The 1961 Betty & Barney Hill UFO abduction is being developed as a feature film by Stellar Productions.
The feature film, Shades of Gray, will tell their story based on new information from the book Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience by Stanton T. Friedman and Kathleen Marden.
All ufologists know, of course, that Betty and Barney are not just the Flintstones' next door neighbors, but the names that belong to the Hills, the married couple who became the ignition point of the modern alien abduction era.
50 years ago, on September 19, 1961, Betty and Barney Hill were driving home from Canada and about 100 miles northwest of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, when they saw a UFO at close range and then suffered one of the first recorded "missing time" episodes. Later, under hypnosis, they gave strikingly similar and detailed accounts of their kidnapping.
It is a compelling and seminal narrative of the UFO abduction phenomenon. Over the years, it has spawned books, articles, a film and even, in my own instance, an appearance in the Dark Skies series.
I'm pleased to announce, in time for the 50th anniversary, that my production company, Stellar Productions, has optioned the film rights to Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience (New Page Books) by Stanton T. Friedman, MSc. and Kathleen Marden. Friedman, of course, is the leading scientific ufologist of our time and a former nuclear physicist, the man who broke the Roswell case. Marden is Betty Hill's niece and the trustee of her estate. I'm thrilled to be in business with them in bringing this profound and unsettling case to what we all hope will be its largest audience yet.
Their book, published in 2007, reveals a wealth of new information about the Hills’ lives, the UFO encounter and abduction, and the scientific evaluation of the evidence. It has given new life to the Hills’ extraordinary story, and has caused me to get involved.
I will be working on this with friend and producer Don Most, my collaborator on Majic Men, the film script that was just completed about the competition between Stan Friedman and Don Schmitt to prove the Roswell story beyond reasonable doubt during the late 80s and early-to-mid 90s. We'll have an update on that project soon.
This won't be the first time that Betty and Barney's story has been filmed or a book written about them, but it will be the most definitive book/film combo that has come to the screen. A 1966 book, The Interrupted Journey, written by John Fuller, topped the New York Times best-seller list and went on to be the basis of a primetime NBC movie of the week, The UFO Incident, in October 1975.
Captured! -- the book I have under option that will form the basis of the film Shades of Gray -- includes previously unpublished information about the lives of the Hills before and after Barney's death in 1969, their status as celebrities, Betty's experiences as a UFO investigator, and other activities before her death in 2004. Kathleen Marden writes in depth about new details from her discussions with her aunt Betty about the event and her riveting hypnosis sessions about their time onboard the spacecraft. Stanton Friedman, the original investigator of the Roswell incident, reviews and refutes the arguments of those who have attacked the Hill case, as well as the star map that Betty Hill saw inside the craft and later recreated.
That map, by the way, provides a whole new window on where humanity fits in the larger scheme of things by showing two sun-like stars that are 30 times closer to each other than our sun is to the next star over and a cool billion years older than our own sun and less than 40 light years away from us.