The Betty and Barney Hill Dream Transference Hypothesis

is Obsolete

Given the scientific evaluation of the evidence, any rational person must question why skeptics continue to dismiss Betty and Barney Hills’ UFO encounter as a dream experienced by Betty and transferred to Barney.

© Kathleen Marden, May 2024

All photo and textual rights reserved under the Pan-American and International Copyright Conventions.  


     The scientific investigation of Betty and Barney Hills’ UFO encounter has been supported by an abundance of evidence that something unknown and anomalous occurred on the night of September 19, 1961, and into the early morning hours of September 20. I began my formal investigation of their case in the mid to late 1980s but in my teens I was a firsthand witness to the Hills’ evidence and their memories and reactions to their UFO encounter. As the trustee and executor of Betty Hill’s estate, I am in possession of her entire archival collection. Furthermore, I have conducted years of archival research and groundbreaking investigation on their case and transcribed and analyzed their statements under hypnosis with neuro-psychiatrist Benjamin Simon, MD. My disposition regarding their case has been academic, scholarly, and unbiased. My level of competence speaks loudly regarding an abundance of unsupported speculation and outright false information regarding what happened to Betty and Barney Hill. Skeptical literature abounds with allegations that the alleged alien abduction was nothing more than a fantasy dreamed by Betty over a five night period in early October 1961. I have chosen not to engage in personal refutations of false information injected by hardened skeptics for several reasons: I refused to bring attention to their false information, they were too intelligent and well educated to be honestly mistaken, they ignored the evidence while launching ad hominem attacks on UFO investigators, and I was far too busy with my own research and investigations.

     The purpose of this paper is to examine the evidence and the unsupported speculation pertaining to a series of five dreams that Betty Hill had immediately prior to waking, in late September and early October 1961. Her dreams contained documented, consciously recalled memories and what was apparently fantasy material. It is likely that they served to alleviate anxiety regarding her close encounter with an unconventional silent, hovering craft and to make sense of the evidence she and her husband discovered upon their arrival home from their nighttime drive through upstate New Hampshire.

     As the executor of Betty’s estate, I contributed the Hills’ archival record to the Milne Special Collections Library at the University of New Hampshire, and it is readily accessible to serious researchers. However, certain college professors and professional skeptics have continued to ignore the facts as they carefully craft false narratives. I now insist that we must set the record straight and separate fact from fiction regarding what the Hills reported in the days following their mysterious anomalous experience. First, we must accept the Hills’ original sighting report to Pease Air Force Base. There is ample evidence that the Project Blue Book files contain a falsified report dated September 21, 1965, instead of September 21, 1961. The falsified report omitted the flight characteristics in the first report and carried false information that the object was stationary at all times. It is apparent that Project Blue Book removed vital information from the report to obfuscate the truth. The following are quotes that confirm the Hills observed far more than a light in the sky. In fact, their report to Pease Air Force Base documents an unconventional aerial vehicle’s erratic flight pattern and size. The accurate 100th Bomb Wing SAC Report 100-1-61 is quoted as follows: 

  • It changed direction abruptly.
  • It stopped and hovered in the air.
  • When it seemed to be a matter of ‘hundreds of feet’ above the automobile it would be about the size of a dinner plate held at arm’s length. (Note: the full moon is the size of an aspirin held at arm’s length.)
  • While hovering, objects began to appear from the body of the ‘object’ like wings which made a V shape when extended.
  • At this point, they decided to get out of the area and fast.
  • Hill watched by sticking her head out the window, but her view was obstructed, and this prevented her observation of its full departure.
  • They report that when the object was above them after it swooped down they heard a series of short, loud ‘buzzes’ that they described as sounding like someone had dropped a tuning fork.
  • They could feel these buzzing sounds in their auto.
  • They continued on their trip and when they arrived in the vicinity of Ashland, NH, about thirty miles from Lincoln, they again heard the buzzing sound of the object; however, they did not see it at this time.
  • Hill described the flight pattern as ‘erratic.’ It ‘changed directions rapidly. During its flight it ascended and descended numerous times very rapidly.’ Its flight was described as ‘jerky, not smooth.’ (The original report is on pages 303-307 in my book with Stanton Friedman Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience.)

     The unsupported speculative narrative that has been promoted by hardened skeptics alleges that after the Hills observed a light in the sky that seemed to be following them and feeling fearful the Hill’s arrived home later than anticipated. Soon Betty had a series of frightening dreams of an abduction to a landed craft and converted these dreams into her own reality. This obviously inaccurate account of what the Hills reported to Pease Air Force Base contends that Barney absorbed all the information from Betty’s dreams and integrated it into his own memories as if he was incapable of distinguishing between his own thoughts and his wife’s dreams. The skeptics who promote the “dream transference hypothesis” continually ignore the Hills’ conscious recall found in their early reports to Pease Air Force Base and the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, and physical and circumstantial evidence related to the investigation of their UFO encounter.

