As it Happened: The Archive Edition - The Aliens Episode
Early one November morning in 1975, a seven-man logging crew was returning home from working in Sitgreaves National Park, near Snowflake, Arizona. What happened — and what they witnessed — from their truck is uncertain.
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.- Travis Walton, self-described alien abductee
But at some point one of the men,Travis Walton, 22, disappeared — only to re-emerge five days later at a nearby gas station. He claimed he had been abducted by aliens.
As it Happens host Barbara Frum spoke with Mr. Walton later that month. Here is part of that interview.
Barbara Frum: Mr. Walton, how are you?
Travis Walton: I'm feeling a lot better.
BF: Where were you?
TW: I don't know.
BF: Can you tell us anything of what happened?
TW: 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.
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.- Travis Walton
BF: When you got off the truck to see the object that the other people on the truck saw, do you remember what you thought when you were running toward it?
TW: I just wanted to get a closer look. I didn't have any idea of what would happen.
TW: No. I was unconscious at that time. I didn't see any blue ray like they described. I just blacked out. I was just struck. And shocked, sort of.
BF: Now what's the next thing you know for sure?
TW: 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.
BF: How'd they look?
TW: They looked almost human. They were very white — on their skin, and hairless. And in reddish-brown coveralls.
BF: What do you mean 'hairless'?
TW: No hair on the head, no eyebrows, no eyelashes.
BF: No moustaches?
BF: How did they treat you?
TW: I reacted violently, because of the shock and the pain I was in. But looking back on it now, I don't believe they had any harmful intentions.
BF: What did they feed you?
TW: I don't recall ever being fed. I was only conscious for two or three hours out of the five-and-a-half days. Hypnosis has been trying to see if there's any blocked memory there, or if perhaps I was just totally unconscious for that time. But there was a mark on my arm that suggested intravenous feeding.
BF: How much weight did you lose in the five days?
BF: Anyone in Snowflake, Arizona, believing you?
TW: Acceptance is growing — especially since the final word of the experts that I was examined by after my return. A lot of negative publicity went out immediately, because since I was under testing and not available for any kind of an interview or comment, they just seized on a lot of speculation and a lot of negative things came out. But since then, acceptance has been growing tremendously.
BF: Are you going to write a book?
TW: It's been suggested to me. There's so much to tell. It'd probably be a good idea.
You can hear more of Barbara Frum's November 24, 1975 interview with Travis Walton — as well as these stories, on this week's 'Aliens' episode of "As it Happened: The Archive Edition":
- A California-based hypnotherapist discusses her support group for people who believe they've been inducted by extraterrestrials.
- Why one man believes that aliens may present themselves in the form of household pets.
- A British Lord reveals why he believes aliens held a secret meeting with President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954.
- Why a budding filmmaker journeyed halfway around the world from his home in Australia to Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula to shoot a comedy about an alien named Trevor.
- Carol Off's interview with Jill Tarter on the occasion of her retirement as director of the SETI institute.