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.


  1. I am pretty sure that Dr.Simon saw dollar signs with the story. The sad part is instead of helping this couple, he hurt them. Today, there are therapists (usually self proclaimed) and hypnotists that charge to treat those that believe they have been abducted by aliens. Or perhaps just fear they might have been abducted. In fact there are people very good at convincing their "patients" they have been abducted. Klass wrote about this in his "Alien Abduction, a Dangerous Game" book.

  2. An element of this case I have trouble with is the "star map" Betty is said to have sketched. Some claim it is authentic! So, aliens have their routes posted on the wall for visitors to see on their way to the laboratory? And she memorized it in the few seconds she saw it? I don't put any faith in memories "retreived" through hypnosis......but to many this is "proof" the abduction really happened.

    1. Robert Sheaffer and phillip Klas are one and the same, will pay off witness for their debunk agenda

    2. Betty Hill had a photographic memory. The star map was on a 3-D display, it was not posted on a piece of paper on the wall. She took and passed a lie detector test as to the 'validity' of what she reported.

      Jacque Vallee(sp?) miss represented the star map in his book 'Messagers of Deception'. He did not include the important data needed to understand the star map. There is reason to believe that he is associated with the USA government.

      Betty Hill is at the very least an honest person. Those that have criticized her have yet to prove their integrity.

    3. Matthew, the Fish Map has been discussed before here, and thoroughly debunked. Use the search box at the upper left, enter "Fish map". You'll find all kinds of things discussed here!

    4. Jim Bender, can you document your scurrilous and slanderous charge that Phil Klass and I would "pay off witness for their debunk agenda"? (sic)

      Of course not. You just shoot your mouth off shamefully.

    5. Robert your opinion means NOTHING!!!!
      The fact that you slander and defammed another person in this article shows a GROSS example of BAD journalism
      Hear is your quote
      "UFO Hunter" Bill Birnes (one of the most pompous asses I have ever encountered in UFOlogy -
      Your SICK and it is a know fact that phil klass the debunk fool tried to bribe many ET witnesses. By the way none reads your lousy articles and website

    6. "none" accept you Jim, and all the other people posting here. Right?

    7. The extent to which believers go so they can keep believing is laughable.

  3. I knew personally Mrs Hill and was introduced to her via a government employee. She sent me a copy of her famous star map with minor corrections. My analysis of it is here and the conclusion is that her aliens were from the near by Alpha Centauri star map rather than Zeta Reticuli as Fish concluded.

    1. Hello Yaridanjo, I am familiar with your interpretation of Betty Hill's star map. I mentioned it in my paper published in the volume "Encounters at Indian Head" (p. 198-199, paperback edition). In fact, I mentioned it in a Blog posting here on July 17, 2013. Your interpretation is number 5 on a list of six (that I know about):

      1. Betty Hill's Pegasus Map, published in "The Interrupted Journey"

      2. the Fish Map

      3. the Atterberg Map (nearby stars, see my book UFO Sightings)

      4. Koch-Kyborg Map (planets and asteroids)

      5. Yari Danjo Map (nearby stars)

      6. Hill-Wilson Star Map (by Steve Pearse, stars seen from earth-based view).

  4. There are three ET aliens sentient species residing in the greater Alpha Centauri star system.

  5. Benjamin Simon sat on the fence about this case. He neither thought they were hallucinating the story or that he thought it was true.

    Typical of you ignorant skeptics to not consider any of the physical evidence (electromagnetic effects on the car, Betty's torn dress, scuff marks on the top of Barney's shoe's, radiation effects on Dulcie their pet dog) associated with the famous UFO abduction case. That aside, not even the most brilliant fictional writer on earth could have come up with such a story including the missing time that was experienced and a 'star map' that located the positions of two undiscovered stars at the time.

    1. "Typical of you ignorant skeptics" I should have deleted this posting, but I left it to show how inept are the arguments of the UFO proponents.

      Roger, if you really believe that a compass spinning near a car trunk, or scuff marks on a shoe consititute "physical proof" of anything,well, you must be pretty credulous. But "radiation effects" on the dog - that is truly, absolutely fantastic!!!!!!