     It has been well established through investigation and the Hills’ early documented statements regarding their conscious recall that they heard a series of buzzing/beeping sounds that caused their vehicle to vibrate moments after Barney, who was standing in the close encounter field in Lincoln, NH, observed figures peering down at him that were “somehow not human.” (NICAP investigator Walter Webb’s October 1961 confidential report) He feared that he would be “captured like a bug in a net” immediately before he broke free and ran screaming back to his Betty who had remained in the passenger seat of their 1957 Chevy Bel Air, which he had left lighted and running with the driver’s side door ajar. As a hysterical Barney entered the driver’s side of their vehicle he looked up and observed the craft moving in his direction. The Hills deduced that the craft produced code-like buzzing tones that left shiny circles on and a magnetic field around their rear trunk.

     On September 26, 1961, Betty typed a letter to retired US Marine Corps Major Donald E. Keyhoe, the director of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena. She found NICAP’s address days after her UFO encounter, in the first book she had ever read on the topic. The following are significant quotes from her letter:

  • The object was spinning and appeared to be lighted on only one side, which gave it a twinkling effect.
  • As it hovered in the air in front of us, it appeared to be pancake in shape, ringed in in the front with windows through which we could see bright blue-white lights.
  • As it glided closer, he was able to see inside the object, but not too closely.
  • He 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.
  • 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.
  • At this time, we are searching for any clue that might be helpful to my husband, in recalling whatever it was he saw that caused him to panic. His mind has completely blacked out at this point. Every attempt to recall leaves him very frightened. We are considering the possibility of a competent psychiatrist who uses hypnotism.

     During my investigation, Betty spoke of a tingling sensation that she and Barney sensed in their bodies immediately before their conscious awareness faded. This occurred when they heard code-like buzzing sounds striking the trunk of their vehicle. They could feel a vibration in their auto. I am the Director Emeritus of MUFON’s Experiencer Research Team and have worked with retired academics on two of my three studies on self-reported and confirmed experiencers. Our studies indicate that this tingling sensation is a common occurrence in abduction reports and might mark the onset of mind control by nonhuman abductors.

     As if only a moment had passed the Hills discovered they were near Ashland, about thirty miles south of their previous location. They were startled by a second series of buzzing sounds but did not see the aerial vehicle this time. However, they had vague memories of finding themselves on a dirt road lined with tall trees, a roadblock, and a fiery orb that appeared to be resting on the ground. Betty remembered more than Barney. This is consistent with the original documented evidence, which has been well established through the original investigative reports.

      Additionally, they observed and reported finding perplexing physical and circumstantial evidence for which they could not account, including 12-18 shiny, magnetized concentric circles on their car’s trunk that had not been there the previous day or until after they heard code-like buzzing sounds striking the trunk of their vehicle. Their watches were destroyed, their binocular strap was severed, Barney’s best dress shoes were ruined, and Betty’s best dress was inexplicably torn in several places.   

All photos are copyrighted by Kathleen Marden and cannot be reproduced without consent.

       It was Barney’s trauma and bleeding ulcers that eventually led him, accompanied by Betty, to Dr. Simon’s office in December 1963. He agreed to treat Betty and Barney for their anxiety and period of amnesia related to their close encounter with a UFO. Over a six month period they underwent separate hypnosis sessions with amnesia reinstated at the end of each session. When their hypnosis sessions were complete, they met together with Dr. Simon to listen to and discuss their memories. He stated that they both had much emotional work to complete. Accurate information regarding their treatment is well documented in my book with Stanton Friedman, Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience.Dr. Simon’s therapeutic treatment helped the Hills immensely. They experienced renewed vitality and ambition to carry out their community advocacy work for civil rights, voting rights and opportunities for the economically underprivileged members of their county. Barney was appointed to the US Commission on Civil Rights as a representative from his state and received awards for his work as a community leader. He, Betty, and I were invited to Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidential inauguration. Barney had achieved a position of respect and admiration and was happy, relaxed, and committed to his volunteer work. But he plunged into despair when a violation of confidentiality carried details of his UFO abduction to a major Boston newspaper. Dr. Benjamin Simon wrote, “Mr. Hill, in considerable distress, called to say that the reporter had approached them for an interview—which they had refused. He (the reporter) claimed to have the data on the case which he would publish without an interview with them if they refused to comply.” (1) Despite their refusal to cooperate with the reporter, he carried out a exhaustive investigation of their events.

Physical Evidence

      Later, Betty reported to investigators that she had discovered a pink powdery substance on the dress she wore on the night of their UFO encounter. Fabric samples from her dress have been analyzed in several scientific laboratories. Most recently, a tenured chemistry professor at the a major university conducted a scientific analysis on fabric samples from Betty’s dress. His student, who was trained in 'XRF' by a tenured associate professor at the campus for thirty years conducted X-ray fluorescence to detect heavier elements on the dress. Some of the results were commonplace, but two of the metals found on Betty’s dress were startling and inexplicable. You will find the results below.

