Keep away from the UFO community has been my mantra and my advice to UFO experiencers for the last twenty-something years. There are too many toxic people and less than honourable agendas that make it extremely unhealthy to do anything, but to observe quietly from the fringes of a very fringy subject.
But despite my own good advice -> I literally live on top of a mountain and not under a proverbial rock, I do from time to time pay attention to UFO media and social media.
The hyped up June 2021 Pentagon release was not really interesting to me, possibly because I’m not American and the US Military or government’s position on UFOs is of no relevance to me or my own research, experience, and beliefs. And as predicted it amounted to nothing new.
Three weeks later and there is now a literal witch hunt being conducted across Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook attacking older cases in particular Travis Walton and Betty and Barney Hill. Some of the angry UFO villagers are known to the community, but they are taking cues from people who no one else seems to know and in one case a probable pseudonym with a FB profile less than a month old.
In short they are making accusations that Travis Walton with Mike Rogers hoaxed the UFO event that later became world famous through the film Fire in the Sky.
I looked at the so-called evidence presented over four hours and the website of what is clearly a “skeptic” repacking the same material Phil Klass did many years ago with some added snark and nothing new.
I really, I mean really dislike cyber bullying behaviour and that includes in the guise of crusading.
This crusading on the part of some members of the UFO community may be honourable and the motivations may be deep rooted in a strong sense of justice. But the producer – filmmaker who was featured for two hours on the UFO Classified YouTube has been called out by both Walton and Mike Rogers stating he is a liar. I have no idea if this is true or not, but the idea of a filmmaker sharing personal texts, and phone calls that can be edited without the knowledge of those involved is highly distasteful, and unethical.
Walton and Rogers are both in a position of defending themselves, but what about Betty and Barney Hill? How low can the UFO community sink to attack the dead?
At this point I want to clarify my position on UFO encounters as described by the Hills and Travis Walton. I have never believed in the physical aspects of UFO abduction although I know there are physical side effects and that perhaps is a subject better left for another article. I abandoned the ETH as a nuts and bolts explanation for UFOs almost 20 years ago, but as a researcher and as an experiencer I do know these things happen and people suffer very real consequences because of them. PTSD, poor health, broken families, and ruined lives are very real results of these types of encounters whether you want to believe in them in the very literal sense or not.
After watching a very long full four hours of UFO Classified and taking a look through the debunking website (you can find it via UFO Classified) I am not convinced that something odd did not happen to Travis Walton. It does not matter if his perception of events is not exactly what occurred. This is where the experience of a David Gotlieb or John Mack would be useful; both PhD psychiatrists who worked with abductees.
I have an advantage as a researcher in being a UFO experiencer and a magical person in that I know these encounters with the numinous do happen. And why I always will give the benefit of doubt to the experiencers, and their testimonies. Unless someone experiences something like this so out-of-the-ordinary it is likely impossible to fully appreciate the courage it takes to come forward publicly knowing very few people will believe you and many others will mock and ridicule.
I do understand the desire to “clean up” the UFO community of con artists, but attacking UFO experiences with rehashed “evidence” which only serves to confirm one’s own bias, while exploiting people who are part of a very stressed and dysfunctional family dynamic is cruel, and unprofessional. And the latter is not without precedence in the history of the UFO and paranormal world.
False confessions to hoaxing such as the case of the Fox Sisters where one was paid $1500 (a huge sum of money in the 19th century) to demonstrate how the sisters manifested fake psychic abilities is well documented. Margaretta was an alcoholic, and reformed Catholic with a serious axe to grind against her sister Leah. She later recanted her confession, but the damage was done.
In more modern times there are the Glatzels (Haunting in Connecticut) and the Lutzs (Amityville) famed victims of extreme hauntings whose families were later destroyed by finger pointing, and accusations of lying long after their individual stories had already become famous . Ironically one of the UFO crusaders who are accusing Travis Walton of hoaxing posts a smiling autographed picture of himself with Ed and Lorraine Warren on his Facebook profile! The Warrens were intimately involved in both those cases, and have been highly criticized by both skeptics and parapsychologists as being unethical in their treatment of the families they worked with.
If these researchers care so much about people as they claim to then why not look into the harassment of witnesses, or dishonorable researchers in the way Sacha Christie brilliantly built a case against cyber bully Larry Warren. This was a full three year investigation that was carefully and methodically documented, which resulted in a former writing colleague Peter Robbins bravely admitting he had been hoaxed. Peter will always have my full respect.
Travis Walton is no Larry Warren nor was Betty and Barney Hill. The differences in these investigations, motivations, agendas and probable outcomes are clear.
The debunkers and UFO cops would have us believe that Travis Walton, and Mike Rogers are David Copperfield level illusionists, who are able to maintain a hoax and lie for 45 years. Of course this is possible, but everything I know about Travis Walton and this case make that very unlikely. And unless Travis Walton makes a confession to hoaxing we can never know what really happened because as abduction researchers like Dr. John Mack knew these experiences are highly complex, and often cannot be taken in a very literal sense.
People can believe what they want to. I choose to believe Travis Walton, and I believe something very strange happened to the Hills.
The debunkers agenda is clear. But, if the UFO crusaders sincerely care about the UFO abductees, and experiences, those researchers who have jumped on the hoax busting bandwagon should take time to examine their own motivations. Why? What is the point? Sowing chaos? Shit disturbing? How does this help the UFO community?
It’s actually destructive, and pointless. I say pointless because anyone who has sincerely researched reports like this knows that unless someone is intimately involved in an encounter we can only listen and accept the word of the experiencer that they are recalling events to the best of their perceptions, and knowledge. If you are not willing to do that find something else to occupy your time because you will harm people.
In the end hoax or no hoax there is nothing positive that will come of this and if you believe Travis Walton or not, this witch hunting will have a negative impact on innocent people, and the perception the public has of all UFO witnesses. If Travis Walton were proven beyond any doubt to be a hoaxer it would not change my opinion of my own experiences or others, but because of his fame it would cause harm in the public eye and maybe that is the ultimate goal here… at least for some.
Stepping down from my soap box and flying swiftly back to the fringe of the fringe.