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Posted on Thursday, December 07 - 2006

" IN 1965 Betty Hill and her husband Barney found themselves afflicted by nightmares, and Barney was suffering a rash on his stomach. They sought medical advice and, after hypnosis, conducted by a Boston psychiatrist, Dr Benjamin Simons, it was suggested that the ailments were a consequence of..."

IN 1965 Betty Hill and her husband Barney found themselves afflicted by nightmares, and Barney was suffering a rash on his stomach. They sought medical advice and, after hypnosis, conducted by a Boston psychiatrist, Dr Benjamin Simons, it was suggested that the ailments were a consequence of the couple’s having suppressed their memories of being embarked in an alien spaceship, where they conversed with — and were minutely examined by — small, grey beings. This incident was deemed to have occurred some four years earlier, on September 19, 1961, as Hill and her husband were driving to their home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, after a holiday inMontreal.

The Hills’ experience was one of the first alien-abduction stories to be recorded, publicised and scrutinised by sceptical and sympathetic audiences. The Boston Traveller ran the story for five consecutive days in October 1965. The next year it became the subject of a bestselling book by John Fuller, Interrupted Journey, and in 1975 Universal Studios made a television film, The UFO Incident. Although Betty Hill condemned much of UFO culture, until her retirement in 1991 she travelled the world lecturing on her experiences and promoting research into the existence of extraterrestrial life forms. She felt that the subject was becoming tainted with commercialism and, though she published her own consideration of UFO andabduction investigation, A Common Sense Approach to UFOs (1995), she declared that it was not written for cultish alien enthusiasts. Paradoxically, she even came to disparage the validity of hypnosis, asserting that it was based on suggestibility — “when somebody goes in for hypnosis for a UFO abduction,” she said, “they’re going to get it” — and she disagreed with the methods and findings of academics and scientists such as Budd Hopkins, David Jacobs and John Mack. She was also sceptical of the proliferation of abduction claims in America, most of which she saw as copycat instances. “In this country, they say three million people have been abducted,” she said. “Not once, but continuously. That means three or four thousand people every nightare being. ...


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