Rise of the Skinwalker


As Above So Below
Rise of the Skinwalker

Skinwalker Ranch
Case Report

The Skinwalker represents what we have all been searching for. It is not the unexplained we seek, but the unexplainable, that one thing that we simply have no rational explanation for, particularly, as a result of the scientific limitations of our time. It is a dream world that has somehow become infused into our objective reality, a geographical area that engages the human subconscious to produce monsters and impossible creatures. Somehow, the legend of the Skinwalker and the Ranch in Utah has become the symbol of our global ignorance. If so many paranormal phenomenon intensify in one specific area, what then does that tell us about reality, why does it tell us about quantum physics, consciousness and the phenomenon. If the Skinwalker is the key to the lock, then can we finally open the door to the mystery?

Case Report: Skinwalker Ranch
Date: 17th Century – present day
Location: Utah Basin, United States of America.

The Ranch

Skinwalker Ranch is a rural property situated on approximately 500 acres that is located southeast of Ballard, Utah. The three homesteads are situated alongside the ‘Skinwalker Ridge’. The ridge is large area that overlooks the property itself.

The ranch area has become the most researched paranormal hot-spot in the world, while providing its fair share of classification, controversies and conspiracy theories in the process.

The Skinwalker Ridge and property


Skinwalker Ranch


The famous gates to enter the property


Description of Skinwalker

A Skinwalker is a harmful witch, alledgedly of Native American origin, who has the distinct ability to transform themselves into an animal of their choosing. According to legend in the Navajo culture, Skinwalkers have the ability to assume various forms, based on their needs.

Reports suggest that animals associated with witchcraft usually include tricksters such as the coyote, but can include other creatures, usually those associated with death or bad omens. They might also possess living animals or people and walk around in their bodies by locking eyes with them. Skinwalkers may be male or female. Due to their inhuman bursts of speed, stealth and strength, they are almost impossible to capture and can only be killed if they are fatally injured through damage to the neck.

Skinwalkers are said to often lurk and stalk, standing outside windows late at night or approaching people on lonely highways. They have telepathic ability and feed from fear and control their victims.

The vast majority of the Skinwalker history is considered folklore.

Skinwalker in the Utah Basin

The infamous legend of the Skinwalker is reported to have originated in the 1800’s, when European colonists began moving further west, forcing out the indigenous Native American tribes who had resided there for thousands of years.

During the American Civil War, some Ute members allegedly took orders from Kit Carson in the battle against the Navajo, resulting in a curse being placed upon the land.

One tale tells of the Ute, an Indigenous tribe from this valley and their uneasy alliance with the Navajo. Siding with American military forces in the late 19th century, the Ute helped force the Navajo people out of the area.

Some believe a Skinwalker was created in the process and that it still lives in the heart of the basin in a place called Shadow Canyon. To this day local tribe members avoid the area for fear of angering it.


The Skinwalker witches


Ceremonial tributes performed by the Utah native

The Modern era 1994-2015

Back in 1994, ranchers Terry and Gwen Sherman purchased the 500-acre ranch in the basin after it had remained unoccupied for seven years. It was a unique, beautiful area of land with a picturesque mountain ridge in the backdrop. Terry was an expert cattle rancher and cattle breeder, and this was the land by which he hoped to raise them on.

However, upon moving in they experienced strange and shocking activity.

– The House

They found heavy iron stakes with metal chains at each end of the house, as though someone had chained up large animals to guard the doors.

There were big thick padlocks bolted firmly on many of the doors, both inside and out, that suggested that the previous residents were concerned for their own personal safety.

On the first day of moving in a giant wolf almost the size of a horse attacked a calf, the rancher shot the animal multiple times with different guns but was unable to kill the creature despite hitting his target on each occasion. The wolf managed to get away and dissapeared in the tree line without a trace.

Artists impression of the a dire wolf
The dire wolf is an extinct species of the genus Canis. It is one of the most famous prehistoric carnivores in North America, along with its extinct competitor, the sabre-toothed cat Smilodon fatalis.

