Saturday, April 25, 2015

Exploring Skinwalker Ranch

The Uintah basin, in northern Utah is one of those weird areas that researchers refer to as a “portal” or, “window” area.  It’s a region of high strangeness, UFO sightings, encounters with cryptids, hauntings, poltergeist and little people, you name it and it seems it can be found there.  In the heart of this weird zone is a remote property that’s come to be known as “Skinwalker Ranch.”
Over the years, I’ve investigated a fair number of cases in the Uintah basin.  It’s an area I always found intriguing and I’m often asked about my experiences there. 

For the amount of activity that can be found in the region, very little has actually been written about the ranch and the surrounding area.  The main exception being the 2005 book, “Hunt for the Skinwalker” by Colm Kelleher and George Knapp.  Their intriguing tale includes accounts of strange lights and a bullet proof wolf.  It’s been a constant seller since its release and served to clue many people in on the unusual events in Utah.
Enter Ryan Skinner.  Ryan started digging into the weirdness on the ranch back in 2008.  His interest grew to the point that he started a forum and website dedicated to the mysteries occurring there.  Frankly, Ryan became obsessed with the ranch, and that’s by his own admission.  Having common interest, Ryan and I became friends and his internet focus on the ranch certainly stirred the pot.

The ranch you see, in case you don’t know, is the property of billionaire Robert Bigelow.  The same guy currently building space platforms for private ventures off planet.  Bigelow has kept a tight lid on the ranch.  Trespassing is strictly forbidden and violators will face charges if caught. 
But even though you can’t stroll onto the property, you can indeed learn more about the events that have unfolded there thanks to Ryan.  He’s written a series of books detailing both his personal experiences, as well as some of the curious things he’s uncovered over the years about the ranch.  While he currently lives in the Midwest, Skinner still makes regular pilgrimages to Utah to further his field investigations.  Camping out and exploring areas around the Uintah basin, probing the mysteries of this portal area and fact finding as much as possible.

Skinner has a degree in science and perhaps that’s part of what drives his fascination with
weird events.  The burning questions that haunt many of us in the paranormal certainly seem to drive him to continue his quest for answers.  But, as is usually the case in this field, there are more questions found than answers, and that’s okay.  It’s the questioning that leads us to deeper levels of understanding, and that’s a big part of the value of Ryan’s book series.
Ryan's obsession with the ranch is paying off for the rest of us.  He's probably spent more time exploring the mysteries of the region than any other dedicated investigator.  I won’t give away details on his books, rather, I encourage you to read them yourself.  But I will say, if you’re interested in the ranch itself, or portal zones where weird phenomena is concentrated, you’ll enjoy Ryan’s work.  He puts you there in the basin amid the weirdness, and you’ll get bits of his personal journey as well.  No, he doesn’t claim to have solved the mysteries of Skinwalker ranch, but it would be very suspect if he made that claim.  Rather, like any good researcher of the strange, his writing encourages others to join him on the quest.  Personally, I look forward to seeing what Ryan continues to dig up about one of the strangest regions in the country.

An older podcast featuring Ryan, myself, Chris O’Brien (who also investigated the ranch), and a surprise guest, check out the paracast: 
Ryan's books on the ranch can be found on Amazon:


Friday, April 24, 2015

Air Force UFO Sighting, Nebraska 1958

According to NICAP’s (National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena) newsletter, U.F.O. Investigator (April-May 1961 issue), several “dramatic Air Force reports, formerly hidden, were disclosed to the organization by pilots and others involved in the cases.
The newsletter list a few brief accounts from the cache of reports, one I found particularly interesting:

On September 8, 1958, Maj. Duich and other Strategic Air Command personnel sighted a large rocket or cigar-shaped object near Offutt AFB, Nebraska.  As the object hovered, witnesses saw small black objects moving around it.  After these objects disappeared (perhaps taken aboard the large device), the rocket-shaped UFO tilted, moved out of sight.  Observers included 20-30 AF officers up to the rank of colonel, airmen, Inglewood missile personnel, and control tower operators.”
NICAP’s secretary, investigator Richard H. Hall gathered more details on the case in subsequent reports.

Major Duich was an Air Force Master Navigator and had clocked in 4000 hours of flying time and 300 combat hours during WW II.  He had witnessed the infamous “foo-fighters” while making bombing runs over Japan.
At approximately 6:40, on the evening of September 8th, Duich was crossing an open area on the Nebraska base when he noticed what he first believed was a vapor trail to the west.  Observing the object, he watched as it became a bright light like a flare.  Continuing to observe the object, Duich called over another officer who also began to watch the curious light.  Within a few minutes, a small crowd had gathered around and they all stood watching the odd light.

