Betty Hill

Alleged Alien Abductee

Betty Hill, 85, whose tale of being abducted by aliens launched her to fame and became the subject of a best-selling book and television movie, has died.

Mrs. Hill died at her home Oct. 17 after a battle with lung cancer.

She claimed that she and her husband, Barney, were abducted by extraterrestrials in New Hampshire's White Mountains on a trip home from Canada in 1961.

The Hills were puzzled when they arrived home and noticed Betty's torn and stained dress, Barney's scuffed shoes, shiny spots on their car, stopped watches and no memory of two hours of the drive.

Under hypnosis three years later, they recounted being kidnapped and examined by aliens.

The couple gained international notoriety after going public with their story, traveling across the country to give speeches and making numerous television and radio appearances. Their story also became the focus of John G. Fuller's 1966 best-selling book, "Interrupted Journey," and a TV movie starring James Earl Jones and Estelle Parsons.

Mrs. Hill retired from UFO lecturing in her seventies and complained that the quest for knowledge about extraterrestrials had become tainted with commercialism.

In 1995, she self-published a book, "A Common Sense Approach to UFOs."

Before devoting her life to UFOs, Mrs. Hill was a state social worker specializing in adoptions and training foster parents. Her husband died in 1969.

Tony Proffitt

Texas Political Strategist

Tony Proffitt, 61, a longtime Texas political strategist who worked for former congressman J.J. "Jake" Pickle and other Texas politicians, died Oct. 17 of cancer and complications from diabetes at his home near Liberty Hill, Tex.

In Texas, Mr. Proffitt was best known as a political adviser to the late Bob Bullock, a hard-driving Democrat who was arguably the most powerful politician in the state before Republicans took control in recent years.

He began working for Bullock in 1978, when the legendary politician was state comptroller and continued after Bullock became lieutenant governor in 1991.

He served as press secretary, campaign director, fundraiser and Bullock's closest adviser from 1975 to 1999, the last few years while the Texas Democrat had become something of a mentor to a Republican governor named Bush.

In the 1960s, Mr. Proffitt frequently did work for the Johnson White House while an aide to Pickle, who represented Lyndon B. Johnson's old Central Texas district. He also worked for former Republican governor William P. Clements Jr. in the early 1980s.

Robert Anthony Proffitt was born in Shawnee Mission, Kan., and attended Rockhurst College in Kansas City.

He worked briefly as a newspaper reporter before joining Pickle's congressional staff in 1966.

Mr. Proffitt's three marriages ended in divorce.

Survivors include his mother and a brother.