Disturbing information regarding Betty & Barney Hill’s story

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Here's an excerpt from an older article. Besides Betty truly thinking her cat had the magical power of flight, here's some other valid points….

One thing that Barney mentions in early reports is that the UFO had short, stubby little wings on either side. Through the binoculars, he was able to see a grinning man pull a lever that made the wings extend outwards, as though this would help the ship land or some such. Wings rarely figure in today's UFO lore; at the time, retractable wings were a cutting edge advance in avionics that would have been very hip to the times. And the idea that these wings were controlled by a giant lever in the cockpit seems similarly dated; it would have seemed normal in light of the technology at the time, but in hindsight today, it is hilariously non-modern. It's the technology equivalent of spotting an 8-Track tape player. The lights bring up another point: the aliens state a number of times that they do not want people to know they're visiting the earth. Yet, I submit to you, dear reader, that one way to ensure people on earth know you are here is if you put giant glowing lights on your spacecraft. Anyway, Betty and Barney couldn't even agree on this point: Betty doesn't mention the wings, and speculates that there is a rim around the outside of the craft that would spin during flight. That the front of the spacecraft is made up of (more or less) a giant window seems especially strange: there's no real reason that people inside would need that much windshield to fly safely. On the other hand, if there's a more earthly explanation for the whole thing, maybe the point isn't for them to see out. It's for the Hills to see in. What's the point of having a nightmare if you can't see the monster you're supposed to be afraid of? I mean a flying saucer, that's creepy, but a flying saucer containing a bunch of dudes that are out to get you, now that's creepy deluxe.

The Hills continue to disagree with each other on almost every point of the story. Betty initially describes her captors as having big honkin' noses, like Jimmy Durante. Barney (eventually) says that he sees no noses at all, just little holes where the nostrils ought to be. Betty later explains this by theorizing that the noseless creatures were so weird looking that, in her dream, she tried to humanize them a little by adding the ol' honkin' schnozzes. That's right – in making her argument that her dreams are accurate memories of events that really happened, she admitted that the dreams may have, at least partially, been the product of her imagination. Sweet.

For Betty, the creatures initially had jet black hair and peircing eyes – but the eyes were fairly normal people eyes. The pupils were a bit odd, and she said that they were a bit "catlike," but other than that she seemed not too much impressed by them. Yet eyes figure immensely in today's abduction literature: David Jacobs in particular claims that they are the manner by which space aliens can hypnotize people. Yet Betty saw nothing particularly strange about them. That's odd.

Here's another point that seems a bit odd: the aliens are helpless idiots. During the medical procedure, the captain of the spaceship tells Betty that jamming an enormous needle into her belly button won't hurt. The surgeon-space monster then jabs her with it and, of course, it hurts like blazes. The captain looks startled, waves her hands over her eyes, and the pain stops. Later he apologizes and says that if he'd known it was going to hurt, he wouldn't have dont it. Wait. What? If he didn't know it was going to hurt, how did he know just the right way to make the hurting stop? How would he think that it wouldn't hurt in the first place? He claims this isn't the first time he's done this sort of thing, but you'd have to be a spectacular doofus not to think jabbing up someone's guts wouldn't hurt. And how did the hand waving remove the pain, anyway? Seems more like the logic you'd find in just a run of the mill dream. For instance, I have a repetitive dream where I'm walking along the ocean floor underwater, but I can breath. Why can I breath? BECAUSE IT'S A DREAM. Logic doesn't need to hold.

And then there's the matter of the book. Betty asks the captain for some proof that the whole even occured, and he gives her a big book to take. Later, he takes the book away from her, claiming that the crew doesn't think it's a good idea. This is totally at odds with Barney's description of the captain as a business-like, no-nonsense leader. He doesn't realize that giving her tangible proof that the abduction occured would counteract his "you must never remember this" order? And what sort of hardcore space soldier would take shit from his crew like that? There are officers in the 101st ROTC Mess Kit Repair Battalion that wouldn't let their subordinates question their orders. Seems like more dream logic to me… suspiciously convenient dream logic.

