[StealthSkater intro: Famed Testors model kit designer John Andrews created the ufo 'Sport Model' from in-depth interviews he had with Bob Lazar. Unlike others, he seemed to believe the basics of Lazar's story. Some of his notes appeared in the model instructions and can be seen at

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jeneng[StealthSkater intro: Famed Testors model kit designer John Andrews created the ufo 'Sport Model' from in-depth interviews he had with Bob Lazar. Unlike others, he seemed to believe the basics of Lazar's story. Some of his notes appeared in the model instructions and can be seen at
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archived as http://www.stealthskater.com/Documents/ZetaReculi_1.doc [pdf]
more UFO-related material is at http://www.stealthskaer.com/UFO.htm
[StealthSkater intro: Famed Testors model kit designer John Andrews created the UFO 'Sport Model' from in-depth interviews he had with Bob Lazar. Unlike others, he seemed to believe the basics of Lazar's story. Some of his notes appeared in the model instructions (and can be seen at doc pdf URL-doc URL-pdf). Also in the instruction booklet were 4 additional references on the UFO subject that Andrews highly recommended: Clear Intent - The Government Coverup of the UFO Experience (by Fawcett and Greenwood); The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell (by Randle and Schmitt); ABDUCTION: Human Encounters with Aliens (by John Mack); and "The Zeti Reticuli Incident" - ASTRONOMY Magazine (by Terrence Dickinson).
Clear Intent is the long-running standard "Bible" among serious UFO researchers. The "Zeti Retiuli Incident" generated more response than any other article published in ASTRONOMY with rebuffs and counter-rebuffs by Jeffrey Kretsch, Carl Sagan, Steven Soter, Robert Scheaffer, Marjorie Fish, David Saunders, and Michael Peck. The complete magazine-quality reprint of the original article as well as subsequent updates can be obtained from former ASTRONOMY editor Terrence Dickinson, Box 10, Yarker, Ontario, Canada KOK 3N0 (613-377-6384 / fax: 613-377-1080 ; email: 71604.1241@compuserve.com [addresses valid as of 1996]. The complete set of reprints was only $10 ten years ago. Some may also been obtained from ASTRONOMY magazine, 757 N. Broadway, Suite 204, Milwaukee, WI 53202. The graphics and star charts are much more detailed in the official reprints than in the scanned images in this document. The reader is encouraged to order these mint reprints at their most modest price.]

The Zeta Reticuli Incident

by Terence Dickinson

ASTRONOMY magazine, December 1974
A faint pair of stars 220 trillion miles away has been tentatively identified as the "home base" of intelligent extraterrestrials who allegedly visited Earth in 1961. This hypothesis is based on a strange, almost bizarre series of events mixing astronomical research with hypnosis, amnesia, and alien humanoid creatures.
The two stars are known as Zeta-1 and Zeta-2 Reticuli -- or together as simply Zeta Reticuli. They are each 5th magnitude stars -- barely visible to the unaided eye -- located in the obscure Southern constellation Reticulum. This southerly sky location makes Zeta Reticuli invisible to observers north of Mexico City's latitude.
The weird circumstances that we have dubbed "The Zeta Reticuli Incident" sound like they come straight from the UFO pages in one of those tabloids sold in every supermarket. But this is much more than a retelling of a famous UFO incident. It's an astronomical detective story that at times hovers on that hazy line that separates science from fiction. It all started this way:

The date is Sept. 19, 1961. A middle-aged New Hampshire couple -- Betty and Barney Hill -- are driving home from a short vacation in Canada. It's dark, with the Moon and stars illuminating the wooded landscape along U.S. Route 3 in central New Hampshire. The Hills' curiosity is aroused when a bright "star" seems to move in an irregular pattern. They stop the car for a better view. The object moves closer, and its disk-like shape becomes evident.
Barney grabs his binoculars from the car sear and steps out. He walks into a field to get a closer look, focuses the binoculars, and sees the object plainly. It has windows. And behind the windows -- looking directly at him -- are humanoid creatures! Terrified, Barney stumbles back to the car, throws it into first gear, and roars off. But for some reason, he turns down a side road where 5 of the humanoids are standing on the road.
Apparently unable to control their actions, Betty and Barney are easily taken back to the ship by the humanoids. While inside, they are physically examined and one of the humanoids communicates to Betty. After the examination, she asks him where they are from. In response, he shows her a 3-dimensional map with various sized dots and lines on it. "Where are you on the map?" the humanoid asks Betty. She doesn't know, so the subject is dropped.
Betty and Barney are returned unharmed to their car. They are told they will forget the abduction portion of the incident. The ship rises and then hurtles out of sight. The couple continues their journey home oblivious of the abduction.
But the Hills are troubled by unexplained dreams and anxiety about 2 hours of their trip that they can't account for. Betty -- a social worker -- asks advice from a psychiatrist friend. He suggests that the memory of that time will be gradually restored over the next few months. But it never is. 2 years after the incident, the couple is still bothered by the missing 2 hours. Barney's ulcers are acting up. A Boston psychiatrist Benjamin Simon is recommended. And after several months of weekly hypnosis sessions, the bizarre events of that night in 1961 are revealed. A short time later, a UFO group leaks a distorted version of the story to the Press and the whole thing blows up. The Hills reluctantly disclose the entire story.

