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Location: Mothership -> Ufo -> Updates -> 1996 -> Dec -> Walton Case.4: NICAP June 76 evaluation - Klass

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Walton Case.4: NICAP June 76 evaluation - Klass

From: "Jerry Cohen" <>
Web Site:
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 07:10:03 -0500
Fwd Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 17:02:15 -0500
Subject: Walton Case.4: NICAP June 76 evaluation - Klass

Travis Walton Case.4
Reprint of the 'NICAP' June '76
Philip Klass analysis of the "Walton Case"

The following is a reprint of the June 1976 issue of NICAP's *UFO
INVESTIGATOR* titled, "Walton Abduction Cover-up Revealed." In it are the
principal reasons NICAP felt that the Walton case was hoaxed. This
particular analysis was performed by Philip Klass. The research of William
S. Bickel, NICAP's regional investigator, had been previously printed in the
January 1976 issue of the UFO Investigator on p. 3, titled, "Alleged Arizona


Begin page 1 - 6/76 NICAP (With interjected comments from this researcher)


Philip J. Klass, author of UFO's EXPLAINED, agreed to give NICAP a complete
interview regarding his finding concerning the Travis Walton Case.  After
six months of detailed research, Mr. Klass has valid data which indicates
that information had been withheld intentionally by APRO (Aerial Phenomena
Research Organization) which is based in Tucson, Arizona.

JC:   Travis Walton talks about this in his "Fire in the Sky" book. Is there
anyone still around from APRO to comment what was witheld and why? It is
important to know what they had to say about it back then. I will discuss
what Walton had to say in another post.

The National Enquirer was also aware that additional information about the
alleged abduction was available but this has been withheld from the public.

JC:   I would like to hear the same regarding the Enquirer. However, I also
believe it is important to separate the newspaper's motives from the actual
original facts of the case. If the newspaper turns out to have been trying
"sell newspapers," this does not conclusively prove the reported incident
was not a "real" occurrence.

NICAP ran an article covering the Travis Walton Case in the January 1976
issue of the UFO INVESTIGATOR. NICAP's consensus even at that time was that
Walton and his associates were either involved in a hoax or that a
psychological phenomenon was involved.  It was decided that no further
manpower would be allocated.  This decision was based on NICAP's original
data, and the knowledge that APRO was continuing the investigation.  It has
been a normal procedure in the past for the two organizations to exchange
information on cases, and we felt that duplication of efforts was not necessary.

A summary of the incident as it was presented by the news media is included
for your information.


JC:   It is to be noted that Mr. Klass did not state the "particular" news
media to which he was referring. Were they all equally as accurate? Since
various graphic details are alleged concerning Walton, I am surprised a
"first hand report" from the sheriff's office wasn't used to provide the
most accurate version of the story.

On the evening of Nov. 5, 1975, at approximately 6:15 p.m. MST, a crew of
seven young woodcutters, headed by Michael Rogers was returning home.
Rogers (age 28) was under contract to the U.S. Forest Service to thin out
1,277 acres of National Forest land near Turkey Springs.  According to the
story later told by Rogers, and other members of his crew (ages 17-25), they
saw a UFO hovering nearby.  They claim that Travis Walton jumped out of the
moving car and walked/ran under the UFO, that he was "zapped" by an intense
glowing beam from the UFO, and that the rest of the crew panicked and drove
off, leaving their friend behind.

A short time later, they claim, they returned to the spot to seek Travis but
that he had disappeared - seemingly carried off by the UFO.  It was not
until more than two hours later that Rogers and his crew decided to report
the incident to Under-Sheriff L.C. Ellison in nearby Heber, Ariz.

JC:   If the last sentence was written in this manner to indicate that
something was amiss in their taking two hours to report same to the sheriff,
consideration has to be given to how long it took the men to arrive back in
town from where they were. We also might ask ourselves; "If something of
this sort actually happened to you, would you immediately go running to the
police or would you perhaps be worried that they would think you were
crazy?"  It is certainly in the realm of possibility that a discussion of
this sort may have occurred. I know I'd personally be thinking twice if it
happened to me.

While Travis was missing, Rogers and the other five young men took a
polygraph test, on Nov. 10, administered by C.E. Gilson of the Arizona Dept.
of Public Safety of Phoenix.  Five of the young men "passed" the examination
but the results for one (Allen M. Dalis) were "inconclusive," according to
Gilson.  The reported test results have been widely interpreted as endorsing
the authenticity of the alleged UFO abduction.

