The unbelievable true story of Travis Walton, a logger who was
allegedly abducted by a UFO in 1975 and returned five days later.
Fire in the Sky (1993)
Directed by Robert Lieberman
Written by Tracy Tormé
Starring D.B. Sweeney, Robert Patrick, Craig Sheffer,
Henry Thomas, Bradley Gregg, James Garner,
Noble Willingham, Kathleen Wilhoite, Georgia Emelin
Based on the book The Walton Experience by Travis Walton
The story of Travis Walton often changes depending on who's telling it. What everyone can agree on is that something peculiar happened to him in 1975 that he cannot explain. Fire in the Sky tries to make sense of one of the most convincing cases of alien abduction in history, and for the most part it succeeds. This very easily could've strayed too far into science fiction or even horror, but the story is handled with care. As much as we'd like to believe this is a sci-fi film, the events depicted did allegedly happen to someone. Treating the story like a biopic was definitely the right direction to take.
There's too much evidence that points to Walton telling the truth, and the polygraph results of his friends are easily the most convincing. This film takes you through the investigation into Walton's disappearance and then shows you what Walton believes happened to him on the ship. Around this part of the film, there is a hard left into sci-fi and horror, but it's appropriate for the scene. If any of this actually happened, then it's a miracle that Walton ever came back alive. D.B. Sweeney does a great job of playing both sides of Walton's personality, the fun, charming young man and the psychologically damaged abductee. Robert Patrick steals the show, though, as Walton's best friend Mike Rogers, who has to take the brunt of the investigation when the cops and media think he killed Walton. Overall, they lead a solid cast.
For every ten fake abduction stories, there's at least one that's labeled "unexplainable." Fire in the Sky is that one case. To this day, nobody knows what really happened except for Walton and his friends. This film skilfully captures the uncertainty and impossibility of the situation and makes for an entertaining and engaging drama. It's my personal belief that we are not alone in the universe. There are hundreds of stories out there similar to Walton's, and I think that one day, some otherworldly power will finally answer the question we all want to ask: Why?