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Exclusive Interview: Q&A With Travis Walton

Submitted by on July 9, 2012 – 6:05 AM9 Comments | 2,731 views


Yes, this interview has been a long time coming and I feel I owe our readers an apology for having to wait so long.

This started about a year ago when I was introduced to Travis Walton via my good friend Tom Reed (Reed family abductions). I learned very quickly that Travis was in such high demand, he barley had a moment of rest. This interview was done in bits and pieces over the course of this last year. In fact Travis never got the time to answer all the 20+ questions submitted by our readers. He did however answer those questions he felt strongly about. Therefore, I don’t think anyone will be disappointed.

For those who require a review of who Travis Walton is (and I don’t think there are many), here’s a short rundown of his encounter:

Ghosttheory has garnered the honor of interviewing one of the biggest names in Ufology. Author, speaker and subject of the book ‘The Walton Experience’ and film ‘Fire in the Sky’, Travis Walton will be the subject of our most exclusive interview ever.

Walton, formerly a logger living in Snowflake, Ariz., claimed to have been abducted in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest near Turkey Springs, Ariz., on November 5, 1975.

After a long day of clearing scrub and undergrowth with close friend Mike Rodger’s crew, the men headed back to Snowflake in Rodgers truck. As the exhausted group drove along a forest logging road they noticed a bright light behind a hill. As they got closer they saw a large silvery object, a brightly lit disc that was approx. 20 ft in diameter. Travis, against the wishes of the other crew members, got out and ran toward the object hovering in the night sky.

The next moment would change the lives of Travis and his friends forever. A beam of light blasted down on Travis and pulled him upward a foot or so before slamming him down to the ground spread eagle. With the crew in a panic, Rodgers, who thought Travis was dead, took off down the dirt road as fast as his truck would allow now in fear that the disc would turn its attention to the rest of the men.

After a quarter mile or so, Rodgers could no longer control his vehicle on the rocky surface and they skidded off the road. Now wondering if Travis was actually dead, the group decided to go back. When they reached the location, not only was the disc gone, but their friend was missing as well. The crew spent 30-minutes scouring the area, but Travis was nowhere to be found.

After an extensive search that included police, volunteers, horse mounted officers, helicopters and several 4-wheel drive vehicles Travis was still missing. With such an unbelievable story told by Travis’ friends the police could only entertain logical scenarios including that of murder by one or more of the logging crew.

The next few days were a circus as the disappearance of Travis continued to perplex everyone including police until the night of November 10.

It was just shy of midnight in Taylor, Ariz., when Grant Neff, who was married to Travis’ sister Alison, picked up a ringing telephone to what sounded like Travis’ on the other end. In a weak voice the caller said: “This is Travis. I’m at a phone booth at the Heber gas station, and I need help. Come and get me.”

At that moment began Travis’ rise to legendary status. The most compelling aspect of this story was that of the events surrounding the abduction were to some more interesting than the abduction itself.

Travis has since written the bestselling book, ‘The Walton Experience’, as well as the movie ‘Fire in the Sky’, which was based on the book.

There are those who believe Travis is relating a factual event that occurred in his life, while still others contend that he is deceiving the public. Whatever you believe, you can’t deny that the story of the Travis Walton abduction is one that has captivated us all.

Now on with the Q&A (as submitted by GT readers):

Chad Buckler says:

1.) Would you ever take another lie detector test?

Travis Walton:

As described in my updated edition I already have taken two additional lie detector tests of the very highest caliber. This brings to 5 the number of tests I have passed, given by three separate examiners, all of whom were associated with law enforcement. Taking into account the other 11 tests passed by others in connection with this case, what would any more tests determine that haven’t already been determined by the previous sixteen tests?

2.) Do you think they will ever make themselves public to the world?

Travis Walton:

They might, but that probably has more to do with the world’s readiness than any agenda they might have. I know many people who feel they are well beyond ready, but what about the world in general?

IDKWhatImDoing says:

What effect, if any, did this experience have on any sort of belief system (religious or otherwise) for you?

Travis Walton:

My religious/spiritual beliefs were unchanged by the incident because none of my new understanding conflicted with my prior understanding.

Eric says:

You stated that you tried to break a glass like object to scare off the three “greys” after waking up. Did you notice any other objects, or get a good glance at the one you were holding?

Travis Walton:

Eric, I didn’t take the time to notice whether the clear rod was solid or a hollow tube or if it was closed or open on the end(s). I saw other objects but don’t have recall of much detail beyond what I put in the book. Also the human looking beings were pretty thoroughly described in the book. The technology I observed didn’t really seem beyond what humans had at the time, although I didn’t touch the screen so don’t know if there was the capacity of touch screen.

