Thursday, October 20, 2022

HGB Ep. 457 - Skinwalker Ranch

Moment in Oddity - Alien Trade on the Moon

We oftentimes call ourselves 'weird-kids' and as such, can commonly be found reading up on topics like the paranormal, cryptids and aliens. Most would probably imagine that the topic of alien lifeforms is a relatively 'new' concept for the most part. But would it surprise you to hear that there was a gentleman who, in the 1600s, thought he would make it to the moon to trade with aliens? John Wilkins was a scholar and a founding member of the Royal Society which is the world's oldest national scientific society. It was his belief that the moon and the rest of the planets were all inhabited by alien races. He was determined to build a flying machine to access these alien societies so he could establish trade with them. His goal was to increase the prosperity of Britain through this. One version of Wilkins mode of transport consisted of a type of flying vehicle which, once up in the atmosphere, would be assisted by angels who would pilot the flying machine, either good or bad angels. Apparently he was not particular about which. Although he had lofty goals, suffice it to say, John Wilkins never found any success with this endeavor. At hundreds of years away from the creation of any type of flying machine, let alone an actual car, the thought of being able to coerce an angel into whisking people to different planets, certainly, is odd.

This Month in History - The First Transatlantic Radio Voice Message

In the month of October, on the 21st, in 1915, the first transatlantic radio voice message was made by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (also known as AT&T) from Virginia to Paris. The word spoken was a simple "HELLO". This came from B. B. Webb who was in Virginia and the message was picked up by an antenna atop the Eiffel Tower. This speech transmission was able to be attempted due to Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel because he wanted to keep the tower that bore his name useful. In 1898, Alexandre had attached an antenna to the tower so that people could conduct experiments in wireless telegraphy. The city had plans to disassemble the tower and turn it into scrap metal but due to Mr. Eiffel's forethought, Paris continued the funding to keep the tower intact. In 1913, Paris and Arlington Virginia had begun exchanging wireless signals, yet it wasn't until eleven years after the 1915 transmission that a two way transatlantic call would occur. Communication has definitely come a long way in the past 107 years. I wonder if Mr. Eiffel could have ever imagined what we'd have available in our back pocket with the ingenuity of cellphones. I know I cannot imagine Paris, without the Eiffel Tower.

Skinwalker Ranch

Skinwalker Ranch is located in the Uintah Basin, an area infused with stories of Spanish mines, legends of buried treasures, remnants of ancient civilizations, UFO activity and tales of strange phenomena like cattle mutilations, cryptids and poltergeists. The ranch covers over 500 acres and has been a source of fascination to the public since the 1990s when stories of strange happenings started being shared. Is there something special about this area and Skinwalker Ranch in particular? Join us as we explore the history and weirdness of Skinwalker Ranch!

The Uintah Basin is fed by the rivers that flow from the Uinta Mountains. These mountains are on the northern border of the Basin and the highest point in Utah is here, Kings Peak. The unique feature of this range is that it runs from east to west. An indigenous tribe that the Basin was named for, the Uintah, traded with the French beaver trappers that came in the early 1800s. All of those who came early on, came for the rich resources. Later, the Ute tribe would be here and a presidential decree established the Northern Ute Indian Reservation in the area. In 1905, the reservation was opened up for homesteading to everyone. People not only came to homestead, but legends of the Old Spanish Gold Mine called to them. There are many variations of stories of outlaws burying their gold at the bottom of a canyon or smugglers hiding their goods within the rocky outcrops. These are the tame legends and myths. Others have a sinister and frightening mystique to them.

Rock art that has been left in the form of pictographs and petroglyphs features symbols, birds and anthropomorphic figures. Native Americans, archaeologists and historians have all been unable to decipher what some of this art is depicting. Some of the symbols and figures are most certainly spiritual. Could some of this art feature things that were seen by previous civilizations? Skinwalker Ranch is named for a specific entity that legend claims hangs out in this region. This is not just an anthropomorphic animal, but rather, a human that can shapeshift into an animal like a wolf, coyote or bear. Indigenous tribes all have legends of witches or medicine people or shaman that can shapeshift into animal creatures. In all variations, these creatures are bad with many considered evil or demonic. Some of these entities develop from a tribe member who did something taboo or used their magical powers for malevolent reasons. Skinwalkers are known as ├ínti’jhnii (awn ginny) as a classification and each tribe has their own variety. Skinwalkers figure heavily in the legend and lore of the Navajo and in their language they are known as yee naaldlooshii, which literally means “by means of it, it goes on all fours.” Many Navajo won't even say the term "skinwalker" out of fear. It is believed that just saying the word will call one of these creatures to show up. What differentiates a normal wolf from a skinwalker is the skinwalker's ability to walk upright and the sheer size of the creatures. These creatures are said to have glowing blue eyes too. Their abilities include being able to run faster than cars, jump over cliffs and possibly control human minds. Skinwalkers can only be killed by a bullet or knife that has been dipped in white ash.

