I wrote about this incident in April of this year, though I kept my personal thoughts on the known account to myself. Since that time I have been looking deeper in this case...with a 'fresh set of eyes' you can say. I realize that Travis Walton is a 'rock star' in the UFO community so I post my perceptions with some hesitation. Anyway, I will repeat the standard fare on this case then leave you with my reasoning.
On November 5, 1975, six young woodcutters, along with their employer, were working in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, engaged in a tree-thinning contract for the U. S. Forest Service. The forest is located in east central Arizona, and the work area is fifteen miles from Heber.
The story begins at approximately 6:10 P.M., when the men were heading home in a seven-man crew-cab truck. Traveling along a bull-dozed trail, one of the men sighted a gold-colored glow through the thickets. As they rounded a right-hand turn, they saw the source of the glow - a structural object hovering approximately fifteen feet above a clearing and a scant ninety feet or so from the viewers.
Travis Walton, twenty-two, was sitting on the right- hand passenger side of the front seat. When he saw the object, he called to Mike Rogers, the driver and boss of the crew, to stop. Hardly waiting for the truck to come to a complete halt, Walton jumped out and, at a fast walk, approached a woodpile (stacked by the thinners) to get a closer look. As his fellow employees called for him to be careful and come back, he stood and looked at the object, which was at a 60-degree elevation from his position. It had the shape of two "pie pans" or shallow bowls placed rim to rim. A "beeping" sound was heard by all.
Walton stepped back a couple of paces, intending to vacate the vicinity of the craft when his friends were startled to see a blue-green beam shoot out from the bottom of the craft, striking Walton in the upper area of his body, lifting him from the ground with his arms out stretched, and flinging him back to the ground.
For fifteen minutes the men searched for Walton, covering the near area and calling, but to no avail. Rogers then decided to drive to Heber, the nearest town, and report Walton's disappearance to the sheriff. On the way, they debated what they should tell, doubting that the truth would be believed, but, unable to come up with an acceptable explanation, they told what they had experienced.
On November 10, the six men were given polygraph tests which established that they had not harmed Walton (it had been implied that they had done away with Travis and hidden his remains, despite the fact that Rogers was his best friend of many years standing) and that they had, actually, seen a UFO.
On the night of November 10, at approximately midnight, a call came in to the Grant Neff residence (Mrs. Neff was Travis' sister and at the time the only Walton in Snowflake, Arizona, with a telephone). It was Travis, sounding confused and disoriented, saying he was at a phone booth in Heber and in terrible pain. Neff went to Mrs. Kellett's (Travis' mother) home, picked up Travis' brother Duane, who had come up from Phoenix when notified of his brother's disappearance, and drove at breakneck speed to Heber, where they found Travis slumped in a phone booth. He had a five-day growth of beard and appeared thin but was otherwise apparently all right.
Within hours, Duane drove Travis to his home in Phoenix, intent on keeping him away from the horde of reporters, which had plagued the Walton family during Travis' disappearance, and to obtain medical treatment.
For a short time, Duane Walton was frustrated by the representative of a local UFO group, who sent him to a pseudomedical hypnotist, but he was eventually contacted by the AERIAL PHENOMENA RESEARCH ORGANIZATION (APRO), which called in a team of medical experts.
Ultimately, Walton was given the Minnesota Multi Phase Personality Inventory (MMPI), Rorschach (commonly called Inkblot) Polygraph and Psychological Stress Evaluator tests, all of which established that he had told the truth as he knew it. All of these tests were conducted and interpreted by experts.
Unfortunately, Walton only recalls an hour or two of his five-day absence. He claims to have awoke on a table in a room which he first assumed was a hospital. The ceiling seemed low, there was an oval-shaped metallic-colored apparatus on his chest (his denim jacket and shirt were pulled up), and he was in considerable pain. The "air" in the room seemed oppressive, i.e., warm and damp. It took a few minutes to get his wits about him, and when he became fully aware of his surroundings, he realized he was in no ordinary hospital. Around the "table" on which he reclined were three strange creatures-strange, because they were less than five feet tall, very pale, with large, domed heads, large eyes, small nose, mouth, and ears, and their bodies, encased in tannish orange, seamless jumpsuits, and were very thin.
