Skinwalker Ranch History

Skinwalker Ranch, or Sherman Ranch, is a property spanning approximately 512 acres located southeast of Ballard, Utah, which has gained notoriety for alleged paranormal and UFO-related activities. The name “Skinwalker” is thought to derive from Navajo legends, but may actually originate from illegal slave trading between the Mormon Prophet Brigham Young, and Chief Wakara (nicknamed Chief “Walker”) by the leader of the church when he couldn’t pronounce the name properly. The legends of the Skinwalker as it relates to the Navajo seem to only be historically related in that the Navajo children were being kidnapped by Chief Wakara, while possibly hiding their identity in animal skins, resulting in the local legends.

The indigenous history of Shapeshifters within the Navajo and other tribes is still something that is part of the custom, and the provenance of negativity revolving around the legend seems even more pronounced with this information, but it does not seem directly related to the strange UFO phenomenon reported there over the decades.

The first UFO reports came through a Deseret News in an article called “Frequent Fliers?”, but surprisingly there is not a single mention of shapeshifters or Skinwalker in the article. It is completely focused on the UFO’s written in Frank Salisbury’s book with Joseph Junior Hick – who travelled around the Uintah basin hosting meetings about UFO witness reports in the communities. Junior Hicks is mainly responsible for collecting the bulk of the UFO sightings near Skinwalker Ranch.

In 1996 an article titled “Nevada Millionaire Buys ‘UFO Ranch’ in Utah” reported on Robert Bigelow purchasing the ranch for $200,000 that detailed the article says:

“The Sherman family has relocated to a smaller ranch 15 miles away – far removed, they hope, from the disturbing occurrences they endured for 18 months.

Bigelow has erected an observation building and moved in a pair of scientists and a veterinarian. He has someone on the property 24 hours a day, recording anything out of the ordinary.

Officially, the research is being conducted by the National Institute for Discovery Science, which Bigelow formed last October. Among the scientists involved is John B. Alexander, former director of non-lethal weapons testing at Los Alamos National Laboratories in New Mexico.

“Our approach is to do good, high-quality research using a standard scientific approach and do what we can to get hard data,” Alexander said from the institute’s Las Vegas offices. “One of the missions of the institute is to make information widely available.”

This final statement has proven not to be true by John B. Alexander to “make information widely available” as there has been nothing ever released, and Robert Bigelow refuses to release what he knows, or any informations about the other experimental testing done there.

In 2005, Colm Kelleher and George Knapp published a book describing the ranch’s acquisition by the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDSci), which was interested in studying anecdotal sightings of UFOs, bigfoot-like creatures, crop circles, glowing orbs, and poltergeist activity reported by former owners of the property. Visits from Eric Davis, Col John Alexander, and Hal Puthoff (known for inventing the psychic spy program at Stanford) have all claimed to research there, and prior at a location in Nevada – Mount Wilson Ranch, for similar paranormal activity.

Former Security officer Chris Bartel has be open about his time at Skinwalker Ranch for 6 years

According to Kelleher and Knapp, they investigated nearly 100 incidents that include vanishing and mutilated cattle, sightings of unidentified flying objects or orbs, large animals with piercing red eyes, and invisible objects emitting destructive magnetic fields. Retired US Army Colonel John B. Alexander was among those involved and characterized the NIDSci effort as an attempt to gather hard data using a scientific approach. However, the investigators had difficulty obtaining evidence consistent with scientific publication. Several security officers during this era, as well as locals in the area, have since come forward to report strange experiments and connections to MK-Ultra and other programs designed to implant false experiences into test subjects minds while involved in different mental exercises. Other researchers, and former ranch caretakers, claim a wide variety of supernatural incidents that cannot be validated.

Cattle mutilations have been a part of the folklore surrounding the area for decades. When NIDSci founder Robert Bigelow purchased the ranch for $200,000, he reportedly did so after being convinced by stories of mutilations and tales of strange lights and unusual impressions in grass and soil told by the former owners. Many of these reports are blamed on government experimentation and sampling, using the UFO phenomenon as a cover for different disease outbreaks and famine testing.

Skeptics, including author Robert Sheaffer, argue that the alleged “phenomenon” at Skinwalker Ranch is almost certainly illusory. Sheaffer suggests that the supernatural claims about the ranch were made up by the Sherman family before selling it to Bigelow. Skeptic James Randi awarded Bigelow a Pigasus Award in 1996 for funding the purchase of the ranch and supporting investigations by John E. Mack and Budd Hopkins. Although only leaked reports and rumors seem to exist from this era.

Ownership of the ranch has changed hands several times since it was first established in 1934. In 2016, Bigelow sold the property to Adamantium Real Estate LLC. Since then, access to the ranch has been restricted, and signs have been posted to prevent people from approaching. Brandon Fugal, a Utah real estate developer, announced his ownership of the ranch in March 2020.

Since the beginning of the History Channel television show there have been 3 seasons with a Season 4 beginning in April, 2023. The seasons have been as follows:

Season 1: The first season of the show focused on a team of scientists and experts who were brought to the ranch by new owner Brandon Fugal to investigate the strange and unexplained phenomena reported on the property. The team, led by ranch manager Thomas Winterton, included a geologist, a biologist, a physicist, and a paranormal investigator. Over the course of the season, the team used a variety of advanced technologies to study the ranch, including drones, ground-penetrating radar, and seismic sensors. They encountered a number of strange phenomena, including unusual magnetic fields, unexplained heat sources, and strange lights in the sky. In the season finale, the team captured footage of a mysterious object in the sky, which they believed could be evidence of extraterrestrial activity.

Season 2: In the second season of the show, the team returned to the ranch to continue their investigation. This time, they focused on a mysterious structure on the property known as the “Metal Object.” The team used a variety of techniques to study the object, including drilling into it and using ground-penetrating radar. They also encountered a number of other strange phenomena, including unexplained animal mutilations and strange underground tunnels. In the season finale, the team discovered a mysterious portal on the property, which they believed could be a gateway to another dimension.

Season 3: The third season of the show continued the investigation into the portal discovered in the previous season. The team used a variety of techniques to study the portal, including sending a robot inside to explore. They also encountered a number of other strange phenomena, including a mysterious red mist that seemed to be connected to the portal. The team also worked with a psychic medium, who claimed to be able to communicate with the spirits on the property. In the season finale, the team captured footage of a strange creature on the property, which they believed could be a Skinwalker.

Season 4: My GUESS is – The fourth season of the show will most likely investigate the gravitational lensing anomaly in the sky, as well as reveal several newly discovered petroglyphs on the mesa. These discoveries will take the team beyond Skinwalker Ranch to explore other locations that may give insight into a pattern of supernatural phenomena that correlates. With the pressure to produce valid evidence mounting after three seasons, the team will deploy highly advanced technology to capture shocking evidence of the phenomena. I anticipate Season 4 of the Secret of Skinwalker Ranch to be the best season yet.


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