Betty and Barney Hill (Zeta Reticuli) Alien Abduction
a late September night in 1961, while returning from vacation in
Quebec, an American couple Betty
and Barney Hill were allegedly
abducted by extraterrestrials. The incident became the first widely
publicized alien abduction and eventually the focus of worldwide
was a 41 year old child welfare worker while
Barney was a 39 year old postal employee: U.S. Route 3, surrounded by
woodland, was dark,
winding and empty.
car, indifferent, sped southward a cocoon of twentieth century
technology; its occupants, supposedly safe in its comforting embrace,
stared blearily through the windshield, their tired eyes narrowing in
the glare of occasional oncoming headlights, their heads swaying to the
soft music issuing from the AM radio.
south of Lancaster
that they first
noticed the bright light high in the night sky. As time passed it came
closer, eventually assuming a definite shape. Barney thought it was a
plane, but Betty looking at it through binoculars wasn’t so sure,
something about its appearance was unusual.
Now fully awake they
slowed the car, while the UFO, as if playing a game, began to
repeatedly approach then
About a mile beyond Mount
Pemigewasset and the rock
formation called Indian
Head the object abruptly changed its tactics;
it came to a stop after zooming over the Hill’s car and hovered above
the road just ahead.
Barney braked and then exited the car in order to
get a better look. Using binoculars he observed a pancake shaped
vehicle complete with windows behind which a number of humanoid crew
members were apparently watching him. Suddenly afraid
and feeling a need to escape, he re-entered the car and left the area
hurriedly tires squealing as they grabbed for purchase on the grey
As the automobile accelerated a strange beeping or
buzzing sound was heard coming from its rear end, a noise so severe it
caused the vehicle’s frame to vibrate before
eventually subsiding. At
this point the Hills reported feeling drowsy, their minds entering some
kind of altered state. Within a few miles the buzzing noise sounded
again bringing the couple back to normalcy. The remainder of their
trip home was uneventful.
After a couple of days Betty contacted
Pease Air Force Base and reported their close encounter. The following
day she received a return call from Major Paul Henderson who after a
brief interview determined they had probably mistaken the planet
Jupiter for a UFO. He then referred the entire matter to Project Blue
Not satisfied Betty decided to do a little research on her
own. A visit to the local library revealed several books on the
subject, one of which was written by retired Major Donald Keyhoe head
of a civilian UFO group called NICAP.
Shortly thereafter Betty
began having a recurring nightmare in which she and Barney were
forcibly taken into the spacecraft and then medically examined by its
Deeply troubled and wishing answers she wrote to Keyhoe,
laid out the details of their misadventure and further stated she and
her husband were considering hypnotic regression in order to fill in
the blanks in their memories.
The result was a six hour
interview with astronomer and NICAP member Walter Webb on October 21,
1961. Webb was skeptical about the abduction, eventually coming to the
conclusion that the nightmares were simply a panicky reaction to the
sighting of an unidentified flying object, perfectly normal when one
takes into consideration that the alleged encounter happened far from
help on a deserted highway in the dead of night.
was still unconvinced, however, and in late November decided to begin
writing down as much of her dreams as she could remember. It was
difficult at first, the nightmares a jumble of confused
fragmented images which she slowly pieced together.
memories of herself and Barney walking in a trance like state
dark and gloomy forest before being taken into a spacecraft by
small humanoid like creatures. Inside, despite protestations, she was
separated from her husband, taken to another room and subjected to a
lengthy and sometimes painful medical examination by an alien she
presumed was a doctor.
exam’s conclusion, she entered
into discussion with another crewman who appeared to be the leader
requested an item to take back as proof of contact.
Acquiescing he gave her a large book filled with symbols.
