Wednesday, August 5, 2009

UFOs One Year at a Time: 1961


Source: The W-Files written by Jay Rath. Pages 1-6.

Wisconsin 's strangest close encounter of the third kind must surely be the incident during which Joe Simonton was given three pancakes by "Italian-looking" aliens.

A close encounter of the third kind is an actual meeting between humans and extraterrestrials, and Simonton's is easily the state's best known. Despite the unlikely manner in which the story unfolded, the episode survived a rigorous assessment by the U.S. Air Force and is carried in their files as "unexplained." In 1961, Joe Simonton was a plumber; auctioneer and Santa Claus - annually, for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce. He reported his age as 55 or 60, depending on the interviewer:

At 11 a.m., April 18, Simonton was having a late breakfast when he heard a sound like that of a jet being throttled back, something like the sound of "knobby tires on wet pavement." He went into the yard and saw a flying saucer drop out of the sky and hover over his farm. It was silver and "brighter than chrome," 12 feet in height and 30 feet in diameter. On one edge were what appeared to be exhaust pipes, 6 or 7 inches in diameter. The disc landed and a hatch opened. Inside were three dark-skinned aliens, each about 5 feet tall and weighing about 125 pounds. They appeared to be between 25 and 30 years old and were dressed in dark blue or black knit uniforms with turtleneck tops, and helmet-like caps. They were clean-shaven, Simonton said, and "Italian-looking."

The aliens did not speak in his presence, but they had a silvery jug with two handles, heavier than aluminum but lighter than steel, about a foot high. It seemed to be made out of the same material as the craft. Simonton said it was "a beautiful thing, a Thermos jug-like bottle quite unlike any jug I have ever seen here [on Earth]." Through ESP or something, Simonton got the idea that the aliens wanted water. He left the visitors, filled the jug from the water pump in his basement, then returned to the craft and gave the jug back. To do this, he had to brace himself against the UFO's hull and stretch up. From the subsequent Air Force report: "Looking into the [saucer] he saw a man 'cooking' on some kind of flameless cooking appliance." The alien was preparing pancakes.

The interior of the UFO was dull black, even the three "extremely beautiful" instrument panels, and had the appearance of wrought iron. The contrast between the dark interior and shiny exterior so fascinated Simonton that he later said that he "would love to have a room painted in the same way." In return for the water, one of the aliens - the only one with narrow red trim on his trousers - presented Simonton with three of the pancakes, hot from the griddle. As he did so, the alien touched his own forehead, apparently a salute in thanks to Simonton for his help. Simonton saluted back.

Each of the pancakes was roughly 3 inches in diameter and perforated with small holes. The head alien then connected a line or belt to a hook in his clothing and the hatch closed. The saucer rose about 20 feet and took off to the south, at a 45-degree angle. Its wake left a blast of air that tossed the tops of nearby pine trees. The craft took only two seconds to disappear from view. Simonton ate one of the pancakes, ostensibly in the interest of science. "It tasted like cardboard," he told the Associated Press. The other two pancakes he gave to Vilas County Judge Frank Carter, a local UFO enthusiast. Carter, who called the aliens "saucernauts" ("I prefer Italians"), said he believed Simonton's story since he could not think of any way in which the farmer might profit from a hoax.

Carter's son, Colyn, today a lawyer in Eagle River, told me, "I recall as a youngster that my dad took it very seriously." Judge Carter sent the pancakes to what was then the country's top investigative group, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). They refused the opportunity to check it out. That put a damper on Judge Carter's plans; he had wanted to hold a seminar on the incident. By this time, Simonton said, he was "irked by reporters making fun of the situation and laughing."

In response to all this, the Air Force dispatched its civilian UFO investigator, J. Allen Hynek. Hynek at the time was an astronomer at Northwestern University. He later became convinced that UFOs are real, and founded his own investigative agency, which took over NICAP's files after that group folded. Thanks to Hynek, a Northwestern University committee and the Air Force's Technical Intelligence Center analyzed one of Simonton's pancakes and found it to be made of flour, sugar and grease; it was rumored, however, that the wheat in the pancakes was of an unknown type. The official Air Force assessment of it all: This case is unexplained.