JC:   If five men passed the test and one was "inconclusive" (N.B. Although
some skeptics may disagree, if Dalis did not fail it but his test was simply
"inconclusive," this researcher believes the interpretations were
appropriate since the other five witnessed passed. One might ask oneself how
that one person got the other five to imagine the craft hovering in the woods.)

Shortly after midnight on Nov. 11, Travis telephoned his sister, Mrs. Grant
Neff, of Taylor, Ariz. (near Snowflake), from a phone booth in Heber, about
30 miles away.  Mr. Neff and Travis' older brother Duane, who had come to
Snowflake from his home in Phoenix shortly after the alleged UFO incident,
both drove to Heber to pick up Travis.  They reported finding him crumpled
on the floor of the phone booth, and in a very "confused" mental state.  A
short time after returning Travis to his mother's home in Snowflake, Duane
decided to drive Travis to Phoenix, reportedly to obtain medical assistance.
Later that same day he was examined by two physicians at the request of APRO.

On Feb. 7, 1976, almost three months after Travis' return, he and Duane took
polygraph tests administered by George J. Pfeifer, then employed by Tom
Ezell & Associates of Phoenix.  According to published reports, both men
passed the exam which involved many questions dealing with Travis' claim of
having been abducted by a UFO.  The widely publicized results of these test
seem to confirm that such an incident actually occurred.

In evaluating the authenticity of such a case, UFO researchers must
concentrate on the validity of available data.  After reading the reports
published by other organizations and national newspapers, one would think
that the Walton Case was a very strong one for the following reasons.

1. Walton passed the polygraph examination.
2. There were six other witnesses. Five of the six passed the
   polygraph examination.
3. Walton is of high character.
4. Walton and his family had very little prior interest in UFOs.
   Therefore, it would be unlikely that he would concoct a story
   relating to UFOs.
5. None of the other six witnesses had any motivation to participate
   in a hoax.

                                                End page 1 - NICAP

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

JC:   Please note: There were no sources given or quotes from any papers
detailing numbers 3, 4 & 5. Although I cannot say that these three did not
appear somewhere, they did not appear in those accounts I personally read.
This would be second-hand evidence if the people claimed to have made the
quotes were not personally interviewed by phone, mail, whatever. If anyone
has them, they should be presented for all to see.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

For the information of NICAP members, these points are discussed in detail.
They give even stronger indication that NICAP's original conclusion is the
correct one, i.e., the case is a hoax.


