Perhaps you’re already familiar with the story of Barney and Betty Hill, the unassuming New Hampshire couple whose experience with an unidentified flying object would serve as the blueprint for the typical alien abduction experience throughout the twentieth century. But if not, here’s a quick rundown of what happened to the pair one night in 1961.
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The Hills were driving along a quiet road in New Hampshire’s White Mountains when they began to be followed by a strange light. At first they thought it was an aircraft, but it looked like no plane Mr. Hill, a veteran and airplane enthusiast, had ever seen.
Things got a bit murky for the Hills after that. Several hours passed in an instant and when they arrived home, they had no memory of how they got there. Plagued by strange anxiety, the couple sought help from a therapist and under hypnosis, remembered a shocking experience of being taken aboard a strange alien spacecraft where otherworldly beings (the type modern UFO enthusiasts call “Greys”) examined them, taking samples of their hair, skin, and blood.
Critics of their story aren’t sure if the Hills are just making it all up, or if they are the victims of false memory implantation as a result of their hypnotherapy sessions. Though hypnosis was a mainstream technique at the time, it can result in false memories brought on by the leading instructions of the therapist. Some argue that the anxiety the couple suffered from was due to stress as a biracial couple active in the tumultuous civil rights movement of the 1960s.
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The Hills wrote and lectured extensively about their experience for the rest of their lives, and Mrs. Hill even claimed she had been visited many times. In the world of alien abductions, this couple is the OG.