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discovery+ Shock Docs Specials Alien Abduction: Betty and Barney Hill and Alien Abduction: Travis Walton Reexamine the Most Famous Reports of Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind

January 20, 2022

Both Specials Launch Friday, February 18 on discovery+

An archival photo shows Travis Walton (third from the left) and his logging crewmates who witnessed his alien abduction outside of Snowflake, Arizona.
Betty and Barney Hill sit hypnotized, under direction of Dr. Benjamin Simon, in this 1964 archival image.

NEW YORK (January 20, 2022) – The U.S. government has confirmed the existence of Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP) – aka UFO – and is currently establishing a new commission to study these incidents in a more serious and open manner. While the government reports do not confirm or debunk the existence of alien life, they have reignited worldwide interest in the existence of extraterrestrials and set the perfect stage to look back at two of the most well-documented alleged UFO abduction cases in history. In two all-new Shock Docs, discovery+ presents the real stories, recounted by the eyewitnesses and victims themselves, and supported by exclusive audio and hypnosis tapes, of the most fascinating and frightening close encounters ever reported. ALIEN ABDUCTION: BETTY AND BARNEY HILL and ALIEN ABDUCTION: TRAVIS WALTON, both stream on discovery+ on February 18.

With new forensic technologies not available in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and access to the remarkably preserved physical evidence from these two cases, investigators reexamine the key pieces of evidence to see if they can prove that humans have had physical contact with extraterrestrials. The Shock Docs reveal new discoveries in both cases. In the Walton case, which took place in Arizona in 1975, unique tree ring growth may prove where the UFO was hovering, and separately, the program uncovers details behind the man who led a complex plot to debunk Travis’ story. In the Hill case, which took place in New Hampshire in 1961, UFO expert Ben Hansen and his team run DNA testing on Betty Hill’s dress and corroborate parts of Betty’s examination story.

“Even after decades, these are still active cases,” said Hansen. “We’ve been following up on leads and field research in the last few years that have uncovered incredible discoveries. As the world is hearing official confirmation of the existence of UAPs that may be of extraterrestrial origin, we now have to ask the next question: how up close and personal are these visits? No matter the agenda of these visitors, the vivid and dramatic details of the encounters in these historic cases should make everyone pause and wonder what might be coming.”


In September 1961, Betty and Barney Hill were driving home to New Hampshire from a honeymoon trip when they made a shocking discovery and came face-to-face with a UFO. When they could not shake the feeling that something more happened, the Hills underwent regressive hypnosis. They recalled a terrifying ordeal of being abducted and experimented on by extraterrestrial beings aboard their UFO.s

When their story was leaked to the press, Betty and Barney Hill received global attention as the world’s first widely reported alien abductees. They became pop culture figures through a best-selling book, magazine excerpts and numerous media appearances. Decades later, in an intimate first-person interview, their niece, Kathleen Marden, shares [AW1] her lifelong mission to expose the truth behind the Betty and Barney Hill alien abduction. She has revisited their story by searching through documents, witness testimony and physical evidence to find the truth.


On November 5, 1975, a seven-person logging crew were driving home after a long workday in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizona, when[AW2]  they suddenly encountered a UFO. One of the men, 22-year-old Travis Walton, got out of the truck to investigate. His crewmates were horrified when they witnessed a bolt of blue light flash from the alien ship and knock Travis to the forest floor.

Fearing Travis dead, the crewmates fled back to town and called the sheriff. When a search of the area turned up no sign of Travis, puzzling questions arose. Was Travis truly abducted by aliens? Did his coworkers murder Travis or have something to do with his disappearance and concoct the UFO story to cover their tracks?

The six crewmen passed polygraph examinations, but rumors persisted. The Walton story became an international media sensation and pushed the residents of rural Snowflake, Arizona, to the brink. Years later, the film “Fire in the Sky” brought awareness of the story to a whole new group of UFO investigators. They uncovered physical evidence that may prove alien visitation of planet Earth.

Check out @discoveryplus on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and #AlienAbduction for additional content and updates. Follow @TravelChannel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Follow Ben Hansen @BenHansen00.

ALIEN ABDUCTION: TRAVIS WALTON and ALIEN ABDUCTION: BETTY AND BARNEY HILL are produced by 1895 Films for discovery+. For 1895 Films, the executive producer is Tom Jennings. For discovery+, the executive producer is Cecile Bouchardeau Weiland.

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Media Contacts


Caryn Schlossberg

Stephanie Sarcona

Superjuice on behalf of discovery+

Katie Lanegran