The abduction of Betty and Barney Hill

The incident of Betty and Barney Hill is one of the most popular alien abduction encounters in modern folklore. The historic encounter happened on September 19, 1961 on U.S. Route 3. As the Hills drove back from their vacation in Niagara Falls at about 10:00 P.M, Betty noticed a light that appeared to be a shooting star. Once the light that appeared to be a shooting star became closer and brighter, Barney parked the car at a picnic area near Twin Mountain.

As Barney looked through his binoculars, he believed that it was an airplane until the light made a maneuver that wasn’t feasible for a plane. When the light descended in his direction without turning, and he saw that the craft had multicolored lights flashing, he rushed back to the car. As they traveled down an isolated road, Barney drove slowly as Betty watched the craft. The craft bounced in various areas in the sky and didn’t make a sound. Eventually as the craft got closer, their vehicle stopped in the road. Once the craft was about 100 feet above them, Betty saw 11 extraterrestrials behind the glass window. Barney managed to turn the car back on before he sped down the road. As the Hills traveled down the road, they began hearing buzzing sounds coming from the back of the car. The Hill’s consciousness was altered into a dream-like state.

The Hills could not move as the extraterrestrials carried them on the craft to be put through physical examination. Betty and Barney Hill were being examined by the extraterrestrials in separate rooms. Barney claimed during his hypnotic session that they looked in his ears, mouth, counted his invertebrate, and did other examinations. The claims that Betty made during her hypnotic session were like Barney’s, and she claimed that she almost panicked when she saw one of them grab a needle. They inserted the needle in her belly button, however; she remained unharmed. When Betty’s examination ended, she walked into another room in the craft.

Betty discovered a star map, and one extraterrestrial noticed her analyzing it. Betty found a book that was written in a language that didn’t look like anything she had seen before. She asked the extraterrestrial if she could keep the book as proof of the experience. After she saw the extraterrestrial speak to what appeared to be their leader, they told her she couldn’t keep the book. When Barney’s examination was over, they awoke to find themselves back in the car.

Once they arrived at their home Barney noticed that his watch didn’t work, his shoes were scrapped, and his binocular strap was ripped. They found out that their trip back home took a few hours longer than it should have. Silver circles were on the trunk of their car that influenced a compass by making the needle spin. Betty had nightmares about the incident during the following nights. The Hills didn’t want media attention at first, but after the hypnotic session the Hills became known in the media. Books, articles, and eventually a film was made based on their abduction.

Many question if the encounter really took place. Some critics claim that Betty and Barney Hill had a lucid dream. The problem is that when Betty and Barney Hill were under hypnosis; they were in separate rooms, and one went after the other. They had a similar description of the encounter. If they had a lucid dream, how would their lucid dreams be so similar? Some critics say that they could have made up the story before going to the hypnotic session for publicity, however, they had little to gain from the attention. Because of the attention of their encounter they could have lost their jobs, they could have been labeled as insane by the media, and some people might think they made up the story.

Another piece of evidence to support their claim is the star map. During the hypnotic session Betty was asked to draw the star map that she saw on the ship. At first she refused, but eventually she drew the star map. A couple years later someone decided to see if they could find a star map similar to the one she drew. The star map that Betty drew was similar to the Zeta Reticuli star system. While the star maps weren’t exactly the same, they did have similarities. This is one of the most famous extraterrestrial abduction cases in UFO folklore. Do you believe this case took place? Do you believe that the incident was a hoax?

Fuller, John G. (1975). “Interrupted Journey.” (mass market paperback edition) Berkley Publishing Group. ISBN 0-425-03002-4.

“The Zeta Reticuli (or Ridiculi) Incident.”,

Betty Hill and Barney Hill. Hypnosis. Conducted by Dr. Benjamin Simon, 1964

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