Barney Hill was one half of the famous couple who claimed to be abducted by extraterrestrials in 1961. His story, along with his wife Betty’s, became the first widely publicized account of alien abduction in the United States and sparked a wave of interest and controversy in the UFO phenomenon. But what was the cause of his death, and was it related to his alleged encounter with the unknown?
The Hill Abduction Incident
According to the Hills, the abduction occurred on the night of September 19, 1961, as they were driving back to their home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from a vacation in Canada. They noticed a bright light in the sky that seemed to follow them, and decided to stop at a picnic area to get a closer look. Through binoculars, Betty saw an odd-shaped craft with flashing lights, while Barney observed several humanoid figures inside the craft.
The Hills then resumed their drive, but soon felt a buzzing sensation and a tingling in their bodies. They realized that they had lost two hours of time and could not recall what had happened to them. They arrived home feeling dirty and disoriented, and noticed that their watches had stopped working, Barney’s shoes were scuffed, and Betty’s dress was torn.
Over the next few days, Betty began to have vivid nightmares of being taken aboard a spaceship and examined by gray beings with large eyes. She also found a strange pink powder on her dress, and a shiny metal fragment in her car. Barney, on the other hand, tried to suppress his memories of the incident, but suffered from anxiety, insomnia, and high blood pressure.
The couple sought help from a psychiatrist, Dr. Benjamin Simon, who used hypnosis to recover their memories. Under hypnosis, both Betty and Barney gave consistent and detailed accounts of being abducted, separated, and subjected to various physical and mental tests by the aliens. They also described a star map that Betty was shown by one of the beings, which later was identified by some ufologists as depicting the Zeta Reticuli system.
The Hills’ story was investigated by the Air Force as part of Project Blue Book, a secret program that studied UFO sightings and reports. The Air Force concluded that the Hills had misidentified a planet or a star as a UFO, and that their abduction memories were a result of stress, suggestion, and fantasy. However, the Hills maintained their story until their deaths, and became celebrities in the UFO community.
Barney Hill’s Death and Controversy
Barney Hill died on February 25, 1969, at the age of 46, from a cerebral hemorrhage. According to Wikipedia, a cerebral hemorrhage is a type of stroke that occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding tissue. It can be caused by various factors, such as high blood pressure, trauma, aneurysm, or blood disorders.
Some ufologists and conspiracy theorists have speculated that Barney’s death was not natural, but rather a result of his abduction experience. They have suggested that the aliens implanted a device in his brain, or that he was exposed to radiation or other harmful substances during the abduction. They have also claimed that he was silenced or assassinated by the government or the aliens themselves, to prevent him from revealing the truth about the UFO phenomenon.
However, there is no conclusive evidence to support these claims, and most mainstream scientists and skeptics dismiss them as unfounded and implausible. They point out that Barney had a history of hypertension and cardiovascular problems, and that his death was consistent with his medical condition. They also note that Barney never expressed any fear or suspicion of being harmed or monitored by the aliens or the authorities, and that he continued to speak publicly about his abduction until his death.
Betty Hill, who survived her husband by 35 years, died of cancer on October 17, 2004, at the age of 85. She never remarried, and remained a staunch advocate of the UFO cause. She donated most of her abduction-related materials to the University of New Hampshire, her alma mater, where they are preserved and displayed as part of the Betty and Barney Hill Papers collection. She also received a historical marker from the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, commemorating the site of the alleged UFO encounter.
Barney Hill cause of death was a cerebral hemorrhage, a type of stroke that can be triggered by various factors, including high blood pressure. There is no solid evidence to suggest that his death was related to his abduction experience, or that he was killed by the aliens or the government. His story, along with his wife Betty’s, remains one of the most famous and controversial cases of alien abduction in history, and has influenced many other reports and stories of similar encounters.