Travis Walton's alleged UFO sighting and subsequent abduction is one of the strangest, most credible, and most famous alien abduction stories. His experiences were the focus of the 1993 movie Fire in the Sky. Now, 39 years after the event, Walton invited the public to join him for a nighttime sky watch at the site where it all went down.
Before the event, Walton said, "I am kind of nervous about it, because it is the first time I go back on the site at night."
He was right to be nervous, because the events that he and his six fellow crew members describe are quite frightful. In a nutshell, the men say they saw a bright light in the forest that they believed to be a fire. They rushed to the site only to find a large metallic disc-shaped object hovering above the forest floor.
Walton, being a bit of a show-off when he was young, ran off to get a closer look, despite his friends calling for him to get back into the truck. The object shot out some kind of beam at him, and Walton flew several feet in the air. Believing him to be dead, and scared out of their wits, his co-workers took off.
Once they came to their senses, they went back for Walton, but he was gone. They reluctantly reported the incident to the police, who thought they had actually killed Walton and made up the UFO story as a cover.
Walton was gone for several days, and everyone believed him to be dead. Five days after his disappearance, Walton ended up calling his family from a pay phone near where the UFO was seen. He had thought only a few hours had passed.
Although he did not immediately remember what had happened to him while he was gone, Walton later began having flashbacks of bizarre events that he believes took place aboard the UFO. Walton says he can't say for sure he had interaction with extraterrestrial beings, but he did interact with some strange creatures. For more details about the event you can watch his lecture at the 2011 International UFO Congress below.
For obvious reasons, Walton says he avoided the UFO site for many years. He says he went back during the day at the request of a TV show, because he felt "There is safety in numbers, at least the allusion of safety."
As for nighttime visits, Walton says, "I was there one time at night with National Geographic, but other than that I steer clear of there."
Walton says the few times he has visited the site since 1975, he has not experienced anything too unusual.
He says, "The weirdest one was when I went back after the forest fire had moved through. They closed out the woods and shut down the roads and didn't want anyone going in there. But as soon as it opened up, me and my son went out on my motorcycle, and strangely enough, right when we got to the Turkey Springs contract area, the motorcycle just cut off like you turned the switch off."
Walton says they hid the bike behind some bushes and walked around. When they returned to the motorcycle, it started right up and he has had no problems with it since.
The anniversary site visit was part of the pre-conference events that took place before the first annual Skyfire Summit a couple of weekends ago in Overgaard, AZ, near the UFO site. The Summit was focused on Walton's experiences, but was also to educate the people that live in the area where the alleged events took place.
Walton explained, "Once I had given a talk at the local college here and we had standing room only. People in this area are really hungry to get the real facts, and they need an education. So that's the thrust of the conference. The speakers I chose, and the topics I signed are designed to be kind of the foundation. The ground floor of sort of a Ufology 101."
Walton says almost all of the witnesses to the event still live in the area.
No UFOs came down, nor were any aliens spotted during the night sky watch. But night vision equipment was provided by Ben Hansen, host of SyFy's Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files and owner of Night Vision Optics. Although, it was very cold - yes, it does get cold in Arizona's high country - so the novelty of being at the site wore off quickly once the sun went down.
Walton does plan on holding the event again next year, the 40th anniversary of what many believe to be Walton's encounter with beings from another world.