On November 5th, 1975, Travis Walton was working with a timber stand improvement crew in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest near Snowflake, Arizona. He was driving in a truck with six of his co-workers, when they came across a saucer-shaped object hovering over the ground, about 110 feet away. Walton left the truck to investigate and was struck by a beam of light that appeared, knocking him unconscious. Frightened by the incident, the other six men drove off, leaving Travis.
When Travis awoke, he was no longer on Earth. He recalls the incident, claiming “I became conscious inside the craft. And I believed I was in the hospital. I was in a lot of pain. And as I became more conscious, I looked around and I saw alien beings and I just panicked.” He describes them as looking almost human, though hairless and their complexion very white, dressed in reddish-brown coveralls.
Travis states “I could see out of this one craft – and I could see stars all around, but no planet or sun or anything like that. So at some distance from this solar system.”
Walton said he reacted violently when he awoke due to the shock and pain he was in, however, looking back he does not believe they had any harmful intentions. He does not recall being fed, though he was only conscious for two or three hours out of the five and a half days he was gone. He has tried undergoing hypnotherapy in an attempt to find any blocked memory; however, it may be possible that he was completely unconscious for that time. He also found a mark on his arm to suggest intravenous feeding.
Walton reappeared five days later by the side of a road near Heber, Arizona. UFOlogist, Jem Ledwith, commented on the incident, stating that for five days the authorities thought Walton had been murdered by his co-workers. “All of the co-workers who were there, who saw the spacecraft, they all took polygraph tests, and they all passed, except for one, and that one was inconclusive.”
Sceptics consider this case to be a hoax, as UFO researcher Philip J. Klass found many discrepancies in the accounts of Walton and his co-workers. On further investigation, Klass found the polygraph tests were poorly administered, and believed Walton had employed 'polygraph countermeasures,' such as holding his breath. He also discovered an earlier failed test, from which an examiner concluded the case involved 'gross deception.' It is thought that Travis was likely influenced by film and TV, as abduction claims begin to rise following the depiction of aliens in pop culture. Walton's claim came two weeks after the airing of the NBC television film The UFO Incident.