Travis Walton - Alien Abduction UFO case - or not?



Travis Walton would have to be one of the most well known alien abductee cases. His story has been widely publicised, you can visit his website to see just what a huge story this has become and how Travis is enjoying the ongoing limelight caused by what he claims happened to him. Click here to visit his website.

A well known film called "Fire in the Sky" based on his book of the same title was released in 1993 by Paramount pictures. The film was loosely based on his story and Travis gained a huge amount of followers and believers after the film was released. His story also came under extreme scrutiny from professional investigators and other experts. It was soon publicised that all was not as it seems with the Travis Walton Case.

Fire in the Sky - Travis Walton Book

You can still buy the book "Fire in the Sky" - visit Travis Walton's website to find out where you can get it and read excerpts from it. He also does regular book signings and appearances.


November 5th, 1975 was a bad day for Travis Walton. He claims that he was abducted by an alien spacecraft when returning home from work where he was logging in Turkey Springs, Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizonia, USA.
Himself and his fellow 6 workmates were driving down a logging trail in the middle of dense forest at approximately 6.00pm when they claim to have happened upon the UFO, saucer shaped object hovering over a slash pile of cut timber in a clearing. Allen Dalis (one of waltons companions) and Travis were both witnesses to this strange object. Walton jumped out of the truck and ran towards the object (don't ask why) which was emitting a yllowish light. The object sent forth a flash of brilliant blue/green light which knocked the socks off Travis and blew him backwards about 10 feet. Mike Rogers who was the driver of the truck was in a mad panic and sped off leaving Travis behind to fend for himself.

Rogers drove madly until he reached the first town they came too which was Herber. Rogers then contacted Undersheriff L.C. Ellison who met with them in the willage. Rogers and the rest of the crew told of their story and Ellison then contacted Navajo County Seriff Marlin Gillespie.
Gillespie, his deputy Kenneth Coplan, Ellison and two of the crew members all returned back to the site to search for Travis Walton - they left three crew members behind who were to frightened to return back into the forest.

After abandoning the search at approx. 1.30am Coplan and Rogers went to notify Walton's mother, Mary Kellett of Travis's dissapearance. Mrs Kellett's response to the news was "Well, that's the way these things happen". She was far too calm and continued on to describe UFO sightings that both herself and her oldest son, Duane had encountered in the past.

At approx 3.00am that same morning Mrs. Kellett then told Travis's sister, Mrs. Grant Neff, that "a flying saucer got him". Coplan was also surprised to see another very calm and low key response by Travis's relatives to the unusual news.

When daylight broke an extensive search of the area where Travis dissappeared took place. There was no physical evidence of anything at all happening, this was unusual as the searchers expected to find .......well something...........especially when a blue green force had apparently knocked Travis off his feet right where he stood. There was no blood, no burn marks......there was absolutely nothing.
November 7th, two days after the reported incident and the police were starting to speculate that Travis had been murdered by his co-workers. Walton's other brother Donald also hinted that he thought the UFO story was a coverup by the co-workers for something else.
The co-workers denied any wrong doing and freely offered themselves up for polygraph (lie detector) examinations the following Monday, November 10th.
During these exams, C.E. Gilson of the Arizona Department of Public Safety asked four "relevant" questions' three of which dealt with whether Travis Walton had been seriouslly injured or killed by one or more of the crew members. The fourth question, added at the last minute, was: "Did you tell the truth about actually seeing a UFO last Wednesday when Travis Walton disappeared?".
As often claimed the tests weren't ALL inconclusive. The six crew members were unanimoous in their responses: "No" to the first three questions and "Yest" to the last. Five were judged to be truthful, results on the sixth (Allen Dalis- who claimed to witness the saucer shaped object with Travis) were "inconclusive."
In his formal written report, Gilson said, "The polygraph examinations prove that these five men did see some object that they believe to be a UFO and that Travis Walton was not injured or murdered by any of these men, on that Wednesday (5 November 1975). If an actual UFO did not exist and the UFO is a man made hoax, five of these men had no prior knowledge of a hoax. No such determination can be made of the sixth man whose test results were inconclusive."
So was Rogers in on the hoax too?

