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Yankee Mystery Files

Still No Answer

by Frederick John

From Yankee Magazine March 1974

Although, officially, flying saucers do not exist, unofficially, it is a different story: flying saucers have been "landing" here, there, and just about everywhere. Experienced pilots claim that their planes have been chased by interplanetary flying machines. And responsible citizens continue to insist that they saw something unearthly in the sky one day. All of which makes one wonder if flying saucers are as nonsensical as government officials make them out to be.

America's most celebrated flying saucer adventure took place in New England. On the night of September 19, 1961, Barney and Betty Hill of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, were captured by space visitors and taken aboard a flying saucer -- or so they claimed. It should be pointed out that no psychiatrist, psychologist, scientist, or government official has ever been able to discredit their story.

"There are quite a few people around who think I'm crazy," said Betty Hill, now fifty-four. "I know that. I've learned to live with this fact since 1961. I'll tell you one thing though: I've probably been examined by more psychiatrists than any other woman in history in recent years. And each and every one of them has certified me as being sane."

Betty is superintendent of referrals for the New Hampshire Department of Public Welfare in Portsmouth. Her husband was a postal worker; he suffered a stroke and died on February 25, 1969. "It's been lonely without Barney,'' she said."I miss him very much. Still, we had a happy married life together. I have many wonderful memories."

Betty's voice is on the husky side. She is a University of New Hampshire graduate and a constant reader. Her small, comfortable apartment is filled with reading material. She attends church regularly. A sincere woman, she is certainly not the type one would expect to become involved with creatures from outer space.

"Barney and I had been away to Canada on a vacation trip," she recalled. "We actually didn't plan to return home to New Hampshire on that night in 1961. We read the traffic signs wrong and ended up on a bridge leading to New Hampshire, so we decided to head home or keep going along Route 3 until we got tired enough to stop at a motel. Our pet dog Delsey was with us in the car. I remember it was close to midnight as we crossed the border from Canada into our home state.

"We had gone about seventy miles down Route 3 when we saw the bright light. It was in the town of Lancaster. I spotted it first. Barney was driving at the time. I remember I thought it was a star. Then I noticed the thing was moving. When I noticed that, I changed my mind. I thought it might be a satellite of some sort. Barney stopped the car, and we got out. My husband took out a pair of binoculars and tried to get a good look at the light. While he was studying it, the thing changed direction."

At this point, the Hills were convinced that the light in the sky was either an airplane out of Pease Air Force Base, located near Portsmouth, or a commercial flight. "I remember traffic was very light that night. We continued down the highway, and the light in the sky followed us. It came close to us. It was a bright yellow light -- a fantastically bright yellow light. I never saw anything like it before. We continued along the highway for another thirty miles or so, until we arrived at what they call the Indian Head area. That's where the Old Man of the Mountains is located, and I remember that the light seemed to dance directly in front of it.

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