GT says:

Travis, how has your family dealt with this experience through the years? Do they fully support you?

Travis Walton:

GT, all of my family members are fully supportive, although some might have preferred I remained silent about it, and some prefer not to bring up the subject on their own, just as I do not.

ElfishGene & klosure says:

Do you feel more connected to the universe spiritually?

Travis Walton:

Profoundly so.

Tim says:

Some abductees report having heightened ESP following abduction. Have there been any adverse side effects (aside from any understandable psychological impact) since your experience?

Travis Walton:

I knew he was going to ask that, LOL! But I have to say that is something I probably wouldn’t report even if it developed.

K says:

Do you find that the ordeal you went thru is on your mind all the time?

Travis Walton:

Although I do work at putting those events out of my mind and trying to get on with my life, I do find that it intrudes in ot day to day events all too frequently.

Javier Ortega says:

1.) Mr. Walton, throughout the years since your abduction, what is the most important thing that you’ve learned? From the actual abduction, to the way society viewed your story?

Travis Walton:

Among the things I have learned the three most important are probably:

A) The solid conviction that there is a core reality to this phenomena.

B) That those recognized by society or chosen by the media to be the so-called “experts” on many matters are in many cases actually clueless.

C) That what we see in the media is often far from the truth. I learned of the many factors that make this so.

2.) What famous story of abduction, besides yours, do you believe could be true?

Travis Walton:

I think there are a number of good reliable cases among the famous reports. There are also good cases that are virtually unknown. On the other hand I also came to realize there are huge numbers of reports and claims that do not correspond to reality for diverse reasons.

In coming to terms with the skepticism that sometimes greeted my own report I became more understanding of the motivation for some of the doubt. After all, we didn’t have absolute proof.

However, I took great exception to those individuals who passed judgement on me and my crewmates without even knowing even the basic facts of the case. In the opening of my book I quote Emerson, “Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance.”

In coping with my memories I actually avoided studying the subject, only picking up things people came to me with. So, since I haven’t done any thorough investigations of any cases, I have declined to point to and name any specific cases that I believe are good, nor those that I believe are something other than an accurate description of real events.

Scott McMan says:

1.) Travis, I happen to catch your appearance on “Monster Garage” where you and others built a machine to make crop circles. At the end of the show Jessie James in a rash of insults decided to blow the machine up instead of testing it. I always felt there was something going on behind the scenes with that.

Was that an indirect slam against you? Is there a story to that incident that never went public?

Travis Walton:

I do not believe that Jesse James meant any insult to me.

From my previous watching of the show I expected him to act like a bit of a jerk. But he was actually friendly and respectful in my every direct interaction with him. This extended to the way they treated and edited my parts of the show. Believe me, I know from experience how easy it is to edit tape to slant public perception.

They were also respectful of my refusal to put on the alien costumes with the rest of the participants. A producer was my stand in for that part.

Actually, I suspect Jesse’s decision to blow up the crop circle machine was in part out of deference to me. Perhaps meeting me lead him to realize there is a core reality to the phenomenom he didn’t want to misrepresent. I think that’s what he meant by “doing the right thing.”

2.) Travis, this is an article on our website regarding claims by the Sherriff’s nephew who also says he went to school with your kids.

He makes some pretty slanderous remarks which you can read here:

Sheriff’s Nephew: Travis Walton LIED About Alien Abduction

As you can see, most of our readers came to your defense (including me) but I would certainly like to know your thoughts on the subject.

Travis Walton:

Someone saying they were a former Snowflake resident who went to school with my son and his cousins has gone on internet forums like IMDb claiming to be a nephew of the 1975 Navajo County Sheriff and having the “inside story” that it was all a hallucination.

I will prove here that this person claiming that the Navajo County Sheriff was his uncle is a complete fraud. He isn’t the first to try to gain status by claiming a connection to someone near the center of this incident. Even persons taking a supportive position do it by claiming to be a coworker, an
ex-girlfriend, a close school chum, or even a relative.

One pro-Travis guy claimed to have attended a homecoming party after my return — problem is, that party was a story device for the movie and never really happened.

One staunch supporter claims that my first call for help from that phone booth went to him and then the desperate call to my family came after that. Problem is, the operator listened in on the call to my family and reported it to the Sheriff and there was only one call made that night.

