Betty and Barney Hill with Delsey
Betty and Barney Hill: Where the Debunkers Went Wrong
© Kathleen Marden
Betty and Barney Hill are best known as the first alien abduction experiencers to stir worldwide attention, because of their 1961 UFO abduction. Their story might have faded into the annals of UFO claims except for the fact that the Hills were credible people with no prior interest in the topic; they had conscious continuous recall of observing a huge, silent, structured craft hovering less than 200 feet overhead, they lost two hours time after hearing buzzing tones striking the trunk of their vehicle as the UFO hovered above them; they found physical and circumstantial evidence when they arrived home; and they reported their incident to the Air Force and NICAP.
Debunkers have disseminated false and misleading information about Betty’s interest in the topic, stating that she was a longtime believer in UFOs and had read many books and articles on the subject. Additionally, it has been falsely stated that Betty was a science fiction enthusiast who watched many movies pertaining to UFO abduction. This is nonsense.
The facts are partially documented in a letter written by Barney to Major Donald Keyhoe, Director of NICAP. Barney wrote, "I was a skeptic prior to this (UFO sighting), although my wife felt they could exist. Neither of us had any training or knowledge in the past..." Despite this fact, one so called skeptic wrote that the story had every indication of being merely an inventive tale from the mind of a lifelong UFO fanatic. This is an outright lie. One has to question why an individual would be driven to deny the truth that he or she would invent false information. The statement about Betty is slanderous. A psychological study should be conducted to identify the cause of this type of ad hominem attack. It is certainly not an example of an honest defense of one's opinion. Perhaps it is emotionally driven by fear.
NICAP investigator Walter Webb, an astronomy lecturer at the Hayden Planetarium, who had worked with J. Allen Hynek, PhD, and was later promoted to assistant director, asked the Hills about their prior interest in the topic. He wrote in an article dated 8/30/1965, “Before the experience, Barney Hill apparently had a total lack of interest or curiosity about UFOs. His wife had a mild interest in the heavens which she shared with her father, but she had not read any books on the UFO subject.” The fact is that my family was interested in the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. The interest did not extend to the topic of extraterrestrial visitation, with one brief exception.
In 1957, my mother, Janet Miller, had stopped her car at the side of the road to observe a truly perplexing object hanging in the night sky. She and several witnesses from a nearby house watched in amazement as a number of disk-shaped objects approached the larger craft from different directions and entered it. Next, it ascended into the night sky and disappeared from sight. My mother mentioned this in passing conversation to my grandparents and Betty and Barney during a family visit, but Barney stated that there had to be a prosaic explanation for it. Betty thought that it might be possible, but the conversation ended there and it wasn’t mentioned again until September 20, 1961, when Betty phoned my childhood home and apprised my mother of the close encounter that she and Barney had the previous evening in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. It was then that I heard about my mother’s UFO sighting for the first time. I was 13.
False information about the Hill’s Credibility
I stated above that the Hills were credible people. It is a point that is often ignored by debunkers who have an agenda to color them as anything but credible. I’ve read the false charges that Betty was fantasy prone and Barney was mentally unstable. Complete nonsense. The fact is that Betty and Barney were well grounded, stable individuals. Several people that knew Betty as a friend or adoption worker have made comments to me about Betty’s personality. The most frequent comment I receive is “She was the salt of the earth. The people that criticize her don’t know what they’re talking about.” I have never received a negative comment about Betty or Barney by anyone that knew them.
It has long been argued by debunkers that Betty’s personality was so dominant and Barney’s was so submissive that he would do, say and believe anything that Betty told him to. This is another blatantly false accusation. The personality tests administered to them by Dr. Leo Sprinkle indicate that Barney scored within the normal range on measures of suggestibility, self-confidence, self-doubt, excitability, inhibitions, disposition, conformity and anxiety. His scores were above average in the areas of perseverance, responsibility, achievement, self-control, commitment to truth and justice, sincerity, dependability, self-discipline, and hard work. He had a mind of his own and a healthy sense of self.
The fact is that Betty was a social worker for the State of New Hampshire, working in child welfare and adoption, and Barney was employed by the US Post Office. Both were active in the civil rights movement and lifelong members of the NAACP. Barney was legal redress officer for his local chapter and on the regional board. In a letter dated May 21, 1965, Barney was informed by a representative from the US Civil rights commission, “It gives me great pleasure to advise you that the United States Commission on Civil Rights, at a meeting held May 4, 1965, appointed you a member of the New Hampshire State Advisory Committee for a term ending December 31, 1966.” This recognition would not have been awarded to a submissive or mentally unstable man.