The following Saturday, November 8th, a Phoenix UFOlogist by the name of Fred Sylvanus interviewed both Rogers and Duane Walton. The tape of his conversation reveals several striking details
Not once during the entire sixty-five minute interview did Duane or Rogers express any concern over Travis's well-being. Rogres described the UFO as "beautiful." Duane stated he had been seeing UFO's for the past "ten or twelve years. I've been seeing them all the time." He also stated that he and Walton had made an agreement to "immediately get as directly under the object as physically possible" if one of them ever saw a UFO. Duane went on to state that he felt Walton was "having the experience of a lifetime".

The reappearance of Travis Walton was just as strange as his mysterious dissapearance. Calling his sister collect after midnight on the 10th November, Travis was in a dazed and confused state and begged for help when his sister's husband answered the phone. Grant Neff then picked up Duane Walton and the two of them drove to Heber to pick up Travis after informing his mother of the call.

The telephone operator who handled the call took it upon herself to call Sheriff Gillespie and notify him of Travis's reappearance. Gillespie then called Deputy Glen Flake and asked him to watchout for the men returning back to their homes in Snowflake and to get them in for questioning.

Flake missed the three as they passed by and went to Travis's mothers house to track them down. It was approx 2.00am in the morning but the lights were on and Duane was outside siphoning gas from one car to another. The unusual thing was that Duane made no mention of Travis and his sudden return, he did not inform Flak that Travis was inside and had already been examined by Duane. Flake withheld the information that had been passed along to him via the telephone operators call to the Sherriff.

Duane claimed that that during his exam of Travis he found no bruises, burns, or evidence of any physical injury except for a red mark on the inside of Walton's right elbow. Strange to find no evidence of harm that might of been caused by the impact of the beam of blue-green light that blew him 10 feet backwards.

Duane still took Travis to the local Doctor's office in Phoenix after the deputy had left. They made some sort of attempt to see a hypnotherapist, but Duane backed out saying that Travis was not ready for regressive hypnosis (pushy bugger isn't he?).

Finally on the 11th November a cursory exam by two doctors was performed. They found no evidence of physical injury, except for the mark on Walton's arm. One of the doctors compared it to a puncture mark such as someone would make when taking a blood sample. He also noted that Walton had claimed he had not noticed it before, in spite of the fat that Duane and the previously seen hypnotherapist had both pointed it out to Walton before.

One thing that really was amiss with Walton was his urine sample. There were no traces of drugs and also no trace of Acetone. A common waste product that would appear in the urine of anyone who had been starved of food and water for more than a couple of days.

The National Enquirer suddenly became interested and involved in the Travis Walton case. They paid for Duane and Walton's expenses in a local hotel in exchange for exclusive rights to their story.

Duane finally called up Sheriff Gillespie and informed him of Walton's reappearance, he lied and said they were in Tucson getting a check-up for Walton. He also changed the story a bit later on saying they were in a private home in Phoenix. Gillespie finally convinced Duane to let him interview Walton.
The Walton's refused to allow Gillespie to tape the interview, but Travis did eventually agree to a polygraph exam later in the week.

Finally the story was starting to appear in the local newspapers - a lot of lies and inconsistensies suddenly appeared - Duane was quoted as saying that he wasn't a UFO buff and "neither is my brother".

The Polygraph test that Gillespie had scheduled for Travis on November 14th didn't happen, Travis choose not to show up for it - his excuse was that the press had "Laid siege" and Duane didn't feel that Travis was really to face the press. Pretty weird since they'd been dealing with the National Enquirer (and given exclusive rights to) for quite a while now. It never occurred to Duane to make an excuse as to why the Polygrapher couldn't come to them...............

There is a large amount of further evidence to prove that the entire UFO abduction case is just a flat out lie/hoax.

