What you probably don’t know about me: I love UFOlogy. I don’t necessarily believe in any of it but I desperately want to. I have all sorts of weird theories on the phenomenon that have been ironically laughed off by people who firmly believe that beings from parts unknown have been visiting this planet by way of infinitely sophisticated space travel technology. Better yet, the same people who’ve laughed off my own theories of alien beings coming not from our own universe, but from an entirely different one that exists outside of our own are the same people who firmly believe that a planet named Nibiru orbits our sun on a 3,600 year orbit and our planets come into contact once during that cycle. In that time, every 3,600 years, these beings come here and give us some kind of technology to push our species forward in terms of development but not because they have our best interests in mind, but because we were genetically engineered from apes by these aliens at the dawn of man in order to mine gold. Because they need it. For some reason. Like they’re fucking pirates or something.
No shit. I’m working out one day while wearing my sweet Exeter UFO Festival shirt and this guy comes up to me wearing the same shirt and strikes up a conversation. He laters goes to his car and gets a copy of “his paper” on the topic of aliens, UFOs and reality and hands it off to me in a very deliberately inconspicuous manner and tells me that he’d like my thoughts on it. He wastes my entire workout blabbing about aliens which have been visiting us since the stone age, nuclear wars in the middle east and attempts to wipe us out or force us to worship them as gods and then he gives me this essay that is 10 pages of impenetrable nonsense about the same topic and why it’s important for governments around the world, who know all about it and in some cases have been working with these beings to keep us down, to keep it all a secret. My mind was blown. I feel as though I’d stepped into an episode of the X-Files but instead of receiving damning state secrets from Deep Throat I was given a rambling diatribe of bullshit by The Lone Gunmen.
But I digress. I’ve granted space here for dubious bullshit like The Amityville Horror and The Enfield Poltergeist and there’s been an awful lot of serial killer talk in the last few articles so it’s high time I turned my sights on the stars and brought the spotlight on some spooky alien shit. In this case we go back to 1993’s, Fire In The Sky which is based on the alleged abduction of Travis Walton by aliens.
Travis Walton was at the time a logger with a contractor who had been hired by the United States Forestry Service to clear brush from land in Arizona that was intended to be a state park. On the evening of November 5th, 1975, near the job site, Walton and his friends – on their way home from the job – saw a bright light coming behind a nearby hill. They drove to investigate and found what they described to investigators as a silver disc hovering in the air. Walton jumped out of the truck, excited, and ran toward it but upon his approach, the UFO was said to have made a sound like a turbine and suddenly captured Walton in a single beam of light. He was lifted off the ground and then seemingly smashed into the dirt by an unseen force. Fearing he was dead and that they were next, the truck full of his co-workers took off and then later returned to the spot to look for Walton’s body. Unfortunately it and the craft had disappeared.
The other men, Mike Rogers, Ken Peterson, John Goulette, Steve Pierce, Allen Dallis and Dwayne Smith, then raced back to Snowflake, Arizona, their home town, and reported the encounter to the police. All of them were said to be in serious emotional distress at the time but police reaction was predictably luke warm and skeptical. A half hearted search of the area Walton had disappeared from turned up nothing and enraged Walton’s family and friends but the police were far more convinced that foul play was afoot despite a complete lack of evidence and motive from any of the persons involved. A polygraph test was administered to all five of the men present on that night and each one conclusively proved that they were telling the truth when asked if they had killed Travis Walton, if they knew where his body was and if they had seen a UFO. Following this, the police in Snowflake finally broke down and accepted the original story that the men had seen their friend thrashed around by a UFO and that with his body gone, that they believed that he had been taken by extraterrestrials.
Six days later, Travis Walton turned back up in Heber, Arizona, not far from where he’d been taken. Walton called his brother in law from a pay phone at a gas station and was retrieved. Believing that he had been gone only a few hours, he was shocked to find that he had been missing for nearly a week. During that time, according to Walton’s brother in law, Grant Neff, he was visibly thinner and appeared to be in shock. The entire ride home, he showed signs of trauma and was in a highly agitated state. When he began to tell his story, Walton’s tale became one of the most vivid tales of alien abduction of all time. He awoke on a bed, surrounded by figures consistent with descriptions of ‘Greys’ and after managing to leap up and ward them off with a nearby glass beaker, Walton left the room and wandered around the ship, finding a control room of sorts containing only a chair that when sat in, displayed what looked like star charts on the ceiling of the room. He was able to manipulate the stars with control on the chair but eventually left it and encounter what looked like a man in a jump suit who took him to a room with other people like him. Once encountered, they placed a mask over his face and he passed out, waking up at the gas station that he called his brother in law from. Over time, Walton would reveal more about his encounter through hypnosis and would take a polygraph but as national attention came to his story, Walton began to withdraw. The story, as noticed by skeptics and investigators, began to bear inconsistencies and Walton would shut down when he felt his back was to the wall.
The interesting part of the story was that unlike cases like The Smurl Haunting or The Amityville Horror, where a great deal of publicity and creating a hoax to make some money was an obvious motive, the Travis Walton abduction case lacks any of these details. Walton was in no apparent financial trouble, the guys in the trucks had no reason to cause him any harm nor did they have any reason to take part in a hoax and what’s more, their involvement in the case drew unwanted attention on all of them. Critics argue that the Walton case is loaded inconsistencies and Walton’s own account of his time on the UFO is a little too Hollywood to be comfortable with but an apparent lack of reason in the story makes finding a foundation for criticism hard. Sure, these guys may be full of shit but you have to ask yourself why.