It was Barney’s advocacy for equal rights that brought him to the committee’s attention. Prior to his appointment, he had voiced concern in a letter to the editor about how ridiculous it was for the committee to be staffed by 5 white men, although there were many people of color in the state. He considered this unfair and discriminatory. Valerie Cunningham is an African American historian from Portsmouth who knew Barney and addressed this issue in an interview in the film titled Strange Septembers. She said, “Barney was fearless and outspoken.” These are not the activities of an effete man.
Betty and Barney worked tirelessly with a team of volunteers from Portsmouth, NH to set up the Rockingham County Community Action Program through the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity. Barney served on the Board of Directors in this program. They also worked to promote voter’s rights and literacy, and for their efforts were invited by President Lyndon B. Johnson to attend his 1965 inauguration. I received an invitation as well, and accompanied Betty and Barney to the historic event. This was before the violation of confidentiality that resulted in the public disclosure that the Hills had been abducted by aliens. Prior to this only a few scientists, UFO investigators, close friends and family members were privy to this information, and we had been sworn to secrecy knowing the negative consequences that this kind of publicity could deliver to my family.
Both Betty and Barney performed their jobs well. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Army and being assessed as having “excellent” character, Barney landed a job with the US Post Office. He remained employed at the post office until his death in 1969. Betty was promoted to Intake and Referral Supervisor at the welfare office after her abduction story was made public.
False statements about their trip
Debunkers often speculate authoritatively, but without knowledge, that Barney was under so much stress prior to his and Betty’s vacation to Niagara Falls and Montreal that he had intended to use the time to rest. This is another blatantly false and irrational statement. If it were true, the Hills could have remained at home or vacationed nearby. The facts can be found in Barney’s statement to Dr. Benjamin Simon, the prominent Boston psychiatrist who saw the Hills over a 6 month period in 1964, for hypnosis regarding their 9/19-20/1961 experience. Dr. Simon asked Barney, “Tell me what made you suddenly decide to go to Niagara Falls?” Barney replied, “Betty had never been to Niagara Falls and she had a vacation for a week, and I had been, but I knew she wanted to go somewhere…I made that decision when I was driving down to work at night and I was thinking, ‘I wish there was something I could do with Betty, while she was off from work for a week.’ And when I got to work I started to call her back, and then I thought, ‘I will tell her in the morning when I get off from work and drive back to Portsmouth.”’
I suspect that Niagara Falls came to Barney’s mind, because my aunt (Betty’s sister), uncle, cousin and I vacationed there during the summer of 1961. We had thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and shared photographs and memories of the trip with Betty and Barney during a weekend visit.
I recently heard another false statement on a National Geographic documentary that I appeared on. It was disappointing that I had made an abundance of accurate and informative points about my aunt and uncle’s UFO experience, but a debunker falsely stated that the Hills had been driving for “something like 16 hours” that day before they sighted the UFO, implying that their minds were unlikely to see things objectively in that exhausted state. The fact is that the Hills had a restful night at a motel only two hours west of Montreal on September 18, and spent a “lovely” afternoon in Montreal. They had planned on spending the night on the outskirts of the city, but decided to continue on their route to Portsmouth, NH, as Barney was feeling energized and felt that it wouldn’t be a problem. They had a contingency plan to stop for the night if he began to experience fatigue. In a conscious interview with Dr. Simon, Barney stated the following: “I was well rested from the night before. We had spent a delightful day and I knew I could drive on from the White Mountains down to Portsmouth. So, I didn't stop. I didn't feel too tired.”
The fact is that they had been driving only 5.5 hours when Betty spotted a new star like object in the sky that had moved rapidly upward. How does 5.5 hours translate into 16 hours in the mind of a debunker? It appears that this debunker hasn’t done his homework. It would have taken closer to 16 hours to drive home from Niagara Falls via Toronto, Montreal, Coaticook, and then down US Rt. 3 to I-93 to Rt. 4 to Portsmouth, NH. Two books (Fuller & Friedman-Marden), stated that Betty and Barney spend the night before their UFO sighting at a motel 112 miles west of Montreal. They slept in on the morning of September 19 and had a leisurely breakfast before they made the two hour journey to Montreal.
Last summer my husband and I tested the hypothesis that Betty and Barney were so tired that they weren’t thinking clearly. We drove to Niagara Falls, went sightseeing, and spent the night at a hotel. The following morning, we drove along the north side of Lake Ontario east through Toronto and onward to a motel located approximately 112 miles west of Montreal. We enjoyed a leisurely morning and a nice breakfast, just as the Hills did on September 19, 1961, and proceeded to drive to Montreal. We spent the afternoon there and left on the same route that Barney took to Coaticook and on toward Colebrook, NH. We stopped in Colebrook for a snack, just as Betty and Barney did, and headed south along their route toward Franconia Notch. My husband and I are nearly 25 years older than the Hills were when they made their interrupted journey, but we were not in an exhausted state. We didn’t have hallucinations of a UFO and its crew.