Duich rushed into a nearby office and called the tower, requesting that the operator look to the west and report what he saw.  Like Duich, the operator at first thought he was observing a vapor trail.  But suddenly the glowing object turned a dull red-orange.
By now, 10-20 people had gathered outside to observe the puzzling light.  According to Duich:

“…as we watched there appeared at the lower end of the object a swarm of black specks cavorting every which way, much like a swarm of gnats.  This procedure continued for a minute or so before they (the black specks) disappeared.”
The object then changed altitude from an upright position, to a 45 degree angle with the horizon.  Slowly, it started moving in a westerly direction.  The crowd continued to watch the object as it changed altitude again and moved slightly southwest.  It was observed until it vanished in the hazy atmosphere to the west.

According to Duich, those who had gathered to watch the object, were mystified about what they had seen, but they were convinced that it was not anything natural:
“The crowd was composed of airmen, officers and civilians (at least 25 officers and airmen were present).  Several of the officers, and possibly a few civilians, were from the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division in Los Angeles.  Several more, like myself, were operations personnel engaged in a SAC planning session at the time.  All except a few of the airmen were seasoned, veteran flyers or highly trained missile engineers.  We concluded that what was seen by all was no conventional vehicle, nor was it an atmospheric phenomenon.”

Duich called in and filed a report with the proper authorities.  He was informed that he would be receiving a call from ATIC (Air Technical Intelligence Center) for an interview and formal statement.  That call never came.
The observations of Duich and his fellow officers and airmen, and the mystery of what they witnessed remain unsolved.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rainbow Vision Radio

I had a chat this week with my friend Betsey Lewis for her show, Rainbow Vision Radio, on the Pyramid One Network. 
Betsey and I met years ago when we both spoke at a conference near the notorious Area 51.  She’s a psychic-medium with a long time interest in the paranormal and earth mysteries, and she’s written a couple of great books on the topics.

Check out the show in the archives if you missed it, and catch Betsey Wednesday night on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Rachel, Nevada UFOs

Recently, I've received a number of reports of  new UFO sightings in Nevada.  Specifically, around the small town of Rachel.  If you're familiar with UFO lore, you'll know that Rachel is close to the infamous Area 51 and has it's fair share of strange events.

Rachel is a remote place and has a spooky quality all it's own.  The desert landscape is almost alien and, for some people, it's a bit unnerving.  It's always a controversial area for reports.  With the so called "secret" base nearby, some sightings may be misidentification of military aircraft, or perhaps experimental tech being tested in the region.

I'm currently following up on the new reports, but in the meantime, here's an account I received back in 2013 from the same area:

Yet another report of an unusual aerial object has come in from the region around Nevada's famous Area 51.  The sighting below occurred on Wednesday, January 23rd near Rachel, Nevada.  Rachel is home to the well known "Little A'Le'Inn", a virtual mecca for those interested in UFOs.

"I was traveling west and was not far outside of Rachel, Nevada.  It was just after nine o'clock in the morning.  I pulled off on the side of the road because my dog was whining and I needed to walk him.  I had parked the car and walked him for a few minutes letting him take care of his business.  As I was standing there, I noticed a shiny object in the sky.  It looked fairly big and it seemed to be reflecting the sun.  I thought at first it was an airplane and I kept watching it.  It didn't seem to be moving much and the more I looked at it, the more I thought it was round.  No airplanes that I know of are shaped
like that.  As I stood looking at it, it suddenly shot off very fast, heading towards the east.  I was speechless.  I scanned the entire sky but I couldn't see any sign of the object anymore.  The rest of my drive west, I kept watching the sky, expecting to see the object again but I never saw another sign of it.  I'm sure it was no plane considering the rate at which it took off."

What's interesting about this account is that it sounds similar to a report listed in December with MUFON.  That report from Alamo, Nevada also referred to a round or spherical object moving across the sky. 

Are these reports evidence of some new technology being tested, perhaps a new advanced drone?  Or are they something completely beyond our world?
With heightened activity in the area, hopefully more images or even video footage will come in that can be further analyzed. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Shaggy Men & Strange Lights

Some researchers get really worked up about the idea of Bigfoot sightings that occur at the same time as UFO reports, but ignoring the reports because they don’t fit one’s paradigm doesn’t make them go away.  It’s important to look at these accounts and determine if an area of high weirdness offers more clues as to what we’re really dealing with.  Often some areas have a concentration of various kinds of strange activity, becoming “hotspots” only for a brief period.

