Sunday, September 18, 2011

Anniversary of Betty and Barney Hill Abduction Story,

50th Anniversary of Betty and Barney Hill Abduction Story

Historical Marker of Famous Abduction Case
LINCOLN, N.H. (AP) — Fifty years after Betty and Barney Hill reported seeing a flat, cigar-shaped craft hovering over them in New Hampshire's White Mountains, the state has put up a historical marker noting their close encounter with a UFO.
Returning from a vacation in Canada on Sept. 19, 1961, the Hills arrived home in Portsmouth puzzled by stains and tears on Betty's dress, scuffs on Barney's shoes and shiny spots on their car. Their watches weren't working.
When they got home, they realized they had "lost" about two hours of time. They called family and reported the event to Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth the next day.
Betty and Barney Hill
Barney, who had binoculars, later told science investigators that he could see figures on the craft. The couple also reported seeing a fiery orb. In 1964, they underwent a series of taped hypnosis sessions — recalling they had been abducted and physically examined by "men" who did not appear to be human. Paintings and a sculpture of their descriptions depicted them with large, bald heads, slanted eyes and gray skin.
"They dragged me, kicking and screaming," Betty told The Associated Press in a 1986 interview.
In 1965, their story, known to only a small circle of investigators, close friends and family, was leaked to the Boston Traveler, which published it. Their UFO experience was described in a best-selling book in 1966, "The Interrupted Journey: Two Lost Hours Aboard A Flying Saucer," by John Fuller; a 1975 television movie starring James Earl Jones and Estelle Parsons, "The UFO Incident"; and numerous speaking engagements. Last week, Hollywood writer-producer Bryce Zabel, who developed the UFO conspiracy series "Dark Skies" in the 1990s, said he is planning to make a new film about the couple's experience.
In July, the state erected a historical marker to the "Betty and Barney Hill Incident" in Lincoln near some cabins at the Indian Head Resort on Route 3, one of the last places the couple recalled seeing that night.
The resort is the site of a conference Sept. 23-25 devoted to what the state marker describes as "the first widely-reported UFO abduction report in the United States." Kathleen Marden, the Hills' niece, will give a guided tour of places they stopped at during their encounter.
Cigar Shaped Vehicle abducted Betty and Barney Hill
"How many states have courage enough to do something like that? Even the state of New Mexico hasn't put up a plaque for Roswell," asked Stanton Friedman, a nuclear physicist who was the first civilian investigator of the Roswell incident, a purported UFO crash on a ranch in July 1947. The military later declared it was a top-secret weather balloon.
Friedman has authored papers and books on his UFO research, including one co-authored in 2007 with Marden, "Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience."
"I started off kind of neutral," Friedman said when he first heard of the Hills' story back in the 1960s. "After meeting with them, I was very impressed with them. ... I saw no enlargement at all, no attempt to make more of the story than was there."
Friedman, another conference speaker, said the state marker gives some credibility to UFO sightings and research.
Michael Stevens of Farmington, who started a petition for the marker in 2008, said the state's Division of Historical Records was "very clear from the get-go that they weren't necessarily backing that the event happened.
"What they could back up — the report and the cultural effect it had — was in and of itself historical, and that's what they could go on to get the marker through," he said.
Stevens said he had no connection to the case or to the Hills; he said he's just always been interested in their story. "I just thought it was one of those important things that history was going to overlook because it didn't fit into society's little box of 'normal." The one-paragraph marker was backed up by 20 footnotes and 28 references that Marden provided to the state.
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