The First Alien-Abduction Account Described a Medical Exam with a Crude Pregnancy Test

Betty and Barney Hill, who claim to have been abducted by aliens in 1961, holding a book written about their experience circa 1967.
Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

The space creatures also got excited about dentures, according to Barney and Betty Hill’s story of their 1961 ‘close encounter,’ investigated by the Air Force’s secret UFO initiative.

Is it chasing us? That thought coursed through Betty and Barney Hill’s minds as they drove their ’57 Chevy Bel Air down the empty winding country road in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. It was a September night in 1961, they hadn’t seen a car for miles, and a strange light in the sky seemed to follow them.

When they finally got home to Portsmouth at dawn, they were far from relieved. They felt dirty. Their watches stopped working. Barney’s shoes were strangely scuffed and Betty’s dress was ripped. There were two hours of the drive that neither one of them could remember. What had happened?

With the help of a psychiatrist, the quiet couple eventually revealed a startling story: Gray beings with large eyes had walked them into a metallic disc as wide, Betty said, as her house was long. Once inside, the beings examined the couple and erased their memories.

Their experience would kick off an Air Force inquiry, part of the secretive initiative Project Blue Book that investigated UFO sightingsacross the country. The incident would also become the first-ever widely publicized alien-abduction account and shape how stories like it were told—and understood—from then on. Debate continues as to whether the husband and wife were liars, fantasists, crackpots or simply sleep-deprived people who later recovered seriously scrambled memories.

With the help of a psychiatrist, the quiet couple eventually revealed a startling story: Gray beings with large eyes had walked them into a metallic disc as wide, Betty said, as her house was long. Once inside, the beings examined the couple and erased their memories.

Their experience would kick off an Air Force inquiry, part of the secretive initiative Project Blue Book that investigated UFO sightingsacross the country. The incident would also become the first-ever widely publicized alien-abduction account and shape how stories like it were told—and understood—from then on. Debate continues as to whether the husband and wife were liars, fantasists, crackpots or simply sleep-deprived people who later recovered seriously scrambled memories.

Strange lights in pursuit

The Hills’ road trip was spontaneous, a well-earned break Barney decided the couple needed, as explained in The Interrupted Journey, a 1966 book they collaborated on with author John G. Fuller. Barney worked a grueling night shift at the post office, driving 60 miles each way. Betty’s job handling state child-welfare cases was no easier. The little free time this biracial couple had was devoted to their church and activities related to the civil-rights movement. After 16 months of marriage, Betty and Barney saw this trip through Montreal and Niagara Falls as their delayed honeymoon. They left so impulsively they had no time to go to the bank before it closed for the weekend. They got in their car with less than $70 in their pockets.

On the last night of their three-day trip, the tired couple sipped coffee in a Vermont diner to recharge before driving back. Barney figured if they pushed through, they could beat the wind and rains from an approaching hurricane. They left the diner around 10 p.m., estimating they could reach their red-framed house in Portsmouth, New Hampshire between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. at the latest.

As they drove, strange light in the sky gave another reason to hurry. At first it looked like a falling star, but grew larger and brighter with each mile. Barney, an avid plane watcher and World War II vet, was sure they had nothing to worry about. It’s just a satellite, he assured Betty. It probably went off course.

The light seemed to move with the car as Barney steered down the curving mountain road. The light zigged and zagged, ducking past the moon and behind trees and mountain ridges, only to reappear moments later. Sometimes it seemed to move toward them in a game of cat-and-mouse. It had to be an illusion, they thought. Maybe the car’s movement made it seem like the light, too, was moving.

Curiosity overcame them. The couple pulled over at road stops and picnic turnouts to get a closer look. Through binoculars, Betty saw that the white light was really an object spinning in the air.

“Barney,” she told her husband, “if you think that’s a satellite or a star, you’re being completely ridiculous.”

The close encounter

He knew she was right. Barney had an IQ of 140, noted Fuller in his book. Barney was also a pragmatic man who wouldn’t give flying saucers a second thought, remembered his niece Kathleen Marden in her work, Captured: The Betty and Barney Hill Experience. The night was too quiet for a helicopter, a commercial plane or even military jet with a hotshot pilot. He didn’t want to spook Betty, but he was becoming concerned. What was this light and why was it toying with them?

