Saturday, July 17, 2021

The Travis Walton 'UFO Abduction' Story - Meltdown!

Forest Service CL-100 lookout tower (same model as Gentry Tower in Apache-Sitgreaves Natl. Forest)

My, how quickly things have been happening! On July 3,  I wrote about how "Crew Chief Mike Rogers Confesses the Travis Walton Hoax!," which contains a recorded confession of the hoax by Rogers. Normally, you'd think that would settle the matter, but that's not how things work in UFOOLogy. Soon, Rogers was claiming on his Facebook page and elsewhere that documentary producer Ryan Gordon, who made the recording, had digitally altered it, to fake his statements. Of course Gordon objected to this, noting that it accused him of a felony, which was quite injurious to his reputation. Mike agreed to retract the accusation, provided that Ryan acknowledged that Mike retracted his 'confession'. Both agreed, and peace was restored, temporarily.

Then the 45-year-old Walton yarn received another body blow recently when Charlie Wiser, a woman in Australia who nobody in UFOlogy seems to have heard of until about two weeks ago, put together a website demonstrating a prodigious amount of research and attention to detail, as well as a saucy sense of humor. It's called ThreeDollarKit, and it's only a few months old. Only two cases are covered in detail: Betty and Barney Hill, and Travis Walton

Drawing upon maps and photographs provided by Ryan Gordon, she convincingly argues that Travis and Mike, assisted by at least one or two confederates (probably including Travis' brother Duane), used the existing Gentry fire tower along Rim Road in the forest to first, simulate a UFO, with a powerful searchlight to "zap" Travis, and second, hide Travis away for five days while he was supposed to be on board a "saucer". (There is an apartment inside the tower, for the watcher to stay during his shift, which apparently was five days!) The other five woodcutters had no idea what was going on - but Travis needed them to be there as witnesses. Charlie writes,

She goes through a whole lot of details, to explain pretty much all of the Travis Walton yarn. If you're interested in this case, I recommend going through it carefully. It's very credible.

Show of July 16, 2021.

But then on July 16, the Travis Walton story suffered probably its greatest meltdown yet. Mike Rogers agreed to be interviewed by Erica Lukes on her weekly show, UFO Classified. He was supposed to appear via video, but for some reason he didn't (Rogers has done video interviews in the past). Poor Erica had to hold her cell phone, using its own speaker, up to the microphone. She also invited Travis Walton to comment or join in, but received no reply (Walton has previously appeared on her show).

Erica holds her cell phone to the mic for Mike.
It started out pretty slow. She asked Mike to talk about himself, his family and his background, etc. Gradually guiding the conversation back to the incident, Mike repeated the familiar story as it has always been told. He affirmed "one hundred percent" that there was no hoax. However, he later added "I didn't actually see Travis abducted," which leaves him quite a bit of wiggle room. Then he said, I used to believe Travis, but now I'm starting to have my doubts. That started about ten years ago.

The revealing part of the podcast was when Mike began to badmouth Travis Walton, his friend for lo these many years. Earlier, when asked on his Facebook page whether Travis was telling the truth about the 'abduction,' Mike gave him this ringing endorsement: "I have no connection to what Travis Walton says or doesn't say. He is on his own with whatever he says" (July 6).
 
Mike complained that Travis has been trying to keep him 'out of these things' (i.e., the profit from the abduction story) 'for the last thirty years.' The "rift" happened in the year 2000, he said (which was, of course, only 21 years ago). Travis, he says, has an agreement with him to give him 35% of the proceeds in book sales. But "he hasn't paid me a cent!" Mike's sister Dana married Travis decades ago, although they are no longer together. She left him nine years ago. My sister Dana owns the house Travis lives in, said Mike, and if I took Travis to court, I would win, and I'd take his house.