It’s hard to predict where a hotspot of paranormal activity will occur, but it’s doubtful that the people of rural, northwest Wisconsin expected their area to become such a focus in the early 1970s.  In fact, most were left completely puzzled over their experiences and never felt like they received any answers.
Take the Bakers for instance.

In the fall of 1973, Mr. and Mrs. Art Baker of Trade Lake, WI, were traveling along a county road when a strange incident occurred.
According to the Inter-County Leader:

“As they drove, their car suddenly stopped for no apparent reason.  A huge ball of bluish light surrounded the vehicle for a minute or so, but there was no sound nor sight of anything other than the strange light.  The dog in the car with them became ‘stiff as a board,’ they reported.”
Before the Bakers could even recover from their surprise at the weird light, it left.  The car engine suddenly restarted itself and the vehicle continued moving down the road.  But the encounter wasn’t over.  A short distance down the road, the light suddenly returned and the events repeated themselves, with the car shutting down automatically.  Once the light departed the second time, the Bakers stopped at the next crossing and got out of the car.  They both felt very odd and their dog looked bewildered, shaking himself as if coming out of a trance.

Mrs. Baker discovered a spot that appeared to be a bruise in the middle of her forehead which remained for a week.  Furthermore, the Baker’s found that their car engine was producing a strange sound after the incidents.  Mechanics were unable to locate the source of the sound and the Baker’s soon traded the car in.
A lot of strange lights were reported in the area during this period.  A Mrs. Delbert Melin said that she observed a lighted object that landed in a field.  Being alone, she chose not to investigate further. 

Just before Christmas, Gunnard Linder of Frederic reported a large, slow-blinking red light over the treetops.  His dogs grew excited and barked up at the object.  Linder watched the object until it dipped down below the tree line and vanished.
Strange lights weren’t the only thing being reported in the region though.  Jerry Strese was driving to work one morning before sunrise when a large, hairy creature ran across the road in front of his vehicle.  Driving south from Sullivan’s Corner, Strese spotted a bipedal creature emerging from a swampy area close to highway 48.  The creature was covered in fur and ran across the road very quickly in a hunched over position.

Strese reported that the creature’s fur was light in color but that otherwise the body was manlike.
Other people in the area had reported sightings of shaggy men with long hair and long beards.  While some believed that the sightings may have just been hippies transiting through the area, others insisted that the figures were human like, but not human at all, being completely covered in fur.

Frederic seemed to be a focal point of much of the activity, with numerous reports of weird bipedal creatures and strange lights in the sky, but a lot of locations around Wisconsin have seen unexplained events.  Perhaps the whole state is a hotspot!

Thursday, April 16, 2015


I’m frequently asked about accounts of black eyed people that predate the Brian Bethel report.  More and more early accounts continue to surface has researchers digging through old publications and material find relevant connections.  As I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions, it’s the common term “BEK” that is new, and not the black eyed phenomena itself. Now in fact, more people are starting to use the term BEPs (black eyed people) since there are more accounts surfacing of adults with creepy black eyes.  It seems there are plenty of cases of black eyed beings through history, especially in UFO and demonic related lore.

Here are a couple of cases recently brought to my attention.  Thanks to researchers Albert Rosales and Jamie Brian for tips on these cases.

The first case comes from author and UFO researcher Craig R. Lang:

1994, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Janice and a friend were browsing at the local huge mega shopping center "Mall of the Americas" and Janice had stopped to look at a kiosk in a well-traveled area.  Janice looked up from the kiosk to suddenly notice a strange couple standing in front of them.  The couple had features that suggested a racial origin not familiar to her.  She also noted that the eyes seemed to be solid black. Janice has a rather high degree of psychic sensitivity, and she felt a powerful sense of fear that seemed to emanate from these strangers.  It was a sense that Janice could only describe as being "behind enemy lines."  This strange couple simply stood there for a few seconds, apparently observing them.  Janice brought them to her friend's attention, but her friend did not seem to sense the same strangeness about them.  The mysterious couple then walked away, melting into the crows.  Two more times that day, while still at the mall, Janice noted them.  She sensed that the strangers seemed to be observing them.  Then the strangers would again melt away into the crowd and disappear.  Once Janice and her friend had left the mall, they no longer encountered these strangers, and have not seen them since.
Source: Lang, Human Aliens--Close Encounters of the Third Kind in Our Every Day World Type: E
Iconic researcher and author John Keel mentions a case involving a black eyed man in his book, "Operation Trojan Horse."  The book was originally published in 1970 under the title "UFOs: Operation Trojan Horse."  The case involves an Italian contactee named Luciano Galli:
Signore Galli left his home after lunch on July 7, 1957, and was headed back to his plant when a black Fiat pulled up and a tall, dark-skinned man with piercing jet-black eyes spoke to him.
"Do you remember me?" the man asked.  Galli had seen the man before on the streets of Rome and, for some reason, had felt like speaking to him, but he had disappeared into the crowds.
"I remember you," Galli replied.
"Would you like to come with us?" the man asked.
"Where to?"
"Have confidence," the man smiled.  "Nothing will happen to you."
Keel goes on to relate further details about Galli and his purported experience on board a classic flying saucer.  1957 was a big year for contactee reports with countless tales of meetings with space beings and rides aboard flying saucers.  Galli was adamant that his account was true and later stated:

“I don’t care what anybody says, the story is true.  You can believe it if you wish.”

