Monday, June 13, 2011

The Case of Travis Walton, an Excerpt

Alien abduction has captured the public’s imagination for more than 45 years through literary works, television programs, and motion pictures. But many scientists assert that it is no more than a modern myth created in the minds of fantasy-prone individuals, with the aid of hypnotic regression or hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations and/or sleep paralysis experienced by the scientifically naïve. Critics claim that there is no tangible evidence worthy of consideration, only unacceptable anecdotal information. But serious researchers assert that some UFO abductions are, in fact, real. Here we share information about the 1975 abduction of Travis Walton from Kathleen Marden's submission for Exposed, Uncovered, and Declassified: UFO's & Aliens


The November 5, 1975 abduction of 22-year-old Travis Walton is one of the best documented, most convincing UFO abductions ever reported. Travis was part of logging crew that was riding in a extended cab truck driven by the business owner, 28-year-old Mike Rogers. Also riding in the cab were Allen Dalis (20), John Goulette (21), Ken Peterson (25), Dwayne Smith (17), and Steve Pierce (17). They had just finished a day’s work clearing debris in the Sitgreaves National Forest outside Snowflake, Arizona (about 100 miles northeast of Phoenix).

Photo courtesy of Travis Walton.

They were traveling on a forest service road at twilight when they observed a glowing, disk-shaped object less than 90 feet away from the road, hovering about 20 feet above the ground. It wobbled and changed brightness, glowing a yellowish-white color. Travis exited the truck and approached the object, which by that time had started to rotate. A bright blue light suddenly shot out from the bottom of the craft, striking Travis and throwing him into the air and backward 10 feet. Fearing for their lives, his coworkers fled the area, but returned 15 minutes later when Mike Rogers observed what he believed to be the outline of the glowing object leaving the area. They searched in the frigid night air for Travis, but he was nowhere to be found.

Mike then drove the 10.5 miles along the rough forest service road into Heber and reported the incident to the sheriff’s department. The men’s UFO report was initially met with incredulity, but the fact that a young man was missing in rugged terrain and in potentially lethal weather conditions prompted a full-scale search. Men scoured the area on foot and horseback, but to no avail. Finally, Jeeps and helicopters were called in, but there was no trace of Travis.
Suspecting that he had been murdered and buried somewhere in the vast expanse of the Turkey Springs area of the Sitgreaves National Forest, the sheriff’s department asked the six suspects to submit to polygraph exams. The first three questions probed the men’s possible involvement in Travis’s disappearance. When asked, “Did you tell the truth about actually seeing a UFO last Wednesday when Travis disappeared?” all but Allen Dalis, an agitated and belligerent accused burglar, were deemed to have given truthful corroborating testimony. Allen’s exam was inconclusive due to his edgy emotional state.

Five nights later, Travis’s sister received a phone call from a phone booth in Heber. It was Travis. He told her he had “come to” lying down on the pavement and that he had seen the craft depart. He was dehydrated and had lost a significant amount of weight. Later he remembered waking up on a table with a 3 x 1 1/2 foot luminous rectangular object suspended above his body. A curved, dark gray appliance was folded over his chest cavity. The air was close, humid, and uncomfortably warm, and pain and weakness wracked his body. But when his eyes focused on a horrifying sight—enormous dark eyes set in a huge, hairless cranium—he struggled and began to lash out. He saw that he was surrounded by non-human entities slightly less than 5 feet tall and dressed in what looked like brownish-orange coveralls. He described their skin as having a pale, marshmallow-like appearance and texture. Their facial features reminded Travis of fetuses—small noses, slits for mouths, and no visible ears. By now nearly hysterical, Travis jumped up and assumed a defensive stance. The object that had been folded over his chest fell to the floor as he staggered into a corner in search of a weapon. The entities immediately scurried out the doorway, leaving Travis alone in the wedge-shaped room.

