Travis Walton UFO Abductee
Best-Known Instances of Alleged Alien Abduction

Travis Walton UFO Abductee Explaining inside the Spacecraft
Best-Known Instances of Alleged Alien Abduction

Travis Walton was with some logger buddies when they came across a strange craft in the forest. Walton approached it and was thrown into the air by some force from the craft. His friends panicked and drove away. They came back to find him, but Walton and the UFO were no where to be found.

The event was well documented and is one of the best cases for the evidence of the phenomena. A hit movie titled "Fire in the Sky" was made based on this event. In this interview Travis discusses what he experienced apparently aboard a spaceship.

Travis Walton (born April 23 1957) is an American logger who claims to have been abducted by a UFO on November 5th, 1975, while working with a logging crew in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona.

Walton could not be found, but reappeared after five days of intensive searches.

The Walton case received considerable mainstream publicity and remains one of the best-known instances of alleged alien abduction.

UFO historian Jerome Clark writes that "Few abduction reports have generated as much controversy" as the Walton case.

It is furthermore one of the very few alien abduction cases with corroborative eyewitnesses, and one of few abduction cases where the time allegedly spent in the custody of aliens plays a rather minor role in the overall account.

UFO researchers Jenny Randles and Peter Houghe write that "Neither before or since has an abduction story" begun in the manner related by Walton and his coworkers. Furthermore, the Walton case is singular in that "the victim vanished for days on end with police squads out searching ... it is an atypical "Close Encounter: Fourth Kind" (CE4) ... which bucks the trend so much that it worried some investigators; others defend it staunchly."

The case began on Wednesday, November 5, 1975, then, 19 year old Walton was employed by Mike Rogers, who had for some nine years contracted with the United States Forest Service for various duties. Rogers and Walton were best friends; Travis was dating Rogers' sister Dana, whom he would later marry.

The other men on the crew were Ken Peterson, John Goulette, Steve Pierce, Allen Dallis and Dwayne Smith; they all lived in the small town of Snowflake, Arizona.Rogers was hired to thin out scrub brush and other undergrowth from a large area (more than 1,200 acres) near Turkey Springs, Arizona.

The job was the most lucrative contract Rogers had received from the Forest Service, but his crew was behind schedule. As a result, they were working long shifts to fulfill the contract, typically from 6 a.m. until sunset.

A little after 6 p.m. on the evening of November 5, Rogers and his crew finished their work for the day and piled into Rogers’ truck for the drive back to Snowflake. Shortly after beginning the drive home, the crew reported that they saw a bright light from behind an upcoming hill.

They drove closer and say they saw a large silvery disc hovering above a clearing and shining brightly. It was around 8 feet (2.4 m) high and 20 feet (6.1 m) in diameter. Rogers slowed the truck to a stop, and then they claimed Walton leapt from the truck and ran toward the disc.

Just after Walton moved away from the disc, the others insist they saw a beam of blue-green light emanate from the disc and “strike Travis”.

Travis "rose a foot into the air, his arms and legs outstretched, and shot back stiffly some 10 feet (3.0 m), all the while caught in the glow of the light.

His right shoulder hit the earth, and his body sprawled limply over the ground.”

The other men say they shouted at Walton to come back but that he continued toward the disc. He was nearly below the object, when the men in the truck reported that the disc began making noises similar to a very loud turbine. The disc then began to wobble from side to side, and Walton began to cautiously walk away from the object.

Jerome Clark wrote that just after Walton moved away from the disc, the others insist they saw a beam of blue-green light emanate from the disc and “strike Travis”. Clark went on to write that Travis "rose a foot into the air, his arms and legs outstretched, and shot back stiffly some 10 feet (3.0 m), all the while caught in the glow of the light. His right shoulder hit the earth, and his body sprawled limply over the ground.”

Rogers later said he was convinced Walton was dead, so he drove away very quickly over the rough road, afraid that the disc was chasing the truck. After about a quarter-mile, the truck skidded off the road and Rogers stopped.

After some discussion, the crew claim they decided to go back to the site and find Walton. The disc was gone, and his co-workers said they searched for Walton for a half hour but found no sign of him.

About 7:30 p.m., Peterson called police from Heber, Arizona, near Snowflake. Deputy Sheriff Chuck Ellison answered the telephone; Peterson initially reported only that one of a logging crew was missing.

Ellison then met the crew at a shopping center. They related the tale to him — all the men distraught, two of them in tears — and though he was somewhat skeptical of the fantastic account, Ellison would later reflect "that if they were acting, they were awfully good at it.”

