When Betty and Barney Hill came forward claiming they had been abducted from their vehicle by extraterrestrial entities, their story was met with incredulity. But as the narrative came together, one key piece of evidence stood out. Betty had drawn a star map that would later turn out to be accurate when astronomers caught up to it. While the map has been in many cases chalked up to coincidence, it does raise an interesting question: could astronomers use information provided by UFO abductees and contactees?
It can be argued that Betty’s star map was one of a kind and would ultimately lead to a major astronomical discovery that would vindicate her claims of alien contact. But the star map wasn’t alone. She additionally suggested that the space between the stars were a series of trade routes. This provides two interesting options that those involved with programs such as SETI may find compelling.
First, it should be noted that although Earth has been sending out messages for a number of years, many of them were along the lines of “we have a rudimentary understanding of the way the world works, is there anyone else out there who has the same?” If these messages were not compelling enough, as has been suggested by scientists opposed to the Active SETI program, perhaps a different approach would yield more interesting results. Take the following scenario.
In a message collected from Betty and Barney Hill, we send out a controlled radio signal telling their story and revealing that the alleged abductors revealed that there was a trade route between these stars. Inquire if this is the truth, and if so to please respond. Personal knowledge of anything going on beyond the border of our planet would certainly go a long way toward convincing those receiving the message to react. And if it was true that a group’s cover had been blown thanks to the loose lips of one of the craft’s occupants, they may not even be aware of an extraterrestrial presence on our planet. If it turns out to be nothing, then SETI scientists wait twenty years or so and then feel a little silly. But then again, what is science but trial and error eventually getting fantastic results? Of course there’s more to it than that, but those are all components present in major scientific discoveries. And what potential would there be to gain from this strategy?
Furthermore, what if we were to encourage regular abductees to inquire more about the universe around them and then report back? Doing so may not result in any groundbreaking informaiton, but comparative analysis of the claims may show a number of trends. Then, these trends could be looked into and quite possibly bring us one step closer to understanding what is going on behind these mysterious claims of alien abduction. Even if we find nothing, we will learn more about them just by the fact that the statements were false than if we were to simply leave it forever unexplainable.