Ep 27: Skinwalker Ranch [Pt 1]: What Is The Secret Of The Ranch
Episodes [You May Want] To Listen To First
From Brandon Fugal's Interview on The Shawn Ryan Show
Sources For This Episode
Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah by Colm A. Kelleher & George Knapp
Skinwalkers at the Pentagon: An Insiders’ Account of the Secret Government UFO Program by James Lacatski Colm A. Kelleher & George Knapp
The Mothman Prophecies by John Keel
Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults by Jacques Vallée
Unidentified Flying Hyperobject: UFOs, Philosophy, and the End of the World by James Madden
Incommensurability, Orthodoxy and the Physics of High Strangeness: a 6-layer Model for Anomalous Phenomena by Jacques Vallée and Eric Davis
Welcome back to The UFO Rabbit Hole Podcast. I’m your host, Kelly Chase.
This episode is the first in a new series about what is surely one of the strangest places on the planet—the infamous Skinwalker Ranch in Utah. Tucked away in the Uinta Basin in northeastern Utah, this mysterious ranch has long been the epicenter of a kaleidoscopic range of reports of high strangeness. The breadth and frequency of these reports has turned this ranch into a kind of living lab that has served as the focal point of decades of scientific investigation into anomalous phenomena of all kinds—some of which were carried out by our own government.
And it’s this connection that I find most fascinating, and which I would argue makes Skinwalker Ranch worthy of deeper consideration. All around the world there are particular locations that emerge as hotspots of anomalous phenomena. In the United States, places like Mount Shasta in California and Point Pleasant, West Virginia come to mind. And while much has been written and speculated about these locations where high strangeness seems to be part of the fabric of everyday life, it’s hard to think of any place that has been the subject of such prolonged scientific investigation as Skinwalker Ranch.
And even more compelling is the fact that, when we dig into the history of the ranch, we quickly find that many of the people who have been working both publicly and behind the scenes for UFO disclosure—many of whom are current or former members of the intelligence community—have a shared history at the ranch. In fact, it’s not overstating things to say that what has become the current disclosure movement has its roots at Skinwalker Ranch.
So what are we to make of this connection?
Several debunkers, perhaps most notably Steven Greenstreet, have used a kind of deductive reasoning to question the ethics and motivations of anyone involved with Skinwalker Ranch. The argument goes like this: the phenomena that are regularly reported at the ranch, from poltergeist activity to the appearance of strange cryptids, can’t possibly be real. Therefore, anyone associated with investigations at the ranch is, at best, hopelessly gullible, and at worst, a charlatan, hoaxer, or outright disinformation agent.
But the thing about deductive reasoning is that if your original premise is flawed, then the rest of your argument has no foundation to stand on and falls like a house of cards. In this case, I am of the opinion that the premise that paranormal phenomena are impossible and don’t actually happen outside of delusions and fairy tales is untenable at best.
I have argued over the course of this podcast that both the structure and the content of these types of experiences are remarkably consistent across time and across cultures—that they seem to be an intrinsic part of human experience that have always been with us. And though our current consensus view of things tells us that these experiences aren’t real and can’t happen, bleeding edge discoveries in the realms of quantum mechanics, consciousness, and more seem to indicate that we’re teetering on the precipice of a profound tipping point in our understanding of the nature of reality. And all signs point to things being structured in such a way that anomalous experiences aren’t just possible, but a natural expression of that structure.
Now, you may or may not agree with that. And I’m not going to spend time here in this series trying to convince you one way or the other. If you’re interested in learning more about what I’m talking about, the Waking Up Inside the Cave series is a great place to start. But suffice it to say that we’re going to move forward here under the assumption that weird things happen and they happen fairly frequently.
That said, it’s not my argument that we should accept everything that we’re told about Skinwalker Ranch at face value, either. It’s impossible at this point to separate out what we know about Skinwalker Ranch from military intelligence or from its considerable media presence as the subject of one of the top-rated shows on the History Channel. Both are integral parts of the history of the ranch, and both ought to cause us to pause and consider what more covert factors and motivations may have influenced the story as we know it. And I want to talk about those things.
But I also don’t want to fall victim to what I believe to be one of the classic blunders of modern ufology which is focusing all of our inquiry on trying to prove or disprove the legitimacy of any particular sighting or event or trying to tie the credibility of any one person or group of people to the reality of the phenomenon itself. To be clear, it’s not that I don’t acknowledge the prevalence of hoaxes in the history of this field, nor do I deny that there are people who have exploited the UFO community for their own personal gain or other nefarious reasons. Certainly, both of those things happen, and, frankly, they happen all the time. We should, and we will, talk about that in the course of this series.
But while that represents a real and important part of the puzzle, it’s also true that when we focus all of our attention on the personal flaws and foibles of the people involved in these events, that we almost always do so at the expense of understanding the shape of the phenomenon itself.
In this 1996 book, Operation Trojan Horse, John Keel—famed ufologist best known for his book The Mothman Prophecies—wrote while reflecting on his decades of research in the field:
“When a bolt of lightning lashes across the sky, it exists for only a fraction of a second, but it is often followed by a deep rumble that can last for several seconds. We know that the lightning produced the thunder, and we do not separate the two. However, during the nearly 50 years of UFO controversy there has been a tendency to pay more attention to the thunder than to the sightings that precipitated the noise. In a way, the thunder has drowned out and obscured the cause. For years, scientists and skeptics questioned the reliability of the witnesses, forcing the UFO researchers to expend inordinate effort trying to prove that the witnesses did, indeed, see something, instead of trying to ascertain exactly what it was that was seen.”
From our vantage point nearly 30 years in the future, it’s hard to claim that ufology has made much progress in this regard. Almost all of the current discourse focuses on the thunder—the personalities, the media, and the spectacle of disclosure—while discussion of the nuance and complexity of the lightning itself—of the phenomenon as it actually presents itself outside of the popular narrative, is all but lost.
More and more lately, I’ve been going back and reading UFO books and magazine articles from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and what you find there bears very little resemblance to the version of the phenomenon that most people are familiar with today. The influence of the media and the intelligence community, the overemphasis on visual media and snackable soundbites over actual field investigation and data, and the constant infighting have all been thundering for so long that it seems most of us have forgotten to ask what caused it all in the first place.
