For years now, the mainstream culture has been obsessed with extraterrestrial life and alien abductions. The sci-fi genre is one of the most popular products of the entertainment industry. From big blockbuster movie hits to obscure and creepy TV shows, we’re constantly debating the paranormal. But how did this happen?
It’s no secret that we need to understand our existence. In the beginning, we used to attribute everything we couldn’t explain to a higher force, somewhere in the blue sky and stars above. All our myths and legends have their roots in our need to calm down.
But with time, science took a major role in solving these unexplainable occurrences. So, as our knowledge of the world around us became increasingly bigger, we started feeling as if there were no more mysterious questions remaining. Or were there?
After the Second World War, pulp fiction magazines, movies, and TV series began to incorporate aliens in their stories regularly. The public was afraid of nuclear energy and the tech race during the Cold War. In such interesting times, more and more people were starting to talk about their encounters with otherworldly beings we know as aliens today. One of the first major stories that shook the U.S. was the tale of Betty and Barney Hill, an ordinary couple from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Nowadays, we find that stories like these often happen to the most run-of-the-mill people out there. You know, a loving couple, living in some rural area, maybe with kids, etc. But that’s no coincidence at all. Our protagonists were just that — a simple, loving couple, living in a quiet little town, far from skyscrapers and the fast, modern life.
But there was something off about the Hills. They were an interracial couple. We know — saying this seems bizarre and outrageous now, but at the time, that was still a big taboo in the West. Therefore, we can agree that they were unique while still being your perfect, everyday couple for tales like these.
Barney, an African American, was a U.S. Postal Service employee, and Betty was a social worker. They were members of the Unitarian congregation. Also, the Hills were very active in their community, with prominent positions in the NAACP and the Civil Rights Movement.
How They Were Taken
Like all great abduction stories, the tale of Betty and Barney starts with a road trip. In late September 1961, the Hills were on vacation, visiting Niagara Falls and Montreal. On their way back to Portsmouth, they were tired, looking for a place to get some coffee into their system. But after visiting the local diner on the road home, their lives changed forever.
While mister Hill was driving, Betty kept observing the stars in the open sky. But something wasn’t right. One of the lights in the sky began to grow bigger and bigger. At one point, it got large enough that she began to believe it wasn’t of this world.
She suggested to Barney that it would be a good idea to rest for a moment and use the opportunity to walk their pet dog for a few minutes. As they went outside, she gave him the binoculars, and he understood why they stopped. The star she was observing was no star — it was a flying saucer.
Quickly running to the car, they began to drive down the road. Although sleep-deprived and scared, the Hills knew the UFO was coming for them. Just underneath the White Mountains, weird, electrifying sounds began to ring all around their car. The sounds turned into blinding lights, and our loving couple lost all consciousness.
What Happened to Them
Awakening a couple of hours later, the couple had no recollection of what had occurred. They drove home without a word in between, determined not to speak about their incident. Unfortunately, in the following years, the Hills began to break down. Betty was having lucid dreams of aliens, while her husband felt like someone who saw something he wasn’t supposed to talk about.
They decided to visit a psychiatrist and to reconstruct the events of the fatal night through hypnotherapy. While under the hypnosis of their doctor, things began to appear much clearer and horrifying. They were allegedly under a series of medical exams by little gray aliens, wearing shiny black suits. Besides clipping their hair and nails, they pierced Betty with a big needle through her bellybutton.
The American public began to speculate about their story. Now, many consider it the first reported alien abduction in the U.S. The stories they’ve told still serve as a major inspiration for the sci-fi genre. From the way the saucers look to the way little gray men handle their business, it’s all similar to how Betty and Barney remember it. Their Outer Limits tale remains one of the most famous abduction stories and a blueprint for close encounters with creatures from above.
The Public Reaction
UFO researchers still hold the Hill story as the staple of modern extraterrestrial conspiracies. Seeing how it’s the first alien abduction widely publicized, it’s no wonder that many films and media outlets use it for inspiration for their material. But back in the day, the public was going bonkers. Newspapers were full of Betty and Barney, making them pop icons of the ‘60s.
Moreover, in 1975, a TV movie starring James Earl Jones was based on the Hills’ story. “The UFO Incident” wasn’t that big of a hit, but almost every other movie with a similar topic has some resemblance to the horrifying events that took place on September 19, 1961.
Although many consider the story to be a hoax, it’s pretty believable for the ‘60s. Betty’s niece even went to become one of the leading UFO researchers. It’s a mystery that holds up pretty good when you compare it to other UFO sightings and alien abduction stories. Therefore, it’s no wonder we still use it as canon when it comes to writing scenarios for the sci-fi genre shows and movies.
We’ll probably never get to know the truth, but it doesn’t matter. For those who believe, it will remain somewhat of a Bible. And for those who don’t, it’s still a good tale that pulls the hairs on your back as much as any other fiction out there. Either way, please do watch out!