UFO Conjectures

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Betty Hill dress

Destination America had a repeat airing, 6/27/16, of its 2012 examination of Betty Hill’s dress that she was wearing during her and her husband’s (Barney) alleged UFO abduction.

Four laboratories subjected the dress to tests to try and determine what the pinkish/purple stains on it consisted of.

The labs, all professional, credible labs (some from universities), came away without any conclusions or findings that would indicate something extraordinarily odd (or extraterrestrial) created the stains.

(That modern laboratories – with up-to-date technology – couldn’t come to any kind of resolution about something as prosaic as a stain on a dress is distressing, to say the least. This doesn’t bode well for the hoped-for deciphering of the Roswell Ramey memo.)

Martin Kottmeyer, and others, have addressed the Hill episode and this site presents a nice précis of the Betty/Barney Hill incident:

And Mrs. Hill’s niece Kathleen Marden along with Stanton Friedman collaborated on the book Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience: The True Story of the World's First Documented Alien Abduction (which I haven't read).

I, and many of you, feel that something happened to the Hills in 1961, something that caused them personal fervidity and, for Mrs. Hill, a life-long attempt to understand and capitalize on her “experience.”

But what, exactly, happened to the Hills?

A complete examination of her dress would have, like the Ramey memo, provided a clue to the truth.

Unfortunately, this was not to be.



  • Rich, didn't Bosco Nedelcovic suggested to you that the Hill incident might have been a US military or CIA operation, like the Villas Boas case en Brazil in 1957?

    What do you think about that possibility? I find it frankly fascinating.

    By Blogger Patricio Abusleme, at Tuesday, June 28, 2016  

  • Nedelcovic, Patricio, recounted several psy-op events that we all think are actual UFO episodes.

    Nick Redfern has covered this a couple of times in his books and internet postings.

    So, yes, the possibility is there to explain the Hill "abduction."

    And I like Martin Kottmeyer's evaluation: sci-fi materials impacted the Hills hypnotic sessions.

    My point here was that some good laboratories couldn't get a reading or provide any explanation for stains on a dress, sadly.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 28, 2016  

  • Met Betty Hill at Pease AFB where she gave a talk in the library about 15 years after her 'event' and once in the neighborhood, she lived a few blocks away, -she sure didn't sound credible at all.

    As to the dress, what labs? As good as the FBI's?


    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Tuesday, June 28, 2016  

  • I wasn't particularly paying attention to the Destination America show, watching Barbarians on the History channel too.

    But the labs were university oriented, at least two of them, and the other two were bona fide labs, also.

    Plus there was a credentialed (professional) lab technician, a lady who did an evaluation. to no avail either.

    As for Betty Hill, while she seemed addled late in her life, I always found her "memory" of the supposed event, with its obvious inconsistencies, interesting, even if a neurological confabulation.

    I liked her, abstractly, for some reason, and didn't mind the possibility that she may have come to believe her story evolutionarily.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 28, 2016  

  • Funny, I too was watching the Destination America segment...totally lost interest...and switched to Barbarians on History.

    All this while re-reading an old Larry Bond novel, "Cauldron" which though fiction is more appropriate regarding today's geopolitical environment. Basically Bond's fiction is far more interesting than the fiction perpetuated by the Hill proponents.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Tuesday, June 28, 2016  

  • Tim...

    "Great minds...."


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 28, 2016  

  • From Martin Kottmeyer:

    Hey Rich,

    Captured has a chapter about 6 pages long discussing the testing of the dress - pp. 263-8. There are actually a number of findings, the finding of protein and natural oils and a number of inorganics and most notably the finding of three different DNA signatures - one of African lineage (Barney), the DNA of a type of soil bacteria, and a DNA fragment consistent with humans, cows, or mice. The absence of identifiably alien DNA is notable since purportedly the aliens did assist in the removal of the dress and handled it. The chapter mentions that the visible stain may have resulted from mildew or bacterial growth from moisture transfer from the upper part of the dress after it was folded, i.e sweat. There is some effort to portray this as anomalous and how it might result from alien respiration and 'natural oily eliminations.' I hope this is not an allusion to the lore that says that aliens eliminate through the skin in the same manner they absorb nutrition from baths. Natural oils and proteins and the inorganics can come from things like make-up. They don't mention whether they looked into the matter or if they had reasons to discount it. Possibly there was a range of mundane possibilities consistent with those findings and they just didn't want to bother listing them all. I only mention make-up, because, well, they did say pink powder and it was a woman's dress...

    as ever,

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 28, 2016  

  • RRR and Tim, do you recall the name of the programme? Googling, I see Destination America had two shows discuss the Hill case, True Supernatural and Monsters and Mysteries in America, but these episodes first aired in 2014, not 2012.