Can we take this dramatic scenario seriously? Did this incredible contact with aliens actually occur? O is it some kind of "hallucination" that affected both Barney and Betty Hill? The complete account of the psychiatric examination from which the details of the event emerged is related in John G. Fuller's The Interrupted Journey (Dial Press, 1966) where we read that after the extensive psychiatric examination, Simon concluded that the Hills were not fabricating the story. The most likely possibilities seem to be: (a) the experience actually happened, or (b) some perceptive and illusory misinterpretations occurred in relationship to some real event.
There are other cases of alleged abductions by extraterrestrial humanoids. The unique aspect of the Hills' abduction is that they remembered virtually nothing of the incident.
Intrigued by the Hills' experience, J. Allen Hynek -- chairman of the department of astronomy at Northwestern University -- decided to investigate. Hynek described how the Hills recalled the details of their encounter in his book The UFO Experience (Henry Regnery Company, 1972):
"Under repeated hypnosis, they independently revealed what had supposedly happened. The 2 stories agreed in considerable detail, although neither Betty nor Barney was privy to what the other had said under hypnosis until much later. Under hypnosis, they stated that they had been taken separately aboard the craft; were treated well by the occupants (rather as humans might treat experimental animals); and then released after having been given the hypnotic suggestion that they would remember nothing of that particular experience. The method of their release supposedly accounted for the amnesia, which was apparently broken only by counter-hypnosis."

A number of scientists (including Hynek) have discussed this incident at length with Barney and Betty Hill and have questioned them under hypnosis. They concur with Simon's belief that there seems to be no evidence of outright fabrication or lying. One would also wonder what Betty (who has a master's degree in social work and is a supervisor in the New Hampshire Welfare Department) and Barney (who was on the Governor of New Hampshire's Civil Rights Commission) would have to gain by a hoax? Although the Hills didn't, several people have lost their jobs after being associated with similarly unusual publicity.
Stanton T. Friedman -- a nuclear physicist and the nation's only space scientist devoting full-time to researching the UFO phenomenon -- has spent many hours in conversation with the Hills. "By no stretch of the imagination could anyone who knows them conclude that they were nuts," he emphasizes.
So the experience remains a fascinating story despite the absence of proof that it actually happened. Anyway, that's where things were in 1966 when Marjorie Fish -- an Ohio schoolteacher, amateur astronomer, and member of Mensa -- became involved. She wondered if the objects shown on the map that Betty Hill allegedly observed inside the vehicle might represent some actual pattern of celestial objects. To get more information about the map, she decided to visit Betty Hill in the summer of 1969. (Barney Hill died in early 1969.) Here is Ms. Fish's account of that meeting:
"On Aug. 4, 1969, Betty Hill discussed the star map with me. Betty explained that she drew the map in 1964 under posthypnotic suggestion. It was to be drawn only if she could remember it accurately and she was not to pay attention to what she was drawing -- which puts it in the realm of 'automatic drawing'. This is a way of getting at repressed or forgotten material and can result in unusual accuracy. She made 2 erasures showing her conscious mind took control part of the time.
"Betty described the map as 3-dimensional -- like looking through a window. The stars were tinted and glowed. The map material was flat and thin (not a model). And there were no noticeable lenticular lines like one of our 3-dimensional processes. (It sounds very much like a reflective hologram.) Betty did not shift her position while viewing it, so we cannot tell if it would give the same 3-dimensional view from all positions or if it would be completely three-dimensional.
Betty estimated the map was approximately 3 feet wide and 2 feet high with the pattern covering most of the map. She was standing about 3 feet away from it. She said there were many other stars on the map, but she only (apparently) was able to specifically recall the prominent ones connected by lines and a small distinctive triangle off to the left. There was not concentration of stars to indicate the Milky Way (galactic plane) suggesting that if it represented reality, it probably only contained local stars. There were no grid lines."
So much for the background material on the Hill incident. (If you want more details on the encounter, see Fuller's book.) For the moment, we will leave Marjorie Fish back in 1969 trying to interpret Betty Hill's reproduction of the map. There is a second major area of background information that we have to attend to before we can properly discuss the map. Unlike the bizarre events just described, the rest is pure astronomy.
According to the most recent star catalogs, there are about 1,000 known stars within a radius of 55 light-years of the Sun.
What are those other stars like? A check of the catalogs shows that most of them are faint stars of relatively low temperature -- a class of stars astronomers call Main Sequence stars. The Sun is a main sequence star along with most of the other stars in this part of the Milky Way galaxy as the following table shows:
Main sequence stars 91%
White dwarfs 8%
Giants and Supergiants 1%