On the subject of that house, Mike began to talk about how the house and its yard are now filled with trash, because Travis is a terrible hoarder. (This is indeed true. I have jokingly suggested that Travis should have an episode about him not on a UFO series, but on Hoarders.)  Mike decried the terrible state of that property, adding that it never looked like that when Dana lived there. (The following day, Mike posted photos of Travis' junkyard-house on his Facebook page, shaming the resident without naming him. This confused many people.)

Mike, who is 74 years old and walks with a cane, nonetheless boasted about his pugilistic abilities. He told how some Mexican guy came up to him speaking Spanish, and was allegedly on drugs. I belted him, Mike boasted. "I've never lost a fight."


The program then went on for another two hours. "This is the longest interview I've ever done," said Erica. Ryan explained the story behind Mike's once-disputed (and now retracted) "confession," showing texts preceding it that leave no doubt as to its authenticity. Asked by Erica if he thought any of the persons involved would ever confess making a hoax, Ryan replied, "If my checkbook was big enough." The purpose of the hoax, he explained, was to try to win the National Enquirer's $100,000 prize for proof of alien life. They did not win that, but they did win the Enquirer's Best Case of the year award
Walton was hoping to win the National Enquirer's $100,000 reward, later increased to $1 million. (July 13, 1976.)

Ryan then showed maps, and photos he had taken of the area involved the incident,  including dramatic drone footage. He showed how Rogers misled the searchers, bringing them to a site near the Turkey Springs work site, about five miles from Travis' actual location in the tower. I won't try to summarize everything Ryan said here, I strongly encourage interested persons to listen to all two hours of the interview with Ryan.

Less than 24 hours after that podcast, it is still making waves and generating a lot of comment. I predict we will be hearing a lot more on this matter in the near future.

 





31 comments:

  1. Ufoology is indeed nectar for the gullible and mentally ill

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    1. It sure is that! Usually money is at the heart of things though.

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  2. That lookout tower at the top of the post is beautiful. In some places you can rent the decommissioned ones as B&Bs - I would pay to do that.

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  3. The string between truth and lies is a thin one that has many short strings tied together... it looks like a number of people are now able to untie this string and make it just one string of truthful lies.

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  4. This is way off topic—and nitpicking immensely—but how would two high court judges be qualified to decide if UFOs came from outer space (presumably they mean products of an 'intelligent' alien civilisation, not something like meteors or space junk which would instantly win someone the prize), rather than peer reviewed evidence presented by competent scientists in the relevant fields? Also, wouldn't an intelligent alien civilisation be an entirely natural phenomenon, the same as Homo Sapiens Sapiens are?

    Back on topic: Can't someone like Bill Gates, Elon Musk etc, just pay the relevant parties enough money to just admit the hoax and put the poor, bloody thing out of its misery?

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    1. Gates or Musk surely have sufficient funds to make such a documentary, but lack the motivation. Bigelow also has sufficient funds, but he wants to spend his money on promoting far-out beliefs, not on debunking them. You have to realize, this would be expensive. Travis would need enough money to retire on, because after confessing the hoax, he'd no longer be able to derive income from it.

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  5. What I see is an elderly man kicking off on Facebook with large posters. Obviously this is money related. Perhaps he requires more of that pie. I see nothing good come of this at all.

    Bye bye "Fire in the sky".

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  6. This was an interesting read.

    https://www.metabunk.org/threads/travis-walton-case-crew-boss-confesses-hoax.11878/

    Such bad buisness.

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  7. Travis Walton has finally spoken up, doubling and tripling down:

    "I have NEVER been a part of Ryan Gordon and Michael Roger's supposed hoax video. I stand by everything we experienced and for years have been 100% involved in the creation of a remake of the original FIREIN THE SKY movie. I have never personally met Mike's partner Ryan Gordon." - Travis on Mike Rogers' Facebook page

    Mike claims to have emails to disprove this.

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    1. Yes, I have seen the ongoing drama.

      Sad to see, more so when you get family slinging mud to boot such as Mike's own grandchild.

      Peter Robbins is very supportive of Travis as are many others if we read his lengthy post about it all on his own Facebook page.