Ellison notified his superior — Sheriff Marlin Gillespie — who told Ellison to keep the crew in Heber until he could arrive with Officer Ken Coplan to interview the men. In less than an hour, Gillespie and Coplan arrived, and they heard the tale from the crew. Rogers insisted on returning to the scene immediately to search for Walton, with tracking dogs, if possible.

No dogs were available, but the police and some of the crew returned to the scene. (Crew members Smith, Pierce and Goulette were too upset to be of much help in a search, so they elected to return to Snowflake and relate the bad news to friends and family.)

Back at the scene, the law enforcement officers became suspicious of the story related by the crew, mainly because there was nothing in the way of physical evidence to back up the account.

Though more police and volunteers arrived to search the area, they found not a trace of Walton.

Winter nights could be bitterly cold in the mountains, and Walton had worn only jeans, a denim jacket and a shirt; police were worried that Walton could fall victim to hypothermia if he were lost.

Rogers and Sheriff Coplan went to tell the news to Walton's mother, Mary Walton Kellett, who lived on a small ranch at Bear Creek, some 10 miles (16 km) from Snowflake.

Rogers told her what had happened, and she asked him to repeat the account. She then asked calmly if anyone other than the police and the eyewitnesses had heard the story.

Coplan thought her reserved response was odd; this factor contributed to the growing suspicion among police that something other than a UFO was responsible for Walton’s absence.

On the other hand, Clark noted that Kellett was known as being generally guarded, and had furthermore raised six children largely by herself under often trying circumstances, which "had long since taught her to not to fly to pieces in the face of crises and tragedies. Yet in the days ahead, as events overwhelmed her, she would show emotion before friends, acquaintances and strangers alike — a fact that would go unmentioned in debunking treatments of the Walton episode."

About 3 a.m., Kellett telephoned Duane Walton, her second-oldest child. He quickly left his home in Glendale, Arizona, and drove to Snowflake.By the morning of November 6, many officials and volunteers had scoured the area around the scene where Travis went missing. Still no trace of him was discovered, and police suspicions were growing that the UFO tale was concocted to cover up an accident or homicide.

Saturday morning, Rogers and Duane Walton arrived at Sheriff Gillespie’s office "explosively angry" because they had returned to the scene and found no police there. By that afternoon, police were searching for Travis with helicopters, horse-mounted officers, and jeeps.

On Monday, November 10th, all of Rogers’ remaining crew took polygraph  examinations administered by Cy Gilson, an Arizona Department of Public Safety employee.

His questions asked if any of the men caused harm to Travis (or knew who had caused Travis harm), if they knew where Travis’s body was buried, and if they told the truth about seeing a UFO.

The men all denied harming Travis (or knowing who had harmed him), denied knowing where his body was, and insisted they had indeed seen a UFO.

Excepting Dallis (who had not completed his exam, thus rendering it invalid), Gilson concluded that all the men were truthful, and the exam results were conclusive. Clark quotes from Gilson’s official report:

"These polygraph examinations prove that these five men did see some object they believed to be a UFO, and that Travis Walton was not injured or murdered by any of these men on that Wednesday".

If the UFO was hoaxed, Gilson thought, “five of these men had no prior knowledge of a hoax”. Dallis later admitted that he'd concealed a criminal record to obtain his job with Rogers, and fear of this lie being exposed was why he'd walked out of the polygraph exam.

Following the polygraph tests, Sheriff Gillespie announced that he accepted the UFO story, saying "There’s no doubt they’re telling the truth." Flake was unpersuaded; he once appeared at Kellett’s home with a television camera crew, hoping to discover Travis hiding there.

Just before midnight on Monday, November 10th, Grant Neff reported that he answered his home telephone in Taylor, Arizona, a few miles from Snowflake (Neff was married to Travis’ sister Alison). The caller spoke in a weak voice, "This is Travis. I’m at a phone booth at the Heber gas station, and I need help. Come and get me."

Initially, Neff says he thought the caller was another prankster. Before Neff could hang up the telephone, however, the caller spoke again, nearly hysterical and screaming, “It’s me, Grant ... I’m hurt, and I need help badly. You come and get me.” Neff reconsidered the caller’s identity: his panic seemed genuine to Neff, so Neff and Duane Walton drove to the gas station.

They reported they found Travis there, collapsed in the second of three
telephone booths. He wore the same clothing as when he’d disappeared — still inadequate, the temperature was about 20 °F (−7 °C) — and he seemed thinner and to have not shaved in the time he was absent.

On the drive back to Snowflake, Travis seemed afraid, shaken, anxious and repeatedly mumbled on about beings with terrifying eyes.

He thought he’d been gone only a few hours; when he learned he’d been absent nearly a week, he seemed stunned and stopped speaking at all. Duane Walton said he decided not to reveal Travis’ return immediately, out of concern for his brother’s apparently fragile condition. By not notifying authorities, however, Duane would face charges that he was complicit in a cover-up of evidence he or Travis might not want police to see.