As Jacques Vallée, the father of modern ufology so wisely and poignantly said:
“Instead of looking at the screen, what I want to do is to turn around and look the other way. When we look the other way what we see is a little hole at the top of the wall with some light coming out. That’s where I want to go. I want to steal the key to the projectionist’s booth, and then, when everybody has gone home, I want to break in.”
And that is the approach that I suggest that we take here in our examination of Skinwalker Ranch. I want to structure this series so that we can acknowledge the significance of the thunder without losing our focus on the question of what caused the lightning. I want us to take in the spectacle we are shown on the screen, but not let it distract us from picking the lock to the projectionist’s booth.
A Brief History of Skinwalker Ranch
But saying that is one thing, and doing it is another. How do we begin to peel back the layers of the curated narrative around Skinwalker Ranch to get to the truth of what is happening here?
When I initially started this series, I thought it would be a neat-and-tidy 2-episode arc covering the two books that give the most comprehensive history of the ranch. Specifically, Hunt for the Skinwalker by Colm Kelleher and George Knapp, which covers the early history of the ranch up through the early 2000s, and Skinwalkers at the Pentagon, by Kelleher, Knapp, and James Lacatski, which covers the period from the mid-2000s up through 2017.
Both of these books contain first hand accounts of the phenomena, investigations, and personalities that surrounded the ranch, giving insights into how this remote ranch in Utah became what it is today, as well as its connection to some of the most important and influential names in the current push for UFO disclosure.
But what I’m not interested in doing with this series is giving you a book report. Don’t get me wrong—I think these books are important and I think that you should read them. They are a critical piece of the puzzle in understanding where we are with the current disclosure movement and in the investigation of the phenomenon, in general. Knapp, Kelleher, and Lacatski have done a fantastic job preserving that history.
But for the purposes of this series, I’m less interested in the thunder of the history than I am in the lightning that set it all in motion. What is going on at Skinwalker Ranch that makes it so important, and what conclusions can we draw from what has happened there about the nature of the phenomenon itself?
Those are the questions on which we will focus the bulk of our attention and our energy. But before we dive into that, I do think that it’s important to have a basic understanding of the timeline and events that got us here.
So we’ll start with a brief history of Skinwalker Ranch:
The history of what we now know as Skinwalker Ranch begins hundreds of years ago, before white settlers ever set foot in the Uinta Basin in what is now eastern Utah. The religious and cultural lore of the indigenous people who called this land home—including the Navajo, the Hopi, and the Utes—told of witches known as “skinwalkers” who can alter their shapes at will to assume the characteristics of certain animals.
And these Southwestern tribes were hardly alone in this belief that there exist certain humans with the ability to take the form of an animal. European legends dating back to the 1500s tell of werewolves. In India there are legends of weretigers. In Africa you’ll find stories of wereleopards, werejackals, and were hyenas.
The Navajo, the Hopi, and Utes each have their own version of the skinwalker story, but at their core, they all boil down to a belief in a malevolent witch with the ability to transform into a wolf, coyote, bear, bird, or any other animal. In these forms, the skinwalker is said to take on the speed, strength, and cunning of the animal, along with other more supernatural abilities, as well. These can include things like running faster than a modern car, the ability to jump over a mesa, and even mind control.
A witch in the context of indigenous traditions refers to a person who is trained in “medicine” which can refer to both practical skills like healing the sick and more spiritual practices like maintaining harmony within the group. However, a witch is someone who has combined their knowledge and training with dark arts, and what we would generally refer to as black magic.
But while all skinwalkers are witches, not all witches are skinwalkers. To become a skinwalker it is believed that a witch has to kill a sibling or other relative. Skinwalkers are considered to be the most dangerous type of witch, whose intent is nothing but evil.
Finding reliable source information on skinwalkers can be challenging for a couple of reasons. The first is that indigenous people don’t openly talk about skinwalkers. There is a fear that talking about skinwalkers could attract their attention or cause bad things to happen, so it tends to be a taboo topic—and certainly not something that you’d want to discuss with outsiders.
The other challenge is that non-indigenous people have a hard time understanding indigenous ontologies. The worldview of indigenous people is deeply layered and in many ways distinct from—and even counter to—the worldview that dominates our culture today. Words like “medicine” and “witch” have very different meanings in their culture, and it’s easy for the full context of what is meant by these words to be lost in translation. I am almost certainly guilty of that in conveying these ideas to you now, for which I can only be sorry. I encourage you to hold these ideas loosely, and to look to source material from indigenous authors if you want to learn more.
So how does this all factor into Skinwalker Ranch as we know it today?
The land on which Skinwalker Ranch sits is considered by the local Ute people to be “in the path of the skinwalker.” The Utes believe that the area was cursed by the Navajo in retribution for a slew of transgressions, including a very dark chapter where the Utes abducted members of the Navajo and sold them in the New Mexico slave markets. The exact date and reason for the curse are up for debate, but the late local historian of anomalous phenomena in the Uinta Basin, Junior Hicks, said that he was told by his friends in the Ute tribe that the presence of the skinwalker in this area was believed to go back 15 generations. To this day, this land is considered to be off-limits to the Ute people.
It’s important to note that the entire Uinta Basin has been a hotspot for anomalous activity of all kinds, above and beyond the legend of the skinwalker. Sasquatch, dogmen, and other strange cryptids are often reported in the area. Nearby the ranch, a ravine that was filled with water in 1970 by the federal government to form a reservoir known as Bottle Hollow is believed by many locals to be inhabited by one or more large aquatic snakes, similar to the legends of the Loch Ness Monster and other aquatic monsters that are typically attached to much older bodies around the world. Tribal police officers report that an inordinate amount of drownings happen there.
The area is also known as a hotspot for UFO activity, with countless sightings in the area going back to the 1950s. These sightings involve everything from orbs of light, to classic flying saucers, to black triangles and occur frequently all across the area. If you ask the locals they’ll tell you that just about everyone who lives in the Basin has seen at least one UFO at one point or another.
Starting in the 1970s and continuing through the present day, there have also been many reports of cattle mutilation and crop circles in the area. These phenomena are often associated with UFOs, but their exact cause remains unknown. And, in the case of cattle mutilations, in particular, though the public-at-large generally has the belief that this phenomenon has been debunked as either hoaxes or occult activity, no specific culprits have ever been identified and one has ever been charged.
And there are other signs of high strangeness in the area, both on the mesa at Skinwalker Ranch, and in the surrounding area. Ancient petroglyphs seemingly show strange non-human beings, and even indicate places where portals to other worlds are believed to exist. Among these petroglyphs you can also find more recent carvings of masonic symbols indicating that various occult and secret societies have an interest in the area, as well.