    I try to collect all shows that discuss the Hills.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Wednesday, June 29, 2016  

  • It was True Supernatural, and the Xfinity/Comcast grid showed the original airing date as 2012, Terry.

    (The show also had segments interspersed throughout about a devil dog.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 29, 2016  

  • As Martin wrote, my non-expert opinion from looking at the dress is that the discoloration is simply due to age and use. If Ms. Hill suffered from bipolar disorder or other mental illness, she may have simply altered the dress herself.

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Wednesday, June 29, 2016  

  • While I can accept a diagnosis for mental aberration among abductees and some UFO sighters, I don't see that in Mrs. Hill's initial ruminations about her experience(s), Brian.

    Late in life, she seemed addled but only as a contingent of age I think and all the hub-bub her experience caused (her).

    Bi-polar "disease" (or manic-depression in my day) would not apply in this instance.

    Early on, Mrs. Hill seemed compos mentis, quite lucid and sharp.

    I don't believe she altered the dress, as the stain and rips were not those I've seen performed by schizophrenics or mentally unstable individuals. (Tim might address this also.)

    Something happened to the Hills, maybe something paranormal, racial, or even extraterrestrial (although you know I eschew the ET scenario).

    A psy-operation by the U.S. military is an option but also only as a possibility.

    A folie a deux is more probable, but what caused it to occcur? (Like the Pascagoula event, the experience seems hallucinatory in essence, and a folie, but what spurred such a neurological/psychological event?)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 29, 2016  

  • > It was True Supernatural...segments interspersed throughout about a devil dog.

    That's the one. The display date was off.

    > I don't believe she altered the dress, as the stain and rips

    [I've talked about this before, so please pardon the repeats:]

    Webb's reports and Interrupted Journey do not mention stains, pink powder, or rips to the dress.

    In the April 1972 issue of the UFO Investigator, put out by NICAP, there is a picture of Betty holding up the dress. I have a PDF of the issue, and the pictures were poorly scanned, so we can't see any details of the dress, but this is the photo caption:

    "Betty Hill holds dress she wore on night of sighting. Faded and no longer used, it hangs in bedroom closet as mute reminder of events that changed her life. "You are the first person to ask me about it," she told NICAP photographer."

    So from 1961-1972, the dress had been a non-issue. No aliens effects were reported in that time. The Hills had not presented it as evidence. NICAP mentions that it was faded; there's nothing about stains, powders or tears. I haven't yet tracked the first time dress damage was added to the Hill "evidence," and I don't know who altered the dress, I just know it wasn't altered by aliens and certainly not in 1961.

    But Betty did alter her story about the dress to account for the later damage. In the early versions, no rips of the dress were reported; likewise, she did not report struggling with the aliens. But in her final tellings, Betty claimed she fought the aliens mightily at the doorway of the craft. This is clearly legend-making fabrication, perhaps outright fraud.

    (If anyone here knows of another discussion of the naked legend-making, please contact me. I haven't yet seen this discussed in the UFO literature, but I hope to. Or if you have a good copy of that NICAP issue where the dress details are clear, that would help too.)

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Wednesday, June 29, 2016  

  • Martin Kottmeyer sent me a copy of the Marden/Friedman book and Ill see how the dress is handled in that.

    Of course, Mrs. Hill elaborated on his "abduction" as time went on, as did many of the Roswell "witnesses."

    This is a matter for psychiatry or psychology and I hope that Gilles Fernandez deals with that in his Roswell book (which I have to get).

    Provenance of the dress is a matter of importance it seems.

    But, like Roswell (which Kevin Randle is trying to clean up), the Hill escapade needs a thorough rehashing, but to what avail?

    Suppose the story is "true." What do we have? A unique event that doesn't help us much with the ET question except to tell us that ETs are as barbaric as humans.

    If the story is a concoction, what do we have there? A tale that many have been gulled by, an infected by a rube's story to the point that time has been spent on nonsense once more in the UFO field. (Zoam Chomsky would be vindicated.)

