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The 1975 UFO-abduction of Travis Walton near Snowflafe Arizona is probably the most convincing such case on record. It was multiply witnessed; Travis (the abductee) was missing for five days and nights to be returned traumatised and dehydrated; extensive investigation including polygraph testing of all the witnesses only strengthened the reality of the case, and not one of the witnesses has changed a single detail of his testimony after 35 years. Anomalies in tree growth compatible with high radiation exposure have been identified in subsequent years in the precise location where the encounter with the UFO reportedly took place, so despite being outside our normal paradigms of consensus reality, it looks like it really happened.

Tracy Torme's 1993 film is a thoughtful piece of work which conveys the essential elements of the story and is largely faithful to the real-life narrative. D. B. Sweeney as Travis and Robert Patrick (the Terminator 2 himself) as Mike Rogers are particularly outstanding in an excellent cast. All the cast and crew became convinced by the story during the shoot. A town in Oregon substituted for Snowflake in the film.

The film begins on the morning of 5 November 1975, a normal day for the young loggers engaged in their tree-thinning contract. The encounter takes place as the seven loggers make their journey home down a mountain road in Mike Rogers' pick-up truck in the early evening, and is shown from the perspective of the five witnesses in the pick-up as Travis is knocked off his feet by a beam from the hovering UFO. The subsequent difficulties experienced by members of the crew during the five days Travis was missing is well realised, as they deal with accusations and incredulity from the wider community and suspicion from the local police authorities. Then Travis is returned, confused and traumatised, the story attracts the international media and things get even worse for all involved. The film has a good script, dramatic tension, is convincingly acted, well edited and rewards occasional repeat viewings.

In his literary and informative book of the same name, Travis describes the long process which resulted in the making of the film and his involvement with it. He explains why the abduction scene aboard the UFO and the appearance of the aliens in the film differ from his real-life recollection; why these changes were made to enhance the drama and to communicate the horror and strangeness to the audience. The reason why one of the characters had to be left out of the film for legal reasons (there were in fact seven loggers including Mike and Travis, not six as portrayed in the film) is also explained. He also felt D.B. Sweeney was well cast, shared his attitude to life and had a similar general character, and was pleased with his portrayal in the film. I recommend reading the book to anyone interested in the story. Travis is a good writer and discusses many things including his own life prior to the abduction and some of the far-reaching philosophical implications of non-human extraterrestrial life, particularly as it seems to be visiting us here.

I met Travis in Snowflake AZ in May 2010 and found him to be as genuine, straightforward and principled as everyone who meets him describes him to be. He told me he has always wished he'd stayed in the truck with the others, and would have preferred had the incident happened to somebody else. The international exposure has been so unwelcome that for years he didn't even have a phone and shunned virtually all media contact. He and Dana (who have been happily married all these years) have four children and eight grandchildren and almost never discuss the incident within the family or with neighbors. They still live in Snowflake, as quiet a middle-American town as you could imagine, where on a weekday everything seems to close at 9pm. He is a man of few words but those he does speak are well-chosen. He radiates integrity and has a terrific dry sense of humor.

It's a pity Torme's film generated only US$20 million in 15 years, but nevertheless it was a modest commercial success. It's good, has stood the test of time well, and deserves a bigger audience.
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on 10 November 2005
When I first saw the end of this film I could barely watch it and remember feeling terrified for the guy having to go through what he did. The ending is portrayed different to what Travis Walton wrote in his book 'The Walton Experience' which I read after the film. After reading his true experience you can understand why the filmakers changed it slightly but the real story is extremely scary too (he actually woke up in the middle of being abducted and thought at the time due to his poor vision he was in a hospital). After seeing evidence in his book that they passed lie detecter tests you have to come to the belief that it was in fact a true story and it did happen.
For those who want further info I reccommend the book but it is
quite heavy going in places. I loved the film and even the actor who played Elliot in E.T features as the youngest member of the crew - he must really love alien flicks!
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on 21 March 2011
We found this an absolutely riveting film to watch and were glued to the tv set all the way through. My other half isn't really interested in much to do with alien/ufo topics but even he admitted that it was a really good film.
The reason I wanted to see it more-so is because it is based on a true story. All the acting is excellent and you find yourself almost becoming part of the film. I can't belive I had never heard of it before seeing as it's an old film.
The end is definitely worth waiting for as the alien scenes are pretty scary and all I can say is that Travis is a brave, brave man dealing with what he went through.
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on 1 April 2014
this film portraying the abduction of travis walton by aliens and the resulting aftermath had me glued to the chair!
it is an exciting, and very well made production both in the action and the outstanding abilities of the actors who took part.
one of the best factual UFO films i have seen even though it contained a little less content than the book.
i thoroughly enjoyed it and can recommend it to everyone.
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on 16 October 2007
I've seen this movie 3 times now over the past decade. I'm probably more impressed with each viewing.

