The Enduring Riddle of Betty and Barney Hill

Barney Hill reenacts sighting for NICAP investigator in 1964. On actual night,
UFO crossed  highway from right to left  over field,  enabling  Barney to watch it
through binoculars. What he saw so frightened him, he ran in panic back to car
and drove away.

Of all the stories to excite public interest in UFOs, none has so arrested the popular imagination as the case of Betty and Barney Hill. First publicized in October 1965 by the Boston Traveler, the Hill story has achieved what is probably the highest level of public recognition of any UFO report, and continues even now to generate intense curiosity, even among people who know nothing about UFOs 

For those who have followed the UFO subject, the Hill's report needs no recounting. Beginning with their initial sighting on a lonely New Hampshire highway and ending at the moment they found themselves some 45 miles down the road, unable to account for much of the time in between, it is a compelling and dramatic account. 

NICAP members were among the first to learn of the incident, which was reported in the January-February 1962 issue of the UFO Investigator following a letter to Major Donald Keyhoe from Betty Hill describing the part of the experience the couple consciously remembered. At the time of the letter, the Hills had no suspicion of what was to later emerge in Betty's dreams and in subsequent hypnotic sessions with psychiatrist Dr. Benjamin Simon. That letter, written six days after the sighting, is still on file at NICAP. 

One fact many people do not know is that Barney Hill suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on February 25, 1969, and passed away that same day after being removed from his home to the Portsmouth, N.H., hospital. His death, at 46, provoked speculation that his alleged encounter with alien creatures may have contributed to the stroke that claimed his life. As published accounts disclosed, he had experienced severe symptoms of distress following the UFO sighting and had consulted with two doctors in 1962 (the year after the sighting) in an unsuccessful attempt to relieve his nervous condition. Although he and Betty had both reported extreme anxiety in wake of their experience, it was Barney who clearly reacted with greater emotional shock to the events of that fateful September journey. 

Betty Hill holds dress she wore on night of sighting. Faded and no longer used,
it hangs in bedroom closet as mute reminder of events that changed her life. "
You are the first person to ask me about it," she told NICAP photographer.

Today, Betty Hill still lives in the red frame house she and Barney returned to the night of the sighting. With her live a cat named Buttercup ("Barney's favorite") and a dog named Randy, neither part of the family in 1961 when the sighting occurred. Their pet dachshund Delsey, who was in the car at the time of the encounter, died in 1968. Betty continues to serve with the New Hampshire department of public welfare as a social worker, and remains active in other community work, as she always has. Cheerful, happy to answer questions, and remarkably unperturbed by the constant attention she receives, she has adjusted to her unexpected role of celebrity with style and grace. 

Larger map: Route taken by Betty & Barney Hill on the night of September 19, 1961

Sighting occurred while Hills were traveling south on U.S. Route 3. Shortly 
after passing Indian Head, they encountered mysterious object at close range
(X marks approximate spot). Broken line indicates possible route couple took 
during "abduction" sequence.  X near Waterville is possible site of second