The alleged alien abduction of Travis Walton in northeastern Arizona is the most well-documented UFO case of all time and inspired the 1993 major motion picture, Fire in the Sky.
(Image credit: Bigstock/AngeloDeVal)
(Image credit: Bigstock/AngeloDeVal)
Just an Ordinary Day
At the end of a long day cutting wood in Arizona's Sitgreave's National Forest, six men were heading home when suddenly, the entire logging crew noticed a bright light in the sky that they initially believed to be a forest fire. It soon became apparent, however, that as this brilliant yellowish light approached the truck, it definitely wasn't a forest fire. As everyone else was trying to figure out what they seeing, twenty-two year old Travis Walton fearlessly exited the vehicle to get an even better look, despite his friends begging him not to.
Just outside to the right of their truck was a golden flying saucer, hovering silently just twenty feet above the ground. The golden craft, described as being only 15 or 20 feet in diameter, emitted a soft yellow light that illuminated the nearby trees and brush with a glow of otherworldly hues. Although the disc wasn't making loud noises like a jet engine would, as Travis got closer to the craft, he claims to have remembered hearing both high-pitched beeping and mechanical tones, which were combined with a low rumbling sound of heavy machinery.
As the men inside the truck were screaming for Travis to get away from the UFO, suddenly the craft began vibrate and wobble violently, as if some engines had just been fired up. Immediately, Travis recalls being struck by an intense ray of bright blue-green light which rendered him unconcious. Meanwhile, the men in the truck reported seeing Travis being lifted up from off the ground by the light beam, and was then thrown through the air backwards. He landed ten feet away, motionless on the ground.
Believing that Travis might be dead, and struck with fear that the UFO would attack them next, the men decided to flee the scene as quickly as possible. In a state of pandemonium, the remaining loggers were screaming, arguing and terrified at what they had just witnessed. After they had gotten far enough away to the point where the glowing lights could no longer be seen, the men recomposed themselves and decided that they needed to go back for their friend, whom they had left lying on the ground. When they returned to the site of what they believed was an attack, Travis was nowhere to be found. The nightmarish scenario was just beginning for both Travis and his logging crew. Travis believes he was aboard the craft and meanwhile, the woodsmen were coming to the realization that this unbelievable incident would have to be reported to the authorities.
The UFO, as described by Travis and his logging crew, was shaped like two pie pans placed lip-to-lip, gold in color, and emitted a soft yellow light.
(Image license: CC BY-NC 4.0 )
(Image license: CC BY-NC 4.0 )
When Travis finally regained consciousness, he says that felt dehydrated, weak and in great pain. At first he believed that he was in the hospital, but suddenly as he saw three humanoid beings with pale white skin and large, dark quarter-shaped eyes, all wearing orange gowns, he realized he wasn't in Arizona anymore. Travis says he remembers throwing a fit, screaming, and asking a multitude of questions, but at no time did any of the three beings ever speak.
After the beings had left the room, Travis was left alone with an incredible sense of determination to escape. Apparently, the aliens had given him free rein to explore the craft, even the control area. Travis claims that he can remember seeing a chair and playing with a strange lever that apparently controlled the speed and diretion of the craft. Realizing that he could become lost or worse--crash the ship--he decided not to touch any of the other controls.
Human Aliens Aboard a Mothership
Suddenly, standing in the doorway was what Travis described as a human being. Travis described him as a man of about six feet two inches tall and weighed approximately two hundred pounds. He wore a helmet and a blue space suit with black boots, but just like the three entities before him, he uttered not a single word. The man led Travis through a series of corridors and rooms, until they descended a ramp into a larger area that contained even more crafts. Was Travis inside of a mothership?
As Travis continued to walk through rooms and hallways, his attention to his surroundings shifted when he was met by three additional humans, two men and a women, all extremely good-looking, muscular, with perfect skin and all wearing those same blue space suits. As he tried to ask him who they were, where he was, and what they planned on doing to him, they put him on a large table and the woman covered his face with soemthing like a gas mask, without the tubes. Travis lost consciousness and woke up on cold pavement west of Heber, Arizona. A search for him had been underway for five days already.
Members of his logging crew claim to have been present at the time that Travis was abducted, and they all report witnessing a flying saucer immersing Travis in blinding flash of light. In addition, Travis did pass a police polygraph examination after his return, and all but one member of the logging crew that he was with at the time of his alleged abduction passed as well. The one exception yielded an inconclusive result. However, this didn't stop some of the local residents and investigators from thinking that this entire incident was one big, elaborate hoax.
Fact or Fiction?
Skeptics point to inconsistencies between the different times that the polygraph tests were administered. The men took the polygraph on three separate occasions, and it was administered by different people. On the first polygraph exam, they failed the test. On the second exam, they passed, but one member of the group got an inconclusive result. The test was administered a third time by a group that investigated UFO sightings, and the results were inconclusive. Some have also suggested that Travis may have been influenced by a television movie about the Barney and Betty Hill abduction, The UFO Incident, which aired only two weeks prior to the Travis Walton abduction.
Travis Walton wrote a book about the incident, The Walton Experience, and this book has been read by many people who are interested in the UFO phenomenon. A Hollywood film was made based on the incident, Fire in the Sky (1993), but fans of the movie will notice that the film's storyline is at great odds with the description of the event summarized here. Travis explains that the film's plot varies from the original encounter because he had no control over decisions that were made by the film's producers.
In the film, the aliens apparently performed medical experiments on Travis, considering him to be a random population sample. In actuality, however, Travis doesn't believe that he was abducted by aliens for malevolent purposes, and he does not believe that the aliens targeted or chose him personally in any way. Instead, he believes that he was severly injured when he was hit by the initial beam of light. As a result of his injuries, he was brought aboard the flying saucer so that the aliens could perform the medical procedures that were necessary to save his life. On the other hand, it is certainly possible that he was abducted as a random test subject.
Travis Walton has never wavered from his description of the events. Some people choose to believe him, and others do not. Regardless of what the actual truth may be, the fact remains that Travis Walton UFO incident continues to be one of the most famous alien abduction stories ever told.