RADAR REPORTS PRIOR TO HILL CASEConcord AFS, Vermont & Pease AFB, New Hampshire
September 19 & 20, 1961
Source: Excerpted from the following report posted on the CUFON site:
COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE
The report of the Barney and Betty Hill sighting containing an additional comment regarding the UFO spotted and tracked by the Pease AFB radar was not wired to Project Blue Book headquarters, despite the fact that it was normal USAF policy to do so. Instead, the Directorate of Administrative Services at Pease AFB mailed the information to Project Blue Book on September 29, 1961 - eight days after the original Hill report was filed, An accompanying memo sent by Pease AFB
explained that "Non-availability of observers for early interrogation precluded electrical transmission of report."(26:file) This is a particularly puzzling statement, since the Hills were readily available for interrogation at any time. Conversations with the Hills were concluded on September 21, 1961.
On September 25, 1961, Project Blue
Book's Director sent the information regarding the N. Concord AFS radar
sighting to the Electronics Branch of the USAF's Foreign Technology
Division requesting comment. The Deputy for Science and Components
answered Project Blue Book's request on September 28, 1961 with the
There is no indication that Project Blue Book ever checked activities in the area responsible for launching and tracking weather balloons. The Director of Project Blue Book apparently accepted the Foreign Technology Division's explanation.
The official Project Blue Book Project 10073 Record Card regarding the N. Concord AFS radar sighting reads as follows:
Page number one of the Form 112 reporting the UFO sighting of Betty and Barney Hill included the following radar sighting as an additional item. The subtlety of its mention, as a mere afterthought, certainly belies its
significance. The additional item reads as follows:
The extract referred to in the above memo read:
The official Project Blue Book Project 10073 Record Card concerning Barney and Betty Hill's visual sighting of a UFO and the UFO sighted on the Pease AFB radar reads as follows :
Source: Pages 52-71
It is interesting to note that the Project 10073 Record Card was typewritten except for a ball-point checkmark in the air-intercept radar box in item number four. The official Form 112 submitted to Project Blue Book by Pease AFB officials indicated the radar sighting was made on precision-approach radar. Since there was no indication of an air intercept having taken place, it might be assumed that the air-intercept radar box was marked incorrectly. It is important to note, however
that this is merely an assumption of this writer. It is also interesting to note the comment made in item 11 regarding the UFO as having all the characteristics of an advertising searchlight. This possible explanation raises the question of what an advertising searchlight would have been used for in Lincoln, N.H. between midnight and 1 a.m. in the morning. There is no indication that Project Blue Book ever followed the searchlight hypothesis although it would have been relatively simple to discover whether or not a searchlight was actually in use in Lincoln, N.H. on the date in question.
Project Blue Book certainly can not be blamed for the time delay regarding the TWX sent by the N. Concord AFS and letter sent by Pease AFB. They must be given credit for at least following through, to some extent, on the N. Concord AFS sighting. It is this writer's opinion, however, that Project Blue Book's explanation regarding the searchlight was an example of mere speculation with no attempt at follow-up. Although a correlation between the UFO reported by the Hills and the UFO tracked on the Pease AFB radar was indicated as a possibility by Pease AFB officials, Project Blue Book officials make no further mention of it.
On November 15, 1961, almost two months after the Barney and Betty Hill sighting, a Project Blue Book official telephoned the Air Weather Service at Ashville North Carolina requesting copies of Rawinsonde (graphic adiabatic weather charts) observations of the Lincoln, N.H. area for 17-22 September 1961. This was an apparent attempt to support Project Blue Book's former "inversion" explanation. Since Lincoln, N.H. does not take Rawinsonde observations, and Portland, Maine was the closest station to do so, Project Blue Book's hypothesis could not be validated.