– The ‘UFOs’

The family began noticing other odd occurrences around the ranch, including strange balls of light that seem to hover in the sky. On one occasion the rancher’s three dogs chased a blue orb, they disappeared into the night before distinct shrieks were heard – the next day the rancher found the liquified remains of the dogs.

Constant orbs buzzed the pasture

– The Paranormal

Along with the orbs, they also saw peculiar orb lights in the sky and voices that seemed to originate from all directions and even from above their heads. They started seeing bizarre faces at the outside windows, which turned into apparitions standing at the foot of their beds in the middle of the night.

The family members started experiencing terrifying nightmares. The also started to smell a heavy scent of old musk with no apparent origin.
Household objects began disappearing, only to reappear somewhere else with no explanation.

One particular day, Gwen carried in the shopping from the car and unloaded them onto the kitchen counter. She then turned around having been distracted by something. When she turned back, all of the shopping items were back in the bags, as though she had never unpacked them in the first place.

– The Cattle Mutilations

They also began finding their expensive prized cattle dead in the fields, mutilated beyond belief. Some of the cattle had their genital areas mutilated, while another had its eye completely removed, no blood at the scene and organs removed as if done surgically.

Often the cattle were killed within 20 minutes of last been scene alive, with no tracks surrounding the animal.

Cattle began disappearing at an alarming rate, which was detrimental to Terry’s ranching business. He lost twenty percent of his herd in two years, which is excessive compared to the normal one percent rate that most ranchers in the area face. The various orbs of light seemed particularly intrigued by the cattle, often observed hovering above their heads. The rancher’s cattle weren’t standard cows. They were prized cattle that had cost him thousands of dollars. Having then disappear so mysteriously was disconcerting, to say the least, especially considering most of them vanished without a trace.

Cattle mutilations


– The Unusual, Strange and Unexplained

Bizarre lights would appear weekly over the ranch property, sometimes covering the entire area to near daylight conditions.

Strange abnormal animals were often seen roaming around the ranch at will, some of them huge black figures. Dogs were supposedly seen walking upright across the property. Brightly coloured tropical birds from the South Pacific and amazon were spotted in the trees, even Bigfoot was reportedly seen.

The family dogs became so fearful of the activity, they cowered in their dog houses and refused to come out, not even for food and water.

Six of their outdoor cats disappeared without a trace in one single night.

Bigfoot sightings occurred on the property

– The End of the Sherman Ranch

The situation had got to breaking point, financial losses from the missing cattle were nearly bankrupting the family. The children’s school grades were dropping and sleeping was becoming a real issue for the family due to the continuous paranormal activity and nightmares.

By the end, the Sherman family were all sleeping together in the same room.

After telling their story to a journalist at a Salt Lake City newspaper, the Shermans were approached by a new buyer.

News clippings from the 90s

National Institute for Discovery Science

In 1996, hotel entrepreneur Robert Bigelow bought the property from the Shermans for $200,000. He brought in the NIDS team and turned it into a research facility to study the reported paranormal events. Over a period of time, he hired qualified psychologists, engineers, physicists, and biologists to engage the research. Bigelow paid to lock down the ranch, hiring former military security guards to keep it protected from outside interference. Bigelow established a science advisory board and brought in state of the art equipment in the attempt of capturing the elusive phenomena.

During the early days at the ranch, the NIDS team consisted of a veterinarian, a physicist, and a biochemist. Even though the Shermans moved to a ranch twenty-five miles away, Terry Sherman agreed to stay on as the ranch manager, caring for the livestock both he and NIDS brought in to act as bait for the paranormal activity. The team investigated the ranch in pairs, often bringing a dog along with them as they made their rounds.

One of the researchers hired for the ranch was Ph.D. Colm A. Kelleher, a biochemist with fifteen years of cell and molecular biology experience. Kelleher became the deputy administrator of NIDS, and among other things, documented the events that transpired at the ranch.

The team’s veterinarian inspected the cattle, finding no obvious outwards cause of death. The decaying cattle bodies were too far along in their decomposition for any further analysis to be completed.

