Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dr. Simon Reveals his Real Thoughts on the Hill "UFO Abduction" Case

Digging through some boxes in my garage, I came across a collection of papers I had earlier set aside concerning the famous "UFO abduction" case of Betty and Barney Hill, the subject of John Fuller's 1965 book The Interrupted Journey, as well as the 1975 NBC-TV movie The UFO Incident.

I have just finished scanning 48 pages of these documents, and placed them on my Historical UFO documents page on my website They will be of great interest to anyone interested in the Betty and Barney Hill case. These documents contain:
  • Correspondence between Dr. Benjamin Simon and arch-skeptic Philip J. Klass.
  • Correspondence between Betty Hill and Philip J. Klass, in which she  attempts to persuade Klass that her abduction story is factual.
  • Correspondence between Dr. Benjamin Simon and yours truly (!!).
  • Copies of the supposed "radar evidence" of the Hills' UFO.
  • Betty Hill's drawing illustrating the relative positions of her "UFO" and what she is calling "Jupiter", and the moon, establishing that it was actually Jupiter she saw at the beginning of her sighting.
  • My skeptical article about the Hill case, published in the August, 1976 issue of Official UFO magazine, and Betty Hill's letter to the editor about it.
  • The complete record of weather observations for Sept. 19-20, 1961 from the Mt Washington  Observatory, the highest point in New Hampshire's White Mountains.
Betty Hill in 2000 posing with "Junior," a bust of her supposed alien  abductor (photo by author)

Some are now claiming that Dr. Simon accepted the Hills' abduction account. For example, "UFO Hunter" Bill Birnes (one of the most pompous asses I have ever encountered in UFOlogy - sometime I'll write about what happened when I was on Dr. J's internet radio show, and Birnes called in) writes on page 112 of UFO Hunters, Book One:
[Kathleen] Marden [Betty Hill's niece, and currently the biggest promoter of the Hill abduction story] suggested in a provate email to me, "Had Dr. Simon stated publicly that he believed that the Hills had experienced an abduction by non-human beings in a flying saucer, it would most assuredly have been professional suicide." However, Marden said that in his personal letters to Betty Hill, Dr. Simon was positive and fully supportive of Betty.

Dr. Simon's letters to Klass show that this is absolutely false. Dr. Simon said that he believed the Hills had a "sighting" (and says that he has had two sightings of his own, but gives no details!). However, he wrote:

 The abduction did not take place but was a reproduction of Betty's dream which occurred right after the sighting (p. 3).

Dr. Benjamin Simon
Dr. Simon's skepticism concerning the abduction story could not have been more directly stated. He told Klass that "my interest in UFOs was almost entirely on the phenomena of Barney's developing racial paranoia which seemed to me to have been the best representation on the matter I had seen" (p. 8).

Dr. Simon stated his skepticism quite directly for the first time on the NBC-TV Today show on the morning of the premiere of the NBC-TV movie, The UFO Incident (October 20, 1975). Klass apparently had chided Dr. Simon for not speaking out on this sooner. Dr. Simon defends his reluctance to speak out on the grounds of not being given sufficient opportunity to explain it fully. Dr. Simon says that it was James Oberg's review of Klass' book published in Technology Review, chiding him for not speaking out about his skepticism on the Hill story, that finally convinced Dr. Simon to do so! Oberg wrote,

why was it left to Mr. Klass to reveal that the psychiatrist who treated Betty and Barney Hill (The Interrupted Journey) never for a moment believed that they had been inside a flying saucer, while Look magazine used his misquoted words as an endorsement?  (p. 10).
Dr. Simon wrote to Klass, "THE ZEITGEIST HAD COME!, and I determined that this could be a magnificent opening for the book I am going to write on this whole matter." Unfortunately, no such book was ever written. Is it possible that Dr. Simon left behing a partially-completed manuscript at the time of his death?

The Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn (bottom) as seen at midnight in the White Mountains (size of planets exaggerated)
Betty Hill's sketch of the positions of the objects she said she saw. What she is calling "Jupiter" is obviously Saturn, and what she calls a "craft" is obviously Jupiter. (Size of moon is exaggerated.) If some other object were present, she would have seen three objects near the moon, not two.

Everyone interested in the Hill case will want to see these newly-published documents.