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Before seeing 'Nope,' read this chilling alien abduction story

An Interrupted Journey, by John. G. Fuller, is one of the most compelling accounts of an alleged alien abduction you'll find. 

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By Julie Montana

Humans are a naturally curious bunch, and when we look up to the stars we can’t help but wonder who — or what — might be out there.  Jordan Peele’s latest horror flick, Nope, set to premiere in theaters next week, suggests that maybe we don’t actually want to know the answer. Starring Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya, and Steven Yeun, the film adds to the long tradition of alien and UFO speculation with Peele’s added flare. 

If you’re anything like us, we’ve had our calendars marked since that first poster drop last July. The extra-terrestrial fans among us might have spent their time watching Resident Alien (check out the new trailer for the second part of Season 2 here!) or spacing out (literally) with the new James Webb Space Telescope images. But, if you’re looking for something to add to the alien reading list ahead of Nope, we recommend picking up a copy of one of the most famous and well-publicized abduction stories to date: An Interrupted Journey by John. G. Fuller.

In the summer of 1961, Betty and Barney Hill (along with their trusty pup, Delsey) packed up their 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air and took a spontaneous road trip to the Canadian border. Weaving through the wooded, desolate New Hampshire mountains in the middle of the night, the Hills had only their headlights and the stars to keep them company. But something was off. The moon, which had been trailing them up the winding roads, was getting bigger… and bigger… and incredibly bright. Eventually, the entire span of the road ahead was filled with nothing but a blinding white light. 

A metallic beeping filled the car as Delsey curled into the backseat. But, just as Betty motioned to grab Barney, the impossible moon blipped out of existence. Thinking nothing of it, she turned her attention back to the road and continued the drive in silence. But the next morning, the couple noticed they had no recollection of two hours of the drive. Like the light, time had simply blipped out of existence. 

The Interrupted Journey: Two Lost Hours Aboard a UFO: The Abduction of Betty and Barney Hill

Fuller’s 1966 book The Interrupted Journey chronicles the events of that night in full detail, including the subsequent National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) investigation and the Hills’ attempts to regain those lost hours with psychotherapy and hypnosis. Drawing from the tapes of their trance sessions, maps, sketches, and official government reports, Fuller’s realization of the Hills’ story is thorough and questioning and just plain “unputdownable.” 

Believers will find truth and skeptics will be questioned in these astonishing pages. The Hills didn’t share their tale to be sensational and are instead clearly pretty scared and embarrassed about what they experienced. When they reach out to NICAP for an official government investigation, it’s not for fame, but for fear. And when the government finds their story credible, they set out to unlock whatever is behind their simultaneous amnesia through skeptical psychological intervention. Each step of the way, the story is questioned, torn apart, and countered with logical explanations.

Every aspect of their night is examined from multiple angles and repeated for us to scrutinize. Fuller takes care to present the reader with each version of the story throughout the book (NICAP’s, Betty’s, Barney’s, etc.) in a way that lets us draw our own conclusions. The evidence iis presented as objectively (but vividly) as possible. It is up to the reader to put together the puzzle for themselves and walk away with their own conclusions. Though many of the questions of the night are still unanswered, it remains a key piece of discourse in alien “experiencer” conversations. 

Some 60 years since the encounter, the Hills’ story continues to be one of the most thorough accounts to date. Their story and countless others like it have horrified, intrigued, and inspired people to think beyond the solar system. This book is required reading for anyone with an opinion on alien life and makes the perfect primer for Jordan Peele’s new film. 

Nope opens in theaters on July 22. 

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