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Barney and Betty Hill
Barney Hill was born on this date in 1922. He was a Black man who, with his wife, were the first persons reportedly abducted by an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO).
Hill was born in Newport News, VA, the youngest of four children whose father was a shipyard worker. After the family moved to Philadelphia, Hill graduated from high school, attended Temple University, and enlisted in the Army. After service, he was employed as a postal worker. He married Ruby Horn and they had two children. He later divorced and was remarried, to Betty Hill, a white woman. The Hills moved to her hometown of Portsmouth, N.H..
The Hills were returning to New Hampshire from a holiday in Niagara Falls on the night of September 19, 1961. Traffic was sparse as Barney drove through the White Mountains on Route 3. Close to midnight, the couple noticed a strange light in the sky that started to move. Hill stopped the car and as Betty exercised their dog, Delsey, he observed the object through binoculars. Barney told Betty that it was probably an airplane.
As they continued their journey, the object seemed to remain with the car. The Hills knew that it was definitely moving so they ruled out a star or a planet. The object changed direction and drew closer. Betty looked at the object through the binoculars and saw that it was a disc-shaped object with a band of light around its circumference. They stopped the car once again and Barney got out to get a better look at the object. The object got so close to Barney that he was able to see several beings staring down at him through lighted windows.
Suddenly he panicked, crying out, "They're going to capture us!” He ran back to the car and they raced off. The next thing the couple was aware of were several "bleeps" like the sound of a microwave oven. The next day Barney noticed some unexplained blotches on the body of the car, soreness at the back of his neck, and scuff marks on his shoes. Sometime later the couple realized they could not account for two hours and 35 miles of their journey. They began to suffer stress, but they had no idea why.
Betty experienced horrible nightmares in which she was taken into a room and examined by strange beings. Within a year, the Hills saw two doctors and were finally referred to Dr. Benjamin Simon, a Boston psychiatrist who specialized in hypnotic therapy. Dr. Simon regressed the Hills using hypnosis, but he hypnotized them separately so that neither would know what the other said. A terrifying story emerged that filled in the period of amnesia.
Over a number of months, an account was put together which told how their car was stopped by a group of strange-looking "men" with pear-shaped heads and large wrap-around eyes. The beings forcibly carried the Hills into the lighted object, where they were taken into separate rooms. During their separation, the couple underwent various tests by the "aliens" which included taking hair and skin samples. While inside the craft Betty remembers seeing a "star map." Later, under post-hypnotic suggestion, she was able to reproduce the map.
In 1974, Ohio schoolteacher and amateur astronomer Marjorie Fish published the results of her studies of the map. After five years of studying, Ms. Fish found a match, the Zeta Reticuli system. However, when noted astrophysicist Carl Sagan compared the Fish map using a more accurate computer program, he found there was little similarity. The Hill abduction case is now the alien abduction equivalent of the Roswell Incident.
John Fuller has written a book on the Hill case called "The Interrupted Journey," and a TV film called "The UFO Incident" was made. The Hills attempted to keep their alleged experience quiet. They continued with their community life in the Unitarian Church and the NAACP. Barney Hill was a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and the Rockingham County Community Action Program.
Barney died of a cerebral hemorrhage on February 25, 1969, and Betty Hill died on October 17, 2004, after battling cancer for over a year.