Many flying saucer movies boldly claim that they are based on real stories straight from newspaper headlines, but it is obvious that they have rarely looked much beyond the headlines or studied the subject in any detail.
An exception to the rule is the made-for-TV movie, The UFO Incident (Richard A. Colla, 1975,) which is actually based on one of the earliest and most influential abduction cases. The story of Betty and Barney Hill was told in “The Interrupted Journey“ by John Fuller, and James Earl Jones was so impressed by this book, published in 1966, that he got this project into production.
The core of the story is that Betty and Barney Hill were driving home to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on the night of September 19, 1961, when they had some kind of strange encounter with a flying saucer, and could not remember 2 hours of their journey. This causes them to experience nightmares and they consult with a psychologist who treats them with hypnotic regression. In flashback, the film shows that they followed a bright light into some woods. Little blue aliens took them to a flying saucer. Inside the ship they were submitted to a battery of medical tests and the commander of the ship showed Betty a star chart that revealed knowledge unknown to science.
This is a modest movie that focuses on the fears generated by the encounter and the problems of the Hills’ inter-racial marriage. James Earl Jones plays Barney and Estelle Parsons plays Betty in a sympathetic and realistic manner. Without recourse to expensive special effects, this makes a good stab at trying to show the results of an alien encounter.
This film underlines that we should be wary of what we see on the screen, as Betty herself noted that the aliens shown in The UFO Incident “…did not look like that. The real ones looked more human than their television counterparts.” The next page will look at what might have influenced Betty and Barney‘s sighting.
Searching for the truth Stanton Friedman’s book (Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience) on the Betty and Barney Hill of the 1961 incident has rekindled worldwide interest in the case. Because a book by John G. Fuller, “The Interrupted Journey,” published in 1966, and the subsequent media coverage that was soon followed up in 1975 by a television movie, Stanton Friedman want to investigate the case for himself.
This case is mentioned in almost all UFO abduction books ever written, and has also became a target for debunkers, who still attack it today. But the complete story of what really happened that day, its effect on the participants, and the findings of investigators has never been told … until now. In Captured!, you’ll get an insiders look at the alien abduction, previously unpublished information about the lives of the Hills before and after Barney’s death in 1969, their status as celebrities, Betty’s experiences as a UFO investigator, and other activities before her death in 2004. Kathleen Marden, Betty Hills niece, shares details from her discussions with Betty and from the evidence of the UFO abduction. She also looks at the Hills riveting hypnosis sessions about their time onboard the spacecraft. In addition, coauthor, physicist, and UFOlogist Stanton T. Friedman, the original civilian investigator of the Roswell Incident, reviews and refutes the arguments of those who have attacked the Hill case, as well as the star map that Betty Hill saw inside the craft and later recreated.