Travis Walton worked as a lumberjack and was carrying out services in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, in Arizona, in the company of six other men: Mike Rogers, Ken Peterson, Allen Dallis, John Goulette, Dwayne Smith and Steve Pierce. The group had been hired by the U.S. Forest Service to perform a variety of tasks, including pruning shrubs and small trees on an area of more than 1,200 acres near the village of Snowflake, where the men lived.
However, as the work schedule was delayed, the men decided to work longer shifts, starting tasks around 6 am and finishing only after sunset. So, on November 5th, around 6 pm, the group boarded a pickup truck and, while returning to Snowflake to rest, the woodcutters saw an intense light coming from behind a hill.
Curious, they decided to get closer to find out what was emitting the glow and it was then that they saw a UFO hovering about 6 meters above the ground. According to their testimonies, the object was disc-shaped approximately 6 meters in diameter and 2.5 meters high and had a series of dark vertical dividing lines on its surface.
The group stopped the truck, and Walton, 22 years-old at the time, jumped out and ran to meet the flying saucer while his astonished companions shouted for him to come back. As he later said, he didn’t do this to prove that he was braver than his colleagues, but simply because he didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see an alien ship up close.
Then, when Walton was practically underneath the object, the disc began to rotate and produce noises similar to those of a turbine. He even tried to hide behind a rock, but the object emitted an intense bluish-green light and Walton remembers feeling as if his body had been electrocuted.
Walton does not remember what happened next, but his companions who witnessed what happened said that his body began to levitate, arched backwards, and ended up being about 3 meters above the ground. Then, Walton was thrown away like a puppet, and his colleagues, terrified and believing that he had died, fled in the truck for fear of being next.
However, after making sure they were not being followed, the men started an argument and decided to go back to recover their friend’s body. However, when they returned to the place where they had last seen Walton, he was no longer there. The group searched the entire area for clues, but after finding absolutely nothing, they began to consider the idea that he could have been taken by the ship’s occupants.
The companions called Snowflake authorities to report Walton’s disappearance and revealed the details of what they had witnessed. Of course, the police doubted the reports, especially after going to the scene of the incident and concluding that there was nothing to prove that a flying saucer had been there.
It wasn’t long until the news about what had happened began to spread and reporters, curious people and ufologists began to appear in the region. As investigations continued, a search team was organized, including helicopters and men on horseback joining the effort.
However, despite all the mobilization, as the days went by, the hope of finding Walton alive became less and less, as temperatures in the region fell below freezing during the night.
Investigators began to suspect that the UFO story had been invented to cover up an accident or perhaps even a murder. However, Walton’s companions were subjected to a polygraph test and the results showed that they were telling the truth.
It was then that, on November 10, five days after the disappearance, Travis’s sister Alison Walton’s phone started ringing. It was a little after midnight, and the person who answered the call was Grant Neff, Alison’s husband. On the other end of the line, the woodcutter explained that he was at a gas station, that he was injured and that he needed help.
Grant found Walton lying in one of the phone booths at the station he had indicated and said that his brother-in-law was dejected, confused, had no idea he had been missing for so long and wouldn’t stop talking about scary humanoids.
Walton said that, after being hit by the beam of light, he woke up inside the ship, lying on a stretcher in what appeared to be an infirmary, and discovered that there were a number of tubes connected to his body. Additionally, there was a trio of beings with him, which Walton described as having disproportionately large heads, extremely white skin, and enormous eyes. The creatures were short in stature, devoid of ears, protruding mouth and nose and had no hair.
The woodcutter said that, although he was in a lot of pain and felt very weakened, he panicked and found a way to escape from the room where he was. Then, while running inside the ship trying to find a way out, he came across another flying saucer crew member: a blond man about 2 meters tall who was wearing a helmet and space suit.
According to Walton, this man took him to the outside of the ship, and there he discovered that he was in a kind of hangar where there were other flying saucers. The mysterious crew member led him to a room and, there, he saw other human-looking beings. In a panic, the woodcutter kept asking questions, but his hosts said nothing.
Then the beings put a mask over his face and all Walton remembers after that is watching the ship move away as he woke up on the side of a road. That’s when he walked to the gas station, called his sister’s house and passed out in the phone booth.
The incident generated immense repercussion and was widely covered by the media. So much so that the story of Walton and his companions ended up becoming known as the best-documented alien abduction case of all time.
Walton even took a polygraph test on several occasions, including at the request of ufologist organizations. He also appeared on numerous television shows and, together with his companions, received a cash prize from a tabloid tabloid called The National Enquirer for the “best UFO case of the year”.
In 1978, Walton released a book recounting his experience, and the case was turned into the 1993 film “Fire in the Sky”. However, despite the woodcutter becoming a celebrity and many people believing in his story, there was no shortage of critics saying that it was all just a well-elaborated farce.
According to skeptics, there are numerous inconsistencies in the case, and polygraph tests would not have been performed correctly. Furthermore, critics allege that, coincidentally, two weeks before Walton disappeared, a popular American television channel presented a drama about the abduction of Betty and Barney Hill, and that the woodcutter’s disappearance was orchestrated to take advantage of the repercussion that the program generated.
Travis Walton continues to defend the version that he was actually abducted on that cold night in 1975. Furthermore, his case still generates a lot of interest and, to this day, he is invited to interviews and participate in meetings with ufologists around the world.