Mr. Klass revealed to NICAP that a lie detector test had been administered


JC:   I just finished reading what Walton had to say about that test. The
test was administed ten days after the occurrence of the claimed incident.
He stated that it was taken while he was still in trauma from the incident
and that he was told by various people around him, including a psychiatrist
that the results of the test would be inconclusive if he was too emotionally
agitated when he took the test. He took it anyway. If this were to be true,
it would be fair reason why APRO and the National Enquirer witheld the
evidence.  Do any other polygraphers concur with this assessment? Did any
other polygraphers examine the results of this test?  There may be a sticky
point here. However, with the other available information, including the new
polygraph performed (jc: link added 1/18/2006)on three of the witnesses, I 
certainly would like more analysis and confirmation regarding this test
before fully accepting it from only one polygrapher. (or is the test only
permitted to be administered and analyzed by one person?) ----------------------------- This first test was given in the Sheraton Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona on the afternoon of November 15. The arrangements for the examination were made by Mr. James Lorenzen, APRO's director, and the test was paid for by the National Enquirer. The examination was administered by Mr. John J. McCarthy, director of the Arizona Polygraph Laboratory in Phoenix. Mr. McCarthy's credentials are excellent. He was trained at the Army's polygraph school at Fort Gordon. Mr. McCarthy is a member of the American Polygraph Association and has been licensed by the State of Illinois since 1964. At present, Arizona does not require that polygraph examiners be licensed to practice in the state. The examiner reported his findings as instructed to the National Enquirer and Dr. James Harder, APRO's director of research, immediately upon the completion of the test taken by Walton. Dr. Harder reported that information to APRO's James Lorenzen. McCarthy was further instructed to send a written report to the National Enquirer. The Enquirer instructed McCarthy not to reveal that he had tested Walton. An excerpt from the report which was sent is, "Attempting to perpetrate a UFO hoax, and that he has not been on any spacecraft." The report further stated that Travis Walton had tried unsuccessfully to distort his respiration pattern in an attempt to deceive the examiner. However, he was unsuccessful. APRO published a full account of the Travis Walton case in their November 1975 newsletter which included the events that had transpired during the week following Travis' return through November 16. No mention of the November 15 lie detector test was included. Mr. Klass has hard physical evidence in his possession, which has been checked by NICAP, that Mr. McCarthy did test Travis Walton on November 15, 1975, and that Walton failed the test. The evidence includes such documents as: 1. The polygraph examination statement of consent dated Nov. 15, 1975 and signed by Travis Walton. 2. McCarthy's written report to the National Enquirer dated Nov. 16, 1975 which includes his conclusion that the UFO account was a hoax. ----------------------------- JC: Again, with the new evidence at hand, I believe the original polygraph examination given by Mr. McCarthy, along with his original statement, literally scream out to be reexamined by other polygraphers. The question is, with the new evidence at hand: "Will a majority of polygraphers agree after examining the data in that test, that the Walton case was definitely a hoax?" Until this is done, the Walton case cannot be completely closed. ----------------------------- 3. The voucher receipt from the National Enquirer payable to McCarthy's Arizona Polygraph Laboratory dated Jan. 14, 1976, for "Travis Walton UFO Incident." 4. Agreement to conduct test and supply report to National Enquirer. This statement is dated Feb. 15, 1976 rather than Nov. 15, 1975. This is clearly a typographical error. Three months after Travis Walton failed the first polygraph exam, he took another one administered by George J. Pfeifer, an examiner with only two years' experience, who was employed by Tom Ezell Associates of Phoenix. ----------------------------- JC: The polygrapher who administered the new test cannot be accused of the same limited experience. ----------------------------- The results of this test were widely publicized because he seemingly passed the test with flying colors. Mr. Klass discovered that Travis Walton dictated the questions that he wanted to be asked. ----------------------------- JC: Perhaps a good point to consider is "Did Walton dictate all the questions or just some of them." By examining the questions he asked, one might possibly determine a motive for same. Was Walton trying to trick us with the questions or was he trying to make sure the examiner, this time, asked questions which covered the topic more completely, leaving no room for doubt. An examination of the questions Walton requested to be asked might shed some light on this. I was wondering if those questions were ever printed for the public to see? Perhaps they were in the other books I will be reading in the near future. I will report on same. ----------------------------- Mr. Pfeifer complied with Walton's request. To check the validity of the method of testing, the president of Tom Ezell Associates, Mr. Tom Ezell, was contacted. He stated that it is perfectly proper for the sponsor of a test (APRO) to indicate the areas which should be explored. However, Mr. Ezell in later correspondence with Mr. Klass stated, "Because of the dictation of questions to be asked, this test should be invalidated." he further stated that after examining the Travis Walton charts, "The reactions on the charts, to my way of interpretation, would not be readable. You would not be able to say if he (Travis Walton) is telling the truth or if he's lying." JC: I was wondering whether Mr. Ezell, if he is still alive, would care to expound on this a little further. Why was this so? Exactly what was it about the test that made it inconclusive? Why did he feel it was done on purpose? Was it impossible that it could