· Leading UFO researcher, author and lecturer
· Leading expert on the Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience
· MUFON Director of Experiencer Research
· Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial Encounters Research Consultant
Little did I know when I decided to investigate my aunt and uncle, Betty and Barney Hill’s close encounter and subsequent abduction, by non-humans aboard a disk shaped craft, that I would discover an abundance of information that had never been made public. A natural debater, Betty reveled in the opportunity to set me straight when I played devil’s advocate, which I most often did during hours of interviews. I witnessed her fiery denigration of self-identified abductees and credulous abduction investigators alike, and her defense of her own case based upon the weight of the physical and circumstantial evidence. I read everything I could put my hands on, both pro and con, and interviewed the surviving investigators involved in her case, both military and civilian. It took me through many twists and turns, through the ambivalence of skepticism and reluctant belief in certain aspects of the case that I had been skeptical about. Along the way I encountered an abundance of inaccurate and misleading information written by ufologists and debunkers alike. But I also found solid, accurate scientific research.
I personally researched the Hill’s personal, medical and employment histories and assessed their social and psychological makeup. To complete my research, I studied Betty’s massive collection of correspondence spanning forty years, to and from individuals who investigated the Hill UFO encounter. It was an eye opener. My findings were eventually published in Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience, with my coauthor on two books, Stanton T. Friedman. Even today, 25 years later, I continue to search for new information.
Debunkers have tirelessly attempted to fracture the Hills’ story, and when the facts were not enough, they resorted to the omission of significant information and the addition of misinformation. Once stated, this misinformation has been repeated over and over again, leading to a modern myth full of false information. For example, I recently acquired evidence that a New Hampshire newspaper reporter was in effect spying upon Betty and reporting her activities to anti-UFO propagandist Philip J. Klass. Klass and the reporter had a number of cordial exchanges until one piece of information, given by the reporter, was misrepresented by Klass on WBZ’s Larry Glick Show. The false story told by Klass was that Betty had drawn the reporter and his companion's attention to a "bonafide" UFO moving toward them on the railroad tracks. They soon realized, however, that it was the light on a locomotive when it thundered past them. As the story goes, Betty was the only one who believed it was of alien origin. Not so! Betty was furious with the reporter and Klass because, as it turned out, she wasn’t even there. She was in her car tinkering with a malfunctioning movie camera. Talk about flat out lies! Did Klass ever bother to correct his error? No! He claimed that he apologized to Betty, but the damage had already been done. This type of malicious story conjuring has been carried out repeatedly by individuals with a debunking agenda, not only against the Hills, but also against other credible UFO and abduction cases.
The Internet is teeming with lies about Betty and Barney Hill. One debunker made slanderous statements against Betty when he wrote that she was a loon and a lifelong believer in UFOs. Not so! I can prove it. We are told that anyone who reads book after book on the topic of alien abduction will come to believe that they have been abducted. The fact is that Betty and Barney had never read a book on the topic prior to their encounter in 1961. Betty was a social worker for the state of NH. They don't hire lunatics. She was psychologically healthy until, near the end of her life, a large brain tumor robbed her of some of her faculties
Another load of baloney tells us that Betty forced a kicking and screaming Barney into the acceptance of her delusion that they'd been abducted. Not so! As a rational skeptic, Barney attempted to find a prosaic explanation for his experience. But the facts were the facts and the evidence pointed to a real experience. Barney was a courageous man, not the emotional weakling that debunkers have invented for the purpose of discrediting him. What emotional weakling would be appointed by the governor of his state to serve on the U.S. Civil Rights Commissions' State Advisory Committee? What emotional weakling would be elected legal redress of his chapter of the NAACP? How many emotional weaklings were civil rights activists? Valerie Cunningham, an African American historian from Portsmouth, NH, who knew Barney stated, "Barney was fearless and outspoken."
One skeptic tells us that the Hills mistook the light on a signal tower atop Cannon Mountain for a UFO. Not so! They observed the craft miles north of the signal tower before it was visible. Betty and Barney watched the revolving UFO as it hovered next to the Old Man of the Mountain. It was 1.5 to 2 times the length of the 48' profile. Barney had conscious recall of observing the craft and the entities inside it as he stood in a field 8 miles south of the signal tower. It was looming an estimated 100 feet overhead. The skeptic would have us believe that Barney had no conscious recall for this event. This is another load of baloney. The documented evidence proves that he observed a craft as large as a dinner plate at arm's length that had the appearance of a giant pancake and humanoid figures through the windows. (See the Project Blue Book report and Walter Webb's NICAP report.)
