The Betty and Barney Hill 


  Close Encounter Route

       Self-Guided Tour

By Kathleen Marden











Self-guided tour:

1. Travel north on US 3 from the Indian Head Resort through Franconia Notch. Take Exit 35 toward Twin Mountain. Stop at the Mount Cleveland Scenic Picnic Area. (12.4 miles) This was the Hills’ first observational stop. Through  binoculars Betty observed the unconventional craft it  traveled across the face of the moon.  She said it was odd shaped and flashing multicolored points of light. Barney watched as the craft flew west, and without appearing to turn, rapidly descended toward him.

2. Head south on US 3 3.5 miles to Franconia Notch. The light at the top of Cannon Mountain blinked out as the craft passed above it. Take Exit 34B (Cannon Mt. Tramway/Old Man Historic Site). (Visit the Hugh Gallen Bridge area. This is the section of Rt. 3 that the Hills used to enter Franconia Notch in 1961. You'll see their view of Cannon Mountain.) Walk the path to the Old Man Historic Site—about a 5 min. walk. (Handicap accessible from lower parking lot.) The craft stopped next to the Old Man’s profile measuring 48’. It was nearly twice as long as the Old Man. The craft appeared to be rotating as the lighted edge flashed in succession. It then bounced back and forth like a ball and paddle.

3. Head south on US 3 through Franconia Notch. Betty described the craft’s stair-step movement as it paced the Hills’ vehicle only hundreds of feet above. Take Exit 34A toward the Flume Gorge. Continue south to the Indian Head Resort. Stop to see the Betty and Barney Hill (9/2011) commemorative marker erected by the resort.

4. When Betty and Barney Hill emerged from the south entrance of Franconia Notch late in the evening on 9/19/1961, they were relieved to see a familiar site:  the Indian Head Resort.

The flying saucer that had paced their 1957 Chevy over the past 12.4 miles had little chance of closing in on them...or so they thought.

As the Hills passed the Indian Head Resort, Betty noticed a man standing in the window of one of the cabins and thought about stopping for the night in order to end their UFO experience. However, her curiosity precluded stopping. Barney was relieved to be in a populated area where he might find a police officer to whom he could report the UFO. (Stop at the Indian Head Resort and view the State of New Hampshire's Historical Marker in honor of the Hills' event.)

In an uncanny twist of fate, only 1.4 miles south of the resort the craft shifted ahead and rapidly descended.

5. Travel 1.4 miles south to the Notch Express Store and Irving Gas Station. In 1961, a farmer’s field and apple orchard stood to the left. I-93 had not been constructed this far north and no structure stood where the store is now located.

The UFO rapidly descended here forcing Barney to stop directly in the middle of the highway. 


The large, silent disk-shaped craft now hovered less than 200 feet above the Hills. When Barney stepped out of the car, the craft glided to the field across from the store and descended lower. Following it into the field, through binoculars Barney observed figures that were “strangely not human” (10/1961 NICAP Report), staring down at him from a double row of windows that lined the forward edge.

 All but one entity moved, with military precision, to the back wall of the corridor that seemed to encircle the craft. The disk tilted and red lights slid out on small bat-wing like protrusions. Something started to telescope from the bottom of the craft.

In a near state of hysteria, Barney ran back to the car screaming to Betty that they were going to be captured. He then sped down the highway. (This was conscious continuous recall and not recovered for the first time under hypnosis.)

 6.  Drive south to Clark’s Trading Post. Betty rolled down her window and peered upward, but could no longer see the craft. Although it was a bright, starry night, she saw only darkness.

Almost immediately, a series of code-like beeping sounds caused their vehicle to vibrate as a tingling sensation numbed the couple. As if only a moment had passed, they found themselves 35 miles south on US 3, with little  recollection of what had transpired in the interim. 

The next destination is the Capture site. The Hills retained no conscious memory of its location. They found it in 1965 after their hypnosis sessions with Dr. Benjamin Simon. 

7. 10 miles south of the field, turn left on Cross Road over the Thornton Memorial Bridge. At the stop sign, turn right on NH-175S. Drive a half mile and turn left onto Mill Brook Road. Round the curve to the spot where late at night on 9/19/1961, non-human entities blocked the road. Today it is paved and lined with houses and new side roads. In 1961, it was unpaved and desolate.  The craft landed in a sandy area on the left side of the road. (The had conscious recall for their close encounter, but not the abduction itself.)

For additional information see Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience by Stanton T. Friedman and Kathleen Marden.