By Sean Casteel
In a new book called “Set Your Phaser To Stun,” lay scientist Steve Pearse challenges what he calls the “sacred cow” of the star map first drawn by abductee Betty Hill in the early 1960s. When that same map was later verified by amateur astronomer Marjorie Fish, it was heralded by even the mainstream publication “Astronomy Magazine” as a significant contribution to the understanding of nearby stars.
But let’s go back to the beginning. Betty, along with her husband Barney, were the unwitting passersby chosen to be abducted by the usual gray aliens in 1961. Their abduction case is the first to be thoroughly documented and has stood the test of time in the 50 years since it first occurred. The Hills worked through their experience with a Boston psychiatrist named Benjamin Simon, who specialized in treating victims of shell shock, what we would today call Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Simon’s efforts with the Hills established what would become the familiar pattern of abduction memories being retrieved sometime after the actual events through the use of hypnotic regression.
During one of her sessions with Dr. Simon, Betty relived the moment when she asked the alien leader where he was from. In what seems like a comic bit of understatement, she says, “I know you’re not from around here.”
In reply, the alien shows her a three-dimensional star map consisting of points of light connected with different sorts of lines to indicate both light and heavy trade routes and various occasional expeditions. Betty then asks, “Well, where are you on the map?”
The alien responds by saying, “Well, do you know where YOU are on the map?” Betty replies that she has no knowledge of astronomy. At which point, the alien tells her that since she doesn’t know where she is on the map, it wouldn’t do much good to tell her where he is.
When Dr. Simon heard this story, he gave Betty a posthypnotic suggestion to draw the map later but only if she felt she was remembering it accurately. Betty did as she was asked and drew the map, presumably accurately.
Enter Marjorie Fish, who doubted the Hill’s story because she felt the aliens the Hills described looked too humanoid. But Fish did venture to make several three-dimensional models based on Betty’s map using the best available distance-between-the-stars data available at the time. After a lot of trail and error, Fish succeeded in matching Betty’s map to the actual locations of various stars cataloged in the then-current astronomical reference works. Her conclusion was that the aliens had told Betty that they originated from a binary star system called Zeta One and Zeta Two Reticuli. Some people have been calling the aliens “Zetas” ever since.
Fish presented her findings to Dr. J. Allen Hynek at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and at a MUFON conference. When the article about her work appeared in “Astronomy Magazine,” it received more reader reaction than anything the magazine had published before or since. Clearly something important was happening here.
There were other competing theories to Marjorie Fish’s work, and the author of “Set Your Phaser To Stun,” Steve Pearse, does a very thorough job of digging into the history of the controversy. In fact, his in-depth coverage of the entire star map phenomenon is immaculately fair and reasonable.
But now comes Pearse’s own theory. As well known abductee and author Kay Wilson recounts in her foreword to Pearse’s book, “It was a beautiful summer night in the Pacific Northwest in July of 1993 when my husband had an exchange with a being that has come to be known in the vernacular as a Grey. I also saw them that night, but he was chosen by this Being as the person to converse with. As my husband Erik relayed his account of the conversation to me, I wrote down everything he said verbatim, because in my heart I understood the importance of what I was hearing.”
Erik’s conversation with the Grey is recorded by Pearse thusly: “We go on the deck,” Erik says, “and I ask him, ‘Are you from the Pleiades?’ The Being adamantly replies, ‘No.’ I ask him where he is from. We look in the sky to see the Big Dipper. He says, ‘See the Ursa Major?’ I reply, ‘Yes.’ The Being then tells me, ‘The star cluster to the right and below. The one with the triangle to the left and the little stars in between . . . we’re from that one. The fourth planet from our sun.’”
Pearse would seemingly randomly run across this information on the Alien Jigsaw website that Kay Wilson maintains in the year 2000. It so piqued his curiosity that he has been researching the star map phenomenon ever since. Pearse believes that the “verbal map quest” that Erik Wilson received from the Grey perfectly dovetails with Betty Hill’s original star map, particularly in the matter of the triangular star cluster found in both Betty and Erik’s version of what they were told.
In order to understand Pearse’s theory, one has to bypass the Marjorie Fish model as well as the theories of others who took paths similar to hers. Pearse makes his argument in voluminous detail, and some of it is very technical and perhaps over the head of the casual reader, which I must admit includes me. But one doesn’t have to know how to crunch the numbers in order to be fascinated by what may be a genuine and crucial piece of the overall puzzle. The Greys have to be from SOMEWHERE, and Pearse’s reasoning could be completely on target. It remains, of course, impossible to know one way or another at this point.
Prior to the publication of “Set Your Phaser To Stun,” Pearse approached people like the Mutual UFO Network and others in the UFO community and was completely ignored. It seems no one wanted to challenge the authenticity of the Fish-Hill map and its convenient Zetas, and the more normally open minds on the UFO subject were apparently summarily closed in this case.
Perhaps the newly named Hill-Wilson star map will find its adherents and its place in the general scheme of things, perhaps not. But “Set Your Phaser To Stun” deserves to be read in any case, not only for its groundbreaking new approach to the point of origin for the UFO occupants, but also as a story of the very human need to find real-world answers to a phenomenon that so far has given us more questions than we can comfortably bear.
The book can also be ordered from the Xlibris Corporation at 1-888-795-4274 or by emailing Orders@Xlibris.com
To read more by Sean Casteel, visit his website at www.seancasteel.com]