UFO Conjectures

Monday, April 30, 2012

The source of the Travis Walton abduction tale?

This comic book was published in February 1974:

Travis Walton, twenty-two years old at the time, was allegedly abducted in November 1975.

Is it possible that young man Walton was inspired by the comic book?

Or did he have a Caravaca-distortion event, sparked by the comic book?



  • From my point of view, the line of transmission or distribution of specific images, with perhaps the exception of the Hill case, is the weakest link in Jose's theory, if it could be analyzed further, which is impossible to do. In other words, did Travis read this or something quite similar? Notice that the investigations ( at least to my knowledge) never bring up this background of disseminated material of images and it's influence, and that is an issue with memory as well.
    Many images are more commonly exposed to, dependent of the circulation. As a Journalist, I am sure you know this.
    This is another venue ( in my opinion) of a dead, albeit provocative, dead end.
    The variety of images reported seem to discount specific consensus on imagery beyond general types. And there are a limited amount of general biological or cultural types that can be pulled from prosaic reality to be superimposed with variants in these CE events if this is so.
    I think in the case of the strict ontology of UFO phenomenon, superimposed by aliens is a red herring which I know you disagree with to some extent. Again, I think where these events occur has an enormous impact on the type. You expect an alien in some environments, in others, a ghost. Its the steering rather than the image that I think Jose and I disagree upon. I see it as you see an alien, an alien must be behind it,whereas I think aliens as well as ghosts again are a red herring. The thinking being ghosts are a form of life, whereas I do not. Although I think in the right context, Jose as they say is "right on" but it's impossible to test, analyze etc in specifics as of yet, beyond "tales" as to root causation. No chain of evidence beyond the Hill case as far as antecedent causation.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Part Two
    That being said, there is some indirect collaboration of mass media influencing events in the 12 month analysis performed by Dr Persinger, although not specifically. He focused on the geographic distribution of sightings etc, but I noted that these when in a overlay to the depth of media circulation or penetration in larger areas, there was a corresponding uptick in CE events, and so Jose might consider comparing these relationships in terms of geographical distribution in relation to access to the depth of media distribution in urban versus no urban areas. It may bolster or call into question this superimposing of viral distribution.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Bruce:

    I spent part of the weekend gathering papers from psychological and psychoanalytic organizations I belong to.

    The papers relate to how images impact the unconscious mind.

    In them, are the seeds for explaining Jose Caravaca's distortion theory and why images are specific to each individual.

    Also examined is why certain images are recalled or used rather than others.

    I'll do a thing on this upcoming.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • What would be interesting as well is to compare the distribution networks of images by modality as a viral phenomenon. In other words, in the era of radio, the only images available were print in magazines and
    newspapers. Consider the depth of interest being a parallel track.
    Now television appears, images are more widely distributed, coverage is increased. In the post war era, the cold war, atomic power, weaponry surged the hybridization of a psychological overlay of images in an alien context as well as the penetration of such images.
    This to me is a classic feedback loop with psychological overtones.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • From that to which I've been re-acquainted, the process of image regurgitation is made specific by factors that are not generic.

    That is, TV images, movie images, magazine/book images et cetera, that seem to be universal have little or nothing to do with how a person retains or re-imagines (or re-sees) what they report.

    An image that we all would think would show up in a Distorted event is selected from the unconscious by mechanisms that are specific to the person involved, for many, many reasons.

    Even archetypes are reworked to accomodate the individuality of one's unconscious.

    Freud is not dismissed in the discussions, surprisingly, and Jung is altered.

    This is not a topic that can be addressed sensibly in comments here, so I would hope that you, Bruce, and others, hold off until I can gather the material for a complete, rational evaluation.

    No rush to judgement(s)...


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • What I was referring to was the base line process of semiotics ( associations, identifications, signs and signifier) in the medias that are the invisible portion of a material image.IE a UFO is a flying vessel, a ghost is a live dead person)No rush to judgement, more of an observation, the relationship of the subliminal to the apparent that then becomes individuated into variants by fractionation, or fractals of one image becoming differentiated in context ( blue versus green, helmets, v no helmets etc.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • This might be of interest to Bruce, as last night at work I did a meta search (I work at a University teaching hospital and have access to every known psychology/psychiatry journal) and ran across an old 1988 Persinger paper: "Geophysical Variables and Behavior: Epidemiological Considerations for Incidence of Cancer and Depression in Areas of Frequent UFO Reports."

    Persinger's hypothesis: Luminous phenomena and anomalous physical forces have been generated by focal tectonic strain fields that preceded earthquakes.

