Some skeptics suggest Betty and Barney were influenced by the sci-fi series The Outer Limitsand ironically, skeptics of Travis Walton suggest he was influenced by The UFO Incident, the TV movie based on the Hill case.
Walton’s story, very loosely adapted into the 1993 movie Fire in the Skytook place in November 1975 in northeast Arizona. Walton, a logger, was traveling from a job site with six crewmates when they saw a UFO hovering close to the ground. When Walton went to explore, he was knocked unconscious by a beam of light, and like the Hills claimed, awakened aboard an alien craft. While Walton was missing for five days, his crewmates were suspected of foul play.
Similar to the Hills, Walton was not someone who would seek attention, says Hansen.
“Both stories were propelled forward into the international attention against the will of those involved.”
Moreover, Walton doesn’t consider his experience to be an abduction so much as a rescue mission. He believes he was accidentally injured by the alleged craft, and the two types of aliens he encountered were trying to heal him. Compared to the Hills, Hansen says Walton was “lucky.”
“He was lucky in that he had six other witnesses. Betty and Barney Hill, it was just the two of them, and there was not a formal law enforcement investigation. The circumstances of when Travis went missing quickly turned into a murder investigation … you have a lot of official documentation backing everything up that happened around the disappearance, the return, and then you have all these witnesses.”