In November 1975, seven loggers were working in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests near Snowflake, Ariz. As the sun went down, and the temperatures dropped, the men packed up their things and headed home. While driving, they saw a strange light in the distance. One man, Travis Walton, leaped out of the truck and walked toward it, almost as if he couldn't help himself.
The other men desperately begged Travis to return to the vehicle, but before that could happen, he disappeared. Terrified, they began driving but quickly returned. Calling out Travis's name, panicked and afraid, the men circled the area where they last saw him. Travis was gone. Five days later he suddenly reappeared with an incredible story about being taken by aliens.
A new Discovery Plus documentary titled Alien Abduction: Travis Walton presents new evidence to support Travis's story. In an exclusive interview with Distractify, Travis and UFO expert Ben Hansen talked about why his experience is the most credible alien abduction story to this day and what it all means.
Travis Walton says his mission is to see if he can "help people to understand that this is real."
While Travis was missing, his six co-workers were being investigated. His disappearance was being treated as a possible murder. They all passed polygraph tests and never deviated from the details of that night's events. "That's one reason that I put it up there as the most well-documented encounter, because the number of witnesses and the consistency," Ben told Distractify.
Five days after Travis was last seen, his brother-in-law Grant got a phone call late at night. It was Travis from a phone booth in Hebrew, Ariz. and he didn't know how he got there. He was picked up by Grant and his brother Duane, 10 lbs. lighter. Eventually, Travis was taken to a hypnotherapist to unlock the memories of his abduction.
The story that eventually tumbled out of Travis was terrifying, but later in life, he has a different take on what happened. Travis told us that it wasn't fear that was driving him but a lack of understanding.
He went on to say it "wasn't really an alien abduction," but more like "an ambulance call." In later years, Travis changed his mind entirely, sharing with us, "The absolute terror that I experienced at the time might not have been warranted."
'Alien Abduction' is a new UFO documentary that reveals more about Travis's story.
When Travis offered to take Ben Hansen to the site of his abduction for this documentary, Ben jumped at the chance. He was introduced to Travis through a mutual friend and admitted to us that he was surprised that Travis was still alive to tell his tale.
"When I started listening to him ... as I went up to the site, I got up to speed that something real had happened and that Travis and the rest of the crew I met later were telling the truth," Ben said.
The documentary revisits what happened that night, but it also takes us through what Travis's life was like after being abducted. Public perception of his story changed often but really turned around after he wrote The Walton Experience in 1978. In the book, he chronicles what happened but also refutes the criticism lodged against him.
"I think the rebuttal of some of these false accusations actually kind of enhanced people's acceptance," Travis told us. He also added, "It's kind of been my mission to see if I can help people to understand that this is real."
And while he is certainly accomplishing that goal via this documentary, Travis was very clear about one thing. When we asked if he wished this had never happened to him, he said, "Absolutely."
The ultimate purpose of the documentary is to show real scientific evidence that supports Travis's abduction story, a story he has never changed in the nearly 50 years he's been telling it. The only thing that has changed is how Travis himself views the motive behind the abduction.
He somewhat blames Hollywood for the negative connotation surrounding aliens coming to our planet. "The overwhelming majority of Hollywood's interpretation is invading monsters," he told us. "I really don't think that's the case."
Alien Abduction: Travis Walton debuts on Discovery Plus Friday Feb. 18.