– Multiple Orbs (NIDS)

Soon after arriving on the ranch, respected journalist and author of ‘Hunt for the Skinwalker’, George Knapp, had his first experience with the strange glowing orb lights. Two groups were stationed in different areas of the ranch to watch for activity. As Knapp’s group waited for something to happen, they saw a bright yellow orb of light shoot out from behind the ridge. It moved silently, but swiftly, at the speed of a jet airplane. To their amazement, it circled in a perfect 360 loop before shooting back across the ridge.

Research generally indicates that in UFO cases the object will appear high in the sky, shying away from human contact, but these orbs are afraid of nothing. Like the other phenomena at Skinwalker Ranch, capturing them on film has proven difficult to impossible. Every time the NIDS team attempted to film them, the photos would come out blurry and unremarkable.

By August of 1997, the light anomaly phenomenon became even stranger, with several orbs appearing at the same time, zipping around the fields. Even though they set up cameras on poles around the ranch, they weren’t able to catch much of the activity on film. Whatever was plaguing the ranch refused to be recorded.

– The Black Humanoid Figure (NIDS)

One night, while the NIDS team was observing the ranch from atop a bluff, they noticed a faint yellow light appear 150 feet away from them. One of the researchers reached for a pair of binoculars, watching in silence as the yellow light grew larger and transformed into a tunnel. As he watched, a large black figured humanoid form emerged out of the tunnel and walked away.


– The Phenomenon and Consciousness (NIDS)

The activity continued well into 1999. They still saw the strange orb lights, but still couldn’t fully capture them on camera. The researchers began finding the cameras dismantled or missing altogether. The entities were not only elusive, but were also knowledgeable about technology, as well.

According to one NIDS researcher, “It isn’t as simple as saying that ETs or flying saucers are doing it. It’s some kind of consciousness, but it’s always something new and different, something non-repeatable. It’s reactive to people and equipment, and we set up the ranch to be a proving ground for the scientific method, but science doesn’t seem amenable to the solution of these kinds of problems.”

The AAWSAP Study of Skinwalker

The defence intelligence agency (DIA) awarded the Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program contract to Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS). Reportedly, his company was provided with $22 million dollars to study UFOs, and other associated phenomenon on the ranch according to the New York Times. Tim McMillan wrote in his popular mechanics article that BAASS produced a 10 month report for DIA back in 2009.

McMillan mentions that in the BAASS report, Skinwalker Ranch in Utah is reportedly seen as a “possible laboratory for studying other intelligences and possible interdimensional phenomena.”

The data collected by AAWSAP and BAASS remains classified and hidden under secrecy to this day.

The Adamantium Era 2016 – present day

In 2016, Bigelow sold Skinwalker Ranch for $4.5 million to “Adamantium Holdings”, a shell corporation with little known about its origin. Reports suggested that after the property was sold, all the in-roads leading to the ranch have been blocked off, the perimeter secured and guarded by cameras and barbed wire, and surrounded by signs that aim to prevent people from approaching the ranch. The worry was trespassing individuals who would interfere with the scientific processes on the ranch.

Then in the March of 2020, Brandon Fugal, a Utah real estate businessman, publicly came out as the owner of the ranch ahead of the premier for the history channels, ‘The Search for the Skinwalker’.

– Search for the Skinwalker

Released on the history channel in 2020 as an entertainment/scientific research investigation, Search for the Skinwalker documents the strange electromagnetic anomalies that occur on the range and the associated phenomena.

The reported phenomenon to date (Episode 3), suggests electromagnetic interference in specific areas of the Ranch. Infrared lights sources surrounding Skinwalker Ridge and hazardous (radiation) or focused beams that effects health.

Current theory is there is an anomalous ‘source’ either above or below the property.

– Will update as the series progresses.


No conventional analytical process can be performed in this case, we simply don’t have the data, currently. The documented phenomena is seemingly diverse, confusing and primarily based on human perceptions. Unfortunately, as AAWSAP and BAASS hold data under classification, the scientific research has consequently been held back, debilitating our understanding.