    2. Glad you left this comment here Robert. I'm shocked at what people are saying. Seriously?

      A torn dress, scuff marks on shoes? That can't possibly happen unless aliens abduct you. Radiation on the dog?

      This commenter is saying that "even the most brilliant fictional writer on earth... " really? You haven't see n many movies or read much have you?

      "Undiscovered stars" you mean from those billions of bright lights in the sky?

    3. Madam, all I can say is that you are easily shocked! Perhaps that's a trait of most skeptics? You are missing the point. The scuff marks were on the anterior surface of Barney's shoes scraped in the direction he was travelling. I don't think someone walking alone a bitumen road could replicate this type of scuff pattern. Betty recalls him being dragged semi-conscious from the car to the craft, hence the scuff marks. Please read the story!

    4. Us skeptics are the ignorant ones?


      That's rich coming from a delusional bunch of "we desperately want to believe" fanatics who (like virtually all conspiracy theorist) cannot provide a shred of proof to indicate the claims in question are remotely authentic.

      None of you will ever be able to admit to anyone (or yourselves, apparently) that the entire reason you believe in this stuff is because you WANT it to be so.

      It certainly isn't based on any type of evidence.

  6. This posting is turning into a big controversy!

    Kathleen Marden has replied that the letter I published from Dr. Simon was a "forgery," and that he fully supported Betty Hill's claims.

    I replied to where this was published on the Facebook page UFO Updates:

    "A "Forgery" How preposterous! All these letters and documents have been sitting in my files, undisturbed, for nearly forty years, since Klass sent them to me.

    Kathleen doesn't mention that I published not one but TWO letters from Dr. Simon to Philip J. Klass. One is dated Oct. 28, 1975, the other dated March 1, 1976. Are BOTH of these letters "forgeries"? Klass replied to that second letter on March 6, 1976. Is Klass' letter also a "forgery"? It must be, since the letter he is replying to was never written, according to Ms. Marden.

    Dr. Simon also wrote a letter to me, dated Aug. 24, 1976. Is that one also a "forgery"?

    All of Klass' correspondence is now on file at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. Maybe those are "forgeries," too?"

    1. Ya you could say that again!!!!

      Her testimony and evidence will blow your old dirty rag article apart.
      I guess that is what happens when your idol is phil klass

  7. Well, lookie this:

    "21 : Betty Hill and Dr. Benjamin Simon are interviewed on the Today Show to promote the NBC TV movie, the UFO Incident, on October 25, 1975 . 08:30 "

    This is the show on which Dr. Simon plainly said, "The abduction did not happen" (approx 3:00 in). He is completely consistent on what he says: the Hills had a 'sighting' of something, but they did not have an abduction.

    Maybe Kathleen Marden will say that this recording is a "forgery," too.

    Click on track Number 21.

  8. Thanks for your patience to wade through this stuff, Robert. I appreciate it.

    I strongly suspect Robert already knows this, but for others interested, an account of the saga written by Capt. Ben Swett clearly states that Dr. Simon did not subscribe to the alien abduction explanation. Swett, many will recall, spoke to the Hills in 1963 and was credited with being instrumental in their decision to work with Simon.

    Swett wrote, "I said I thought they were telling the truth. But that wasn't the problem. They said Dr. Simon also thought they deeply believed all this was true, but they wanted to know if it was real."

    He continued, "But Dr. Simon didn't believe in UFOs and wasn't about to. He kept leading them toward any other explanation, and thus strongly suggested their experience wasn't real," adding, "[T]he fact [Simon] did not believe them..."


    1. Jack, many thanks for the link. I hadn't seen Swett's article before.

      What is surprising is that nobody has yet picked up on the fact that Dr. Simon seems to be saying that he has had UFO sightings of his own! On p.2 of the scanned document (Letter of Oct. 28, 1975), Dr. Simon says, "Having had two experiences with UFOs myself"!