The Sherman Era (1994-1996)
The story of Skinwalker Ranch as it is known today began with the arrival of the Sherman family in 1994. Terry and Gwen Sherman bought the largely isolated property with the hopes of starting a cattle ranching business and living a quiet life with their two children. But their idyllic dreams of life in rural Utah did not materialize as they’d hoped.
Soon after arriving on the ranch, the Sherman’s were besieged by a stunning array of strange and unsettling phenomena. These included encounters with strange cryptids including a giant wolf that was seemingly impervious to bullets; the appearance of portals that appeared to be windows into other worlds or dimensions; unexplained phenomena involving their cattle including mutilations; the frequent appearance of UFOs and orbs in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors; strange poltergeist activity; and much more. After two years, the Shermans had had as much as they could handle and they sold the ranch to a man named Robert Bigelow in 1996.
Bigelow's Ownership & NIDS Investigation (1996-2016)
Robert Bigelow is a Las Vegas-based entrepreneur known for his ventures into commercial spaceflight and hotels. This purchase wasn’t just for real estate investment; he was deeply fascinated by the tales of UFOs, cryptic creatures, and eerie phenomena reported on the ranch. Bigelow has a significant and personal interest in the mysterious and unexplained, and has spent more of his personal funds investigating phenomena ranging from UFOs to near-death experiences than perhaps any other private individual on earth.
To this end, around the same time that he acquired the ranch, Bigelow founded the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS). The NIDS team, comprising experts from various disciplines, had two primary focal points in their investigations—UFOs and consciousness studies, specifically whether human consciousness survives death.
The board of NIDS, and those who were present for its earliest meetings after formation, reads like a veritable “who’s who” of modern ufology. Among those in attendance were physicist Dr. Hal Puthoff; computer scientist and UFO investigator, Dr. Jacques Vallée; former astronaut and U.S. Senator, Harrison Schmidt; Harvard psychiatrist known for his work with abductees, Dr. John Mack; former US intelligence officer, John Alexander; famed UFO journalist, George Knapp; and the late Senate majority leader, Harry Reid. The first three full-time hires for NIDS were biochemist, Colm Kelleher; physicist, Eric Davis, and microbiologist/veterinarian, George Onet.
The NIDS team soon established a strong presence on the ranch, turning it into a veritable laboratory for paranormal research. While they experienced many incidents mirroring those previously reported by the Sherman family, NIDS reportedly struggled to produce definitive explanations. Despite their state-of-the-art equipment and scientific rigor, many events remained just as elusive and mysterious as they had been before their arrival.
AAWSAP Investigations (2007-2012)
In 2007, Bigelow received a very strange letter from James Lacatski, a rocket scientist who worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which is the Pentagon’s version of the CIA. In this letter, Lacatski asked for permission to visit the ranch. This letter is recounted in Skinwalkers at the Pentagon as follows, starting with Lacatski’s letter:
“I presently work in the Defense Warning Office of the DIA. The purpose of my visit would be to assist me in developing a strategy on how my office can characterize the potential threat aspects of the phenomena encountered in your research efforts.”
The letter went on to say the visit to the ranch might allow Lacatski to understand the lay of the land in evaluating possible threats. “In my division’s threat publications, it is not necessary for the reader to understand the complete nature and motivation of the threat sources, only the specifics of the threat itself…this allows for publication at lower classification levels and therefore to a wider audience. In the case of your ranch, potential threat characteristics should be able to eventually be described…though the source of those potential threats remains unknown.”
Lacatski’s carefully worded message suggested to Bigelow that the DIA man was more than familiar with the strange phenomena that had been reported in the Uinta Basin for generations.
I don’t want to get too far into the weeds here in this episode, but I do think it’s important to understand who James Lacatski is and how he figured into the events that led to government-funded investigations taking place at Skinwalker Ranch.
As Lacatski wrote in his letter, in 2007 he was an intelligence officer serving in the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Defense Warning System. During that time he also served as the leader of the team that wrote the annual Missile Defense Threat Environment series, the SECRET-level threat document used by the Missile Defense Agency. Lacatski had been employed by the DIA since 1998 and before that he had worked as a contractor supporting the Missile Defense Agency, specifically in the areas of adversary electronic warfare and directed energy weapon capabilities. And he reached out to Bigelow about the ranch specifically because he believed that it would be useful in identifying and describing specific threats.
In order to carry out this investigation, the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (or AAWSAP) was formed for which Lacatski served as program manager. With the help of Senator Harry Reid $22 million dollars of funding was secured for this program, and Lacatski posted a solicitation for proposals from defense contractors who could help the program achieve its objectives. In this solicitation it was made clear that the primary focus of this program would be “breakthrough technologies and applications that create discontinuities in currently evolving technology trends. The focus is not on extrapolations of current aerospace technology.”
Only one contractor submitted a proposal in response to this solicitation—an organization called BAASS, or Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies, a newly created subsidiary of Bigelow Aerospace. The DIA awarded the two-year AAWSAP contract to BAASS commencing on September 22, 2008. According to Skinwalkers at the Pentagon, “Because BAASS had never had a government contract utilizing cleared personnel, experienced counter-intelligence personnel were placed in leadership and security roles to mitigate program threats from the start.” And “ultimately, more than 75 contractor personnel performed exotic aerospace research and several hundred part-time personnel conducted field work.”
However, by 2011, funding for the program had dried up. And it as in a letter about the need to create a Special Access Program to continue to the work of AAWSAP into the future that we first see the acronym that has been most famously used in association with the shadowy secret UFO program from which Luis Elizondo famously resigned in protest in 2017—AATIP.
Because AAWSAP was classified and this letter was not classified, a nickname was created for the program to be used instead—the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, or AATIP. After the funding for AAWSAP dried up and the program was terminated, AATIP became the name used by an unofficial and unfunded effort to continue the investigation by intelligence officials who were pursuing this work outside of their official duties.
Ownership by Adamantium Holdings & Increased Media Attention (2016-Present)
In 2016, after two decades of ownership and investigation, Bigelow made the decision to part with the ranch. He sold it to an undisclosed party, leaving many in the community of paranormal enthusiasts and researchers both surprised and curious about the ranch’s future.
