We’ve all long wondered the legitimacy of the countless claims of alien visitations. Some will tell you they’ve seen big eyed, elongated, blue in hue creatures lurking about in the woods. Some will tell you that mysterious ships have been seen hovering over rural regions, no apparent concern with being spotted by us feeble humans. Hell, some will tell you they’ve actually witnessed those ships land right in their backyards.
And then there’s the case of Travis Walton, a logger putting in long hard hours in Arizona, only to be abducted – allegedly – by those strange creatures.
It was November 5th, 1975. Walton and a handful of his co-workers were stuffed in a truck, in motion, when they suddenly spotted something unidentifiable hovering in the air a mere 110 feet away. The UFO emitted a high-pitched buzz, and apparently, that buzz called to the curious side of Walton, who left the truck and approached the floating ship. If the story is true, Walton’s curiosity fueled departure from the vehicle led to a uniquely horrifying experience.
A sizable beam of light, or energy, as Walton described it in his book, “Fire in the Sky, The Walton Experience” descended from the ship lingering in the sky, focusing directly on Walton. Within seconds the man had been essentially sucked through the air, into the ship. He was gone, just a work truck full of Walton’s fellow co-workers left to witness the anomalous abduction.
What followed for local residents was a five-day manhunt, a massive search party that yielded nothing. Walton’s body wasn’t found mutilated or lifeless; the man seemed to have disappeared from the earth we know. But nearly a week after Walton’s strange disappearance, he came back. And he came back with a terrifying account of what transpired during his time away from our reality.
What followed for Walton was a tornado of questions from media and locals. He also endured the terror of reliving an encounter with beings not of this world. As Walton would tell it, in the wake of that brilliant light emitted by the craft, he found himself in a makeshift hospital room, strange, short aliens leaning over him, examining. Although Walton’s memory of the entire ordeal would prove blurry at best, he did carry the memory of being suffocated with a plastic material of some sort.
That sounds pretty fucking creepy (if you ask me), and a bit out of bounds when contemplating innocent human study.
According to Walton, and to the chagrin of nonbelievers (whom Walton contemplates but ultimately dismisses with an air of acceptance, not everyone is prepared to accept the possible reality of the situation), the abduction seems as though it did indeed happen. And if that is undeniably the case, it was certainly a paralyzing ordeal that changed one man’s life on November 5th, 1975, and forever after.
That great beam of energy, or light, that Walton carelessly approached out of morbid curiosity and a temporary lapse in self-preservation, would have long lasting effects, a few of which weren’t exactly terrible. Walton was able to write a very successful book chronicling that initial night’s occurrences (and some of the challenges that arose on the heels of his reported abduction) and some of the things he directly endured at the gangly hands of alien lifeforms. He also eventually saw his story picked up by Paramount, which means he pocketed a fair load of change in the cinematic deal. I’ll reiterate: for as harrowing as his journey may have been, he did eventually walk away with a paycheck large enough to ensure he ate well for many a moon.
Could that financial influx been the truest motivation for what may have been a brilliantly planned hoax, or did Travis Walton go where few – if any – ever had before?
Walton was adamant that the fire in the sky that eventually “beamed him up” was no hoax, joke or elaborate prank. According to the man, what we’ve seen, and what we’ve read in his novel, his recounting of those terrifying incidents were not fabricated, and as for Walton’s work buddies and witnesses to the strange occurrence – who were also subjected to polygraph tests – no blatant signs of deception were detected. The whole ordeal left everyone rather mystified, perplexed by the understanding that the abduction incident might actually be a complete truth.
Walton’s life would forever change following the events of November 5th, 1975, and while writing a successful book can help to establish some financial security, Walton was already employed in a field that isn’t exactly known for shortchanging laborers. Why fabricate such a wild and unlikely occurrence? Was it an unquenchable thirst for fame? Could stardom have been the greatest driving fact behind setting up such a well-executed occurrence? It’s possible, but it’s impossible to write the story off without at least a bit of curiosity.
Even if you believe this story is entirely manufactured – possibly for financial gain – there are thousands of individuals who disagree, standing firm behind the belief that Walton was abducted by aliens and subjected to rigorous, often uncomfortable tests by little blue men. But there are a number of other specialists in the law enforcement and medical fields that believe the whole ordeal to be a meticulously planned hoax. And supporting those disbelievers are polygraph tests in which – while initially passed – eventually helped to exploit some inconsistencies in the men’s’ stories.
Well known UFO researcher, Philip J. Klass shared his opinion that the tests were “poorly administered” and that Walton used “polygraph countermeasures” (holding ones breathe, for example) to beat the test. Klass also managed to uncover an earlier failed polygraph test administered to Walton, by an examiner who concluded the test involved “gross deception.”
So where does it all leave fans, the curious and the skeptical alike? It essentially leaves us nowhere, pondering the legitimacy of the case. The more time that passes only helps the memory of this disturbing story to slowly fade.
But the number of the disbelievers continues to grow, fueled by curiosity, and a goal of torching all obdurate beliefs. But on the flipside of the very same ccoin, there are countless paranormal and extraterrestrial specialists who will more likely than not know whether Walton’s story is entire truth, or a complete hoax, or even a blend of both. The Fire in the Sky story remains America’s highest profile case of this nature. And on one hand, I’d love to know – definitively – the truth or fabrication of the haunting tale.