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The Interrupted Journey:
The World's First Modern UFO Abduction Case
[Mass Market Paperback]
by John G. Fuller

"The Interrupted Journey" is a fascinating story based upon the experiences of Betty and Barney Hill, two alleged UFO abductees in 1962. The Hills did not have memories of the abduction, but there was a space of lost time after they saw some strange lights in the sky.

Betty and Barney were troubled by this lost time and were experiencing anxiety and stress since that trip. They had reported the lights that they saw in the sky to the US Air Force, who seemed to take the report seriously. Finally they consulted a psychiatrist who began to conduct hypnosis sessions with the Hills. They were treated separately and the sessions were taped. Betty and Barney detailed the horrifying yet exciting circumstance of being abducted by aliens and undergoing physical exams. The therapy was successful in treating symptoms and helped ease the suppressed memories into their consciousness.

This book uses long quotes from the original transcripts of the hypnosis sessions. This device is highly successful in captivating the reader and giving a sense of the emotions experienced by the Hills both during the abduction and during the therapy. Fuller does a nice job bringing to life this bi-racial, middle-class couple who were prominent in the Civil Rights movement. Betty and Barney Hill's story was made into an excellent movie called "The UFO Incident" starring a young James Earl Jones with Estelle Parsons in 1975.

"The Interrupted Journey" is a very convincing account of an alien encounter. Despite the fact that the details of the abduction are fairly routine, it is an eerie story with some psychological complexity that makes for good reading. Fuller's writing can be a little stiff at times but he does a good job of allowing the character's actions to speak for themselves. Highly recommended!





At the time of first publication in 1966 the story of Betty and Barney Hill's alleged abduction by extraterrestrials whilst driving home from Montreal to Portsmouth through the White Mountains of New Hampshire on the night of 19 September 1961, as told in this book by journalist John Fuller, was highly controversial and remains so to this day due to the unassailable character of the couple and the corroborative evidence which has never been convincingly refuted.

This mixed-race couple were pillars of the community: intelligent, educated, professional, church-going, active in the civil rights movement. The last thing they wanted, or needed, was to court the kind of negative publicity which might reasonably be expected to accompany such an outlandish and improbable tale.

All they initially remembered from the night in question was being pursued by a bright light, later identified as a large disk-shaped craft with strange humanoid figures observable through the windows, as they drove the quiet road south through the mountains (on later reporting the sighting to the local USAF base it transpired that this craft had been reported by many other people in the area the same night). They arrived home two hours later than anticipated with a sense of unease. The car trunk had some unexplained shiny round marks, and when a compass was placed near these marks it unaccountably spun round and round; Barney's shoes were heavily scuffed on the tops of the toes as though he had been dragged over rough ground with his feet dangling, Betty's dress was inexplicably torn and had some very unusual stains and they both remembered hearing a `beeping' sound coinciding with the UFO sighting at two different times during the journey.

Persistent nightmares and the emergence of what we might now term `post-traumatic stress' symptoms led the Hills eventually to seek medical help. The therapeutic hypnotist who treated them, Dr. Benjamin Simon, was a respected physician in Boston who had successfully treated ex-servicemen for combat trauma. He had no interest in the UFO phenomenon, no knowledge of `alien abduction' (there were no reported cases in the public domain at that time) and was astounded to uncover mutually corroborative and supporting accounts of a complex abduction by apparent extraterrestrials from each of the Hills, who were regressed separately and carefully managed so they could not communicate their memories to each other. The Hills themselves, when they heard their taped sessions, had a hard time coming to terms with it all and initially refused to believe their own memories. Simon remained skeptical, even though he could not shake the recovered memories and in fact they explained all the symptoms (there were physical and anatomical symptoms for both the Hills following the incident).

John Fuller's book tells the whole story of this case, simultaneously investigated by the local US Air Force base, by NICAP and other organizations, and later serialised and sensationalised in the national press. The Hills became reluctant celebrities, and this unlooked-for fame brought them many problems. Betty survived Barney by many years, and subsequent paranormal incidents followed on the heels of the landmark White Mountains abduction.

This is not of itself the `best' book ever written on the alien abduction phenomenon, but it's an essential classic and an object lesson in how to carry out an investigation properly whilst not allowing prejudice born of personal beliefs to deny the uncomfortable evidence as it emerges, but to remain skeptical and true to the scientific method. The reader should keep in mind that this was all new in 1966, the first time such a possibility had ever been entertained and no-one has ever been able to `debunk' the accumulated evidence.

A good companion volume to `The Interrupted Journey' for a deeper understanding of this important case is the more recent `Captured!' written by Kathy Marden (Betty Hill's niece) with contributions from Stanton Friedman.


    --The Guardian (February 27, 2010)  
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