The undisclosed buyer of 2016 was soon revealed to be Adamantium Holdings. This shell corporation remained notably silent about its intentions for the ranch. But their actions spoke volumes: they ramped up security measures significantly. The once relatively accessible ranch was now surrounded by cameras, sensors, and an increased security presence.
Media interest, which had been simmering since the 2005 release of Hunt for the Skinwalker, boiled over in 2018 with the release of the documentary of the same name by filmmaker Jeremy Corbell. This documentary helped to stir up renewed interest in the ranch, and introduced its mysteries to a whole new generation of enthusiasts. The documentary was well-timed to catch the wave of interest which came as the result of the 2017 New York Times article which revealed the existence of AATIP.
The renewed interest didn’t stop there. In 2019, the History Channel, sensing the public’s insatiable curiosity about the ranch, launched a docuseries called The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch. This series follows a fresh team of researchers, scientists, and experts as they dive headfirst into the ranch’s legends, attempting once again to find explanations for the inexplicable. As part of this series coming to air, the new owner of the ranch, entrepreneur and real estate tycoon Brandon Fugal, stepped forward and made himself known.
The show, which recently completed its fourth season, has continued to ramp up both the level of the investigations being shown, as well as the implications of what these investigations might indicate about the cause of the strange phenomena that occur the ranch. Brandon Fugal has also recently made himself more visible and has been hinting more strongly at coming revelations about the nature of the phenomenon and what their investigations have revealed.
What Is “The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch”
As we await those answers, for me, the most important question we can ask about this strange property in Utah is contained in the title of its namesake TV series—what exactly is the “secret of Skinwalker Ranch?”
The extreme frequency and variety of strange phenomena that seem to occur on this land, the government-funded investigation that occurred here—and it’s ties to both the intelligence community and the current push for disclosure—the media empire that has sprung up around it, and that fact that’s been owned by some extraordinarily wealthy men, all seem to indicate that there is something about Skinwalker Ranch that makes it different. There is a secret here. And presumably, that secret, once revealed, should be able to explain the confluence of anomalous phenomena and powerful interests that seem to have converged on this mysterious property in the Uinta Basin.
But what could it be?
There are a few possibilities that have been proposed, and it’s worth our time to take a look at them.
One of the possible explanations for the strange activity at Skinwalker Ranch is that there exists one or more portals on the ranch. The appearance of what looks to be some sort of a window into another world have been reported frequently on the ranch. The local Ute people believe that various carvings and a ceremonial site located on top of the mesa at Skinwalker Ranch indicate that a portal to another world exists at that location. And season 4 of Skinwalker Ranch seems to indicate that the team there believes that they might have collected data proving that a portal exists above the area known as the triangle which has been a frequent focus of their investigations. Conceivably, if there were a portal on the ranch, the other strange phenomena could be the result of non-human entities and technology that were coming through those portals.
But if there are portals on the ranch, it begs the question—portals to-and-from where? That’s not an easy question to answer.
Portals From Somewhere Else In This Universe
One possibility is that the portal could be what is known as an Einstein-Rosen bridge. An Einstein-Rosen bridge, commonly known as a “wormhole,” is a theoretical passage through space-time that would create shortcuts for long journeys across the universe. The concept is based on the theory of general relativity and involves the idea of connecting two different points in space-time through a tunnel-like structure.
The name “Einstein-Rosen bridge” comes from the two physicists, Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen, who first introduced the concept in a 1935 paper. They were attempting to understand singularities within the framework of general relativity, and in the process, they realized that the mathematics suggested that tunnels or bridges could exist in the fabric of space-time.
To give a simple analogy: imagine the universe as a two-dimensional sheet of paper. If you wanted to travel from one edge to the opposite edge, you could go straight across. But if you could fold the paper so that the two edges touch, you could “jump” across instantly. In highly simplified form, that folded connection between the two sides of the paper represents the idea of a wormhole.
To make a wormhole connecting two different parts of the universe, you need to create a bridge or a tunnel, usually called a “throat.”In Einstein’s theory of general relativity, making a wormhole is pretty straightforward: You just build a black hole and connect it to a white hole (which is the exact opposite of a black hole), and boom, there you have it: a tunnel through space-time.
There are few problems with this though. The first is that, although we have plenty of evidence that black holes exist, white holes at this point are purely hypothetical. Mathematically speaking, they should be possible, but we’ve never seen one.
The other issue is that wormholes are extremely unstable. If wormholes do form, their enormous gravitational strength would cause them to be ripped apart faster than the speed of light. So even if they do exist, it’s certainly up for debate whether or not anyone would be able to travel through one.
But, if we allow that a more advanced intelligence has found a way to overcome this problem and create a traversable Einstein-Rosen bridge, such a portal could be a convenient way for NHIs to come to Earth. It’s even conceivable that an advanced terrestrial species, whether that be NHIs or some kind of a breakaway civilization, could be utilizing wormholes to get around on the planet, like some kind of a wormhole super highway.
But I’d argue that this explanation on its own doesn’t fully explain the secret of Skinwalker Ranch. Certainly it could explain the frequent sightings of UFOs, and potentially the sightings of orbs, depending on what one assumes orbs to be. It would also explain the interest of the government, intelligence community, and powerful interests in the site.
But what about giant bullet-proof wolves, cattle mutilations, poltergeist and other instances of high strangeness which have been reported? What do they have to do with a portal? I suppose one could argue that those more bizarre and disturbing phenomena could be serving as some sort of a deterrent system to keep pesky humans away from a sensitive area. Those phenomena certainly seem to have served as a deterrent for the local indigenous people for hundreds of years, causing them not just to steer clear of the area, but in many cases, to avoid even talking about the things that happen there.
But for nearly 30 years now, the ranch has been under near-constant surveillance and investigation by teams of people who aren’t just undeterred by this phenomena, but have come there with advanced sensors and equipment specifically in order to record and study them. So you’d think that if your security system stopped working, you’d take a different approach. At the very least, you’d stop using that portal for a while until interest died down. And yet, these strange phenomena seem to have continued, more-or-less unabated for decades.
Portals From Another Dimension
Another possibility that’s been suggested is that, if there is a portal at Skinwalker Ranch, it could be that it isn’t coming from somewhere else in the Universe, but from another dimension entirely. Could the strange entities and phenomena at the ranch be coming from another dimension that exists parallel to our own?
It’s certainly an intriguing theory. The problem is that we currently don’t have any hard evidence that other dimensions exist. While we have several scientific theories, including String Theory and Quantum Gravity, that assume the existence of multiple dimensions, thus far we haven’t found an empirical way to access or measure these dimensions to prove that they are actually there.