  • Waistline:  Ti, Mn, and Ba were detected (0.5% level can be detected for calcium and heavier elements).
  • 2nd sample: Mn, Ga, Ge and La.
  • 3rd sample: Ti, Mn, Fe, Se, Te and Rh.
  • The print dress dyes and mordants holding the dye to the fabric would be expected. Aluminum salts are often used, and it was not observed. Iron salts can and we saw it on only one sample.

     The scientists were amazed by their discovery of Tellurium and Rhodium on /in the fabric on their third sample on Betty’s dress because they are rare and expensive. Tellurium is extremely rare in the Earth’s crust but is far more common in the Universe. Rhodium is one of the rarest and most precious metals on Earth with a higher melting point and lower density than platinum. The tenured chemistry professor reported that Tellurium and Rhodium “would never be expected in clothing.” (personal correspondence.)

     In another recent analysis, a scientist conducted a DNA test on a stain found on the lining of Betty’s blue dress at about the waistband in the front to ascertain the origin of the DNA and its possible relationship to a sample of Betty Hill's blood. Ben Hanson, a UFO researcher, former FBI agent, and television personality and I selected a fabric sample from a stained area on the front lining of her dress near the waistband while filming a television program at the Milne Special Collections Library at the University of New Hampshire. He observed that the stain had not been transferred to the lining from the exterior of the dress but appeared to have come from Betty’s body fluids, perhaps her blood. The location was interesting because Betty had reported that a nonhuman entity had inserted a large needle into her abdomen in or near her navel on the night of her UFO abduction.

     The scientist reported that “The PCR portion of the procedure was accomplished on the Stratagene RoboCycler Temperature Cycler and a Biorad Thermo mixer. The E gel electrophoresis system with illuminator and using 2% agarose E gels. All Reagent kits purchased from Thermofisher Scientific of Carlsbad California. The kit was a new procedural kit Thermo Scientific Phusion Human specimen Direct PCR that has been found to be effective in procuring DNA from older and minimal samples.

     All procedures were done while wearing a head covering, face mask, gloves and lab coat freshly washed and bleached and used for DNA procedures only. All handling of DNA and any tools used therein were sterilized and handled via proper Laboratory norms for DNA processing. All vials, pipette tips etc. were sterile as well.”

     The scientist closed her report with the following: “In conclusion the unknown stain and the known blood sample for Betty Hill are a match. Although the stain read negative for human blood and could have been a sweat stain or so degraded for hemoglobin it did not register on the blood cassette used for the blood test, it must be concluded that this stain came from body fluids of the wearer of the dress (Betty Hill).” Might this evidence verify that Betty Hill’s memory of a large needle having been inserted into her abdomen be true? 

Additional Evidence

      In August 2000 I asked Betty Hill to sketch the symbols that she recalled observing in a book during her time in the custody of nonhumans in September 1961, if she could remember any of them. A week later, she presented her sketched symbols to me. She described the mysterious “book” as having a dark, stiff, thin cover. The book was less than an inch thick. When she opened the book she saw six vertical columns of symbols beneath thin, stiff, shiny plastic. Initially, I suspected that it seemed like the substance of a dream, but in 2007 I read about an alien symbol study conducted by experimental psychologists Don C. Donderi, Stuart Appelle, student Tamara Lagrandeur, and UFO abduction researcher Budd Hopkins. Don C. Donderi, PhD led the study. Stuart Appelle hypnotized control subjects and asked them to imagine they observed symbols aboard an alien craft and sketch them. Budd Hopkins supplied hand sketched alien symbols that he had collected from dozen abductees that he had hypnotized. The team used a mathematical tool called “Multidimensional Similarity Scaling” to determine how similar one item was to another. The academic study discovered that some people who self-reported alien abductions scored consistently on a test that discriminated among abductees, controls, and abduction simulators. The team concluded that one explanation of the consistency is that “the reports are true.” (2)

     In 2009 Don C. Donderi, Stuart Appelle, Julia Bellissimo, and Budd Hopkins conducted a second alien symbols academic study. In the second study the team analyzed a dozen new images from Budd Hopkins and his earlier twelve submissions. This time Dr. Appelle hypnotized the control group twice. The first time he instructed them to observe and sketch the alien symbols they observed on a UFO. He hypnotized them again and asked them to sketch the symbols they observed during their supposedly real alien abduction. Then he asked them to draw the symbols they “remembered” seeing inside the UFO. The scientists reported, “The Multidimensional similarity scaling showed that the images produced by the imaginary abductees were clearly different from the images produced by the real abductees. So, we conclude that the abduction experience leaves a recovered memory that is visually distinct from an imagined abduction experience. And this strengthens the assertion that abductions by ETs are real.” (3)  

     Dr. Donderi contacted me after he became aware of the symbols that I had collected from Betty Hill in August 2000 and compared them to the symbols that Budd Hopkins had collected from the abductees that he had hypnotized. He wrote, “The symbols Betty remembered and that were published for the first time in 2007 look remarkably like many of the symbols that Hopkins had been collecting from abductees since 1975.” (4) Betty had never visited Budd Hopkins and had not observed the symbols that he stored in his confidential files. This scientific evidence strengthens the contention that Betty did not imagine her UFO abduction experience.