About 70 miles past the diner, the object hovered just above the treetops, approximately 100 feet above them. Barney abruptly stopped the car, keeping the engine running. He shoved a handgun he’d hidden beneath the seat into his pocket and rushed into a dark field, leaving Betty in the Bel Air. What he saw was as big as a jet but as round and flat as a pancake. “My God, what is this thing?” he recalled thinking. “This can’t be real.”

Behind rows of windows, gray uniformed beings seemed to look right at him, Barney recalled. He tried to lift his hand to his pistol but somehow couldn’t. A voice told him not to put down his binoculars.

He had a startling thought: We’re about to be captured. Yelling hysterically, he ran back to the car and barreled down the road as Betty tracked the craft, craning her head outside the car window. Without explanation, loud, rhythmic beeps sounded from the car’s trunk. The couple felt instantly drowsy and lost consciousness.

They came to around two hours later and 35 miles down the road.

Barney holding up a diagram explaining the alien abduction.
Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Recovering the memory

Back home in Portsmouth, they tried to make sense of the night. Barney felt compelled to examine his body’s lower half. Both seemed aware of a puzzling presence.

In the weeks and months after, Betty, an avid reader, checked out books from the library discovering the civilian UFO group National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). She also reported the sighting to the Air Force, worried about radiation.

In coming years, with Betty suffering from disturbing dreams and Barney developing an ulcer and anxiety, the couple sought mental help. The two met with Benjamin Simon, a psychiatrist and neurologist who specialized in hypnosis, a mainstream technique at the time.

These Vintage Photos Reveal New York City Fashion of the 1960s

Women’s 1960s fashion was an extreme style and attitude from the start of the decade to the end.

In the early years the fashion idol was Jackie Kennedy with her perfectly white pearls and tailored suit dresses.

By the the middle of the decade supper model Twiggy had women freeing their minds and bodies into clothing that didn’t require any extra thought or effort.

Take a look back in time with these fashion trends from the 1960s…

Flower power! A fashion model wears a teeny, daisy-encrusted bikini in June 1968. Gunnar Larsen/New York Daily News
A bar-top performance by waitress Gloria Allen aims at relaxing the inhibitions of patrons a Disc-Au-Go-Go in 1965. New York Daily News
Girls in racy fringe ensembles show off their moves at the Disc-Au-Go-Go in 1965. New York Daily News
The Rolling Stones arrive in the U.S. for a three week tour donning matching jackets in 1964. From left at Kennedy Airport are: Brian Jones, Bill Wyman, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger. Ed Giorandino/New York Daily News
A couple concentrates on dancing the night away at a disco in 1965. New York Daily News
James Earl Jones makes a bold statement mixing a scarf with a Nehru jacket during the Tony Awards in 1969. Anthony Casale/New York Daily News
Fashion forward Mayor John Lindsay shows his smart style as Twiggy uses his phone in 1967. Gene Kappock/New York Daily News
A fashion model poses on a rock in Central Park on the first day of summer in 1965. John Duprey/New York Daily News
Princess Grace of Monaco and her daughter Stephanie arrive in royal style in the Big Apple in June 1968. Tom Gallagher/New York Daily News
Tight slacks and snug evening gowns show the range of costumes worn by twisters in 1961. David McLane/New York Daily News
Dressed up at the Carlyle Hotel (l.) or dressed down to bring John F. Kennedy Jr. to school in 1968 (r.), Jackie Kennedy was a vision in whatever she wore. Hal Mathewson/New York Daily News
When in New York City in 1968, both Liz Taylor and Barbra Streisand were sure to show off their eclectic styles. Richard Corkery/New York Daily News
English pop star Dusty Springfield sported poufed hair and a totally rad dress when arriving in New York City on Sept. 1, 1964. Tom Gallagher/New York Daily News
French sex kitten Brigitte Bardot wears dark glasses and knee-high boots while she sits in a plane at Newark Airport before flying out to Hollywood. Hal Mathewson/New York Daily News
Trendsetter and jetsetter Brigitte Bardot arrives at Kennedy Airport in New York City on July 31, 1966. The couple wore nearly matching stripes. Gene Kappock/New York Daily News
Frank “Killer Joe” Piro, expert of discotheque dances, shows his partner, Kathleen Carroll, how to do the hitch-hiker. Piro was a dance instructor who popularized disco dancing in the 60s and 70s. New York Daily News

 

(via NY Daily News)

Photos of New York City’s Street Scenes from between the 1960s-70s

Photographer Paul McDonough has a knack for catching passing, off-kilter incongruities on the New York City streets. He arrived in the city in 1967 and started taking photographs of unique moments happening around him; the New York City 1968-1972 series is said to be his first as a photographer.