I also think it’s important to note that a lot of the explanatory power of the interdimensional hypothesis when it comes to Skinwalker Ranch—or the phenomenon, in general—comes from the fact that we have no idea what other dimensions would be like if they do exist. We can only speculate. So in a way, our lack of certainty gives us a way to explain away anything as being interdimensional. Giant bullet-proof wolves? Sure. Poltergeist? Why not? Cattle mutilation? Could be.
So while I’d argue that, in a lot of ways, an interdimensional portal fits the evidence of the phenomena that have been recorded at the ranch, we need to remember that part of the reason that is true is because we are able to say very little for certain about other dimensions in the first place. That doesn’t mean we should rule it out, but we should hold that idea loosely.
Keel’s Window Areas
That said, I do think that the interdimensional theory could be viable—and it was a hypothesis that was championed by John Keel in several of his books including The Mothman Prophecies, Operation Trojan Horse, and The Eighth Tower: On Ultraterrestrials and the Superspectrum.
Specifically, Keel was interested in the idea of “window areas.” The central tenet behind Keel’s theory of “window areas” is the idea that there are specific geographic locations on Earth that serve as portals or conduits to other realities or dimensions. These windows are not always open; they might open and close sporadically, making the phenomena they exhibit temporary, though they can recur over extended periods.
Through these windows, a range of entities and phenomena might manifest in our reality. These manifestations could be anything from UFOs to cryptids to even more abstract and bizarre events that defy categorization. Keel posited that many of the strange sightings and encounters people report are not extraterrestrial in origin, as traditional UFOlogy might suggest, but rather inter-dimensional. These entities, he theorized, come from realities adjacent to, but distinct from, our own.
When we apply Keel’s theory of “window areas” to Skinwalker Ranch, it does seem to go a long way in explaining the types of high strangeness that are encountered there:
Variety of Phenomena: One of the criticisms often levied at paranormal reports from places like the Skinwalker Ranch is the sheer variety of phenomena. Skeptics argue that it’s improbable for one location to host UFOs, cryptids, and ghostly activities simultaneously. However, if the ranch is a window area, as Keel’s theory suggests, then it becomes a point of convergence for multiple realities, leading to a diverse range of manifestations.
Temporal Nature: The happenings at the ranch are not consistent. There are periods of high activity followed by lulls. This ebb and flow align well with the idea that these window areas are not permanent but open and close sporadically.
Inter-dimensional Portals: Some witnesses at the ranch have described seeing portals or wormhole-like structures from which entities emerge or into which they disappear. This direct visualization of potential windows lends credence to the idea that the ranch could be a literal gateway between dimensions.
Entity Behavior: Many of the entities reported at the ranch don’t behave in ways one would expect extraterrestrial beings to. Their actions often seem trickster-like, hinting at motivations or logics that don’t align with our understanding. Keel believed that these entities, hailing from other dimensions, have a different sense of reality and, thus, might interact with our world in ways that appear nonsensical to us.
Physical and Psychological Effects: Individuals who’ve spent time at the Skinwalker Ranch often report physical maladies and psychological distress. Keel believed that interacting with these other realities could have tangible effects on individuals, especially if they’re sensitive to the energies or entities emanating from these dimensions.
What I find particularly compelling about Keel’s theory of window areas is how well it aligns with the quality and structure of the phenomena at Skinwalker Ranch even though his development of this idea predated the main events there by a few decades. Keel’s theory was shaped by his experiences in other places where clusters of high strangeness phenomena were manifesting, most famously in Point Pleasant, West Virginia during the flap immediately preceding the collapse of the Silver Bridge in 1967.
If we’re able to identify consistent similarities between hotspots for anomalous phenomena, it suggests that they may share the same cause. And that even if we can’t see it now, there is some sort of a coherent and discoverable explanation for why these things happen—which is an idea that we’ll come back to throughout this series.
Another intriguing possibility for what is causing the phenomena at Skinwalker Ranch was proposed by current owner, Brandon Fugal, on a recent episode of The Shawn Ryan Show—which is that there is some sort of an advanced intelligence on the property. And according to Fugal there is evidence that this intelligence wants to be recognized and has even shown a willingness to communicate.
“Based on the data, there is an intelligence operating on that ranch that has command over space time, over consciousness, can manipulate closed systems in a split second without leaving a trace, and I believe has the ability to communicate if we can understand or develop a common language at some point to be able to interact.
Eric Bard, in particular, has had communication with at least one of these entities. He’s definitely seen and documented evidence that we’re dealing with an intelligence that does have the desire to communicate. He asked out of frustration—he literally asked, verbally—if you have something to show me, show me.
If you have something to tell me, tell me. In that instant, the screen morphed and digitally composed letters instantaneously of “i living.”
I don’t know about you, but that story gives me the chills. If you want to see a screen capture of what Eric Bard saw, I have that linked up in the episode brief.
And, intriguingly. Fugal also hinted in this episode that his team isn’t the first to consider this hypothesis for what is causing the strange phenomena on the property, saying “Those who came before me with the Bigelow team…referred to the phenomena at Skinwalker Ranch as a ‘precognitive, sentient, non-human intelligence.’”
As for what this means? I honestly have no idea.
I could certainly speculate, as others have, that it could be some kind of an advanced AI. There was speculation, especially in earlier seasons of the show, that there might be some kind of a craft or a base hidden under the mesa on the ranch. Notoriously, the phenomena on the ranch—particularly the more sinister phenomena like the multiple mysterious brain injuries sustained by superintendent of the ranch, Tom Winterton—tend to kick into high gear whenever there has been any digging or drilling on the property. And in recent seasons, by drilling into the mesa itself, the team has found evidence that seems to point to some sort of extremely hard, potentially dome-shaped, `metal object buried beneath it. This has led many to wonder if there might be something hidden underground that someone or something doesn’t want to be discovered.
So could there be some kind of advanced AI-driven technology buried on the property? Perhaps. As a side note, I’ve had a recurring dream about Skinwalker Ranch in which there is an ancient non-human craft that was abandoned under mesa thousands of years ago and that all of the phenomena are being caused by what amounts to an AI car alarm system on the fritz. Now, do I think that’s really what’s going on here? Not really. But it’s an idea that’s stuck with me.
