Summary: On November 5, 1975, six young woodcutters, along with their employer, were working in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, engaged in a tree-thinning contract for the U. S. Forest Service. The forest is located in east central Arizona, and the work area is fifteen miles from Heber.
On November 5, 1975, six young woodcutters, along with their employer, were working in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, engaged in a tree-thinning contract for the U. S. Forest Service. The forest is located in east central Arizona, and the work area is fifteen miles from Heber.
The story begins at approximately 6:10 P.M., when the men were heading home in a seven-man crew-cab truck. Traveling along a bull-dozed trail, one of the men sighted a gold-colored glow through the thickets. As they rounded a right-hand turn, they saw the source of the glow - a structural object hovering approximately fifteen feet above a clearing and a scant ninety feet or so from the viewers.
Travis Walton, twenty-two, was sitting on the right- hand passenger side of the front seat. When he saw the object, he called to Mike Rogers, the driver and boss of the crew, to stop. Hardly waiting for the truck to come to a complete halt, Walton jumped out and, at a fast walk, approached a woodpile (stacked by the thinners) to get a closer look. As his fellow employees called for him to be careful and come back, he stood and looked at the object, which was at a 60-degree elevation from his position. It had the shape of two "pie pans" or shallow bowls placed rim to rim. A "beeping" sound was heard by all.
Walton stepped back a couple of paces, intending to vacate the vicinity of the craft when his friends were startled to see a blue-green beam shoot out from the bottom of the craft, striking Walton in the upper area of his body, lifting him from the ground with his arms out stretched, and flinging him back to the ground.
Thinking he and the others were in danger, Rogers restarted the truck and left the area. A quarter of a mile away, he stopped and the six men looked back. They saw a light rise from the ground and streak into the north east, originating in the area where they had left Travis. Thinking it was the object, Rogers turned the truck around and drove back to the clearing.
For fifteen minutes the men searched for Walton, covering the near area and calling, but to no avail. Rogers then decided to drive to Heber, the nearest town, and report Walton's disappearance to the sheriff. On the way, they debated what they should tell, doubting that the truth would be believed, but, unable to come up with an acceptable explanation, they told what they had experienced.
On November 10, the six men were given polygraph tests which established that they had not harmed Walton (it had been implied that they had done away with Travis and hidden his remains, despite the fact that Rogers was his best friend of many years standing) and that they had, actually, seen a UFO.
On the night of November 10, at approximately midnight, a call came in to the Grant Neff residence (Mrs. Neff was Travis' sister and at the time the only Walton in Snowflake, Arizona, with a telephone). It was Travis, sounding confused and disoriented, saying he was at a phone booth in Heber and in terrible pain. Neff went to Mrs. Kellett's (Travis' mother) home, picked up Travis' brother Duane, who had come up from Phoenix when notified of his brother's disappearance, and drove at breakneck speed to Heber, where they found Travis slumped in a phone booth. He had a five-day growth of beard and appeared thin but was otherwise apparently all right.
Within hours, Duane drove Travis to his home in Phoenix, intent on keeping him away from the horde of reporters, which had plagued the Walton family during Travis' disappearance, and to obtain medical treatment.
For a short time, Duane Walton was frustrated by the representative of a local UFO group, who sent him to a pseudomedical hypnotist, but he was eventually contacted by the AERIAL PHENOMENA RESEARCH ORGANI ZATION (APRO), which called in a team of medical experts.
Ultimately, Walton was given the Minnesota Multi Phase Personality Inventory (MMPI), Rorschach (commonly called Inkblot) Polygraph and Psychological Stress Evaluator tests, all of which established that he had told the truth as he knew it. All of these tests were conducted and interpreted by experts.
Unfortunately, Walton only recalls an hour or two of his five-day absence. He claims to have awoke on a table in a room which he first assumed was a hospital. The ceiling seemed low, there was an oval-shaped metallic-colored apparatus on his chest (his denim jacket and shirt were pulled up), and he was in considerable pain. The "air" in the room seemed oppressive, i.e., warm and damp. It took a few minutes to get his wits about him, and when he became fully aware of his surroundings, he realized he was in no ordinary hospital. Around the "table" on which he reclined were three strange creatures-strange, because they were less than five feet tall, very pale, with large, domed heads, large eyes, small nose, mouth, and ears, and their bodies, encased in tannish orange, seamless jumpsuits, and were very thin.
Upon seeing them, Walton struggled to his feet, and when they approached him with their fingernail-less hands outstretched, he grabbed a rodlike object from an adjacent table and prepared to defend himself. After flailing about with the instrument for a moment or two, Walton was surprised to see the trio file out of the door and turn to the right.
After the creatures left, Walton also exited the room, turning left. Following a curved corridor, looking for a way out, he found a circular room with a chair (which was too small for him but nevertheless he sat in it) with a "screen" on each arm. He touched a lever and the "stars" on the "ceiling" above seemed to move, so he moved the lever back to its original position and decided against further experimentation.
Shortly, a "man," approximately six feet tall, with brown hair and strange golden-brown eyes, appeared at the door which Travis had entered. He beckoned to Travis, and Travis went to him, babbling question after question, none of which were answered. The "man" said nothing, took Travis by the arm, led him out into the corridor or hall, to the right, then stopped, whereupon a section of the wall opened. He had not touched anything. They walked into a small room, the door behind them closed, and seconds later a door opened in front of them. They then went down an incline (apparently out of the enclosure Walton had been in) where Walton found him self in a large enclosure resembling a quarter of a cylinder. There were three or four oval-shaped metallic objects parked there (the same apparent metallic substance as everything else he had seen). He was led by the "man" (who was clad in a blue "jumpsuit" with a clear "helmet") through the enclosure, to another door into a room where there were three other human-appearing individuals-two men and a woman. They resembled the first, except that, although they wore the same clothing, they were without helmets.
They gestured to him to get upon a table. He resisted, but they eventually succeeded in their efforts and Travis reclined; an apparatus resembling an oxygen mask with a black ball attached was placed over his face and he lost consciousness.
Travis awoke about midnight about a quarter mile west of Heber, Arizona. He was lying on his stomach and raised up to watch the curved, metallic hull of an aircraft taking off straight up, reflecting the yellow stripe of the dividing line of the highway below.
What did Travis Walton see? What did he experience? Tests indicate that he has related his experience truthfully. His book The Walton Experience (1978) will tend to illuminate the reader and enable him to make his own judgment.