Further polygraph tests organized by various teams for Travis Walton, Mike Rogers (the driver with the inconclusive original Polygraph test) and Duane Walton proved to be both incorrectly carried out and extremely flawed. Walton at times was allowed to dictate the number and type of questions asked, which should of rendered the entire thing invalid immediately. The Polygraph examiner was a man named George Pfeiffer, a relatively unexperienced polygraher as he'd only been doing it for two years; upon asking Travis at one point if "Before November 5, 1975, were you a UFO buff?" to which Travis gave a "no" answer he judged this answer as a truthfull answer. Even though it was well documented by his mother and his brother Duane that he was indeed a UFO buff.

George Pfeiffer's employer and Superior Tom Ezell later reviewed the polygraph charts and openly concluded that it was impossible to determine if Walton and Duane were answering the test questions truthfully. Ezell went on to state "Upon review of this examination, I find that to me it is not acceptable. In the first place I would not be a party to an examination in which the subject dictated the questions to be asked.....Because of the dictation of the questions to be asked, this test should be invalidated. Also, upon examining the resultant charts, I find that I cannot give an opinion one way or another whether the subjects had been truthful or not."

Walton claims that this is a lie detector test that he passed.

It was later revealed that Walton had actually failed an earlier polygraph examination miserably. This information had been covered up by the APRO (Aerial Phenomena Research Organization) who had been claiming the Walton case to be "one of the most important and intriguing in the history of the UFO phenomena."..........Bit embarrasing eh?. The earlier failed polygraph exam was carried out by an extremely experienced Polygrapher. His report........"Gross deception." He was then asked to never speak of this exam by the National Enquirer and APRO.

Some of the above and below information was obtained and used from:
EBE - Extraterrestrial Biological Entry Online
The Georgia Skeptic
March/April, 1993

"Fire in the Sky"
The Walton Travesty by Anson Kennedy

The details of the Walton hoax, and its associated cover-up, can be found in chapters 18-23 of Klass' book UFOs The Public Deceived (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1983).

If the case is a hoax, what possible motivation could Walton and the others have? Two possibilities have been identified: every year, the National Enquirer offered a multi-thousand dollar award for the "Best Case" of the year (up to $100,000 for "positive proof" of ET). Walton and the other crew members divided a $5000 award from the National Enquirer. The second, and more compelling, motive involved a contract Rogers had with the U.S. Forest Service. Rogers had contracted with the Service to thin out the Turkey Springs area over a year before Walton's experience. He won the contract when he submitted the low bid of $24.70/acre in June of 1974. The contract term was 200 working days ("working days" to allow for bad weather and the long mountain winter) to thin 1277 acres, later reduced to 1205 acres. Rogers was seriously behind schedule and in fact had received an eighty-four day extension (accompanied with a $1.00 per acre penalty for missing the completion date). Only five days of this extension remained at the time of Walton's alleged abduction. At the time of Walton's disappearance, Rogers was in serious trouble: he had over a hundred acres left to finish in five days or he would default on the contract and lose some $2500 -- money sorely needed to get through the winter months -- or he request a second extension and accept another penalty for failing to finish on schedule a second time.

Just two weeks prior to Walton's disappearance, NBC-TV aired a two hour movie featuring the abduction tale of Betty and Barney Hill. Rogers has acknowledged watching the first portion of the movie, the portion that detailed the Hills' "abduction." Klass speculates in his book that "to a man facing two unattractive alternatives on his Turkey Springs contract, the account of the Hills' 'UFO-abduction' could easily suggest a third." By making Turkey Springs the site of an alien abduction, Rogers could claim his men were too afraid to return and continue working -- providing an "act of God" that could result in contract termination with no penalty and full payment to Rogers.

During the months after Klass revealed the results of his investigation, Rogers and Walton entered into a lengthy negotiation with him to have the flawed polygraph exams re- administered -- this time with a mutually acceptable, independent polygrapher. Rogers issued a "challenge" to Klass: Duane and Travis Walton and Rogers would agree to be retested by "a mutually acceptable examiner of high standing and proper credentials" and that, if all parties passed the tests, Klass would pay all costs involved; if any of them failed, Klass would be "reimbursed." Klass agreed in principle with most of the conditions, however as time progressed and negotiations continued it became clear that Rogers was engaging in delaying tactics and was, in fact, doing everything possible to not be retested. Ultimately, none of the principles in the Walton case was given new polygraph examinations.

