Monday, July 23, 2007

Captured! Book Revisits Hill Family UFO Story

Barney & Betty Hill
Foster's Online

     It was supposed to be their long-anticipated honeymoon — a time Betty and Barney Hill would never forget.

But by the time the Portsmouth couple got home from the White Mountains on an early morning in 1961, they were missing two hours from their memories, they said.

What they did claim to remember — bright lights and beeping sounds, a flying saucer and a crew of aliens who made Barney Hill feel as though he were about to be captured — would change the rest of their lives.

Their story became the nation's first widely known account of a forcible alien abduction and has been the subject of several books. Barney and Betty Hill died in 1969 and 2004, respectively, and now the Hills' niece, Kathy Marden of Stratham, who was close to the couple and became trustee of their estate, has published a new book about their experiences.

Marden, a retired sociologist and educator, cowrote the book, "Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience," with Stanton Friedman, a nuclear physicist who studies ufology.

Barney Hill was a practical man, Marden said.

"Now do you believe in flying saucers?" Betty Hill asked him after their encounter in Lincoln, according to Marden.

"Of course not. Don't be ridiculous," was Barney Hill's reply.

When the Hills spoke to her about what they saw that night, it was the first time Marden had heard of flying saucers or thought about life on other planets. She said she later learned, however, that her mother had seen a UFO herself a few years earlier.

Marden ran outside with the rest of her family to look at the Hill's car after the spacecraft allegedly had hovered above it. There were small, round polished spots that would not rub off.

"It's really still a mystery," Marden said. "In terms of explaining what caused that, we don't know."

Marden said her book fills in some blanks still left after several other books have analyzed the incident. For instance, she said, when John Fuller wrote "The Interrupted Journey" five years after the event, it was incomplete and left space for questions from skeptics.

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