False statements about the UFO sighting
Time and time again, I have read the false statements that Betty and Barney had observed a bright star-like UFO that seemed to be following them and although it increased in size, it remained star-like. Because Barney feared that it might harm them, he left the main highway for narrow mountain roads and arrived home 2 hours later than expected. This is complete hogwash! The fact is that the bright star-like UFO quickly descended in their direction in an erratic flight pattern. At first the Hills observed the lighted row of windows that gave it a cigar shape. Shortly thereafter, almost directly in their path, Betty and Barney encountered the flattened circular disc, hovering silently an estimated 100-200 feet above their vehicle. Barney rapidly brought the car to a halt in the middle of the road and grabbed his binoculars for a closer look, opening the car door for a less encumbered view. Rapidly, in an arc like movement, it shifted from its location directly ahead, and rested above the apple tree tops in an adjacent field. Barney walked toward it.
The silent enigmatic craft was huge; maybe sixty to eighty feet in diameter, with a row of rectangular windows extending across its rim. As he approached it, two red lights at the end of fin-like structures parted from the sides of the craft, and it tilted toward Barney. Lifting his binoculars to his eyes, he spied a group of figures dressed in black, shiny uniforms looking back at him. In a letter dated September 26, 1961 (only six days after their abduction), Betty wrote to NICAP Director Donald Keyhoe, “He (Barney) did see many figures scurrying about as though they were making some hurried type of preparation. One figure was observing us from the windows. From the distance this was seen, the figures appeared to be about the size of a pencil, and seemed to be dressed in some type of shiny black uniform.” A star-like object? Not in the documented evidence!
On October 21, 1961, he told NICAP investigator Walter Webb that they were “somehow not human.” As the craft tilted downward and began to descend toward him, one of these strange creatures, who remained at the window, communicated a frightening message. Barney had the immediate impression that he was in danger of being plucked from the field. Overcome with fear and with all of the courage that he could muster, he tore the binoculars from his eyes and raced back to the car. Breathless, trembling, and in near hysterics, he told Betty that they needed to get out of there or they were going to be captured.
Betty informed Donald Keyhoe of Barney’s response to observing the non-human entities staring down at him only six days after their encounter and after she had checked out a book at the library that listed NICAP’s address. She wrote, “At this point, my husband became shocked and got back in the car, in a hysterical condition, laughing and repeating that they were going to capture us.” To impart the impression that the Hills observed only a bright, star-like object, or that all of this was brought out under hypnosis is simply dishonest.
(Photos: Walt Webb's photo of Barney in field with UFO added.) (Barney's 9/20/1961 sketch of the UFO)
Now for Barney’s turn off the main highway. As Barney resumed his drive down US Rt. 3 in Lincoln, NH, he told Betty to roll down her window and look up at the craft that had shifted over the car as he fled from the field. All she saw was blackness. There were no lights from the craft—no stars above—even though it was a bright, light night. Suddenly, she and Barney heard a series of code-like buzzing sounds that seemed to be striking the trunk of the car. This caused the car to vibrate and for a tingling sensation to pass through Betty and Barney’s bodies. Then, as if only a moment had passed the Hills found themselves 35 miles south of the Lincoln field. They heard a second series of buzzing sounds, but this time they didn’t see the craft. Barney did not intentionally turn off the main highway, nor did he travel on narrow mountain roads.
Both retained a vague memory of leaving the main highway, but it was without intent. Later, they would discover that somehow found themselves on a state highway, Rt. 175 that runs parallel to Rt. 3, the main highway. Prior to this unexpected stop at the field, Barney had been looking for a highway patrolman. He wanted to report the UFO to a third witness. Now he and Betty had to reconcile the fact that they were suddenly and without explanation, miles south of their former location. They consciously recalled observing a fiery orb that seemed to be moving, although they weren’t moving, and a roadblock.
A Nazi Crew? Baloney!
Several UFO believers have twisted Barney’s observation of non-humans aboard the craft and presented it as evidence that Nazi officers were working in concert with the Greys. This belief is not supported by the evidence when one examines Barney’s conscious recall taken together with his hypnotic recall.
On October 21, 1962, Barney described to NICAP investigator Walter Webb, the non-human figures that he observed on the craft through binoculars. Walter wrote “The figures reminded the observer of the cold precision of German officers; they moved smoothly and efficiently and showed no emotion…” The fact is that Barney had served in the Army during WW II and was attempting to draw a comparison between the movement of the non-human entities and German officers in order to give Walter a way to visualize their efficient movement as a group. To say that this indicates Barney encountered Nazis is a huge stretch of the imagination.