"The only serious flaw in the story is the disappearance of the craft in 'two seconds.' The rest of the story did not contain any outrages to physical concepts," reads the report. Simonton "answered questions directly, did not contradict himself, insisted on the facts being exactly as he stated and refused to accept embellishments or modifications. He stated he was sure that we wouldn't believe him but that he didn't care whether he was believed. He stated simply that this happened and that was that."

The private Air Force response was unearthed after a little detective work. It comes from a UFO handbook for Air Force personnel, written by Lloyd Mallan and issued in a popular edition by Science and Mechanics Publishing Co. In the book, Mallan refers to "J.S., a highly regarded, much respected citizen of Eagle River, Wis. -- a small rural community noted for its attractiveness to tourists." (Unless there are more space-pancake recipients in Eagle River than otherwise reported, we can safely see through Mallan's clever attempt at disguise and positively identify "J.S." as Joe Simonton.) One Air Force investigator, according to Mallan, said that Simonton "appeared quite sincere to me, did not appear to be the perpetrator of a hoax." But an Air Force Aeronautical Systems Division psychiatrist believed that Simonton had suffered a hallucination and subsequent delusion.

The Air Technical Intelligence Center investigator said, "cases of this type could be injurious to the mental health of the individual if [he] became upset due to the experience. ...It was pointed out that experiences of this type, hallucinations followed by delusion, are not at all uncommon and especially in rural communities."

Additionally, according to Mallan, the Air Force took to heart an unsubstantiated rumor circulated by, among others, Raymond Palmer, a publisher of pulp flying-saucer and science-fiction magazines. Palmer reported to the Air Force his belief that Simonton had been hypnotized by an Eagle River real estate broker and was fed the pancake story so that he would repeat it and appear truthful. The motivation for this was economic, for the purpose of "a miniature Disneyland that is or was being built in the area."

To understand how incredible the rumor was, it is useful to look at the credibility of Palmer himself. One of his favorite theories was that flying saucers came from a secret hollow-Earth civilization ruled by a race called Detrimental Robots, which he abbreviated as "Deros." According to Palmer, the Deros manipulated humanity with their projected thought rays. Palmer's primary source -- actually, his only source -- was a Pennsylvania welder who drew upon "racial memory" for his accounts. (There apparently is no mention in Air Force files of the possibility that the Deros' thought-ray had been turned upon real estate agents, or Palmer, or even the Air Force, though I believe there is as much evidence for that as for an Eagle River Disneyland.)

But based on such sound "evidence," the Air Technical Intelligence Center, which headquartered Air Force UFO investigations, let the matter drop. Publicly, it was a mystery. The classified reason, revealed to Mallan, was that the Air Force would not pursue the matter "due to the possibility of causing [Simonton] embarrassment which might prove injurious to his health." This was an uncharacteristic kindness on the part of the Air Force; they regularly had been dismissing reports from pilots - even their own - as misidentifications or, worse, hallucinations. "There are sufficient psychological explanations for reports not otherwise explainable," concluded the Psychology Branch of the Air Force's Aeromedical Laboratory in 1949.

Pilots, police, professors, besides regular folks -- all nuts. In the 60's, though, for a brief, shining moment, the Air Force took on a human face and it its collective tongue, bending over backwards to carry the case of a part-time Santa and full-time chicken farmer as unexplained. Some may smell a conspiracy here. As for Simonton himself, in the end he was left with a bitter taste in his mouth, and it wasn't from the pancakes. "I haven't been able to work for three weeks," he told United Press International. "I'm going to have to start making some money." He said that the next time he saw a flying saucer he would keep it to himself.

In 1970 Simonton was visited by Lee Alexander, a UFO enthusiast active in a Detroit-based investigative group. Simonton told Alexander that he had had more visits from the aliens, but he had not told anyone because of the way his first report had been received.