    The whole matter from 1961 until now is sociological and pathological, or the harbinger of a ET confrontation that is unsettling to say the least.

    The dress is a side bar, Terry,....maybe a red herring.

    If you can wipe it from the Hill scenario, god bless you.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 29, 2016  

  • Marden accepts Betty's later account uncritically. From page 159 in Captured!

    "During the hypnosis, Betty remembered that she had removed her torn dress and placed it in her closet on the morning of September 20, 1961."

    But nowhere in the published transcripts of the hypnosis tapes does Betty say the dress is torn. Marden has projected that late "fact" back into the 1964 account.

    "Subsequently, she had forgotten it, but during the hypnosis she recalled the struggle that tore the hem and lining and the ineptitude of the leader as he attempted open her zipper."

    Marden provides no quotes from the hypnosis tapes to support these claims. There is a reason for this: they don't exist. I've been going through a searchable PDF of Interrupted Journey and my handmade index for the book: nowhere do we have an account of Betty struggling with the aliens or the leader having any trouble whatsoever with the zipper.

    If I am mistaken, I hope someone can give me the passage showing so. But if I am right, it seems to me we have a multi-generational effort to alter the past to enhance a claim.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Wednesday, June 29, 2016  

  • This part of the tale, Terry, is reminiscent of Betty's original description of the alien noses: like Jimmy Durante's \.

    The changed to no noses, just openings. Quite a difference.

    The story amalgamated into a confluence of sci-fi elements and imaginative story-telling but at it's core is something that brought about the tale -- either a folie a deux or a complete fabrication from the get-go, or a real event (perhaps).

    I find it hard to believe that little, sweet Betty Hill was so conniving.

    Now Marden and Friedman. that's another thing.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 29, 2016  

  • If the experience was a military psyops exercise, one would have to answer the question as to why the military chose Betty and Barney Hill as their subjects, as well as the intended purpose behind the act.

    I'm sure we can all imagine a military helicopter adorned with flashing lights as if a spaceship, and short military men specifically recruited to masquerade as aliens, but once again why an abduction and where was the follow-up observation and analysis?

    Did they transport the two hapless souls to a remote base arranged like a Hollywood set?

    Or did they just dose the two with LSD and murmur the key events into their ears?

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Wednesday, June 29, 2016  

  • According to CIA/A.I.D. agent, Bosco Nedelcovic, dosing "participants" with LSD, as in the Villas Boas case and maybe in the Bryant/ Scoriton affair, was routine.

    A psy-ops simulation is not outrageously ridiculous, as Nick Redfern has documented in several of his books.

    It's the (likely) confabulation afterwards that diffuses the core aspect of the Hill episode.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 29, 2016  

  • Nothing happened to the Hills, their "own psychiatrist described their story as a kind of dream" confabulated over years of retellings and selective enhancements.

    >> Dr. Simon's skepticism concerning the abduction story could not have been more directly stated. He told Klass that "my interest in UFOs was almost entirely on the phenomena of Barney's developing racial paranoia which seemed to me to have been the best representation on the matter I had seen" (p. 8).<<

    "Developing racial paranoia" and a dozen other personal problems tell us all we need to know about what led these two people to create their nightmare of a flying-saucer fairy tale.

    Here's a review of "Encounters at Indian head" in which Peter Rogerson concludes, as others have, that the Hills were simply deeply troubled people who created their transformative late "Contactee" fantasy and so their self-anointed new-age flying-saucer spiritualist personae in order to paper over their many problems and present faces of achievement and wisdom to the world—however obviously imaginary and completely phony to rational people. And, like most other big "UFO" stories, all of this only happened because the actors, working from a culturally supplied script, played their roles to the hilt.



    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Friday, July 01, 2016  

  • An attempt to portray a situation whereby there is a large group of 'rational people' who would consider the Hills' experience as 'obviously imaginary and completely phony' doesn't work for me, even if some of the hyperbole is ignored. The big problem being that the majority of people who would be willing to go along with the statement would not be especially 'rational.'

    How many people are really 'rational'? As the estimable Roger Peterson has incontrovertibly explained, the proportion of rational people is as low as one in every thousand humans, worldwide. Most of the 999 irrational types in every 1,000 would be absolutely content to dismiss the Hills' account as garbage.

    By Blogger Daniel Transit, at Sunday, July 03, 2016  

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