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Abductee Betty Hill Expected “Millions” For Alien Story

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Abductee Betty Hill Expected “Millions” For Alien Story

As I was researching a follow-up to my last story concerning alien abductions and the case of Kathleen Marden, the niece of famous alien abductee Betty Hill, I stumbled across an obscure comment tucked away in the far recesses of the Internet that blows a major hole in the entire Betty and Barney Hill abduction case.

In a 2007 article titled First Lady of the Grays, writer Tom Lombardo recounts his 1974 interview with the alien abduction superstar Betty Hill. For the first time in over 30 years, Tom Lombardo reveals a comment Betty Hill made to him after the interview, once the tape recorder was switched off, that rocks the very foundation of the Ufology and alien abductee community.

Betty Hill’s Passing Opens A Can of Worms

What started as a simple background article about Betty Hill’s niece, Kathleen Marden, and her latest revelations about her aunt’s abduction many decades ago, might very well turn into yet another fraud expose if this story leads in that direction.

Based on Tom Lombardo’s claim, it appears that a larger investigation may be in order. The strange thing about this revelation is that anyone hunting for information about Betty Hill might never have found it. For some reason the PDF article is stored away in the recesses of the web server of a Christian Bookstore named the Swedenborg Foundation.

However, searching for the name “Kathleen Marden” eventually turned up this obscure PDF article, and what a discovery it turned into.

Betty: “I’m going to make my million off this story.”

Tom Lombardo is a well respected poet with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in journalism (among other degrees). In the 1970’s, Tom was a “budding journalist” in Cincinnati. At the time, he was also good friends with Kathleen Marden, Betty Hill’s niece.

In 1974, Kathleen suggested to Tom that he should interview her “Aunty Eunice” about her UFO abduction experience. In fact, most of the documentation reveals that Kathleen herself played a very significant part in not only collaborating with Betty Hill in her abduction research in subsequent years, but she also had a large hand in the promotion of the Betty and Barney Hill abduction story – setting up this interview with a journalist is only one example.

In the apartment, Tom questioned Betty on the record about her experiences in 1961 and all of the details surrounding the Lancaster UFO sighting and abduction experience she had with her husband Barney. The details of that abduction experience has been distributed throughout Ufology folklore for many years, so I won’t recount that part of the discussion here.

alien abductee betty hill

Suffice to say, Tom was impressed by her story, although his description of it in the article has a very unbiased, almost dry. As I was reading this 2007 PDF article, I was struck by a few parallels with some of the elements that were used throughout the Ufology MJ-12 folklore distributed by hoaxers throughout the 1980s, such as the “book” that one of the aliens almost offered Betty as a gift, but took back before they parted company.

The most significant part of the interview is revealed at the very end of this article, where Tom describes what happened after he turned off the voice recorder. He writes:

“After I turned off the tape recorder in that 1974 interview, Betty Hill lit another cigarette, drew deeply, and exhaled. Then in her gravelly voice, she asked: “Is that thing off now”? I assured her it was. And she said something that ruined it all for me: “I’m going to make my million off this story.” She mentioned that James Earl Jones had taken an interest in her story, and that he wanted to play the role of Barney, who was African-American.

She clearly intended her comment to be off the record, but now that she is dead, the bond of reporter confidentiality no longer exists.”

This movie eventually took shape in 1975 in the released for TV film A UFO Incident, starring Estelle Parsons and James Earl Jones. Additionally, author John Fuller wrote an account of the abduction experience in “An Interrupted Journey”.

What is the most fascinating is that before this 1975 media blitz, the field of Ufology and the cultural concept of “aliens” looked nothing like it did after the distribution and promotion of the Betty and Barny Hill story. As Tom accurately points out in the conclusion of his article.

“Before Betty Hill, we had Robby the Robot in the movie Forbidden Planet, Klaatu and Gort in the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still, and other outlandish 1950s images of aliens, but once Betty Hill described The Grays, they took root. They seem to live on and on. E.T. herself was modeled on The Grays, and you can find little alien dolls that replicate Betty Hill’s Grays in children’s toy stores today. They are “cutified” for kids, and their very appearance lends them an aura of kindness that diminishes any sort of threat.”

In fact, the fraudulent UFO activities throughout the 1980s and 1990s really grew feet and took shape during the 1970s, after Betty and Barney Hill described the beings while under hypnosis. Ufologists in later years labeled these beings as “the Greys.”

Was it all a dream or did something real happen to Betty and Barney, but they grossly misinterpreted the experience? Betty’s reputation and level of respect throughout the UFO/abduction community was unsurpassed by any other abductee after her, because people expected her motivation was nothing more than to tell the truth about the experience. However, now that you know she expected “millions” from her story, how does that impact her credibility?

Her shocking statement would imply that the money was what was on the forefront of her thoughts at least during 1975. For me – that changes everything.

What’s your opinion of this new Betty Hill revelation? Is it significant or insignificant and why? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

Originally published on

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  • This is a perfect example that shows why the search for extraterrestrial life should be left to scientists; whether the Hill case is true or not now has been tarnished beyond salvations simply because ufology is a collection of hearsay stuff in one sense or another. Science does recognize the probability of finding aliens ? after all, what is the Drake equation? What is the SETI project? What is exobiology? It just doesn’t let itself be carried away by every alleged belief, witness or victim. The sad lesson for ufology is that being the idea of finding life elsewhere so attractive to the public, it has generated expectations well beyond what it could deliver simply because finding, learning, understanding and doing all the things involved in any scientific quest take time. The common public is normally not so patient and that led to the appearance of all sorts of wild notions and scams that brought down the prestige of the very notion of alien life. Ufology has been ridiculed not because life outside Earth or interstellar travel are ridiculous, but due to its very poor epistemological record.