    I thought this to be an interesting paper and wonder if the Walton case fit this hypothesis where the luminous phenomena causes increase EMF inducing psychological manifestations of depression, temporal lobe dysfunction and possibly focal seizures.

    The seizure potential would account for Walton's lapse of time and distortion of reality? Not to mention short term "psychosis"?

    A stretch maybe, but interesting to contemplate.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • This is a little esoteric, so I'll wait until I get all my psychological ducks in a row before commenting.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Tim
    That is certainly of interest. I did some research on reported sulfur smells in CE and atmospheric plasma activity that lines up nearly perfectly.
    Then there are the ghost lights near crystalline deposits @ tectonic strain faults that cause piezoelectric activity ie: plasmas.
    Persinger also did a study of anomalies along the Madrid fault line in Illinois.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Okay, here we go...off on a tangent.

    Maybe a pertinent tangent, but one that detracts, mightily, from the point of my posting.

    I'll let it lie in situ, but let's not go off on matters that becloud the simple intent of my effort; that is, to find out if Travis possibly read the comic book cited.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Bruce, the paper that I reference was written some 30 years ago. I don't know of any follow-up on the tectonic plate hypothesis. Since I live in southern California, earthquakes are a way of life here, I should be able to research past and present earthquake events and correlate to any increase reporting of UFO events. (Not sure what this would tell me, if anything)

    I have another Persinger paper, dated 2002, "Experimental Facilitation of the Sensed Presence: Possible Intercalation between the Hemispheres Induced by Complex Magnetic Fields."

    Persinger looks at magnetic fields inducing magical thinking and other phenomena of sensing an unseen, or seen, vision or presence.

    Going back to the issue of luminous phenomena, he did mention the Vision of Fatima (Portugal, 1917) as possibly the single most displayed example of an intense luminous incident.

    The release of radon gases may have contributed to one of the children's death, after three years from the event. Supposedly, this child had symptoms of a solid lung tumor. I've yet to see the evidence that Persinger derived this speculation.

    Trying to remember my clinical studies, lung cancer was rare prior to the early 1900s.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Rich, I posted my comment prior to your last. My apologies, if this is deemed off topic. I only thought it as a "possibility" concerning Travis Walton.

    Yet, with the above said, if Walton experience a Caravac-distortion and the idea that there has to be an external source for the distortion, then I merely offered Persinger's luminous phenomena as that external source for due consideration.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Tim:

    I've inserted your comments and Bruce's because I respect and admire both thought processes, your and Bruce's.

    But you fellows have got to recognize that esoteric asides curtail readership of blogs, as has been noted by media outlets cited at our Facebook (media) page.

    Fractals, lumina phenomena, piezoelectric activity ie: plasmas, as Bruce, noted (above) are not grist for the posting here and go off into areas that can't be fully addressed in a blog/comment forum.

    Just take it easy.

    Try to stay within the simplistic parameters of my shallow postings, if you can.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Rich wrote: "Is it possible that young man Walton was inspired by the comic book?"

    Besides the cover, is the story in it comparable to Walton's?

    What do you mean by "inspired"? A conscious selection of the story to hang a tale on, or an unconscious "screen memory"?

    Unless Walton was a comic book fan, I would review the previous...maybe a half year, year, and find the source story Marvel exploited -- possibly a news story, or movie, or book. It would be a better candidate. The comic book would be known to a niche population. Also the rack and newstand display of comic books was in decline at that time.

    "Exploited" here refers to a 'pulp' genre work slipstreaming something popular (which for reasons irrelevant to the subject, Marvel was doing more of that than usual in the early 1970s).

    For example, the movie She Creature "exploited" the celebrity of Bridey Murphy, and slipstreamed its popularity.



    By Blogger Don, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Don;

    If you were familiar with the psychological literature, you'd know that the story inside the comic book doesn't have to mimic, exactly or even peripherally, what Travis Walton's unconscious mind would create (or even concoct).

    The stimulus or stimuli can be niggardly, prompting associations from myriad sources, which triggers the contrivance or the event as it is imagined.

    The mind-set is convoluted, derivative and creative without necessarily having to copy material exactly to produce the effect proffered.

    You present the other extreme I'm trying to avoid here: a simple, non-knowledgeable foray into psychological attributes whereas Bruce and Tim are accreting materials that have little or nothing to do with psychology; neurology perhaps but not psychology, per se.

    I'm not being critical....well, yes I am....but I don't mean to be condescending.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Rich, how should one tackle the question as to Walton possibly being influenced by the comic book?

