Travis Walton (born April 20, 1957) claims to have encountered a UFO on November 5, 1975 and been kidnapped by aliens while working in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona (USA).
A group of forest workers, consisting of seven people, claims to have seen a bright object in the form of a flat disc that hovered over a pile of wood near the truck. According to his work colleagues, Walton had left the truck and was approaching the object, where he was hit by a bright beam of light or lightning. The workers fled the square out of fear. The group's chief, Mike Rogers, allegedly looked back while fleeing and saw the object rise from the forest and fly away at great speed. They later drove back to see what had happened to Walton, but they couldn't find him or the UFO.
Since Walton initially disappeared, his work colleagues were investigated for possible murder until Walton reappeared after five days. Under hypnosis, he reported an alien abduction. He and his colleagues were also subjected to multiple lie detector tests, the results of which were contradictory.
Walton later wrote books in which he explained his statements in more detail. The case was dealt with in detail in all standard works of ufology and several documentaries, and was filmed in 1993.
The Travis Walton case received widespread attention due to the fact that for the first time there had been a long disappearance associated with an alleged alien abduction and the use of lie detectors.
The case was initially received positively by ufologists and cited as evidence of the existence of extraterrestrials, but doubts and criticism of the reality of the experience soon arose. It was pointed out from various sides that the members of the Walton family had long been fascinated by unknown flying objects (UFOs) and had reported multiple sightings. They also sold their story to the National Enquirer, who had received a prize for the best evidence of the existence of extraterrestrials. Furthermore, the alleged kidnapping prevented the forest workers group from having to pay a high contractual penalty because they had not complied with the agreed volume of logging. It was also pointed out several times that only two weeks before the alleged kidnapping, a television film about the Betty and Barney Hill case had been broadcast, which some of those involved — including Walton — had seen.
Scientists either consider the case to be fraudulent or support the theory that it is a misrepresentation of a real observation, either a misinterpretation of cognitive processes, i.e. psychological illusions, or optical illusions. Others believe that the hypnotized descriptions are false memories. Aspects such as escapism, hallucinations and masochistic fantasies were also pointed out.
- Travis Walton: The Walton Experience. New York: Berkley Pub Corp. 1978
- Travis Walton: Fire in the Sky: The Walton Experience. New York: Marlowe & Company 1995
- Philip J. Klass: UFOs: The Public Deceived. Amherst NY: Prometheus Books 1983
- Fire in the Sky, feature film 1993, directed by Robert Lieberman, Paramount Pictures.
- Reality UFO Series — The Travis Walton Story (Doku 2007).
The homepage of Travis Walton can be found at:
- s. the article collection in: Robert Sheaffer: The Selling of the Travis Walton "Abduction" Story. Some background information: http://www.debunker.com/texts/walton.html
- Anson Kennedy: "Fire in the Sky". The Walton Travesty. In: The Georgia Skeptic 6: 2 1993; see also Keith Thompson: Angels and other extraterrestrials. UFO phenomena in a new interpretation. Munich 1993, pp. 251f .: http://www.lysator.liu.se/skeptical/newsletters/Georgia_Skeptic/GS06-02.TXT
Alvin Lawson: Abductions and Birth Memories. 1997ff .; see also Jacques Vallée: Revelations. Munich 1997, pp. 160f .: http://www.oocities.com/Area51/Vault/6521/
Leonard S. Newman and Roy F. Baumeister: Toward an Explanation of the UFO Abduction Phenomenon: Hypnotic Elaboration, Extraterrestrial Sadomasochism, and Spurious Memories. In: Psychological Inquiry 7: 2 1996, pp. 99-126
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