  • Pablo,

    Thanks for your comment and insight. I couldn’t agree more. It would do the field a great service if more scientists would be willing to once again turn to this phenomenon with a fresh eye and ignore the ridiculous nature of Ufology as it stands today. With one or two significant scientific findings in the field, it could potentially gain relevance as a viable and important field of study.

    Thanks again for your comment!

  • Yes it is true – my wording was just off. What I meant to say was that the “Greys” were created throughout the 1970s, based on what Betty and Barney hill relayed under hypnosis. I will edit to clarify that sentence.

    Furthermore, they did in fact describe the greys first in their hypnotic descriptions. Please reference transcripts of their sessions in 1964 with Boston psychiatrist Dr Benjamin Simon where they describe the beings as approximately 5ft 4inches tall, no ears, slit-like mouths, small noses, cat-like eyes that extended toward the side of the heads, broad foreheads and a small chin.

    I challenge you to produce any other description of a grey prior to 1964. The Hills were the first to describe this alleged “being” which the UFO community later labeled the “greys” – they were invented by the Hills in these hypnotic regressions.

    In 1999, Betty might have wanted to distance herself from the madness of the UFO community and their hijacking of the “greys” – who can blame her – but the bottom line is that she and Barney started the madness in 1964.

  • JimmyTheNeedle

    Hi there! great site! This is a response to ur “challenge” posted above. I dont know if anybody has commented on this already but if you look at the cover art for the movie “Invaders from Mars” there is clearly a “grey” in the centre of the art work. its only a head, but its there. That movie was released in 1953. So yeah, the idea of the “greys” was around way before Betty or Barney Hill. I know its not an “eyewitness” description but it clearly shows a “grey” anywho, I really enjoy ur scientific approach to all this. Its refreshing to be able to read something that is unbiased and focused on the scientific approach.

    Keep the awesomeness coming!

  • Thank you Jimmy – isn’t that fascinating… It would be interesting to probe any correlations between that movie and the Hills – for example, if they saw the movie and if so, when they saw it? Definitely something worth pursuing. Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    Hi everyone!  Just stumbled upon this site after clicking through various links, and voila! I landed here!

    I love the premise…”top secret stuff you never knew existed…” etc.  But now, after reading the first posting (“Betty expected millions…”) I am left with 2 distinct impressions; 1- Your stories are not properly vetted, and 2- They are profoundly biased, which flies in the face of journalistic rules.
    But hey…it’s your blog. I may probe a bit deeper into other stories, unless I find it to be like so many other websites that thrive on sensationalism.

  • Hey Johken – I’m pleased that you landed on this particular page. It was one of the first Ufology pieces I wrote at TSW, even though I’ve written extensively on the topic elsewhere. I think what you’ll discovery after looking around is that TSW is one of the least biased sites covering these matters – we work extremely hard to maintain the middle ground.

    For example, the “Betty expected millions” was based on an excellent source – an author that interviewed her in person. We interviewed the author himself and followed up with additional articles (please check them out). You will find that we do not draw conclusions if there’s no evidence to support it, but we also don’t dismiss something out of hand unless that ‘something’ is completely ludicrous and flies in the face of all available solid evidence to the contrary.

    Happy to have you here!

  • Actually, Tom Lombardo was very sympathetic to Betty HIll’s cause when he interviewed her, and had every intention of supporting her story, as you can see in his own comments here. So, he’s a very credible witness that she did in fact say what she’s quoted as saying in this article.

  • BeaveVillage

    Oh for crying out loud… The Barney & Betty Hill UFO abduction & missing time incident is a pillar of UFO abduction, if this turns out to be all a ruse by the Hills, then what can we believe anymore? “I’m going to make millions off this story?” Really? Why would you say that? You were the victim of a UFO abduction and you’re all into the millions of dollars? Sigh… You weren’t able to take your millions to the grave.

  • HusBinPharteen

    Alien abductions are a complete hoax. Some people taking drugs, or those who suffer from sleep paralysis, may have hallucinations that they interpret as abductions. The rest are scammers and pranksters. Alien abductions have as much credibility as the Chupacabra.

  • Stewart Irvine

    It changes everything from truth to total utter lies they were not abducted by aliens but put a great story together and still causes great discussions to this day but obviously motivated by financial gain but they did do well to keep it together until they’re deaths

  • Christa Blackwell

    I think Betty’s comment doesn’t necessarily change anything. Victims and survivors of experiences from dreamily euphoric to horrendously nightmarish, have profited from sharing their stories. Expecting or at the least hoping, after writing and subming their work for publication, for success. Elizabeth Smart, Truddi Chase, and in a different genre Corinne Stephans are just a few. Most events are not as incredible as UFO abduction so credibility isn’t as closely scrutinized. But one cannot take a single comment to judge a person on honesty. One has to examine the greater picture of her life. Also consider this, if her story was about their abduction and escape from the Manson family, what would you think of her comment then?

The MJ-12 Myth

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How FOIA Exemptions Affect Ufology Research

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Top Secret Editors

Ryan is the founder of Top Secret Writers. He is an IT analyst, blogger, journalist, and a researcher for the truth behind strange stories.
Lori is TSW's editor. Freelance writer and editor for over 17 years, she loves to read and loves fringe science and conspiracy theory.

Top Secret Writers

Gabrielle is a journalist who finds strange stories the media misses, and enlightens readers about news they never knew existed.
Sally is TSW’s health/environmental expert. As a blogger/organic gardener, she’s investigates critical environmental issues.
Mark Dorr grew up the son of a treasure hunter. His experiences led to working internationally in some surprising situations!
Mark R. Whittington, from Houston, Texas, frequently writes on space, science, political commentary and political culture.

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