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Who are the Experience Arizona Adventurers?

Matt Marine

Matt Marine is an Arizona resident who loves exploring Arizona's wonderful outdoor adventures. To find out more about Matt, click the link below.

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Cat-Dog is my faithful trail companion. Her real name is Cammie. Why do I call her Cat-Dog?

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Sara Harelson

I’m Sara! I’m 21, a senior in college, and a journalism major.  I love to read, write, travel, and listen to music.  I’m always on to my next adventure.


See Intern Page for previous interns

In Search of a Fire in the Sky

By Brian Sullins

Warning:  This story deals with unusual subject matter such as UFO’s and alien abduction.  If you’re not interested in such things, this is not the story you’re looking for.  You can go about your business.  Move along.

In 1975, a group of seven men were working a logging contract in an area known as Turkey Springs about 10 miles south of Heber, Arizona. One night on the way back to their home in Snowflake, they spotted a brightly glowing object through the trees just off of the old logging road they were on. They stopped as they passed the spot and one man, Travis Walton, got out of the vehicle to get a closer look. Against the urging of the six other men in the truck, Travis approached the object. A beam of light shot out of the object, striking Travis in the chest and knocking him back through the air about 20 feet where he landed, apparently lifeless, on the forest floor.

Thinking he was surely dead, the other six men, all still in the truck, sped off through the forest, fleeing from whatever had killed their friend. A few miles down the road, they stopped to gather themselves. It was decided they would return to the scene of the horrific event to try to save their friend. Upon returning, Travis and the object were nowhere to be found.

The largest manhunt in Arizona history ensued. After five days of searching, he had not been found. Then suddenly one night, the crew leader got a phone call from Travis. He was at a pay phone in Heber...

The crew leader sped to Heber to get his friend and take him home. This is not their story...

What follows, however, is the story of my attempt to find the spot where he was allegedly abducted. Having seen the movie Fire in the Sky which is based loosely on the book by the same name authored by Travis Walton himself, I, naturally, had an interest in the event that had taken place so close to the cabin my In Laws owned in Heber. I am always looking for a new challenge, and as this was so close to a place I visited often, it seemed a natural for me to try to find it.

I started with a little Internet searching. It wasn't long before I ran across the website of Travis Walton himself. In it, he has an excerpt from his book describing the events leading to the abduction, the abduction, and the events immediately following it. Although the description of exactly where the abduction happened doesn't come all at once, a careful reader can piece it together by reading the descriptions in the book of all the events surrounding the abduction.

In addition, I had watched a few programs with interviews of Travis Walton where he described what condition the roads were in then and what they might look like now. The logging roads in the area were there only to support the logging that was going on at the time and had long since been closed to vehicle traffic. So I knew where I would be looking and what I would be looking for. But how would I find the exact spot?

The last time I was in Heber, I set out on my quest. I knew that the starting point was where the Rim Road met Turkey Springs Rd. So I loaded up the truck, grabbed the camera and headed out. The plan was to head out Black Canyon Road to it's end at Turkey Springs Road. Taking a left would then take me past Turkey Springs and up toward the Rim Road.

On my way up, I saw a what appeared to be a shiny metal object through the trees...

Which turned out to be...

...only a stock pond. Whew, that was close.

Arriving at the intersection, I reset my odometer to measure the distance I had to drive. As I did so, the compass on my GPS began to spin wildly.. Hmmm. That's strange. Undeterred, I pressed on.

I was in search of the remnants of a logging road about... I couldn’t seem to remember how far from Turkey Springs Road was supposed to be. I drove on for a while, then noticed what appeared to be the remnants of a road from many years ago leading off to the north into the forest. BINGO! That must be it.

I got out of my truck, loaded up my back pack with water, grabbed my camera and headed out. On the way down the road, I ran across these guys...

 ...about 5 of them, but even they couldn't keep me away. I was going to find the spot.

The road is very faint...

...in fact, it's quite difficult to follow in places. After having lost it once or twice, I managed to make my way down onto a ridge where there was a lot of fire damage. However, among all the debris were many tree stumps that had obviously been cut by a chainsaw. Hmmmm. There has certainly been some logging going on in the area. I knew I was in the right spot. I walked along the road a little over a mile with no luck. It was getting late in the day, and there were some storms on the mountains, so I decided it was time to head back. On the way back up the road, I found a second, very faint old road that intersected the one I was on that I hadn't noticed on the way out. Right near the intersection of the two roads, I found this...

I know it doesn't look like much, but there is no other reason that I can think of that a cairn would be in this spot. These roads aren't used as hiking trails and they really don't go anywhere in particular. They're just old logging roads, very faint ones that are barely visible to somebody with experience looking for these kind of things, as anybody who's done any decent amount of off road driving would have. I'm figuring the aliens stacked them so they would be able to find the spot again. Not too often they get to party with a human.

After a few quick photos, I headed on back to my truck. Something strange was going on though, I couldn't quite put my finger on it. When I checked the track on my GPS, the entire portion of the track from the intersection of Turkey Springs Road to the abduction site was missing. Also, the sun seemed a lot lower in the sky than it should have been. It was as though there was an hour or two completely missing from my memory...hmm. Come to think of it, my ass was really sore too...hmm.

At any rate, I found the spot. Since my GPS went nuts, I can't tell you exactly where it is, but I can tell you that you don't need many clues to find it, it was quite easy actually.

BTW, some portions of this story were thrown in for color and are total B.S., I'll let you guess which ones. I actually did find what I believe to be the correct spot for the alleged abduction however, marked by the cairn pictured above. That's not B.S., but it was written by somebody whose initials are B.S...


Official Travis Walton Site

Fire in the Sky Movie

Offroad Passport Forum Post


Have you been on this adventure? What did you think? Comments and updates welcome by clicking here.

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