It is not usually easy to validate claims made by UFO witnesses, and it is especially difficult in those cases in which an abduction seems to have taken place. The real complication occurs when hypnosis is used to investigate missing time in conjunction with the abduction.
In the case of the very well-known abduction of Betty and Barney Hill in 1961, many individual hypnosis sessions were conducted three years later by Dr. Benjamin Simon, a psychiatrist with a long history of using medical hypnosis to recover repressed memories of traumatic experiences, especially those that occurred on the battlefield during World War II. Simon knew nothing about UFOs, yet felt it was his duty to elicit details from Betty and Barney under very deep hypnosis to try to determine what happened during their encounter with a strange space vehicle and eleven alien beings.
Following the pent up emotion released by the Hills while in their separate hypnotic states, Simon induced amnesia in each of them in order to prevent them from discussing what they were beginning to recall. This allowed for careful cross comparison between their distinct accounts.
One key validating revelation was Betty’s conversation with an alien about a three-dimensional model or map (probably a hologram) that was shown to her after she asked where they were from. There was a pattern of a dozen or so lights (stars) connected with three types of lines indicating heavy trade routes, light trade routes and occasional expeditions. Betty knew little of astronomy and was unable to explain where she was in the model. Simon instructed her to draw it after she indicated she could remember what it looked like. The drawing was subsequently included by John G. Fuller in his best-selling book, The Interrupted Journey.
At first there seemed to be no way to determine if the map had any meaning. After all, our galaxy, the Milky Way, has at least two hundred billion stars. Fortunately, a brilliant woman, Marjorie Fish, visited Betty to get more details about the map, in spite of fact that Fish was dubious about the Hills’ assertion that the alien beings were humanoid. Nonetheless, over a period of a few years and more interviews with Betty, Fish built about twenty-six different three-dimensional bead and fishing line models. Her goal was to find a 3-D pattern to match the two-dimensional pattern that Betty had drawn. I had been favorably impressed by Betty and Barney when we met in Pittsburgh in 1968 and when I read The Interrupted Journey and Fuller’s Look Magazine articles about the Hills. My colleague, Coral Lorenzen, International Director of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization–one of the two major UFO groups at the time–asked me as a scientist to assist Fish in communicating the results of her research. I agreed, and visited her during one of my lecture tours. I also helped her explain her work at a meeting at Adler Planetarium in Chicago and during a presentation at a Mutual UFO Network Symposium in Akron.