When I was but a young boy, the only time anyone talked about flying saucers was after watching a movie about them, or seeing an episode of Twilight Zone, or Science Fiction Theater.Then one morning, I was scanning over our local newspaper, and noticed about three pages deep this heading, “New Hampshire Couple Encounters UFO.”
Well, needless to say, I was intrigued. In our small town paper, you just didn’t see things on this type of subject.
As I began to read the article, I was astounded to see that these two people claimed to have been abducted by aliens, and taken inside the ship!
Well, that was enough for me to think, “What is this, some kind of joke?”
I thought I had heard the last of it, but I had not.
Soon, this story became an international one, and even today, is still considered one of the most believable, and certainly most researched UFO cases, except for maybe the Roswell incident. One thing about this whole subject that seems odd to me, is that it is considered within the realm of possibility that someone could see a UFO, but for someone to be taken aboard one, NO WAY.
In 1961, Barney Hill was a 39-year-old black man who worked for the US Postal Service. His wife Betty was a 41-year-old white woman, who owned a Master’s Degree, and was the supervisor for the child welfare department.
The fact that the Hills were an interracial couple has been given weight by some who state that Barney was suffering stress in dealing with some public ridicule about the black and white union, which was not nearly as readily accepted in the early 1960s as it is today.
In my research into Mr. Hill’s life, I can’t find any reason for his stress being the cause of telling such an incredible story. What ensued after the couple went public with their story was much more stressful to him than any anti-racial remarks he may have encountered.
The story of Betty and Barney Hill begins in September 1961, in the state of New Hampshire. Barney had recently developed an ulcer, and he and his wife Betty decided to take a short vacation to Canada. The couple had visited Niagara Falls, and Montreal, and on the 19th of the month, they began their journey back home to Portsmouth.
The night was clear, with a crescent moon shining on the heavily wooded landscape that surrounded US Route 3 in the central part of New Hampshire.
At about a quarter past 10:00 PM, three miles south of the city of Lancaster, Barney noticed what appeared to be a bright star, or planet, which seemed to move erratically. Barney pointed this out to Betty, and they both began to keep track of the object.
The couple began to believe that they were watching a plane appear and disappear, as the movement of their vehicle caused the trees to come and go in obstructing their view. Later, Barney would state that he tried to convince himself that the object was a plane, but that Betty thought it to be something else – an unidentified craft of some kind.
As the two continued to the Flume, just north of North Woodstock, the object appeared to move in an odd way.
As they reached Indian Head, Barney actually stopped the car to have a look at the object with his binoculars. He saw multi-colored lights, and rows of windows on a flat-shaped object, which now seemed to be moving toward him.
As the object moved to within a hundred feet of him, he could see occupants inside. Frightened, he ran back to his car where Betty waited. They climbed inside and sped away. Soon, two hours of their lives would vanish into oblivion.
After resuming their journey home, they were not able to see the strange craft anymore. Oddly though, they heard a beeping sound. They then heard the beeping a second time, noticing that they were suddenly thirty-five miles farther down the road than a minute or two ago. They were now in Ashla.
The mood in the car was quiet as they proceeded home and went to bed. They both slept until the next afternoon. When Betty got up, she called her sister Janet, and told her what had happened. Janet told her to call nearby Pease Air Force Base, and report what she had seen.
Betty reported the incident, speaking to Major Paul W. Henderson, who told Betty; “The UFO was also confirmed by our radar.” It is important to note at this point that Barney was against calling the sighting in to the base, hoping to keep it quiet.
At this time, neither Betty nor Barney recalled any abduction. Soon, however, Betty began having nightmarish dreams of her and her husband being taken aboard a craft of some kind, against their will. In a matter of weeks, two writers got wind of the story, and after interviewing the Hills, made an intensive log of the events of the night.
They discovered that there were two hours of unaccounted time in the Hill’s story, even allowing for stops for the Hills, and breaks for their dog, who also had made the trip with them.
Another interesting note that I should interject here is that these “two writers,” which are mentioned in almost every report of this incident, (and there are literally thousands of them), have not been named, or I cannot find their names.
However, the story is true, because their interview was attended by Major James MacDonald, a former Air Force Intelligence Officer.
Shortly after Betty began having these disturbing dreams, she wrote a letter to Major Donald Kehoe, who passed her information on to one Walter Webb, who was on the staff of the Hayden Planetarium. Webb, at the time, was a scientific advisor for the National Investigations Committee on Arial Phenomena (commonly referred to as NICAP). What he did with the report is unknown.
It was Major MacDonald who made the suggestion to the Hills that regressive hypnosis might account for the two hours of missing time. In the spring of 1962, the Hills contacted a psychiatrist about the hypnosis sessions, but decided to put it off for a time. All the while, Betty was still haunted by the dreams, and Barney’s ulcer was worse, and he was again suffering from hypertension.
After dodging reporters, and doing some research on psychiatrists, the Hills made a decision to contact well-known Boston psychiatrist and neurologist, Dr. Benjamin Simon, who was one of the most respected doctors in his field.
After a couple of initial interviews, Dr. Simon’s preliminary diagnosis was “anxiety syndrome,” relating to the incidents of the night of September 19, 1961. His next step was to find out what those events were.
B J Booth