The Hill's experience became the first widely publicised case of the alien abduction scenario, one that would change perceptions towards our 'space brothers' forever.
A Close Encounter
George Adamski first claimed to have taken photographs of, boarding and flying in ships from space with "Nordic" beings in 1952, helping to popularise a perception that if beings were buzzing about, they must be friendly, intelligent and wise. However, in 1961 a couple named Betty and Barney Hill were to change many of the ideas and notions we had of possible inter-planetary beings and their possible motives.
The couple lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and at the time were active in their local community. Betty was a Social Worker and Barney was employed by the US Postal Service. The couple were an inter-racial couple, Barney being an African-American man, and both were popular with friends and family.
It was September 19th at around 10:30pm, when the happily married couple were returning home from a vacation to Canada when they encountered what Betty at first thought to be a falling star, only it was moving upward like a plane or satellite. Observing the object through binoculars, it became clear they were seeing a multi-coloured "odd-shaped" craft that they then pursued along the highway. At some point the craft descended and flew in their direction. Having stopped on the highway, the craft sat rotating in front of their 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, reminding them of a huge pancake.
Arriving home at dawn, they tried to reconstruct their memories of their trip but they were vague, both drawing a picture of a craft in the middle of the road, but found they could not remember much else. Noticing her dress was torn in certain places, Betty went to discard it, but for some reason kept it.
Ten days after the encounter, and for five nights in succession, Betty would have vivid nightmares, and in November started writing these dreams down, one in which she wrote of being forced from the car by small grey men in military outfits and calling out to Barney who appeared to be in a trance-like state.
In February 1962 the Hills' began driving along the highway, during the weekends, trying to find the site of the encounter, hoping to uncover memories of the event, but were not successful.
After months of discussing the event amongst themselves and with their church (and the U.S.A.F.), Betty and Barney were referred to a hypnotherapist in Boston by the name of Dr. Benjamin Scott, who met with the couple initially on the 14th of December, 1963. Dr Scott began hypnosis sessions with the couple almost 3 weeks later in January 1964, in separate sessions that would last until June.
Betty recalled in some sessions seeing a "star map", a hologram of stars described as a 3 dimensional map. She was only able to sketch, after some suggestion, a small portion of it consisting of twelve prominent stars connected by lines and three lesser ones that formed a distinctive triangle. She said she was told the stars connected by solid lines formed "trade routes", whereas dashed lines were to less-travelled stars. They were returned to their car afterwards, and for some reason lost all memory of being on the craft.
In 1968 Marjorie Fish, an elementary teacher and amateur astrologer read the book and concluded that the map was of the star system named Zeta Reticuli. Crop circle enthusiast’s years later concluded that the map actually represents our Solar System.
Barney died of a stroke in February 1969. Betty claimed up until her death in 2004 at age 85 that after her abduction experience she had witnessed UFOs several times and she had become a "celebrity" in the UFO community.
Were Betty and Barney Hill abducted by occupants of a flying saucer in 1961?
Had they hallucinated the encounter?
Or was it all a down-right fabrication by two people seeking fame and publicity?
Put together by Ashley Hall 2013