Hill, Betty

The Barney and Betty Hill abduction case is one of the most famous and well-documented cases of its kind, and it has influenced many other stories and movies about extraterrestrial encounters.

Barney and Betty Hill were a married couple living in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1961. They were both active in their community and the civil rights movement, and they were an interracial couple at a time when it was uncommon in the United States.

On September 19, 1961, they were driving back home from a vacation in Niagara Falls and Montreal. As they passed through a rural area in New Hampshire, they noticed a bright light in the sky that seemed to follow them. They stopped at a picnic area to get a closer look and saw a strange craft with flashing lights. Barney, using binoculars, claimed to see several humanoid figures inside the craft. 

They got back in their car and tried to drive away, but the craft pursued them and descended over their vehicle. They felt a tingling sensation and lost consciousness. They woke up later and found themselves 35 miles away from where they last remembered being. They arrived home at dawn, feeling dirty and confused. Their watches had stopped working, Barney's shoes were scuffed, and Betty's dress was torn. They also had two hours of missing time that they could not account for. 

Betty began to have vivid dreams about being taken aboard the craft and examined by the beings. She also found a strange pink powder on her dress and a shiny metal fragment in her car. She reported their sighting to the nearby Pease Air Force Base, and later received a letter confirming that an unidentified radar blip had been detected at the same time and location as their encounter. 

Barney and Betty sought psychological help to cope with their trauma and recover their memories. They underwent hypnosis sessions with Dr. Benjamin Simon, a respected psychiatrist who specialized in treating war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Under hypnosis, they both gave consistent and detailed accounts of what happened during their missing time. They said they were taken out of their car by several gray-skinned beings with large eyes and small mouths. They were escorted into the craft, where they were separated and subjected to various physical tests, including a crude pregnancy test for Betty and a sperm sample for Barney. They also said they communicated with a leader of the beings, who showed Betty a star map of their home system in the Zeta Reticuli constellation.  

Dr. Simon concluded that Barney and Betty had suffered a shared delusion caused by stress, but he could not explain how they had acquired such specific and matching information under hypnosis. He also could not explain the physical evidence they had found or the radar confirmation from the Air Force. He advised them to keep their story private, but it was leaked to the press by an unknown source in 1965. Their story became widely publicized and attracted the attention of UFO researchers, skeptics, and enthusiasts alike. 

Barney and Betty Hill maintained their credibility and sincerity throughout their lives. They never sought fame or money from their experience, but they cooperated with investigators who wanted to learn more about it. They also participated in scientific studies that tried to verify their star map, which some researchers claimed to be accurate based on later astronomical discoveries. 

Their story was adapted into a best-selling book by John G. Fuller in 1966, titled The Interrupted Journey, which was based on their hypnosis transcripts and interviews. It was also made into a television movie in 1975, starring James Earl Jones and Estelle Parsons as Barney and Betty Hill. Their case remains one of the most influential and controversial in UFO history, and it has inspired many other reports of alien abductions around the world. 

In December 2022, it was announced that former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama's production company would make a documentary for Netflix on the case.

Kathleen Marden, who is Betty Hill's niece, revealed that a DNA analysis of DNA that was found on Betty's dress revealed it was similar to the DNA found the 'hair of the alien' case.