be attributed to major trauma from the incident? If this has already been printed somewhere I will attempt to find it and report on same. CORROBORATING WITNESSES' POLYGRAPH EXAMINATIONS As reported in the January 1976 issue of the UFO INVESTIGATOR, the polygraph exam given to the other alleged witnesses was designed to determine whether or not Walton might be the victim of foul-play instigated by his associates. Three of the four relevant questions asked during the test dealt entirely with this issue. The test was given by C.E. Gilson, an examiner with five years' experience. His statement to Mr. Klass was, "That was our sole purpose . . . to determine whether or not there had been a crime committed." The single question about the UFO was added at the request of Sheriff Gillespie. Gilson stressed . . . "That one question does not make it a valid test as far as verifying the UFO incident." ----------------------------- JC: And so we have the new test, performed on Walton, Rogers and Dalis, which claims to clarify same. ----------------------------- WALTON'S CHARACTER In the evaluation of witness testimony, the credibility of the witness must also be evaluated. On May 5, 1971 Travis Walton and Charles Rogers pleaded guilty to first degree burglary and forgery charges. (Charles Rogers is a younger brother of Michael Rogers, who was also involved in the UFO incident.) This information was revealed by Travis Walton himself during a preliminary discussion with the polygraph examiner, Mr. McCarthy, and confirmed by state authorities. ----------------------------- JC: What is interesting here is that Walton made absolutely no attempt to hide this. One could make the case that Walton knew he would be found out anyway and decided to tell the polygrapher up front. Likewise, one could make a case stating that Walton was just trying to be totally truthful with the polygrapher so that he would be believed in the end. Obviously, these two things cancel each other out. No proper conclusion can be drawn from either. ----------------------------- The young men agreed to make restitution of the funds and were placed on a two year probation. Arizona law provides that if probation is fulfilled satisfactorily the party may later return and ask the Court to expunge the record. Both of the boys retracted their original pleas after the completion of the probation period. At the time of the report there is no indication that Walton was continuing his youthful misbehavior. ----------------------------- JC: This I find "interesting." After smearing Walton's character with information that was legally wiped from the record by Arizona law and for which Mr. Klass could have possibly been brought up on charges (at least in Arizona) for displaying same, Mr. Klass then tells us that "At the time of the report there is no indication that Walton was continuing his youthful misbehavior." In a court of law, the judge would tell the jury to strike that remark from the record. Of course, it is too late because they already heard it. Attempting to reconvict a man in the present for something he did in his youth and paid his price for certainly did not prove the case for the skeptics. To suggest that it would be likely that Walton would do this behavior again is to attempt to convict a person without fair trial. Another question that arises: "Is it fair to imply that Mike Rogers is guilty of his brother's offense because (it runs in the family?)." That appears to be what Mr. Klass has insinuated. If Mr. Klass *has* insinuated this, I hope no one in his family is known to be a liar or, using the same logic, he himself would be judged likely to follow suit. This might therefore disqualify his entire study regarding this case. I have great faith most of us, including Mr. Klass, can see how ridiculous this would be. ----------------------------- PRIOR INTEREST IN UFOs Interest in UFOs does not prohibit the interested party from having a valid sighting. However, in a large majority of hoax reports, prior interest is usually present. ----------------------------- JC: It might likewise be pointed out that in a large majority of reports where certain skeptical researchers have a stake in proving their case, the claimant's character has been vigorously attacked, sometimes to the point of absurdity by the skeptic. Does this prove that *all* skeptics who point out the claimant's character flaws are actually attempting to prove their point by any means they possibly can? Hardly. Likewise, the innuendo in Mr. Klass' last sentence is meaningless to this analysis, as it in no way proves Walton hoaxed his case. ----------------------------- It has been reported elsewhere that Walton had little or no prior interest in the field. ----------------------------- JC: What does this have to do with the facts of the case? Was it reported by Mr. Walton, his family, the Sheriff or are these rather the second-hand accounts of the news media? First-hand accounts should supersede all other accounts. Second-hand accounts are......."second-hand" accounts. ----------------------------- Dr. Howard Kandell, one of the two physicians who examined Walton at APRO's request was asked if the Waltons had indicated any prior interest in UFOs. Kendall replied: "They admitted to that freely, that he (Travis) was a 'UFO Freak' so to speak . . ." He had made remarks that if he ever saw one, he'd like to go aboard. ----------------------------- JC: What the exact definition of "UFO FREAK"? Does it mean Walton was obsessed with UFOs? Was he known to constantly give false information about cases or was he just highly interested in them? Are we sure this is enough reason to say that what Walton and crew said occurred, didn't occur? ----------------------------- Dr. Jean Rosenbaum, a psychiatrist who examined Walton was asked whether he had mentioned any prior interest in UFOs. He replied, "Everybody in the family claimed that they had seen them (UFOs) . . . Travis has been preoccupied with this almost all of his life . . . ----------------------------- JC: So, obviously we are to infer that they are all nuts, are lying or fantasizing and therefore, it's impossible that anything they say could have happened. ----------------------------- then he made the comment to his mother just prior