The story is presented very clearly and with no wasted time. A strong cast has been assembled: this is no "B" movie. Reportedly it has only made $20 million domestically since its 1993 release which is a shame. I can only assume it wasn't marketed well.

I hadn't realized that one of the leads, Robert Patrick, had been T-1000 in Terminator 2 (in 1991). It is indeed hard to recognize him here from that earlier role. He's as convincing as possible as Mike, the best friend, of the abductee Travis. James Garner has a key role as an investigator. Henry Thomas, "ET"'s Elliot and by this time a teenager, is one of the loggers who witnessed the UFO. I hadn't recognized him either until this viewing.

The episode aboard the UFO, presented in flashbacks, was the work of "Industrial Light and Magic". It's eiree enough that, unlike Travis, you would think twice before stepping out to go up to a UFO.

As in the book, a great deal of emphasis is placed on the polygraph tests. It's easy to accept the movie as entertainment: in the book Walton is insistent on the truth of what he experienced. But a polygraph, as I understand it, is not scientifically accepted as a reliable lie detector.

Travis Walton participated in the movie production but accepted a completely different presentation of the abduction sequence than his book presents. His book's version, supposedly what really happened, would not have been as interesting. If you had been abducted, would you care that Hollywood used your story as input for a yarn that distorted what the aliens were like or would you want people to see what really happened. I wonder if many people who saw the movie didn't read the book and so came away not knowing how the aliens actually seemed to Travis.

But Hollywood didn't need a true story, just a story that they could present as if true.

Travis Walton has a web site which was operational at the time (just double-checked)I am submitting this review .
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on 18 July 2016
A well put together film, I first saw it on TV about twenty years ago. No, I don't believe it although I'd hate to say bad stuff about Travis Walton. Good luck to him in the same way as Bud Hopkins cooked up a really clever one. The difference is that the Bud Hopkins stuff leaks like a sieve, as does Roswell and Rendlesham but Travis Walton's story is complete on the film and it's just a matter of believing it or not. No, polygraphs aren't "Gospel", that's for sure. I haven't read the book, no interest in it but the film is a good watch, a thriller in its own right. Probably the best of the abduction films, many of them "plod" a bit. I don't believe it for a second, though and I bet money changed hands. Why would this be true when so much of the rest of this genre so obviously isn't?
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on 16 May 2014
One of the most frightening UFO abduction films I have ever seen.If you are a SCI-FI fan don't miss this.Based on facts ,the film shows the emotional turmoil a group of Loggers go through when one of them stops their van to investigate a strange craft hovering in the forest and is abducted.The local people and the law think they have murdered him,until he returns.Brilliant.
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on 19 December 2015
If based on a true story or a local man by the name of Travis is abducted in the woods by Allen Aircraft and goes missing for five days is a interesting story. James Gardner assinged and special CIA Investigator, hears the stories of five men in the woods seeing allen aircraft when Travis one of their friends is abducted. They are then subjected to harassment by the media and the press. All five of them take a lie detector and polograph test which proves they are not lying. Travis, however survives and is famous but James Gardiner disbelieves the stories. A good film if you believe or do not about the unexplianed.
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on 17 October 2016
Another excellent film. Worth watching if you've never seen it and based on a true story which, after having done some research on the main real life events and characters, is believable in my opinion.
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on 21 May 2000
This has to be one of the best cases of Alien Abduction ever recorded. The film itself delivers a true story to what went on in that small town of Snowflake. Although the scenes on board the ship are not what did actually happen to him. But you have to see this movie, its a true classic, and on of the most frightening Alien scenes in cinema history.
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