Grant drove the three miles from Taylor over to Snowflake and found my brother Duane at Mom's house. He told Duane about the call, and of his doubts it was really me. Duane, too, thought the call might have been yet another example of someone's idiotic concept of humor. But they decided they couldn't risk not investigating. They set out for Heber, thirty-three miles away.
"Lights suddenly shone into the phone booth. Relief flooded over me when I raised my head and saw the headlights of Duane's pickup. Duane and Grant got out and came to where I was still slumped in the phone booth. Duane opened the glass door of the booth and helped me to my feet. "Am I ever glad to see you!" Grant said. Duane helped me into the warm truck and asked Grant to drive. On the way to Snowflake I tried to tell them about what happened to me, but I just couldn't get it all out. "They were awful; white skin; great big eyes..." I sobbed in horror". "Take it easy, Travis, you're all right now. They didn't harm you, did they?" "No... but those eyes, those horrible eyes! They just kept looking at me!" "Just so you're okay, that's all that counts," Duane said. "Everyone has been worried sick about you." "If it's already after midnight, I must have been unconscious for a couple of hours," I replied shakily. "Because I only remember about an hour or an hour and a half inside that thing." Duane and Grant looked at me strangely. "Travis, feel your face," Duane said. "Good heavens, I just shaved this morning and it feels like a week's growth!" I exclaimed, still not comprehending.
"Travis," Duane said gently, "You've been missing for five days!"
After Travis was found, the first consideration of family and friends was his health. Only a few bruises and scrapes marred him physically. His mental condition? That was a different story. Travis' older brother Duane tried to protect him, and handle the authorities, but was ill-equipped for what was to come. UFO research groups descended on the family, local and state police were hungry for some answers. Profiteers, racketeers, freaks, debunkers, and skeptics all wanted a piece of Travis and his story. Already angry at thinking they had been hoodwinked, they couldn't wait to say "I told you so," "I knew it was a hoax," "They were all a bunch of loons." Was this another fraudulent, stupid story of "little green men"? The collusion of National Enquirer and APRO would have an adverse effect on the case. Did they care whether or not the story was real? Or were they interested only in selling papers? The research group APRO had a reputation of being a fair and open-minded organization. Certainly not able to investigate all UFO reports, they had to be choosy, and look into the most credible cases only. Not especially overflowing with financial backing, they were put into the position of having to rely on The National Enquirer bankrolling the investigation in exchange for the exclusive rights to publishing it.
Rushing Travis to a lie-detector test was a mistake. Still in a state of mental confusion, he was unsure exactly what had happened. He only recalled bits and pieces of information at first, but in time his memory slowly returned. Travis' first lie-detector test showed deception. Subsequently he would pass 12 others, one as late as 1993, some 18 years after the fact. It would seem incredibly strange that 4 witnesses of an event would pass an examination, with 1 inconclusive, and the victim of the event itself fail. It should be noted that all of the witnesses subsequently passed all lie-detector tests given them. It was also reported that one of the crewmen was offered $10,000.00 to say the whole case was fabricated. Though certainly tempted by the huge sum of money, he stuck to his original assertion. The Dalis test was also tainted by the fact that he was allegedly wanted for questioning relating to a crime, and also had some family problems unresolved, like a fairly large sum of back child support. His name in the papers would most assuredly alert searching family members and authorities to his whereabouts.
In my own research for these articles, I have searched through literally hundreds of reports, both pro and con. It is amazing that even some of the larger, more reputable movie and book review sites (not naming names), don't even have some of the basic facts of the case correct. I have seen different numbers of crewmen listed, anywhere from 3-7, when the actual police report lists all 6 men (including Walton) with their names, addresses, etc. This is only one area of misinformation. Taking into account all of the information available at this time, there are some facts of the case which are irrefutable;
1) Despite allegations of a hoax by well-known UFO investigators, NO ONE has brought forth any proof to substantiate their claims.
2) Despite a massive search by approximately 50 volunteers aided by dogs and helicopters, NO physical trace of Travis Walton was found during the 5 days of his disappearance.
3) During the 25 years since the case began, not ONE person has brought forth any information indicating where Travis was, or even alleged a possible sighting of him during the five days.
4) Law enforcement officials, though claiming hoax all the while, never presented ANY evidence to put a dent in one of the crewmen's statements, which remain the same to this day.
5) From a theoretical standpoint, it is highly unlikely that 6 men, common everyday working men, could put together an elaborate hoax, pass lie-detector tests, stand up to questioning, and stick to the same incredible story for a quarter of a century, without a break. The stress of the investigation caused personal problems among the men, yet they still stuck to their stories.
6) Though Walton did receive money for his story, it was not until many years later that he gained financially from it. Reviewing all the facts presented to date, it is also advisable to mention that it is easier to prove that something happened, than to prove that it didn't. It is also very easy to simply yell "Hoax," without tenable proof. However, in the shadow of all of the crewmen's statements to date, it is very compelling to say that something very extraordinary and unusual did happen on November 5th, 1975 in the remote forests of Arizona. The Travis Walton Story, "Fire In The Sky," remains one of the most intriguing reports of UFO abduction today.
"It was many years ago that I got out of a crew truck in the national forest and ran toward a large glowing UFO hovering in the darkening Arizona sky. But when I made that fateful choice to leave the truck, I was leaving behind more than just my six fellow workmen. I was leaving behind forever all semblance of a normal life, running headlong toward an experience so overwhelmingly mind-rending in it's effects, so devastating in its aftermath, that my life would never - could never - be the same again." - Travis Walton