      I highly doubt this drama will resolve any time soon?


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  8. As a student of UAP theory for decades, and an experiencer, Walton's account never rang true for me, due to many factors. Including duration of the abduction; being allowed to escape while alive, and Walton's animosity toward his fellow pranksters.

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  9. “It is as if the agent or intelligence here at work is parodying, daubing, hoaxing; (and tricking investigators, providing them with just enough physical evidence to convince those willing to believe in the reality of the phenomenon, but not enough to persuade the skeptics” John Mack.

    I totally buy into this idea. I think it explains the Patterson/Gimlin Bigfoot film, and the Socorro UFO landing. Both cases have been around forever, analyzed to death, and are still 'unexplained'. There is a decent case to be made both Pro and Con (although not much 'con' for Socorro), which leaves one puzzled. If theres only the 'Hoax' or 'Real' solutions, we are forced to choose. But what if theres a 3rd solution? The idea that we live in a simulation is gaining traction, something unheard of even 5 years ago (and Bank of America is even on board with the idea). If so, the "agent" (ie the program) has total control over what is/is not possible, so why not these occasional inexplicable events? And the beauty is that theres no way to prove either of the 'standard' explanations, so the case lives on forever.

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  10. "The idea that we live in a simulation is gaining traction."

    Where exactly? Unfalsifiable propositions (such as simulated realities and John Mack's quote) are pseudoscience, so no reputable journal or scientific body is going to touch it with a parsec length barge pole.

    Being in a permanent state of unfalsifiability doesn't make a theory 'beautiful' or even remotely credible; it just makes it easy to dismiss, as per Hitchens Razor.

    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Simulated_reality#Falsifiability

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitchens%27s_razor

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    1. have you read Bostrom's theory? I totally admit it probably can never be proven/disproven. Imagine if it *was* proven, that we definitely live in a simulation. Not only would the originating 'agent' be upset, but the human species I think would opt for mass suicide (no free will, we are just pawns ... we would not be happy campers). So like Mack's quote says, this will always be in a 'safe' limbo state, we are none the wiser to what's actually going on. To those who want to continue to live in a binary choice world ("it's real" , "no its a hoax"), they'll forever fall short of proving their case.

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    2. 1. Opting for "mass suicide" would imply free will.

      2. As stated before, unfalsifiable theories are pseudoscience and liable to instant dismissal: unless they can demonstrate that they have become falsifiable; regardless of the expertise and/or credentials of the theorisor.

      3.This has now strayed completely off topic and will elicit no further response from me; assuming Mr. Sheaffer approves this comment.

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  11. Whoopdedoo! Since November 6, 1975 us, the smarter ones in UFOlogy, knew that Travis was a major bs'er. No one with a brain accepted his and his cohorts abduction claims. Klass had his number. Only the millions of UFOols believed the bs.

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  12. so her million-word treatise can be summarized as "he was in the lookout". Maybe all the loose ends were neatly tied up, but I recall a lot of conjectures in her explanation. I will re-read back to front, but I assume records at the time conclusively showed the lookout was unoccupied by any Forest Service worker for that extended period, yet the lights were (always) somehow on, via a generator? I've never considered that case that convincing, certainly Socorro was investigated to a far greater degree due to Project Blue Book being active at the time. Interesting that Travis apparently felt that having *5* witnesses that were not part of the hoax was not taking too big a risk.

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    1. My theory has Betty the Forest Service worker as an accomplice. The lights are on at night when she's cooking her dinner.

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    2. thanks for the reply, so regarding "Betty" ... Forest Service must keep records of who worked in the tower that week (if it was indeed occupied and in use during that time). Have you asked? could you force them to divulge via a Freedom of Information request? It's hardly National Security level stuff. The case is a muddled affair, not terribly enthralling either, a far cry from the Pascagoula abduction (I'd love to see an attempted expose on that one!). I will say your research provides a decent possible explanation, much better than the attempts to discredit Socorro as a hoax (tech students with a weather balloon and firecrackers). But John Mack would be grinning ear to ear, it's a perfect case of 'he said, she said' and neither can prove their case, which is exactly what Mack apparently concluded would happen regarding the UFO (abduction) phenomena.

