written by
Joachim Koch and Hans-Jürgen Kyborg

©1993,1995, Berlin, Germany English version co-edited by Doug Girling, Vancouver, Canada,©1995

2. Introduction

THE UFO abduction case of Betty and Barney Hill is the first one that became known to a greater public. It is well investigated and documented for many times.

On September 19, 1961, beneath a clear starry sky, the Hills drove down a road in New Hampshire, USA, in a southerly direction. They were on their way back home at the end of a short holiday trip. The crescent moon (ca. 60% of the full moon disc) was in the sky, and to the left of it, the planets Jupiter and Saturn could be seen next to each other. Suddenly a bright glowing craft appeared below left of the Moon and moved towards the Hills with a variable flight path. In the course of the event, a close encounter with non-human entities happened, and Betty and Barney were taken aboard a spaceship where both were physically examined.

During a conversation with one of the entities, whom Betty Hill called the "leader," she asked him where they come from. He showed something to her which she later described as a "star map." At the end of the encounter, the Hills were carried out of the craft.

They went back to their car and drove off. The Hills had no immediate recall of the abduction event - this period of time is locked between a series of beeps the Hills perceived at the beginning and at the end. After the second series of beeps had sounded and the consciousness of the Hills cleared up, they found themselves 35 miles removed from their initial stopping place and noticed a difference of time of two hours. In the time following, both suffered from psychosomatic complaints, and looked for medical treatment. Hypnotic regressions were finally carried out by Dr. Benjamin Simon, Boston, a psychiatrist, during the following month. He broke through the mental block that was imposed on the Hills by the aliens and reconstructed the complete sequence of events and revealed their whole implications.

Betty's drawing - source: The Interrupted Journey-Dell Books

With the help of posthypnotic suggestion, Betty succeeded in redrawing essential parts of the "star map" she had seen aboard the spaceship. The whole abduction case was re-enacted in detail by John G. Fuller in his book The Interrupted Journey [1]. Here, the transcripts of the tapes from the hypnosis sessions were extensively used. The rough drafts which Betty and Barney had drawn, the locality, the entities, the spaceship and the "star map" are depicted in the illustrations section (no page number) of the book. An example is Betty's sketch here on the left.

In 1966, Mrs. Marjorie E. Fish, of Ohio, became aware of Betty Hill's map. She had the idea that here was something that could be checked. Either it represented a real set of stars which might be found and tell us something about the aliens, or it might have been remembered too poorly to help, or it was totally fictitious. Even if a similar set of stars was found, it might be coincidental. But, unlike most UFO reports, the possibilities could be examined and the data re-checked.[2] Exobiological considerations show that single main sequence stars of class F8, G to non-variable K0 stars have the best chance for planets with life, including intelligent life. All in all, stars like our sun are the best candidates to support life on planets orbiting in their ecozone.

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In December 1968, Mrs. Fish had completed a three-dimensional model of the nearer surroundings of our sun. It included stars up to 10 parsecs distance (1 parsec = 3,262 ly - ly = light-year). Mrs. Fish used different pearls for her model which were fixed on monofilament thread at the particular position of each star. In 1969, the new edition of the "Catalogue of Nearby Stars" by W. Gliese was printed. With the new data some of the star positions could be corrected. Altogether, 23 star models were constructed! After final variations Mrs. Fish thought to have found a pattern of stars similar to that in Betty's "map" and it was, to a certain degree, very logical. (See picture on the left)Work on all the stars in the "map" was tentatively concluded in February 1973 (see sketch on page 77 of the MUFON Proceedings of 1974). Meanwhile MUFON has added a notion of our "New discoveries" to their final report on the Hill case.

The first publication about the "star map" was an article of Stanton T. Friedman in the July 1973 issue of SAGA. He also discussed Mrs. Fish's work in his July 1973 MUFON paper. Marjorie Fish's MUFON paper was presented in July 1974. The ASTRONOMY article by T. Dickinson was published in December, 1975, and the 32 page special edition of ASTRONOMY in 1976 entitled "The Zeta Reticuli Incident." This began a heated and controversial debate that has not stopped to this day.

We, Joachim Koch and Hans-Juergen Kyborg, would like to stress that it is not our aim to minimize the painstaking work of Mrs. Marjorie Fish. With her admirable effort she has led our view up into our cosmic neighborhood and without her, many among us wouldn't even know that her favorite star system of Zeta Reticuli exists. She always thought the "map" to be a star map as Betty thought the same, too.

By re-investigating the available material, we found clues that the "map" showed something different, something much closer, something more familiar and easier for Betty to identify than a star system that is about 42 ly away from us and is additionally shown from a vantage point on its far side.

In the context of the whole story of what happened to Betty, it becomes clear that the "leader" intended to show something different to her, something that makes far more sense than what was presumed to be the contents of the "map" so far. We discovered a more plausible explanation and would like to present it now to you all. We are also well aware that, by this time, Zeta Reticuli has become a real myth.

Since the Hill's abduction, many have claimed to have received messages and channels of different kinds from "those from Zeta Reticuli" and even some of the little Greys are said to be related to Zeta Reticuli. There are many rumors about the activities of these Greys and unfortunately this changed the image of this star system to the negative. Well - leave this all behind for the moment because this has nothing to do with the Hill case.

Let's start a new journey into the Hill "star map" with a fresh and open mind. First, it is necessary to have close look at what Betty originally stated while she was under hypnosis, what she had dreamed during the weeks after the abduction, and while she was interviewed later in a TV-show.