Typical giant stars are Arcturus and Capella. Antares and Betelgeuse are members of the ultra-rare supergiant class. At the other end of the size and brightness scale, the white dwarfs are stellar cinders -- the remains of once brilliant suns. For reasons that will soon become clear, we can remove these classes of stars from our discussion and concentration on the main sequence stars whose characteristics are shown as follows:

Characteristics of Main Sequence Stars








of Total




(billions of years)















































Epsilon Eridani













Proxima Centauri







The spectral class letters are part of a system of stellar "fingerprinting" that identifies the main sequence star's temperature and gives clues to its mass and luminosity. The hottest, brightest, and most massive main sequence stars (with rare exceptions) are the 'A' stars. The faintest, coolest, and least massive are the 'M' stars.
Each class is subdivided into 10 subcategories. For example, an 'A0' star is hotter, brighter, and more massive than an 'A1', which is above an 'A2' and so on through 'A9.'
This table supplies much additional information and shows how a slightly hotter and more massive star turns out to be much more luminous that the Sun (a 'G2' star). But the bright stars pay dearly for their splendor. It takes a lot of stellar fuel to emit vast quantities of light and heat. The penalty is a short lifespan as a main sequence star. Conversely, the inconspicuous, cool 'M' stars may be around to see the End of the Universe (whatever that might be). With all these facts at hand, we're now ready to tackle the first part of the detective story.
Let's suppose we wanted to make out own map of a trip to the stars. We will limit ourselves to the 55 light-year radius covered by the detailed star catalogs. The purpose of the trip will be to search for intelligent life on planets that may be in orbit around these stars. We would want to include every star that would seem likely to have a life-bearing planet orbiting around it. How many of these thousand-odd stars would we include for such a voyage and which direction would we go?
For the moment, we'll forget about the problem of making a spacecraft that will take us to these stars and we'll assume that we've got some kind of vehicle that will effortlessly transport us to wherever we want to go. We don't want to waste our time and efforts. We only want to go to stars that we would think would have a high probability of having planets harboring advanced life forms. This seems like a tall order. How do we even being to determine which stars might likely have such planets?
The first rule will be to restrict ourselves to life as we know it -- the kind of life that we are familiar with here on Earth. Carbon-based life. Science-fiction writers are fond of describing life forms based on chemical systems that we have been unable to duplicate here on Earth (such as Silicon-based life or life based on the Ammonium Hydroxide molecule instead of on Carbon). But right now, these lifeforms are simply fantasy. We have no evidence that they are in fact possible. Because we don't even know what they might look like (IF they're out there), we necessarily have to limit our search to the kind of life that we understand.
Our kind of life -- life as we know it -- seems most likely to evolve on a planet that has a stable temperature regime. It must be at the appropriate distance from its sun so that water is neither frozen nor boiled away. The planet has to be the appropriate size so that its gravity doesn't hold on to too much atmosphere (like Jupiter) or too little (like Mars). But the main ingredient in a life-bearing planet is its star. And its star is the only thing we can study since planets of other stars are far too faint to detect directly.
The conclusion we can draw is this: The star has to be like the Sun.
Main sequence stars are basically stable for long periods of time. As shown in the above-mentioned table, stars in spectral class 'G' have stable lifespans of 10 billion years. (Our Sun -- actually a 'G2' star -- has a somewhat longer stable life expectancy of 11 billion years.) We are about 5 billion years into that period, so we can look forward to the Sun remaining much as it is (actually it will brighten slightly) for another 6 billion years.
Stars of class 'F4' or higher have stable burning periods of less than 3.5 billion years. They have to be ruled out immediately. Such stars cannot have life-bearing planets because (at least based on our experience on our world) this is not enough time to permit highly developed biological systems to evolve on the land areas of a planet. (Intelligent life may very well arise earlier in water environments. But let's forget that possibility since we have not yet had meaningful communication the dolphins -- highly intelligent creatures on this planet!) But we may be wrong in our estimate of life development time. There is another more compelling reason for eliminating stars of class 'F4' and brighter.