by Peter Stenshoel

Issue 4, Summer '96
    Robert Larson's article, "Flying Saucers, the Mind, and Other Absurdities," in the first issue of The Excluded Middle, concludes with a question. The question concerns one Joe Simonton, a Wisconsin chicken farmer near Eagle River who encountered a UFO landing on his property on April 18, 1961. The entities within it gave Joe a "silver-colored jug," which he filled with water and returned to them. They then fixed and gave him food. The food consisted of four pancakes. This has always been one of the more colorful UFO encounters on record. The surrealist juxtaposition of such harmless everyday stuff as pancakes presented by "scientifically impossible" entities in a flying machine is one inducing high humor and a kind of humorous high. The more astute among us will recognize that the claim of being given pancakes is exactly not what one would expect were the story a hoax. Especially in that time period, a hoaxer would likely invent a fancy sounding name of a concoction that tasted "out of this world!" On the contrary, Mr. Simonton stated that the pancakes "tasted like cardboard."This has long been my favorite UFO report, but it was not until Larson's challenging question that I delved into it deeply. His question is, "Why was Joe Simonton given pancakes?"

    Here is my answer. The name "Joe" is synonymous with "the common man." Politicians speak of "Joe Six-pack," meaning the every day worker. "Simonton" is more interesting: "Ton" can mean "town," or "the place from." "Simon" is, of course, Simon Peter, the apostle of Jesus, the rock (Peter means rock) or foundation of the Church, the man to whom Jesus, as Christ, gave "the keys to the Kingdom." Therefore, "Simonton" is, broadly, the Christian Church, that which is "from Simon." Joe Simonton would mean, "your average human raised within the Christian milieu."

    Now we get to the crux of the matter. A pancake is, yes, bread of a kind. But it is the appearance of the name, "Pan," the god of the Earth, the god of paganism, the dweller of Findhorn and other magical spots upon this planet-arguably the child or consort of Gaia-that provides us with the key to this scenario. In UFO reports, visits, abductions, contacts, and what-have-you, Pan is giving us a gift, his own version of the bread of life, a communion wafer. This particular report gives us our own key to understanding the phenomenon. Pan rules the Earth Kingdom. Simon Peter has the keys to the Kingdom of God, or the Next World, if you prefer. The churched of the Earth are being given a new sustenance from Pan, a cake to chew on. The real meaning of Whitley Strieber's book, Communion, is thus explicated. When the world of the Air and the world of the Earth are joined (through vehicles of Fire) by means of a bread made with Water, then are two worlds joined together by means of a sacrament involving the four magical elements.

    Eagle River, the nearby town, is a wonderful name in that it conjures up divinity of the Air and the chi of Water. Eagles are known as sacred creatures, and according to some traditions, rivers are natural carriers of chi (kundalini) energy. Here again we see the confluence of Earth and Spirit, the sky-god meeting the earth-goddess, a yang and yin balancing. The sorry footnote to this splendid story is that NICAP, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, who actually obtained one of the pancakes, could not be bothered to analyze the contents, since "the affair had had too much publicity." J. Allen Hynek, then with Project Blue Book, also got a pancake, but I am not aware what he did with it.

Betty and Barney Hill were an American married couple who rose to fame after they claimed to have been abducted by extraterrestrials on September 19–20, 1961. The couple's story, commonly called the Hill Abduction, and occasionally the Zeta Reticuli Incident, was that they were victims of a UFO abduction. Theirs was the first widely-publicized claim of alien abduction, adapted into the best-selling 1966 book The Interrupted Journey and a television movie.

The Hills lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Barney (1923–1969) was employed by the U.S. Postal Service, while Betty (1919–2004) was a social worker. Active in a Unitarian congregation, the Hills were also members of the NAACP and community leaders, and Barney sat on a local board of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. They were a mixed race couple at a time in America when that was unusual: Barney was of Ethiopian ancestry, and Betty was Caucasian.

The evening of September 19, 1961, the Hills were driving back to Portsmouth from a vacation in upstate New York, Ontario, and Quebec. Since it was late at night, and because the summer tourist season was over, there were few other cars on the road as they traveled south. South of Groveton, New Hampshire, they are said to have observed a bright point of light in the sky. Initially, they thought that they were observing a shooting star, only it fell upward and stopped near the gibbous moon. While Barney navigated U.S. Route 3, Betty reasoned that she was observing a communication satellite and urged Barney to stop the car for a closer look and to walk their dog, Delsey. Worried about the presence of bears, Barney removed a pistol that he had hidden away in the trunk of the car. Betty, whose sister had confided to her about having a flying saucer sighting several years earlier, observed the object through binoculars as it moved across the face of the moon flashing multicolored lights. Barney, who had not observed the craft, thought the light was a conventional aircraft. Betty was perplexed by the unconventional appearance of the object.