The phenomena at Skinwalker Ranch is as vast and complex as it is unquantifiable. The phenomena changes in every incident with the only constant coming from its ability to envolke an emotional response from the observer.

The early history gives us folklore and speculation. The modern era under the Sherman ranch gives us stories (not to discount them). The NIDS era held back research due to its AAWSAP restrictions. The ‘Adamantuim era’ under the new private ownership of Mr. Fugal has shown a promise in transparency.


We need peer reviewed research papers, data and documentation of the more abstract elements occurring on the ranch. With any luck Mr. Fugal will deliver.


Originally we found that no conclusive theories can be put forward at this time to appropriately explain what is being reported. More in-depth documentation, research and footage would benefit the case (providing it is not classified or hidden as promised).

– Hypotheses

Natural explanations accounting for the geographic electromagnetic anomalies.

Hallucinogenic properties that have yet to be detected.

The interjection theory would suggest that the phenomenon is a singular quantum source or wave (undetermined consciousness separate from human, unknown at this point) that requires direct human consciousness to interject itself into this reality.

In line with a potential dimensional element to origin. The monsters emerging from Skinwalker ranch and Cannock Chase in the U.K. (and other places) are conjured from a quantum state, another realm, or even another dimension, etc.

Whereas Jacques Vallee would impose a human perception approach: that ‘the others’ are using a control measure to manipulate humans into a various directions, Interjection Theory imposes ‘the others’ have no specific intentions and behaviours of their own and are projected by each unique human being which explains the diversity (We can argue that is why we see such much variance in the phenomenon from this perspective).

*Since this article was written in May 2018, we have learnt through various sources that the ‘Skinwalker’ activity is in multiple locations around the world, with varying intensity.

Working Hypothesis:

Human projected consciousness, ultra-terrestrial, inter-dimensional, extraterrestrial, portal dimension theory, natural phenomenon, demonic entity, a phenomena inconceivable to human comprehension.


Website: Hunt the Skinwalker HUNT THE SKINWALKER

Website: Skinwalker Ranch SKINWALKER RANCH .

Book: Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah. Kelleher, C.A. & Knapp,G.


As Above So Below
Is the History channel show any good?...I really do not know much about this place...

Wow, that's a long article. I'll have to make some time to read that.

Don't know anything about the History Channel show. Might have to watch that if I hear it's worthwhile. I lived a few hours away from the ranch for a time, but only made it out there once to try to find it. Long before Google maps or Kelleher's book, there was little specific information about the location to be had, and I drove out there one day with some maps and a vague idea of where to look. Eventually, I learned that I had circled it that day but never got within a mile or so. Anyway, I did get a good look around the general area and a few years later found some nice mountain bike riding fairly close, so I spent some time out there. It's a very remote area and the people are no strangers to odd events. I bought a copy of The Utah UFO Display, pretty scarce and full of weird shit that happened in the 50s and-or 60s if memory serves. That was mainly about the Vernal, Utah area, but it's right next door.

Chris O'Brien was one of the first UFO investigators to visit the ranch, if not the first. He had some interesting things to say about a nearby area, the Uintah Valley, which is where I did a fair amount of riding ten and twelve years ago. That's the sticks out behind the back country. I only camped there once or twice, never experienced anything unusual. I was always going to head out there and poke around near the ranch after the location was well known, but never made it. I did find a discussion forum run by some locals, and participated for a while, but it was a very small operation and was eventually abandoned. Glad I found it though. It was really neat getting first hand information from folks who grew up there. I have immense respect for anyone who can scratch out a living in a place like that. I grew up a town kid in the Midwest and had friends who lived on farms, but the hard core rural Rocky Mountain West is a tough place to live unless you have tons of money. Then it's challenging for other reasons. The recreation opportunities are, of course, endless and awesome.