At his mother’s house, Travis said he bathed and tried to eat but was unable to keep from vomiting even after eating mild foods. As Spaulding had suggested, Duane told Travis to keep a sample of his first urination following his return.

Following a tip from a telephone company employee about 2:30 a.m., police learned that someone had called the Neff family from a pay phone at the Heber gas station. Gillespie sent two Deputies to dust the booths for fingerprints, but as near as the deputies could tell in the dark, none of the prints were Travis'.

This fact would be noted by critics who thought the entire affair was a hoax, while supporters argued that a fingerprint examination carried out in the dark, early morning hours by two sheriffs wielding flashlights was hardly ideal and by no means exhaustive.

Duane remembered Spaulding's promise of a confidential medical examination. Without having notified authorities of Travis's return, Duane drove him to Phoenix, Arizona, late Tuesday morning, where they were to meet with Dr. Lester Steward. The Waltons reported that they were disappointed to learn that Steward was not a medical doctor as Spaulding had promised, but a hypnotherapist.

Spaulding and Steward would later report that the Waltons had stayed with them for over two hours, while the Waltons insist they were at Steward’s office for, at most, 45 minutes, most of which was occupied with trying to determine the nature of Steward’s qualifications. The precise time spent with Steward would later become an issue in the case.

Terry Matheson writes that "Walton’s experience stands out by virtue of its
not being particularly bizarre as far as abduction accounts go."

In his survey of UFO abduction literature, Terry Matheson  writes that "Walton’s experience stands out by virtue of its not being particularly bizarre as far as abduction accounts go." Travis reported that after approaching the UFO near the work site, the last thing he remembered was being struck by the beam of light. When he woke, Travis said he was on a reclined bed.

A bright light shone above him, and the air was heavy and wet. He was in pain, and had some trouble breathing, but his first thought was that he was in a normal hospital. As his faculties returned, Travis says he realized he was surrounded by three figures, each wearing a sort of orange jumpsuit.

The figures were not human; Travis described them as similar to the so-called Greys which feature in some abduction accounts: "shorter than five feet, and they had bald heads, no hair. Their heads were domed, very large. They looked like fetuses ... They had large eyes — enormous eyes — almost all brown, without much white in them.

"The creepiest thing about them were those eyes ... they just stared through me." Their ears, noses and mouths "seemed real small, maybe just because their eyes were so huge."

Afraid for his safety, Travis says he got to his feet, and shouted at the creatures to stay away.

He grabbed a glasslike cylinder from a nearby shelf and tried to break its tip to create a makeshift knife, but found the object unbreakable, so instead waved it at the creatures as a weapon. The trio of creatures left him in the room.

Matheson finds this portion of the narrative troublingly inconsistent, noting that "despite his 'weakened' condition, 'aching body' and 'splitting pain in his skull', maladies for which no cause is suggested, he has no trouble jumping up from his operating table, seizing a conveniently placed glasslike rod, and, assuming a karate 'fighting stance', frightened them with this display of macho aggression, enough at least to cause them to run away."

Travis then left this "exam room" via a hallway, which led to a round, spherical room with only a high-backed chair placed in the room's center. Though he was afraid there might be someone seated in the chair, Travis says he walked towards it.

As he did, lights began to appear in the room. The chair was empty, so Travis says he sat in it. When he did, the room was filled with lights, similar to stars projected on a round planetarium ceiling. The chair was equipped on the left arm with a single short thick lever with an oddly shaped molded handle atop some dark brown material.

On the right arm, there was an illuminated, lime-green screen about five inches square with black lines intersected at all angles. When Travis pushed the lever, he reported that the stars rotated around him slowly. When he released the lever, the stars remained at their new position.

He decided to stop manipulating the lever, since he had no idea what it might do.He left the chair, and the stars disappeared. Travis thought he had seen a rectangular outline on the rounded wall — perhaps a door — and went to look for it.

Just then, Travis heard a sound behind him. He turned, expecting more of the short, large eyed creatures, but was pleasantly surprised to see a tall human figure wearing blue coveralls with a glassy helmet. At the time, Travis said, he did not realize how odd the man's eyes were: larger than normal, and a bright gold color.

Travis says he then asked the man a number of questions, but the man only grinned and motioned for Travis to follow him. Travis also said that because of the man’s helmet he might have been unable to hear him, so he followed the man down a hallway which led to a door and a steep ramp down to a large room Travis described as similar to an aircraft hangar.

Travis says he realized he’d just left a disc-shaped craft similar to the one he’d seen in the
forest just before he’d been struck by the bluish light, but the craft was perhaps twice as large. In the hangar-like room, Travis reported seeing other disc-shaped craft.