  9. Robert, I doubt that a psychiatrist could definitively prove that some thing did not happen to this couple based on hypnotic regression alone. He simply was not there at the scene of the incident. The Hill's corroborated each others accounts independently. Apparently there were other witnesses (Naval) that spotted the same UFO that the Hill's saw. Also, there was physical evidence including air intercept radar (from jets that were scrambled to investigate the object) and this, in conjunction with eyewitness testimony, is what will prove if the incident did or did not happen. Phill Klass was wrong on a number of occasions with his skeptical explanations, just ask Stan Friedman. His explanation of the Tehran 1976 UFO incident as Jupiter was laughable and totally inaccurate. To suggest that Barney miss identified Jupiter is an insult to the man's intelligence.

  10. It would probably have been hard for Simon to come out and say he thought the Hills had been abducted by aliens without commiting professional suicide. Perhaps we will never know from his public statements, or statements to skeptical colleagues, what he really thought because of that. Perhaps his private statements to the Hills are more reliable because of that?

    Either way, it does not really matter in the end what Simon thought about the Hill's experience. The physical evidence seems more important. It is hard to see how Betty's dress could have been torn, and Barney's new shoes scuffed, just from sitting in a car.

    Of course, the damage to the Hill's clothing does not automatically mean they were abducted by aliens. But if they weren't, then something else must have happened to them to account for it.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. "It is hard to see how Betty's dress could have been torn, and Barney's new shoes scuffed, just from sitting in a car. "

    Yes, because dresses can only be torn and shoes scuffed by flying saucers--what an ridiculous statement!

    Marden clumsily attempts to muddy the waters with extraneous nonsense. And I see several low-intelligence believers have commented above.

    Such silly piffle.


  13. Hi Lance,

    You said: "Yes, because dresses can only be torn and shoes scuffed by flying saucers--what an ridiculous statement!"

    I actually don't think that. I think that something must have caused the damage to their clothing, which shows something happened to them. But I have an open mind about what that was. That is what I meant when I said:

    "Of course, the damage to the Hill's clothing does not automatically mean they were abducted by aliens. But if they weren't, then something else must have happened to them to account for it."

    I'm not a "believer". I have an open mind about the whole phenomenon. I suspect there are many different explanations for different events. Perhaps there are aliens visiting this planet, and that is the cause of some of them. Perhaps not, and there are other explanations. I don't think any of us have a definitive answer at this stage.

  14. Correct, Emma. It amazes me that some people can take a quote like Lance just did ie "It is hard to see how Betty's dress could have been torn, and Barney's new shoes scuffed, just from sitting in a car. " ... and stretch it into you being a "believer".

    It is just not a logical jump to make. There are a number of things that may have happened to them which the Hills never mentioned in passing. They may have gone for a walk on the way to Montreal or back, and something happened. They may have got into trouble with the car, and the damage was done whilst sorting that out. Why do people do this kind of thing? I find the illogicality of this, mindboggling in the extreme.

    Also in this article, important evidential facts are also seemingly left out.

    Where did the pink powder found on Betty's dress come from? What was it? Why wasn't it identifiable?

    Where did the small shiny magnetic areas on the car just come from. They just can't happen by themselves ... unless, of course, my life experience of things like this happening all the time is seriously lacking.

    It amazes me how supposedly scientific, rational people leave out all these little inconvenient truths that speak of something happening to the Hills.

    I am becoming sick to death of the nonsensical logic that people put forward as rational thought, the bending of truths, and twisting of facts to fit agendas.

    But then again it is the field that is ufology ... so what are you going to do?

    Harvey Price

    1. My point really is that just because you may think that something happened to the Hills on their trip does NOT make you a believer in anything that may be paranormal, supernatural, or out of this world. You may just be of the mind that "something" happened.

      To think otherwise is just bad thinking.

      No wonder the field hasn't gone anywhere in the last sixty to seventy years with the twisting of facts, and office politics, that goes on in the field.

      I think the phrase is, "Jesus wept".

      Harvey P.

    2. What sort of 'something' might have happened to the Hills, aside from being abducted by extraterrestrials?

      I can't be the only one to have seen the gag picture of someone from a History Channel 'documentary' with the caption I'M NOT SAYING IT WAS ALIENS, BUT IT WAS DEFINITELY ALIENS. Are believers actually adopting this as their main line of discourse now?

  15. "It is hard to see how Betty's dress could have been torn, and Barney's new shoes scuffed..."