And there the case laid for seventeen years, with proponents still proclaiming it one of the best documented abductions in history and skeptics decrying the multiple instances of intentional deception which imply "hoax." Then comes _Fire in the Sky_ and a media blitz to promote the "true story." Travis Walton has made appearances on national talk shows (from CNBC's Tom Snyder show to _Larry King Live_ on the night of the movie's premier), tabloid television shows (such as _Hard Copy_ and Fox's _Sightings_), radio call-in shows, and has even appeared via satellite on local news programs (the week of the premier, Walton was interviewed on WAGA Channel 5's _Good Day Atlanta_ morning show).

In the February, 1993, issue of the Mutual UFO Network's MUFON UFO Journal, Travis Walton "takes time to address his critics." Describing himself as a "naive country boy" (Walton hardly seemed naive when he accused Phil Klass of being a government disinformation agent on Larry King Live - a charge for which he has absolutely no proof) Walton tells of his shock at the "attacks" he received from skeptics such as Klass and repeats throughout his article that Klass' claims had been refuted time and time again. Unfortunately, Walton provides little information in the article which actually refutes Klass' evidence; instead he offers tantalizing tidbits which seem intended more to enduce the reader to buy a copy of his newly revised book (whose title he has changed to, oddly enough, Fire in the Sky) than to actually "set the record straight." Walton claims that the various charges against him "starkly contradict each other" [emphasis in original], but provides no specific examples of these contradictions. He says, "So the irony is that when one's foremost detractor [Klass] makes an internally inconsistent scattergun assault, he is actually making a perverse sort of endorsement because it says loud and clear that the detractor himself doesn't believe that any of his attacks has sufficient merit to stand alone." It is a perverse sort of logic which will go through such convolutions in an effort to justify a failing position.

In a recent issue of his Skeptics' UFO Newsletter, Klass wonders if Walton will refute the fact that his first polygraph exam indicated "gross deception," or that his mother was abnormally calm upon hearing word of his disappearance, or that he - along with his mother and brother - had a long history of seeing UFOs prior to November 5, 1975, or that the lie detector test he did pass was seriously flawed. The list can go on and on.

1. Walton never boarded the UFO. This fact is supported by the six witnesses and the polygraph test results. [3]

2. The entire Walton family has had a continual UFO history. The Walton boys have reported observing 10 to 15 separate UFO sightings (very high).

3. When Duane was questioned about his brother's disappearance, he stated that "Travis will be found, that UFO's are friendly." GSW countered, "How do you know Travis will be found?" Duane said "I have a feeling, a strong feeling." GSW asked "If the UFO 'captors' are going to return Travis, will you have a camera to record this great occurrence?" Duane, "No, if I have a camera 'they' will not return."

4. The Walton's mother showed no outward emotion over the 'loss' of Travis. She said that UFO's will not harm her son, he will be returned and that UFO's have been seen by her family many times.

5. The Walton's refused any outside scientific help or anyone who logically doubted the abduction portion of the story.

6. The media and GSW was fair to the witnesses. However, when the story started to 'fall apart' the Waltons would only talk to people who did not doubt the abduction story.

7. APRO became involved and criticized both GSW and Dr. Hynek for taking a negative position on the encounter.

8. The Waltons 'sold' their story to the National Enquirer and the story was completely twisted from the truth. RS NOTES:

1. In other words, James Harder was using hypnosis to lead Travis Walton into "remembering" a proper UFO abduction story. UFOlogists cite the apparent consistencies of these stories as proof that they are supposedly authentic! But here we glimpse the real reason behind the apparent similarities.

2. The very existence of this polygraph session with John J. McCarthy was kept secret by the National Enquirer and by APRO, with McCarthy ordered never to speak about it. The cover-up was revealed by Philip J. Klass in June, 1976. The details of the Walton hoax, and its associated cover-up, can be found in chapters 18-23 of Klass' book _UFOs The Public Deceived_ (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1983).