Craig R. Lang's website can be found here:

Anomalist books recently reprinted Keels’ Operation Trojan Horse, it can be ordered directly through their website:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Demonic Factor

This week, the Vatican endorsed, annual “Course on Exorcism and Prayers of Liberation” is taking place in Rome, Italy.

The course, now in its tenth year, is sponsored by the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy, the church department that oversees matters involving priests.  The course is designed to bring greater awareness to the topics of exorcism and possession through the lens of Catholic belief.  Specifically, the course hopes to help priest and interested parties recognize the difference between medical and psychological conditions, and what the church considers actual demonic possession.
To that end, the week of lectures include topics such as:

Psychological dimensions
Criminological dimensions
Social dimensions of Satanism
Legal dimensions and the Ministry of an Exorcist.

There’s much more being covered, but it’s clear that the congress is serious about approaching the idea of possession and exorcism from as many directions as it can within the scope of its traditions.
There’s a lot of interest in the course this year, but much of that can be attributed to the fact that numerous reports claim that the church is increasing the number of trained exorcist among its clergy.

Officially, the Vatican states that genuine demonic possessions are rare.  However, recently, Pope Francis urged dioceses to ensure that they follow Catholic law and maintain at least one properly trained exorcist.
Some take this as a mixed message, but the current pope has made no secret of the fact that he believes that the devil actually exists and is not a myth.  In fact, his frequent comments have led to what some call the “Pope Francis effect,” leading to more attention on possessions, exorcisms and a focus on older church concepts of the devil and evil.

Swiss exorcist, Father Cesare Truqui told “The Independent” that the course was important for priest as well as laypeople because it hones awareness of what signs to look for.  Additionally, he reported that dioceses in Italy and beyond have been experiencing a surge in reports of the symptoms of possession.  Father Cesare himself reports that he has witnessed sings of possession including people speaking in tongues and displaying inhuman strength including one “small woman, who could not be pinned down by three strong men.”
In 2012, news emerged that the diocese of Milan, the largest in the world, had installed an “exorcism hotline” to manage the large number of possession related reports coming in.  Milan’s chief exorcist, Monsignor Angelo Mascheroni, increased the number of trained exorcist in his diocese from six to twelve, stating that the number of calls for help dealing with the demonic had increased 100 percent over the last 15 years.

The diocese of Rome also recently doubled its team of resident exorcists from five to ten and reports that a full third of phone calls they receive relate to request for exorcisms.
While the church remains adamant that only officially trained Catholic priests may perform exorcisms, plenty of other religious and spiritual traditions carry out the practice.  They too report a growing number of people describing problems with what they believe to be demonic activity.

It’s interesting to consider the church’s comments regarding the rise of possession related cases in conjunction with the general rise in reports of paranormal incidents over the last ten to fifteen years.  While those who are more devout in their religious beliefs may report strange activity as possibly demonic, others may simply believe that the activity is the result of ghosts or other active spirits that are not evil.  Of note though, are the growing numbers of people who do not identify themselves has strongly religious, yet still equate paranormal activity to something demonic.
The barrage of demon related topics in popular entertainment is likely a factor too.  Over 40 years ago, when the Exorcist hit the movie screens, reports of possession rose dramatically.  In recent years, possession has been a popular subject of horror movies and television shows.  But is media influence the sole reason for the increase of reports?

Many religious groups blame the increase on the rise of interest in occult topics which, it claims, opens a door to the demonic.  Paranormal investigators site a wide range of factors that could be causing the increase, including everything from people wanting attention, to the modern level of comfort in opening up about strange activity.
Whether an investigator believes in the demonic or not, it certainly must be considered a factor when approaching cases.  It’s important to determine if the person reporting the activity believes they are dealing with something demonic due to their religious background, or, due to undue influence from the mainstream media.

Either way, the current increase of incidents of paranormal activity are not likely to fade away any time soon, so we can expect further demonic related reports.  Whether it’s due to media influence, or whether something darker and more sinister is at work, only time and further research will tell.