Fratty and out of touch.
My GF has been recording The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch on our DVR. I've watched the first 2 eps. If you like that show about Oak Island you might like this. So far I haven't been very impressed. I find it to be overly dramatic, like most reality shows. The first ep gave some interesting background on Skinwalker Ranch.
I'm not sure when the "skinwalker" term got stuck on the ranch and its events. I'm pretty sure I had not seen that term used in association with the ranch until around the time the book came out. I never thought it was particularly apt, being a Navajo term and the events on the ranch covering a wide range of weird happenings beyond black magic. The Navajo rez is hundreds of miles away, and skinwalkers are more or less unique to Navajo culture. Seemed like it was more to do with marketing than anything else. The authors of the book try hard to make a connection, and a lot of that is interesting stuff. I sometimes wonder if it came along with the internal culture of NIDS. Las Vegas is much closer to Navajo country, at least in terms of culture and easy access if not so much in crow flight distance. That's Ute country up there, definitely not Navajo. In the olden days, the place was referred to as the Sherman Ranch or the NIDS Ranch or suchlike, as I recall.

Navajo skinwalker stories are creepy as hell, very powerful even outside their native culture. To most Navajo, skinwalkers are very real and very dangerous. They don't like to talk about them.

Rick Hunter

Thanks for taking the time to post these great articles, Nivek. You are assembling a great reference work for Ufology/paranormal.


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Skinwalker Caught on Film?
By Tim Binnall

A puzzling piece of footage circulating online appears to show an eerie bipedal figure that some suspect could be a skinwalker. The unsettling scene was posted to TikTok earlier this year by user 'itz_louisvuitton,' who simply labeled the moment "scary." Unfortunately, as is often the case with such videos, details surrounding the incident are virtually nonexistent with the location, witnesses, and date of the event all a mystery.

What can be discerned from the video is that it seems to have been filmed by a pair of friends as they were driving around a remote location in search of wildlife. Illuminating some tall grass with a flashlight, a man in the passenger seat tells the driver to stop the vehicle because he suspects that he has just seen a buck. However, the perceived deer then seems to stand up and resembles a pale figure on two legs making a run toward the vehicle. In a manner akin to a horror movie, one of the men screams "what is that" and, of course, the video ends abruptly.

Despite the lack of background for the footage, it has captured the imagination of social media users, amassing nearly a million 'likes' and a staggering thirty-thousand comments. As for what the weird figure could have been, some observers have suggested that it was a skinwalker or a similar legendary spirit being like a wendigo or a rake. More skeptical-minded viewers posit that in light of the cinematic nature of the video and where it appeared online, it is likely just a hoax that wound up taking on a life of its own and went viral due to its ambiguity. With that in mind, what's your take on the footage?



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If you could spend a night or two camping on Skinwalker Ranch would you?...

If you could spend a night or two camping on Skinwalker Ranch would you?...

I have considered camping nearby, but not alone, for several good reasons beyond the weird shit. Though the weird shit is plenty of reason by itself if it manifests. I used to live relatively close to the area, but only ever visited once. Did not find the ranch in those pre-Google days when the exact location was kept vague in the media. As it turned out, I circled the ranch, never getting closer than about a mile away if memory serves. It's a tough area in a lot of ways. Even though I have no use for Mormonism, I have to respect the people who can make a living in places like that. It can't be easy.

Back when I was considering an "expedition" to the ranch environs, I found a little forum with a number of locals on it. It was interesting for sure. Some of the participants claimed to have camped near or on the ranch in years past, with weird shit happening pretty regularly. It seems there were quite a few stories about haunted places in the area, and more ghost like or poltergeist type episodes reported by those locals.

I would not trespass on the ranch property simply because that's not cool. There is (or was) plenty of public land nearby, including the ridge to the north, where one can look into the place easily. That's no guarantee you won't be run off by locals or law enforcement, of course. The road into the ranch was a county road, but it was illegally closed. That happens a lot out here in the wild west. I think Bigelow or some other owner got that made official. The road didn't really provide access to any other property, so that makes it easier.

To answer the question, if I had permission to camp there I would, but I would want to be in a group of about half a dozen people with various skills and equipment. I'd love to see the portal open up and wave at the person peering through it from elsewhere. Or watch the weird floating campers cruise by. Predator-type cloaked Bigfoot? Yeah, maybe not! I wonder if bear spray works on giant interdimensional wolves...


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