Betty Hill
This article is part of the The Hill Abduction Files
For the abduction of Betty's husband, see Barney Hill's abduction.
Betty Hill 2

Betty Hill

Betty Hill's abduction is Betty’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]


Betty Hill (née Eunice Barrett)[2] (1919–2004) was a social worker. She and her husband Barney, lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire,[3] were active in the local Unitarian congregation, and were members of the NAACP. 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. On February 25, 1969, Barney died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 46; Betty died of cancer on October 17, 2004, at age 85, never having remarried.

Betty's dreamsEdit

Ten days after the alleged UFO encounter, Betty began having a series of vivid dreams. They continued for five successive nights. Never in her memory had she recalled dreams in such detail and intensity. But they stopped abruptly after five nights and never returned again. They occupied her thoughts during the day. When she finally did mention them to Barney, he was sympathetic, but not too concerned, and the matter was dropped. Betty did not mention them to Barney again.[4]

In November 1961, Betty began writing down the details of her dreams. In one dream, she and Barney encountered a roadblock and men who surrounded their car. She lost consciousness, but struggled to regain it. She then realized that she was being forced by two small men to walk in a forest in the nighttime, and of seeing Barney walking behind her, though when she called to him, he seemed to be in a trance or sleepwalking. The men stood about five feet to five feet four inches tall, and wore matching blue uniforms, with caps similar to those worn by military cadets. They appeared nearly human, with black hair, dark eyes, prominent noses and bluish lips. Their skin was a greyish colour.[5]

In the dreams, Betty, Barney, and the men walked up a ramp into a disc-shaped craft of metallic appearance. Once inside, Barney and Betty were separated. She protested, and was told by a man she called "the leader" that if she and Barney were examined together, it would take much longer to conduct the exams. She and Barney were then taken to separate rooms.

Betty then dreamt that a new man, similar to the others, entered to conduct her exam with the leader. Betty called this new man "the examiner" and said he had a pleasant, calm manner. Though the leader and the examiner spoke to her in English, the examiner's command of the language seemed imperfect and she had difficulty understanding him.

The examiner told Betty that he would conduct a few tests to note the differences between humans and the craft's occupants. He seated her on a chair, and a bright light was shone on her. The man cut off a lock of Betty's hair. He examined her eyes, ears, mouth, teeth, throat and hands. He saved trimmings from her fingernails. After examining her legs and feet, the man then used a dull knife, similar to a letter opener, to scrape some of her skin onto what resembled cellophane. He then tested her nervous system and he thrust the needle into her navel, which caused Betty agonizing pain, whereupon the leader waved his hand in front of her eyes and the pain vanished.

The examiner left the room and Betty engaged in conversation with the "leader". She picked up a book with rows of strange symbols that the "leader" said she could take home with her. She also asked from where he came, and he pulled down an instructional map dotted with stars.

In Betty's dream account, the men began escorting the Hills from the ship when a disagreement broke out. The leader then informed Betty that she couldn't keep the book, stating that they had decided that the other men did not want her to even remember the encounter. Betty insisted that no matter what they did to her memory, she would one day recall the events.

She and Barney were taken to their car, where the leader suggested that they wait to watch the craft's departure. They did so, then resumed their drive.[6]

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."[7]

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.

Betty's sessionsEdit

Under hypnosis, Betty's account was very similar to the events of her five dreams about the UFO abduction, but there were also notable differences. Details pertaining to her capture and release were different. The technology on the craft was different. The short men had a significantly different physical appearance than the ones in her dreams. The sequential order of the abduction event was also different from Betty's dream account. Barney's and Betty's memories in hypnotic regression were consistent with one another but contradicted some of the information in Betty's dreams.[8]

Betty exhibited considerable emotional distress during her capture and examination. Simon ended one session early because tears were flowing down her cheeks and she appeared distressed.

Betty Hill star map

Betty Hill's star map, c. January 6, 1964

Simon gave Betty the post-hypnotic suggestion that she could sketch a copy of the "star map" that she later described as a three-dimensional projection similar to a hologram. Eventually, she did what Simon suggested. Although she said the map had many stars, she drew only those that stood out in her memory. Her map consisted of twelve prominent stars connected by lines and three lesser ones that formed a distinctive triangle. She said she was told the stars connected by solid lines formed "trade routes", whereas dashed lines were to less-traveled stars.

Conclusions Edit

Betty Hill fully embraced the results of her hypnosis sessions, and her UFO abduction even more so than her husband. However, Benjamin Simon 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. Template:Https://
  3. Pearse, Steve (2011). Set Your Phaser to Stun. Xlibris Corporation. p. 355. 
  4. Fuller, 1966, p. 31.
  5. Friedman/Marden, 2007, p. 85.
  6. See Fuller, 1966, pp. 295–302 for a full account of Betty's dreams.
  7. Clark, 1998, p. 282.
  8. Friedman/Marden, 2007, 119–54.

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.
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