The Hills reported that they continued driving on the isolated, mostly abandoned road, moving very slowly so they could observe the object as it came even closer. Though the object was sporadically obscured by the mountain peaks, it seemed to be moving in unison with the topography. It also dipped in front of the peaks and descended slowly in their direction. At one point the object appeared to land on top of Cannon Mountain, but quickly began moving again. At times, it seemed to resemble the flight pattern of a ball and paddle game, rapidly approaching the Hills' vehicle, then receding.

Approximately one mile south of Indian Head, the huge craft rapidly descended toward the Hills' vehicle causing Barney to stop directly in the middle of the highway. Opening the car door for a closer look, he pocketed his pistol and grabbed his binoculars. The craft descended to approximately 80-100 feet above the Hills' 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air and filled the entire field of the windshield through which Betty was observing. Barney stepped away from the vehicle and moved closer to the object, which shifted like a pendulum from the west side of the car, east above the adjacent field. Using the binoculars, Barney claimed to have seen about 8 to 11 humanoid figures who were peering out of the craft's windows, seeming to look at him. Suddenly, with military precision, all but one of the figures moved to what appeared to be an instrument panel as though they were about to perform an important task. The one remaining figure continued to look at Barney and communicated a message to him to "stay where you are and keep looking."

At that instant red lights on what appeared to be bat-wing fins began to telescope out of the sides of the craft and a long structure descended from the bottom of the craft. The silent craft approached to what Barney estimated was within 50-80 feet overhead and 50-100 feet away from him. Suddenly overwhelmed with fear, Barney tore the binoculars away from his eyes and ran back to his car, saying, "They're going to capture us!" (Clark, 276) Prior to entering the car, he observed the object again shift its location to directly above the vehicle. He drove away at high speed, telling Betty to look for the object. She rolled down the window and looked up, but saw only darkness above them. Barney was afraid that the object was hovering directly over the car and blocking Betty's view of the stars.

Almost immediately, a series of mechanical buzzing sounds, loud enough to cause the vehicle to vibrate, seemed to come from the rear end of the car. Betty touched the metal on the passenger door expecting to feel an electric shock, but felt only the vibration. The Hills say they experienced the onset of an altered state of consciousness that left their minds dulled, and that they also felt a tingling sensation throughout their bodies. When passing through Plymouth, New Hampshire, another series of beeping sounds seemed to come from the back of the car. Barney stopped the vehicle and drove erratically from side to side to attempt to reproduce the buzzing sound. However, he could not recreate it. When the beeping stopped, Betty said, "Now do you believe in flying saucers?" Irritated, Barney said, "Don't be ridiculous." (Clark, 276)

Arriving home at about dawn, the Hills assert that they had some odd sensations and impulses they could not readily explain: Betty insisted that their luggage be kept near the back door rather than in the main part of the house. Barney noted that the leather strap for the binoculars was torn, though he could not recall it tearing. Barney says he was compelled to examine his genitals in the bathroom, though he found nothing unusual. They took long showers to remove possible contamination and each drew a picture of what they had observed. Their drawings were uncannily similar.

Perplexed, the Hills say they tried to reconstruct the chronology of events as they witnessed the UFO and drove home. But immediately after they heard the buzzing sounds their memories became incomplete and fragmented, and they could not determine a continuous chain of events. Barney recalled saying "Oh no, not again", though he could not place the comment in context. (Clark, 277)

(by B.J. Booth) After resuming their journey home, they were not able to see the strange craft anymore. Oddly though, they heard a beeping sound. They then heard the beeping a second time, noticing that they were suddenly thirty-five miles farther down the road than a minute or two ago. They were now in Ashla. The mood in the car was quiet as they proceeded home and went to bed. They both slept until the next afternoon. When Betty got up, she called her sister Janet, and told her what had happened. Janet told her to call nearby Pease Air Force Base, and report what she had seen. Betty reported the incident, speaking to Major Paul W. Henderson, who told Betty; "The UFO was also confirmed by our radar." It is important to note at this point that Barney was against calling the sighting in to the base, hoping to keep it quiet. At this time, neither Betty nor Barney recalled any abduction. Soon, however, Betty began having nightmarish dreams of her and her husband being taken aboard a craft of some kind, against their will. In a matter of weeks, two writers got wind of the story, and after interviewing the Hills, made an intensive log of the events of the night. They discovered that there were two hours of unaccounted time in the Hill's story, even allowing for stops for the Hills, and breaks for their dog, who also had made the trip with them.