Now let’s examine Barney’s statements under hypnosis. First it is important to understand the methods that Dr. Benjamin Simon employed. He did not use the technique that is used today when hypnotherapists work with suspected abductees. He was a psychiatrist and used hypno-analysis with Barney. In other words, he had no interest in a possible UFO abduction. His primary interest was in identifying troubling events in Barney’s past that reminded him of the emotional response he was experiencing when he viewed the craft’s occupants. The past was being tied to the present.
As Barney relived the events in the terrifying close encounter field that had troubled him for months prior to his hypnosis, he had a powerful abreaction (release of emotion), and became so confused that he incorrectly remembered that he had already removed his gun from the trunk of Betty’s car miles earlier, when he worried about bears at the Mt. Cleveland picnic area. This is evidence of his state of shock. His terrified mind does not want to relive this event, but Dr. Simon has forced him to move on. In addition to experiencing it, Dr. Simon had given Barney instructions to tell him all of his “thoughts and feelings” related to this event. As Barney relived the event under hypnosis in 1964, he stated, “And the evil face on the ……looks like a German Nazi. He is a Nazi.” Certainly Barney had not described a Nazi to Walter Webb in October 1961. Nor did he later describe the non-human entities as having a Nazi appearance. Yet based upon this tiny statement made in a state of terror, under hypnosis, in hypno-analysis, some individuals with a clear Nazi UFO agenda have expanded this momentary psychological interpretation to mean that Barney was abducted by Nazis working in concert with the Greys. Barney also stated that he felt like a rabbit. Using the same logic would it be safe to say that Barney transformed into a rabbit? More attention should be given to Barney’s conscious recall.
Misleading Statements about the Weather
One debunker wrote an article stating that Betty spoke in error when she stated that the sky was clear on the night of her UFO sighting, and therefore should not inspire confidence in her perceptual ability or the accuracy of the rest of her testimony. He claimed to have contacted the Mount Washington Weather Station and other weather stations throughout New England who informed him that at the time of the incident high, thin cirrus clouds covered more than half the sky.
In order to verify this debunker's statements, I contacted the director at the Mount Washington Weather Station and requested its weather report for the night in question. Tim Markle, Chief Meteorologist at the Mt. Washington Observatory wrote, "It appears that the 19th and 20th were beautiful late summer days atop the Rockpile. The evening and nighttime conditions of the 19th were quite tranquil...visibility was 130 miles throughout the night.”
This neither confirmed nor denied the debunker’s statement, so I researched the characteristics of high, thin cirrus clouds and discovered that they are virtually invisible at night. Stars can easily be seen through them. I also contacted a professional meteorologist and full member of the American Meteorological Society, with 36 years experience in the field. He stated as follows: "The local efect with subsidence warming could create a clear slot. Moreover, cirrostratus clouds, such as was observed on the night of September 19, 1961, are thin and at most would dim the starlight coming through. The perception would be of a clear sky." Betty’s statement that it was a light, bright night was absolutely correct! This should inspire confident in the accuracy of the rest of her testimony, if we follow the debunker’s logic. The same debunker postulated that the Hills’ hysterical excitement had caused them to misinterpret the planet Jupiter as a UFO. He ignored the fact that the Air Force had considered, but rejected this explanation years earlier. The Air Force’s Project Blue Book, known for dismissing even the most compelling UFO cases, stated in its report that there was a strong inversion in the Lincoln, NH area on the night of the sighting. I asked a senior meteorologist to research the US Weather Service’s archival records for this date and received the following reply: “The light east airflow that night would have caused subsidence warming, just the opposite of an inversion as claimed by the Air Force” False statements made through official channels and debunking organizations demonstrate that emotionality is a prominent factor in their decision making. Are they are fearful of the possible social or economic consequences if the truth was told, or they themselves are scared silly?
Misleading Statements about two Hours Missing Time
Years ago, a debunker attempted to explain away the period of lost time noted by the Hills, simply by contending that they were lost and couldn’t find their way for two hours. The fact is that both stated under hypnosis that they had discovered they were on a new stretch of road with no plausible explanation for how they arrived there. They recalled observing a fiery orb on the road that was moving, although they weren’t moving and a roadblock, but they didn’t know where this occurred. Barney was particularly concerned, because it is impossible to unintentionally turn off US Rt. 3 onto Rt. 175 along this section of highway. One has to come nearly to a complete stop and turn left over a bridge crossing the Pemigewasset River, then stop at a stop sign in order to turn onto Rt. 175. In separate hypnosis sessions in which amnesia was reinforced, both stated that immediately after they heard buzzing sounds on the trunk of their vehicle they found themselves in a new, unfamiliar location. It is as if the craft had lifted their car and set it down in a new location, or Barney was under a mind controlling force that directed him to make a turn without consciously intending to. Whatever occurred (we’ll never know for certain), the Hills wouldn’t have been lost for long. Visible road signs clearly mark several right turns off Rt. 175 and easily guide a person back to US Rt. 3. Betty and Barney drove along these routes repeatedly in late 1961 and 1962 searching for the spot where the fiery orb had landed and sporadically thereafter. They didn’t find it until Labor Day Weekend 1965. But very significantly it was in the exact location that they remembered under hypnosis.
