Skinwalker Ranch (located in Uintah County, Utah), is a choose your own adventure of paranormal phenomenon. A veritable cornucopia of weird. Reports of cryptids, poltergeist activity, lots of mutilated cattle and (of course, wherever there is general weirdness) UFOs. What makes this more notable than most reports of general weirdness? Many of the reports were made by scientists and teams actively studying the ranch.
Let’s start with why they were studying it in the first place. The government interest and current events begin with the ownership of the ranch by the Sherman Family in the mid 1990’s. The Sherman family reported crop circles and cattle mutilations to their local paper along with UFOs.
“The Shermans, their teenage son and 10-year-old daughter have seen three specific types of UFOs repeatedly during the past 15 months – a small boxlike craft with a white light, a 40-foot-long object and a huge ship the size of several football fields. They’ve seen one craft emit a wavy red ray or light beam as it flies along. They’ve seen other airborne lights, some of which have emerged from orange, circular doorways that seem to appear in midair. They’ve videotaped two of the sightings.”Desert News June 30, 1996
Of course, whatever is in the Uintah Valley could care less about deed and property lines. Residents and visitors to the valley have reported numerous UFO sightings since the 1950’s. Prior to the trouble the Sherman’s had in the 1990’s, the area was long rumored to be haunted by the local Ute Tribe.
The tribe believed their alliance with the Navajo which ended in blood and betrayal, lead the Navajo to place a curse on the land. They believed witches named “Skinwalkers” roamed the land, and were able to change shape. The shapes chosen were of large, unnatural, misshapen or mismatched animals. The Ute people avoided the area for this reason.
The Sherman’s reported a large wolf-like creature which would not fall when shot with a firearm. Several other humanoid shapes have been reported at the ranch as well. Interesting note: we found plenty of legends of the Navajo tribe (and online rumors) which placed the home of the Skinwalker’s in the area around “Dark Canyon” also in Utah.
More than one report of Cryptids made by credible observers from different groups, and at different times, make some form of Cryptid sighting at Skinwalker Ranch seem more likely. Yet, none were caught on tape. UFOs have been tracked numerous times at the Ranch, but at least one was caught on camera in public footage.
One UFO is enough to establish that UFOs are there. From the Fortean Winds POV, Unidentified Flying Objects exist. If one has been established there, and the government has numerous reports of flying objects at the location, we see no reason not to simply accept this as part of what’s happening at Skinwalker Ranch.
Much like Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the 1960’s and the Chicago, O’hare area in the present, we find reports of Cryptids and UFOs in the same location, but this time they’re officially studied by the USG.
A somewhat unique event was reported by the Shermans as well: Teleportation with a wicked sense of humor. The Shermans reported leaving the ranch one day and discussing how they would be ruined if their prize bulls were lost. Upon returning, they couldn’t find the bulls. They eventually found them locked in a smaller trailer on the property in a daze. Upon being discovered, the bulls awoke and destroyed the trailer.
The above might be the most interesting story to come out of the ranch. We’ll do a separate post on the bulls in the future. It shows a certain character to the phenomenon. It did something naughty, but it didn’t hurt anything. Like an especially dangerous child seeking negative attention.
Hearing these stories, lead billionaire Robert Bigelow to purchase the ranch from the Shermans in 1996. Robert Bigelow has stated aliens are “right under people’s noses.” Bigelow’s team wired and studied the ranch until 2007, but were unable to make progress due to the character of the phenomenon. It kept breaking their equipment, yet would appear to them when untracked to keep them interested.
In 2007, US government scientist Dr. Jim Lacatski visited the ranch and witnessed an object morph into a Möbius strip. Analysis: If the object wanted to tempt the government with the secrets to time and space… a Möbius strip might do it.
This event was enough for Dr. Lacatski to support the study of the ranch and the government begins their research. In short, the phenomenon continued to be elusive. Sensors were destroyed, soldiers and scientists working the ranch were witness to more phenomenon, but hard evidence could not be produced and after years of trying, the government concluded whatever was there didn’t want to be found.
Bigelow sold the ranch to (another) billionaire Brandon Fugal in 2016. Who has shown a much more open approach to the study of the Ranch. He’s allowed the History Channel show to publicize the findings of some experiments (yes it’s painful reality TV, but they’re sharing).
They’ve produced some quality UFO footage, odd magnetic readings and suffered medical effects consistent with radiation. As the findings are (thankfully) made public, it’s adding more questions than answers. Recent admissions by Jim Lacatski, which detail reports of “hitchhiker” poltergeist phenomenon are especially disturbing and worthy of more Fortean Winds Research.
Conclusion: material evidence, UFO video, witness photos, sensor data, crop circles, multiple witnesses of the same event, government documents…all of these make Skinwalker Ranch well worth further study according to our veracity system. There are some doing this research who believe it might even be the key to everything. We have no idea, but expect more Skinwalker posts.
Our follow-up further discusses the character of the phenomenon at the Ranch. Skinwalker Ranch: Tricksters & Flying Saucers.