to this incident that if he was ever abducted by a UFO, she was not to worry because he'd be all right." Duane Walton has stated that he and Travis had often discussed the possibility of getting a ride on a UFO. ----------------------------- JC: As suspicious as this at first sounds, another interesting question that comes to mind is: "Was this the only time he ever said this to his mother or to others in his family? To me it sounds as though he has said this before. If he had, this would remove some of the premeditation we all see in Walton's above statement. JC 1/19/2006: Also, in thinking about this just now, in most abduction cases I've read, what Walton said about people being returned to where they were taken from is accurate. ----------------------------- MOTIVATION OF THE SIX WITNESSES It has been stated that there was no motivation, other than possible friendship for the other six witnesses to corroborate Walton's story if it were not true. ----------------------------- JC: Again, exactly who stated this? ----------------------------- Investigation has revealed a strong financial possible motive for Mike Rogers and the other five crew members to perpetrate a hoax. Mike Rogers had submitted a bid in the spring of 1974 to the U.S. Forest Service for a timber thinning operation of 1,277 acres of land in a National Forest, located in the Apache-Sitgreaves area. His bid was accepted and was 27% under the mid-figure submitted by the other companies. By the following summer (1975) it was clear to Rogers that he had grossly underestimated the magnitude of the job and could not complete it on time. He applied for an extension which was granted but he was penalized $1.00 per acre for all work performed after the expiration of the original contract date. The new work completion deadline was November 10, 1975. As the new deadline approached, it became clear that once again, they could not possibly complete the work by that time and he would have to ask for another extension that would result in another pay cut. More serious, the Forest Service was withholding 10 percent of the payments until the job was done. With winter at hand, Rogers could not finish until the next spring to collect these funds. The alleged UFO incident gave Rogers a legal basis for terminating his money-losing contract on the ground that his crew would not return to the work site out of fear, allowing Rogers to collect the withheld funds and pay his crew. ----------------------------- JC: If possible, I will have comments on this as well. ----------------------------- SUMMARY The reaction of the Travis Walton family when informed that he had been "zapped" away on a UFO provides a valuable measure of whether they had prior knowledge of a planned hoax. If they believed that the incident actually took place, they would realize that they might never see Travis again. Troopers from the Navajo County Sheriff's Department assembled late on the night of November 5 and returned to the alleged site to search for Travis. It was not until several hours after midnight on Nov. 6 that the group then proceeded to inform Travis' mother that her son could not be found. One member of the trooper informed Mr. Klass that when he explained the horrible fate of her son, she simply replied, "I'm not surprised." ----------------------------- JC 1/19/2006: With his high previous interest in UFOs, if Walton simply
discussed with his mother about what he would do if he ever saw a UFO close up, that could also be enough reason for her to say this. ----------------------------- Mrs. Kellet suggested to the law enforcement officials that the search be abandoned, saying, "I just don't think there's any use of looking any further . . . I don't think he's on this earth." Travis' brother, Duane, stated that he would stay on the site and wait because they always return their victims to the same spot. At no time during the entire episode did the family or crew members show or express any concern for his well being. Mr. Klass stated that, "One possible explanation for the reaction of Rogers and the members of his family is that they knew the incident was a hoax and that Travis was safe in a terrestrial hideout, rather than aboard an extraterrestrial spacecraft that might be taking him to a distant world from which he might never return." ----------------------------- JC: So how do we explain the 2/93 polygraph test results on Rogers? Are we saying only members of his family knew about the hoax? Which members? Again, it is important to review all the questions asked the crew on the original test. ----------------------------- On November 8, while Travis was "still missing," Duane said he was not at all concerned for his brother's safety. Duane said he regretted that "I haven't been able to experience the same thing." ----------------------------- JC: I have had several people I know say this identical thing to me. It simply proves there are other people who haven't thought as deeply into the implications of this whole thing as others. I haven't read any cases where the person wasn't returned either. I'd never say what Duane said, but it doesn't mean someone else (in this case, Duane) wouldn't. ----------------------------- In any scientific investigation, all data must be considered. Any organization or corporation reporting on investigations has the responsibility to disclose all facts to its readers . . . not just the information which supports a preconceived position. ----------------------------- JC: Absolutely correct. However, this still does not prove Walton's case didn't happen as stated. ----------------------------- When the strengths and weaknesses of the Walton Case are evaluated, it seems that the indications are that a hoax has been perpetrated. NICAP members now have additional data at their disposal and can reach their own conclusions. ----------------------------- JC: With the new polygraph data, and the fact that the 1975 FOIA-verified SAC base visits time-wise occurred immediately around the Walton incident, I am not nearly as certain as I was before, but I shall read further and report on same. ----------------------------- Respectfully submitted, Jerry Cohen E-mail: Page from the website of:
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