Another man bragged to the other sawyers in the chainsaw shop about how well he knew Travis and Mike, unfortunately Mike was standing right there, not even recognized.

The first imposters came out from under the rocks before I was ever returned, one claiming to be my wife, two years before I married. One pretended to be me and called a radio talk show.

The bias of skeptics is that they are never skeptical of THESE claims. One non-relative with the same last name is making a career of claiming to be my cousin and, absurdly, that these entities were really after him and grabbed me by mistake!

There are so many statements in “County Sheriff’s nephew’s” post that can easily be proved false that that’s almost all there is. Public documents, simple facts and verifiable records contradict his ridiculous claims.

In the first place, Sanford “Sank” Flake was NEVER the county sheriff. The basis of all his claims begin with this lie. The Navajo County Sheriff during all of those years was Marlin Gillespie. Sank was town marshal only, with no principle role in the investigation. The night of the incident the crew met with Sheriff Gillespie and his deputies at a service station closed for the night, and never went to any
diner. There was no “Red Robin diner” in Heber in 1975. The first Red Robin opened 18 years later — in Pennsylvania! The bogus “nephew” changed his claim to the “Red Onion Lounge”, but even that
never opened in Heber until 1995, 20 years after the UFO incident.

Therefore, all those things supposedly said by the crew to the diners and by the diners are pure fiction. The incident did not occur at Young, AZ, which is many miles to the west of the Turkey Springs contract. The crew did not drink alcohol at all that day or any other work day. Alcohol was not allowed
on the job. The Sheriff was asked about intoxication and told newsmen, “I sat in their truck a short time after it happened and talked to each one for a long time. I sure didn’t spot anything — and I was looking.”

The bogus “nephew” claims his tale is common knowledge here. The debunkers spent huge amounts of time interviewing Gillespie, Flake, Forest Service officials and townspeople. The debunkers were even willing to lie to discredit this case — yet they never alleged the main points this fraud claims.

When attacking UFO reports the chief “debunker” attacking this case always first digs into every possible aviation and astronomical alternative explanation. He absurdly tried using the planet Jupiter, but never suggested Air Force helicopter maneuvers. In all our years working in the woods we never saw any Air Force helicopters. No one could possibly mistake a helicopter for a glowing metallic disc hovering less than a hundred feet away. Chopper blades would have hit the trees, to say nothing of the huge down blast of air and the unmistakable, familiar sound; ridiculous.

The blue beam of energy was a powerful, momentary blast one crewman described as “the brightest thing I’ve ever seen in my life” and in no way looked like a helicopter’s spotlight.

My books about this were published in 1977, 1996 and 2010, and the debunkers have never contested my basic facts; like who was sheriff, where the crew lived, where they met Gillespie, etc… Allen Dalis did NOT live in Concho. He lived in Snowflake, like every other man on that crew. Concho is not 5 miles
from Snowflake, it is 30 miles east of town. And the job was 45 miles west. It would not be practical to travel 150 miles per day to work at Turkey Springs. I would bet that every crewman’s home was visited by lawmen during the time I was missing. It would be dumb to think that would be overlooked
while a massive manhunt was underway, ridiculous.

I did not socialize with Allen off the job and don’t recall ever going inside his residence at all. It is not true that Dalis did not help in the search. He also went back again that night with the Sheriff.

I, Mike and my sister never rode together in any police car at any time in those years. Mike went back to the site that night with the Sheriff, but neither my sister nor I ever rode in a police car at all in connection with the UFO incident. I would be surprised if my sister has ever been in one in
her life. That whole tale about a ride to Concho was pure fiction.

It is NOT true that Mike went back alone that night. That was movie fiction. You can’t drink and do that dangerous work. The incident happened minutes after work ended, and the crew went back minutes after the incident. There wasn’t time to get passing out drunk. This was covered in lie detector
tests.

In real life I did not spend a single night in the hospital after the incident, that was the movie. As written in his report, the doctor who examined me did NOT discover “dirty needle marks” on my stomach and eye. The physician said the “2 mm red spot” on my arm was “not over any major blood vessel”, which rules out the drug injection theory, even without the clean report the doctor got back after putting my blood and urine samples through the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s drug screen which showed no trace of any drug in my body. However, even more conclusively on that tired old drug theory is the fact that at least 2 of the 5 or 6 polygraph tests I passed asked about any drug involvement. And of course no one thought to ask, how could 7 men have the same hallucination?

