The ranch, located in west Uintah County bordering the Ute Indian Reservation, was popularly dubbed the UFO ranch due to its ostensible 50-year history of unverifiable odd events said to have taken place there. Knapp and Kelleher cite the 1974 book The Utah UFO Display: A Scientist’s Report by Frank Salisbury and Joseph “Junior” Hicks, which details an earlier investigation into alleged UFO sightings in the Uintah County region, as partial confirmation of their account. According to Kelleher and Knapp, they saw or investigated evidence of close to 100 incidents that include vanishing and mutilated cattle, sightings of unidentified flying objects or orbs, large animals with piercing red eyes that they say were unscathed when struck by bullets, and invisible objects emitting destructive magnetic fields. Of course, none of this “research” was grounded in actual science and their subsequent findings are completely anectdotal. Among those involved were retired US Army Colonel John B. Alexander who characterized the NIDSci effort as an attempt to get hard data using a “standard scientific approach”. Unsurprisingly, the investigators admitted to “difficulty obtaining evidence consistent with scientific publication.”
Cattle mutilations have been part of the folklore of the surrounding area for decades. When NIDSci founder billionaire Robert Bigelow’s purchased the ranch for $200,000, this was reportedly the result of his being convinced by the stories of mutilations that included tales of strange lights and unusual impressions made in grass and soil told by the family of former ranch owner Terry Sherman.
In 1996, skeptic James Randi awarded Bigelow a Pigasus Award for funding the purchase of the ranch and support Harvard University’s Professor John Mack and author Bud Hopkins investigations, for what Randi called a “useless study of a supernatural, paranormal or occult”.
In 2016, Bigelow sold Skinwalker Ranch for $4.5 million to “Adamantium Holdings”, a shell corporation of unknown origin. After this purchase, all roads leading to the ranch have been blocked, the perimeter secured and guarded by cameras and barbed wire, and surrounded by signs that aim to prevent nutbags from approaching the ranch. (Wikipedia)