    And yet Harvey managed to think of a few! It must not be that hard. Harvey also dully retold several of the whoppers that accompany this case--most of them due to a stupid willingness to accept ANYTHING that a known flying saucer nut said.

    On the other hand I notice no disagreement from the UFO believer peanut galley with accusations that scumbag Jim Bender made against Robert with no proof at all. Or any acknowledgment of how Marsden has tried to muddy the water while ignoring several different and irrefutable bits of evidence that prove that Robert's claim in the above article is absolutely true.

    Perhaps that is because PRETENDING to have an open mind is different that actually having one.


    1. Lance, please refrain from name calling. If somebody posts something that is outrageous or irrational, just stick to attacking the argument, not the person.

  16. The torn dress and scuff marked shoes were not the only pieces of evidence. The entire incident is quite complex and I would suggest those of you with a skeptical viewpoint read a book about the incident to get a better perspective, rather than just throw potshots at some of the evidence and pigeon-hole believers as a "lower intelligence" posters.

    1. I thought that Kathleen Marden's account of the event in the book she co-authored with Stanton Friedman was very good. One does not have to accept her conclusions about the cause of the event, but she nevertheless presented a detailed chronology of it very well. I disagree with Marden's position on the use of hypnosis, and other things, but she comes across to me as genuinely wanting to put out the facts as she knows them in regard to what happened to the Hills, who were members of her family.

  17. Sigh....has anybody in this group driven a long trip on an unfamiliar road? The trip the Hills took was not on some modern highway. It was old route 3 through northern NH at night. I have driven some sections of the trip in daylight and at night and it can be a bit disconcerting. The roads are not that wide and they are not well lit (even today). Fatigue certainly played a role in their recollection of events and perceptions that night. The Hills did not even stay in the car according to the story. They stated they had stopped the car several times along the way. Scuffing ones shoes would not be hard and getting a torn dress would not be unheard of when getting in and out of a car at night.

  18. >> 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).<<

    "Developing racial paranoia" and a dozen other personal problems tell us all we need to know about what led these two people to create their nightmare of a flying-saucer fairy tale.

    Here's a review of "Encounters at Indian head" in which Peter Rogerson concludes, as others have, that the Hills were simply deeply troubled people who created their transformative late "Contactee" fantasy and so their self-anointed new-age flying-saucer spiritualist personae in order to paper over their many problems and present faces of achievement and wisdom to the world—however obviously imaginary and completely phony to rational people. And, like most other big "UFO" stories, all of this only happened because the actors, working from a culturally supplied script, played their roles to the hilt.

  19. I don't think the Hills wanted to present faces of achievement and wisdom to the world, because they did not think it was ever going to become public. They were betrayed by someone who leaked it to the press. From memory, they asked the newspaper not to run the story, but were unsuccessful in stopping it.

    1. "According to a variety of reports given by the Hills, the alleged UFO sighting happened on September 19, 1961, around 10:30 p.m. "Arriving home at about dawn, [September 20]

      "On September 21, Betty telephoned Pease Air Force Base to report their UFO encounter.... On September 22, Major Paul W. Henderson telephoned the Hills for a more detailed interview.

      "Within days of the encounter, Betty borrowed a UFO book from a local library.... On September 26, Betty wrote to Keyhoe. She related the full story, including the details about the humanoid figures that Barney had observed through binoculars.

      "Webb met with the Hills on October 21, 1961. In a six-hour interview, the Hills related all they could remember of the UFO encounter."

    2. They did obviously think they had seen a UFO, and tried to find out more about it. But it was all in private, not in the public eye. They did not go to the press about it.

      What they did seems like a normal couple's attempts to try to find out more about what they saw, and to report it to what they thought were the appropriate places. I think that is probably the case for many people who think they may have seen a UFO, and is perfectly understandable.

    3. No, they didn't think they had seen a "UFO" (whatever that is). They claimed to have seen a "flying saucer," a spacecraft, and that they had been abducted by its inhuman occupants. Big Difference!

      Sounds like they knew too much about "flying saucers" and their inhuman occupants already. What you should consider is how they got these strange ideas about their experience since we know that none of it really happened.