     This discussion would not be complete without mention of the highly publicized star map research and identification by amateur astronomer Marjorie Fish. Stanton Friedman authored two chapters regarding the star map in Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience. Betty reported that her nonhuman escort produced the map when she inquired about his home port. Marjorie, a skeptic, viewed Betty’s map in John Fuller’s The Interrupted Journey (1966) and constructed fourteen models of our local galactic neighborhood fifty-four light years in all directions from the sun. Her research was labor intensive and meticulous. She recorded the characteristics (distance, age, size, type, and location), of the stars in our local galactic neighborhood and calculated their precise position in her three dimensional models. But she did not find a match until our technology progressed and we had better distance data. Only then did she find a match for the map sketched by Betty on a suggestion by Dr. Simon that she would draw it only if she could remember it accurately and it didn’t trouble her.

     In 2013 a skeptical researcher used the Hipparcos Catalog data visualization tools of the Celestia and Digital Universe on 2289 computerized models. The researcher concluded that Marjorie Fish’s identification was the closest match of the nearest stars, an 86% match. But the researcher found two stars that might be a better fit. The researcher made the crucial point that the stars on Betty’s map were not known to anyone on Earth in 1961.


      Investigative journalist John Luttrell, a reporter for the Boston Traveler wrote a series of five newspaper articles beginning on October 25, 1965. He had spoken with Air Force officers at Pease Air Force Base, to members of the NICAP’s Massachusetts UFO Study Group, to NICAP Headquarters in Washington, DC, to Project Blue Book officials, and to six witnesses who saw the UFO on the night of the Hills’ encounter. Years later, investigator Stanton Friedman wrote to Mr. Luttrell concerning the witnesses. He replied on July 7, 1976, “I can recall interviewing between 12 and 14 different people from different communities surrounding Franconia Notch, NH, none of whom knew one another but all of whom remembered experiencing the same sighting at the same time the Hills did in the same location. This was basically established by drawing comparable lines of the sightings on an area map and all intersected at precisely the same location reported by Mr. and Mrs. Hill.”

     Years later, I received a report from a US Navy recruit who had been traveling with his friend in Southern Maine on the night of the Hill's encounter. He wrote, “I, too, saw the spacecraft which the Hills experienced, along with my Navy shipmate, now sadly deceased, “Woody” (Surname deleted by author), back on that September night in 1961. My statement of our experience in this regard is on file with the University of New Hampshire.

     Woody and I used to drive from our base, the Naval Air Station in Brunswick, Maine to Lewiston, about 26 miles away, three times per week. While I was visiting my girlfriend there, either at her home or, on Saturday nights at the local roller skating rink for skating and dancing, Woody would drive around Lewiston looking for whatever a young sailor might find, were he to get, ‘lucky.’

     Wood always picked me up around 9:00 PM, during the week, for our drive back to Brunswick, N.A.S.

     On the night in question, we were just a few minutes. And a few miles down the road. Headed back to our base, on a really dark (unlighted) lightly-traveled two-lane, highway, when we saw something unusual in the sky, overhead-a space vehicle with blinking lights which, instead of flying straight. Line from A to B, As all regular aircraft from planes to helicopters do, this one was zigzagging like a water spider. I observed at the time. Woody stopped his car, and we got out and watched the phenomenon in the sky, quite high, it was, for several minutes. We were convinced we were watching a UFO or “flying saucer” as it was called at the time.”

     In his closing paragraph he added, “All I can tell you is that the Hills were absolutely telling the truth, because I saw it too.”

     I overheard a conversation with another independent witness during a visit to Betty’s home. I listened to a telephone conversation between Betty and a truck driver who testified that he had observed the UFO one the night of their anomalous event. I asked to document his statement and obtain his personal contact information, but he refused to identify himself. Even today a few nasty individuals heckle, threaten, and defame UFO witnesses. 

The Dream Transference Hypothesis   

      When we give unbiased consideration to the new  scientific evidence in the Hill case, it seems impossible to dismiss the Hills’ UFO abduction as a dream. Dreams do not produce the type of physical evidence that we have discovered in the Hill case. Given the scientific evaluation of the evidence, any rational person must question why skeptics continue to dismiss Betty and Barney Hills’ UFO encounter as a dream experienced by Betty and transferred to Barney.    

     In 1964, Dr. Benjamin Simon informed the Hills that he could not reach a definitive decision regarding the reality of their memories of abduction by non-humans because there was no scientific determination regarding alien abduction. They must wait for future scientific study. Without the evidence that we have today, he hypothesized that Betty believed her dreams so strongly she repeated them as fantasies during her hypnosis sessions. He also expressed concern that Barney had unintentionally absorbed the information from Betty’s dream account. Although he was willing to accept the possibility that the Hills observed an unidentified flying object in the night sky on September 19-20, 1961, though not necessarily an extraterrestrial craft, he stated that their abduction accounts were so nearly identical that one had to have obtained the information from the other, particularly since in 1964 alien abduction had never been verified. He added that although anything is possible, the likelihood of alien abduction seemed improbable to him.

