|"Velcro I grok but zippers?"|
December 10, 1965. Betty and Barney Hill returned home to find a mystery waiting for them: a large oval-shaped chuck of ice on the kitchen table. They didn't know how it got there or what it signified.
The inexplicable object greatly disturbed the couple. It was another weird event following their abduction by humanoid aliens one night four years ago on a lonely country road. Betty put the ice chunk in the sink, using hot water to melt it completely away.
In her diary Betty noted the unusual properties of the ice. There was no wetness on the table. The chunk was light for its size and wasn't completely hard but "flexible." She also recorded that there was a cut pattern inside it.
This and other paranormal happenings are detailed in the book, "Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience," by Stanton Friedman and Kathleen Marden. What I find unusual is that the Hills sought out physical proof of their encounter but when they had what appeared to be such proof they destroyed it.
But humans do act in odd ways at times. And so do aliens, at least the ones mentioned in "Captured!"
In the search for tangible evidence of their abduction the couple worked with a "psychophysical" team. Sometimes psychophysics is written in quotes in the book as if to set it apart from any field with the same name. The co-authors don't provide a definition.
Over at Wikipedia the psychophysics entry had this definition: "the analysis of perceptual processes by studying the effect on a subject's experience or behaviour of systematically varying the properties of a stimulus along one or more physical dimensions."
But this type of psychophysics doesn't match what the is described in "Captured!," attempts to telepathically arrange an ET meeting through Betty Hill. From what I gather "psychophysics" refers to an overlap of mental and material states through the use of extrasensory perception.
The psychophysics team hoped to obtain physical evidence such as alien hardware that would prove the reality of the ETs Betty believed were tracking her and Barney.
In a letter to a team investigator Betty said that she, her husband, and her relatives were hard-headed realists who believed in space travelers and life on other planets, not ghosts. But they were experiencing paranormal activity, causing her to wonder if the ETs had the power of invisibility.
Betty was instructed to send out a mental message at a certain time each day. For example:
"In eight more days go to my parents farm in Kingston, New Hampshire.
"Best science men are there.
"Come close to science men.
"All is safe."
Briefly, the series of experiments ended up with others, not Betty and the psychophysics team, experiencing unusual encounters suggestive of aliens making limited contact. One attempt on September 9, 1967 by the team was a failure but there was a UFO sighting in the area the day before by a family conducting its own contact experiment.
The previous year Betty telepathically asked the aliens to knock on her parents' door. A cousin with the same surname but living elsewhere heard a measured beat of nocturnal knocks. So Betty thoughtcasted again and gave more detailed directions to her mother's home.
The second time the aliens found the right house. Betty's mother heard a knocking for several minutes one night, once again in a certain pattern, but she was afraid to see who – or what – was making the sound. This was followed a tremendous roar and house-shaking explosion. A neighbor reported seeing a UFO the same night.
Throughout "Contact!" there are mentions of Betty and others seeing UFOs but no direct communication is made. Betty never gains solid evidence of the lurking ETs.
Now let's speculate that aliens were indeed involved in these events. What was going on? Leaving a chuck of ice on a kitchen table with no apparent meaning. Appearing a day before the scheduled meeting time at the wrong location. Rapping on the door to the wrong house late one evening. Then rapping at the right one on another night but again in a way so weird that no one wanted to answer. (Talk about knockturnal nonsense!) Becoming upset that no one responds that the pilot puts the pedal to the metal, scaring the hell out of everyone by blasting away in his saucer.
Maybe the aliens are spoiled brats playing tricks.
Or maybe they're just bunglers. During her abduction the aliens didn't know how the zipper worked on Betty's dress when they were preparing her for an examination. They ripped her dress. Later the aliens were astounded that her husband Barney had false teeth and checked to see if her teeth would pop out of her mouth.
Just because a civilization has advanced technology doesn't rule out that some of its members are dim bulbs. After all, take a look at our world...
And with that in mind, imagine what kinds of representatives the Galactic Council would send to this podunk planet out here in the spiral arm boondocks.