Another interesting note that I should interject here is that these "two writers," which are mentioned in almost every report of this incident, (and there are literally thousands of them), have not been named, or I cannot find their names. However, the story is true, because their interview was attended by Major James MacDonald, a former Air Force Intelligence Officer. Shortly after Betty began having these disturbing dreams, she wrote a letter to Major Donald Kehoe, who passed her information on to one Walter Webb, who was on the staff of the Hayden Planetarium. Webb, at the time, was a scientific advisor for the National Investigations Committee on Arial Phenomena (commonly referred to as NICAP). What he did with the report is unknown.

It was Major MacDonald who made the suggestion to the Hills that regressive hypnosis might account for the two hours of missing time. In the spring of 1962, the Hills contacted a psychiatrist about the hypnosis sessions, but decided to put it off for a time. All the while, Betty was still haunted by the dreams, and Barney's ulcer was worse, and he was again suffering from hypertension. After dodging reporters, and doing some research on psychiatrists, the Hills made a decision to contact well-known Boston psychiatrist and neurologist, Dr. Benjamin Simon, who was one of the most respected doctors in his field. After a couple of initial interviews, Dr. Simon's preliminary diagnosis was "anxiety syndrome," relating to the incidents of the night of September 19, 1961. His next step was to find out what those events were. The

The method of treatment that Dr. Simon chose for the Hills was regressive hypnosis, which was meant to get to the source of their problem, whatever that may have been. He began the sessions on Barney, and then followed up with the same treatment for Betty. The process was slow, but after six months, it was Dr. Simon's expert opinion that the Hills had been abducted, and taken aboard an unknown flying craft on the night in question.

Anyone who is deeply interested in these sessions, can see transcripts of them in an excellent book on the entire Hill story, "The Interrupted Journey," written by award-winning investigative author John G. Fuller. The Hills' story was also included in a two-part article in "Look" magazine, and a movie, "The UFO Incident," a made-for-TV production. The movie was released in 1976, and starred Estelle Parsons as Betty, and James Earl Jones as Barney.

After the many sessions with Dr. Simon, the following details became evident. The Hills related that their car had stalled, and then the alien craft landed on the road in front of their vehicle, forming a kind of roadblock, hailing them down. They were taken into the craft, and given medical examinations by these aliens, and before being released, were ordered under hypnosis not to recount any of the details of their incident. The entities were described by the Hills as "...bald-headed alien beings, about five foot tall, with greyish skin, pear shaped heads and slanting cat-like eyes."-- This was the very first mention in UFO folklore of the so-called "greys." The Hills were taken into separate rooms during their examinations. These "tests" involved both physical and mental procedures.

As part of these tests, skin, hair and nail samples were taken. Betty had a long needle inserted into her navel, and was told it was a pregnancy test. Under duress, Barney related that he had given a semen specimen. Betty stated that she was given a kind of book as a token of her visit, but this item was later taken back. Another odd fact related under hypnosis was that the aliens seemed to have no conception of time, or of colors, whatever this may mean. At one point, the aliens seemed surprised to find that Barney's teeth (dentures) could be removed and replaced. Betty asked one of her abductors where they were from, and in reply, she was shown a star map of sorts.

After these events, the Hills were taken back to their car, and the last thing they remembered was an orange glow disappearing into the night sky. It is very important to note that the Hills tried to keep these events out of the press, but unfortunately, an inaccurate version of the events was leaked to the press, after which, the Hills decided to come forward with the true events of the case. Dr. Simon was under a great amount of pressure to release whatever information the Hills authorized about their case. This was considered prudent, not to exploit the story, but to stop speculation that the absence of a statement by him would seem to shed a negative light on the Hills' story. Simon concluded that the Hills were not fabricating their story.