Betty then asked who the aliens were and where they had come from. By
way of reply the leader pulled down a map on which were dots
representing stars and star systems connected by differing types of
signifying exploration and trade routes. The leader brushed aside her
questions about the extraterrestrial’s home world, with the explanation
that because she lacked even the most basic understanding of astronomy
it was impossible for him to answer. The conversation was abruptly
terminated with the arrival of a rather disheveled and bemused Barney
escorted by two of the small humanoids.
were then led
back through the ship and out to their car, where, after a heated
discussion with the other humanoids, the leader removed the book from a
protesting Betty, saying it had been decided
that she shouldn’t be allowed to retain any physical evidence and in
fact even the couples
memories were to be erased.
believed the dreams were a
subconscious recollection of real events, on the
hand a skeptical
them as nonsense the result of an overactive
meeting between the Hills and NICAP
revealed a few things that until then had been overlooked: Their trip
took approximately two hours longer than it should have, and though the
couple remembered most parts of their journey the stretch between
Indian Head and the small
community of Ashland was almost a complete blank.
increasing anxiety the Hills visited two different psychiatrists in an
effort to resolve the issue, all to no avail. Finally they met with Dr.
Benjamin Simon on December 14, 1963, who although dubious about the
encounter agreed to hypnotize them.
couple were hypnotized
separately, Barney first, and for someone who had maintained all along
that the abduction had never happened and was a figment of his wife’s
imagination the results were startling. The sessions were emotional,
punctuated with hysterical outbursts and crying fits. In one of his
more lucid moments Barney remembered jumping into the car and trying to
escape the UFO, only to be forced to a stop by
diminutive manlike creatures with bulbous heads and large eyes who
surrounded him and Betty before escorting them into the woods and the
the ship he was separated from his
wife and then subjected to an extensive medical exam. Though his eyes
were closed during most of the procedure, he did remember the aliens
talking to each other in an unintelligible language, when
to him directly,
however, he could understand perfectly. He remembered
the ship, being escorted along with Betty to the car and watching the
spacecraft take to the sky then accelerate away in a great burst
speed. Later he also recalled seeing a light appear in the road ahead
and saying to Betty “Oh no, not again.”
hypnosis Betty’s retelling of events were far less emotional than her
husbands and with only a few variations much the same as her dream.
Afterward, following some prompting from Dr. Simon, she drew the map
that later (with some modifications) would become known as the Zeta
Reticuli star map. 
Dr. Simon later concluded
that Barney’s recollection of events was
simply a manifestation engendered by constant exposure to his wife’s
dreams. Barney for his part was no longer as skeptical, giving greater
credence to the possibility that he and his wife might actually have
been the victims of a real life alien abduction.
hypnotic regression revealed any great truths is perhaps not the major
issue, as far as the Hills were concerned, especially Barney, it was
cathartic; it banished the devils that had tormented them for so long,
the nightmares ceased, the anxiety faded away.
If they thought they
could put it behind them,
however, they were sadly mistaken. In 1965 their story was leaked to
media, and they found themselves much to Barney’s dismay and Betty’s
delight, minor celebrities, with newspaper and magazine articles,
books, documentaries, a television series and even a made for
television movie all of which either questioned or extolled their out
of this world experience.
Barney passed away on February 25,
1969, of a cerebral hemorrhage, while Betty, perhaps as a way of
dealing with the tragedy but also because she was now
the whole concept of alien visitors, went on to become an active part
of the UFO community, investigating a number of sightings and allegedly
viewing several of her own before succumbing to lung cancer on October
 In 1968 Marjorie Fish an Ohio school teacher, member of American
amateur astronomer, decided to try and match the star map drawn by
Hill to known star charts and eventually came up with what she decided
was a close approximation (although many such as noted
astronomer Carl Sagan and research associate Steven Soter disagreed).
Her eventual conclusion, the home world
of the aliens might orbit a star called Zeta 2 Reticuli part of a
binary system approximately 39 light years from Earth.
[b] In a
strange coincidence Zeta 2 Reticuli is not only the home sun of Bob
Lazar’s (of Area
51 fame) Greys, but also the star around which astronomers
Hatzes discovered a planet orbiting on September 20, 1996, a brief
lived discovery that was removed from the Extrasolar Planets
Encyclopedia website after only four days with the
explanation that it was a mistake.
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