Several researchers have incorrectly stated that the Hills drove along Rt. 3 around Squam Lake and the west side of Lake Winnepesaukee. This would have added time to their trip, but it is not the route that Barney took. He clearly stated that he travelled along Rt. 3 to Rt. 3B to I-93, as shown on the map below.
(The 1960 map on the left shows Route 3 and Route 175, which run parallel to one another. The second map shows the Hill's route from U.S. Route 3 to 3b, and straight down to I-93. When they reached Concord, NH, they travelled east on Route 4 to their home in Portsmouth.)
Physical and Circumstantial Evidence
Debunkers would have us believe that there was no compelling evidence that anything unusual occurred to the Hills on the night of September 19-20, 1961. This too is a false claim. The facts speak for themselves. When Betty and Barney arrived home they discovered that the tops of Barney’s best dress shoes were so badly scraped that he had to replace them with new shoes. He and Betty had no memory of how this occurred. The dress that Betty had been wearing was in fine condition when she dressed on the morning of September 19, but when she arrived home it was torn in 3 places. There was a 2” tear in the stitching at the top of her zipper and a 1” tear in the thick zipper fabric. Additionally, the lining was torn from waist to hemline and the hem was torn down on one side. There was no prosaic explanation for the damage to Betty’s dress.
Betty discovered highly polished concentric circles on the trunk of her car that hadn’t been there the previous day. They were in the exact location where the Hills had heard buzzing sounds striking their trunk after the UFO shifted above their vehicle. I observed them only two days after the Hill’s close encounter. My childhood neighbor, a physicist, had advised Betty to take a compass to her car to determine whether or not it would react in an unusual way, not just fluctuate over the metal surface or in proximity to the battery. Betty discovered the circular marks and placed the compass over them, which caused the needle to whirl. Barney confirmed Betty’s finding when he experimented with the compass. But time and time again, debunkers state that Barney did not observe anything unusual. Their trick was to quote a statement of denial that Barney made to Betty because he was irritated with her at that moment. He wanted to forget “the whole thing” and was being disagreeable for that reason. The fact is that he told Dr. Benjamin Simon, “I put the compass close to it (the spots), and the compass would spin and spin, and I could move the compass as few inches to a spot on trunk that did not have a spot and the compass would drop down, and I could not understand this.” Debunkers that quote statements out of context for the purpose of misleading the public are being dishonest.
The couple’s wind-up wrist watches had stopped and they assumed that they needed to be rewound. Despite all efforts they never ran again. This is circumstantial but seems more than a coincidence, particularly when we consider the effect that a strong electromagnetic field can have upon a watch.
There was more circumstantial evidence than is mentioned above, but space limitations prevent me from discussing it in this paper. Please refer to my book (with Stanton T. Friedman), Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience for the full story, including Newington, New Hampshire’s Pease Air Force Base and North Concord, Vermont’s Air Force Station’s Project Blue Book reports.
Scientific Analysis of Betty’s Dress
One debunker has stated that he can think of prosaic explanations for the torn and degraded condition of the dress Betty was wearing on the night of September 19, 1961. His exact words were “The lining and zipper are torn, supposedly confirming her account of the aliens forcibly removing it from her, although a number of earthly explanations come to mind.” Personally, I can think of no valid prosaic explanation for the damage to Betty’s dress. Is he accusing her of intentionally damaging her dress? It sounds to me like he is making a thinly veiled attempt to defame Betty’s character. How can this explain the biological growth in specific dress locations? Betty couldn’t have doctored the dress for testing that was not even in existence (DNA), or known to her (IR), in the 1960’s.