Betty also later reproduced a star map she claimed was shown to her by the captain. Marjorie Fish later analyzed it and claimed that all the little dots lined up perfectly with stars in the Zeta Reticuli system. But only if the viewing point of the star map is from somewhere other than Earth, and only if it's rotated and finagled a bit. This is one of the hardest points to refute, but Kottmeyer again draws similarities to a star map shown in Invaders from Mars. One thing strikes me as odd: Betty claims that the map shows numerous stars as well as planets; Fish's interpretation only works if you assume that all of the dots represent stars. Fish's interpretation demands that you ignore Betty's statement that some of the little dots are planets. I'm not going to argue that Betty got the map from one source or another: I argue that if you throw some dots down on a peice of paper, and are liberal in your interpretation as to which ones are stars, planets, asteroids, or whatever other junk is floating around in outer space, you are very likely to eventually match it up with something, somewhere.

Let's just suffice it to say that the story changed frequently, that the two of them could hardly agree on much of anything about it, and that it is riddled with problems in the form of just plain out common sense.

I mentioned before that Betty had, perhaps, a not entirely sufficient grip on reality. This occured even before her life had been radically altered by media attention. She was convinced that she had discovered a number of landing sites for UFOs and, when she took investigators to those sites, she consistently refused to believe that things seen in the sky (some of which, it was pointed out by her companions, were airplanes, stars, lights, or what have you) were anything other than spaceships. Utter unwillingness to even consider that some of the dozens of things she saw in the night sky on any given evening were of terrestrial origin certainly does not speak well as to her status as a reasonable, unbaised observer. To mangle the lyrics of a song popular with the young people, stupid people do stupid things, smart people outsmart each other, and people that want to see spaceships in the sky no matter what are going to see spaceships in the sky no matter what.

Barney was certainly a more sober individual, though he seems to have had his share of problems. Before the abduction he and his wife stopped in a restaurant, and he felt that the other diners in the place were watching them. He eventually realizes that, in fact, no one is watching them, and the others are acting in a totally normal manner. He scolds himself and says he needs to get a grip on himself, but this raises a strange question: when a guy who has the occasional paranoid thought that he's being watched by others describes an encounter (under hypnosis) where creatures with huge, mesmerizing eyes are watching him, do we really need to drag space monsters into the conversation? In the past, I'd given Barney a lot of credit. It turns out he wasn't on the most stable psychological foundation in the world when this whole thing went down. To start with, he (a black man) was married to a white woman in 1960s rural New England. I wasn't around back then, but I'm told that the 1960s were not particularly easy times for mixed race couples. Further, Barney's previous wife had won custody of their children, and wasn't terribly enthusiastic about either Betty or Barney ever seeing them. That must have hurt. Finally, Barney had to drive to Boston every day for work. Hardly mentally grueling, but it must still have been a pain in the ass. Suffice it to say that he was one stressed out dude. Perhaps he bought into his wife's tales more enthusiastically than I'd thought before. Perhaps, if we consider the paranoiac incident in the restaurant, he created some of his own.

Everyone has their pet explanation for UFOs in general and this case in particular. Perhaps it really occured the way that they claimed and the many variations, contradictions, and flat out insane claims made by the Hills are just unlikely coincidences or the product of space aliens monkeying about with their memories. Perhaps it truly was a case of Folie a deux. Perhaps it was a product of Betty's worries about her medical condition; perhaps it was a product of decades of bad space alien horror flicks coupled with the hysterical predictions of the UFO literature at the time (they're coming!) Perhaps this story is simply the product of a mind in the grips of paranoid fantasies, which (I speculate without having looked deeper into it) could explain the hypocondriac fears of Betty, the whispers and thoughts of conspiracies and shadowy dealings, the feelings of persecution, and Betty's later grandiose claims.

For me, it all boils down fairly simply: Betty was a loon and, with the aid of a hypnotist, convinced her husband that something which did not occur had really taken place. He fought against it, knowing this was crazy, and though he finally broke, his account is more riddled with contraditions and less fiercely accurate simply because he was unable to convince himself of a fantasy as thoroughly as his wife could. It is my opinion, and an opinion that I espouse as frequently as I can, that there are many explanations for cases of UFO abductions, but all are grounded in the flaws of the human mind. After seeing something in the sky, Betty believed what she wanted to believe (that it was a ship) and her neuroses (a need to believe, paranoid, fears for her health, etc.) combined with this to create a fantasy world in which she lived.

The original article I wrote receives by far more hits than anything else on this site. Looking at the list of what people have put into search engines to find this site, 95% of them are some combination of "Betty and Barney Hill." I could go on and on and on adding more and more of the argument and counterargument that have popped up as regards this case, but others have done it before me, to say nothing of better, than I could. I have included some links should you care to pursue the matter further, and to everyone else, I give up.

submitted by /u/Dont_Jersey_Vermont
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