New Hampshire Couple’s 1961 Alien Abduction Changed Our Perception of Aliens Forever
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
Aliens As We Know Them
Our society has a true fascination with aliens. There are countless books, movies, TV shows. Some were made purely for entertainment, others with alleged truth and real-life experience.
A lot of the tropes we see in alien movies of our current culture can be traced back to one alleged abduction that is said to have happened in the White Mountains of New Hampshire
Betty and Barney Hill
Betty was a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and worked as a social worker. Barney was a postal worker. Because of their busy schedules, they delayed their honeymoon to September of 1961.
During this trip, they traveled to Montreal from their home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
The couple left Vermont around 10 pm with hopes of making it home by 2 am. Their trip, however, was delayed after a sighting that changed their lives forever.
The newlyweds were driving through the White Mountains near Franconia Notch, according to the University of New Hampshire.
The couple noticed a bright light in the sky that grew bigger and brighter as it came closer. Eventually, they decided to pull over to get a better look.
According to a tape recording from Barney himself, "My wife and I were driving along Route 3 when we saw what looked like a bright star in the heavens. And surprisingly, it began coming in my direction."
After pulling over Barney exited the vehicle and looked at the UFO with binoculars. According to the Appalachian Mtn Club, Barney described what he saw as being as big as a jet but flat as a pancake. In the tape recording of Barney's account, he continued saying,
I could see what I thought was approximately 9 to 11 men looking down through a series of windows. Well, this was too much for me and I made a hasty retreat to the car, screaming to the wife that they had seen me, that they had seen us. My god, they're going to capture us!
The pair continued on their journey back home but eventually lost consciousness and woke up back at home according to the Appalachian Mtn Club with their memories erased.
After some time had passed Betty and Barney eventually went to share their experience with a psychiatrist, Benjamin Simon who used hypnosis to assist the couple in unlocking the memory of what they had endured that night.
Betty and Barney noted that the aliens were grey, had bulbous eyes, and walked on two feet. The beings led them up a long ramp into the ship where they had to strip naked and lie on a metal table to be experimented on.
According to Appalachian Mtn Club, the beings plucked hairs, took nail clippings, poked the couple with needles, and even peeled off parts of their skin.
Their psychiatrist, Benjamin Simon admitted that, at first, he thought their story "stemmed from the social pressures of being an interracial couple..." but 6 months later recanted the statement and instead insisted they were telling the truth.
Aliens in Pop Culture
While there is no proof of what the Hills allege, the story of the encounter proves to be a big part of how we view alien abductions in today's culture.
Until their story, there weren't tales of large ships with long ramps to enter. No medical experiments. No cold metal tables. No erasing of memory. No bulbous eyes. All key elements in many other encounter stories and film/television.
Experience it for Yourself
In Lincoln, New Hampshire, the area in which the alleged abduction occurred, there is a memorial sign officially recognized by the state outside the Indian Head Resort that briefly tells their story. There's also an Irving station, "Notch Express" along their route that features a painting of an alien with the words, "First Close Encounter of the Third Kind, Betty and Barney Hill, Sept. 19th, 1961" painted on the front of the building according to Atlas Obscura.
Betty spent decades of her life after her encounter researching UFOs and aliens. Now her life's work is at the University of New Hampshire. For more information on what they have click here.
So, what do you think? Are you convinced we're not alone? Or were Betty and Barney telling tall tales?
Keep reading for tales of alien encounters from Maine!