Betty stated that her favorite blue dress was in fine condition when she dressed for her ride from Eastern Ontario to Montreal. She and Barney went sightseeing in Montreal and then travelled east toward New Hampshire. They stopped briefly for a snack in Coaticook, QE and Colebrook, NH, before heading south on US Rt. 3. She stepped out of the car to observe the UFO through binoculars at the Mt. Cleveland picnic area and at the Old Man of the Mountain. This was her last conscious memory of exiting her vehicle until she arrived home at 5:00 on the morning of September 20. When she undressed she discovered that her dress was inexplicably torn in several areas. Her activities on September 19 couldn’t possibly have resulted in the extensive damage. There was a 2 inch tear in the stitching at the top of her zipper and a 1 inch tear in the thick zipper fabric. The lining was torn from waist to hemline and the hem was torn down on the same side. Knowing that it needed to be repaired, she placed it in her closet. When she finally removed it she discovered that it was partially coated in a pink powdery substance. This pink powder had saturated the areas of the dress where Betty stated her alien escorts touched it. She hung it on her clothesline and the powder blew away, but the dress had been reduced to a rag. It was stained pink and the fiber was degraded.
Note the torn zipper fabric and stitching The lining is torn from waist to hemline
In 1977, Betty found a UFO investigator, Leonard Stringfield, who took an interest in her damaged dress. He arranged to have it analyzed by the chemistry department at the University of Cincinnati. Sulfur, sodium, chlorides, and silicon were possible trace elements on the dress and it appeared to be high in undetermined organic hydrocarbons. The pink powder was strange in relation to the inorganic elemental content. Several chemicals were applied to the blue section of the dress in an attempt to duplicate the color change, but none were successful.
Phyllis Budinger, MS, an analytical industrial chemist conducted an extensive analysis on Betty’s dress. She observed that the pink stains were most prominent in the areas that Betty said were touched by her non-human captors—around the arms and at the top of the zipper. She concluded that the stained areas were coated with a biological material of mostly protein and a small amount of natural oil. The protein attacked the fiber and dye in the stained areas and broke down the fiber structure. It came from an external source; not Betty. She concluded that the chemical analysis supports Betty’s statements about her dress.
The debunker disagreed. He stated, “I would expect that an item of clothing left undisturbed in a closet for forty years would pick up all manner of interesting biological substances from insects, spiders, mites, mold, bacteria, etc.” The truth is that the chemical analysis noted dust and trace environmental elements on Betty’s dress, but they did not account for the perplexing findings made by several laboratories. In addition to this, the chemist ran additional tests on a control sample—a dress nearly identical in description to Betty’s that had been hanging in a closet for 35 years. It displayed none of the unusual properties of Betty’s dress.
Invalid Speculation about the Outer Limits Show Bifrost Man
Yet another debunker has attempted to demolish the Hill’s UFO close encounter and abduction by suggesting that Barney had merely described an alien that he watched on television—“The Bellero Shield” on the sci-fi horror show The Outer Limits. The show aired in February 1964, twelve days before Dr. Simon asked Barney, under hypnosis, to describe the figures that he observed aboard the UFO. The debunker apparently hadn’t read Barney’s September and October 1961 descriptions of the non-human entities. They were dressed in shiny black uniforms, just the opposite of the silvery white uniform worn by the Bifrost man in “The Bellero Shield”. Although a mental block occurred when he attempted to remember the facial characteristics of the non-human figure standing in the window, he noted the expressionless face of the “leader” and the smiling face of the occupant who looked over his shoulder from a control panel.
The debunker was so convinced that his assumption was correct that he didn’t bother to ask Betty if Barney had watched the show. (Barney was deceased when the article was written.) She told several researchers that Barney couldn’t possibly have watched the show, as he had no interest in that type of program, nor had she ever viewed it. He was usually busy at that time of night attending community meetings and visiting with friends and family before he left for his night job in Boston.
I was very curious about this alleged similarity, so I did my own comparison based upon Barney’s written descriptive details. In the end, I found very little similarity between the two. I studied the facial characteristics of the original Bifrost man’s mask and the newer version that is frequently displayed on the Internet. His most prominent facial features are slanted eyes that extend to the temples, a highly visible curved ridge above the mouth, and a strong chin. Let’s compare these features to the alien figure that Barney described. We can see the large eyes that Barney described to Dr. Simon as “slanted but not like the Chinese.” The comparison ends there. There is a marked difference between the Bifrost man’s eyes and those of the non-human that Barney observed. Barney did not describe the deep eye folds extending upwards from a small human eye, like the ones visible on the Bifrost man’s mask. The being he observed had eyes that might indicate peripheral vision—more like cat’s eyes than human eyes inside a fold. In addition to this, the Bifrost man’s eyes blinked, but Barney did not observe eyes that blinked.
The Bifrost man in "The Bellero Schield") David Baker's painting of Barney's ET and Barney's sketch of the same
The prominent ridge above the Bifrost man’s mouth is a highly visible feature. Significantly, it is completely absent in Barney’s sketches, David Baker’s paintings, and Barney’s written descriptions of the ET. If Barney had observed the Bifrost man, why would he fail to mention or sketch one of his most prominent features?