     Dr. Simon’s opinion failed to account for Barney’s documented conscious description of the figures dressed in shiny black uniforms that he observed through binoculars from the close encounter field in Lincoln. References to Barney’s observation can be found in Betty’s letter to the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena dated September 26, 1961, and in NICAP investigator Walter Webb’s October 1961 confidential report. You will find quotes from his confidential report on page 52 in my book with Stanton Friedman, Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience. It has been well established through investigation reports and the Hills’ recorded statements that prior to Betty’s dreams or their hypnosis sessions, the Hills recalled hearing a series of buzzing/beeping sounds that caused their vehicle to vibrate and a tingling sensation to pass through their bodies. When they arrived home significantly later than they should have, they consciously recalled observing a fiery orb and a roadblock on an unfamiliar stretch of road, followed by another series of buzzing/beeping sounds. Additionally, they observed and reported perplexing physical and circumstantial evidence for which they could not account.   

My Comparative Analysis of the Hill’s Hypnosis and Betty’s Dreams

      I transcribed all ten hypnosis audiotapes that Betty gave to me during my investigation of her case. In an attempt to test the dream transference hypothesis, I conducted a line by line comparative analysis of the Hills’ statements to Dr. Simon versus Betty’s dream account. I was particularly interested in determining whether Betty directly told Barney about the content of her dreams and if so, did he believe they reflected reality.

     On March 21, 1964, Dr. Benjamin Simon questioned Barney about his knowledge of Betty’s dreams. Their conversation is quoted below:

Barney Hill: She would say that she had had a dream, and the dream was that she had been taken aboard a UFO and that I was also in her dream and was taken aboard.

Dr. Simon: Yah, but you told me that she didn't speak to you about this. How did she tell you this?

Barney Hill: She would tell me this from usually when someone would ask us about our sighting of a UFO and then she would mention this. And I just told her it was a dream and nothing to get alarmed about.

Dr. Simon: Did she tell you all of the details…Can you tell me all of the details of what happened to her?

Barney Hill: She would tell me a great many of the details of her dreams, but she was not certain as to the location where we had stopped, and she would tell me she had gone into this UFO and had talked with the people there on board. And she was told she would forget. In her dreams she would forget about this, and she said she would tell me that she was determined that she would not forget. That she told these people in this UFO that she would not forget. And this is the way she would tell me of her dreams. And I told her they were only dreams and that I can't believe whatever these dreams are that she is having, only that she is having nightmares if they're frightening. And she said, "No, they are not frightening.” It is just that she feels that somehow there is some connection between her dreams because she never dreamed of UFOs before. And she would tell me that they had stuck something in her navel causing great pain and that (with) just a wave of the hand, this pain disappeared. And she was not telling this to me, but I would be present while she was telling it to friends of ours or to Walter Webb when we would see him. He would ask us about the UFO sighting that we had had, and then, I would hear her dreams. But never did she tell this actually to me.

Dr. Simon: Did she tell you what they did to you?

Barney Hill: Only that they had come into a room with my teeth, and they were quite startled that her teeth could not come out and mine could. And this is all she knew about me.

Dr. Simon: What about them putting something up your rectum that you told me about?

Barney Hill: No, she never told me that.

Dr. Simon: Where did you get that idea?

Barney Hill: I was lying on a table, and I was being turned over and I felt this thing going into my rectum and it did not pain me, and it was withdrawn.

Dr. Simon: Well, when were you lying on a table?

Barney Hill: September the twentieth I was lying on a table.

Dr. Simon: But you just told me this was all a dream.

Barney Hill: This was not my dream. She dreamed, but this is not what she told me was in her dreams. This was not her dream. I never knew this happened and I am very puzzled that I could think that this happened, and I never knew that it had happened.

Dr. Simon: 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 Hill: No, Betty never told me…only about my teeth.

Dr. Simon: Only about your teeth? Well, how did you get the other information?

Barney Hill: I was hypnotized by Dr. Simon.

Dr. Simon: And he told you all of this?

Barney Hill: No, he did not tell me this. He made me go back to September 19th when I left Montreal and was going home to Portsmouth, and he had me hypnotized and he kept telling me to go further and further along my trip and tell him what was happening to me each time as I drove along the highway. And then I began to see things that I had never seen before, and I knew that I had seen a UFO and my last remembrance of it was when I reached Indian Head and had gotten out of my car and walked toward this UFO. And I saw some eyes staring down at me and I was coming closer and closer to this UFO, and I could not believe it was there. And yet I could not make it go away. And I was compelled to go closer, and I prayed to God to make me…… (Becomes upset)

Dr. Simon: It won't trouble you now.  Just go ahead.

