Page 13 - The 'X' Chronicles Newspaper - May/June 2022 Edition
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Skinwalker Ranch & the Paranormal                                                                                         13

           How Skinwalker Ranch                          Estate, which has since applied to trademark the  watching the team safely from a tree perch 20
                                                         name “Skinwalker Ranch.”                         feet off the ground.
              Became a Hotbed of

                                                         Had the Shermans been lying about what they      “The large creature that lay motionless, almost
              Paranormal Activity                        saw? Or under the spell of a collective delusion?  casually, in the tree,” said Kelleher. “The only
                                                         Without evidence, the stories they told are      indication of the beast’s presence was the
                                                         difficult to believe, but they’re hardly unique.  penetrating yellow light of the unblinking eyes
           Reports persist of UFOs, crop
                                                         The Uinta Basin of eastern Utah has been such a  as they stared fixedly back into the light.”
           circles, cattle mutilation—and                hotbed of paranormal sightings over the years

                shapeshifting creatures                  that some extraterrestrial enthusiasts have      After Kelleher fired at the creature with a rifle, it
                                                         deemed it “UFO Alley.” “You can’t throw a rock   disappeared. “It was then that I saw it—a single,
                 impervious to bullets.
                                                         in Southern Utah without hitting somebody        obvious oval track about six inches in diameter
                                                         who’s been abducted,” local filmmaker  Trent     embedded deeply in the patch of snow... It
                      by Adam Janos                      Harris told the Deseret News.                    looked unusual: a single large print in the snow

                                                                                                          with two sharp claws protruding from the rear of
        Some have called it a supernatural place. Others Indeed, according to Hunt for the Skinwalker,    the mark going a couple of inches deeper. It
        have deemed it “cursed.” Terry Sherman got so odd objects have been spotted overhead since        almost looked like a bird of prey, maybe a raptor
        spooked by the happenings on his new cattle the first European explorers arrived: In 1776,        print, but huge and, from the depth of the print,
        ranch that 18 months after moving his family of Franciscan missionary Silvestre  Vélez de         from a very heavy creature.”
        four to the property now known by many as Escalante wrote about strange fireballs
        “Skinwalker Ranch” in northeastern Utah, he appearing over his campfire in El Rey.  And The ‘Skinwalker’ in Skinwalker Ranch
        sold the 512-acre parcel away.                   before the Europeans, of course, indigenous
                                                         peoples occupied the Uinta Basin.  Today,        Repeated sightings of humanlike creatures have
        He and his wife Gwen shared their chilling “Skinwalker Ranch” abuts the Uintah and Ouray          led some to invoke the name “Skinwalker,” a
        experiences with a local reporter in June 1996: Indian Reservation of the Ute Tribe.              shape-shifting character from Navajo tribal
        They’d seen mysterious crop circles, the                                                          folklore.  Among the Navajo, skinwalkers are
        Shermans said, and UFOs, and the systematic Were the Shermans seeing things that nearby           like werewolves: evil witches who can
        and repeated mutilation of their cattle—in an Native Americans had taken note of centuries        transform themselves into the creatures of their
        oddly surgical and bloodless manner.  Within before?                                              choosing.
        three months of the story’s publication, Las
        Vegas real estate magnate and UFO enthusiast Mysterious creatures                                 But Sherman’s family ranch was 400 miles north
        Robert Bigelow bought the property for                                                            of Navajo Nation. It was next to Ute territory.
        $200,000.                                        Not everything the Shermans saw on their ranch And when the Utes and the Navajo did cross
                                                         was sky-borne UFOs. They also claimed to see paths, it was an acrimonious relationship,
        Under the name the National Institute for        mysterious large animals: most notably, a wolf explains historian Sondra Jones, author of Being
        Discovery Science, Bigelow set up round-the-     three times the size of a normal wolf that Terry and Becoming Ute.
        clock surveillance of the ranch, hoping to get to  shot at close range multiple times with a rifle—
        the bottom of the paranormal claims. But while   to seemingly no effect.                          “It was not friendly,” Jones says. “The Navajo
        that surveillance yielded a book, Hunt for the                                                    were more aggressive people; they took slaves,
        Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained    Then, on the night of March 12, 1997—after the they had Ute slaves.  And there was direct
        at a Remote Ranch in Utah, in which several of   ranch had been sold off—biochemist Colm conflict when the Navajo attempted to move up
        the researchers claimed to have seen paranormal  Kelleher, working with Bigelow’s National into Ute territory,” at modern-day Pagosa
        activities, they were unable to capture any      Institute for Discovery Science, claimed to see a Springs and Durango.
        meaningful physical evidence supporting the      large humanoid creature spying on the research
        Shermans’ incredible stories.                    team from a tree.
                                                         As he detailed in Hunt for the Skinwalker, the                          (Continued on Page 14)
        The ranch was resold to  Adamantium Real         creature was approximately 50 yards away,
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