somewhere along the way.
Calling Dr. Benjamin Simon:
As news of the UFO sighting became more common place, the Hills were forced to hide from reporters as much as possible. Because of the missing time element, and the desire to know what, if anything, had happened during that time, they decided to contact a psychiatrist. They decided on Boston psychiatrist and neurologist, Dr. Benjamin Simon, well-known in his field. He would come to play an important role in the Hill abduction story.
His suggestion for treatment was regressive hypnosis, which would hopefully unlock the memories of the two missing hours of time. His sessions began with Betty, and soon Barney followed. After six months of treatment, it was Simon's opinion that the Hills had been abducted and taken aboard an unknown craft. Regressive hypnosis, a controversial treatment, is often used to unlock lost memories.
Some of the memories that were uncovered from the Hills included that their automobile had stalled on the road. The UFO had landed in the middle of the road, and alien beings came to their car, carrying both Betty and Barney to the UFO. They were subjected to various medical and scientific tests. Before the aliens released them, they were hypnotized and ordered to keep their capture a secret.
During the intensive regression sessions, the Hills would describe their captors as "... bald-headed alien beings, about five foot tall, with greyish skin, pear shaped heads and slanting cat-like eyes." This description very much described what would become known as the "greys," now a standard description for the small beings with large heads, small mouths, and little or no ears, and hairless.
Also details were released about the actual procedures performed on the Hills. Both physical and mental experiments were conducted. Samples were taken of their skin, hair, and nails. Betty had gynecological testing, and Barney reluctantly revealed that sperm samples were taken from him.
The Betty and Barney Hill case is still studied and discussed today. It is the alien abduction case to which all others are compared and judged.
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