With Halloween just around the corner, the spookiest place in the country might be right here in Utah. Recently, two scientific studies suggest that place is Skinwalker Ranch in rural northeastern Utah.
For as long as humans have lived in the Uintah Basin, they’ve been seeing strange things in the sky. In the 1970’s, Utah State professor Frank Salisbury wrote a well documented book about hundreds of UFO sightings in the basin.
But the strangeness goes way beyond mystery aircraft. For 15 generations, indigenous tribes, including the Utes, have referred to this sandstone ridge as being “in the path of the skinwalker.” They consider the skinwalker a malevolent spirit and a shapeshifter.
The ridge overlooks a picturesque property now known around the world by its nickname – Skinwalker Ranch. It easily ranks as the most intensely studied paranormal hotspot in history.
Dr. John Alexander retired from Army intelligence as a colonel and was part of the first scientific study of the ranch under the umbrella of NIDS, the National Institute for Discovery Science. NIDS was a think tank created and funded by Las Vegas aerospace entrepreneur Robert Bigelow.
After reading a Deseret newspaper story about UFO activity at the ranch, Bigelow flew to Utah, bought the property, and assigned a team of professionals to study the ranch and the basin.
The rancher and his neighbors told the NIDS team about a litany of bizarre activity from shadow people appearing in and around the ranch house, poltergeist-type events where physical objects moved on their own, strange animals including huge wolves and sasquatch, and holes in the sky.
The scientists witnessed much of this for themselves, including animals carved up with surgical precision and ghostly images that appeared on camera. In all, they documented hundreds of paranormal events.
“Something else is in control,” John Alexander told Mystery Wire. “And if it wants you to find out, it may allow that, but if it doesn’t, this thing keeps morphing and changing into, you know, new shapes and forms. We had cameras there and things that happened just off camera, sometimes in front of the camera but you wouldn’t see them.”
The NIDS investigation was conducted in secrecy for years, but was stymied by the trickster intelligence.
A 2005 book, Hunt for the Skinwalker, revealed details about the ranch to the world and came to the attention of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). With the support of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the DIA launched its own study of weird activity at the ranch and the larger issue of UFOs.
In all, $22 million was allocated to the research, reams of documents and reports were generated, but have never been made public.
In December 2017, the New York Times revealed the Pentagon’s secret study of UFOs. But that article made no mention of the far more mysterious encounters at the ranch.
Lue Elizondo was the intelligence officer in charge of the Pentagon’s program called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program – better known as AATIP. This Pentagon group studied the now famous UFO videos called Tic Tac, Go Fast, and Gimbal along with other military encounters. Elizondo coordinated with the DIA and the team studying the ranch.
While the strange happenings at the ranch could be considered just a spooky Halloween tale, it also involves national security.
“Let’s take the nature of Skinwalker Ranch out of the equation and just look at it from an intelligence problem,” Elizondo told Mystery Wire. “You have to ask yourself, ‘is this something that is occurring naturally? Is it something that is being deliberately done? Is it something that another nation could be behind trying to influence us?’”
The public got an inside look at the first two scientific studies of the ranch in a 2018 documentary film, Hunt for the Skinwalker. This film helped inspire a television program about the new owner of the ranch, Utah businessman Brandon Fugal, who has financed his own scientific study.
Fugal’s team has documented the inexplicable activity that is once again spiking in the Uintah Basin.