It is not true that the fake nephew’s scenario is common knowledge in Snowflake. I’ve never heard it anywhere but from the non-nephew. It is not true that I have never done any interviews in this town, and plenty of interviewers went down town to ask questions of townspeople. There’s plenty of skepticism but never has any local citizen ever alleged the scenario claimed by the “not really the county sheriff’s nephew’”. Not one debunker or lawman has ever disputed the fact that all 6 crewmen went back that night.

The actual polygraph questions are a matter of record and do not remotely resemble what the non-nephew states. Skeptic though Sank is, he doesn’t back any of this crap and, when I asked him, could not identify who the claimed nephew was. If he had possessed any knowledge of me being “stoned out of my mind at Dalis’s house”, there’s not the slightest doubt he would have acted on it. In 1975 he had offered theories to try to explain it away, but nothing like this nonsense.

Neither my son nor either of his cousins could figure out who this “dearest friend” and classmate is, even after searching the school year book.

Ken Peterson verifies that his family never owned any “dome shaped house” in Concho.

I really should start suing these phonies for libel, slander and defamation of character. In my book I take each and every charge leveled by the debunkers and, by citing independently verifiable documents and statements by experts, prove their case to be just the sort of sham the “not really the County Sheriff’s nephew” has posted all over the internet.

Six persons testifying in an American court of law (even without polygraph tests) that they witnessed a murder would have justified a death penalty conviction without a backward glance. Yet when a UFO is involved, doubt seems never to be put to rest. Granted, there is a small % of error to polygraph in general, but Edward Gelb, the president of the American Polygraph Association stated about this incident, “The odds against six people successfully deceiving a trained examiner on a single issue are over a million to one.” But now the number of properly conducted tests on this single issue total 16 passed tests. And, 35 years later, all seven crewmen stand by their earlier testimonies to this day.

So, there you have it! Our first and hopefully not our last talk with Travis Walton. Again, I apologize to those who didn’t see their question answered.

I’d like to thank Travis for taking time out of his busy schedule. He’s truly been a gentleman. Furthermore, I’d like to thank Tom Reed. We will be seeing more on his case very soon.

Associated Content:

GT: Sheriff’s Nephew: Travis Walton LIED About Alien Abduction

GT: Friday Video: Travis Walton Has A New Idea On His Abduction

GT: Missouri MUFON Conference: Travis Walton “FIRE IN THE SKY”

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I grew up in rural NWPA, surrounded in forest. I took an early interest in cryprozoology and sharks and have read many books on various crypto subjects such as Bigfoot and Megalodon over the years. I am not a professional writer or a journalist, but I do the best I can. I have a quirky, obscurely dry and sometimes sarcastic sense of humor than can get me in trouble. Some love me and some hate me, but I am who I am.

  • Valkyrie13

    This is amazingly thorough and insightful.  I wish he’d answered Whipthorn’s question, that one was so nerdtastic. If it took another year to get another article like this I’m pleased as punch to wait. 

  • Rmon

    I don’t know what to think about this subject.. :-S

  • The Oshmar

    He mentions his book a lot.

  • Jon

    I do. He’s telling the truth. I’d mention my book a lot too if something like that happened to me. 

  • RJ

    A part of me is thinking he’s telling the truth…

    It’s been what? 37 years?

    Quite frankly, his abduction story is (to me at least) pretty boring and bland to be honest, and to me that’s something of a mark of authenticity.

    There are a whole bunch of other things he could have made up to make his story more interesting. He could have at least added some scantily clad teenage girls… That alone would have propelled his story to the top of the NYT’s best seller’s list.

    An operating/examining room with weird creatures, followed by a planetarium room, followed by some human-looking people in some kind of large hanger bay, who put him to sleep. Those are not the making of decent story (and I can see why Hollywood changed it in the film) that’s the making of a dull research laboratory, a dull museum exhibit, and a dull aircraft hanger.

  • Scott_McMan

     RJ, that’s a major reason why Tom Reed’s story is not as popular as the more sensational ones. It’s very bland to those who want to read about sexual encounters and I’m carrying an alien baby, etc…

    Tom’s story is fascinating and although my interview with him got whacked by the media sharing site, I will be posting on him in the near future as well. Tom is in talks in Hollywood right now for a major motion picture about his family.

  • LesMc

      Well if nothing else, is was a great movie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/frythedeliveryguy Andy Walsh

    That’s what I thought. “It’s in the book”, “It’s in the book”…buy the book

  • Kakodaemon

    Abductions seem to be modern spontaneous initiatory experiences into the “otherworld”, there are many books expounding this theory, and Walton’s experience fits the classic pattern.