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Hanmer man preparing book about UFO sightings
By DAVID BRAZEAU
Star Staff Writer

A Hanmer man is hoping the release of a Hollywood movie will add credibility to reports of UFO sightings in North America and around the world.

Michel Deschamps, who has researched unidentified flying objects in this area by using old Sudbury Star news stories, has spoken to the man on whom the movie is based.

Travis Walton claims he was abducted by aliens in a UFO on No. 5, 1975, in a park near Snowflake, Ariz.

"Six days later, UFOs were spotted over the Falconbridge Radar Station," says Deschamps, 28.

The Hanmer man says Walton told him in a telephone conversation last week that the publicity about the movie, Fire In The Sky, has also renewed skepticism about Walton's story.

The Paramount Pictures film opens in North America on Friday. It stars D. B. Sweeney as Walton and James Garner as a doubting police officer.

"He told me, 'I'm bracing myself for the onslaught.' So that's how he feels," says Deschamps.

Deschamps, who reports having witnessed two UFO crafts in his life, said he himself is sometimes the target of snide remarks because of his hobby.

Nonetheless, he is working on a book about UFO sightings in Sudbury and surrounding cities and towns.

He is relying heavily on Sudbury Star press clippings.

Of particular note are local stories about reports of UFOs in Copper Cliff by several people interviewed by the Sudbury Star in 1953. They separately reported seeing lights on an unidentifiable aircraft.

The reports appeared in page one stories in The Star on Jan. 31, Feb. 2 and Feb. 17, 1953.

Deschamps also said he has photos of large doughnut-shaped clearings of sand at Spring Bay on Manitoulin Island, in September 1990.

In the photos, the sand seems to have been blown away by some sort of propulsion system, he believes. Under the cleared sand is a limestone base, he says. Deschamps went to the scene and noted the sand did not clear very easily by hand.

Walton was interviewed on television's Entertainment Tonight a few weeks ago. He said short, this aliens with domed bald heads and huge black eyes abducted him while he was part of a seven-man wood-cutting gang in Sitgraves National Park.

The six others said they witnessed Walton's abduction. Walton said a blue ray fired from the UFO knocked him into some trees.

"I felt this numbing shock, and I just became hysterical," he told the television interviewer.

The other workers saw little else, and police authorities suspected they had murdered Walton.

He turned up five days later with some recollections of what had happened.

Walton and the others took and passed polygraph tests soon after the incident. They again passed lie-detector tests 18 years later.

Deschamps hopes to have his book complete in three years. By then he hopes there will be more believers than skeptics about the existence of UFOs.

In any event, Deschamps says he'll be the first in line to see Fire In The Sky when it comes to Sudbury.

 
 
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