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I Wanted To Believe

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.

3 Responses to I Wanted To Believe

  1. Yeah, I remember seeing a supposed alien abuctee telling his story on TV. He ended with “The aliens must have some kind of time control, because when I found myself back in my bed, only a few minutes had passed.”

    Wanted to throw a shoe at the screen and scream “That’s because you were DREAMING, you moron!”

    Still, I’d like to know the explanation for these kinds of occurrences. That’s sure to be fascinating.

  2. Matt says:

    Wow. I had the same connection to the Betty and Barney Hill story. I had a book called ALIEN CREATURES that had a single photo of James Earl Jones as a zoned-out Barney being led by a grey. As soon as I read the “inspired by a true story” caption, I NEEDED to see the movie. I finally got the opportunity when the 4 o’clock movie on some local channel had a sci-fi week. The whole thing prompted me to hang out in the 001-100 Dewey Decimal section of the library during junior high and high school. I’m a big skeptic, too… and I, too, Wanted To Believe.

    Thanks for this…

  3. mr.bof says:

    First I need to say that I’m not an atheist.
    Do I still get to post a comment? Well here’s my answer to the Alien phenomena : Has anybody seen
    Paul Fusco’s book Chernobyl Legacy ? There are at least 30 pages of pictures of deformed children who were born in the vacinity of Chernobyl around the time of that nuclear disaster.Now here’s what I’m getting at : The Alien rumours started with Area 51 and supposed aliens in capitivity there. This was in the 1940’s. Area 51 was a top secret air-force base in the vacinity of atom bomb test sites.Nuclear testing was going on within 20 miles
    or less of a sparsely inhabited area.Well I think
    that the so called aliens in captivity at the base rumour was started to cover-up the horrible deformities caused by heavy radiation exposure
    from multi-bomb testing at that time.The mocked-up
    bad photos of Aliens were added later as a further cover-up. More nuclear power plants anyone ?