Barney Hill: And I prayed that I could get away and run back to the car. And I did and the eyes kept following me back to my car and I felt very, very upset. And I said, ‘Betty, they're going to capture us.’ And I looked out the window and I saw it as it swung around to the rear of my car. And then I was driving down the highway and Betty was looking out her window and she said, ‘I don't see it. I don't see it.’ And I said, ‘It is there. It is right above us, Betty, look.’ And I was hurrying to get away and I kept driving and driving and driving and I made a turn, and I never knew this. And I don't know why I had to make that turn, and I was lost. And I saw that I was in a strange area on the highway that I had never been before, and I was being stopped. And I was very uncomfortable. But somehow the eyes were telling me that I should be calm and that I would not be harmed and to relax. And I saw these men coming down toward me. (End quote.)

     Later, Dr. Simon incorrectly stated in an interview with John Fuller that Barney admitted to him that he knew everything about Betty’s dreams. There is no evidence that his statement is accurate. In fact, Barney repeatedly insisted that he did not know everything about Betty’s dreams. It is unfortunate, in my opinion, that skeptics who insist upon promoting the dream transference hypothesis have repeated this false information. In fact, it is my contention that Dr. Simon’s personal prejudice regarding UFO abduction disqualifies his opinion and various alternative hypotheses. He did not believe in the possibility that UFO abduction could have been real, and he did not investigate the scientific evidence, nor did he live to examine today’s new scientific evaluation of the evidence.

     The dream transference hypothesis is irrational, narrow, and indefensible when we consider today’s physical and circumstantial evidence. Furthermore, the documented history of a UFO cover-up by federal agencies and the recent evidence and sworn testimony by highly qualified military officers at the House of Representatives Oversight and Accountability hearings was not available to Dr. Simon when he offered speculation and conjecture, years ago, while he was under pressure from his peers and arch skeptic Philip Klass. (See my book with Stanton Friedman Fact, Fiction, and Flying Saucers for insight into Klass’s defamatory actions.)   

My Comparative Analysis of the Hill’s Statements to Dr. Simon

      Although I was a primary witness to the evidence and the aftermath, I graduated from college, had a professional career, and a young family to raise, so my own investigation and research was delayed until the mid to late 1980s. Finally, after several years of intensive study I convinced Betty to afford me the opportunity to test the hypothesis that Barney had merely absorbed her dream account and that she had reiterated her dreams nearly verbatim under hypnosis in Dr. Simon’s office. This research approach is clearly acceptable within the framework of social science, and also gave me the opportunity to answer the question that had been nagging at me for innumerable years—were my aunt and uncle really abducted by alien beings?

     First I studied the oral content of the hypnosis tapes dated February-April 1964. The Hills’ first visit with Dr. Simon took place on December 14, 1963, followed by several hypnotic inductions and conditioning sessions. Barney’s first hypnotic regression transpired on February 22, 1964, in a soundproof room at Dr. Simon’s Back Bay office in Boston, MA. To ensure privacy Dr. Simon played bombastic classical music in the room where Betty waited for Barney.  At the end of each session, he reinstated amnesia in Betty and Barney to ensure that no cross-contamination of information would occur and to protect his patients’ psychological well-being. He reasoned that if the traumatic event, for which they had amnesia, entered consciousness too early it could produce added trauma. When I felt confident that I had a full understanding of what had occurred, I transcribed the hypnosis tapes and embarked upon a detailed dissection of the Hills individual statements and descriptions during a lengthy comparative analysis. Later, when I had all but memorized the hypnosis tapes, my husband and I drove the entire route in the same timeframe, stopping at the same locations where the Hills had stopped. It was then that I realized how much I (and probably Dr. Simon), had missed.

     With a couple of exceptions that were easily worked out in later sessions, the Hills’ separate accounts, for which they had conscious memory, were amazingly consistent. I was anxious to compare Betty’s dreams with the hypnosis accounts in sequential order. In “Dreams or Recall?,” a five page account of her dreams authored in November 1961, Betty wrote, “…I saw 8-11 men standing in the middle of the road. Barney slowed down to wait for them to move, but the motor died. As he was trying to start the motor, the men surrounded the car.” (Betty’s dream account dated November 1961.)

     Now let us compare Betty’s dream account to Barney’s hypnotic recall. He stated, “I think I have driven a lot of miles, and the road is not Route 3. It is a heavily wooded area, but it is a road, and this is when I am flagged down. I thought I saw a cluster of six men, because three came to me and three did not.” (February 29, 1964, hypnosis session) The discrepancy is obvious. In Betty’s dream account 8-11 men surrounded the Hills’ vehicle, whereas in Dr. Simon’s office Barney recalled observing six men who divided into two groups.

