The Travis Walton Encounter

Hosted byGeorge Knapp

The Travis Walton Encounter

About the show

In this 4-hour special, George Knapp welcomed Travis Walton, who discussed his 1975 UFO abduction, chronicled in the book Fire in the Sky. He was joined by Steve Pierce and John Goulette, who both witnessed the abduction, as well as UFO abduction expert Yvonne Smith, who founded the Close Encounters Resource Organization. Smith pointed out that the Walton case is unprecedented in the annals of abduction research, since it is bolstered by numerous eyewitnesses who saw the event unfold and, subsequently, all passed polygraph tests regarding what happened. This overwhelming amount of strong evidence, she said, is why the case continues to be discussed and examined over 30 years later.

In detailing his UFO encounter, Walton explained how his perspective on the event has changed over the last three decades. "At the time, I accepted the terminology 'abduction,'" he said, since it had felt like a kidnapping. However, Walton observed, in recent years he has begun to consider a different reason for why the events unfolded. He theorized that his extremely close encounter with the ship may have injured him in such a way that the only chance for his survival was via treatment from the occupants of the craft, especially since medical help was over an hour away. "In hindsight, 35 years later, I think it probably was just an attempt to help," he mused.

Walton also recalled how he actually dealt with two types of beings during his stay aboard the craft. The first, he said, were diminutive humanoids that had large, hairless heads and huge eyes. However, he later encountered human-like beings that "looked so much like us, they could be from Earth." Since he did not see them interact with each other, Walton could not surmise who was in charge aboard the ship, but noted that the small dimensions of the craft made it look like the 'humans' were out of place there. He was mystified that in all of the accounts of his experience in the media, including the film, the human-like beings are never mentioned. He speculated that this is because the presence of these 'humans' on the ship is too disconcerting for people to discuss.

Regarding the aftermath of the abduction, Goulette remembered being hounded by a police deputy during Walton's disappearance and continually being prodded to "just tell me where the body is." Additionally, Pierce claimed that, once the abduction story became known, notorious UFO debunker Philip Klass offered him $10,000 to say that the event was a hoax. Following the media firestorm which surrounded the story, both Pierce and Goulette quickly distanced themselves from the case. To that end, Goulette expressed deep regret in not doing more over the last 30 years to help Walton defend the truth of what happened. Similarly, Pierce noted that he "ran from" the event and only began embracing his role in the historic case after his daughter saw the film and was skeptical that he was really involved in the story.

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