3. Apparently GSW thought that in order to have a "genuine" UFO abduction, the UFO would have to land, and pick up its passenger.

The following is from The Age, Melbourne, Australia - I think it is better for you to read what Jeff Wells wrote directly.
January 6, 1979

The Selling of the Travis Walton "Abduction" Story
"Profitable Nightmare of a Very Unreal Kind"
by Jeff Wells

The characters in this UFO story are real even if they appear more like the inventions of a Hollywood hack.

A haunted young man, a ruthless cowboy, a strange professor, a hard-drinking psychiatrist, a bunch of reporters and a beautiful girl. All were thrown together in the desert heat by a close encounter of the third kind and maybe they did contribute to some Hollywood thinking.
I was there and I can vouch for the motley human cast - but you will have to make up your own mind about the extra-terrestrials with fishbowl heads.
Some of the characters are still growing fat repeating their version of the story in the seemingly limitless American market for the bizarre. The so-called facts, the carefully-woven tapersry that has become the "official story" can now be counted as UFO lore, pablum for those who turn their heads to the sky in search of meaning for their lives. I will never get rich on my version and I only tell it because of the UFO madness the papers tell me is sweeping this part of the world.
The UFO phenomenon is really rolling here, as it has rolled for many years, and snowballed into juggernaut proportions in other countries where it is very big business. The stronger it gets here the closer the attention that will be paid to so-called classic cases of UFO encounters.
You may recognize elements of this story among them. If so, you will realise that my story is a warning that in such cases, even the most celebrated and supposedly well-documented, there is nothing so pragmatic as proof.
This incident happened a few years ago and made world headlines.

I was working in San Francisco as a bureau man for a national weekly which has grown rich and powerful in catering to the middle-class craving for cancer-cures, Jackie Onassis, Hollywood gossip, psychic predictions, and like ingredients of the crumbling cake that is the American mind.
It was naturally a matter of interest that a 22-year-old forestry worker was missing and that six witnesses had passed lie detector tests in saying that he had last been seen running towards a huge UFO.
My paper had offered tens of thousands of dollars to anybody who could positively prove that aliens had visited our planet - in the knowledge that exclusive rights could be worth millions.

When, five days later, the young man we came to call "the kid" stumbled into a small western town, phoned his brother and claimed he had been kidnapped by the crew of an alien spacecraft we were ready.
Within an hour I was on a plane to rendezvous in a desert city with a team of reporters and photographers flying in from Los Angeles and the East Coast.

At the desert airport I bumped into one of them, a dapper young Englishman from the L.A. bureau, who briefed me. One reporter was at the cowboy's home talking money; the kid was inside in a state of shock. The office was wiring $1000 to help east the kid's discomfort and a celebrated UFOlogist, a California professor, was being flown in, all expenses paid, to lend a hand. Our immediate task was to bribe the brother with the thousand to shack up with us in a luxury motel on the outskirts of town, no names registered, where the rest of Press who were about to descend and the sheriff, who was calling the whole thing a hoax and demanding that the kid take a lie-detector test, would not bother them.
"It isn't going to be easy," said the Englishman as we pocketed our credit cards and headed for our rented Pontiacs. "The brother has taken charge and the brother is some kind of psychopath. The kid is scared to death of him and so is our reporter."

The cowboy was no disappointment. He was one of the meanest and toughest-looking men I've ever seen - in his late twenties, a rodeo professional and amateur light-heavyweight fighter, a total abstainer, broad-shouldered, T-shirt packed with muscle, chiselled-down hips, bow legged, eyes full of nails, tense, unpredictable. He leaned against a pick-up truck with a gun rack in the cabin and raked us with beams of cunning and hatred as strong as the flash from the spacecraft that had pole-axed his brother as the witnesses fled in terror. "Nobody is going to laugh at my brother," he said. Nobody wanted to laugh at his brother, we said. We only wanted give his brother a chance to tell his story to somebody who would understand.
To prove our bona fides, and to keep away all those other jackals of the press, who would embarrass the kid with foolish questions, we would hide them away and pay the kid a grand to tell his story. If we liked the story, and it could be properly documented, and the kid could pass our lie-detector test, we would open up our cheque books all the way and start talking in five figures.
To our relief the cowboy agreed - but not, he said, because of the money, because his brother had a true story to tell which would enlighten the world.