    It's not a given that he saw/read that very comic book, or even one with similar content.

    It's certainly possible that he read that comic book, yet is it probable? That, I don't know.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Rich, I asked for a clarification of "influenced by", whether you meant consciously or not. If consciously, then the content of the issue may be important.

    It was a simple question, and not a thesis.

    Being your target of choice for not getting it, being off topic and a side tracker, I hesitate to comment on your posts seeing as I miss the point of them so often. But even a minor query for clarification like the above results in a lecture from you.



    By Blogger Don, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Let me look at the issue in this fashion:

    Is it plausible to expect that Walton's reading of that one specific comic book was the external source to influence the perception of the UFO event? I'm of the opinion that it would likely be not. Not from one singularity (one comic book)

    On the other hand, if there was evidence that Walton had read similar magazines/comic books with similar themes over a 5 to 10 year span, then there would be an accumulative effect, thus enhancing these multiple experiences into one significant focal point resulting in a Caravaca-like distortion source.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • A comic book may have inspired Travis, but what about all of the other participants? Were they all lying and for what rational (Klass theories aside) purpose? I'm always amazed that we can attempt to "explain" one aspect of a UFO sighting with, say, a comic book theory but completely fail to come to grips with other important parts of the story....that could NEVER be explained with that same theory. So, Rich, could Travis have seen this comic book? Of course, it's possible. But does that in any way help us understand the entire story told by the other work crew members? Absolutely not. So where does the comic book theory get us? Nowhere.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Don:

    I don't mean to "lecture" but you do have a tendency to go off topic.

    No one else will tell you that, publically, but it is part and parcel of how you operate.

    That's okay with me, but if you keep doing it, I'm going to make an issue of it.

    I just had a colloquy with our media guy, Wes, who has a co-worker who dislikes having to teach newbies their duties.

    I sort of have that issue with some here, you are one.

    If you're going to address the psychological aspects of the post, you have to familiarize yourself with the subject matter, that's all I'm asking.

    I hate having to bring smart people, of which you are one, up to speed about topics they should know or have some knowledge about, even a little bit.

    But everyone wants to jump in and show how contrary they are or how brilliant, and they step into the field where I'm going to call them out.

    I am short of patience I'm afraid, when it comes to having to start from scratch with commenters.

    I know you fellows want to debate and you want me (and others) to tolerate your views, which I do, believe me.

    But making statements or asking questions which don't even begin to indicate a knowledge of the subject matter makes me cranky.

    The problem is mine, not yours.

    You need to know something. I should try and answer your query with rectitude and patience.

    But I can't....battered by stupidity on other fronts (besides here) makes for bad moderation.

    You'll forgive me I hope.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Tim:

    A number of people interviewed Travis, but failed to ask him if what books or magazines he read, as a youngster and at the time of his alleged abduction.

    They also didn't ask him if he was a drug user or drank alcohol or what food he ingested right before he was taken.

    That's the ufological flaw: the investigators didn't really investigate, and they still don't.

    I was hoping someone might jump in with a possible answer.

    I know the odds against that but it was worth a try....or so I thought.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Dominick:

    You're familiar with the psychiatric term, folie a deux or in this case folie a cinq, right?

    Check it out, and you have a possible answer for why the crew went along with the story.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Sorry, Rich. I guess I thought you had something new, like Travis' or his brother's comic book collection.

    Why this shot in the dark? Isn't the network broadcast of the Hill abduction movie a few weeks earlier, not sufficient, psychologically speaking?

    Well, I'll leave you to it. The only thing I know about the Walton case is that Travis didn't spend a week out of doors.



    By Blogger Don, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Don:

    The Walton case, just like the Hill's story and a dozen others you can name, was investigated cavalierly.

    Questions that should have been asked weren't and still are not being broached, even though Walton is available.

    As for my being curt (and seemingly hostile), I see some of you regulars as part of the clan here.

    I treat you like I do the RRRGroup, including Anthony Bragalia and Jose Caravaca; that is, honestly and emotionally.

    I think of you and a few others as friends, which means I'll respond to you forthrightly and brusquely, because that's what friends do.

    I don't pull my punches when I admire someone smart, like you.

    I try to convey my feelings and hope that the effort is reciprocated.

    Your ideas and questions are respected even when I'm ragging on them.

    That's the nature of real debate.

    So don't take offense.

    You are one of the "family" and always have an open door to welcome you here.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • Ok, then. No, I don't think Walton was influenced by the comic book.

