Betty and Barney Hill were an interracial couple whose lives were forever altered after their controversial alien abduction in 1961. Abducted at night while driving through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Hills’ were ridiculed and cast out of their community when the news broke to the local media. Some said they were Communists seeking attention, some believed they were abducted by the Russians, others believed the Hills’ views on interracial marriage drove them to insanity. Without any “real” proof, the creatures would only live in the Hills’ minds as memories.
Despite the backlash, the Hills’ extensive report with the United States Air Force (which includes psychological evaluations, maps, letters, and drawings) illustrates an event grounded in reality. The project, The Abductees, uses archival documentation of their case and historical references from the era of which they lived to create a portal into the Hills’ version of this story. The authenticity of a photograph not only creates a moment bound in truth, but demands for the atonement for the hardships Betty and Barney faced during their lifetime.
The creatures who took the Hills’ that night will forever remain an enigma, yet they have forever created a statement here on Earth.
Cassandra Klos (b. 1991) is a New England photographer who currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts. She received her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2014. She is the first place recipient of the 2014 Yousuf Karsh Prize in photography. anhas exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across the region. Her work focuses on storytelling through the re-creation of experiences and environments using portraiture and archival documentation.