Capturing weirdness on the streets of New York City might seem like an easy feat, but McDonough has a rare ability to capture a confluence of gestures in the exact moment in which a great photograph happens.



















18 Hilariously Awkward Haircuts of Vintage Christian Album Covers

The digital music revolution has, for the most part, been great for music fans. But even though listening to music online costs less and gives you access to millions and millions of songs you might not otherwise hear, one thing has sadly been lost in the streaming era: Appreciation for incredible album art.

Sure, we still see tiny thumbnail images of singles and LP album covers displayed next to the song streaming on our iPhones, but it’s just not the same as regularly examining album covers in all of their visual glory. In the world of Christian music, where many artists used the cover to blend spiritual metaphors with airbrushed supernatural entities, inspired outfits and creative font selections, there is truly something that modern music fans are missing.

Here, below is a collection of 18 vintage Vintage album covers that feature artists with the craziest hairdos. Most of them look like they’re from the 1960s but there’s at least one from an ’80s Christian hair band. Hopefully we don’t see a resurgence of these hairstyles, but who knows… your move hipsters!













Stunning Photos of Natalie Wood by Angelo Frontoni in 1965

Natalie Wood was one of Hollywood’s most glamours movie stars until she mysteriously died in a drowning accident in the early 1980’s. The following are rare, never seen before photos of the actress.

Natalie Wood in evening gown by Mainbocher in bedroom of her home in Beverly Hills, photo by Angelo Frontoni, 1965.
Natalie Wood in evening gown by Mainbocher in bedroom of her home in Beverly Hills, photo by Angelo Frontoni, 1965.
Natalie Wood poses in an evening gown with David Niven Jr. looking on, photo by Angelo Frontoni, 1965.
Natalie Wood poses in an evening gown with David Niven Jr. looking on, photo by Angelo Frontoni, 1965.
Natalie Wood at home in Beverly Hills, Ca., photo by Angelo Frontoni, 1965.
Natalie Wood at home in Beverly Hills, Ca., photo by Angelo Frontoni, 1965.
Natalie Wood, photo by Angelo Frontoni, Beverly Hills, 1965.
Natalie Wood, photo by Angelo Frontoni, Beverly Hills, 1965.
Natalie Wood, photo by Angelo Frontoni, Beverly Hills, 1965.
Natalie Wood, photo by Angelo Frontoni, Beverly Hills, 1965.
Natalie Wood with Italian fashion designer Patrick de Barentzen at a private showing of his collection, photo by Angelo Frontoni, 1965.
Natalie Wood with Italian fashion designer Patrick de Barentzen at a private showing of his collection, photo by Angelo Frontoni, 1965.
Natalie Wood on the set of the movie"The Great Race", directed by Blake Edwards, photo by Angelo Frontoni on the Universal Studios backlot, 1965.
Natalie Wood on the set of the movie”The Great Race”, directed by Blake Edwards, photo by Angelo Frontoni on the Universal Studios backlot, 1965.
Natalie Wood, photo by Angelo Frontoni, Beverly Hills, Ca., 1965.
Natalie Wood, photo by Angelo Frontoni, Beverly Hills, Ca., 1965.
Natalie Wood in the back yard of her Beverly Hills home, photo by Angelo Frontoni, 1965.
Natalie Wood in the back yard of her Beverly Hills home, photo by Angelo Frontoni, 1965.

You might also like these 23 must see photos of Natalie Wood!

16 Sexist and Racist Vintage Advertisements That Are Shocking Today

These vintage advertisements are from Beyond Belief, a book by art collector and former advertising executive Charles Saatchi, which brings together the most shocking advertising campaigns of the last century. From racism and sexism to dodgy health claims, nothing was out of bounds for the real-life Mad Men.

“In the middle of the last century, marketing men had few qualms about creating brutally offensive advertisements…It proved a grimly amusing task to find so many examples that I could collect together; they provide a clear insight into the world of the ‘Mad Men’ generation and the consumers they were addressing. Although many of the advertisements selected are alarming they present an important portrait of society in the 1940s and ‘50s.” – Charles Saatchi.

Misogynistic, racist, unscientific, dishonest and just plain bizarre, these ads demonstrate how our attitudes towards women, race, tobacco, personal hygiene and drugs have changed over the years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27 Reefer Madness Posters From 1930s Will Make You Cry Laughing!