     Betty’s hypnotic recall of this event is not consistent with her dream account, but it is consistent with Barney’s statement. She told Dr. Simon, “There were these men standing in the highway…There were several…And Barney, of course, had to stop…and these men started to come up to the car. They separated. They came up in two groups…And there are one, two, three next to me.” (March 7, 1964, hypnosis session)


The Non-humans Capture the Hills

                                             Dreams            Betty’s Hypnosis          Barney’s Hypnosis

                                         Surround car             2 groups                          2 groups

# of non-humans:                 8-11                         6                                         6


         Betty’s paper titled “Dreams or Recall?” continues, “We sat there motionless and speechless, and I was terrified. At the same time, they opened the car doors on each side, reached in and took us by the arm.” In Betty’s and Barney’s hypnotic regression sessions, a new scenario emerged that contradicted Betty’s dream account. Barney recalled, “I saw two eyes coming close to mine and I felt like the eyes had pushed into my eyes…. I got out of the car and put my left leg on the ground, and the two men helped me out.” (2/29/64 hypnosis session)

     Now let us examine Betty’s statement made under hypnosis: “The men are coming toward us, and I think I can get away from them. If I can get the car door open I can run into the woods and hide. And I just put my hand on the car door to open it and the men come up and they open it for me.” Betty reported that although there were three men next to her, one took her out of the vehicle. Next, Dr. Simon stated that he didn’t hear her last statement and in a very confusing sentence, Betty started to count the men over and over again. Then she added, “I don’t know what happened.” (3/7/64 hypnosis session) She later informed me that she had lost consciousness when one of her captors pointed a handheld device at her.

     Again, the Hills’ hypnotic regression statements are consistent, but they are inconsistent with Betty’s dream account. They did not sit motionless. Barney opened the car door and put his foot on the ground and Betty attempted to open her door to escape into the woods. They also discussed the possibility that they had encountered an accident ahead and Barney stated that he thought it was “them” again.

     The comparative analysis becomes tricky when Betty and Barney approached the ramp leading to the craft’s interior. Betty’s dream account states, “We stepped up a step or two to go onto a ramp, leading to a door.”  But under hypnosis on 3/7/64 Betty omitted the step or two when she told Dr. Simon, “I go up the ramp, and I go inside and in the corridor to the left.” 

     On 2/29/64, Barney stated to Dr. Simon, “I am only thinking of mental pictures because my eyes are closed, and I think I am going up a slight incline, and my feet are not bumping on the rocks. That's funny, I thought of my feet bumping on the rocks. And they are going up smoothly, but I'm afraid to open my eyes because I am being told strongly, by myself, to keep my eyes closed. Don't open them.” Barney’s omission of steps is consistent with Betty’s statement to Dr. Simon, but both contradict Betty’s dream account. It also explains the damage to his shoes.


Craft Entrance

                                 Dreams                            Betty’s Hypnosis                Barney’s Hypnosis

                        2 steps up to ramp                 ramp/no steps up               ramp/no steps  


         The Hills are then escorted to separate examining rooms and recall similarly detailed, but separate experiences with their captors. Although there is correlating data in their statements regarding procedures, attitudes, and room descriptions, I chose not to include it in this comparative analysis. Additionally, the sequential order of Betty’s onboard experience differs from that in her dream account. My research protocol dictated that my data should be restricted to shared descriptive details, including positional data and numbers of aliens, not physical descriptions. (You will find accurate details in Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience

     This takes us to the point where the Hills are in the company of their captors at the time of their departure. Betty’s dream account states, “We left the ship and walked through the woods. All the men accompanied us. We came to the car and the leader suggested that we wait and see them leave. We agreed. Barney seemed to wake up as we approached the car, and he showed no emotion. We stood on the right-hand side of the car, Barney was leaning against the front fender, and I was by the door. As we were waiting, I thought of Delsey. I opened the car door and Delsey was under the seat. She was trembling badly, and I patted her for a moment. She came out and I picked her up, and held her, again leaning against the car door.”

     Betty contradicts her dream account when under hypnosis she related to Dr. Simon, “I've been standing there on the side of the ramp talking to him (the leader), and I'm at the ramp now, and they're taking Barney ahead while we were talking.” (3/14/64 hypnosis session) 

     Barney’s statement is consistent with Betty’s hypnotic recall but inconsistent with Betty’s dream account. He informed Dr. Simon, “I am walking, and I am walking, and I am being guided and my eyes are closed. And I open my eyes and there is the car, and the lights are off and it is not running, and Delsey is under the seat, and I reach under and touch her, and she is in a tight ball. And I sit back, and I see Betty is coming down the road.” (2/29/64 hypnosis session)

     It is clear that Betty and Barney did not leave the craft at the same time and all the men did not escort them to their vehicle. Members of the crew accompanied Barney, whereas Betty remained on the ramp arguing with the leader about the “book” he had given to her as evidence. The crew took the book away from Betty which elicited an angry response. Finally, the leader escorted Betty to the car where Barney had already seated himself on the driver’s side, contrary to Betty’s dream account.

     On March 14, 1964, Barney informed Dr. Simon, “I saw my car and the lights were out and it was sitting down the road…very dark. And I couldn't understand…I had not cut out the lights, and I opened the door, and felt for Delsey. And got in and I sat on my gun, and I took it—removed it from the seat and put it down on the floor. And Betty was coming down the road and she came around and opened the door.” This is inconsistent with Betty’s dream account.