Skinwalker Ranch obviously got its name because of claims that skinwalkers roam the ranch. There are a number of theories as to why there are skinwalkers on the property. The one connected to the indigenous people claims that there was a hostility between the Navajo and Ute tribes that went back many years. The two tribes fought often and the Ute took many Navajo as slaves. Eventually, the two tribes disputed territory and when the Navajo were forced to leave, they laid a curse on the land. This land is where the ranch is located. This is a legend with no historical proof and doesn't entirely explain why skinwalkers would be attracted to the ranch. Could there be some other source for weird creatures being on the land? There has been enough UFO activity here to lead some to claim that the creatures could be extraterrestrial. There are rumors of portals on the land and there is even one triangular area of the land that really seems to have some kind of anomaly above it. But theories really are meaningless if there aren't skinwalkers on the ranch. What makes people think that these entities are there? The Native Americans in the area believed that Dark Canyon, which is next to Skinwalker Ranch, is where the skinwalkers live.

This all started with the Sherman family, Terry and Gwen and their teenage son and ten-year-old daughter. The Shermans bought the ranch from Kenneth and Edith Myers in 1994. The Myers had owned the property since 1934. Interestingly, the Myers never reported any strange incidents on the ranch. The infamous article "Frequent Fliers" written by Zack Van Eyck appeared in the Deseret News in June of 1996 and shared the experiences of the Shermans, which launched the whole legend of Skinwalker Ranch. Terry said, "For a long time we wondered what we were seeing, if it was something to do with a top-secret project. I don't know really what to think about it...We've seen (the UFOs) enough and we know pretty much what the craft look like, and I think it's definitely associated with the cattle mutilations - when we see the crafts and then the cattle, we have problems. You talk to a lot of people around here that at one time or another have seen something they can't explain. There's been a lot of cattle mutilations, and a lot of them weren't reported. Several (ranchers) told me that when they had a (mutilation), they called the authorities and the authorities couldn't do anything, so it was just a waste of time and effort." 

The UFO activity and cattle mutilations are the main claims by the Sherman family. They saw three varieties of UFOs that included a small boxlike craft with a white light, a 40-foot-long object and a huge ship the size of several football fields. Seven of the Shermans cattle either went missing or were found dead and mutilated. One had a hole cut into the center of its left eyeball and another had its rectum carved out.The ranch also experienced something similar to crop circles. The Deseret News article says, "They once discovered three circles of flattened grass, each about 8 feet across, in a triangular pattern about 30 feet from each other. In a nearby pasture, other strange soil impressions have been found - circles about 3 feet wide and a foot or two deep with the dirt in the center perfectly flattened."

There were many other varieties of paranormal activity on the ranch as well. This included Terry hearing male voices in the air above his head that his dogs reacted to with barking and growling. The family saw strange lights in the sky like blue spheres and large orange circles. These lights would zip around the sky. Weird roars were heard in the woods. And then there were the skinwalkers. Terry and Gwen Sherman saw a terrifying creature that resembled a wolf or coyote, but wasn't entirely either of those. The creature was stalking their livestock pen and grabbed one of the calves in its jaws. So that indicates the size of the creature. It smelled like rotting flesh. First, they tried hitting the creature with a baseball bat and it was unfazed. Terry had guns with him and he told his son to run and grab the handgun. Several shots from the handgun did nothing. Terry had his son fetch a rifle. The blast threw the animal back, but it still seemed to leave it uninjured. The creature did run away and Terry and his son tracked it to a spot where the footprints just stopped, as if it had disappeared. 

Gwen had an experience with the same kind of creature later while she was driving in her car. She saw what looked like a very, very large wolf running beside the car. The head of the wolf was the same height as her window. She also saw what looked like a large brown dog in the distance that had a head much larger than the typical dog. It's eyes glowed blue. Probably the worst thing to happen on the ranch was the death of the Shermans' dog. One day a flying glowing blue orb appeared and terry told his dog to get the orb. The dog chased it into some undergrowth and then yelped really loud and didn't come out of the vegetation. Terry ran over to the area and all he found was scorched earth and strange greasy blobs, which was probably all that was left of the dog. The Shermans had now reached a point where they felt it was unsafe for their family and they decided to sell.

We should point out here that while many people thought the Shermans' claims were a hoax, the family didn't get rich or famous for their claims and even when the stories were originally told in a book, they were referred to as the Gorman family to protect their identity. And while the Skinwalker Ranch is notorious for weird activity, the whole region has unexplained stuff going on with most people having seen at least a UFO or strange lights. Over 400 UFO sightings have been reported going all the way back to the 1950s. Stories of these Skinwalker tracks that go for a little while and then abruptly end are very common as well. 