Upon seeing them, Walton struggled to his feet, and when they approached him with their fingernail-less hands outstretched, he grabbed a rodlike object from an adjacent table and prepared to defend himself. After flailing about with the instrument for a moment or two, Walton was surprised to see the trio file out of the door and turn to the right.
After the creatures left, Walton also exited the room, turning left. Following a curved corridor, looking for a way out, he found a circular room with a chair (which was too small for him but nevertheless he sat in it) with a "screen" on each arm. He touched a lever and the "stars" on the "ceiling" above seemed to move, so he moved the lever back to its original position and decided against further experimentation.
Shortly, a "man," approximately six feet tall, with brown hair and strange golden-brown eyes, appeared at the door which Travis had entered. He beckoned to Travis, and Travis went to him, babbling question after question, none of which were answered. The "man" said nothing, took Travis by the arm, led him out into the corridor or hall, to the right, then stopped, whereupon a section of the wall opened. He had not touched anything. They walked into a small room, the door behind them closed, and seconds later a door opened in front of them. They then went down an incline (apparently out of the enclosure Walton had been in) where Walton found him self in a large enclosure resembling a quarter of a cylinder. There were three or four oval-shaped metallic objects parked there (the same apparent metallic substance as everything else he had seen). He was led by the "man" (who was clad in a blue "jumpsuit" with a clear "helmet") through the enclosure, to another door into a room where there were three other human-appearing individuals-two men and a woman. They resembled the first, except that, although they wore the same clothing, they were without helmets.
They gestured to him to get upon a table. He resisted, but they eventually succeeded in their efforts and Travis reclined; an apparatus resembling an oxygen mask with a black ball attached was placed over his face and he lost consciousness.
Travis awoke about midnight about a quarter mile west of Heber, Arizona. He was lying on his stomach and raised up to watch the curved, metallic hull of an aircraft taking off straight up, reflecting the yellow stripe of the dividing line of the highway below.
What did Travis Walton see? What did he experience? Tests indicate that he has related his experience truthfully. - Coral Lorenzen, APRO
THE FINAL POLYGRAPH
The following report on the final polygraph examination of Travis Walton was actually sponsored by a skeptic, Jerry Black. The test was performed with the latest state of the art equipment, by Cy Gilson, the most highly respected polygraph expert.
February 4, 1993
Mr. Jerry Black
Dear Mr. Black,
On February 4, 1993, a polygraph examination was administered to Mr. Travis Walton. The purpose of this examination was to determine whether or not Mr. Walton was being truthful in his statement about seeing a UFO and being abducted by the UFO plus other facts surrounding the abduction.
During the pretest interview, Mr. Walton said he had worked for Mike Rogers intermittently for about six years on a seasonal basis. He never socialized with any of the crew.
On November 5, 1975, they had worked a little later than usual trying to meet the contract commitment. By the time they were driving back to town, the sun had gone down but there was some light, like twilight.
As they were driving, he could see a glimmer of light in the trees ahead. At first he thought it may be a downed airplane. The light was unusual. As they neared a clearing he saw the object he called a UFO. This object will be referred to as a UFO throughout this report.
As the truck came to a stop, Mr. Walton got out. Believing it may take off, he walked briskly towards the UFO but slowed his pace before reaching it. He described it as being round and hovering about 20 feet above the ground. He did not go underneath it but stood there looking up at it. He said the UFO started to wobble slightly and make a noise. Mr. Walton said the noise was like a low rumble that developed into a higher pitch that seemed to increase in frequency. At this point he became afraid and decided to go back to the truck. He recalls being hit with an electrifying type of shock that stunned him, leaving him unconscious.