The Bifrost man’s strong, square chin juts out as a highly visible feature. One would expect to find a prominent chin mentioned in Barney’s description. Yet he consistently stated that the ETs had “weak” chins.
The Bifrost man spoke with a mouth that had all of the characteristics of a human mouth. Its lips and teeth are visible when it speaks. Not so of the ET that Barney observed. He had a lipless slit for a mouth and no visible teeth. Barney also mentioned immobility of the mouth muscle and a membrane inside the ET’s mouth that fluttered. Not so for the Bifrost man.
Although the Bifrost man couldn’t understand English, he interpreted the Bellero family’s spoken messages by decoding their language through eye contact. This was not part of Barney’s perception. There was no spoken English. Communication was probably telepathic, as he and Betty understood the ETs in English, but did not observe the mouth movement that occurs when words are formed. There is no evidence that the ETs read Barney’s eyes. Barney’s statement to Dr. Simon gives us insight into the communication process that he experienced. He said, “He did not speak by words. I was told what to do by his thoughts making my thoughts understand. And I could hear him and I could not understand, and yet I could understand him…” Betty stated, “I just knew what they were saying…what they wanted me to know.” Dr. Simon asked if they transferred their thoughts to her and she replied, “somehow or other…I don’t know how.” (A reader stated that Betty had stated in a "Lost Interview" on You Tube, that she and Barney spoke with the ETs just like we converse among ourselves. This information was in Betty's dream account, but is not consistent with her or Barney's statements to Dr. Benjamin Simon. Betty's statements in this interview should be taken with a grain of salt. She made many radical and false statements in this interview. I attribute this to a brain tumor that affected her reasoning and perception.)
The Bifrost man had a normal human torso and stood nearly as tall as Mr. Bellero. Not so of Barney’s ETs. He described “spindly” legs holding up a bulky, barrel chested torso. These thin legs carried the ETs along in what Barney described as a rolling gait. Not so for the Bifrost man. The ET’s head was larger in proportion to its body than with humans. And it stood only 4 ½ to 5 feet tall—at least eight inches shorter than Barney. (David Baker’s paintings incorrectly depict beings with thick legs. He wrote that he was guided by his knowledge of human anatomy. ET anatomy is obviously not human.)
The Bifrost man’s gentle speech and radiant presence gave the perception that he was far less monstrous than Mrs. Bellero, who was willing to kill for his impenetrable shield. Barney perceived the ETs he encountered as terrifying and in complete control. It sounds to me like the Bellero Shield explanation is another “anything but ET” hypothesis.
False Statements about Betty’s Dreams
Debunkers have placed an inordinate amount of significance on five vivid dreams that Betty experienced prior to waking that began 10 days after the close encounter and missing time event in New Hampshire's White Mountains. They content that her dreams were identical to her recall through hypnosis and that Barney had merely absorbed the information in Betty’s dreams and fantasized an abduction event of his own. This is touted because Dr. Simon hypothesized that although it is impossible to know for certain, the dream hypothesis was the most logical prosaic explanation.
Dr Simon stated that he believed in the Hill’s honesty. However, he was under pressure from his peers not to go down in history as the psychiatrist that announced to the world that UFOs are real and aliens are abducting American citizens. There is evidence that he was also under pressure from Philip Klass, an anti-UFO propagandist from the mainstream press who is known to have attempted to destroy the good reputations of people who disagreed with him ((e.g. McDonald, Hynek, Friedman). Remember, no other case of alien abduction had ever been reported. Also, Dr. Simon had an outstanding reputation to protect. He sent a letter to John Fuller that was written to him by a colleague chiding him about his involvement in an alien abduction case. There was pressure from colleagues to separate himself from the case or suffer the consequences.
Betty’s infamous dreams told of being taken board a landed craft and undergoing a medical examination. She and Barney had been met, she wrote, by a group of men who surrounded their parked car. The men were human in appearance with black hair, large noses, bluish lips, ears, etc. They stood 5 and half feet tall and wore blue military cadet uniforms and blue cadet’s hats. Not so of the non-human entities that she remembered encountering after her memory had been enhanced through hypnosis.
Betty's dream alien/ Betty's sculpture of the leader/ Patrick Richard's paintings of the ETs that Betty described.
Several debunkers have stated that Betty and Barney were plagued by dreams and nightmares about alien abduction before they saw Dr. Simon. This is false. Betty had five dreams and only five dreams before she began her hypnosis session with Dr. Simon. Barney hadn’t dreamed of UFOs until he saw Dr. Simon in 1964. He had three dreams following a hypnosis session and told Dr. Simon, “I dreamed about a UFO Tuesday night and Wednesday night. And this is the first time in my life I had ever dreamed about a UFO.” I sometimes wonder if debunkers can get anything straight.
