The subject line of this e-mail, sent in by Daniel on February 5th, reads:
Urgent Request on Travis Walton
Travis Walton claims to have been abducted by aliens in 1975. You can read
more about him in his Wikipedia entry, which can be found here.
As requested, the blog will now contain the JREF's responses to e-mails that warrant them.
Please note that the following e-mail has been edited to remove copyrighted material, but otherwise remains unchanged.
Daniel to the JREF
To whom it might concern,
I am a enthusiastic conspiracy theorist, aware of the cover-up of extraterrestial 911-truther, believer in monotheistic belief-systems, enemy of public display and other abuses of religion and strongly aversive towards rabid atheists and rightwing neoconservatives.
And I, during my time on the wonderful source of nonsense which would be the internet, have stumbled upon one case of what is concidered a musterbeispiel classification of an unexplainable, and therefore paranormal event:
The Travis Walton Abduction Case
Let Wiki do the rest for me (introducing you, unless you already heard of it):
[Wiki entry removed for copyright]
The Skeptics are all on this case, and while I agree there's no way to confirm any of what Mr Walton has alleged to have witnessed during the five days (to his own expirience, a mere hours) of absence, I strongly believe that there is reason to assume that the corroborative witnesses to this case suggest that something did happen that night:
He had five of his friends at the time he was abducted out during their way through the woods, who returned to Heber, Arizona and called the policedepartment of their hometown Snowflake, one and a half hours later and reported the incident:
Deputy Sheriff Chuck Ellison answered the telephone call; Peterson initially reported only that one of a logging crew was missing. Ellison then met the crew at a shopping center. They related the tale to him — all the men distraught, two of them in tears — and though he was somewhat skeptical of the fantastic account, Ellison would later reflect "that if they were acting, they were awfully good at it."
They were described to have been in an emotional situation, and were all, in the aftermath of the events, interrogated with polygraphs.
I won't elaborate on what Travis actually expirienced, but I just wanted to rely solely on the corroborative witnesses here, because about all of the truth you can be, by scientific measure, assured is true is concentrated on those five persons.
There was another incident called the brooklyn bridge incident, but that one is more controversial than this one.
Anyway, that's Clark's story on Travis Walton, which I just copy-pasted from wikipedia.
So, hope to hear from you soon.
The JREF's Response
Thank you for your interest in the James Randi Educational Foundation's Million Dollar Challenge.
Are you submitting extraterrestrial abductions as a claim? I am unsure what you want the JREF to do with this information.
If you would like more information on the Challenge rules and guidelines and instructions on how to apply, please visit:
Keep in mind if you choose to apply that anecdotal claims are not valid for the Challenge, and that all Challenge tests must consist of a demonstration of paranormal or supernatural powers rather than a lecture or retrospective evidence.
You might also be interested in reading this Q&A regarding polygraph results from The Skeptic's Dictionary:
Thank you again for your interest,
JREF Challenge Desk
Oh, you mean extraterrestial claims are regarded as untestable?
Well, everything that should be supplied should include something that is not explainable by accepted scientific standards. And an alleged alien abduction case doesn't account for that rule?
I said in my letter that I did not wish to offer theories to what had taken place or wether Mr Walton's personal claims were true, but basically just ask wether or not you have yet found an explanation for this case, the key point being that there must be no doubt the five friends of Walton are honest witnesses, to whatever they have seen.
If their behaviour is explainable as an illusion or outright fraud, then it would be nice if I could be informed by this because it's unnecessary mentioning how highly I am intrigued by this case.
Also, I thought I might submit something on...well, *alleged* alien concerned things, on one side thanks to my lack of critical thinking, and on the other one because I thought these would count as phenomenon that could be tested by you or deserve a review on your side.