Page 14 - The 'X' Chronicles Newspaper - May/June 2022 Edition
P. 14

14                    Skinwalker Ranch & the Paranormal

           How Skinwalker Ranch

              Became a Hotbed of

              Paranormal Activity

                 Continued from Page 13

        Cursed water, cursed lights

        While skinwalkers don’t feature in Ute religion,
        there are still aspects of the ranch that make
        sense within the context of Ute lore.

        Other strange sightings have occurred directly
        next door, at Bottle Hollow—a 420-acre man-
        made reservoir on Ute land abutting the ranch,
        which was filled with fresh water in 1970 by
        federal government mandate. In 1998, a police
        officer saw a large light plunge into the reservoir
        and then reemerge, flying off into the night sky.
        One night in 2002, four young (non-Indian) men
        standing on the reservoir’s shoreline saw a blue-
        white ball enter the artificial lake.            keep his identity secret. "I acquired the property  UFOs, the Pentagon and a
                                                         from billionaire Robert Bigelow for the purpose
        According to the Hunt for the Skinwalker, the of conducting scientific research to determine if     Move to the Mainstream
        glowing ball dove into the water just a few feet there was any validity to the extraordinary
        from the shore, then emerged seconds later in a claims of paranormal activity," he said.
        new form: a shimmering, maneuverable belt-                                                        The idea of UFO sightings was largely seen as
        shaped shaft of light. “After performing a brief "Although I acquired the ranch as a skeptic, I
                                                                                                          quackery for decades. People who claimed to
        writhing aerial dance, the belt of light zipped eventually had my own undeniable Close            have had encounters with them were often
        away at a high rate of speed, hugging the ground Encounter—a UFO sighting in broad daylight
                                                                                                          dismissed and ridiculed.
        before disappearing below the top of Skinwalker with multiple witnesses."
        Ridge.”                                                                                           This has slowly started to shift, however, with
                                                         Skeptics of Skinwalker Ranch are many. One of
                                                                                                          the release of Pentagon documents about UFO
        The appearance of the supernatural around the most prominent, Robert Sheaffer, previously         sightings that show there was an effort to keep
        Bottle Hollow makes sense with the context of pointed out that the claims of paranormal
                                                                                                          track and record unexplained events. UFO—
        Ute belief. According to Jones, amongst the Utes activity began just before a family that owned
                                                                                                          unidentified flying object—does not mean
        “springs and certain waterways were reservoirs the ranch was preparing to sell it to Bigelow—     aliens.
        of negative power… There were evil spirits or the founder of the National Institute for
        evil sprites that would rise up out of the water Discovery Science (NIDSci), a privately          The U.S government also set up the
        and drag you in.” []                             financed research organization that disbanded in
                                                                                                          Unidentified  Aerial Phenomena (UAP)  Task
                                                                                                          Force in 2020 as part of the Office of Naval
           Skinwalker Ranch: The                                                                          Intelligence to standardize and collect
                                                         Bigelow had bought it to investigate UFO         information about UAP sightings. It said the task
        UFO Hotspot in Utah That                         sightings at the ranch through NIDSci, but after  force would be examining unauthorized aircraft
                                                         a decade of observations the team gave up the
               Has Men Obsessed                                                                           where "the observer cannot immediately
                                                                                                          identify what he or she is observing."

                   By Hannah Osborne                     The name Skinwalker comes from the Navajo        "The Department of Defense established the
                                                         tribe, describing a type of shaman that practices
                                                                                                          UAPTF to improve its understanding of, and
                                                         bad or black magic.  The ranch has captured
                                                                                                          gain insight into, the nature and origins of
                                                         popular imagination. The HISTORY Channel is
        Skinwalker Ranch is a 512-acre property tucked                                                    UAPs," it said. "The mission of the task force is
                                                         about to air its third season of a series about the
        away in the northeast corner of Utah that,                                                        to detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could
                                                         paranormal activity at the ranch.
        apparently, UFOs—and the men studying                                                             potentially pose a threat to U.S. national
        them—just can't get enough of.                                                                    security."
                                                         Asked whether he purchased Skinwalker Ranch
                                                         to make money off the paranormal claims, Fugal
        In the 1960s and 70s, there was a flurry of UFO                                                   In June 2021, NASA chief Bill Nelson told CNN
                                                         said no. "I have yet to put a penny in my pocket
        sightings in the Uintah Basin. Then, in the mid                                                   he did not think UFO sightings were a case of
                                                         personally regarding this endeavor," he said. "In
        90s, stories about Skinwalker and strange                                                         optical illusions. He said that while he does not
                                                         addition, I never intended to reveal my identity
        goings-on at the ranch started to emerge.  The                                                    think UFOs are aliens visiting Earth—"I think I
                                                         as the owner, requiring strict confidentiality
        stories range from cattle mutilations to UFOs.                                                    would know"—the sightings reported by Navy
                                                         agreements and liability waivers. I kept my
                                                                                                          pilots are a mystery.
                                                         identity as the owner secret until being
        "Skinwalker Ranch is the most scientifically
                                                         persuaded to go public in connection with the
        studied paranormal hotspot on the planet, with                                                    "We don't know if it's extraterrestrial. We don't
                                                         The HISTORY Channel docuseries and our
        the highest frequency of documented UFO                                                           know if it's an enemy. We don't know if it's an
                                                         ongoing investigation." []
        sightings,    bizarre    cattle    mutilations,                                                   optical phenomenon," Nelson said. "We don't
        electromagnetic anomalies and unexplained                                                         think [it's an optical phenomenon] because of
                                                               THE ‘X’ ZONE RADIO/TV
        phenomena," Brandon Fugal, who bought the                                                         the characteristics that those Navy jet pilots
        ranch in 2016.                                                                                    described [...] And so the bottom line is, we want
                                                                    ROB McCONNELL                         to know." []
        Fugal, a real estate tycoon, initially bought the     Past Episodes Are Available At
        property through a shell company, wanting to         
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