New Hampshire couple Betty and Barney Hill provided Americans with what is essentially the original alien abduction story. Since their story became public in the early 1960s, many thousands of Americans have likewise come forward with similar stories of traumatic experiences. Sometimes the abductee has little conscious recollection of these events, but through nightmares, dreams, flashbacks and hypnosis they eventually learn more. Sometimes the participants are bewildered. To get a better understanding of the opposing viewpoints of skeptic and believer, the Betty and Barney Hill case is used to examine the wider context of such encounters, their historical origins, media influences and the latest extraterrestrial, psychological, paranormal, conspiracy and sociological theories that surround them.