So far, we have assumed all stars have planets just as our Sun does. Yet spectroscopic studies of stars of class 'F4' and brighter reveal that most of them are, in fact, unlike our Sun in a vital way. They are rapidly rotating stars. The Sun rotates once in just under a month. But 60 percent of the stars in the 'F0' to 'F4' ranger rotate much faster. And almost all 'A' stars are rapid rotators, too. It seems (from recent studies of stellar evolution) that slowly rotating stars like the Sun rotate slowly because they have planets. Apparently the formation of a planetary system robs the star of much of its rotational momentum.
For two reasons, then, we eliminate stars of class 'F4' and above: (1) most of them rotate rapidly and thus seem to be planet-less; and (2) their stable lifespans are too brief for advanced life to develop.
Another problem for higher forms of life is the multiple star system. About half of all stars are born in pairs, or small groups of 3-or-more. Our Sun could have been part of a double star system. If Jupiter were 80 times more massive, it would be an 'M6' red dwarf star. If the stars of a double system are far enough apart, there is no real problem for planets sustaining life (see "Planet of the Double Sun", ASTRONOMY, September 1974). But stars in fairly close or highly elliptical orbits would alternately fry or freeze their planets. Such planets would also likely have unstable orbits. Because this is a potentially troublesome area for our objective, we will eliminate all close and moderately close pairs of systems of multiple stars.
Further elimination is necessary according to the catalogs. Some otherwise perfect stars are labeled "variable". This means astronomers have observed variations of at least a few percent in the star's light output. A 1 percent fluctuation in the Sun would be annoying for us here on Earth. Anything greater would cause climatic disaster. Could intelligent life evolve under such conditions, given an otherwise habitable planet? It seems unlikely. We are forced to "scratch" all stars suspected or proven to be "variable".
This still leaves a few 'F' stars, quite a few 'G' stars, and hoards of 'K' and 'M 'dwarfs. Unfortunately, most of the Ks and Ms are out. Let's find out why.
These stars quite likely have planets. Indeed, one 'M' star (known as Barnard's star) is believed to almost certainly have at least one (and 2-or-3) Jupiter-sized planets. Peter Van de Kamp of the Sproul Observatory at Swarthmore College (PA) has watched Barnard's star for over 3 decades and is convinced that a "wobbling" motion of that star is due to perturbations (gravitational "pulling and pushing") caused by its unseen planets. (Earth-sized planets cannot be detected in this manner.)
But the planets of 'M' and 'K' stars below 'K4' have 2 serious handicaps that virtually eliminate them from being abodes for life. First, these stars fry their planets with occasional lethal bursts of radiation emitted from erupting solar flares. The flares have the same intensity as those out of the Sun. But when you put that type of flare on a little star, it spells disaster for a planet that is within, say, 30 million miles. The problem is that planets have to that close to get enough heat from these feeble suns. If they are farther out, they have frozen oceans and no life.
The close-in orbits of potential Earth-like planets of 'M' and faint 'K' stars produce the second dilemma -- rotational lock. An example of rotational lock is right next door to us. The Moon -- because of its nearness to Earth -- is strongly affected by our planet's tidal forces. Long ago, our satellite stopped rotating and now has one side permanently turned toward Earth. The same principles apply to planets of small stars that would otherwise be at the right distance for moderate temperatures. If rotational lock has not set in, at least rotational retardation would make impossibly long days and nights (as evidenced by Mercury in our Solar System).
What stars are left after all this pruning? All of the' G' stars remain along with 'F5' through 'F9' and 'K0' through 'K4'. Stephen Dole of the Rand Corporation has made a detailed study of stars in this range and suggests we should also eliminate 'F5', 'F6', and 'F7' stars because they balloon to red giants before they reach an age of 5 billion years. Dole feels this is cutting it too fine for intelligent species to fully evolve. Admittedly, this is based on our one example of intelligent life -- us! But limited though this parameter is, it is the only one we have. Dole believes the 'K2', 'K3', and 'K4' stars are also poor prospects because of their feeble energy output and consequently limited zone for suitable Earth-like planets.
Accepting Dole's further trimming, we are left with single, nonvariable stars from 'F8' through all the 'G's to 'K1'. What does that leave us with? 46 stars.

The table on the next page lists all known stars within a radius of 54 light-years that are single or part of a wide multiple star system. They have no known irregularities or variabilities and are between 0.4 and 2.0 times the luminosity of the Sun. Thus, a planet basically identical to Earth could be orbiting around any one of them. (Data from the Catalog of Nearby Stars, 1969 edition, by Wilhelm Gliese.)


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