      In the next day Betty called an Air Force base and reported their experience; she got a Keyhoe book and wrote to him; and she was interviewed again by the Air Force and a self-styled "flying saucer" sightings investigator--all in the first month..

      The next month--obsessed with the subject--Betty was having vivid "flying saucer" dreams, she claimed, nightmares, in which she continued to confabulate standard "flying saucer" narrative tropes with entire scenes from the movie "Invaders from Mars;'" and on and on for the next two years. Betty and Barney told continuously evolving versions of their "flying-saucer abduction" story to anyone who would listen, before finally meeting Dr Simon and "recoving" the final and complete "abduction" narrative through "hypnosis" and talking therapy.

      Maybe in 1961 some irrational people thought that was what they should do when they saw a light in the sky they couldn't identify. It's not something I would ever do and certainly not behavior I would consider reasonable or understandable.

    4. Confabulate? How about she was deliberately lying. Why is the most obvious explanation; the couple were hoaxing from the get go, not the default position, absence evidence to the contrary?

    5. It is well known that people confabulate false memories under hypnosis. If the events did not happen they way they remembered them under hypnosis, then the most obvious explanation would be that they confabulated part, or all of their hypnotic memories. The Hills seemed like decent people. They did not seek publicity when it happened, and tried to stop it coming out in the press. I have never heard of them having a history of lying about things in general. I cannot see why the most obvious explanation would be that they were lying.

  20. Betty and Barney Hill had no UFO knowledge prior to the incident. Neither did not show any prior interest in UFOs, in effect they were 'blank slates'. So the theory that they made this fantastic story as a result of "racial paranoia" is fanciful to say the least. Are there any other instances in recorded history where another mixed race couple reported a UFO experience, or is this the only one?

    1. During their initial observing of the ambiguous colored lights, Betty said she thought she might be seeing a "flying saucer" because her sister had reported seeing a "flying saucer" two years before.

      When the already excited Barney looking through binoculars said he could see the crew of the "flying saucer," he exclaimed, "they're going to capture us." And Betty's retort was, "like on the Twilight Zone?"

      And given detailed and carefully considered studies revealing the many congruences of the Hill's story with well-known science-fiction movies and TV programs--impossible except by direct influence--there can be little doubt that they had seen Menzies' colorful "Invaders from Mars" and the derivative "Killers from Space," and had watched the "Frisby" episode of "The Twilight Zone" and the "The Bellero Shield" episode of "The Outer Limits"--as millions of others had in theaters and drive-ins, and on TVs.

      So the Hills were hardly blank slates; no matter what they claimed they exposed themselves as being steeped in "flying saucer" mythology as it existed in 1961. And being an interracial couple in 1961 was only one source of their repressed conflicts.

      Roger, psychiatrist Simon stated that his foremost interest in the case was "Barney's developing racial paranoia." It's not a question.

    2. "Only two days after the sighting, Betty visited her local library to find out more about UFOs." -: That tells me Betty Hill did not no much about UFO's.

      Can you prove (other than quoting from Wikipedia) that Betty's sister told Betty she saw a UFO BEFORE Betty told her of her experience?

      We are discussing a scenario involving adults, who can hopefully separate fact from fiction. Regardless, "Neither Barney nor Betty enjoyed science fiction and that they were uninterested in it." Benjamin Simon asked Betty if she had seen an episode of Twilight Zone and Betty said, "I don’t know. I never see the Twilight Zone. But I had heard people talk about this program, and I always was under the impression that it was a way-out type thing." So even if she mentioned the name of the show to Barney in jest she had not seen a single episode. Also, she said that she never watched "The Outer Limits" and did not know about the TV series. Moreover, the first episode of "The Outer Limits" aired two years after the Hill's sighting in September of 1963.

    3. P1: It tells me that you don't distinguish between knowing about the "flying saucer" myth and the fact of being exposed over a lifetime to "flying saucer" stories, fantasy magazine covers, science-fiction movies and TV.

      P2: Betty incorporated the "I thought we were seeing a 'flying saucer' because my sister saw a 'flying saucer' two years before" device into her story from the git-go, and repeated it for decades.

