| Retracing the Interrupted Journey|
|26 Aug 2004 @ 02:30, by Craig Lang|
This is the (very) rough draft of an article I am writing for a UFO or paranormal publication, somewhere - not sure where, yet.
I am putting it out here for comments, etc...
"Retracing the Interrupted Journey"
(c)2004 by Craig R. Lang MS, CHt
About forty years ago now, I first read the book, "The Interrupted Journey" by John C. Fuller. The book is the account of one of the first well-documented UFO abductions. It is the story of the close encounter of the fourth kind (CE4) experienced by Barney and Betty Hill, in 1961, and of its aftermath. The book was a Christmas gift from my grandmother and truly changed my life. It is at least partially the responsible for launching me on a lifelong quest to understand the UFO and close-encounter phenomenon. A never-ending quest which occupies many of my waking hours and has fascinated me for years...
I first met Betty, myself, at the 2002 MUFON conference. She is a delightful lady with a somewhat mischieveous sense of humor. At the conference, she gave a superb lecture on the encounter, how it changed her life, and how it altered the lives of all of us - especially those she knew.
At the conference, she later told me the location of the site where the abduction occurred. At the time of the encounter, Iit was pretty much out in the boonies in New Hampshire. However, the location turns out to be relatively close to where the National Guild of Hypnotists annual convention was held. I was scheduled to give a talk at the 2003 NGH convention. So not too long before the convention, I called Betty and asked her for some additional directions.
When I reached Betty by telephone, I was again struck by her pleasant, slightly impish sense of humor. I hadn't realized that she had written a book on UFO's herself. I looked it up and perused it, and I now understand why some have called her the grandmother of UFOlogy. She definitely has her own views on the topic, and takes these very seriously. Yet like everything else, she seems to approach it with a sense of both determination and fun.
She gave me more detailed directions to the site, and some very detailed descriptions of landmarks. I thanked her and we hung up our respective phones. A few weeks passed, which included my doing a presentation at the NGH conventionon - which was on doing regression work with close encounter experiencers. My wife Gwyn and I both attended this conference, and enjoyed a whole weekend of fascinating talks on various topics in hypnosis and hypnotherapy. My talk also went well, with some excellent feedback on techniques for working wiht close encounter experiencers. Then, once the convention was over, it was time for us to go find the Hill abduction site.
The weather that day couldn't have been worse for doing UFO field work. It was pouring when we started out. But we figured that we might never get this opportunity again, so we decided that rain or shine, we would go find the Hill CE4 site. So that day, we drove north fron the convention site in Nashua, NH, to where we thought the location was.
The rain let up as we approached the location on Hwy 175, where the Hills took their hypnotic detour off of U.S. Route 3. It stopped as we pulled up to the site. We quickly found landmarks that matched Betty's description, and walked into the woods on a soggy, overgrown 4WD trail. The trail ended in a large field, only about 100 yards from the road. It was a location that seemed to me to be ideal for a UFO set-down. But what seemed most truly synchronistic (at least to me) was that at that moment, the clouds parted, and we were treated to the most beautiful sunburst, I think I have ever seen.
The opening itself was a flat field about 100 yards wide and 200 yards long, tucked into in the thick New Hampshire woods. And if I were the captain of an alien spacecraft, looking for a place to carry out covert work on Earth, I would have certainly picked this spot. It was both beautiful and functional. It matched perfectly my mind's image of the perfect location for a UFO Encounter in the dark of night.
At the far end of the field, was an old cottage. We wondered if it had been there forty years before, and if so, if the residents had been home. If so, perhaps they had been treated to the sight of a lifetime, as a flying saucer from another world settled into their back yard.
We took a rather detailed photo survey of the field, and took a couple of glory shots, with Gwyn and I posing for the self-timed camera on a tripod. Then we left - mission accomplished.
The next year, at the MUFON conference in June 2004, Gwyn and I got to talking with someone who knew Betty, and was familiar with the location. I described to her what we had seen in the field, and got some very puzzled looks. When I mentioned the old cottage, I got a response like "hmmm, - I don't remember anything like that..." At that point, it was clear to Gwyn and I that we still had some more hunting to do.
She gave us details of where the sighting and abduction had (really) taken place. They seemed compatible with what Betty had said, but had some details we hadn't known before. And so once again, after this year's NGH conference, we began the hunt for the Hill CE4 site.
This time we found it easily. It turned out to be on a side road, less than a block off of Hwy 175, and was easy to find. Unfortunately, there was a new house built on the site (it had been built only recently - we missed it by a year). SInce this was now someone's front yard, and we hadn't introduced ourselves to the property owners, it wasn't appropriate for us to do much of a site survey. And since we were en route from one location to another on our vacation, we didn't have much time to go knock on their door, etc. So a quick look at the front, a couple of quick pictures of the neighborhood, and we were off.
As we drove away, I smiled and quipped to Gwyn, "I liked the other site better..."
The next day, we also located the site where Barney initially got out of the car, and watched the object descend. For those who have read "The Interrupted Journey" they will recognize that this was the location where the aliens took him over. It was at that point when he was mentally captured by the eyes (so commonly described in CE4 narratives).
The site is now a business, which it turns out, had also been there in 1961, when the CE4 occurred. So a few days later, we were actually able to talk with the manager there. She was good friends with the owner, but was unfamiliar with the Hill case, herself (I'm not sure whether or not she had even been born yet, at the time of the Hill encounter). However, she did call the owner, who indicated that he was familiar with the case. She give me his phone number and said it was OK to call him later (which I plan to do).
And so in a way, we were able to re-experience a sense of the events which were described in the book that so captivated me forty years ago. In a sense we seemed to come full circle, as we followed in the footsteps of the Hills - Retracing the Interrupted Journey.
Subsequent Note (8/28/2004)
I re-confirmed with the person who gave us the detailed directions. It turns out that the property we thought was the location of the CE4 site was 1 1/2 lots away from the actual site. Thus, though we were very close, we still did not find the "actual" site. We were still about 50 yards off.
But when it comes to a distance of light years to the nearest star, about 50 yards isn't such a big deal, is it?
8 Sep 2004 @ 15:49 by : Subsequent Note
I later spoke with the owner of the property along Route 3, where Barney had his initial up-close UFO sighting. The owner told me that there had been another close-up sighting at that location a few years later. While this apparently had no direct connection to the Hill abduction case, I found it very interesting that the details of the sighting very closely matched those of Barney's sighting in 1961.
The strange parallels and synchronicities of UFO research never cease to amaze me...
29 Sep 2007 @ 07:28 by Pasca @126.96.36.199 : Location
I was unaware that either Barney or Betty recollected where exactly they were abducted. Unless I am incorrect, The Interrupted Journey specifically notes that they retraced their path, but could not find the spot. Strange that after all these years, Betty can give you the exact location....
Other entries in Stories
22 Sep 2004 @ 01:52: The November Wind
2 Apr 2003 @ 11:03: Journey to the Citadel
17 Dec 2002 @ 19:27: The Rush Before Christmas
19 Nov 2002 @ 10:11: A Visit by the Jester