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How Betty and Barney Hill's Alien Abduction Story Defined the Genre

December 13, 2019 in History

By Linda Lacina

Their account, recovered with the help of hypnosis, detailed extensive medical exams, including a crude pregnancy test.

Betty and Barney Hill, who claim to have been abducted by aliens in 1961, holding a book written about their experience circa 1967.

Is it chasing us? That thought coursed through . The night was too quiet for a helicopter, a commercial plane or even military jet with a hotshot pilot. He didn’t want to spook Betty, but he was becoming concerned. What was this light and why was it toying with them?

About 70 miles past the diner, the object hovered just above the treetops, approximately 100 feet above them. Barney abruptly stopped the car, keeping the engine running. He shoved a handgun he’d hidden beneath the seat into his pocket and rushed into a dark field, leaving Betty in the car. What he saw was as big as a jet but as round and flat as a pancake. “My God, what is this thing?” he recalled thinking. “This can’t be real.”

READ MORE: This Scoutmaster Had a Run-in with a UFO. The Kids Saw it Too.

Behind rows of windows, gray uniformed beings seemed to look right at him, Barney recalled. He tried to lift his hand to his pistol but somehow couldn’t. A voice told him not to put down his binoculars.

He had a startling thought: We’re about to be captured. Yelling hysterically, he ran back to the car and barreled down the road as Betty tracked the craft, craning her head outside the car window. Without explanation, loud, rhythmic beeps sounded from the car’s trunk. The couple felt instantly drowsy and lost consciousness.

They came to around two hours later and 35 miles down the road.

Barney holding up a diagram explaining the alien abduction.

Recovering the memory

Back home in Portsmouth, they tried to make sense of the night. Barney felt compelled to examine his body’s lower half. Both seemed aware of a puzzling presence.

In the weeks and months after, Betty, an avid reader, checked out books from the library discovering the civilian UFO group National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). She also reported the sighting to the Air Force, worried about radiation.

In coming years, with Betty suffering from disturbing dreams and Barney developing an ulcer and anxiety, the couple sought mental help. The two met with Benjamin Simon, a psychiatrist and neurologist who specialized in hypnosis, a …read more


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