Stories about Aliens

The Pioneers

The Hills’ road trip was spontaneous, a well-earned break Barney decided the couple needed. Barney worked a grueling night shift at the post office, driving 60 miles each way. Betty’s job handling state child-welfare cases was no easier. The little free time this biracial couple had was devoted to their church and activities related to the civil-rights movement. After 16 months of marriage, Betty and Barney saw this trip through Montreal and Niagara Falls as their delayed honeymoon. They left so impulsively they had no time to go to the bank before it closed for the weekend. They got in their car with less than $70 in their pockets.

On the last night of their three-day trip, the tired couple sipped coffee in a Vermont diner to recharge before driving back. Barney figured if they pushed through, they could beat the wind and rains from an approaching hurricane. They left the diner around 10 p.m., estimating they could reach their red-framed house in Portsmouth, New Hampshire between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. at the latest.

As they drove, strange light in the sky gave another reason to hurry. At first it looked like a falling star, but grew larger and brighter with each mile. Barney, an avid plane watcher and World War II vet, was sure they had nothing to worry about. It’s just a satellite, he assured Betty. It probably went off course.

The light seemed to move with the car as Barney steered down the curving mountain road. The light zigged and zagged, ducking past the moon and behind trees and mountain ridges, only to reappear moments later. Sometimes it seemed to move toward them in a game of cat-and-mouse. It had to be an illusion, they thought. Maybe the car’s movement made it seem like the light, too, was moving.

Curiosity overcame them. The couple pulled over at road stops and picnic turnouts to get a closer look. Through binoculars, Betty saw that the white light was really an object spinning in the air.

“Barney,” she told her husband, “if you think that’s a satellite or a star, you’re being completely ridiculous.”

– Betty Hill

He knew she was right. Barney had an IQ of 140. Barney was also a pragmatic man who wouldn’t give flying saucers a second thought. The night was too quiet for a helicopter, a commercial plane or even military jet with a hotshot pilot. He didn’t want to spook Betty, but he was becoming concerned. What was this light and why was it toying with them?

About 70 miles past the diner, the object hovered just above the treetops, approximately 100 feet above them. Barney abruptly stopped the car, keeping the engine running. He shoved a handgun he’d hidden beneath the seat into his pocket and rushed into a dark field, leaving Betty in the car. What he saw was as big as a jet but as round and flat as a pancake. “My God, what is this thing?” he recalled thinking. “This can’t be real.”

Behind rows of windows, gray uniformed beings seemed to look right at him, Barney recalled. He tried to lift his hand to his pistol but somehow couldn’t. A voice told him not to put down his binoculars.

He had a startling thought: We’re about to be captured. Yelling hysterically, he ran back to the car and barreled down the road as Betty tracked the craft, craning her head outside the car window. Without explanation, loud, rhythmic beeps sounded from the car’s trunk. The couple felt instantly drowsy and lost consciousness.

They came to around two hours later and 35 miles down the road.

Back home in Portsmouth, they tried to make sense of the night. Barney felt compelled to examine his body’s lower half. Both seemed aware of a puzzling presence.

In the weeks and months after, Betty, an avid reader, checked out books from the library discovering the civilian UFO group National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). She also reported the sighting to the Air Force, worried about radiation.

In coming years, with Betty suffering from disturbing dreams and Barney developing an ulcer and anxiety, the couple sought mental help. The two met with Benjamin Simon, a psychiatrist and neurologist who specialized in hypnosis, a mainstream technique at the time.

Through months of weekly sessions, Simon helped the couple piece together what they think had happened: A vessel had landed on the Hill’s car, putting them to sleep. Afterward, gray beings walked them up a long ramp and into the spacecraft.

Once inside, the Hills were separated, taking turns in an examination room that had curved walls and a large light hanging from the ceiling. Each was asked to climb up on a metal table. The table was so short, Barney’s legs hung over the side.

During the examinations, the beings removed Betty and Barney’s clothes, plucked strands of their hair, took clippings of their nails and scraped their skin. Each sample was placed on a clear material, not unlike a glass slide. Needles, connected to long wires, probed their heads, arms, legs and spines. One large needle, around 4 to 6 inches long, was inserted into Betty’s belly. This pregnancy test left her twisting in pain. Throughout, a being Barney and Betty called “the leader” watched from the side.

After Betty’s examination ended, the beings rushed back into her room, excited. They discovered that Barney’s teeth could be removed. Betty laughed, explaining that Barney had dentures, a fact of human aging the beings struggled to understand.

Later, alone with the leader, Betty asked where the craft had flown, admitting she knew little of the universe. The being joked with her, saying “if you don’t know where you are, there wouldn’t be any point in telling you where I am.” Later, under hypnosis, she drew a star map shown to her on the ship.

In 1965, the Hills’ story was picked up by a Boston newspaper. After that, everything changed. The quiet couple’s story became the subject of a best-selling book and a movie starring James Earl Jones. The upstanding civil servants had become celebrity abductees.

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