Up the road 30 minutes North of Newburyport lived a couple in the seacoast town of Portsmouth, NH. If you lived in the New England area during the 1960s, you may have heard about the Betty and Barney UFO abduction incident that allegedly took place on September 19, 1961. You may have learned about the incident through various sources such as the local newspaper, TV show In Search Of, Time-Life book, or Reader’s Digest. Many also learned of the incident by second hand knowledge as town talk.
Are we more open to the possibilities of astronauts from other worlds existing in 2023 than we were in 1961 when the incident occurred? I definitely believe we are. Your belief in the possibility of alien life relies on your curiosity and open-mindedness to evaluate facts. It was 1961 when the event took place and we had not even traveled to the moon. It’s possible astronauts from an exoplanet from another galaxy, had been traveling all over the universe using advanced technology that we are not even capable of understanding. Witnesses to a UFO siting all share a common theme. Lights and saucer shaped flying machines that exhibit no sound. That is an example of advanced technology.
In 1961, while driving home through New Hampshire’s White Mountains after their honeymoon at Niagara Falls, the Hills saw a strange light in the sky. Researchers have documented the events of the next few hours as the first human abduction by UFOs or astronauts from another planet.
The encounter has been told many times by believers and critics alike. Some writers and news organizations prioritize their own interpretation over careful research. I’m not here to tell you their story since it’s been told countless times over the years accurately and inaccurately. I’m more interested in the why and to discuss the possibilities of why. To learn more, Kathleen Marden’s website has a comprehensive timeline of the abduction. With no agenda except to discover the truth, Kathleen is the foremost authority on the Hill abduction. Full disclosure she is also the couple’s niece on Betty’s side. This relationship allowed her exclusive access to Betty in the latter years to investigate the event in greater detail. Kathleen’s self-guided tour of the event can be found here for those hardcore research and UFO enthusiasts. Self Guided Tour I also came across a couple at oddthingsiveseen.com that wrote about driving the self-guided tour.
During the 1950s and 60s, UFOs became a cultural phenomenon in America.
Hollywood kept the topic alive, but sometimes, shaping the topic into something that it wasn’t. Did the Hill abduction happen? In order to ask that question, I believe you have to put yourself back to that time and in the skin of Betty and Barney. To be fair, you should not evaluate any incident based on today’s norms or beliefs. You need to transport yourself back to the 1960s and know a little about the time, beliefs and norms of the day. The first question you should ask is why would a middle-aged couple make a story up about being abducted by a UFO while coming home from their honeymoon? Were they seeking attention? Perhaps they were looking to add a bit of excitement to their life and were willing to run the risk of sounding crazy? The Hills come across as a conservative couple. A couple who would probably desire to blend in with society and avoid unwanted attention from this unusual story.
In addition, a subject that I don’t like to bring up because I’d like to believe it doesn’t matter, but in 1961, it mattered more than it does today. Betty and Barney were a biracial couple. This is where I talk about putting yourself in their skin and then deciding how you feel about the subject. Although significant progress was made towards equal rights in the 60s, it would still be unwise for a married interracial couple to draw attention to themselves and claim aliens abducted them in flying saucers without facing scrutiny or more. To a lesser degree, that can apply to any couple. Point being, they would have been ill advised to have done that, and for what gain? Just because it was a Northern state, that didn’t mean there was equal love towards the Black community as there was for the White community. Betty and Barney had much to lose, making up a UFO encounter story, especially in conservative New Hampshire. They faced losing their jobs and branded as unstable, or worse, insane. According to Kathleen Marden, the Hills were well respected within their community. Betty was a social worker and Barney was a US Postal government worker. They were also community leaders and members of the NAACP. Barney also sat on the local New Hampshire board of the United States Commission on Civil Rights and was working towards equal rights for everyone.
So I ask again, for what gain would there be to admit to an alien abduction story? They had achieved so much and to risk losing their credibility over telling their story seemed ill advised. Only a handful of people, including local authorities and the US Airforce at Pease Airforce base in Portsmouth, NH, knew the couple’s story at first. Everything changed when someone leaked the event to a reporter from the Boston Traveler Newspaper. They made the decision not to deny it. Their lives would never be the same.
The Hill family could seek attention in other less risky ways without pretending to be abducted by aliens.. The Hills abduction exhibited the full-monty, or close encounters of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th kind. An alien abduction wouldn’t even be on the top 100, even during the UFO craze of the 50s and 60s notability Roswell and many other UFO news reports.
My take is there are lots we don’t know about life and our universe. We don’t know what we don’t know comes to mind. I can’t come up with a convincing reason on why the Hills would make this up and face it backfiring on them. Having read numerous books on the topic from Captured, The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience, by Kathleen Marden, and Betty Hill’s self-published book, A common sense approach to UFOs, I’m leaning towards the Hills believing this happened to them. Many documentaries are available to stream, and layout the events of September 19 so you can come to your own conclusion. Based on what humans are capable of, there is always that possibility this never happened. However, when we gather and understand all the facts surrounding this event, we can conclude that the Hills wanted to keep this within their circle and were never interested in any monetary or publicity gain.. That tells me a lot about intentions. Never be afraid to ask questions when you have doubts, or believe what you think is the truth after research. On September 19, 1961, Astronauts abducted Betty and Barney Hill from another part of the universe. Those of us still living in the Newburyport area can easily retrace the footsteps of September 19, 1961, on a short weekend drive. Let us know if you take that trip to the White Mountains and your thoughts.
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