He recalls he slowly regained consciousness. He found himself in a small room that was damp or humid. He had pain throughout his body but mostly in his chest and head. He then saw three creatures he described as being about four feet tall with large, dark eyes. He was lying on some type of table. As these creatures approached him he got off the table. There was some type of shelf near the wal1 where he found a straight pipelike object lying on it. He describes it as being round like a piece of pipe but lightweight. He cannot recall if it was solid or hollow. He picked it up and started to lash out at the creatures to keep them at bay. The creatures left the room by an open doorway, turning right.
Mr. Walton walked to that doorway, looked down a hall and he went left. He walked into another room, trying to find an exit from this enclosure. He did not know if he was in a spaceship or a building. A humanlike creature came into the room, took him by the arm, leading him to another very large room where several more humanlike creatures were. By this time most of the pain was gone. He was forced down on a table and had a mask, similar to an oxygen mask, put on his face. He does not remember anything else until he awoke next to the road, just outside Heber. As he regained consciousness, he looked up, seeing the UFO or one similar to the original one, hovering overhead. As he looked up at it, the UFO sped off into the sky.
Mr. Walton said his story is true. He said accusations made about him are lies. He had not been on any drugs of any kind. He was not hiding out somewhere on the Gibson ranch. He urinated in a jar and this sample was given to Dr. Kandell later that same day. Mr. Walton denies he conspired with Mr. Rogers to perpetrate a hoax to help him get out of the Turkey Springs contract with the Forestry Service.
Two series of questions were asked to cover all the areas we believe were important.
The relevant questions asked and the answers given are as follows:
On November 5, 1975, in the forest area called Turkey Springs, did you see a large glowing object hovering in the air?
While you were standing near that UFOlike object, did you believe you were struck by an energy source emitted from that large object?
After regaining consciousness in a small, humid room, did you see nonhuman creatures with large dark eyes?
Did you conspire with your brother Duane or anyone else or act alone to stage a hoax about your UFO abduction?
Between November 1 and 11, 1975, did you use any drugs, either legal or illegal?
Between November 5 and 10, 1975, were you hiding anywhere on the Gibson ranch?
Was the urine sample given to Dr. Kandell on November 11, 1975, your first voided specimen following your UFO experience?
Was this UFO incident a conspiracy to help Mike Rogers get out of his Turkey Springs contract?
Mr. Walton's physiological responses were monitored during the presentation of these questions by means of a Scientific Assessment Technology's Computer, Model CAPS 700. The following responses were recorded on this instrument's strip chart: relative blood pressure; skin conductance; thoracic and abdominal respiration. Data from three presentations of these questions were respiration. Data obtained for each series, and were subject to numerical scoring and computerbased analysis.
The numerical score of Series #1 was +34. The numerical score of Series #2 was +26. In the system of numerical scoring developed and validated at the University of Utah, total numerical scoring of +6 or more is considered indications of truthfulness.
The computerbased analysis returned a posterior probability of truthfulness of .964 in the first series, and a .961 in the second series. These indicating that charts like these produced in each series, by Mr. Walton, are produced by truthful examinees 96% of the time.
Based on the numerical score of the polygraph charts and the computer based analysis, it is the opinion of this examiner that Mr. Walton was being truthful when he answered these relevant questions.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - J.D. Mullane - After a day of cutting timber in the forests of the White Mountains in north central Arizona, seven men headed home in a work truck and noticed a strange light in the sky.
It illuminated the blackness of the forest, as the truck sped south toward the rim road. The men peered from the windows. They chattered. What is it? Strange, isn’t it? Looks like a crashed airplane hanging in the trees. Hurry up, get up to it!
They got to it, and one of the lumbermen, Travis Walton, 22 at the time, who lived in nearby Snowflake, jumped out and ran toward the light, which now appeared as a kind of fire in the sky.
What happened next has been debated by Walton’s critics and supporters since that Wednesday evening on Nov. 5, 1975. It is a tale so fantastic that it must be a hoax. Or not. Walton passed several polygraphs. He failed a couple, too.
Walton explained the events to a spellbound audience at the 50th UFO/ET Congress at the Ramada in Bordentown Township on Saturday.
“I ran from the truck, and the whole area was lit real weird,” he said.
Above him was some sort of disc-shaped craft. Around him was a gentle hum, a combination of highs and lows, he said. The men in the truck yelled for him to return.