     Betty added, “I got out to the car and Barney's inside, and I opened the car door and I said, "Come on out and watch them leave…Delsey's sitting on the seat where I sit, and I felt of Delsey, and she is trembling all over. And she's scared, so I said, ‘Well Barney, come on out and I'll get Delsey.’ And I picked Delsey up off the seat and I'm holding Delsey and I'm patting her and I'm saying, ‘Don't be afraid, Delsey.  There's nothing to be afraid of.  Look Delsey, look.’  And I'm leaning against the fender of the car, and I shut the car door and I'm leaning against the fender and I'm looking up and I say, ‘Barney, look.’  And Barney comes out and stands aside of me and I'm patting Delsey."

     It is clear that Betty and Barney’s statements to Dr. Simon independently confirm that they did not return to the car at the same time. This is in direct contradiction to Betty’s dream recall. Additionally, both stated that Barney was seated in the driver’s seat when Betty arrived at the car. This statement is inconsistent with Betty’s dream sequence. In Betty’s dream, she opened the car door to remove Delsey from under the seat, but under hypnosis she stated that Delsey was already on the car seat. Barney’s hypnotic recall confirmed Betty’s statement that he then exited the car and stood beside her to observe the craft’s departure.


Positional Data

                                                   Dreams                     Betty’s Hypnosis                Barney’s Hypnosis

Departure from Craft              together                separate/Barney 1st           separate/Barney 1st

At the Hill’s vehicle               no entry                     Barney seated                       Barney seated

Delsey’s position                   under seat                   on seat                                  under seat, then on seat


      The above statements provide confirmatory scientific evidence (social science) that Betty and      Barney Hill recalled correlating detailed positional and numerical information regarding their abduction experience. Furthermore, this information is inconsistent with Betty’s dream recollection, and therefore could not have been transferred to Barney by Betty. During the points when the Hills were together Betty and Barney did not recall the fantasy material in her dreams. Additionally, the Hills amnesia remained intact during their hypnosis sessions, so they could not have contaminated each other’s recall. These findings clearly support the abduction hypothesis and refute the dream transference hypothesis.

     This thesis would not be complete without a brief comparison of the men in Betty’s dream account versus her and Barney’s memories of the entities they remembered in hypnosis. Betty recorded her dreams on notepaper each morning over a five day period and typed them from her notes in November 1961. Betty described the men in her dreams as follows: “Most of the men are my height, although I cannot remember the height of the heels on my shoes. None are as tall as Barney, so I would judge them to be five feet to five feet four inches. Their chests are larger than ours.; Their noses were larger (longer) than the average size, although I have seen people with noses like theirs—like Jimmy Durante's. Their complexions were a Gray tone; like a gray paint with a black base; their lips were of a bluish tint. Hair and eyes were very dark, possibly black.

     The men were all dressed alike, presumably in uniform, of a light navy blue color with a gray shade to it. They wore trousers and short jackets that gave the appearance of a zippered sports jacket, but I am not aware of zippers or buttons for closing. Shoes were. A low slip on style, resembling a boot. I cannot remember any jewelry, or Insignia. They were all wearing a military cap, similar to Air Force, but not so broad on the top. They were very human in their appearance, not frightening. They seemed to be very relaxed, friendly in a professional way (businesslike). There was no haste, but no waste of time.”

     Betty’s dream account is different than Barney’s memory of the figures on the silent, hovering craft. On September 26, 1961, Betty wrote that he had observed figures who “seemed to be dressed in some type of shiny black uniform.” In October 1961 he reported to Walter Webb (quoted from Webb’s report), “The figures, according to Barney Hill, were of human form dressed in black, shiny uniforms and caps with peaks or bills on them which could be seen when the figures turned their heads. The the uniforms were like glossy leather.”

     In 1967 the Hills informed NH artist David Baker that their captors’ large eyes were slanted and extended around the sides of their faces. They appeared to have a wide cheeked, weak chinned appearance. They had an enlarged cranial structure. The iris seemed to fill up most of the creatures’ eyes. And the small white area had a yellowish cast. No ear cartilage was noted, only ear holes possibly covered by a membrane. No hair was observed. Their skin color was aluminum gray. Their legs were spindly, and their chests were enlarged.

     The following are artistic renditions of the entities in Betty’s dreams versus an alien bust sculpted by Betty and Marjorie Fish. 

Photos are copyrighted by Kathleen Marden and cannot be reproduced without consent.

Was it a Real UFO Abduction?

      Despite proclamations of impossibility by skeptics, the Hills’ documented archival statements to Major Paul W. Henderson at Pease Air Force Base, and Walter Webb, an astronomer and NICAP investigator, the scientific analysis of their evidence, the circumstantial evidence, the two to three hour period of  unaccounted for “missing time,” my comparative analysis of the Hills’ separate statements under hypnosis versus Betty’s typed dream account, and Barney’s written statements to artist David Baker clearly support the hypothesis that Betty and Barney Hill were abducted on the night of September 19 and into the early morning hours of September 20, 1961. Their emotional responses validate the idea that they endured a traumatic event that night. Furthermore, inaccurate information and speculative arguments by skeptics pale in comparison to the Hills’ statements in their archival record and the compellingevidence. 

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