New Hampshire is a marvelous and mysterious place. In the
southern part of the state is North Salem, near which lies Mystery
Hill, "America's Stonehenge", a collection of stone structures with
a mysterious origin. Also in the south, near New Hampshire's small
strip of coastline, is Exeter, the
site of a large number of UFO sightings in 1965.
In the eastern central part of the state is Ossipee Lake, an area
sacred to the Indians. In 1800, an Indian burial ground was
discovered in the area that contained over ten thousand bodies
arranged in concentric circles. There are numerous "kettle" lakes in
the area that were carved out by glaciers during the ice ages, and
the area is ringed by ancient volcanoes. Some of the ponds are
considered bottomless and may be connected to each other by volcanic
vents. It is said that UFOs have been seen plunging into these deep
Further north and in the center of New Hampshire lies the White
Mountains National Forest. In the summer, the area is filled with
vacationers and campers and hikers and fishermen. There are various
sights to see, such as the Flume, The
Old Man of the Mountain, Mount Washington, and Indian
Head. In the winter, skiers flock to the slopes and hunters to
the forests. But during the in-between times, the early fall and the
early spring, the area is quiet, resting.
It probably wasn't easy having a mixed marriage in 1961, even in
liberal New Hampshire, but the Hills seemed to have adjusted well.
Betty Hill was a white social worker, and Barney Hill was a black
postal employee. Barney was working in Boston, commuting back and
forth daily from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where the couple lived.
Barney had developed an ulcer, perhaps from stress at work, and when
the opportunity came for a few days' vacation, he took it. Betty was
able to schedule her vacation for the same time, so they decided to
go to Canada. They took their little dachsund, Delsey, with them,
staying in motels that would allow the dog in their room.
They went to Niagara Falls and to Montreal, and on September
19th, they were on their way back home to Portsmouth. They stopped
in Colebrook for a burger and then wound on down Highway 3 through
At about 10:15PM, just south of Lancaster, Barney noticed a light
in the sky below the moon, and called Betty's attention to it. At
first they thought it was a planet, but then they noticed it was
moving. Barney began trying to convince himself that it was only a
satellite or a plane, becoming more and more agitated at anything
that contradicted this view. Betty, whose sister had seen a UFO, was
convinced from the start that the light in the sky was something
unusual. They stopped the car to let Delsey do her business, and
observed the object with a pair of binoculars they had.
By the time they reached the Flume, north of North Woodstock, the
object had grown in size and Barney noticed that it had an unusual
motion in that it would dart away to the west and then back, closer
each time. At Indian Head, Barney stopped the car again and looked
at the object with the binoculars. He could now see multi-colored
lights and rows of windows on the pancake-shaped object, which was
huge and was only a hundred feet away. He walked closer to the
craft, and could see occupants standing inside, one of which he said
seemed to be the "leader". He became very frightened and ran back to
the car, where Betty was waiting. He started the car and took off
quickly. They could no longer see the object, but they heard a
Sometime later, they heard the beeping noise again, and noticed
that they were thirty-five miles south of Indian Head, at Ashland.
They drove on home to Portsmouth without further incident.
They slept until afternoon, and when they awoke, Betty called her
sister Janet and told her about their experience. Janet urged her to
report the UFO sighting to nearby Pease Air Force Base. Over
Barney's objections, Betty called the base and gave a report to
Major Paul W. Henderson of the 100th Bomb Wing. When asked to do so
by the Major, Barney reluctantly gave his version of the sighting.
Curiously, Pease AFB was the home of the 509th Bomb Wing in 1961,
the same 509th Bomb Wing whose home had been Roswell AAFB at the
time of the "Roswell Incident" in 1947. According to Jacques Vallee
in Dimensions, the Hills' sighting was corroborated by a
radar sighting at Pease AFB on 20 September 1961, but his reference
for this is unclear. It's an excerpt from Report No. 100-1-61, that
...a strange incident occurred at 0214 local on 20 Sept. No
importance was attached to the incident at the time.
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The Interrupted Journey by John G.
|References for this Article:
Haunted Places by Dennis William Hauck
Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan
Features from 1998
Features from 1997