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    3. FOIA is not something I can do from Australia, to my knowledge.
      We might say it's a "he said, she said" case except that Ryan Gordon, the producer who was making a movie with Travis, and just released a call to prove it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTS7ZGaO_h0), appears to have had a congenial working relationship with Travis and Ryan's "theory" or takeaway is that it was Gentry Tower. When the perpetrator himself is confessing as the "he said", it has a little more weight.

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    4. Yes, you can. You can submit US FOIA from anywhere. Some people in Australia have uncovered quite a lot.

      How do you know that the accomplice is not Billy, instead of Betty?

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    5. Thanks for the info. I had no idea. To my knowledge they've already tried to track Betty down without luck.
      I do not know if it's Betty or Billy we're dealing with here. Let's call the accomplice Bigfoot and cover all bases.

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  13. Can it be explained the letter on Mike Rogers page. The one which demonstrates a conversation between Ryan and Travis. Is it correct that Travis is supposed to have ties to the descendants of Atlantis? No clue how he established that one!! And what's the story re the baby? I cannot make sense of all this.

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  14. This is deplorable.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wTS7ZGaO_h0&fbclid=IwAR26qid6lfTria8OHFIfIkemH-DVnvF0C51tYoOQoCIkZMNssPIRjEJW4GQ

    Gas lighting and covering their asses. He said she said and wasting the public's precious time. I would not ever bother reading a book, watch a movie or documentary re this case ever again. What a load of total rot. The sum total of how things roll within the UFO community. All this boils down to are $$$ at all costs.

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  15. The USFS is a Federal Agency, so it would seem they'd have to comply. They might not provide a name ("personal privacy" seems to be a limitation of a request) but should be able to say if the tower was in use that week (or maybe you've already ascertained that). The Walton case was early November, almost approaching winter - would they normally keep a fire lookout manned (or womanned) into November? (lower risk due to colder temps, even possibility of snow at higher altitude?). The problem with introducing "Betty" is although it solves a problem, it introduces new ones. Besides the obvious (who), it means Travis was completely confident this person, for the remainder of her/his life, would never betray Travis' trust. That's a lot to hope for. Had this person changed their mind early on, Travis almost certainly would have been subject to some criminal charges, or at least substantial fines.

    I hope you get a lot of page views, and please consider the Pascagoula case for the future. I just watched an old news account of it, and the sheriff who interviewed the pair said they were "upset, crying, wanting to climb the walls". I just dont see how people fake that. Actors can of course, but Hickson and Parker dont seem like thespians to me.

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  16. Mike Rogers is a show-off and a POS! He's really a man's man, and to prove this, he brags about beating up a guy who was on drugs...at least that's what he says!

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  17. They are both scam artist's. Seen the little Facebook performance . Let's hope they get exposed. How long has Travis and co ripped off the public now?

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  18. How many YouTube videos must be watched?? I mean folks do have a life. Ryan seems to operate from a nice camper van so it seems. What's this saga about again? Eyes rolling.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=R1NrQUu8x5U&fbclid=IwAR0-9xx1GEn8GGmTt-3ft5sG-dIO47zJ9WX-amxziizjK6YoaZECiQBvfGg

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  19. Anything that involves Mr Robbins as the lead person presenting all of this, red rags fly, considering his escapades with his co-author larry Warren and their book "Left at Eastgate". Remember that end of day there are financial interests held by all to include Travis himself. I have read the Charlie Wiser web site and also the letter which was sent to her which was border line delusional. Mr Clarkeson needs to get out the business. To wrap it up, all this drama creates excellent attention to the case, nothing changes. Fire in the sky, liar in the sky who knows, the Charlie Wisers of this world will come and go .

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