On the drive back home to Portsmouth, New Hampshire after a trip to Montreal, Quebec, Betty and Barney Hill caught sight of a UFO. The object followed them down the highway for some time before swooping in over top of their car, producing some strange noises and suddenly disappearing. But when the hills reflected on the sequence of events that night, they realized that more had happened than they’d remembered. After undergoing hypnotherapy, the couple recovered memories of being taken aboard an extraterrestrial spaceship and subjected to intrusive medical examinations. This was the first widely publicized UFO case in modern history to involve so-called missing time, and it brought the subject of alien abduction to a world audience.
On the night of September 19, 1961, the Hills were driving southbound on US Route 3 when Betty, riding in the passenger seat, spotted a bright light moving erratically in the sky. The couple watched the light for an extended period of time and twice stopped the car to look at it through binoculars. They could see that it was a physical craft flashing red, amber, and green colored lights, and it seemed as though it were trying to attract their attention.
At one point in the drive, the object came swooping down over top of the Hills’ car. Barney slammed on the brakes, grabbed his binoculars, and stepped outside the vehicle. The craft had descended to less than 100 feet above their car, then jumped over to an adjacent field and sat above the treetops. Barney grabbed his handgun and cautiously moved towards the object. He described it as being in the shape of a pancake, with the ring of windows along the outer edge and two small fins sticking out on either side. The entire craft was approximately 60 to 80 feet wide. Through his binoculars, Barney was able to see humanoid figures walking around behind blue-lit windows. He claimed that he then received some form of telepathic message instructing him to remain still.
Convinced that he was about to be captured, Barney ran back to the car and, in a state of panic, warned Betty of the danger and drove away. But the Hills could not escape the craft. It caught up with them on the highway and started keeping pace with their car. The couple heard what they described as a series of rhythmic buzzing tones that seemed to bounce off the trunk of their car. Then, for reasons they could not explain, they ceased all conversation and continued on without incident until they heard a second series of buzzing noises further down the highway. At this point, the couple had trouble remembering what had happened over the previous 20 to 30 minutes. They vaguely recalled encountering a roadblock, making a sudden turn off the highway, and finding a large fiery orb on the road. But they could not explain how all these memories fit together.
To add to their confusion, the couple later realized that the drive had taken two to three hours longer than anticipated. In the following days, the Hills made further inexplicable discoveries. The car trunk had a number of small shiny circles on it that appeared to have magnetic qualities. Barney’s shoes had been badly scuffed, and the leather strap on his binoculars had been cut. Betty’s dress had also been cut in a number of places, and the hemline was torn on one side. Most unusual was the fact that Barney had found an unnaturally symmetrical ring of warts on his groin.
Soon, Betty began having dreams of being taken aboard an extraterrestrial spacecraft, and though he had always tried to put the encounter behind him, Barney began suffering extreme anxiety over his ongoing amnesia. He contacted a local psychiatrist and, with gotten or repressed memories can resurface under hypnosis, but skeptics argue that hypnosis can also create false memories.
Despite the controversy surrounding hypnotherapy, the Hill’s case remains one of the most compelling abduction cases on record. Their account of being taken aboard an extraterrestrial spacecraft and undergoing invasive medical procedures has been the subject of countless books, documentaries, and television shows. The case has also had a lasting impact on popular culture, inspiring everything from science fiction novels to conspiracy theories.
Today, nearly 60 years after their encounter, the Hill’s case remains a mystery. While some believe that their story provides compelling evidence of alien visitation, others remain skeptical, pointing to inconsistencies in their accounts and the lack of physical evidence. Nevertheless, the case continues to fascinate and intrigue people around the world, sparking debates about the existence of extraterrestrial life and the possibility of contact with other civilizations.
In conclusion, the Hill’s case represents one of the most famous and controversial UFO encounters in history. Their account of being abducted by extraterrestrial beings and undergoing invasive medical procedures has captured the imaginations of millions of people around the world, while also sparking debates among skeptics and believers alike. While the truth behind their encounter may never be fully known, the Hill’s case remains a landmark in the field of ufology, and a testament to the enduring power of the UFO phenomenon.