He further stated that he there were several conclusions that could be reached. "The experience actually happened, or, some perceptive and illusory misinterpretations occurred in relationship to some real event." What the "real event" may be, I do not know. As the facts of the Hills' case came to public knowledge, two notable, respectable professionals investigated the story, and made their conclusions. One was Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who was at the time, Professor of Astronomy at Northwestern University, and later to be an Air Force Consultant on Aerial Phenomena. He eventually would create his own "Center For UFO studies." The other was Stanton T. Friedman, a nuclear physicist and the nation's only space scientist devoting full time to researching the UFO phenomenon.

As a consultant to Project Blue Book, Hynek later released the book, "The UFO Experience," in which he discussed the Hills' case. I will insert his own words here; "Under repeated hypnosis they independently revealed what had supposedly happened. The two stories agreed in considerable detail, although neither Betty nor Barney was privy to what the other had said under hypnosis until much later. Under hypnosis they stated that they had been taken separately aboard the craft, treated well by the occupants - rather as humans might treat experimental animals - and then released after having been given the hypnotic suggestion that they would remember nothing of that particular experience. The method of their release supposedly accounted for the amnesia, which was apparently broken only by counterhypnosis.

(From UFO Phenomenon at Close Sight) A controversial abduction case because it all hinges on information gained by performing hypnotic regression on Betty and Barney Hill. In September 1961, the Hills were returning from a holiday and were driving along a New Hampshire road when they saw a bright light moving rapidly in the sky. They stopped the car and got out to have a closer look with binoculars. The light then reversed its direction and the couple got back into their car and drove on. The light then turned back and approached their car, so they stopped again to look at it. The craft was coin shaped with blue lighted windows along the edge, through which they saw figures running about. Barney walked over the road to get an even better look when two wings came out of either side of the craft that had red lights on the wing tips. He then got shocked and very agitated and ran back into the car and the two of them went back on their journey home. When they got back, they realized that they were some two hours late and they didn't know why. After a few days, Betty had a series of disturbing dreams, so she and Barney agreed to go under hypnotic regression to try and find out just what happened during those two lost hours.

The two were sent into a hypnotic sleep both together and separately, and both stories matched up with each other for the times when they were together during the UFO incident. The story went like this: When the Hills stopped the car the second time, it was
because it was stalled by the UFO. The two were helped out of their car by a few men (alien men) and were taken off of the road and up a ramp into the UFO. They were then separated and put into different rooms where they underwent an examination involving taking samples from various areas of the body. Before being joined together and being allowed to leave, Betty was shown a three-dimensional holographic star map and was able to draw it out after a regression session. An amateur astronomer took the drawing of the star map and searched through the near stars to see if she could get a match for the star configuration drawn by Betty. After another five years of searching, she found one, and therefore calculated that the aliens must have come from the Zeta Reticuli system.

(From How Stuff Works)

On the evening of September 19, 1961, while driving home to Portsmouth through rural New Hampshire, Barney and Betty Hill sighted a pancake-shaped UFO with a double row of windows. At one point they stopped their car, and Barney got out for a better look. As the UFO tilted in his direction, he saw six uniformed beings inside. Suddenly frightened, the Hills sped away, but soon a series of beeps sounded, their vehicle started to vibrate, and they felt drowsy. The next thing they knew, they were hearing beeps again. The UFO was gone. When they arrived home, it was two hours later than they expected; somehow, the Hills had lost two hours.

A series of disturbing dreams and other problems led the Hills to seek psychiatric help. Between January and June 1964, under hypnosis, they recounted the landing of the UFO, the emergence of its occupants, their abduction into the craft, and separately experienced medical examinations. In 1965 a Boston newspaper reported the story, which in 1967 became the subject of a best-selling book, John G. Fuller's The Interrupted Journey. On October 20, 1975, NBC television broadcast a docudrama, The UFO Incident, about the experience.

Most everyone has heard of the UFO abduction of the Hills. At the time it shocked even hard-core ufologists. Nothing quite like it had ever been recorded. Ufologists did know of a bizarre December 1954 incident from Venezuela: Four hairy UFO beings allegedly tried to drag a hunter into their craft, only to be discouraged when his companion struck one of them on the head with the butt of his gun. In any case, ufologists traditionally viewed with suspicion claims of on-board encounters with UFO crews. Those kinds of stories were associated with "contactees," who were regarded, with good reason, as charlatans who peddled long-winded tales of meetings with godlike "Space Brothers." The Hills, however, had a sterling personal reputation, and they returned from their experience with no messages of cosmic uplift.