The next owner was billionaire property magnate Robert Bigelow. He bought the ranch for $200,000 in 1996 and he knew exactly what he was getting. Bigelow was very interested in strange phenomenon of all types. He had heard the stories about the ranch. Prior to buying the property, in 1995, Bigelow founded the National Institute for Discovery Science or NIDS. The organizations purpose was to research and study paranormal topics like UFOs. It specialized in cattle mutilations and black triangle reports. So Skinwalker Ranch was the perfect site to set up a laboratory. The institute disbanded in 2004 and attributed much of what they saw to military aircraft. Bigelow has been reluctant to talk about the research done on the ranch, but that wasn't the case for the scientists that worked there or visitors.

The Hunt for the Skinwalker was published in 2006 and written by Dr. Colm Kelleher and George Knapp. Dr. Kelleher was a biochemist who worked for Bigelow and led the research team. He spent months on the ranch and experienced many unexplained things. Anybody who listens to the radio show Coast to Coast is familiar with George Knapp. He fills in quite a bit for host George Noory. Knapp was an investigative journalist at the time and he was invited to the ranch. He was the only journalist to be invited to do so.  The two men opened the door into the unknown and into Skinwalker Ranch with this book and meticulously shared their findings and experiences. Kelleher claimed in the book that in March of 1997, he saw a large humanoid figure that was perched in a tree. He wrote, "The large creature laid motionless, almost casually, in the tree. The only indication of the beast’s presence was the penetrating yellow light of the unblinking eyes as they stared fixedly back into the light." He felt that the creature was a large bird of prey because after he shot at it with his rifle and it flew off, he found claw marks and imprints on the ground that matched those made by raptors, only much larger.

The research team wanted to document everything at all times, so they built observation posts, set up cameras everywhere and had round-the-clock surveillance. They ran into problems that many paranormal researchers run into and that is having equipment malfunction so that weird activity doesn't get recorded. Some of the equipment would be severely damaged too with wires ripped out. Knapp said of the ranch, "The [Sherman] ranch presented a unique opportunity to study a rich tapestry of strange stuff. It was as if someone had ordered up the weirdness pizza with everything on it." During this time, the ranch manager and his wife had gone out and tagged a calf and a little while later, their dog started acting very strangely. They went out to the field where the dog was and found the newly tagged calf dead. The body cavity was completely empty. There was no blood. The animal had been thoroughly cleaned out and it was broad daylight. The researchers got to the point where they thought that whatever they were dealing with was intelligent and omniscience, basically knowing what the researchers were going to do before they did it. Retired Army Intelligence Officer John Alexander believed that a "pre-cognitive sentient intelligence"  messing with equipment right before they were going to use it.

In 2016, Bigelow sold the ranch for a reported $4.5 million to Brandon Fugal who is Chairman of Colliers International in Utah. Fugal is a prominent businessman and real estate developer in the Intermountain West. Like Bigelow, he has always been fascinated by weird stuff, especially UFOs. He wanted to do his own research on the ranch and now we all get to share in that with the History Channel show "The Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch," which showcases a team of researchers Fugal has put together and the evidence they have captured. The team consists of caretakers Anthropologist Kandus Linde and Technologist Tom Lewis, Manager Jim Morse, Chief Scientist Erik Bard, Superintendent of Skinwalker Ranch Thomas Winterton, Chief Security Officer Bryant Arnold or "Dragon" and engineer Dr. Travis Taylor who has worked with NASA and the Department of Defense. The team has used the most cutting edge technology available and recruited the help of many experts in various fields to shoot rockets into voids in the sky, to decipher rock art, to chant and pray, to dig and so much more. The Command Center is state-of-the-art and monitors everything going on on the ranch. The team has conducted drone aerial surveys, soil surveys and seismic record reviews to try to find a natural reason for the weird phenomenon.

One thing that is very clear with the ranch is that it doesn't like it when people dig there. And yes, we are talking as though it has a personality, but after watching three seasons of this series, it's hard not to believe that the area is a living organism of some sort. Superintendent Thomas was digging one time and he nearly died when he had a weird medical emergency happen to his brain in which his scalp separated from his skull. This was before the series started. Anytime Thomas started to have his head feel bad, the group would get him out of the area. He has not let it scare him away, but its really weird how he is the only one of the group to experience this. There was a visiting engineer who experienced a severe headache and needed to be taken to a safe area when on the ranch. This makes what happens to Thomas more credible.

