(DOUG JESSOPJESSOP’S JOURNAL) What does “The Final Frontier” mean to you? In this episode of Jessop’s Journal episode we visit with people that have powerful, positive and inspirational stories.

Jessop’s Journal is a 30-minute collection of “Powerful, Positive & Inspirational Stories” that airs Sunday morning at 10 on ABC4 Utah and also streams worldwide at JessopsJournal.com

In this episode of Jessop’s Journal we are talking about the final frontier —

Our first guest talks about the powerful experiences he has witnessed first-hand at Skinwalker Ranch

Dan Farr talks about positive interactions with actor Dick Van Dyke that led to the creation of the largest per-capita Comic convention in the United States

Everyone has a story. One of our guests told us about a special object. Objects with stories are Treasures Remembered(TM)

In between, Our Musical Guest, the Red Dirt Girls entertains us with an inspirational message with their song “Utah Sunrise”

But first, Brandon Fugal

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There are some things that can’t be explained. In this episode of Jessop’s Journal I sat down with the owner of a supposedly cursed land in Utah, Skinwalker Ranch, that is the subject of a History Channel TV series.

Legend has it that supernatural activities occur on a piece of land surrounded by the Ute Indian Reservation in the Uintah Basin of Utah. Brandon Fugal bought the land about five years ago and brought in a team of scientists to see if the legends were true. 

What’s the thing that he now knows that he didn’t know before that surprises him the most? Fugal replied; “I bought the ranch as a skeptic. As a healthy skeptic. I had never seen a UFO, a ghost, an orb, or anything of the sort in my life and I disclosed that to the previous owner.”

Fugal claims that he and his team have experienced unexplained phenomena.

I was surprised at how open he was as told me; “Those first six months of owning it I really saw nothing myself that would lead me to believe that there was anything unusual. Well that all changed. I had with multiple witnesses with me an occasion where we saw what can only be described as an unidentified flying object, a craft a forty, fifty-foot-long silver disc hovering right above the mesa. Right in front of us. This wasn’t just a blinking light in the sky or something that was a little bit ambiguous. This was a solid object that appeared out of nowhere could move in the blink of an eye and over a twenty second period perform maneuvers that I believe defy any propulsion physics that we’re acquainted with.”

I asked him, “So did you do one of those, did you see that?” His reply? We were in shock. We were in complete shock. It caught us all off guard. To this day, I’m surprised.

He continued; “This five hundred-and twelve-acre assemblage has become really the sight on not only global interest but is the most scientifically studied paranormal hotspot on the planet.

The property is the subject of an investigative series on the History Channel. called “The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch”.

What do you think? Watch the Secret of Skinwalker Ranch and decide for yourself.

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Everyone has a story. Sometimes those stories are told through music.

This episode’s musical guest is the talented sister duo, “The Red Dirt Girls”.

Come to find out that the song “Utah Sunrise” was written by their Mother reflecting on the passing of a family member with the message “you’ll never be loved more than tomorrow.”

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The most attended convention in the state of Utah and the largest comic convention in North America per capita is called FAN X. It started with a chance meeting with the owner of a 3D software company, Dan Farr, at the National Association of Broadcasters convention.

“I was there with a friend of mine. We’re looking around and we say, “That’s Dick Van Dyke”.  That was pretty cool. What’s he doing here? Let’s go over and say hi to him. So we meet him. Found out that he actually has a hobby. He’s really into the technology behind things. I think it started from Mary Poppins when he was dancing in front of a green screen. That was kind of the groundbreaking technology back then.”

Dan continued; “As a hobby, he had a room set up behind his house that he would render out 3D images. He was using some of the 3D software that was in our industry that we were familiar with. We talked with him and said Hey “why don’t we get you some 3D models to mess around with” he said, “sure I’d love it” So we sent him some. So that actually developed a relationship that later on we created a children’s book, that was a Christmas book, “Mr. Finnegan’s Giving Chest.” In the book, the character we created was Dick Van Dyke and we worked with him through the process. It was a book we published about sixteen years ago. That’s where that relationship started. Meeting at a convention. Finding out that he had a common interest in the 3D software. We rendered the 3D images in the book using our software.”

Dan’s 3D software led to more meetings at comic book conventions with more introductions to celebrities. Fan X Salt Lake City was born. Attendance at the first event broke records.

I asked Dan how many people attended that first conference. He went into detail about how the original venue was supposed to be the South Towne Center. Advance ticket sales started taking off. The event got moved to downtown Salt Lake City. Some big names heard about the buzz and things really started happening. William Shatner agreed to be at the event and sales went into outer space.

Dan went on to tell me about getting a phone call while he was on the set of our ABC4 Good Things Utah from none other than Stan Lee agreeing to come to the inaugural event. I was there when Dan got off the call and the mood in the room was Marvel…ous (you have to be a fan to get the bad dad joke there, I couldn’t resist).

Seventy thousand people ended up attended the first event.

What’s Dan favorite part of the conventions he started in Salt Lake City?

He told me about a couple of experiences but summed it up this way; “The greatest gift you can give is the gift of happiness is to other people. If I can give that. When I go to events, I love watching people have those fan experiences. I love to see them with their family, and they’re excited to be there. That’s what pulled me into it.  It was really the excitement of the other people. I enjoy all the pop culture stuff, but I have really become a fan of the fans and when I see them have those fan moments it’s like I’m living vicariously through them.

Dan has high hopes for the future. “I hope we can do this for years to come and basically help people explore their dreams and meet people they want to meet. There are so many inspiring things that happen at the event where the celebrity says something that really connects people in a certain way. That’s what I love seeing.”

Consider this your personal invitation to watch this entire episode of Jessop’s Journal and share it with someone that enjoys a powerful and positive story.

Everyone has a story. I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”

You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.

Please consider following me at www.DougJessop.com, LinkedIn, YouTube and at “@dougjessopnews” on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Jessop’s Journal is something special when it comes to broadcast news. I have the honor of being able to do longer in-depth interviews that you don’t normally see with people from all walks of life. A big shout out goes to my collaborator, Ed Wilets, who does a great job as my videographer/editor for all my stories. Your feedback is always welcome at DJessop@abc4.com

It’s my honor to be able to share, Jessop’s Journal, a 30-minute collection of Powerful, Positive and Inspirational Stories every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. on ABC4 to all of Utah along with parts of Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and Arizona. Jessop’s Journal is also available worldwide at JessopsJournal.com.

With another entry into Jessop’s Journal, I’m Doug Jessop.

Doug Jessop
For Doug Jessop, it all started with a cassette recorder he got for Christmas when he was 12 years old growing up in Southern California. Doug interviewed relatives, friends and anyone else that might have a good story. You can follow Doug at www.DougJessop.com, on YouTube.com/DougJessop, and @DougJessopNews on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Jessop’s Journal is a copyrighted production of Fedora Incorporated and made possible by the generous support of XLEAR, Tatt2Away, Millcreek Gardens and LIFE Never Boring.