In 1975, the year I was born, something remarkable occurred in the small town of Snowflake in Arizona. That one incident would become the focus for millions of people's attention for the next forty odd years, and will most likely continue to attract attention until a more fascinating story unfolds which can trump that particular incident back in the 70's.
I am of course referring to the mysterious Travis Walton incident.
For those of you unfamiliar with his story I shall give you a brief summary before getting to the point in hand.
Travis Walton, along with six co-workers were on their way home after a long day of felling and piling trees in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. Just after sunset as they drove along the bumpy forest road they noticed an unusual light emanating through the treeline ahead of them. As they got closer to the light source they discovered that it was coming from a 20 ft. long metallic craft which hung motionless about 20 feet above the forest floor.
The 23 year old Travis Walton's curiosity got the better of him and he jumped out of the stationary truck and stood directly beneath the incredible machine to get a better look. Suddenly the object began to wobble and vibrate before sending out a beam of intense light which hit Travis, knocking him clean of his feet and tossing him threw the air like a rag doll.
His friends departed in a blind panic before returning shortly after to find him gone. Travis was missing for five days, and the others were accused of his murder. Fortunately he arrived home in time to save them from further scrutiny.
What Travis experienced on board that craft is well documented in his brilliantly written book Fire In The Sky which led to a blockbuster Hollywood movie of the same name being released in 1993.
He claims to have witnessed three grey aliens on board the ship and later, more fascinatingly, he met human looking beings who he described as being 'smooth-skinned and blemish-less'.
Now, despite having considered his story to be consistent enough to cover in my book The Alien Enigma I was never convinced of the authenticity of this incident, not to say I didn't believe it, just that you can never be wholly sure.
All that changed when I met Travis Walton in September 2016 at the Holmfirth Picturedrome for the UFO Truth Conference. I went to sell and promote my book, and the vendor's table I was given happened to be next to Travis Walton and UK author Nick Redfern. This gave me a fantastic opportunity to speak face to face with the man who claims to have met beings from another world, and try to figure out whether he is for real or just a really good liar!
After having spent quality time in his presence and talking privately about his experience, I can only conclude that this man really did meet these beings aboard their ship. What wasn't clear before was the question of why would they 'zap' him with that beam of light to begin with? It's all a bit too sci-fi for me. But now I realise that it was an accident. Travis was in the wrong place at the wrong time and should never have been stood so close to such an incredible machine. He himself explained that he was just about to turn back to the truck seconds before being struck.
It now seems that as the craft was preparing to takeoff into the night sky that it inadvertently knocked Travis for six, killing him in the process. Yes, you read that right. Travis told me that he believed that he was actually dead. So now we get to the real question which so many people ask...why did they take him on board? Well, according to the man himself, they took him in order to save his life - and this they clearly succeeded in doing.
Suddenly, this story has a more legitimate tone to it. An accident and an act of humanitarianism. I find it so much easier to digest than the concept of baddies from space trying to kill random humans.
I think that, aside from the incredible details involved in this case, that the reason that interest in this incident has endured for so many years is due to the unique aspect of the case. Thousands of people claim to have had abduction experiences but none (the Betty and Barney Hill case as a possible exception) have occurred to one person in front of witnesses. Even the Hill case has no witnesses and their full story came out through hypnosis only.
Walton's book is so completely thorough that anyone will struggle to dismiss this man's testimony as fraudulent, and many have tried (naming no names Philip Klaas!)
Travis is a very unassuming and down to earth character with nothing to prove, and as he personally told me, if he could go back to 1975, he would never have got out of that truck,
The ensuing shit-storm that has followed Travis ever since he was returned to the roadside that night has dictated his life path for him, and despite his lack of interest in UFOs and related subjects, he has become an intrinsic part of the rich tapestry of UFO folklore whether he wants it or not. I think he has finally come to terms with this situation of which he was thrown so deeply into, and through years of trial and error and misunderstanding, Travis seems more at peace with his almost ambassadorial role.
Recent information which has arisen this year (2016) is continuing to authenticate the Walton case 41 years after it happened. Experts are now comparing the effects of the craft's presence on the surrounding trees and the results have been astounding. More details on this will follow in a later blog.
Time to go, but I will finish by saying that meeting Travis Walton was a truly extraordinary experience for me, a researcher for 20 odd years, as it has confirmed in my mind that such an amazing incident can actually happen and does not belong to the fanciful realms of internet fraudulence.
Travis Walton has made me believe again, or should I say know again, that we truly are in the midst of something remarkable and it is only a matter of time before the bigger picture is revealed.
For a more thorough insight into the Walton experience, among other famous abduction cases please read The Alien Enigma.