November 8, 2013 by kittynh
I have written before about investigating the secret Betty Hill UFO viewing site. The world is familiar with the Betty and Barney Hill case, which is considered the first modern alien abduction story to catch the attention of the public.
Investigating the Hill papers ,which are archived at the University of New Hampshire, I was surprised that Betty Hill’s interactions with aliens and UFO’s had continued for the rest of her life. I was interested in learning just where the all secret, yet all important, special viewing spot was in New Hampshire. Thanks to the UFO expert and skeptic Robert Sheaffer, I was able to find the location where almost countless UFOs were seen by not only Betty Hill, but by others other the years.
My own investigation seemed to indicate that the light (or lights) were low and in only one direction. Just what was Betty viewing? The truth was when I first went to the site, I was prepared to see nothing, and actually finding lights meant I was rather floundering to find a quick answer. I made a quick video, but my hand shaking, plus a mysteriously blinking RR crossing light, meant more confusion than definitive answers. I knew I needed help.
To the rescue came Tim Printy. Tim is a well known expert on astronomy, UFOs and a Navy Veteran. He’s appeared on “National Geographic”, and is highly respected in the skeptic world for his expertise and also his invaluable newsletter “Sunlite“.
It took a bit of time to coordinate our schedules, but we put together a team consisting of myself, my husband Mark, Tim and his lovely and intelligent wife, Pollyann.
Tim has an excellent write up of this investigation in his newsletter. Please read the entire newsletter, but skip to page 11 if you want to read about the solution of this mystery first!
So, that leaves me with writing about how much fun this sort of skeptic investigation can be. I want to first point out that any investigation benefits from the input of all the members. Tim of course was the leader. He listened to the account of my own earlier visit. I think listening to the details of what my husband and I had seen, and later asking more questions, shows that Tim knows what he is doing. Joe Nickell also advocates listening, no matter who the witness is or how much you might think you already know the answer, it’s important to take the time to listen.
The next thing was to visit the site in daylight. This is when Pollyann really showed her specialty. She went over and talked to a near by homeowner. Later Pollyann talked to a local fire fighter in the town of East Kingston, who had lived there all his life. While I am generally shy, I learned from Pollyann it’s important to approach people and just talk to them. She pointed out the local home owner probably wondered what in the worlds we were doing with cameras looking down along the rail road tracks. Later,as, strangers walking around town with flashlights and cameras at night, it was probably also reassuring for any locals we met if we just explained what we were doing. The fire fighter we talked to was especially helpful, knowing which buildings and lights dated from the time of the Hill UFO viewings and which were newer.
The building of the Seabrook Staion Nuclear power plant meant a whole new addition for the local fire station, one that wasn’t there when Betty Hill was first viewing UFOs at the site. Tim also pointed out many of the outdoor lights at the scene were newer.
Tim really helped me understand the detail needed for investigating any UFO claim. You have to get up and go to the site whenever possible. Computers are a great help, as Google map was an important part of the solution. However, Tim knew we needed to not just know what the site looks like now, but what it looked like when Betty Hill was there.
We laughed a lot. We joked about how we told our adult children what to do if we were actually abducted by aliens, and how our children took the news pretty well. We had a great dinner and conversation while waiting for darkness to settle in. Let’s face it, running around in the dark with flashlights is always fun. This is also important work for skeptics. Why? Well part of the success of supposed reality TV shows about hunting Bigfoot, ghosts and UFOs is that what they are doing on TV looks like a lot of fun. Bigfoot, ghost and UFO hunting groups pop up all over the place, and also while they never find their paranormal claims proven they do have a good time.
Skeptics can also do this same thing, only we’re a little better about respecting private property and we get to brainstorm and use our critical thinking skills. We also actually get to solve a mystery sometimes. We don’t always come away with “Well we just don’t know yet.”
Tim put in a lot more work, finding old aerial photographs of the area, and visiting the archives at UNH himself.
I can’t thank him enough for all his work, it’s not enough to just make conclusions without putting in the time to investigate. The people of East Kingston will still have UFO alien believers visiting, but they also have some good suggestions (I write “suggestions” as the hard core believer will always believe) as to just what those lights might be.
- Betty Hill’s Junior (yankeeskeptic.com)
- The Barney and Betty Hill abduction (allthingsalien.wordpress.com)