Things get even murkier when we consider what it would mean if there is, as Brandon Fugal put it, a “precognitive, sentient, non-human intelligence” at the ranch, and that intelligence isn’t some kind of a technology-based artificial intelligence. What might that intelligence be? And why would it be tied to this particular area?
I don’t think we have any great way to talk about that, especially not in our western, post-enlightenment paradigm. I suspect that indigenous ontologies might serve as a better framework for raising that discussion. But when it comes to Skinwalker Ranch, it’s something that indigenous people are very reluctant to talk about, especially with outsiders.
And there are certainly other possible explanations for the high strangeness at what has become the most notorious property in Utah—and probably many that we haven’t yet considered.
The challenge of finding an explanation lies in the fact that it would need to explain so much. The phenomena reported at the ranch include:
- Cattle mutilations
- Electronics malfunctioning
- Anomalous electromagnetic signals
- Hitchhiker effect
- Mysterious injuries
- Unmarked, non broadcasting helicopters
- And more
And this is further complicated by the fact that the ranch does seem to have an awareness of the investigations being carried out there, and can seemingly respond in such a way as to stay one step ahead of the researchers. Even more strange is the fact that the ranch seems to have a different response to different people. Many people who go to the ranch experience nothing at all, but there are certain people whose very presence on the ranch seems to elicit an obvious—and even a sinister—response from whatever is causing the phenomena there. It’s hard to conceptualize an explanation that could account for all of these things at once.
Here—But Not Just Here
But, for me, the one detail that is by far the most baffling about the strange cluster of phenomena that seem to emanate from this one spot in eastern Utah—is that they are in no way exclusive to Skinwalker Ranch and the surrounding area. Each and every one of these phenomena have been reported in countless other places around the globe, as well—and the peculiar ways in which they seem to cluster together and interrelate with one another is remarkably consistent across distance and time.
So, presumably, if there is a “secret of Skinwalker Ranch”, that secret can’t be exclusive to the ranch. And yet, it’s hard to deny that something very particular and very peculiar is going on at this one location—something that has attracted unparalleled interest from top experts and researchers in the field of the anomalous and intelligence officials alike. And within the dissonance of that, I believe, lies the heart of the mystery.
And so with all of this in mind, I’d like to propose a way forward.
What’s clear is that, for us to say anything new or meaningful about what’s going on at Skinwalker Ranch, we first need to formulate better questions. And to do that, we’re going to need to resist the urge to fall into the default of ufological discourse by focusing all of our attention on the thunder that follows the phenomenon, and instead direct our inquiry toward the lightning itself.
But that isn’t going to be easy. There’s a reason that people default to focusing on the thunder. The thunder sticks around longer. It’s good at making itself known. It gives you more to work with. The lightning is much more insidious and hard to pin down. It’s there and gone before you can process it. Unlike the thunder, lightning happens where it happens—it doesn’t come to you. And when you get too close to it, it can be blinding—and even deadly.
So if we’re going to do this, we’re going to need to think differently. We’re going to need to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone. We’re going to need to approach the phenomenon more directly, even when that means losing our bearings in the storm of radical mystery. And we’re going to need to use every tool at our disposal to find our way back again.
And there are four tools in particular that we’ll be using throughout this series going forward.
The 6-Layer Model & Incommensurability: Vallée & Davis
One of the most important tools that we can use in our attempt to make sense of the phenomena at Skinwalker Ranch is the 6-Layer Model of Anomalous Phenomena that was first posited in a joint paper by Jacques Vallée and Eric Davis in 2003. I dedicated an entire episode to this a few weeks ago which served as a sort of informal introduction to this series. If you haven’t gotten a chance to listen to that one yet, I’d recommend that you do so because a lot of our conversation and analysis going forward is going to be done using that model.
You can also go to the source material itself with this one. The paper by Vallée & Davis entitled Incommensurability, Orthodoxy and the Physics of High Strangeness: a 6-layer Model for Anomalous Phenomena is a fairly short and easy read, and not only does it provide what I think is one of the coherent and useful models for analyzing anomalous phenomena, but it also has played a pivotal role both in the history of modern ufological studies, in general, and in the history of the investigations at Skinwalker Ranch, in particular.
When talking about the innovative and expansive approach to UAP investigation conducted by AAWSAP in Skinwalkers at the Pentagon the authors write:
“The logic behind adopting this strategy came from many years of boots-on-the-ground experience in investigating the UAP at Robert T. Bigelow’s National Institute of Discovery Science (NIDS) as well as decades of experience of AAWSAP advisers investigating UAPs. Much of this logic is also written into a seminal paper on UFOs and incommensurability, written by Dr. Jacques Vallée and Dr. Eric Davis.”
What’s so striking about the 6-Layer Model and the incommensurability problem that are laid out so brilliantly by Vallée and Davis in this paper is how little resemblance it bears to the more strictly “nuts & bolts”, security-first perspective that we have received over the last few years throughout the government’s tepid acknowledgement of the phenomenon.
The phenomenon, as it has been presented to us, represents physical, technological, highly advanced craft—likely from some unknown adversary, whether terrestrial or extraterrestrial, who is interacting with us as part of some sort of military-style operation. The objects that are encountered in our skies by members of our military are assumed to be just a more advanced version of the fighter jets that are interacting with them, operating with objectives that are more-or-less like our own.
But the reality is that there is virtually no one who has spent any time at all truly attempting to understand what the UFO phenomenon actually is who views it in this cut-and-dry way. In fact, the UFO phenomenon can’t really even be said to be one phenomenon, but rather a vast and complex confluence of a varied spectrum of interconnected phenomena that seem to manifest in somewhat predictable clusters.
The 6-Layer Model is based on this reality—that virtually all UAP encounters have aspects that indicate a phenomenon that is far more nuanced and complex than you would expect in a case of someone simply seeing or coming into contact with some kind of an advanced craft—and that these additional layers tend to exhibit similar structures and qualities. Vallée and Davis argue that these additional layers can be broken down into the following categories: physical, anti-physical, physiological, psychic, and cultural.
As we move forward in our exploration of the various phenomena that have been reported at the ranch and elsewhere, we’ll be using this model to break down the evidence and the impact of each of them into more digestible buckets. The hope is that, in doing so, we might get a more holistic understanding of the underlying origin of these phenomena than we tend to get through a more purely physicalist approach.