      Kathleen Marden, daughter of Betty's sister, wrote: "My mother mentioned [her "flying saucer" sighting] in passing conversation to my grandparents and Betty and Barney during a family visit.... Betty thought that it might be possible...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...." Okay?

      P3: While talking with Dr Simon, Betty thoughtlessly exposed the fact that both she and Barney were influenced by an episode of "The Twilight Zone" during their supposed experience: "They're going to capture us!" | "Like on the Twight Zone?" And then Betty denied having any direct knowledge of "The Twight Zone." Too late, Betty, you've already said it and exposed yourself on the record!

      "The Bellero Shield" episode of "The Outer Limits" aired just twelve days before Barney introduced the image of large "wraparound" eyes and the idea that the "leader's" eyes are in my eyes, they're speaking in my eyes! This was in his session with Dr Simon.

      >> Barney said or drew nothing about "wraparound eyes" until a hypnosis session dated February 22, 1964. 'The Bellero Shield' aired on February 10, 1964. ...Barney stated, "the eyes are talking to me." ...the Bellero Shield alien...explains "all who have eyes, have eyes that speak."<<

    4. It would not surprise me at all if some, or most, their hypnotic memories were confabulated false memories. That is one of the problems with using hypnosis for "memory retrieval". There is no way of knowing what is real and what is confabulation.

      However, the Hills' conscious memories, together with the physical evidence, suggests that something may have happened to them.

    5. @ zoamchomsky;

      Yes, I can distinguish between knowing about flying saucers, and being exposed to the subject over a life time. The two are quite different, my point exactly; The exposure is selective you can either read about it, or turn a blind eye to it. It's your choice! What you are suggesting, is that Betty was brain washed by sci fi movies and other types of exposure to UFOs (her sister's sighting) before her sighting when in fact she had no interest in flying saucers but only became absorbed by the topic following the sighting, which is normal human behavior. She wanted to know more about the subject in order to understand what happened to her and Barney. I wonder how many millions of viewers saw 'Invaders From Mars' in 1953 and then reported being abducted by aliens? Now let's take a quantum leap and suggest that the "wraparound eyes" of the so-called "Bifrost Alien" in the Bellero Shield episode represented what Barney actually saw. Well, in fact, if you look at the creature carefully, it did not have wraparound eyes. That's assuming that Barney did watch the series!

    6. Roger;

      We're all subjected to the "UFO" myth because it's part of our culture; so much so that some, like Betty, choose to become contactees.

      "There was a nearly continuous series of contactees, beginning with George Adamski in 1952. Radio host John Nebel interviewed many contactees on his program during this era. The stereotypical contactee account in these days involved not just conversations with friendly, human-appearing spacemen but visits inside their flying saucers, and rides to large "Motherships" in Earth orbit, and even jaunts to the moon, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn."

      "Widespread publicity was generated by the Betty and Barney Hill abduction case of 1961.... The Hill incident was probably the prototypical abduction case and was perhaps the first in which the claimant described beings that later became widely known as the Greys and in which the beings were said to explicitly identify an extraterrestrial origin."

      The Bifrost alien's eyes (or eye sockets) extend up and around his head, this is what Barney drew. And he later worked with an artist to produce drawings that very much resemble the Bifrost alien.

      But the real evidence of the program's influence is that Barney said "the eyes are talking to me," and the alien said "all who have eyes, have eyes that speak."

      That's too much to ignore.

      The program aired just prior to Barney suddenly introducing a new version of the leader's appearance--contradicting previous descriptions; Barney drew the Bifrost alien, and he incorporated the program's device of "eyes that speak."

      Roger, all the elements of the Hill's story existed in popular culture and the "flying saucer" myth, their story was just their particular confabulation of many of those mythic elements and what they'd seen recently on TV.

      "They're going to capture us!" / "Like on the Twight Zone?"

      Here's an article that attempts to develop the connection.

    7. I am not sure if Betty actually "chose" to become contactee. As a skeptic you can keep believing that, but I am not convinced.

