19 September 1961
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 ponds.
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,
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 Lancaster.
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
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 beeping noise.
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
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 says simply:
...a strange incident occurred at 0214 local on 20 Sept. No
importance was attached to the incident at the time.
Next page > Aftermath > Page 1, 2
The Interrupted Journey by John G. Fuller
References for this Article:
Haunted Places by Dennis William Hauck
The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan
Dimensions by Jacques Vallee
The UFOs/Aliens Videostore!
The UFOs/Aliens Bookstore!
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