Originally, Reefer Madness was the title of a 1930s American propaganda film that told the story of how an entire high school student body was introduced to smoking marijuana cigarettes (also known as, reefers).  However, while the film was intentioned as a cautionary tale to parents about the grave and immoral consequences of allowing their kids to smoke marijuana (i.e. murder, kidnapping, rape, automotive homicide), it was soon made satire by critics and advocates alike. Following its release, a series of Reefer Madness-provoked images, novels, songs, and movie posters became popular. Many of these images and posters were distinctly labeled with Adult Only warnings, featured explicit images of devilish creatures and seduced females, distressed male and female figures, and satirical text describing the wrecked lives and shattered hopes of those who smoke marijuana (e.g. Marijuana Girl, Marijuana Insanity, Reefer Blues ). The caricatures on the fronts of these advertisements were drawn with dramatic and popping colors of red, blue, and yellow (e.g. the clown in The Circus of Reefer Madness ), large block-shaped text (e.g. Road to Ruin), and the fiery red background motif resembling assorted items including fire, danger, the Devil, passion, etc. Characteristically, the contents of the posters drew from the original films other names, including: The Burning Question, Dope Addict, Doped Youth, and Love Madness.  Additionally, the aftermath of Reefer Madness spanned new productions such as Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical and the song Reefer man. Thus, Reefer Madness, as well as the influence of two other films Marihuana (1936) and Assassin of Youth (1937) dictated the public perception of marijuana in the 1960s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 Crazy Old Cigarette Ads Claimed That “More Doctors Smoke Camels Than Any Other Cigarette”

One common technique used by the tobacco industry to reassure a worried public was to incorporate images of physicians in their ads. The none-too-subtle message was that if the doctor, with all of his expertise, chose to smoke a particular brand, then it must be safe. Unlike with celebrity and athlete endorsers, the doctors depicted were never specific individuals, because physicians who engaged in advertising would risk losing their license. (It was contrary to accepted medical ethics at the time for doctors to advertise.) Instead, the images always presented an idealized physician wise, noble, and caring who enthusiastically partook of the smoking habit. All of the doctors in these ads came out of central casting from among actors dressed up to look like doctors. Little protest was heard from the medical community or organized medicine, perhaps because the images showed the profession in a highly favorable light. This genre of ads regularly appeared in medical journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, an organization which for decades collaborated closely with the industry. The big push to document health hazards also did not arrive until later.

The ads in this particular theme are all from a single R. J. Reynolds campaign which ran from 1940 to 1949 and claimed that More Doctors smoke Camels. In the majority of these advertisements, the More Doctors campaign slogan was included alongside other popular Camel campaigns such as T-Zone ( T for Throat, T for Taste ), More people are smoking Camels than ever before, and Experience is the Best Teacher. In this way, Camel was able to maintain consistency across its advertisements.

Within the More Doctors campaign, a story can be told through a series of advertisements. The story documents a young boy s journey following in his father s footsteps into the field of medicine. In the first ad of this series, an obstetrician tells his little boy, Now Daddy has to go to another birthday party, son as he leaves his son s party to deliver a baby. Next, a doctor tells his grown-up boy, It s all up to you, son, as the young man decides whether or not to follow a career in medicine. Then, the young medical student, class of 46, is joined by his father, class of 06 during a lecture. Later, the young man is an interne, not quite on his own yet. Finally, he is seen opening up his very own private practice in the company of his adoring wife. This storyline, though not explicit, works to further portray the doctor as a family man and a determined, committed, self-sacrificing individual.

In an attempt to substantiate the More Doctors claim, R.J. Reynolds paid for surveys to be conducted during medical conventions using two survey methods: Doctors were gifted free packs of Camel cigarettes at tobacco company booths and them upon exiting the exhibit hall, were then immediately asked to indicate their favorite brand or were asked which cigarette they carried in their pocket.

(Via Stanford Education)

Put Boobs On It! Sex Sells 1970 Album Covers

In the 1960s-1980s, if you wanted to sell your record, the most reliable method may have been to simply put a pair of boobs on the cover.  It was a variation on the “sex sells” approach – you might call it “chests sells”.  Whether it was subtle cleavage or loud-and-proud bosoms, we know the strategy worked simply because it was used so unbelievably often – with EZ Listening artists being the prime culprits.

L) Gitti wanted to keep it classy, but Erika said, “To hell with that. There are bills to pay.” (R) Sold! Even though I’ll probably hate the music, I can’t think of a reason not to buy this album of Scandinavian folk music.

