Betty and Barney Hill have received a high honor from New Hampshire by receiving their own plaque illustrating the incident they went through and relating to visitors precisely how their names became synonymous with alien abduction cases worldwide. The couple, who had their alien experiences turned into a film, and have been the subject of many lectures, books, and documentaries. But this last piece of recognition may be only the latest in what may become a series of accolades awarded to the couple posthumously.
What started as a trip out to return home after a vacation in Niagara Falls. But just when the couple thought they were coming to the end of a long journey, they found themselves beginning an even stranger one. It all began when on the night of September 19th, 1961 the Hills spotted a mysterious object in the distance just after 10:30 PM. Thinking it might be a celestial object, then a plane, then as excitement began to set in for the couple they pulled to the side of the road and simply watched the object. The Hills had their dog with them, Delsey, who stood close to Betty as Barney retrieved his revolver from the trunk of their car.
What happened next would haunt them and the rest of the nation for decades to come. As the couples stood watching from Twin Mountain, Betty noticed that the object was not like any terrestrial object she had ever seen. The multicolored flashing disc was shifting between moving in a straight line and zigzagging around the sky – a fact that rarely comes up in UFO literature but is almost always present in claims by alien abductees. As they got back in the car, they decided to keep moving along. But just after getting back on the road the object broke from its distant aerial acrobatics and shot right over their car. Stopping, Barney got out of their vehicle and quickly saw “eight to eleven” alien creatures swarming around the base of the now low hovering craft. The creatures communicated with him the first of several messages that would be exchanged that night, telling him to stay where he was and continue observing.
Eventually both the Hills would be taken onboard the craft. Among the tests that were performed would be a skin test, blood samples, hair removal, and a lesson plan of where these creatures, who claimed to be from the Zeta Reticuli system. It was only after several hypnosis sessions that they were able to retrieve their memories and share them with the world. And while both the Hills had their critics, a strange image that had stayed with Betty since the incident revealed to her (and astronomers for the first time) the exact location of a constellation that would only be discovered years later.
The plaque that recognizes the Betty and Barney Hill abduction incident commemorates the incident and recognizes it as the first widely reported UFO abduction to reach the media in the United States when they were abducted on September 19th and 20th, 1961.
Though the incident was unique at the time, Betty and Barney Hill were soon joined by hundreds and eventually thousands of others who claimed to have had strange encounters with alien beings. And though it is not generally understood why they were picked first, some have wondered whether the actions of the Hills could have saved the Earth from interstellar war by making friends with their captors.