Then we have the dream hypothesis. I was intrigued by the speculation that perhaps Betty had repeated the details in a series of 5 dreams she experienced not long after her close encounter and missing time event. If Barney had absorbed the details in Betty's dreams, perhaps he had confabulated his story during his hypnosis sessions with Dr. Benjamin Simon. It wouldn't explain the missing time or the physical evidence, but perhaps something else had occurred during their lost 2 hours and 35 miles. I found a method of testing this hypothesis-a comparative analysis of the Hill's individual statements to Dr. Simon. They were hypnotized separately and amnesia was reinstated at the end of each session. They couldn't have contaminated one another's hypnotically retrieved memories. But in the end the dream hypothesis didn't hold water. Betty and Barney spoke of details that were not part of Betty's dreams. Some of their information even contradicted Betty's dreams. After a long search for a prosaic explanation that will honestly account for the Hill's abduction experience, I have not found one that holds up under scrutiny.
On the other side, some UFO researchers have insisted that Barney and Betty were abducted by Nazi soldiers working in collusion with Grey aliens. They point to Barney’s statement during a powerful abreation, "..the evil face on the…looks like a German Nazi. He is a Nazi.” (Hypnosis session #1) Upon investigation it becomes clear that this allegation of Nazi involvement ignores all of the other evidence presented in the Hill’s case. It is a perfect example of not doing one’s homework. The perpetrators of this nonsense have extracted a tiny segment of information that is inconsistent with all of the other details pertaining to Barney's statements, to support a modern myth they have contrived. They are no more accurate than the Phil Klass wannabes of the debunking world.
Let’s examine the facts. On September 26, 1961, Betty reported to NICAP that Barney had observed “figures that seemed to be dressed in some type of shiny, black uniform.” NICAP investigator Walter Webb wrote in his October 26, 1961 report that “They reminded him of the cold precision of German officers.” He was speaking of their precise movement, not their appearance. He added they were “somehow not human.” He never stated that Nazi officers and Grey ETs were working together in a MILAB operation. So, why did Barney even draw a comparison between the “evil faced one” and a German Nazi? Because Dr. Simon treated Barney's trauma with hypno-analysis, a technique that required him to compare his emotions on the night of September 19, 1961, the night of the alien abduction, to experiences in the past that had a similar emotional impact upon him. Barney served in the Army during WWII. He felt that the ETs staring down at him, as he stood in the field in Lincoln, NH, were preparing to capture him. It brought back memories of WW II. Never had Barney stated that he observed Nazis on the UFO prior to his hypnosis or during his later sessions. But he made additional mistakes during his powerful release of emotions that I have discussed in Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience. He cleared up these inconsistencies in later sessions when he was calmer and his mind was clear. It is unfortunate that these psychological distortions of information have been used to promote false tales of Nazi involvement with ETs. If the Nazis truly possessed ET technology or if they were working in collusion with Nazi ETs, why haven’t they conquered the world?
These are but a few examples of the nonsense I've encountered over the past 25 years. There are many more. Yet fantastic claims like these feed the public's fascination with UFO myths and conspiracies. Do we live in a time that commands such a level of titillation that we no longer desire a separation between fact and fantasy? Have our schools failed to teach our children how to think critically? Do we no longer rely upon an evaluation of the evidence when we make a decision? I think it is time for a wake-up call.
“The topic of alien abduction is complex and controversial. This book comes closer than others, bringing clarity to the haze of controversy. Marden and Stoner have done a fine job with this groundbreaking investigation of fascinating multi-witness cases. While alien motivations remain unclear, this foundational work brings clarity to personal events by experiencers. Very well done indeed.”
Stanton Friedman (Foreword written by retired nuclear physicist/ scientific ufologist Stanton T. Friedman)
STATEMENT BY KATHLEEN MARDEN
I am primarily an independent researcher, writer and lecturer. The opinions expressed by me are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizations of which I am affiliated. If you have a question, please ask me directly. No one speaks for me. I am NOT an "Experiencer Support" person. I am a scientifically oriented UFO and ET Contact researcher.
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MUFON'S EXPERIENCER SURVEY
MUFON's Experiencer Research Team is excited to announce that our "Experiencer Survey" has been posted at www.MUFON.com. Click on http://www.mufon.com/experiencer-survey.html for the direct link. Experiencers can also access the questionnaire by hovering over "Research" on the top menu. Scroll down to "Experiencer" and then select "Experiencer Survey". The survey has 118 questions and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. The Experiencer Survey is a quantitative research project designed to identify commonalities among experiencers. If you are an experiencer and have some memory of your events, please contribute to our research. The results will be shared in a scholarly report and at MUFON's 2017 International Symposium. Thank you!
The MUTUAL UFO NETWORK awarded me the "Researcher of the Year" trophy. (Credit: Harry Drew)
The State of New Hampshire erected this historical marker to commemorate Betty and Barney Hill's UFO experience. (Credit: Peter Spanos)
These are my first two books with Stanton Friedman (credit: Alejandro Rojas)
Forever an educator, I am committed to sharing my research findings with the interested public.
This is one of the last photographs me and my aunt Betty Hill. She succumbed to lung cancer in 2004.
Denise Stoner and I are authors of "The Alien Abduction Files". Denise is an experiencer and a member of MUFON's ERT.
Stanton Friedman and I continue to work together. I admire his honesty, his intelligence and the fact that he does his homework. I am proud of our research efforts.
Travis Walton, me and Stanton Friedman