One debunker wrote authoritatively that Betty had written and rewritten accounts of her dreams during a two year period prior to hypnosis. This is false. The truth is she made notes about them on note paper in early October 1961 and rearranged them into a detailed typed account in November 1961.
Several debunkers have stated that Betty told and retold her dreams to Barney and others interested in hearing about her UFO experience. One alleged that she had probably told the story over and over again until Barney’s “ears fell off”, inferring that Barney knew all the details of Betty’s dreams and repeated them under hypnosis. According to Barney this statement is false. The fact is that Barney told Dr. Simon he’d overheard Betty tell her dreams to NICAP investigator Walter Webb while he waited in an adjacent room, but he hadn’t heard all of the details of her dreams and reassured her that they were only dreams with no foundation in reality.
Debunkers argue that Betty had told him “a great many details of the dreams.” But they fail to mention what those details are. Barney told Dr. Simon specifically what Betty told him. But I suppose that this accurate information would demolish their dream hypothesis, so it is best left out of their arguments. Here are the details in Barney’s own words.
1. She would say that she had had a dream and the dream was that she had been taken aboard a UFO.
2. She did not tell me about being stopped by the men. She did not have this in her dreams. This was only when I was hypnotized.
3. I was also in her dream and was taken aboard.
4. She was not certain to the location where we had stopped.
5. She had gone into this UFO and had talked with the people there onboard.
6. She was told she would forget, and she said that she was determined that she would not forget.
7. She would tell (Walter Webb) that they had stuck something in her navel causing great pain and that (with) just a wave of the hand, this pain disappeared.
8. They had come into a room with my teeth and they were quite startled that her teeth could not come out and mine could.
9. I never believed her dreams.
Dr. Simon used suggestion in an attempt to elicit a response from Barney that Betty had told him about her physical examination when he stated, “Well now, all of this about your being taken aboard the UFO and being examined and having your teeth taken and all of the examination…this was all told to you by Betty, wasn't it?” Barney replied, “No, Betty never told me…only about my teeth.” It is interesting that the one thing he did know was not part of his memory under hypnosis.
My comparative analysis of the Hill’s independent statements to Dr. Simon versus Betty’s dream account uncovered significant differences between Betty’s dreams and the information recalled separately by Betty and Barney during hypnotic regression. Their statements about the capture interlocked, but were different than Betty’s dream account. Barney had independent memories of being floated aboard the craft where only his toes bumped along the rocky ground. The ETs were entirely different than those in Betty’s dreams. Betty’s exam was more detailed than Barney’s, but he sensed each procedure as it occurred with his eyes closed. He and Betty gave independent details about the ET’s behavior and communication style that meshed. He also stated that he was returned to the car first and Betty came down the path a short time later. This is consistent with Betty’s recall under hypnosis, but different than Betty’s dream account. (For details see www.kathleen-marden.com “Dreams or Recall?”)
The Souvenir Book
After Betty’s examination, she was offered a souvenir book by the leader that she wanted as proof that her abduction was real. It was not a typical book. It had a stiff, thin cover and a page on the interior that had alien symbols imbedded in what resembled shiny plastic. This book was part of Betty’s dream account and was dismissed by many as a figment of her imagination.
I asked Betty to draw the symbols and kept her sketch in my files for many years. They were published in Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience in 2007. Don C. Donderi, PhD saw them in my book and decided to compare them to the symbols that Budd Hopkins had collected over a number of years from abductees. Dr. Donderi taught psychology at McGill University in Montreal for forty-seven years and also served as associate dean of the faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. He spearheaded an alien symbol study with the late Stuart Appelle, PhD, from the State University of NY at Brockport and Budd Hopkins.
The symbols that Budd Hopkins collected were compared to symbols sketched by two control groups that participated in the study. He issued a statement that Betty’s symbols look remarkably like the symbols in Budd Hopkins’ collection.
This is yet another piece of scientific evidence that Betty and Barney Hill were abducted by non-human entities in New Hampshire’s White Mountains on September 19 and into the early morning hours of the 20th in 1961. In this case, we cannot present one piece of evidence that will convince the skeptics that a real abduction occurred. It is the preponderance of evidence that makes this case convincing and has changed the minds of many open minded skeptics. As is often the case with debunkers or hard core skeptics, no amount of evidence will convince them that alien abduction is real. They will continue to tout isolated statements that mislead, or invent creative and often false evidence that supports their debunking agenda. This brand of dishonesty will lead us no closer to the truth, but will blur the lines and dissuade the naïve public from taking alien abduction seriously.