UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 9

The Hill case and social effects on UFO reporting

From: Mark Cashman <mcashman@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Nov 1997 19:41:11 -0800
Fwd Date: Sun, 09 Nov 1997 20:39:41 -0500
Subject: The Hill case and social effects on UFO reporting

Nods to the Duke et al.

Any approach to the Hill case which ignores the consciously
recalled and reported UFO sighting does a disservice to the case
and to research generally. We know from the record that both of
the Hills observed an object which remains unidentified. Barney
Hill observed the object at close range through binoculars, and
claimed to be able to see the leader through the binoculars.
Apparently sufficient detail was available for him to be able to
distinguish clothing and eyes, and the sight of one occupant's
eyes was enough to convince him that the occupants were not
normal (i.e. human).

There is also the physical evidence of the tops of Barney's shoes
being scuffed (which was later correlated to his having been
dragged up the ramp to the object), the broken binocular strap
and sore neck (from Barney's fearful reaction to the sight of the
occupants), the spots on the car paint (and an associated effect
on a compass); and, finally, the medical effect of a circle of
warts on Barney's groin (where the hypnotic account later
indicated a device had been placed).

And, of course, the missing time period.

Betty's dreams did not begin until 10 days after the sighting. By
that time, the sighting had been reported to the Air Force and to
NICAP, and the Hills had done independent drawings of the object
which agreed to the extent one might expect given their different
perspectives on the object and normal observer variation.

As for the "Bellero Shield" psychosocial explanation for one
aspect of the Hill case, it aired in 1964. Since Betty's dreams
started in 1961, 10 days after the sighting, it could not have
influenced the dreams, and thus, neither Barney nor Betty could
have incorporated them into the abduction account, even if that
account came from nothing more than said dreams. In addition,
Betty mentioned the eyes as being very dark - almost black - in
her dream account, but said nothing about their geometry, so we
do not know what shape she thought they had.

Interestingly, neither Hill ever describe the occupants in detail
under hypnosis. Barney drew his sketch and talked about the eyes,
but Betty never described the occupants, eyes, or any hypnotic
experience with the eyes. And since Barney noted the exotic
occupant eyes in his consciously recalled story, one can
reasonably conclude that this represents a real observation which
may have affected which aspect of the occupant description was
most important to him subsequent observations. In fact, if the
event were real, it is also possible that, in accord with the
"wish-fufillment" nature of dreams, Betty minimized the non-human
aspects of the occupants in her dreams, so that the event would
be less traumatic.

Let us consider the pro and con of a "psychosocial explanation"
of the Hill case:

Pro physical reality

	Consciously remembered UFO experience, physical evidence,
medical evidence, apparent emotional trauma, long term
psychological effects reportedly alleviated by hypnotic and other

Pro psycho-social

	There are TV shows and movies which show aliens with
"wraparound" eyes, and one of those was seen just before the
first hyponotic session where Hill clearly described the eyes.

Psycho-social disconfirmation (in addition to pro-physical
reality components)

	Witness reports that they did not watch the program; occupant's
eyes had been described as unusual shortly after the initial
sighting; the hypnotic recollection of the consciously recalled
sighting is consistent with its conscious recall, even after a
lapse of 3 years; the therapist did not encourage any particular
interpretation or ask leading questions, nor was the therapist
familiar with the UFO literature.

In short, psychosocial explanations cannot solve this case. While
confabulation is possible, and certainly must have occurred to
some extent, even consciously, over a period of 3 years (as
Haines [1980] showed in regard to another account), it is
impossible to attribute several aspects of the case (esp.
physical evidence) to confabulation.

Cause and effect seem to be reversed in applying psychosocial
reasoning to the Hill case. Rather than taking the commonsense
approach that trauma comes from real events, and such trauma
stimulates psychological effects, dreams, tension, etc., this
explanation states that dreams cause trauma, and the source of
dreams is some form of literature, cinema or TV program. The
explanation fails to account for much of the evidence in the case
(not to mention failing to follow much of the psychological
literature), and if the objective evidence of the case is
accepted, the weight granted to the rest of the case must
necessarily increase.

Mark Cashman, creator of The Temporal Doorway at
- Original digital art, writing, and UFO research -
Author of SF novels available at...

Search for other documents from or mentioning: mcashman

[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp

Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com