We’ll also be returning frequently to the “incommensurability problem” which refers to the challenge of understanding non-human intelligence and its bizarre manifestations, given the vast differences in cultural, biological, and perhaps even dimensional contexts. These profound cognitive and evolutionary differences could render human methods of interpretation and comprehension inadequate or irrelevant when faced with truly alien phenomena.
In short, the absurdity that is often present in anomalous phenomena is likely due to the fact that the non-human intelligences behind them very likely use entirely different frameworks and meaning-making models than we do—which means that we can’t assume that they share the same values or objectives when we’re trying to interpret what their manifestations and communications might mean.
Vallée & The Phenomenon As An Intelligence Problem
Another important idea that we’ll be deploying in our exploration moving forward comes from a story that Jacques Vallée relates in his 1979 book Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults in which he recounts conversation that he had that forever changed his understanding and approach to the investigation of the UFO phenomenon.
Vallée begins by stating that in his previous work, he had been operating under the assumption that the mystery of the UFO phenomenon would ultimately be solved by science. But after a conversation that he had with a high-ranking military intelligence official, he came to see things very differently. I’m going to read this section right from the book because I think it’s important:
“Scientific analysis will undoubtedly provide part of the truth about UFOs; however, I no longer believe that it will lead to the whole truth. I owe this realization to a man I shall call “Major Murphy” although his actual rank is much higher than that of a Major. He taught me a lesson I am not likely to forget.
Major Murphy, who retired from a U.S. Intelligence service quite a few years ago, had seen action in World War II in Italy, and also described vividly his investigations in the Caribbean, where he organized efforts to intercept submarines and German spies on their way to the United States. I met him at a gathering of UFO contactees and suggested a drink when it was over. I expressed my surprise at his interest in the event, which I had regarded as a complete waste of time. He asked me to clarify this judgment, and I said that in my opinion none of the people in attendance knew anything about science. Then he posed a question that, obvious as it seems, had not really occurred to me: “What makes you think that UFOs are a scientific problem?”
I replied with something to the effect that a problem was only scientific in the way it was approached, but he would have none of that, and began lecturing me. First, he said, science had certain rules. For example, it has to assume that the phenomenon it is observing is natural in origin rather than artificial and possibly biased. “If it is,” said the Major, “the study of it doesn’t belong in science. It belongs in Intelligence.” Meaning counterespionage. And that, he pointed out, was his domain.
“Now, in the field of counterespionage, the rules are completely different,” He drew a simple diagram in my notebook. “You are a scientist. In science there is no concept of the “price” of information. Suppose I gave you 95 percent of the data concerning a phenomenon. You’re happy because you know 95 percent of the data concerning a phenomenon. Not so in Intelligence. If I get 95 percent of the data, I know this is the “cheap” part of the information. I still need the other 5 percent, but I will have to pay a much higher price to get it. You see, Hitler had 95% of the information about the landing in Normandy. But he had the wrong 95 percent.
“Are you saying that the UFO data we use to compile statistics and to find patterns with computers are useless?” I asked. “Might we be spinning our magnetic tapes endlessly discovering spurious laws?”
“It all depends on how the team on the other side thinks. If they know what they’re doing, there will be so many cutouts between you and them that you won’t have the slightest chance of tracing your way to the truth. Not by following sightings and throwing them into a computer. They will keep feeding you the information they want you to process. What is the only source of data about the UFO phenomenon? It’s the UFOs themselves!”
Some things were beginning to make a lot of sense. “If you’re right, what can I do? It seems that research on the phenomenon is hopeless, then. I might as well dump my computer into a river.”
“Not necessarily, but you should try a different approach. First, you should work entirely outside of organized UFO groups; they are infiltrated by the same official agencies they are trying to influence, and they propagate any rumor anyone wants to have circulated. In Intelligence circles, people like that are historical necessities. When you’ve worked long enough for Uncle Sam, you know he is involved in a lot of strange things. The data these groups get are biased at the source, but they play a useful role.”
“Second, you should look for the irrational, the bizarre, the elements that do not fit: that’s what I have come to observe at this meeting tonight. Have you ever felt that you were getting close to something that didn’t seem to fit any rational pattern, yet gave you a strong impression that it was significant?”
I have basically this entire section of Messengers of Deception highlighted, and I’m not sure that anything I’ve ever read about the phenomenon has ever left as profound of an impression upon me as this did. Like Vallée, this conversation instantly illuminated for me the ways in which I have been naive about the phenomenon, and the ways in which so many of us have fundamentally misunderstood the problem that we’re facing.
Yes, a scientific approach to the problem is crucial, but it’s never going to give us the full answer. We’re not dealing with a natural phenomenon, like a storm that we can track and measure. We’re dealing with one or more intelligences—with something that can play chess back at us, and anticipate our moves—which fundamentally makes this an intelligence problem. We’re trying to understand something that shows every indication of not wanting to be understood—and we have every reason to believe that it has the clear upperhand in terms of its ability to both conceal itself and to feed us only the information that it wants us to have.
That complicates things considerably. And I’d be remiss in not pointing out that it deeply implies that our chances at getting at the actual answers as lay people without any kind of clearances are vanishingly slim—if not outright impossible.
For instance, it’s pretty clear to me that Major Murphy’s first recommendation to Jacques Vallée, that he avoid organized UFO groups and remain cognizant that they are essentially both petri dishes and distribution channels for disinformation is virtually impossible to avoid for anyone studying the phenomenon today to follow. It’s been about 50 years since Major Murphy issued this warning about UFO groups. But today, most of our communication and information about the phenomenon is coming to us via the internet, not from individual UFO groups working in relative isolation. I don’t see how the disinformation petri dish is something that any of us can really avoid at this point. That ship has sailed.
In particular, as someone who is deeply embedded in the UFO community and who has a UFO podcast, I’m certain that I can’t. I have firewalls and safeguards that I put in place to try to avoid a situation where I would ever intentionally be used to disseminate disinformation, but I’m also not naive enough to think that a skilled intelligence agent couldn’t get something past me if they really wanted to. And further, when we look at what has become of UFO discourse over the past several decades, it’s impossible to deny that so much disinformation has been sown in our community that it’s hard to tell what is what anymore.
So while I don’t think there’s much we can do about that, I do think that it helps us considerably to at least recognize it, uncomfortable though it may be. Being less passive in our acceptance of UFO lore and less certain of our conclusions, requires vigilance and deep humility, both of which will serve us well in our quest to ask better questions.