Travis fled down a curved hallway until he spotted an opening on the inside wall. He entered a round room that contained a single pedestal chair. As he approached the chair, the room darkened and he suddenly saw stars everywhere. When he moved a lever on the chair, a screen that was attached to the chair signaled movement. Realizing that his reckless experimentation might prove fatal, Travis left the chair and inspected what appeared to be a door that conformed to the shape of the circular room. Suddenly, what appeared to be a normal man (except for his strange amber eyes) wearing tight blue coveralls and a crystal clear helmet entered the room. He took Travis by the arm and led him into a tiny cubical that connected to what appeared to be a hangar. As he passed through the hangar, Travis observed three or four disk-shaped craft ranging in size from 45 to 60 feet long. He was led through an automatic door into another room. Seated at a table were three more people, two men and a woman. Without speaking a word, they assisted Travis onto a table and covered his face with a mask-like apparatus. His next conscious memory was of waking up on the cold pavement near Heber. Although Travis remembered only a two-hour ordeal, a total of five days had passed since his disappearance.

Naturally Travis wanted medical tests. Immediately, a representative from Ground Saucer Watch, a UFO investigating group, contacted Travis and arranged for him to see a doctor who was also a hypnotist. Coral Lorenzen, the co-founder of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), arranged for a confidential house call with two physicians. They performed a thorough physical exam and sent Travis’s urine sample to a laboratory for analysis. An examination determined that Travis wasn’t suffering from any major physical injuries. However, he was dehydrated, extremely distressed, had lost anywhere from 10 to14 pounds, and had what appeared to be a one- to three-day-old puncture wound in the inner part of his right elbow.

Although they were advised that Travis’s lack of rest and distressed emotional state would yield inconclusive results, authorities rushed Travis to submit to a polygraph exam. However, he passed two tests—one in 1976 and the other in 1993—with flying colors. Allen Dalis, the only man whose first test results were equivocal, passed a follow-up polygraph exam in 1993, as did Mike Rogers, whose integrity had been questioned by debunkers. Additionally, according to his MMPI results, Travis was emotionally healthy, had good self-awareness, and was adequately skeptical. A Rorschach (ink blot) test indicated that he was not highly suggestible. The late Dr. James Harder, a professor of hydraulic engineering at U.C. Berkeley and a trained hypnotist, attempted to recover more information from Travis through hypnotic regression, but only a few additional details about his abductor’s physical appearance and the craft’s interior emerged.

An ample amount of misinformation caused many twists and turns in the final outcome of this case. Some skeptical individuals intentionally lied, while others embellished the facts to create their own versions of the story. Despite a protracted effort by debunkers to discredit Travis Walton and the witnesses, however, no one has been able to successfully refute the case once they’ve examined the evidence. Now married with children, Travis has established a solid reputation as an honest, intelligent man who continues to swear that his abduction was real. This, combined with the fact that all seven men passed polygraph exams swearing that they didn’t take part in a hoax, and that Travis’s psychological evaluation was normal, lends credibility to his claim.


Kathleen Marden earned her BA in social work at the University of New Hampshire in 1971. After graduate studies in education at the University of Cincinnati, and later, at the University of New Hampshire, she began her professional career as a social worker and eventually entered the field of education as a teacher. Later, she was promoted to a supervisory position, coordinating education programs and supervising education staff. She eventually left her job in 1990 to pursue a career as a UFO investigator, researcher, and writer. As the niece of Betty and Barney Hill, Kathy had the opportunity to observe and learn from many of the great abduction researchers.

Kathy has appeared on dozens of television and radio programs in the United States, Canada, and Europe, including the History and Discovery channels, NH Chronicle, FOX News, and Coast to Coast AM. Kathy is currently a full-time writer and lecturer, speaking at numerous major UFO conferences throughout the United States. She is also the author of two books with Stanton T. Friedman: Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience and Science Was Wrong, both published by New Page Books.

Kathleen will be in attendance at the upcoming Roswalien Experience 2011 UFO Festival July 1-4 click here for tickets

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