OSAP Archives: 1961.09.19: The Betty & Barney Hill Case
The first widely publicized UFO abduction case happened on the night of September 9, 1961 in New Hampshire. The incident is also known as the “Hill Abduction” and the “Zeta Reticuli Incident.” Their story was told in a 1966 best-seller book “The Interrupted Journey” by John G. Fuller and made into a 1975 TV movie “The UFO Incident.”
The Hills were returning from a vacation at Niagara Falls and Montreal when at approximately 10:30 p.m. Betty observed a bright point of light below the moon. At the time they were on U.S. Route 3, just south of Lancaster, New Hampshire. While Barney drove, Betty watched the light move across the sky. She thought it was a meteor, only it moved upward. It moved erratically and grew bigger and brighter. She urged Barney to stop the car so she could get a closer look, as well as walk their dog, Delsey. He parked in a scenic picnic area just south of Twin Mountain.
Using a pair of binoculars, Betty watched the “odd-shaped” craft cross the face of the moon. Barney took the binoculars and saw the craft change direction and rapidly descend in their direction. They quickly ran back into the car and Barney continued driving the isolated road, moving slowly through Franconia Notch to watch the craft as it approached them.
Barney stopped the car in the middle of the highway when the craft rapidly descended toward their vehicle and hovered over their car. The illuminated, silent craft sat above them 80-100 feet above, it seemed to rotate in place.
Barney left the car to get a closer look with the binoculars. The craft reminded him of a large pancake. Using the binoculars, he saw 8-11 human-like occupants, all staring back at him. After a few moments, all but one of them walked to the far wall to operate controls while the last one continued to watch him. Barney felt a feeling, like a message from the creature saying “stay where you are and keep looking.” The craft began to approach him.
Tearing the binoculars away, Barney ran back to the car. Frightened, he told Betty, “They’re going to capture us!” Barney drove away at high speed while Betty continued to watch the craft. The object was over them. A strange rhythmic series of beeping and buzzing sounds seemed to bounce from their car. Both their minds dulled, like going into an altered state of consciousness. A second set of beeping/buzzing noise returned them to full consciousness. They found they have driven an additional 35 miles down the road, but have no memory of it. They also found they had lost three hours.
The case doesn’t end there. Because of anxiety and strange dreams, as well as other physical evidence, the couple sought help from a doctor who specialized in hypnotism. On January 4, 1964, Dr. Benjamin Simon began the sessions, recording everything the couple said while under. Betty and Barney each told a similar story of being taken aboard a flying saucer. They each were given a medical examination by the “men” aboard the craft. The men communicated with the couple using telepathy. The leader informed Betty they were from the star system Zeta Reticuli. She saw a 3-D star map which later she drew, showing trade routes.
There are still debates on the authenticity of the report today. But there are a few things that stand out. Betty’s 3-D map is a perfect description of a hologram. Plus, some of the stars were not known until ‘after’ the story was released.