 

 

More faceless women and their boobs as album cover centerpieces.
In case you haven’t picked up on the pattern – almost none of these cleavage-bearing ladies are actually the artist featured on the albums. This ain’t Victor Lazlo – his sorry visage is lucky to even appear on the back cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The record on the left is by a group called The Cuarto Hombres. Needless to say, none of the “four guys” made the cut for the front cover. At right, Serena Grandi is busting out front and center… Simon Boswell is MIA.
That’s not Marin Denny, and that’s not Fred Weyrich. But that’s not to say no female musicians and singers opted to flaunt their assets for record sales. A few more examples…

 

This album by Elkie Brooks often makes the top ten of ‘worst album covers’ lists. I think this is primarily due to the fact that Ms. Brooks was and is a well-respected artist and her spastic-breast-exposing-contortion seemed unbecoming and “beneath” such a talent. I happen to love it.

You might also like this 1970s forgotten album cover art.

The Secret History of Hunky Male Beefcakes

In the same way that porn magazines are often hidden under pillows or locked away on the top shelves of closets, the history of “beefcake” photography has been highly secretive. The photographers and models who created the hunky, hypermasculine work beginning in the 1940s right up to the pre-disco age did it on the sly, often dodging strict obscenity laws that landed some of them in prison, forced them to endure harassment and attacks, and kept almost all of them hiding deep in the closet.

For Petra Mason, the editor of 100% Rare All Natural Beefcake, published by Rizzoli, trying to track down the images and, more significantly, the holders of the copyrights, turned out to be a bit like falling down a rabbit hole.

“It was an amazing journey in terms of many months of research to try to find the right people,” Mason said. “A lot of this was a secret history, tucked away in shoeboxes or under beds. The photographers were all fascinating characters of varying shapes and sizes who were brave enough to risk for their art by breaking the law. The models were doing it for a couple of bucks and they were either spotted at the gym or pulled from the streets so there isn’t much documentation about them.”

In the end, roughly 50 photographers were included in the book, some of whom are well-known, including Bob Mizer, and a number of photographers who worked under pseudonyms tied to their locations: Bruce of Los Angeles, Douglas of Detroit, and Lon of New York.

Left: Howard Eastman and Benny Piekaiski, 1950s. Right: Rollie Hawk and Leroy Hoffman, 1950s.
Walter Kundzicz’s Champion Studios, New York, 1963-64
Walter Kundzicz’s Champion Studios, New York, 1963

While doing research, Mason encountered some serious collectors who owned a significant amount of work and also had tracked down many of the models’ and photographers’ names.

“Beefcake collectors take collecting beefcake more seriously than cheesecake collectors,” Mason said. “Men in general take collecting more seriously it seems, a bizarre but true fact. I was seriously surprised to get to chat to one of the original photographers who is still going strong, Chuck Renslow whose KRIS Studio shots I think are really hot. Chuck’s a legend and his collection is now in the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago which I would never have heard otherwise, an amazing source of material for a very secret history.”

The book divides the images into various categories including  “Duals in the Sun,” “Figure Studies,” “Neptune’s Boys,” and the somewhat cringe-worthy “Cowboys and Indians.” While a lot of beefcake is often associated with having a gay sensibility, as a heterosexual woman, Mason said she felt the work has a universal appeal.

“I think one of the many things we’re constantly reminded by the media and elsewhere is what we don’t have in common, we actually do. There is a shared appreciation to the overall hotness of the material that is hard to resist for anyone.”

Lady Bunny, a legend in the drag world who wrote the foreword to the book, agrees about the universal appeal.

“I am from the South, so it was not uncommon to meet married women who had never had an orgasm,” Bunny wrote via email. “Women weren’t supposed to enjoy sex too much, so I always rejoiced when I met women who thought about sex the way gay men did, i.e., they wanted lots of it and were concerned with penis size. I think one of the reasons Sex and the City was so popular is that it was one of the first portrayals of women objectifying men for a change. Perhaps Petra was ahead of her time and had been objectifying men for ages! Or, perhaps she’s just a slut who has found a way to mix business with pleasure and call smut art! It works for me!”

Mason added that while there is certainly a humorous aspect to the images, especially seen from a modern-day perspective, there is also a profoundly sad aspect tied to the history of the photographs.

“Our intention is to strike a balance, to give meaningful historical information among all of the gorgeous eye candy.”

(Via Slate)