Famous abductees

These are two notorious abductees cases that started the abduction craze, creating a canvas that later abductees and researchers would refine, but rarely deviate from.

Barney and Betty Hill

The modern era of abductions began with the Barney and Betty Hill UFO close encounter of September 1961 in New Hampshire. The Hills were driving through the White Mountains of New Hampshire from Canada to their home in Portsmouth when they sighted a UFO. Later they were apparently taken aboard the landed craft and subjected to various tests and medical examinations.

This occurred in mid September of 1961 (Fuller 3-19). For several months after the experience the Hills were still experiencing traumatic stress symptoms for which they sought psychiatric help. The Hills were referred to Dr. Benjamin Simon who used hypnosis to uncover the cause of the Hills’ anxiety symptoms. What Dr. Simon discovered would startle the world and would provide the first glimpse into the abduction phenomenon.

As new UFO investigators joined the hunt in trying to solve the worlds most elusive mystery, they, largely, accepted hypnosis sessions with abductees as a legitimate detective tool to seek the truth behind abduction.


Linda Cortile

A recent case made the headlines because of its spectacular setting; it has taken place in Manhattan, New York on 30 November 1989. It involves all the classic elements of conspiracy and, ultimately, confusion.

Linda Cortile reported to abduction researcher Budd Hopkins that she had been floated on a blue beam of light from her 12th floor apartment, located opposite the busy New York Times loading bay, and underwent the standard abduction procedure onboard a UFO. Over a year later Hopkins received a letter from two men, Richard and Dan who claimed to have been security officers escorting United Nations Secretary Perez de Cuellar across the city when their car stalled and they saw Mrs. Cortile and aliens float into a large UFO which then flew into the East River and disappeared. Months later another woman came forward and claimed to have witnessed the event from Brooklyn Bridge.

The media all over the world covered the story, but an investigation by George Hansen, Joe Stefula (once state Mutual UFO Network director for New Jersey) and Rich Butler found the case even stranger than it at first appeared. Cortile claimed to have been kidnapped, threatened and sexually harassed by the two “security officers” (who later appeared to be CIA agents), yet refused to make a police report.

There were many serious discrepancies between the statements of those involved, yet the case was aggressively defended by some of the most prominent figures in American ufology. Most relevant to this study are the striking similarities between Cortile’s story and a book called Nighteyes, by Garfield Reeves-Stevens, first published in April 1989, a few months before Linda Cortile first told her story to Hopkins. Hansen, Stefula and Butler detail some of the striking similarities between the book and the Cortile.