Betty Barney Hill alien abduction
Betty and Barney Hill insisted they had been abducted by aliens until the end of their livesBeyond Belief archive

Alien abduction claims made by a married couple 54 years ago, have been given new credence after it emerged a sketch of a star map they made closely resembles a real constellation they could not have known about at the time. Betty and Barney Hill, from New Hampshire, US, claimed they were abducted by aliens and intimately examined aboard a UFO on 19 September 1961.

Neither of the couple initially recalled being abducted, but both experienced a three-hour memory lapse on the night in question after which they experienced nightmares and suffered from severe stress. Betty's dress was torn and covered in a strange pink powder of unknown origin. The couple's car was covered in concentric circles which caused a compass to spin uncontrollably.

Barney and Betty Hill starmaps
A statistician claims a map drawn by Betty Hill, who says she was abducted along with her husband Barney by aliens in 1961, proves she was telling the truth - because her map is exactly like one of Zeta ReticuliBeyond Belief archive
Grey alien Reticulan
An illustration of a 'Grey' or 'Reticulan' – an alien Barney and Betty Hill claimed kidnapped them LeCire/Wikipedia

After being hypnotised both recounted remarkably similar versions of what they said occurred. Betty said: "I was taken on board. Barney was taken into one room and I was taken into another. The one who did the testing we called 'The Examiner'. First they put me on a stool and they checked my eyes, ears, nose, throat. They put me on a table, and said they wanted to check my nervous system.

"Then they tried to insert a needle-like instrument in my navel which caused pain so they stopped doing it. Barney's exam was very much like mine in the beginning except they were interested in his bone structure."

Betty asked 'The Leader' where he came from. "I said 'I know you're not from this planet but where are you from?' He showed me a star map indicating where he came from."

Under hypnosis Betty drew a version of the map she'd been shown. At the time experts said the map didn't resemble any known area of space. However, the Hills continued to insist they had been abducted until they died.

Now, statistician David Saunders says the map closely resembles the Zeta Reticuli system in the southern constellation of Reticulum. Proof, he believes, that the Hills really were telling the truth about being abducted by aliens.

The Zeta Reticuli system was first noted in astronomical texts in the 1800s, but it has only been closely studied since 1996. The Hills did identify Zeta Reticuli as the system the aliens were from. Ufologists named the type of aliens the Hills allegedly encountered as Reticulans.