Review by KEN KORCZAK
I was two years old when what is still probably the most famous case of alien abduction of all time occurred in 1961 – that involving Barney and Betty Hill of New Hampshire. When I was about seven years old I was struck with a magnificent obsession for astronomy, and that naturally led to an interest in the possibility that Earth was being visited from the stars.
So I have been aware of the Hill abduction saga virtually all my life. Over the decades, I have read a book or two and dozens of articles about the case. It’s also frequently discussed in other UFO books. I vividly remember being glued to the TV as a teenager over the 1975 made-for-TV docudrama of the Hill story starring James Earl Jones and Estelle Parsons.
Thus, ever since KATHLEEN MARDEN’S book CAPTURED! THE BARNEY AND BETTY HILL EXPERIENCE first came out in 2007, I’ve been taking a pass on it, thinking, “What more is there possibly to say about this already over-analyzed case?” and:
“Do we really need another Barney and Betty Hill book?”
I now know the answer is “Yes!” I decided to purchase “Captured” partly on a whim, but also because it’s been too long time since I read a good UFO yarn. I was flabbergasted by how much I still did not know about the case after all these years – in fact, I can say that I have an all-knew perspective.
I have opted to move myself out of the “skeptic” column regarding the Hill abduction into the “believer” column – as difficult as that is for me to say.
Marden (who is the primary author of this book and who is Betty Hill’s niece), rolls out a case that may be wholly circumstantial – but the weight and the aggregate of all this circumstantial evidence as presented here would be more than enough to hang a man in any court of law.
By contrast, the alternative explanations offered by some of the greatest skeptics and debunkers – including Carl Sagan, James Randi and Philip Klass – seem petty, sparse, cherry-picked and highly theoretical by comparison.
|Kathleen Marden and Stanton Friedman|
In Captured!, Marden (along with famed UFO investigator STANTON FRIEDMAN who consulted on the book and also wrote a couple chapters), presents a painstaking, point-by-point analysis of every aspect of the case, from an in-depth analysis of the hypnotic regression sessions compared with consciousness memory accounts and Betty’s dreams; the lives and character of the Hills; actual physical evidence (left on her dress); the famous “Star Map”; follow-up events and sightings – and how the aftermath played out in the lives of the Hills for decades to come – the latter of which shows how the case actually has gained credibility over the years.
I noticed that some other reviewers were turned off by one of the late chapters in which the authors launch an intense and scathing attack on skeptic and debunkers. I think some will find the tone of this chapter a bit overwrought, harsh and even mean – and yet, there is not charge made that does not point to direct and obvious, egregious errors committed by debunkers – which they seem to get a free pass on.
That’s because the general public – even myself at times – still find is astoundingly difficult to wrap our collective minds around the implications which naturally fall out of the Hill abduction case. I mean, if their story is true – it means space aliens are running around, picking up ordinary people, sticking anal probes up their orifices, and conducting studies on human being like so many wildlife biologists drugging and tagging animals.
The danger, though, is in making comparisons that are mundane. The true meanings behind alien abduction scenarios like the Hill case have their actual basis in a kind overarching-meta-reality … or … or … perhaps in terms of some greater, higher dimensionality of thought and conception of the universe.
The bottom line is: Barney and Betty Hill may have had a genuine abduction experience, but what the event actually means and implies may be something that can never be known in terms of the current way we model our ideas about what is real and what is unreal. It is something that is beyond the ken of material and empirical science – but also beyond any level of metaphysical and spiritual conceptions we have managed to develop as a species at this point in our evolution.
Ken Korczak is the author of: THE MAN IN THE NOTHING CHAMBER