The man led him to another room, containing three more humans — a woman and two men — resembling the helmeted man. These people did not wear helmets, so Travis says he began asking questions of them. They responded with the same dull grin, and led him by his arm to a small table.

Once he was seated on the table, Travis says he realized the woman held a device like an oxygen mask, which she placed on his face. Before he could fight back, Travis says he passed out.

When he woke again, Travis says he was outside the gas station in Heber, Arizona. One of the disc-shaped craft was hovering just above the highway. After a moment, the craft shot away, and Travis stumbled to the telephones and called his brother-in-law, Grant Neff. He thought that only a few hours had passed.

After hearing Travis’s story, Gillespie speculated that Travis may have been hit on the head and drugged, then taken to a normal hospital where he had confused the details of a routine exam with something more spectacular. Travis dismissed this, noting that the medical examination had found no trace of head trauma or drugs in his system.

Travis told Sheriff Gillespie that he was willing to take a polygraph, a truth serum, or undergo hypnosis to support his account. Gillespie said that a polygraph would suffice, and he promised to arrange one in secret to avoid the growing media circus. Duane and Travis then drove to Scottsdale, Arizona, where a meeting with APRO consultant James A. Harder had been arranged.

Harder hypnotized Travis, hoping to uncover more details of the missing five days.
Clark writes that:

"Unlike many other abductees, however, Walton’s conscious recall and unconscious
'memory' were the same, and he could account for only a maximum of two hours, and
perhaps less, of his missing five days. Curiously ... Walton encountered an impenetrable
mental block and expressed the view that he would 'die' if the regression continued."

In 1978, Walton published The Walton Experience, in which he outlined his own narrative of the event and its aftermath. The same year, Bill Barry published The Ultimate Encounter, in which he argues that the various debunkers, especially Klass, did not make persuasive cases, and that Walton and others claiming similar experiences expressed events more or less as they believed they’d happened.

Matheson argues that Walton's book makes a few fundamental errors that severely harm his case.

While Travis "proclaims self-righteously" that he intends only to relate events and not "interpret" them, Matheson writes that "the reader will see almost immediately that large sections of the book are nothing more than highly speculative, purely imaginative recreations on his part".

For example, after he is knocked unconscious by the blue beam, Walton offers precise, novelistic dialogue describing the conversations of his fellow crew workers after they drove away in a panic.

Yet Walton never mentions if he is paraphrasing their words based on what they related to him, if he interviewed the others to determine who said what, or if he simply assumed what they said. Matheson argues this represents a "lack of concern for literal accuracy that the reader cannot help but suspect is characteristic of the entire work".

After the initial furor subsided, Walton remained in Snowflake and eventually became the foreman at a lumber mill; he married Dana Rogers and they had several children. Beyond the film based on his encounter, Travis has occasionally appeared at UFO conventions or on television specials.

Fire in the Sky is a 1993 film based on an alleged real-life extraterrestrial encounter, directed  by Robert Lieberman, and written by Travis Walton (from his book The Walton Experience) from a Tracy Tormé (screenplay).

The film stars Robert Patrick in the leading role as Walton's best friend and future brother-in-law, Mike Rogers, and D. B. Sweeney as Walton himself. James Garner, Craig Sheffer, Henry Thomas, and Peter Berg also star in the film.

In 1993, Walton’s book was adapted into a film, Fire in the Sky, directed by Robert Lieberman and starring D. B. Sweeney as Travis Walton and Robert Patrick as Mike Rogers.

Clark writes that the film found "Moderate success, mixed reviews, and ufologists’ complaints about its inaccuracies and exaggerations." Especially inaccurate was the portion of the film detailing his time on the UFO; it bears almost no resemblance to the original narrative.

Screenwriter Tracy Tormé even sent letters to many ufologists, claiming that the changes were requested by studio officials, and apologizing for making such substantial alterations to Walton's narrative. Walton and Mike Rogers made a few promotional appearances to support the film; they debated Klass on Larry King Live; at one point, Klass lost his temper and called Rogers a "goddamned liar."

In his book, Clark does not offer any background context to explain Klass's remark on Larry King Live. In the renewed publicity generated by the motion picture, Walton, Mike Rogers and Allen Dallis agreed to take polygraph examinations at the behest of "a skeptical ufologist, Jerry Black".

Again, the tests were conducted by Cy Gilson, and the men all asserted that the events as they related them were true. Gilson concluded that all three men were truthful in regards to their responses about the events of November 5, 1975. At the time of the film's release, Walton re-issued The Walton Experience under the same title as the film; expanding it to include text rebutting Klass's commentary.