On Nov. 5, 1975, Travis Walton and his fellow loggers were clearing shrubbery in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona when a bright light flashed through the descending darkness. Curious, they looked closer to see what they believed to be a UFO hovering about 30 yards away.
Walton made his way toward the mysterious spacecraft. When he did, witnesses would later describe a scene of his body being launched into the air, along with a powerful bolt of energy.
Not wanting to leave Walton behind, the loggers went in search, but could find no trace of their coworker. After the bizarre experience, the loggers volunteered themselves for questioning by authorities, but were soon accused of murder.
John Goulette, one of Walton’s friends and coworkers, recalls during a sweep of the woods following Walton’s disappearance, the deputy imploring that they “just say where the body is so we can all go home and get this over with.”
Walton reappeared five days later. His brother discovered Walton in a phone booth, delirious and confused.
That story unfolds in Radnor filmmaker, Jennifer Stein’s critically acclaimed documentary Travis: The True Story of Travis Walton. Since its release in 2015, the film has won many film festival awards, including EBE People’s Choice Award and Best Personal Story at CHAIN NYC Film Festival.
The eerie subject of the documentary is brought to life through interviews with Walton and others that were present that long-ago November day. By including those first-hand accounts, Stein brings a necessary perspective to an obscure topic. The documentary aims to twist the skeptic’s point.
“I don’t consider my film to be a UFO film—it’s a personal story film about Travis Walton and the lives of the loggers that worked with him,” Stein says.
A self-taught filmmaker, Stein has been making documentaries since 1989. Travis is not her first film to garner such success, nor is it the first to take a look at the controversial topic of extraterrestrial life. Her collaboration with Ron James on The Disclosure Dialogues won two Open Minds’ International UFO Congress Film Festival awards.
Travis will be screened at the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr, on Oct. 29 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door. Proceeds from the event will benefit Radnor Studio 21. Following the screening, Stein, co-producer Bob Terrio, and Travis Walton will answer audience questions.