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'Five-feet tall with very large slanted eyes': Dramatisation of 1961 'alien abduction' to hit the big screen

(September 22, 2011)


It may be 50 years since Betty and Barney Hill were supposedly abducted by aliens in the White Mountains, New Hampshire, but it is only now that  their story is finally due to hit the big screen.

Film-maker Bryce Zabel hopes to make the definitive movie about the couple's apparent experience, which was the first widely reported UFO abduction in America.

It was back on September 19, 1961, when the couple were driving south on Route 3 through the White Mountains, on the way home to Portsmouth, N.H. when they say they saw a large, lighted object in the sky following them and then rapidly descending toward their car.

The Hills said they were terrified as the silent spacecraft loomed closer to them and that was made worse when Barney noticed, through binoculars, what he described as several humanoid figures standing at the windows of the mysterious craft.

Fearing they were about to be captured, the Hills drove quickly away but shortly afterwards, the couple said they found themselves 35 miles farther along on the road and realised they couldn't remember approximately two hours of time from that night.

Eventually, a well-known psychiatrist and neurologist, Dr. Benjamin Simon, used a technique called regression hypnosis to help unlock the Hills' apparently forgotten memories.

Through a long series of sessions, the Hills recounted a tale of being abducted by alien beings into the UFO and given physical examinations before being returned to their car with their memories erased.

Back in 1975, Betty told a reporter: 'The first time I saw the occupants was a group of them standing in the highway, just prior to our capture.

'As far as appearance, we described them as four-and-a-half to five feet tall, humanoid-like, very large eyes that slanted upward, very flat nose, just a thin slit for a mouth, a grayish complexion, and that they were all dressed alike. I don't think I was really prepared for their appearance, I was terrified.'

The reason the story the Hills told stands out from the rest is that it was the first widely publicized report of alien abduction in history and it was filled with details.

The Hills, who are now dead, were highly respected members of their community - Betty was a social worker and Barney had been appointed by the governor to serve on the state advisory civil rights committee.

Zabel told the Huffington Post that the couple's credibility was among the many reasons he was making the film.

'Whether one agrees that abductions happen or don't happen in the UFO field, this is an important story because it's the first time the world had its focus brought to bear on the phenomenon at all,' he said.

'I've always been interested in the case and to see that, as time has gone on, it's been a continuing story.'

Kathy Marden, the Hills' niece, who is also a social scientist, said: 'It was a case that was very thoroughly investigated by top-notch investigators. And what's very important was that Betty and Barney both had conscious recall of the experience, except for the UFO abduction itself.

'There have been many misleading statements in the mainstream media about what Betty and Barney actually remembered.

'The public was under the impression that Betty and Barney observed only a light in the sky, but those familiar with the case know that they observed much more,' Marden said. 'While their story has been challenged over and over again, nobody has been able to officially debunk it.'

It is often overlooked that at approximately the same time as the Hills said they had their UFO sighting in the White Mountains, Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth confirmed that radar had picked up a UFO in the mountains. However, sceptics point out that the Air Force concluded the UFO was simply a weather balloon.

During hypnotherapy, Betty stated that while they were on board the spacecraft, she communicated with a being who she concluded was the 'leader' of the alien abductors, and she asked where they had come from. He reportedly showed her a three-dimensional map that included many stars with lines connecting several of them.

'It was almost like looking out a window at night and seeing the stars,' Betty said in 1975. 'And he asked me if I knew where we were on the map, which I did not know, and so he said that he could not identify the map to me because I didn't have the knowledge. But he did say that there were certain lines on the map which were places they went frequently, places they went occasionally and expeditions.'

In 1964, under hypnosis, Betty drew a 'star map' and when the Hills' story was eventually made public, an Ohio schoolteacher and amateur astronomer, Marjorie Fish, spent several years studying multiple viewpoints of nearby sun-like stars and found a possible match to Betty's star map.

Fish's interpretation of the map was created from the viewpoint of a double star system called Zeta Reticuli.

However, sceptics have often suggested that Betty Hill's star map shows merely a random grouping of stars, with no other significance.

In July, New Hampshire erected a historic highway marker to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Hills' reported close encounter with aliens, and this weekend, the Indian Head Resort on Route 3 in Lincoln, N.H., will unveil a special plaque honouring the Hills' memory.

'There's a lot more to know about their story, and I'm going to take the close encounter tour over the weekend,' Indian Head resort owner Peter Spanos told the Huffington Post.

'It was the first reported and documented UFO abduction in the U.S., and it's fascinating to me that the Hills both came up with the same story independently under hypnosis -- parts of the story that they didn't consciously know about.'

Zabel called the Hills' story a classic in the field of UFO reports and said: 'Sceptics will always debunk everything. There are a lot of people who are very vested in being sceptics, and, frankly, we live in a world where we do need some sceptics.

'And I welcome the sceptics to come in and debate the Betty and Barney Hill case. Let's get all the facts out there and get everybody talking about it.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2040607/Betty-Barney-Hill-alien-abduction-movie-hit-big-screen.html#ixzz1YxgNRF8q

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