To give you a little background information, I am the Trustee of Betty’s archival collection and have photocopies of her files that fill two four drawer file cabinets in my home office. The fact that I specialize in the Hill abduction case and have so much material on hand makes it possible for me to fact check quite easily. Whenever I encounter a statement that appears to be inconsistent with Betty’s documented information, I attempt to set the record straight.
I do this without malice. Certainly memory is malleable, and although we might retain the whole picture of an event that occurred several years ago, specific details might be mis-remembered or altered somewhat. I suspect that this is what happened to Gordon. I am not attempting to criticize him–only to correct a small mistake and to offer what I suspect might be a more accurate account of the memory he retrieved.
Anyone who has a copy of Betty’s 1995 book, A Common Sense Approach to UFOs, will find documentation that supports my statement that Betty did not believe that she is the only person ever to have been abducted. Refer to Chapter 6 on page 81, “Criteria for Real Abductions” and Chapter 7 “Reality.” She states on page 85, “Real abductions do exist but they are extremely rare.” Betty discusses the differences between what, in her opinion, are real vs psychological abductions in Chapter 6. She discusses the experiences of a man who she thought had a real abduction. “The day after the abduction, he was too ill to get out of bed. The third day he went to the doctor who did some tests on him.” She then discusses the abduction of a couple who lived hundreds of miles apart but were abducted from a vehicle when they were riding together. Chapter 7 gives brief case histories of several additional abductions that met Betty’s criteria as being veridical experiences.
I suspect that Gordon’s “only one” memory is related to Betty’s firmly held belief that abductions occur only one time. Almost no one agrees with Betty’s assessment on this topic, but she argued her belief over a number of years that no real abductions occur more than one time. In her opinion, all serial abductions were psychological in nature–a very unpopular belief and one that I reject. We had many heated debates over this issue.
Betty got herself into trouble for stating that one needed only to look up into the sky to see UFOs. She wrote in Chapter 18, “UFOs do not fly around alone. They fly in squadrons of 100 or more. Most of them do not use any lights. They do not materialize and dematerialize. They turn their lights off…” She devotes two chapters to multiple UFO sightings allegedly observed by Betty and her silent network. This has always been a troubling aspect of Betty’s pronouncements because they were not investigated in an unbiased manner and they quite effectively destroyed Betty’s credibility. I addressed this issue in Chapter 25 of my book Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience, with Stanton Friedman. I titled it, “Betty’s Fall From Grace.” Although she had some credible close encounter observations with witnesses, she was prone in her later years to label clearly conventional aircraft UFOs. I wonder if her brain tumor is to blame for this clearly ridiculous assessment of conventional aircraft as being unconventional.
I wish to caution people against the tendency to take statements that Betty made late in her life as an indicator of her credibility at the time of her 1961 UFO encounter. For a better understanding of Betty’s personality, biography and UFO experience I urge interested parties to read Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience.