This article is part of the The Hill Abduction Files
For the abduction of Barney's wife, see Betty Hill's abduction.
Barney Hill

Barney Hill

Barney Hill's abduction is Barney’s experience in the Hill UFO encounter that occurred about 10:30 PM, on September 19, 1961 while driving through the countryside of New Hampshire. During the encounter, the Hills experienced missing time. The events of the abduction were drawn out through three-day hypnotic sessions, that were conducted by Benjamin Simon from January 4, 1964. Simon gave an evaluation of the Hill experience in an article for the journal, Psychiatric Opinion.[1]


Barney Hill (1922–1969) was employed by the United States Postal Service. He and his wife Betty, lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire,[2] were active in the local Unitarian congregation, and were members of the NAACP. Barney sat on a local board of the United States Commission on Civil Rights. The Hills were an interracial couple at a time when it was particularly uncommon in the United States; Barney was African American and Betty was white. Barney died of a cerebral hemorrhage on February 25, 1969, at age 46; His wife Betty died of cancer on October 17, 2004, at age 85, never having remarried.

Deciding on hypnosisEdit

During a November 25, 1961 interview with NICAP members, C. D. Jackson and Robert E. Hohmann the subject of hypnosis came up, and it was decided that it should be carried out in order to elicit previously irretrievable memories. Barney was apprehensive about hypnosis, but thought it might help his wife, Betty put to rest what he described as "the 'nonsense' about her dreams."[3]

On March 3, 1963, the Hills first publicly discussed the UFO encounter with a group at their church. On September 7, 1963, Captain Swett gave a formal lecture on hypnosis to a meeting at the Unitarian Church. After the lecture, the Hills told him that Barney was going to a psychiatrist, a Mr. Stephens, whom he liked and trusted. Captain Swett suggested that Barney ask Stephens about the use of hypnosis in his case. When Barney next met with Stephens, he asked about hypnosis. Stephens referred the Hills to Benjamin Simon of Boston.

On December 14, 1963 the Hills met with Benjamin Simon. Early in their discussions, Simon determined that the UFO encounter was causing Barney far more worry and anxiety than he was willing to admit. Though Simon dismissed the popular extraterrestrial hypothesis as impossible, it seemed obvious to him that the Hills genuinely thought they had witnessed a UFO with human-like occupants. Simon hoped to uncover more about the experience through hypnosis.

Barney's sessionEdit

Benjamin Simon conducted a three-day hypnotizing treatment with the Hills beginning January 4, 1964, starting with Barney first.

Barney's recall of witnessing non-human figures was quite emotional, punctuated with expressions of fear, emotional outbursts and incredulity. Barney said that, due to his fear, he kept his eyes closed for much of the abduction and physical examination. Based on these early responses, Simon told Barney that he would not remember the hypnosis sessions until he was certain he could remember them without being further traumatized.

Under hypnosis (as was consistent with his conscious recall), Barney reported that the binocular strap had broken when he ran from the UFO back to his car. He recalled driving the car away from the UFO, but that afterwards he felt irresistibly compelled to pull off the road, and drive into the woods. He eventually sighted six men standing in the dirt road. The car stalled and three of the men approached the car. They told Barney to not fear them. He was still anxious, however, and he reported that the leader told Barney to close his eyes. While hypnotized, Barney said, "I felt like the eyes had pushed into my eyes."[4]

Barney described the beings as generally similar to Betty's hypnotic (not dream) recollection. The beings often stared into his eyes, said Barney, with a terrifying, mesmerizing effect. Under hypnosis, Barney said things like, "Oh, those eyes. They're there in my brain" (from his first hypnosis session) and "I was told to close my eyes because I saw two eyes coming close to mine, and I felt like the eyes had pushed into my eyes" (from his second hypnosis session) and "All I see are these eyes... I'm not even afraid that they're not connected to a body. They're just there. They're just up close to me, pressing against my eyes."[5]

Barney related that he and Betty were taken onto the disc-shaped craft, where they were separated. He was escorted to a room by three of the men and told to lie on a small rectangular exam table. Unlike Betty, Barney's narrative of the exam was less detailed, as he continued to keep his eyes closed for most of the exam. A cup-like device was placed over his genitals. He did not experience an orgasm though Barney thought that a sperm sample had been taken. The men scraped his skin, and peered in his ears and mouth. A thin tube or cylinder was inserted into his anus and quickly removed. Someone felt his spine, and seemed to be counting his vertebrae.

Barney recalled being escorted from the ship and taken to his car. In a daze, he watched the ship leave. Barney remembered a light appearing on the road, and he said, "Oh no, not again." He recalled Betty's speculation that the light might have been the moon, though the moon had in fact set several hours earlier. He also stated that he attempted to produce the code-like buzzing sounds which seemed to strike the car's trunk a second time by driving from side to side and stopping and starting the vehicle. His attempt was unsuccessful.

Conclusions Edit

After the hypnosis sessions, Barney was now ready to accept that they had been abducted by the occupants of a UFO, though he never embraced it as fully as Betty did. Benjamin Simon, however, did not accept their experience, and concluded that the Hill abduction case was a singular psychological aberration, that he fully explains in an article for the journal Psychiatric Opinion.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Benjamin Simon, "Hypnosis in the Treatment of Military Neurosis" (Psychiatric Opinion, Volume 4, Number 5, pp. 24–28, October 1967).
  2. Pearse, Steve (2011). Set Your Phaser to Stun. Xlibris Corporation. p. 355. 
  3. Clark, 1998, p. 282.
  4. Clark, 1998, p. 284.
  5. Clark, 1998, p. 291

Bibliography Edit

  • Clark, Jerome. The UFO Book: Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial. Visible Ink, 1998.
  • Friedman, Stanton, & Kathleen Marden. Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience. Franklin Lakes, NJ: New Page Books, 2007.
  • Fuller, John G. (1975). Interrupted Journey (mass market paperback edition). Berkley Publishing Group. ISBN 0-425-03002-4.
  • Hopkins, Budd. "Hypnosis and the Investigation of UFO Abduction Claims", pp. 215–40 in UFOs and Abductions: Challenging the Borders of Knowledge, David M. Jacobs, ed. University Press of Kansas, 2000. ISBN 0-7006-1032-4)
  • Roth, Christopher F. "Ufology as Anthropology: Race, Extraterrestrials, and the Occult." In E.T. Culture: Anthropology in Outerspaces, Debbora Battaglia, ed. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.
  • Webb, Walter. "A Dramatic UFO Encounter in the White Mountains, NH". Confidential report to NICAP. October 26, 1961.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.