The 1966 publication of The Interrupted Journey, by John G. Fuller, details many of the Hills' claims. Excerpts of the book were published in Look magazine, and The Interrupted Journey went on to sell many copies and greatly publicize the Hills' account. Budd Hopkins writes, " ... the Hill case bears upon one popular theory which has been widely but uncritically accepted by many skeptics: the idea that such accounts must have been implanted by hypnosis, consciously or unconsciously, or by manipulative practitioners who 'believe in' the reality of such events. Simon, who hypnotized the Hills, was avowedly skeptical about the reality of the Hills' abduction recollections. Yet the Hills stubbornly held to their interlocking, hypnotically recovered accounts despite Simon's suggestions at the end of treatment that their memories could not be literally true. It can therefore be concluded that the bias of the hypnotist had nothing to do with the content of their hypnotic recall." Later, Betty claimed to have seen and photographed UFOs a number of times after the initial abduction, and in her later years she "became a celebrity in the UFO community."

In his 1990 article "Entirely Unpredisposed," Martin Kottmeyer suggested that Barney's memories revealed under hypnosis might have been influenced by an episode of the science fiction television show The Outer Limits titled "The Bellero Shield", which was broadcast about two weeks before Barney's first hypnotic session. The episode featured an extraterrestrial with large eyes who says, "In all the universes, in all the unities beyond the universes, all who have eyes have eyes that speak." The report from the regression featured a scenario that was in some respects similar to the television show. In part, Kottmeyer wrote: "Wraparound eyes are an extreme rarity in science fiction films. I know of only one instance. They appeared on the alien of an episode of an old TV series "The Outer Limits" entitled "The Bellero Shield."

A person familiar with Barney's sketch in The Interrupted Journey and the sketch done in collaboration with the artist David Baker will find a "frisson" of "déjà vu" creeping up his spine when seeing this episode. The resemblance is much abetted by an absence of ears, hair, and nose on both aliens. Could it be by chance? Consider this: Barney first described and drew the wraparound eyes during the hypnosis session dated 22 February 1964. "The Bellero Shield" was first broadcast on 10 February 1964. Only twelve days separate the two instances. If the identification is admitted, the commonness of wraparound eyes in the abduction literature falls to cultural forces." Though Betty was alive when Kottmeyer made his claims, he never sought her out to ask if she or Barney had seen the episode. When a different researcher asked Betty about The Outer Limits, she insisted she had "never heard of it". (Clark, 291) She further noted that it was unlikely that Barney would have seen the episode in question because he usually worked in the evenings when the episode was broadcast, and when Barney was home in the evenings, Betty reported that they were both usually occupied with the NAACP or other community activities.

Folklorist Dr. Thomas E. Bullard agrees that the similarities between "The Bellero Shield" and Barney's story are in fact striking and "persuasive", but he also notes that there are several facts that blunt the impact of the similarities: First, it has not been demonstrated conclusively that Barney watched the episode in question, and, second, as Bullard writes, in Barney's "earlier, conscious recall ... he remembered a being with compelling eyes looking down at him from a UFO."[11] Bullard thinks it plausible that the Outer Limits episode might have helped shape Barney's hypnotically recalled memory, but he also stresses that Barney's "preoccupation with the staring entity and its eyes began years before this television image could have influenced him."

The story of the photos taken in Pescara, Italy, by Bruno Ghibaudi is a strange one. It becomes even stranger when one translates it from the Italian with one of those free translation websites. I have thus far been unable to find a detailed account of the case in English. Here is a paragraph from concerning the photo above:

Around mid-day on April 27, 1961, Bruno Ghibaudi, a scientific journalist, was driving the highway paralleling the beach at Montesilvano (Pescara), felt a flat tire and pulled his car over and stopped. As he began changing the bad tire, and as he was working at that task, he noticed an unusual metallic-looking disc- shaped flying objectcoming in at a low level over the ocean. It passed overhead, slowed, made a sharp turn towards the north and flew away. (Case 16, Project Blue Book)

As for the following account, mechanically translated, I present it exactly as the electronic brain gave it to me. I do this for two reasons: 1.) It is amusing, and 2.) I am incredibly lazy. (Actually, I have made some effort to clean it up and make it at least vaguely comprehensible, but the results are not stellar.)