    My reasons are, Walton said he was hit by a beam of light and the next thing he remembered was waking up in what he thought was a hospital.

    A week earlier, though, the witnesses said Walton was lifted up in the air under an object (I don't recall if they called it a ufo or saucer). That is a lot more like the comic book cover. On the cover, it looks like the BEMs are dragging the guy up a hill towards a saucer. Close enough for horseshoes and quoits.



    By Blogger Don, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • That beam of light, Don, is interesting, and I'll have more to say about it upcoming.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, April 30, 2012  

  • This comic book story first appeared under the title "The Little Men"! in
    Marvel Tales #138 (September 1955)
    Script: Stan Lee Pencils:Paul Reinman
    Synopsis:A carnival owner comes across small aliens who are spraying crops so that humans who eat the food will produce midgets so they won't have a size advantage when they invade, but he fools them into leaving Earth by claiming that the food is only producing small children ten percent of the time and producing giants the rest. He displays his circus giant to them as proof and they buy into his lie and leave.

    Walton was already interested in UFOs before this comic book was published, so it is unlikely this influenced him if i he saw it.

    By Blogger carddown, at Tuesday, May 01, 2012  

  • Thanks, Carddown...

    The earlier comic book story doesn't factor in, I'm afraid.

    As for Walton being interested in UFOs before his incident, even if that is so, it doesn't diminish the possibility of a contrivance, a Distortion event or a real abduction.

    Travis Walton had some kind of experience -- one that caused him to parlay it into an abduction or one where he really was or thought he was abducted.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, May 01, 2012  

  • When I read Karl Pflock's opinion on the alleged Walton Abduction, I think it made the most sense. Before that, I believed Walton.

    It likely was a hoax, only involving 2-3 people...Travis Walton, Mike Rogers and Duane Walton. The 5 men in the backseat were hoaxed along with the rest of us.

    Rogers left the worksite for 2 hrs. that day with no one knowing where he went (to set up the ufo fascimile?). Walton did little work the whole day. The crew ended up going home past sundown, when usually they'd leave during daylight hours. But, a light in the woods wouldn't be noticeable or at least that dramatic during daylight hours.

    The Waltons were UFO buffs - admitting this to the local police and the two psychiatrists that the National Enquirer had flown in.

    Only Mike Rogers had a supposidly clear view of the ufo. The 5 men in the backseat did not - they saw a "light" and were listening to the frantic descriptions of Rogers who sped the truck away after Travis went to the ground (giving plenty of time for Travis and a 3rd accomplice to take down the lighted device and take off in a truck parked nearby, then hole up in a cabin somewhere for 5 days). Upon his return, Walton was not found to be malnourished, though he claimed he hadn't eaten during the abduction.

    Walton failed the first polygraph test. The one he later passed, from a different, less experienced examiner, was based on questions he and Duane submitted (unethical on the part of the examiner to even go along with that).

    Once a book deal was in the works, Travis' bio ,regarding ufos, was that he had no interest in them before his abduction - something the police and psychiatrists knew to not be true. The whole Walton family was obsessed with ufos, including the mother.

    Could a sci-fi cartoon influence Walton? Yes, and also a potential influence -- The UFO Incident (Interrupted Journey) aired on tv a couple of weeks before Walton's abduction. I think that movie sowed a seed in Travis, Duane and Mike. That and the National Enquirer giving monetary rewards for ufo/abduction evidence.

    ~ Susan

    By Blogger Brownie, at Wednesday, May 02, 2012  

  • Thanks, Susan...

    A nice precis of the account.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 02, 2012  

  • Yo should read Jeffrey Kripal's Mutants & Mystics.

    He posits that trying to continue with a 'chicken & the egg' argument with regards to anomalous reports and cultural references --in this case comic books-- is not as cut-dry as we would wish it to be, if what we want is to find simple explanations.

    Because in the end the culture and the Anomalous cross-pollinate each other back and forth. And they will keep doing so as long as the culture keeps churning out new methods of narrative expression.

    We seem to not be dealing with imaginary events, but with truly anomalous events that put us in contact with the Imaginal.

    As Fort put it, maybe we're all characters in a bad novel --or in this case, a campy comic book ;)

    By Blogger Red Pill Junkie, at Wednesday, May 02, 2012  

  • RPJ makes a good point. I've been thinking about this for a while: researchers focus on what media images might influence an "experiencer," but what influenced the creators of these media images?

    It is simplistic to make a diagram that shows direct and literal influence (the cover of Communion notwithstanding).

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Thursday, May 10, 2012  

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