It seems like it was not so long ago that I was much more credulous than I am today. While I still love all things spooky, I get frustrated when people immediately apply the socially accepted explanation to anything out of the ordinary. Mist in the corner? It must be the soul of some dead person! Oh, come now.
I've patiently listened to stories of obvious hypnogogia (a terrifying sensation I've experienced myself), electrical problems, doors hung off level, and there's no dissuading the believer, no matter how gently. No, I don't really believe that long, silver object in the sky was a UFO, especially when you live by an airport. Something as easy as freeing a silver mylar balloon and watching it until it's out of sight will change your opinion of how strange common objects can appear to a wishful eye.
Perhaps there are aliens among us, though the stories have changed over the centuries from being elves to demons to ET. Why is the modern version any more credible? I'm reminded finally of the end of Audrey Rose, which I am about to partially spoil for those who are sensitive: a psychiatrist is regressing Ivy through her childhood, and finally gets to the "time before you were born...when you were another person...another person...another person..." (aside: that script has a lot of repetition in it--drives me bugfuck). Gee, that's not leading at all.
In any case, this is all prelude. What brings me to the subject is that Betty Hill has died. In 1961, Betty and Barney Hill experienced what has come to be called "missing time". Seeking the help of a psychiatrist, the Hills were regressed hypnotically, and produced a most remarkable tale. The story became a book, then a television movie starring James Earl Jones.
I believed the Hills completely. In fact, I am still certain the Hills believed their story to be true. The memory of the story is like a key in my gut--something basic that opened many other things. But the skeptic I have grown into realizes that something happened on that fateful September night, and because a faulty psychological technique reached for a fantastic answer, we will never know the truth.
The Hill abduction was one of the seminal stories of my childhood, and I feel as if a little piece of that child has broken off tonight. Perhaps it was abducted.
Rest in peace, Betty.