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The Horror of an Alien Abduction Story – No One Believes You (Part 1)

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The Horror of an Alien Abduction Story – No One Believes You (Part 1)

After my recent article about Tom Lombardo’s 2007 article titled First Lady of the Grays, I contacted Tom and asked him for more insight about his fascinating interview with Betty Hill back in 1974.

One thing that Tom and I both agree on is the social impact that Betty’s story has had throughout modern-day culture – how the “Grays” are an integrated into the toys that children play with, elements of novels and movies, and other media that references aliens. Betty Hill’s “Grays” have been thoroughly imprinted onto the collective consciousness of the world population.

Without further ado – part one of the fascinating interview with acclaimed journalist, writer, poet and teacher – Tom Lombardo.




The Horror Alien Abduction Story of Betty Hill Unfolds in 1974

Ryan:You’ve described in your article how you knew Kathy and that she asked you if you were interested in interviewing her aunt. Was there anything that could provide some insight into why she would have made such a suggestion? Did you tell her you were working on a piece about UFOs or did her suggestion come out of the blue?

Tom: I knew Kathy Marden back then as Kathy Daugherty, and I knew her husband Tom. They lived next door to friends of mine, whom I hung out with all the time. I became good friends with them and several others in that four-apartment duplex, playing sports together, partying together, etc. This was in the early to mid 1970s in Cincinnati. We were all just out of college or grad school, in our early to mid-20s.

I was barely a journalist back then, just starting to write and edit a campus magazine at the University of Cincinnati where I was a graduate student. I also was the editor of a local community newspaper called The Clifton-Vine Reporter that covered our neighborhood and the surrounding communities within the city of Cincinnati. One day, Kathy said to me, “My Auntie Eunice is coming to visit. Would you like to do an article about her?” Her Auntie Eunice was Eunice “Betty” Hill.

abduction story

I had no idea who she was, not having paid much attention to the UFO or abduction culture. But I soon found out about Betty Hill. I read Interrupted Journey by John Fuller, which I found in the university library. There was no Internet back then, so I couldn’t google her. But I also remember seeing the Saturday Evening Post series that featured Betty and Barney Hill.

I was not working on a UFO piece at the time. I was just an editor and writer, working on many, many stories, so Kathy knew only that I was working hard trying to become a journalist. I did not tell her what I was working on, and yes, her suggestion came out of the blue.

After the interview, I filed the tape and carried it around in my boxes for more than 30 years from Cincinnati, to New York, to Knoxville, to Portland, to Atlanta. The tape survived three flooded basements. The only reason I dug it out to listen to it was that Rob Lawson, the editor of Chrysalis Reader, asked me to write a creative nonfiction essay for a special issue with the topic of Other Worlds.

On the Credibility of Kathleen Marden

Ryan: From an unbiased, journalist’s perspective, what was your first impression of Betty’s mental state when you first met her. Was she very quick-witted, aware, intelligent or somewhat slow to answer, nervous, etc…

Tom: Betty Hill was sharp as a tack. She was quick-witted, intelligent, witty, erudite.

abduction story

>Ryan: During your interview with Betty, did you get the impression that Kathy was coaching Betty along in any way, or was Betty able to answer most questions without any outside help?

Tom: Betty needed no coaching at all. The interview occurred over breakfast in the apartment of Tom and Kathy Daugherty. The only evidence of Tom Daughery on my tape of the interview is the occasional sound of him drawing on his pipe. Kathy remained mostly silent. I think she interjected something once, and it was an insignificant comment. She was cooking and serving breakfast. Betty also smoked cigarettes during the interview. Thirty-some years later, she died of lung cancer.

Ryan: Since you knew Kathy personally for many years, could you give your impression of her level of credibility?

Tom: I knew Kathy from 1974 through 1978, when I left Cincinnati for New York. I lost track of Kathy after that. She and Tom were divorced and I believe she moved to Colorado for a time. Then, I heard nothing of her until I read Betty Hill’s obituary in the New York Times, which ran Oct. 23, 2004 and this url is still active:

When I read that obit, which had a 6-column headline on it, I saw the name Kathleen Marden, her niece, giving the cause of death, and I wondered if that was the same Kathy Daugherty I knew. It didn’t take long to track her down through directory assistance, and I spoke with her by phone. We caught up on old times and old friends from our Cincinnati days. I haven’t spoken to her since then, but we’ve traded occasional emails, and she told me about her book Captured!

I believe that Kathy is credible. I also believe that she holds a very strong love for her Auntie Eunice and a very strong belief in her Auntie Eunice’s story. From our conversations, I gathered that Kathy was Betty’s caregiver in the final years of her life. She seems quite dedicated to keeping Betty’s story alive and very determined to prove the truth of Betty’s story, or at least, very determined to disprove the debunkers.

abduction story

Kathy Marden’s Book – Captured

Ryan: Do you intend to purchase and read Kathy’s new book Captured!? Either way, knowing Kathy, do you think that she has a lot more insight into Betty’s story than anyone else possibly could find themselves from the Betty Hill library at UNH?

Tom: I have an inscribed copy of Kathy’s Captured that she gave me. I can’t help thinking that she knows the Betty Hill story better than anyone else. Kathy seems to have done a ton of research. She also told me that she has all of Betty’s papers, which contain a lot of the research that Betty herself did over the years. So, in my opinion, Kathy may be the foremost living expert on Betty Hill’s experience.

Please stay tuned for Part 2 of this intriguing interview in just a couple of days, where I confront Tom about the quote from his article where Betty reports she’s going to make millions from her story. Tom’s response sets the record straight about Betty Hill, and his opinion of her is likely to set debunkers and skeptics reeling.

Tom’s Bio


Tom Lombardo was a working journalist for more than 35 years, and he served as the founding editor-in-chief of WebMD, the world?s most widely used health web site, from 1998-2001.

He is also the editor of After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life-Shattering Events, an anthology featuring 152 poems by 115 poets from 15 nations. He is Poetry Editor of Press 53, a literary publisher in Winston-Salem, NC. His poems have appeared in many journals in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and India, including Southern Poetry Review, Subtropics, Ambit, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, Kritya: A Journal for Our Time, Orbis, Salamander, Ars Medica, Pearl, Asheville Poetry Review, and others.

Tom’s nonfiction work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Small Press, 2009. His essays and other nonfiction have appeared in Chrysalis Reader, Spectrum, Leisure magazine and other publications and his literary criticism has been published in New Letters, North Carolina Literary Review, and South Carolina Review. He has taught courses in Aesthetics and in Creative Writing at the Atlanta College of Art.

Tom earned a B.S. from Carnegie-Mellon University, an M.S. from Ohio University, and an M.F.A. from Queens University of Charlotte. He lives in Midtown Atlanta, where he works as a freelance medical editor.

Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com

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