Travis Walton Abduction Experience Turns 43


Today marks the anniversary of the Travis Walton abduction experience; a story which was famously brought to the big screen in 1993 as Fire in the Sky, based on Walton’s book The Walton Experience.

On November 5th, 1975, Travis Walton was said to have encountered an unidentified flying object while working on a lumber contract with six other men in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest near Snowflake, Arizona. Walton was reportedly abducted after approaching the saucer-shaped craft seen by the men while leaving their job site.

Travis Walton in 1975.  (Image credit: Michael H. Rogers)

Travis Walton in 1975. (Image credit: Michael H. Rogers)

The seven men were riding in a truck when they saw the UFO hovering just over 100 feet away. Walton left the truck to examine the object, and was knocked unconscious by a beam fired from the craft. Fearing he was dead, Walton’s fellow lumberjacks fled the scene.

Walton was missing for five days, during which time his disappearance was treated as a potential homicide—but the men present for the event were cleared when Walton later turned up outside of a gas station in Heber, Arizona. All of the men later passed polygraph tests regarding the incident save one, Allen Dallis, whose results were inconclusive.

Since then, Walton has consistently recounted his tale of medical experiments performed at the hands of small, bald beings aboard a flying saucer.

Professional skeptic Philip J. Klass was outspoken in his belief that Walton invented the story for monetary gain, although no clear evidence to support that claim has yet surfaced. Other skeptics, including Michael Shermer, believe the incident could have been a confabulation brought on by Walton’s own interest in UFOs.

The response from the ufological community has been largely positive, with many ufologists supportive of Walton’s claims, and he continues to be a popular speaker at many UFO conferences and events.

Tobias Wayland