Our first sight of the kid was at dinner in the hotel diningroom that night. It was a shock. He sat there mute, pale, twitching like a cornered animal. He was either a brilliant actor or he was in serious funk about something. But the arrival of the professor saved the day. He was as smooth as butter and he soon had the kid eating out of his hand. "You are not alone," he crooned. "There are many people, more than you would think, who have been chosen to meet them." Them? I began to wonder about the professor. The cowboy was so impressed he began to talk about his own UFO experience when he had been chased by a flying saucer through the woods as a child. Within a couple of hours the professor had talked the brothers out of taking the sheriff's polygraph test and into an hypnosis session in his room immediately.

It looked as if things were going smoothly enough, with no hint that we were faced with four days of chaos.

The next day the office announced that the whole story was to be filmed by a crew from the top-rating CBS muckraker TV show 60 Minutes. We were to be on guard because CBS was out to shaft us, my editor warned. We were to present a bold front for good footage of dedicated reporters sparing no expense to bring the public the true story of one of the most amazing incidents in recorded history.
The kid's fantastic story had been coming out under hypnosis but the brothers had become very conspiratorial with the professor and would speak only to him. The professor seemed to have his own future on the lecture circuit and the paperback bookstands very much in mind and we didn't trust him. So we taped everything and had the CBS crew film the kid's story given under hypnosis. It was a tale of little men with heads like fishbowls and skin like mushrooms. But suddenly the strain began to tell on the kid and he lapsed into sobbing bouts. He was falling apart and so was his story.
It necessitated flying in a husband-and-wife team of psychiatrists from Colorado to tranquilize the kid and keep the cowboy from exploding. The kid was a wreck and it was all the psychiatrist could do to get him ready for the lie-detector expert we had lined up. The test lasted an hour and I was in the next room fending off the TV crew when I heard the cowboy scream: "I'll kill the sonofabitch!" The kid had failed the test miserably. The polygraph man said it was the plainest case of lying he'd seen in 20 years but the office was yelling for another expert and a different result.
To head that off we had the psychiatrist put the cowboy and the kid through a long session of analysis. Their methods were unique. The next day the four of them disappeared into a room and soon a waiter was headed there with two bottles of cognac. At the end of it the psychiatrists were rolling drunk but they had their story and the brothers were crestfallen.

It seemed that the kid's father, who had deserted them as a child, had been a spaceship fanatic and all his life the kid had wanted to ride in a spacecraft. He had seen something out there in the woods, some kind of an eerie light which had triggered a powerful hallucination which might recurr at any time. There was no question of any kidnap by any mushroom men. The kid needed medical help and the cowboy swore he would shield him from further harassment. Reports began to filter in that the witnesses' lie detector tests were not much help either - they supported the story that they had all seen the strange light but not that the strange light was identifiable as a spaceship. The CBS crew had left in disgust and I sat down to detail everything that had happened in a 16-page memorandum designed to kill the story. It was all over.

I paid the $2000 hotel bill - including a mammoth bar tab to which the psychiatrists had contributed nobly - for the five days and we all scattered to the airport. It had been a lunatic experience from beginning to end, made more disturbing by the fact that on several occasions, with coaxings from the professor, I had almost believed that the story was real.

As I drove to the airport I was never so glad to be leaving a city and to this day the whole experience there remains in my memory as some kind of nightmare. As I neared the airport I switched on the car radio and heard familiar voices - the kid, the cowboy, and the professor giving an interview about the kid's shatteing experience on board a flying saucer. A few weeks later I picked up the paper I worked for and found that with the help of the professor it had turned my memorandum into a sensational front-page story. The professor was calling me up demanding tapes for his lectures and the kid was signing contracts for books and TV documentaries.

And so another UFO hero was made.

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