Proof in the stars? Astronomy is the key to alien abduction

Proof in the stars? Astronomy is the key to alien abduction

It is usually not easy to verify claims made by UFO witnesses, and it is especially difficult in cases where an abduction appears to have taken place. The real complication arises when hypnosis is used to explore the missing time in relation to the abduction.

In the case of the highly publicized 1961 kidnapping of Betty and Barney Hill, many individual hypnotic sessions were conducted three years later by Dr. Benjamin Simon, a psychiatrist with a long history of using medical hypnosis to recover repressed traumatic memories. experiences, especially those that took place on the battlefield during World War II. Simon knew nothing about UFOs, but felt it was his duty to extract 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 extraterrestrial beings .

After the pent-up emotion released by the Hills while they were in their separate hypnotic states, Simon induced amnesia in each of them to prevent them from discussing what they were beginning to remember. This allowed careful cross-comparison between their individual accounts.

One key corroborating 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 lights (stars) connected by three types of lines indicating heavy trade routes, light trade routes and occasional expeditions. Betty knew little of astronomy and could not explain where she was in the pattern. Simon instructs her to draw it after she points out that she can remember what it looks like. The drawing was subsequently included by John G. Fuller in his bestseller The Interrupted Journey.

At first there seemed to be no way to determine if the card 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, despite the fact that Fish had doubts about the Hills’ claim that the aliens were humanoids. Nevertheless, over a period of several years and more interviews with Betty, Fish built about twenty-six different three-dimensional models of beads and fishing line. Her goal was to find a 3-D model that matched the 2-D model that Betty had drawn.

I was favorably impressed with 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 help Fish communicate the results of her research. I agreed and visited her during one of my lectures. I also helped her explain her work at a meeting at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and during a presentation at a Mutual UFO Network symposium in Akron.

Believing Fish to be objective and reliable, I published the first article about her work in Saga magazine and later arranged an interview with her and Betty for my documentary, UFOs Are Real. I also convinced the editor of Astronomy magazine, Terence Dickinson, to talk to her and publish an article, “The Zeta Reticuli Incident,” about her work. It ended up getting more response than any article published by Astronomy before or since.

My documentary also features an Ohio State University astronomy professor, Dr. George Mitchell, who was helpful to Fish in obtaining nearby star catalogs. He used one of her large models as a teaching tool and testified to her care and precision in constructing the models.

Through her detailed and careful research, she was eventually able to identify all the stars in the model and found that all the stars in the model were Sun-like (despite the fact that less than 5 percent of the stars within 55 light-years of the Sun are Sun-like of the sun). Some stars are too old, too new, too bright, too dark, or vary too much in the intensity of their energy production rate to be similar to the Sun, or have very close companion stars, making it difficult to maintain stable planetary orbits in closeness. The star patterns are also, amazingly enough, in a plane, like slices of pepperoni on a thin pizza, rather than scattered all over the place like raisins in raisin bread. This makes interstellar travel much easier. The pattern is definitely not random.

And most notably, Fish identified the base stars as Zeta 1 and Zeta 2 Reticuli in the constellation Reticulum in the southern sky, but only after much better data on the distances to nearby stars had been obtained and used to rebuild the models. No one building a model before the Hill experience would have gotten the identification right. A unique pair, Zeta 1 and 2 Reticuli are the closest pair of sun-like stars in our entire local neighborhood. They are only 1/8 of a light year apart, only 39.2 light years from Earth, and one billion years older than the sun. These two stars were never highlighted as special before Fish’s discoveries. It makes sense that they would be the center of the local neighborhood.

The cosmic perspective for intelligent inhabitants of a planet around Zeta 1 or 2 Reticuli would be very different from that of an Earthling, since the sun is thirty-five times farther from the nearest star than the distance between Zeta 1 and Zeta 2. We Earthlings are in dead docks with no other star nearby. However, from a planet orbiting one of these stars, the other star is visible to the eye throughout the day, and the planets around the other star could be observed directly. No inferences will be necessary. Even with our primitive equipment, at such close range we could determine, from the composition of the atmosphere around these planets, whether biological activity was present.

The inhabitants of Zeta 1 and 2 will have a much greater incentive to undertake interstellar travel than we do here on Earth. They would also have had much more time to develop advanced travel technology with their billions of years ahead. Technological progress invariably comes from doing things differently in unpredictable ways, and we primitives have already determined methods of star travel.

The star chart work done by Marjory Fish was a decisive factor, along with others, in the general acceptance of the Hill abduction story. Her work was also the target of whistleblowers and skeptics, including Carl Sagan, who misrepresented Fish’s methods and her results. These attacks, along with many others in the Hill case, such as on the television program Cosmos, are covered in detail in my book, co-authored with Betty’s niece, Kathleen Marden, Captured!: The True Story of the World’s First Documented Kidnapping by aliens, Betty and Barney Hill’s UFO experience.

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