Project Blue Book ended their investigation of the Barney and Betty Hill sighting and the corresponding radar sightings at this point without ever recontacting the Hills. This is a particularly disturbing aspect of this sighting. The Hill file is much larger than many of the other Project Blue Book files, but this is due primarily to the thickness of news clipping, and magazine articles that were later included. Project Blue Book officials made meager attempts at "solving" the case by asking information of two other USAF offices, No attempt was made, however, to recontact the Hills or to interview them in person. No attempt was made to visit the reported UFO landing sight. No attempt was
made at drawing a possible correlation between the visual and radar UFO reports even though former Project Blue Book Director, Captain E.J. Ruppelt admitted as early as January 24, 1953, that visual reports that supposedly correlate with erratic radar tracks warrant a detailed investigation.(24:file)
The official Air Force explanation regarding the Hills' UFO sighting turned out to be almost as erratic as the radar and visual sightings themselves. The official explanations in this particular case included "weather inversion", "the Planet Jupiter", "optical condition", and finally "insufficient data". If one counts the explanation given for the N. Concord AFS UFO sighting, the explanation of "weather balloon" can also be added. "Weather inversion" became a favorite "catch-all" explanation at Project Blue Book, according to Dr. J. Allen Hynek. A 3 deg. inversion existing at 6000 feet has been used to explain a sighting made by an aircraft at 15,000 feet. The Air Force maintains excellent scientific facilities at its Cambridge laboratories but Project Blue Book officials never once contacted this facility to calculate whether the inversions to which a sighting was attributed were actually sufficient, quantitatively, to account for the UFO
The official Air Force release regarding the Barney and Betty Hill UFO sighting reads as follows:
This official release is confusing since directions of flight (azimuth) were supplied by the Hills. The official release also mentions inconsistencies in the Hill report, but none of the inconsistencies are mentioned, and this writer has been unable to uncover any. The Planet Jupiter is mentioned in the official release as the probable sighting observed by the Hills but Barney and Betty Hill mentioned the fact that the object passed in front of the moon at one point and contained colored lights. The official Project Blue
Book release states that the Hill sighting was observed for at least one hour, yet the sighting time listed on the official report was "3O minutes". The Air Force release also claims that no lateral or vertical movement was noted yet the official Air Force report mentions descending, ascending, and swooping movements.(26:file) The official Air Force release concludes by stating that no evidence was presented to indicate that the object was due to other than natural causes but makes no mention of the radar tracking. All in all, the official investigation of this sighting appears, at best, to be shallow and incomplete.
Further Developments in the Barney and Betty Hill Case
In the week following their initial UFO report, Betty Hill was plagued by nightmares that she and Barney had encountered a strange roadblock on a lonely New Hampshire road. She dreamed that a group of men forced her and Barney to board a spacecraft where they were both made to submit to a physical examination.(10:48) During the ensuing months, both Barney and Betty were increasingly bothered by anxiety and by the disturbing fact that two hours of the morning of September 20, 1961, remained unaccounted for. Finally, on February 22, 1964,
Barney agreed to undergo questioning under hypnosis by Dr. Benjamin Simon, the distinguished Boston psychiatrist and neurologist. Betty Hill was questioned under hypnosis by Dr. Simon the following week.(11:11) The tape recorded sessions proved to be fascinating and uncovered some startling information.
Under hypnosis, Barney and Betty Hill told of humanoid (human-like) creatures forcing them to board a spacecraft. The crew of the spacecraft conversed in a manner described by Barney as "humming", although Betty was able to converse with the leader in English and was able to understand the leader's speech in a manner not clearly describable by Betty Hill. Barney and Betty were taken into different rooms for a physical examination. During the course of the examination, a needle was inserted into Betty's navel and was explained as a pregnancy test. After Betty's examination was concluded, she inquired about what appeared to be a star map on the wall of the spacecraft. The leader explained that the map was actually a map of exploratory and trade routes (This star map incident was to play an extremely important role many years later.) Both Barney and Betty Hill were told that they would remember nothing of the time they had spent aboard the spacecraft and were then
The time that the Hills spent aboard the spacecraft could very well explain the two hours of their trip which were previously unaccounted for. Assuming the examinations did take two hours, and the UFO left shortly after releasing the Hills, an eerie time correlation can be drawn between the Hills' reported midnight sighting and the UFO tracked by Pease AFB radar at 2:L4 a.m.
The Barney and Betty Hill story was first printed in a series of six newspaper articles in the "Boston Traveler" in October 1965. Almost a year later, "Look Magazine" ran articles describing the Hills' experience and their testimony under hypnosis. The actual information revealed under hypnosis was published as a book by John Fuller entitled, "Interrupted Journey."
The notoriety surrounding the Hill experience apparently had little effect on Project Blue Book's investigation of the case. In fact, Project Blue Book now considered the Hill case closed with "zero priority". The only evidence that the new Project Blue Book staff paid any attention to the renewed notoriety of the Hill case was the fact that the two "Look Magazine" articles and copies of the "Boston Traveler" articles regarding the Hills' experience were included in Project
Blue Book's official file on the Barney and Betty Hill case.
On November 9, 1965, ten days after the last Hill article appeared in the "Boston Traveler", Project Blue Book's Deputy Director of Information mailed copies of the articles to the Pentagon's UFO spokesman. The articles were later returned to Project Blue Book's files with a page attached which contained a combination of sixteen questions or statements in an attempt to discredit the information contained in the "Boston Traveler" articles. The note was unsigned and it is not known whether the questions and statements were written by the Pentagon's UFO spokesman or the Director of Project Blue Book. Regardless of who wrote the note, it remains an excellent example of the attitude prevalent through out the Project Blue Book organization and how little information the author of the note possessed regarding a UFO case as extraordinary as the Hills'.