There are three points of interest on the ranch: Homestead 2, The Mesa and The Triangle. Homestead 2 is an abandoned house that many people believe is haunted. People feel weird out here. A rabbi came out to Homestead 2 and he chanted in Hebrew to open a portal. At the same time, a thermal camera showed a circular vortex that was much colder than everything else in front of the house. They also caught something going through the area that was totally blue, having no heat signature, so it couldn't be an animal. The best way to describe the movement is as though an animal were running through the brush. On another visit, they caught a ball of light with weird trails behind it and this orb moved erratically. They referenced it as some kind of UAP. High levels of radiation were detected out here as well, especially in a well when they first opened it up. Dr. Travis Taylor seemed to develop chemical burns on his face after that as though he got a major shot of radiation. The team keeps getting a 1.6 gigahertz RF Radiation signal and the last time they got it, they picked up some weird audio signals. Every time they get this signal, weird stuff happens or researchers get headaches. On another occasion, Caretaker Tom Lewis and Dragon were out at Homestead 2 and Erik played back an RF signal of 1.6 over a radio for them to listen to and see if it changed the energy at the site. Almost immediately, Tom Lewis fell to the ground and needed to go to the hospital. He was very weak and the doctors weren't sure what had happened to him that made him collapse and needing assistance to walk back to the truck.

The Mesa is very large and has many strange features. Night vision cameras pointed at it seem to show it glowing. It's as if there are a bunch of lights behind it, but of course that is impossible. They have drilled into a void in the Mesa and  hit a large metallic object. The metals retrieved were analyzed and two of the materials were things used on space shuttles tiles. They think there is a dome shaped object buried in the Mesa. Is there a UAP under the dirt and rocks? There is also a formation on top of the Mesa made with rocks that seems to be in a spiral shape. This is interesting because there are spiral petroglyphs on rocks on nearby properties and Native Americans claim that is a symbol for portals. So did an earlier civilization indicate that the Mesa had a portal with this formation? In 2010, a former military guy was on top of the Mesa and he took pictures of canine footprints up there. He also heard a gutteral growl from an animal in a ditch near the mesa.

The Triangle is basically an area the researchers have mapped out that has three points on the ground that come together at a point in the air about 5000 feet up to a mile from the field that looks like a triangle in 3D. At that mile high level, numerous tests seem to have proven that something is sitting there. That has been the greatest mystery here and the focus of much of the research. On one occasion, Dr. Taylor and Erik Bard took a helicopter ride through the anomaly at that mile high range and it was really weird. They went up in a spiral fashion and took readings as they went. Brandon's brother Cameron was the pilot and his radar picked up that something was forty feet under them even though they saw nothing. A camera picked up a shadowy anomaly that crossed under the helicopter, almost imperceptible. Nobody on the ground using binoculars could see anything. A large rocket with a ton of equipment on board was shot up into the center of the anomaly above the triangle one night and something caused it to completely bend off course. At the same time, they caught a UAP that ascended from the mesa and then just vanished. Did it go into a portal?

Kris Porritt was a deputy sheriff and he met with the caretakers to tell his experiences when the Myers family owned the property. The Myers never publically told anyone about weird stuff on the ranch, but clearly it happened because one day Porritt asked Mr. Myers wny he had chains on locks on everything, including the refrigerator in the house. Myers told Porritt that they got visitors. Then he specified that those visitors were alien. Things would come up missing. He didn't necessarily see them, but he could feel them. Screens on the windows would be taken out. The caretakers shared that they experience weird things too and often feel like they are being watched. They would hear strange sounds and voices in the basement and in 2019, Season 1 of the show, they drilled into a wall in the basement and found another room or storage area that had been sealed up. A camera was run inside and they found what looked like bones. Not big ones from what we could see in the images. But strange nonetheless because why was something with bones sealed up in this concrete area. Porritt also shared a story where 3 heifers went missing and were found in a shed, stacked up on top of each other and they appeared dead until they poured water over them and then they seemed to come to life.

In the first year that they were out there, a cow mysteriously died and nothing would go near it. No animals tried to eat it even though it was left out there for months. Veterinarians had a hard time figuring out what killed the animal. The cows have on several occasions gotten spooked as an entire herd and run without any discernible reason what has caused it. Throughout all three seasons, dozens of UAPs have been caught on camera and seen by the naked eye of everybody staying at the ranch and visiting it. There are no contrails, they don't appear on flight maps and they disappear nearly as soon as they are seen. They've identified three different types of these UFO objects: glowing orb-like ones, objects that streak quickly across the sky and darker flying objects.

Diane believes in the possibility of Skinwalkers. She has a couple of theories about what they are, one being that they are some kind of government experiment. More likely is that they could be some kind of chimera created by supernatural forces or entities. Diane is positive there is a portal above the triangle and that there is something inside the Mesa. Kelly shares her thoughts as well.

Some people who have visited have had a hitchhiker effect in which it seems something has followed them home. There are so many stories about the ranch that it is difficult to not believe something strange is happening there. The level of scientific studies conducted and the evidence gathered by the team of "Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch" are very convincing. Is Skinwalker Ranch haunted and a headquarters for unearthly and strange phenomenon? That is for you to decide!

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