      I personally, don't believe any of Adamski's claims. His stories were outlandish and incredulous unlike that of the Hill's account which to me sounded highly credible on many different angles. Unlike Adamski, the Hill's were terrified by their encounter. This is an natural reaction to an encounter of this nature. Barney was horrified to the extent that he wanted to console himself by trying to believe that the creatures were not extraterrestrial with references to Nazi's and Irishmen.

      Barney was indeed himself a skeptic about flying saucers. He cast doubt about what Betty's sister saw and remained being skeptical about his own encounter until the reality of it finally wore him down into accepting that it could not have been anything other than an extraterrestrial encounter.

      I beg to differ about the Bifrost alien eyes. They are not really wraparound like that of the so called 'Greys.' The features you are referring to are skin folds on the aliens face. The eye's are small and human-like. The skeptics even seem to argue among themselves about this point. Many years ago I recall a skeptic referring to yet another series of The Out Limits called the "Galaxy Being," and that Barney had confused this alien with the one he saw until believers were saying that the eyes were not right!

  21. Robert, thank you for posting these important documents!
    In the discussion so far, no one has referred to Jim Macdonald's extremely interesting post "Alien Abduction: Betty and Barney Hill," of September 19, 2007 ( Macdonald claims to have retraced the Hills' route at night and to have seen a light that behaved precisely as theirs did. He was able to identify it as an electric light on the roof of a 35-foot observation tower at the top of Cannon Mountain (a.k.a. “Profile Mountain”).
    Naturally the light had seemed to the Hills to accompany them, moving against the fixed lights of the starry sky. When the road dipped down, and the Hills (and Macdonald) with it, it shot upward. This explanation of the Hills' experience seems to me far more persuasive than the Jupiter theory, in that it explains how the light moved against the background of the fixed stars.
    Unfortunately, Macdonald's experience is not replicable, since the tower in question was torn down sometime between August 2007 and September 2008 ( But I can't see any reason to doubt his word.
    Do you have any opinion on this?
    Two other comments:
    (1) All the talk of "racial paranoia" seems to me quite inappropriate. Hardly more than six years before the Hills took their trip, in August 1955, a black teenager named Emmett Till was lynched in Mississippi for supposedly making suggestive remarks to a white woman. This interracial couple had every reason to be wary; and the transcripts of Barney's hypnotic regressions in "The Interrupted Journey" reveal a man of truly extraordinary grace and nobility, balancing his way through a life that was a perpetual exercise in courage. Betty's selfless love for him, which shines through their story, is no less inspiring. These people were two of nature's finest.
    (2) Identifying the light that the Hills saw following them--if Macdonald is right, as I think he is--is only the first step toward understanding their experience. That light must be seen as a trigger for something coming from within both of them (and not just Betty). What may appear to be waffling on Simon's part is best to be understood as the recognition, by a seasoned psychiatrist, of this perplexing truth for which he had no easy answer.

    1. David, I already wrote about Jim Mcdonald here four years ago: We corresponded about this.

      There is a search box in the upper right, you can find all kinds of interesting stuff using it!

      Mcdonald's most interesting suggestion was that the unexplained orange object that the Hills sat watching was the glowing Pumpkin Head at the Pumpkin Head resort.

      As for "racial paranoia," that was Dr. Simon's analysis, not mine.

    2. I actually drove the route in 2011 from Mount Prospect south. There was a light at the top of the mountain but it was not too bright from the distance of Mount Prospect. However, it was pretty bright when you got within a few miles of the mountain. As I was navigating some of the bends in the road leading to the mountain (before it opens up to the interstate which wasn't there when Betty and Barney made their drive), the light appeared on one side of the road and then switched to the other because of the way the road twisted. I documented this in SUNlite 4-2.

    3. Tim, this perplexes me, given the evidence the tower was removed sometime in 2007-08 ( Was a similar tower later built on the spot, do you think?

    4. David, the article mentioned should answer your questions?

    5. "This interracial couple had every reason to be wary;"

      "Reason to be wary" or "developing racial paranoia."

      Equivocation. These are two very different things!

    6. Well, there is a tower with a light on top. I photographed it. I am not sure if it is the same tower. I remarked that the light is not that bright from Mount Prospect but it is visible within 4-6 miles as a bright object. The article Lance linked above shows photographs of the light from Mount Prospect at various distances.

