The Hills drove off in a panic, but a series of strange, rhythmic beeping sounds put them into an altered mental state and they lost consciousness. Two hours later they found themselves driving on a different road with no memory of what had just happened to them.
When the couple arrived home, they were totally baffled by the UFO encounter, and they had no memory of the missing time. Betty and Barney went into separate rooms and drew pictures of what they remembered the craft looking like. The drawings were remarkably similar.
The following day, Betty discovered that the dress she had been wearing was torn in several places, and it was covered with a strange pink powder. It was also discolored, and the fabric was deteriorated. Most of the powder blew away when she hung the dress on the clothes line, but enough remained to be analyzed years later.
When Barney unpacked the car, he found that the strap to the binoculars the couple used to view the UFO was snapped in half. He also discovered that the tops of his shoes were scratched and scuffed up as if they had been dragged along the ground.
Betty took the advice of a friend of her sister who was a physicist and used a compass to test the car for any anomalies. When she got to the back of the car, she noticed about a dozen highly polished circular spots on the trunk's surface that hadn't been there before their trip. When she put the compass on the spots, its needle spun around wildly.
The Hills contacted Pease Air Force Base and submitted a UFO report. They were taken very seriously by the officer who took their information, and their report ended up in Project Bluebook--the US army's investigation into unidentified flying objects. The Hills later learned that another UFO sighting of an identical craft was seen by military personnel that same night, and that jets were scrambled to follow it.
In 1964, the Hills sought the help of a psychiatrist named Dr. Simon who was also a trained hypnotherapist. Over a period of six months the couple were hypnotized separately, and they gradually began to recall what happened to them during the missing time.
Under hypnosis, Betty remembered their car stalling on the highway, and that it was surrounded by a dozen strange looking men. They were about four and a half feet tall, had grayish colored skin, and large eyes that wrapped around the sides of their heads. Instead of ears, they just had holes in the sides of their heads. Their mouths were tiny, straight slits.
The couple was escorted along a path in the woods to a strange metallic craft. Betty walked unassisted, but Barney was in a trance-like state and was dragged along by two creatures. When they got to the ship, Barney recalled his shoes bumping against the doorway of the ship. This explained the scuff marks on his shoes.
The couple were led into separate rooms and subjected to physical examinations. Skin samples were taken from both of them. Barney said that he thought that a sperm sample had been taken from him. Betty said that the creatures thrust a long needle into her navel as a pregnancy test.
Before leaving the ship, one of the creatures who Betty called "the leader" showed her a star map of where he and his crew came from. After the hypnosis session, Betty drew a picture of this star map.
When the hypnosis sessions were completed, the Hills described the aliens' appearance to an artist who made several drawings. Another artist made a bust of what the creatures looked like.
Although the Hills never wanted publicity, their story was leaked to a reporter after they spoke about their UFO encounter at their local church. A newspaper posted a story about their ordeal without their permission. This forced them to go public with their story. They would eventually co-write a book with their hypnotist called 'The Interrupted Journey'. The book would go on to top the New York Times best seller list. It sold over 300,000 copies worldwide.
After Barney's death in 1969, Betty continued searching for answers. In the early 1970s, a woman named Marjorie Fish created a three-dimensional model of Betty's map and discovered that the stars matched the Zeta Reticuli star system. While many astronomers were excited by her findings, others were skeptical. The debate about the star map continues to this day.
Betty died in 2004, but interest in the couple's case continued. In 2020, the dress Betty had been wearing was found to contain traces of Tellurium and Rhodium. Both are extremely rare on earth, but more common in outer space. Rhodium is one of the most expensive metals on earth. There is no explanation of how these particles ended up on Betty's dress.
Many believe the Hills had a genuine alien abduction, but others were skeptical. Critics point out that the aliens the Hills described resembles an alien creature from an episode of the Outer Limits TV show. They also say that Betty's description of the 'pregnancy test' resembled a scene from the movie "Invaders from Mars". The couple denied ever having seen either show.
Information recalled under hypnosis is not necessarily accurate. When a traumatic event happens, our minds often fill in the missing information with images and false memories in order to make sense of it. Dr. Simon believed that the couple saw something very frightening in the sky that night which caused them to have amnesia for two hours. While he didn't believe that they were abducted by aliens, he had no explanation for the missing time.
Fascination with the Hill's abduction case continues to this day. The documentary Alien Abduction: The Odyssey of Betty and Barney Hill was released in 2013, and a TV series based on the 2007 book Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill Experience is in the works.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl1pVatXwbU&t=103s (Betty Hill Interview)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IToX0l-vYCg (Some interview with Barney and Betty)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhZ24yUpXSM&t=9s (Barney on To Tell the Truth - December 12, 1966)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STnargCIhxU (The UFO Incident)
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010828075745.htm (Hypnosis study)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541211/ (Shared Psychotic Disorder)