DATE: April 27, 1961
PLACE: Italian Adriatic coast.
AUTHOR: ©Bruno Ghibaudi

Italy: the strange one "fantastic winged "

One of the most extraordinary unidentified flying objects ever was photographed by the journalist and Italian writer Bruno Ghibaudi on April 27, 1961, on the coast of the Adriatic sea. Returning from a business trip, he went from Ancona to Pescara. To a distance of some 7 kilometers of that place, he got a flat tire. Guibaudi had had frequent difficulties with the car. As he changed the tire, he noticed an unusual metalic looking disc-shaped flying object coming in at low level over the ocean. It passed over head, slowed, made a sharp turn towards the north and flew away. While it initiated the repair of the car, they went by there various cars without being stopped. When already it had finished and was cleaned the hands, its look was atraf gives for a dark point that arrived flying from the Southeast and that oscillated of strange way among the clouds. Looking at with greater attention, Ghibaudi could perceive the strange shape of the flying object.

The craft had an elliptic shape, with small triangular wings and a vertical rudder of direction. The color of the strange one "airplane to candle, equalled to a gray matt one, without showing any reflection. Displaced itself of not too high and silent way on the walk of the beach. At the beginning, Ghibaudi took the object by an American airplane of recognition, that would correspond to some tanker and that, as a result of a damage, was going to land for emergency in the beach. It took quickly its camera of the car, crossed running it worn and took the first photo. The flying body, reckoned by him in some 8 m of length, had just approached enough. By bad luck, Ghibaudi had not had time to adjust adequate the distance, so that the apparatus that flew to few meters of the surface of the water, was photographed in clear little form. When it was arranged to take other photos, the machine accelerated and disappeared for the coast. Something it contradicted, remained standing still an instant, looking at around. Suddenly, it directed its attention toward a light whistle in southeast direction. Immediately it notified various dark objects, of the ones that one approached giddy velocity. Seconds later, Ghibaudi had the flying saucer, completely silent, inside the reach of its camera. Its lenticular profile with a hemispherical dome can be appreciated perfectly in this second photography. Ghibaudi considered that the silver gray, flying body and reflecting slightly the sunlight, must have descended to a height of 50 meters. The two enigmatic dark spots in the left part of the photo could not be identifying by the witness.

After the disk itself had moved away some kilometers in northeastern direction, Ghibaudi discovered two new dark points that displaced toward him to giddy velocity since the horizon, by the southeast. They were other two disks of some 10 meters of diameter, to the ones that united quick a third. Particularly, one of them it showed three semiesferas clear that excelled in their lower part and they formed among itself a separation of 120 degrees. During this, Ghibaudi perceived an intense sensation of heat, which hebelieved to be in an intense electric field. It looked at to its derredor, but could not find anything special. Certainly, it had vain times the impression that, of the silent flying saucers, they left toward him you unload of rays. Besides, felt an own buzz in the edges of the flying object. Of the luminous shine blackish clouds were removed occasionally, like the ones that already had appreciated upon arriving the first one of the disks.

Ghibaudi tried to run several times, but a peculiar fascination seemed to immobilize him in the legs. When, finally, it lost the equilibrium, rolling for the sand, two children escaped from there shouting, which they had played a distance of some 200 meters. A brief time later, the formation of UFOS broke up and disappeared in the distance. Still trembling from excitement, Ghibaudi got into his car and left toward Pescara. There, immediately, it carried to reveal its movie and had the first photos in an half an hour. They showed unmistakably the strange objects, though they appear mysteriously "deformed ..."

A student of the University of Rome there was itself person under arrest that day in Pescara. And, from afar, it observed also the UFOS, as well as to the photographer Ghibaudi. Later it discovered the car of the journalist and, through the window, observed a copy of the periodic one Gazzetta of the Popolo. In this way could locate the main witness of this extraordinary case UFO.

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