  22. Excellent work here IMO Robert. I find when blogging about the UFO phenomena little due diligence is done by those inclined to `believe' in physical aliens. IMO the whole `UFO Disclosure' sideshow and MUFON has done everyone huge dis-services in attempting to prove or suggest the physical biological alien presence on Earth. All that said, I do notice how `dry' your positions are IMO - as IMO and without question some UFO phenomena seems human consciousness based and can be associated with the Orb phenomena and local phenomenology and its actualization. As Bruce Duensing said in one of his posts before his death - UAP may be a quantum detection system in some manner...... Anyway... thanks for your efforts to bring all this data together.

  23. Excellent work here IMO Robert. I find when blogging about the UFO phenomena little due diligence is done by those inclined to `believe' in physical aliens. IMO the whole `UFO Disclosure' sideshow and MUFON has done everyone huge dis-services in attempting to prove or suggest the physical biological alien presence on Earth. All that said, I do notice how `dry' your positions are IMO - as IMO and without question some UFO phenomena seems human consciousness based and can be associated with the Orb phenomena and local phenomenology and its actualization. As Bruce Duensing said in one of his posts before his death - UAP may be a quantum detection system in some manner...... Anyway... thanks for your efforts to bring all this data together.

  24. Forgive my ignorance (?). The only Jim McDonald I know about is the one who was a highly prominent pro-ETHer at the time of the Condon Report, but later committed suicide.

    Is there another Jim Mc (or Mac) Donald more recently? If so, what was his position re the Hill abduction?

    1. Chris, I posted the link about McDonald:

    2. Thanks Robert.
      Yes I did suspect this. A simple case of McConfusion!

  25. Question to Robert Sheaffer. The 1ST time they INTERVIEWED Betty and her husband BARNEY, did they interview them **(SEPARATELY)**?

    It is VERY IMPORTANT to have interviewed BETTY and BARNEY HILL **(SEPARATELY)**. Because if your are LYING or making something up, it is VERY DIFFICULT to keep the **(SAME)** story and get ALL the details of the story for 2 people correct, if it is NOT something that actually happened to them, when you INTERVIEW the people **(SEPARATELY)**!

    Do you understand the point I am trying to make about if BETTY and BARNEY HILL were interviewed **(SEPARATELY)** about their encounter of the alien abduction?

  26. Hi
    Before I make my statement I would like to clarify that I DO NOT believe in flying saucers or little green men.

    Anyways, I find it disturbing that my fellow skeptics are blaming so-called "racial paranoia". As a Zionist Jew on the autistic spectrum and a member of the LGBTQIA community who lives in the deep south I am still blamed for all of the world's problems by so-called "outstanding citizens" who live on the same street as me, so blaming someone's dishonesty on their race or anything else is really collectivist and irrational. Those of you in question don't like it when other fringe people blame white people for everything, and neither do I, so why blame black people?

    PS: Please do not accuse me of being "politically correct" as I am a lifelong libertarian-leaning Republican (though I voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson in 2016 because my whole life I have despised he who shall not be named). UFO nuts who are not racist are still much smarter than any "skeptic" who is racist, even though, ironically, Jew-haters and other enemies of the United States are the biggest UFO nuts out there. It takes all kinds I guess.

  27. I am wondering, since our newest telescopes can get information on planets outside our solar system-as far as I have seen, what they discovered are planets from hell-they may have some sort of life but do not seem to be conducive to support advanced civilizations -we are being sold a bill of goods on this for some reason by those who are running things -gaslighted for some sort of power grab.

  28. Now that the actual audio of these hypnotherapy sessions are out, we know for a fact that people have lied about what Barney said these 'aliens' looked like, in books, articles and tv, for 60 years. He never said they were greys, he says quite clearly, and describes 'german Nazis', dressed in SS uniforms. At no point does Simon lead Barney in any way, in fact he has to spend considerable energy getting Barney back on track because of his level of panic. And what is this 'doctor' doing having conversations about his patients behind their backs with someone who is try to debunk what they're saying?

    This is evidence of misinfo/disinfo campaign, which is only run if what is being said is true.


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