home esoterica Original binnallofamerica.com Audio the United States of Esoterica merchandise contact

Bookmark and Share


Marjorie Fish versus Science‏

Marjorie Fish's interpretation of the Betty Hill star-map is perhaps the most well-known, even more so than Mrs. Hill's own. Much of the credit for this is due to the efforts of Stanton Friedman. Friedman convinced Astronomy to publish an article about the Fish interpretation in the December 1975 issue, the first time in the magazine's history that it solicited debate on the UFO subject. Over thirty-years later, Friedman continues to support the Fish interpretation, most recently in his book on the Hill abduction, Captured!.

Of course, the Fish interpretation is not without detractors. Carl Sagan attacked it in both the opinion pages of Astronomy and in episode 12 of his Cosmos series. Some UFO researchers have produced their own interpretations, for example Joachim Koch and Hans-Jürgen Kyborg's belief it is a map of our solar-system. Others UFO researchers have found fault in Fish's interpretation. Kevin Randle, for instance, criticizes the map as outdated in light of scientific findings over the past 30 years.

And recent discoveries in science have debunked Ms. Fish's interpretation.

A caveat: This is not an attack on the Hills or an attempt to debunk their abduction. That is beyond the scope of this column. We are focused here only one particular interpretation of the Star Map.

The fatal problem with Fish's interpretation is the exclusion of red dwarf stars. When considering stars that Mrs. Hill's map may show, Ms. Fish only considered those stars that are "sun-like". According to Stanton Friedman, "Some stars are too old, too new, too bright, too dim, or vary too much in the intensity of their energy production rate to be sun-like, or they have very close companion stars making it difficult to maintain stable planetary orbits in the vicinity."(1) This includes red dwarf stars, which Fish believed a star-faring race would have no interest in. Randle describes this exclusion as "arbitrary." Indeed, we cannot know what would or would not interest a space-faring race. To be fair, however, Randle also points out, "Astronomic thinking at that time suggested that dwarf stars wouldn't have planetary systems. We now know there are planets circling many of these stars." (2)

A March 2012 announcement has not only supported Randle's criticisms but may have provided the final debunking of the Fish interpretation. A study found forty-percent of red dwarf stars in the Milky Way have terrestrial planets within the habitable-zone of the star, that is, rocky planets, roughly the size of Earth, not too far or close to their star, not too hot or cold. And within 30 light-years of Earth, there are over one-hundred red dwarfs harboring habitable worlds. (3) Those planets are not just in our neighborhood, they might as be on the next street over.

Ms. Fish's proposed point-of-origin for the Hill's extraterrestrial abductors, Zeta Reticuli 1 and 2, is 39 light years away. But between here and there, Ms. Fish eliminated not only hundreds of possible points-of-origin but waypoints as well. This is not to mention the binary star systems that Ms. Fish also eliminated; in 2011, the Kepler telescope discovered that binary systems can produce planets. (4) While it remains unknown if such systems are capable of harboring life, we cannot know what interests a space-faring rest, and it is very easy to make the case such systems hold resources beyond life that interest them.

Ms. Fish cannot be faulted for the mistakes in her interpretation. She was using the best available information at the time she developed the model. In the intervening years, science has proven her conclusions wrong. One can no longer argue that her interpretation is valid or holds any value in proving Mrs. Hill's claims.

1) 'Proof in the Stars?' - Daily Grail
2) 'Betty Hill Star-Map Revisited, Again' - A Different Perspective
3) 'New 'life in space' hope after billions of 'habitable planets' found in Milky Way' - UK Telegraph
4) 'NASA spots first planet in binary star system' - cnet.com

Contact Bruce