The craft began to rise, and the hum grew louder.
“I jumped for cover,” Walton said.
The men in the truck saw a bolt of greenish-blue light shoot from the craft. It struck Walton on the chest. It appeared to lift him a foot or two from the ground, arms and legs hanging back, and then it threw him to the ground.
“I felt this electric shock going through me,” Walton said.
He was numb. He thought he was dead.
The men in the truck raced away, leaving Walton. A quarter-mile later, they stopped and discussed turning back to retrieve him.
They returned. The disc was gone. They searched for a half-hour but found no trace of Walton.
The men called the county sheriff and told him they believed Walton had been snatched by a UFO. The sheriff was convinced that the lumbermen had been drinking, got into a fight, killed Walton, and stashed his body in the woods.
A police search began but uncovered nothing. The authorities suspected foul play. Polygraphs were administered. All but one of the lumbermen passed the tests, and the one who failed did so because he walked out in the middle of questioning, fearing his criminal past would be exposed.
Meanwhile, Walton told the Bordentown Township audience that when he came to, he thought he was in a hospital, but he wasn’t.
“I was on my back in a lot of pain,” he said.
He saw three alien creatures. They were short, with large heads and huge black eyes. Their eyes bore through him, and it’s mostly what haunts him most, he said.
Walton said he jumped from the table, grabbing a clear glass rod from a nearby shelf as a weapon. He ran, searching for a way out. He met another alien, but this one looked human. He shouted questions but got only silence.
In a large room, he was forced onto another table, and another human figure, a female, attempted to put an oxygen-type mask over his face. He blacked out, he said.
When he awoke, it was five days later and he was crumpled at the bottom of a public phone booth in Heber, Ariz.
He was thin and unshaven. No drugs were found in him. He offered to take a private lie-detector test for the county sheriff, but this was canceled when it was leaked to the media (probably by the sheriff).
It was an international sensation, but Walton did not seek celebrity. He attempted to return to a normal life in Snowflake and, like the other lumbermen, rarely granted interviews.
He married and had four children and worked in a paper mill. In 1978, he published his account, “The Walton Experience,” which was made into the 1993 movie “Fire in the Sky.”
Walton retired three years ago and is updating his book. Accompanying him to the Bordentown conference was Steve Pierce, among the eyewitnesses in the truck that night, and today a retired long-haul trucker from Cheyenne, Wyo.
“The police thought we killed Travis, and I can’t blame them. Who’d believe us?” Pierce said.
He said Walton’s chief critic, the late writer and UFO debunker Philip J. Klass, offered him $10,000 to say it was a hoax.
“I wouldn’t do it. I saw what I saw,” he said.
Walton told the audience at the Ramada that he is convinced he had an alien abduction experience.
But he’s wary of others who claim the same. He believes most UFO sightings and lights in the sky are “mostly our own stuff.”
But not the light that appeared in the Arizona wilderness long ago.
“I am absolutely certain,” he said, “that I and six other people saw something that was not of this Earth.” - phillyburbs
TRAVIS WALTON'S OFFICIAL WEBSITE
Link to the abduction scene in Fire in the Sky
Travis Walton's video statement
Travis Walton explaining inside the spacecraft
NOTE: I have written about this case previously though personally, I still have lingering doubts. There were many nagging irregularities that tossed a monkey-wrench into the mix. I have listened to Walton's explanations and presentations over the years and I always walked away feeling like something is amiss.
So what happened to Travis Walton in the mountains of Arizona in 1975? The horrific on-craft alien encounter depicted in the Fire in the Sky film is almost entirely a fictional account. Walton's actual memories of his experience include a frightening but brief and benign confrontation with alien beings with large eyes and distinct pupils. This was followed by an encounter with odd looking humans who escorted and tranquilized him. This was his basic description of events while under regression hypnosis.
I don't feel Walton and his companions were being intentionally untruthful. I sincerely think something happened that evening...but I feel that there was some misinterpretations along the way...Lon
Reality UFO Series - The Travis Walton Story