Page 6 - The 'X' Chronicles Newspaper - Late January 2019
P. 6

6             Once Upon A Time - Betty & Barney Hill

            Once upon a time, Betty

              and Barney Hill told a

           story that was out of this


                    By RAY DUCKLER

          Leon Noel moved carefully toward the row of
          twisted, sagging apple trees near the Interstate
          93 overpass in Lincoln, each step swallowed by
          two feet of snow.
                 He pointed with a sweeping motion
          across the horizon. “There,” he said. “That’s
                 The trees had been zapped by radiation
          emitted from an alien craft in 1961.  At least
          that’s what Noel had always told his children
          and then his grandchildren. “They thought it
          was gospel,” Noel said.
                 That was a family joke. The part about
          Barney Hill squinting through binoculars and
          seeing humanoids above this same field,
          peering from windows like passengers on a
          plane, was not.                                 Lincoln region.  As Noel says, “It was a big   obsessed. She’s a written a book, compiled a 78-
                 Neither was the part about Hill making a  thing. My aunt lived here and she was right   page PDF as part of a presentation and told me
          mad dash back to his car on Route 3, screaming
                                                          here, so it was a big thing to talk about. But  by phone from Florida, “My opinion is they did
          in terror to his wife, Betty Hill, that the couple
                                                          nothing ever came of it because ...”           have an encounter with non-human entities. It
          had to leave, fast, or risk capture.
                                                                 Noel’s voice trailed off, then he laughed,  created an emotional disturbance because it was
                 Or the piece about the Hills being taken
                                                          as though his mind had hit that universal stop  so close and they had missing time. There were
          aboard the craft somewhere near Thornton, then
                                                          sign we all approach. Look one way, and your   scientists and military people who were
          losing all memory for two hours, then arriving  mind tells you it’s not true.                  interested.”
          at home in Portsmouth as the sun rose and their        Look the other way, however, and your          Take everything Marden says, of course,
          thoughts were unchained, allowing them to       mind asks, “Why not?”                          with a grain of cosmic dust. But she no doubt
          focus, at least partially, on what had happened.       “There is something out there,” Noel    knows more about this topic than anyone in the
                 It occurred during a six-hour stretch,
                                                          says. “For the billions of stars that you look out  solar system.
          beginning near midnight on Sept. 19, 1961, if
                                                          at with the naked eye at night, we can’t be the       She was 13 when it happened, and says
          you believe in that sort of thing.
                                                          only flea on the dog.”                         Betty called her sister – Marden’s mother – at
                 And don’t take my word for it.
                                                                 If what Betty and Barney – the most     their home in Kingston the afternoon after the
                 Look it up.
                                                          famous couple with those names since the       abduction.
                 “Who knows?” Noel said. “I don’t. All I  Flintstones – claimed was true, the 1969 moon         “I came home from school during that
          know is something happened.”                    landing would be transformed into a walk in the  time frame and heard the end of it,” Marden
                 Noel drives the steam locomotive at      park. But no matter what you believe, the story  said. “Then we were at the Hill’s home a few
          Clark’s Trading Post. He’s lived in Lincoln for  was out of this world once the media got a hold  days later and saw the spots on the car and the
          nearly 50 years. His hands and smile are
                                                          of it four years after the incident.           watches that had stopped.”
          gigantic, and his silver hair rises from his head
                                                                 A zany-sounding episode, sure, but             Spots on the car? Legend has it that no
          and shoots in different directions, sort of like
                                                          whiffs of legitimacy – including government    one could explain what made them on the trunk,
          that craft that Barney and Betty Hill insisted
                                                          scrutiny and hypnosis by a respected Boston    or what they were made from. Stopped watches?
          they saw that night 57 years ago.
                                                          physician – followed this like a comet’s tail. In  Yep. Betty and Barney claimed that happened,
                 The yarn is part of the town’s landscape,  fact, even the state added some credibility,  too.
          much like those funny-looking apple trees.      planting one of those green historical markers        Early reports said that after the Hills
                 As Noel worked his way through the       near Indian Head Resort, right there on Route 3,  bolted from the field in Lincoln, their car began
          high snow, a 12-year veteran of the Lincoln     to celebrate the 50th anniversary in 2011.     to vibrate and a tingling sensation passed
          Police Department pulled over to see what was
                                                                 It reads: “On the night of September 19-  through their bodies.
          happening. He declined to give his name.
                                                          20, 1961, Portsmouth, NH couple Betty and             That incident also happened in Lincoln,
                 “I have more than a passing familiarity
                                                          Barney Hill experienced a close encounter with  which was the last moment the couple recalled.
          with what happened,” the officer said. “But that
                                                          an unidentified flying object and two hours of  Their memories returned two hours later in
          doesn’t mean I’m a believer.”
                                                          ‘lost time’ while driving south on Route 3 near  Ashland, about 30 miles away, and it wasn’t
                 What about you?                          Lincoln. They filed an official Air Force Project  until four years later that the couple identified
                                                          Blue Book report of a brightly-lit cigar-shaped  the abduction site as  Thornton, where an
          An alien concept                                craft the next day, but were not public with their  apartment complex now sits.
                                                          story until it was leaked in the Boston Traveler      They quickly reported their experience
          The Hills lived in Portsmouth and were just     in 1965.”                                      to the National Investigations Committee on
          passing through on their way home from                 Then come the words that push you to    Aerial Phenomena, or NICAP.
          Canada. A mixed marriage before those unions    Google: “This was the first widely-reported
          were fully accepted, Barney, an  African        UFO abduction report in the United States.”                            (Continued on Page 8)
          American, died in 1969 from a brain aneurysm
          at age 46, and Betty, who was white, passed in  ‘Somehow not human’                                   Listen To Rob McConnell
          2004 from lung cancer at 85.                                                                                         on
                 And yet, like Noel and that steam
                                                          In the ensuing years, retired schoolteacher         The ‘X’ Zone Radio/TV Show
          locomotive, they’re forever connected to the
                                                          Kathleen Marden, Betty Hill’s niece, became        
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