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9 unknown and spooky facts about Skinwalker Ranch
To those in the know, Skinwalker Ranch has been the epicentre of extra-terrestrial and paranormal activity for decades. More recently, the Sky HISTORY show Curse of Skinwalker Ranch has brought the 512-acre plot of land in northeastern Utah to the masses, spreading its remarkable tales of UFO encounters, crop circles, cattle mutilations, and shapeshifting creatures.
The mystical secrets of Skinwalker Ranch still elude scientists with investigations continuing as we speak, demonstrating there's a great deal still to learn about this infamous site. In the meantime, let’s take a look at what we do know about one of the world’s spookiest locations.
1. 300 years of UFO sightings
Skinwalker Ranch is located in the Uinta Basin. The entire Basin in northeast Utah is a renowned UFO hotspot with sightings in the area dating back to the 1700s. Early Spanish explorers following the trade route through the Uinta Basin told stories of strange crafts flying above their campfires at night.
UFO sightings ramped up a notch during the 1950s when hundreds of reports of bizarre lights in the sky began to flood in. Sightings became so commonplace that by the 1970s local police forces had stopped filling out incident reports.
2. The ranch borders a Ute Indian reservation
Running adjacent to the Skinwalker Ranch is the Ute Indian reservation. Created during the mid-19th century by the executive order of President Abraham Lincoln, the reservation covers an area of 4.5 million acres.
3. The land is said to be cursed
The sworn enemy of the Ute was the Navajo tribe. During the American Civil War (1861-1865), some Ute bands joined with U.S. military forces against the Navajo. The Navajo were defeated and banished from their lands, forced to march to a reservation in New Mexico. The event is known as the Long Walk, which took two months and resulted in the deaths of at least 200 Navajo.
Local legend attests that the Navajo put a curse on the Ute tribe, unleashing malevolent spirits to roam the land in which the Ute lived. In Navajo culture, those spirits are known as skinwalkers, evil witches that can shapeshift into a multitude of different creatures.
With the entire Uintah Basin said to be plagued by skinwalkers, it’s no wonder the ranch is named after them.
4. Things changed in the 90s
Although reports of UFOs and skinwalkers existed in the area for decades, Skinwalker Ranch didn’t acquire its reputation as a hotbed of paranormal activity until the early 90s. Before that, it was the home of the Myers family who established various homesteads on the property. Living there until 1987, their tenure was a relatively quiet one with little to no strange activities being reported by them.
However, things got weird in 1994, when Terry and Gwen Sherman purchased the ranch after it had laid empty for the past seven years. During the next two years, the Shermans were plagued by paranormal activity which quite literally drove them from the property.
5. The Shermans experienced it all
Under the tenure of the Shermans, everything and anything occurred on the ranch. From crop circles and poltergeist activity to cow mutilations and skinwalker sightings, not a day seemed to go by without something out of the ordinary taking place.
The Shermans would often hear disembodied voices speaking directly above them and on many occasions, the night’s sky would randomly light up. Cows quite literally disappeared, their hoof marks coming to an end in the snow with no sign of the creatures anywhere to be seen.
One night, the Shermans' cattle came under attack by what looked like a large wolf. Several shots were fired into the creature who eventually slunk away into the night, seemingly unharmed with no signs of blood trails.
UFO sightings were commonplace for the Shermans and sometimes they turned deadly. Flying glowing blue orbs were spotted throughout the property and on one occasion, Terry Sherman encouraged his dogs to chase one of these objects. After disappearing into the undergrowth, audible yelps were heard and the dogs never returned. Upon inspection of the area, Terry found scorched earth and strange greasy blobs, which he presumed to be the charred remains of his pets.
6. A millionaire UFO enthusiast brought the ranch
In 1996, the Shermans decided to up sticks and leave but before they did they spoke with local media outlets telling them the story of what was going on at the ranch. This was the first time the property started to make waves and it wasn't long before it had caught the attention of Las Vegas real-estate magnate and aerospace engineer Robert Bigelow. Bigelow purchased the ranch for a reported fee of $200,000.
Bigelow had recently founded the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS), a privately financed research organisation dedicated to the scientific study of paranormal phenomena. After purchasing the ranch, Bigelow and NIDS got straight to work bringing in hi-tech equipment and setting up 24-hour surveillance on the property.
7. Bigfoot has been reportedly sighted on the ranch
One of the NIDS investigators claimed to spot a creature one night that very much resembled the famed American hominoid known as Bigfoot. Biochemist Colm Kelleher spotted the creature spying on him from a nearby tree approximately 50 yards away. After Kelleher fired a shot off at the beast it quickly disappeared. Inspecting where Bigfoot had stood, Kelleher discovered deep tracks in the snow of around six inches in diameter that strangely included claw marks as if from a bird of prey.
8. The ranch sold for $4.5 million
After several years the NIDS team was unable to categorically prove the stories of Terry and Gwen Sherman. However, several researchers claimed to experience paranormal events, many of which caused equipment to fail, preventing vital evidence from being captured.
In 2016, Bigelow sold the ranch for a reported $4.5 million to Adamantium Holdings, the current owner who trademarked the property ‘Skinwalker Ranch’.
9. Blink-182 is linked to the ranch
American rock band Blink-182’s co-founder Tom DeLonge has long been fascinated with UFOs. In 2017, he established his company ‘To the Stars Academy of Arts & Sciences’, a hybrid entertainment and UFO research entity. When setting the company up, many of the people DeLonge recruited were ex-employees of Bigelow and/or NIDS.