SHOW LOW —The world’s oldest and largest group of Unidentified Flying Object, or UFO, investigative and research organizations has a new chapter locally in Show Low. MUFON — the Mutual UFO Network — began 47 years ago.

The new Show Low chapter is led by Dave Loomis and a group of 120 people. They met at their first meeting on Saturday, Jan. 20 at the City Gym on E. McNeil St. Loomis said he was encouraged to have that many people, considering it was wet and snowy that day.

“I think there’s enough interest that come summertime, we should be having meetings of a couple hundred people because a lot of people on the Mountain are interested in this stuff,” Loomis said.

He said the group plans to have small meetings about every other month with maybe one guest speaker and he plans to save up money so he can have one big meeting annually with several guest-speakers.

“It all depends on how many people get involved,” Loomis said.

The guest speaker on the first day was, appropriately, a local living legend in the UFO enthusiast community. Travis Walton, of Snowflake, is, whether he wanted to be or not, the most-likely-to-be-true abductee of a UFO encounter in the world. His case is the most documented and investigated case of an abduction in UFO history. Walton wrote a book afterward and it became a popular movie, “Fire in the Sky.”

Many people showed up for the occasion. Some were there out of curiosity and others showed true excitement to gather and hear Walton speak. But first some history:

The disappearance

Walton, as many locals familiar with the case know, was cutting wood on a crew Nov. 5, 1975, for a U.S. Forest Service contract with several co-workers on the day he was allegedly abducted. Walton was then 22 years-old. The crew was working long hours and had finished at dusk south of Heber in the Sitgreaves National Forest.

While driving homeward, the crew — riding in a crew-cab pickup in the dark — saw some lights they thought might have been hunters on a ridge or a low-flying aircraft. Upon investigation, there was a disk-shaped craft hovering about 20 feet over the ground nearby.

Walton quickly left the vehicle to check it out and his co-workers yelled for him to come back. As Walton describes it, he crouched under the object as he got under it and when he stood up, he thinks the proximity of getting too close must have set something off with the visitors. As he stood up, a blue beam, as witnessed by the rest of the crew, hit Walton hard, throwing him back about 10 feet, but held him airborne, just a few feet off the ground in the beam with his arms spread backward.

The rest of the crew got scared, started screaming and took off in the truck. They thought Walton was dead as his body looked lifeless to them.

Walton remembers thinking he was in a hospital-type room being the subject of medical procedures.

The investigation

Five days of investigation, including polygraphs and separate interviews, each turned up the same description from the witnesses. Each were threatened with murder charges as the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office and more than 100 people searched the area for Walton’s body. But nothing turned up from the searches, including a body to make charges.

The re-appearance

Five days later, Walton describes that the craft returned him to a street in Heber where, as he came to, from some kind of trance, he saw the craft above him, leaving in about a second and going straight up. Walton saw a light in the distance that turned out to be a gas station in Heber, so he began walking toward it He called his brother for help from a payphone. He thought he’d only been missing for an estimated two hours.

Walton to this day, still describes the same events in the same detail, but says the movie ‘Fire In The Sky’ was fictionalized and “took some liberties with what actually occurred,” so Walton has a new movie called ‘Travis,’ which has many clips from witnesses from back when it happened. The 80-minute movie was shown to the crowd following an introduction of Walton where he spoke briefly. He did a Q&A session following. Travis and the crew all lost their jobs in the immediate aftermath of the ordeal and were all treated like they were a bit off.

But hearing Walton speak he doesn’t sound like he’s crazy. He eloquently philosophizes his thoughts of what an alien civilization might do if they wanted to investigate the human race and Earth.

“They’re not going to come down here and land on the White House lawn, if that’s what you think,” Walton says. “Scientists like Michio Kaku say that these other civilizations, if you look out into the night sky, based on these star systems out there; there could easily be millions of years ahead of us. And if you stop and think about all the technology we have here on Earth at this time- — it has all happened in the last 200-300 years, so if we have done that in 200-300 years, how far do you think these other civilizations would have progressed over hundreds of thousands of years, or even a million?” says Walton.

“There are probably civilizations out there traveling that may have been around for at least 200-300 years before we even had any technology, or maybe they are even a million years ahead of us, we don’t know.” Walton points out that they are most-likely smart enough to know, like Star Trek’s Prime Directive suggests, not to influence other civilizations with technology ahead of their time. The aliens probably know that if they or their technology were captured by the United States, Russia, or China, it would upset the balance of our planet and cause wars and severe disruption if not total chaos. “I don’t think we have much to be worried about from them. I mean, if they wanted to have the Earth they would have just taken it,” said Walton.

MUFON, being an investigative group has a mission statement: The Scientific Study of UFO’s For The Benefit of Humanity. To learn more or join the club, contact Loomis or visit their website, www.showlowmufon.com.

Reach the reporter at bmartinson@wmicentral.com

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