Sep 13, 2018

Barney Hill: Alien Abduction or Sexual Assault?

There haven't been a lot of alien abduction stories recently, but for about ten years, they were all the rage.

People having weird "missing time" experiences or strange screen memories, going to a therapist, and uncovering years of abductions, painful medical procedures, and forced sexual acts orchestrated by groups of greys, praying-mantis beings, and humans.

Contrary to popular myth, the average abductee is a well-educated, wealthy young woman trying to deal with a history of traumatic abuse.

Unfortunately, the accounts try to heterosexualize the abductees whenever possible, reducing gay hints to "two women on a camping trip" or "two men sitting in their car."

The first well-publicized alien abduction case involved Betty and Barney Hill (left: James Earl Jones, who played Barney in a tv movie. Or at least, when I searched for "James Earl Jones" on google images, this is what it showed me).

  They were a middle-aged, middle-class couple, well educated, and active in politics: the local civil rights committee, the Unitarian Church and the NAACP.  They were interracial in the racist 1960s, but if you were careful, you could avoid most of the prejudice.  They got occasional stares, and some of their relatives wouldn't talk to them, but they had never been assaulted, yelled at, or turned away from a hotel.

On the night of September 19, 1961, they were driving home to Portsmouth, New Hampshire after a delayed honeymoon trip to Niagara Falls and Montreal.  Around 10:30 pm, they saw a bright light on the road ahead.  It got closer and closer, until they saw that it was a gigantic flying object about 60 feet across.  They could see beings through a row of windows: short humanoids wearing shiny black suits with matching caps and weird snake insignias.

One gave Barney a coquettish, over-the-shoulder smile, so intense that it frightened him.

A suggestion of sexual desire?

The next thing they remembered was arriving at home, two hours later than expected.  They showered extensively, feeling unclean.  Their clothes were ruined, as if they had been torn off.

Later Betty began having vivid dreams, and under hypnosis she and Barney both recalled stopping for a road block, being taken from their car and brought aboard the spaceship, and being subjected to medical procedures.

 Betty had extensive conversations with her captors, one of whom spoke English (or used telepathy). They showed her a star map, and offered to give her a book (but the offer was rescinded later).

Barney didn't interact with them, and mostly kept his eyes closed, but he said that the aliens moved "with the cold precision of German soldiers."  In another session, he elaborated: "He looks like a German Nazi.  He's a Nazi."

The alien who smiled at him looked like "a redheaded Irishman," which made Barney nervous, due to his past experiences with racist Irishmen.

 Barney had a long tube inserted up his rectum, and a device placed over his penis to extract semen (but, he said, he experienced no arousal).

(Left: Barney's bulge).

The case was written up in Look magazine, then in a bestselling book, The Interrupted Journey (1966).  Barney died in 1969, but Betty became a lifelong advocate of the alien abduction phenomenon, dismissing other explanations, insisting that they encountered beings from another world that night.

What other explanations have been suggested of the Hills' experience?  Other than fatigue and leading questions by the hypotherapist, the most cogent is an encounter with a motorcycle gang -- the bright lights, the uniforms -- who stopped them, questioned them, and subjected Barney but not Betty to a sexual assault: something over his penis, something inserted into his butt.

They both felt unclean afterwards, and showered and wanted to burn their clothes, but Barney seemed more traumatized.

But why would your mind transform a sexual assault into an alien abduction which was just as traumatic, but would subject you to scorn and derision for the rest of your life? 

Maybe, for some guys in 1961, an alien abduction was easier to accept than being anally entered and having "semen extracted" by men.

I read The Interrupted Journey around the end of grade school or the beginning of junior high, and I was fascinated.  Not only by the abduction:

1. You never saw black men and white women together on tv, in movies, or in real life.  I didn't know that interracial relationships existed.  If they were possible, what other desires were erased, hidden from view?

2. This was the first time I read the word "penis," anywhere.  It felt liberating and rather naughty to be thinking of Barney's penis.

3. Barney's experience, however much he denied it, was obviously sexual.  And it occurred at the hands of men, or male beings.  If same sex acts could occur in an alien abduction, certainly they could occur in real life!


  1. I remember a missing time case when I was like, ten. I did see a weird set of three lights, shaped like 60 degree angles, forming a triangle (with the middle third of each side missing). Then a flash, and I lost about two hours of time.

    If we assume it was aliens, this story reminds me of how they extract semen from animals now. A shock to the prostate. Keep in mind, we humans are far more complicated: When anal-related insults come to mind, I say "I'm bi, my ads clenches too tight for penetration when aroused, my dick's too big to penetrate another guy, but I've still slept with over two dozen guys in my life." (An aside: Barney may have been like that.)

    1. Barney was much more traumatized by the event, alien or motorcycle gang, than Betty was. Maybe they treated him more harshly because he was black. Or maybe the sexual activity, which Betty doesn't mention.

    2. That's a classic missing time story. Probably a hypnotherapist would find an alien abduction in there, if there are any hypnotherapists still working.

    3. Biker gang would make sense with the racial aspect. (Aliens would simply be racist against all humans.)

      They could've also been specifically looking for males?

      I actually knew a Samoan guy who had an alien fantasy. The alien said "He makes a lot of sperm, even if his dick's small." (Note: He was exactly six inches, uncut which is rare for Samoans, but he was so thick that it looked short. He also said Polynesians were generally small.)

    4. If Barney Hill was alone, maybe this would ring true. But both Betty and Barney experienced the same thing, so something happened that night and it started with what they saw in the sky.


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