But the second recommendation made by Major Murphy is something that I think we can manage—and that I think will be of particular use to us in our examination of the high strangeness at Skinwalker Ranch—which is to look closely at the irrational and bizarre aspects of the phenomena. And as I’ve done the research to prepare for this series, the irrational and bizarre has been apparent at every turn. Cattle mutilations, cryptids, Men in Black, and even UFO flaps are all deeply imbued with startling and incongruent details that seem far too bizarre to fit into any kind of coherent narrative.
Too often, the field of ufology seeks to ignore or sand down those rougher edges and more inconvenient realities of the phenomenon in order to make the whole thing more digestible for the larger public—and even for ourselves. It causes us to default to focusing our attention to the thunder while ignoring the lightning. And so in this series, we’re going to fight that instinct and travel deep into the heart of the weird.
The Control Mechanism
And speaking of weird, there is one more idea from Vallée that we’ll be returning to frequently in this series, which is the concept of the phenomenon as a control mechanism.
Vallée has posited that the UFO phenomenon seems to operate like a mechanism of some kind that has, throughout history, manipulated human perceptions and beliefs for an unknown purpose. This mechanism operates on the level of human consciousness, introducing myths, legends, and narratives into human cultures at specific times and then withdrawing them.
This system could be likened to a thermostat that monitors and adjusts human beliefs and understanding, creating stimuli that cause societal shifts. Whether these adjustments are aimed at enlightenment, disinformation, or something else entirely is unclear, and Vallée himself does not definitively identify the source or purpose of the control system.
The idea of the control mechanism will help us shape better questions, by causing us to ask, “If there is a greater agenda to the phenomenon—what might it be?”
And as we contemplate what that greater agenda might be, we should keep in mind yet another tool that we’ll be employing throughout this series which is an understanding that the phenomenon might be a hyperobject.
This is the topic of Dr. James Madden’s new book, Unidentified Flying Hyperobject: UFOs, Philosophy, and the End of the World, which will be published by my new publishing house in the coming weeks. I’ll have more information about the book and the release date in next week’s episode, so stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, regular listeners of the show will already be familiar with Jim’s work on UFOs as hyperobjects which he laid out in episode 21. I’ll have that linked up in the episode description, in case you missed that one or need a refresher.
But from a high level, a hyperobject is a philosophical concept that addresses objects or systems so vastly distributed in time and space that they defy our traditional understanding and conceptualization. The term was introduced by philosopher Timothy Morton in his 2013 book, Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World. Morton used hyperobjects to describe phenomena in our world that are so large, so sprawling, and often so intangible that they’re hard to grasp in their entirety.
An example of a hyperobject that is within our grasp to recognize would be the world economy. The economy is a sprawling, complex network of transactions, businesses, consumer behaviors, international trade deals, and so much more. It operates at scales that range from the individual penny you might find on the sidewalk to trillions of dollars circulating in global markets. It’s influenced by policy decisions made by world leaders, by technological innovations, and even by seemingly unrelated events like natural disasters. We can and do interact with the economy in a variety of different ways every single day—from buying a coffee on our way to work to managing retirement accounts to giving the kid down the street $10 to mow your lawn.
However, although we are all capable of interacting with the economy and even understanding what it is on some level, even the top economic minds in the world are unable to entirely comprehend the totality of what the economy is and how it works and how it is influencing people all around the world every second of every day.
What James Madden has proposed is that the UFO phenomenon may be such a sprawling object operating at a level that is even less comprehensible to us than the economy. He writes in his upcoming book:
“The UFO phenomenon is famously uncanny. It is hard to make any sense of it in terms of just “nuts and bolt” technology, but it clearly is not only a psychical or paranormal phenomenon. Maybe the UFOs don’t fit neatly into any of our categorizations because we have been thinking of them as discrete individuals, not unlike our aircraft or space ships, that should be characterized on one side of the natural vs. artificial dichotomy. That is, maybe our default preference for the Goldilocks Ontology gets in the way of entertaining the full scope of ontological possibilities we need in order to make sense of these phenomena. What if UFOs aren’t many, but one? Suppose we’re not dealing with the UFOs, but THE UFO. Maybe THE UFO is a singular hyperobject that we can only encounter at its edges, just like we can only encounter the economy or the environment at its edges. We might make better progress in understanding THE UFO if we conceptualized the “individual craft” less like discrete individuals, and more like manifestations of a single hyperobject in the way we can think of snow storms and unemployment lines as the edges of much grander objects…”
Not only does the idea of the UFO as a hyperobject give us a novel and potentially very useful model by which we can examine the phenomenon, as James Madden suggests, it could also offer us a unique—and somewhat disturbing—answer to the question about the identity of the intelligence behind the phenomenon itself. He writes:
“The uncanny part of this suggestion follows on Morton’s notion that hyperobjects can be processes originally initiated by human beings, but which have taken on vast lives of their own. Could THE UFO, as a hyperobject, be something we initiated? Maybe in addition to economies, nations, wars, corporations, etc., our technological interventions have introduced hyperobjects into the world that are even more grand in scale and complexity than those better-known beings. Maybe we did something to get THE UFO off the ground in the first place, but now it’s on the loose under its own steam, operating at levels far beyond our reckoning. It wouldn’t have to be all our doing, much like the case of the environment and climate change: THE UFO as hybrid hyperobject. Certainly, the environment was “out there” before we showed up, but it seems that we have done things to interact with it that have moved it into a new and possibly novel phase wherein it behaves quite differently. Likewise, maybe there was something out there in our Uber-Umwelt minding its own business for eons, but at some point we introduced a novel process that entered a systematic relation with this previously aloof denizen of the super-around-world. The result is a symbiosis that has taken on a new life of its own, or at least our doings coaxed that hyperobject in the Uber-Umwelt in a new direction that shows up for us now in novel and uncanny dimensions.”
So as we contemplate whether or not the UFO phenomenon might have a larger agenda for the human race, Madden’s idea of the UFO as a hyperobject forces us to ask two even more unsettling questions: Is the agenda of the UFO phenomenon operating on a level that we are even able to comprehend? and Could we somehow be responsible for creating something that has, in turn, taken control of us.
And that’s where we’ll leave it for today. Now that we’ve mapped out the road ahead and the tools we’ll need, it’s time to take the first steps into our inquiry into the mysterious property known as Skinwalker Ranch.
And we’ll begin our investigation by examining two phenomena that are seemingly diametrically opposed in their manifestations, and yet, strangely, often happen concurrently—cattle mutilations and orbs.
Until next time.