This writer will list all of the statements and questions contained in the aforementioned attachment in the order originally listed.(24:file) Immediately following each statement or question, this writer will supply an answer or comment.
1. (Statement) The Hill case is closed, and has
zero priority. Apparently no consideration was given to reopen this case, even though startling additional revelations under hypnosis seemed to warrant further investigation.
2. (Statement) "Foreign" does not mean
foreign to the United States.
3. (First Statement) FTD (Foreign
Technology Division) is directed by AFSC (Air Force Systems Command) at
Andrews AFB, not the CIA.
3. (Second Statement) The CIA does not
investigate the unidentifieds.
4. (Statement) Name one scientist of
"astrophysicist" studying this case.
Allen Hynek, Chairman of the Department of Astronomy at Northwestern University and the Air Force's Scientific consultant on Project Blue Book.(14:156)
5. (Statement) NICAP (The National
Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon) is not a "scientific"
6. (Question) Walter Webb astronomer?
7. (Question) Is Hill (Barney Hill)
8. (Statement) Note that they withheld infor-
mation and waited two days (before reporting the sighting
to Pease AFB). They reported only that there appeared a bright star
moving toward them in a northerly direction.
9. (Question and Statement) Two years
later?... Evaluated in 1961 (info supplied to Herbert
S. Taylor in 1963).
ment number nine remains unclear.(26:file)
10. (Question and Statement) Records?
Indicate an intensive? Come now. We did not even bother to contact the
11. (Question) No one else saw the same
object the Hills did, who are the others???
12. Sought psychiatric help. Does this indicate
emotional maturity? What are the conclusions of the psychiatrist ?
Seeking psychiatric help does not necessarily indicate immaturity. The conclusions of Dr. Simon are as follows:
l3. (Question) Who was the accredited scientific investigator who heard the tapes?
If a representative of Project Blue Book or the Air Force asked this question, it is rather embarrassing since their own scientific consultant, Dr. J. Allen Hynek actually participated in hypnotic sessions between Dr. Simon and the Hills. Hynek was not acting on behalf of the Air Force at the time.
14. (Statement) Final evaluation is
made at Wright-Patterson on the data submitted from Pease AFB and other
information from their own investigation into the matter.
(Under lining ours.)
not a reference to Project Blue Book's request for Rawinsonde observations, which proved futile.
15. (Statement) The time motion
sequence is missing in all reports. Such directions as "to the right"
"up" etc. have no validity.
The Hills indicated the UFOs elevation when first sighted and also gave information pertaining to direction in their report to Pease AFB.(26:file) The angle of elevation when the UFO disappeared was not available but no further information regarding azimuth or elevation was asked by Pease AFB officials. Further information of this nature was revealed by the Hills while under hypnosis, however, and was readily available to Project Blue Book in 1966 if they had listened to Dr. Simon's tapes or had bothered to ask the Hills.(26:file)
16. (Statement) The files are
maintained at Wright-Patterson, not Pease AFB.
Prior to the publication of their series of articles on the Hills, the "Boston Traveler" requested a copy of the original Air Force Information Report 100-1-61 originally prepared by Major Paul Henderson at Pease AFB. A "copy" of the report was furnished
by Project Blue Book one month later. The sixth article printed by the "Boston Traveler" reported that "It was actually a typewritten copy, not a reproduction. It was mistakenly dated September 1963, instead of 1961 when the report was compiled. It made not mention of radar shimmerings..."(19:B-1) The statement regarding shimmerings was in reference to an earlier remark by Pease AFB officials that the UFO appeared on its radar as a "shimmering" - an air mass phenomena that reflects light from the ground. (18:B-7) The truth is that the information that Project Blue Book released to the "Boston Traveler" was an incomplete typewritten copy of the original Air Force Information Report 100-1-61. Project Blue Book had failed to include the additional item from the report which referred to a "strange incident (that) occurred at 0214 local on 20 Sept (1961)." The "strange incident", of course, was the report of a radar sighting by Pease AFB precision approach radar. The radar "shimmering" originally reported to the press was much more than a shimmer indicating an air mass. It was a bonafide sighting (see page 55). It is not clear why Project Blue Book purposely withheld information to the press regarding the Pease AFB radar sighting, but it
certainly supported the Government's attitude that UFOs did not exist. This was an example of the way Project Blue Book's final director protected the Government's attitude. This was also perhaps an example of why this director remained in his position longer than any of his predecessors. To paraphrase former Project Blue Book Director Captain Edward Ruppelt, "the Hill case was dead - just when the information was getting better." (29:85) Not only was the Hill case dead, but Project Blue Book was now mortally ill itself.
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