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The Betty and Barney Hill Case

  • Case Number: #0112
  • Date: 19 September 1961
  • Time: During the night
  • Location: Exeter, New Hampshire, U.S.A.
  • Witness(es): Betty and Barney Hill
  • Classification: CE-IV - Abduction
Betty and Barney Hill, who were from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, were traveling back to their home after a vacation in the Niagara Falls, Montreal and Quebec, Canada. They described their journey as being a quiet one, with very little traffic on the roads. That was until approximately ten-thirty pm, as they were just south of Lancaster, New Hampshire, when Betty noticed a bright light in the sky.

bright object following

The light appeared to be moving just below the moon and the planet Jupiter, then it travelled across and up to the western side of the moon.
Barney continued to drive along the road, and thinking that she had just witnessed an unusual shooting star, Betty was initially not concerned about the sighting.
After a few moments, the light began to make erratic movements and appeared to grow much larger and brighter, so Betty asked Barney to pull to the side of the road so they could get a clearer look at it. They pulled into a small picnic area that was just south of the Twin Mountains and as a precaution, because bears were known to frequent the areas at night, Barney took his pistol from the trunk of the car.
The couple then both observed the object through binoculars that they had with them and watched as it flew around in the night sky. Betty, whose sister had told her years previously of a UFO sighting she had witnessed, considered it could be a flying saucer, as through the binoculars she could see multicoloured light emanating from the odd shaped craft. Barney however, being more skeptical, assumed that it was an airplane, though he soon changed his mind as the craft turned rapidly on its course and began to descent towards them at speed.
By now unnerved by what they were seeing, the couple rushed back to their car and drove on towards the Franconia Notch, which is a narrow stretch of road between mountains. They then slowed down as they passed through the area so that they could still observe the craft as it continued to head in their direction.
They described later how the craft passed over a restaurant and a signal tower that was on top of the Cannon Mountain, then it came out near the Old Man of the Mountain area.

grey looking humanoids

As Betty got a closer look at it, she estimated that the craft was at least one and a half times the length of the granite cliff profile, which was forty feet long. It then rotated and moved about erratically, bouncing back and forth in the night sky and all without any sound. They claimed that it was as if the craft was playing a cat and mouse game with them.
It was when they were about a mile south of Indian Head that the object again quickly descended towards the vehicle and caused Barney to slam on the breaks, bringing them to a sudden halt in the middle of the highway. The craft then hovered about eighty to a hundred feet away above the hills, its huge mass filling the windscreen of the car. In later interviews, Barney would say that it reminded him of a huge pancake.
Barney then got out of the car and moved closer to the object, with his pistol still inside his pocket. He looked through the binoculars that hung around his neck and was shocked to see approximately eight to eleven humanoid creatures in the crafts windows looking back at him. All of these figures, except one, then moved to a panel on the rear wall of the craft and the one humanoid who had stayed in the front windows in some way communicated with Barney, telling him to “Stay where you are and keep looking.”
As both of them watched, bat-winged type fins with red lights on the ends began to come out of the sides of the craft and a structure began to drop from beneath it. The craft then slowly came towards them to approximately three-hundred feet away.
In a state of panic, Barney ran back to the car and shouted to Betty Hysterically that he thought the beings were going to capture them. The craft then positioned itself directly over them and Barney Sped away. Betty rolled down the window to look for the object, but could see nothing but darkness, even though it was a bright, starry night, they then heard buzzing and beeping sounds, as if they were being bounced off the car bonnet. The car then began to vibrate and the couple felt a strange sensation passing through their bodies. It was at this point that they felt an altered state of consciousness come over them that seemed to dull their minds.

lost time

Another sound then brought them back to a full state of consciousness and they were shocked to find that they had travelled thirty-five miles south. They both had very little memory of the long distance covered, with only a slight recollection of them making a sharp turn in the road and coming to a road block where there appeared to be a fiery orb in the road. Eventually they made it home.
It was after completing their journey that they began to notice strange things happening to them. Firstly, Betty had insisted that they left their luggage by the rear door, not wanting to fetch it into their home, and their watches had both ceased to work, they would never work again. Barney’s shoes were badly scraped and Betty noticed that the dress she had been wearing was torn in many places and had a strange pink powder on it. There were also circular marks on the car bonnet as well as other strange feelings they would have and small things that they would notice with themselves.
The couple would report the UFO sighting to the Pease Air force Base and a Major Paul W. Henderson would call back and interview them in more detail, but their story was quickly dismissed with conclusions of misidentification, optical conditions and insufficient data, though it would go on to be included in an investigation with the Project Blue Book.
Betty would also do some of her own research, with a book borrowed from the library, written by Donald E. Keyhoe, who was head of NICAP, the Civilian UFO Research Group. Betty wrote him a letter and it was eventually passed on to Walter N. Webb, who was a Boston Astronomer and NICAP member.
About ten days after the UFO sighting, Betty would begin to have dreams that were vivid in detail of strange men who stopped them at a roadblock and escorted them onto the craft and then carried out experiments on them. She described them as being 5 to 5.4 feet tall, grey in colour with small ears, very small noses and large eyes. They wore matching dark uniforms and caps like the style worn by military personnel. She claims that they spoke to her in broken English and took samples of her finger nails and skin, examined her mouth and ears and then put a large needle into her navel. When she felt pain from this, one of the beings waved his hand in front of her face and the pain went away. She then claims that another of the beings gave her a book with strange symbols inside it and it showed her a star map. When they were eventually escorted off the craft, there was an altercation between the beings and they took the book back from her.


Barney and Betty would later go through a course of hypnotherapy to see if they could recall any more information about the experience, carried out by Dr Benjamin Simon of Boston.
During Barney’s sessions, he claimed that when driving, he had a strong urge to pull off the road into a wooded area. Here strange beings approached the car and then escorted them to a craft. He says that they talked to him with their eyes. Him and Betty were separated and he was put onto a small table and a cup was put over his genitals and sperm was removed, but without him experiencing an orgasm. They then examined his orifices and took skin samples and inserted an anal probe.
Betty, also under hypnotherapy, recalled similar experiences to Barney, though they were slightly different from the memories she had from her dreams.
Afterwards she was asked to draw the star-map that she had been shown. They were a chart of twelve prominent stars connected by lines and three lesser ones that formed a triangle. The beings told her that the solid lines were trade routes and the broken ones were less travelled routes. There were many theories for what the star-map was representing and it was even mentioned in a mainstream magazine and readers were asked to give their opinions. In 1993, two German enthusiasts put forward the theory that they were planets in the solar system and not nearby stars.

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