Justified & Ancient
Aug 6, 2002
In the path of Utah's skin walker

Did anyone read on the home page"breaking news" the above titled article. It was really cool. George Napp (famous for Bob lazar-area 51 -etc, stories) is the reporter on the scene at a ranch in Utah "purchased by 'NIDS' millionair Bob bigilow. The science team has seen a creature come out of a "portal in thin air!"and more weird stuff than you can count!! 11-22-02 breaking news -home page.
Here's the link. (It's a long article.)
Mod Edit: Link is dead. Archive link found via The Wayback Machine here:

Cover story: 'Path of the Skinwalker'

Thursday, November 21, 2002
By George Knapp
Some very strange things have happened at the precise spot where I'm sitting. It is here that a visitor was accosted by a roaring but nearly invisible creature, something akin to the Predator of movie fame. It is here that a Ph.D. physicist reported that his mind was invaded, literally taken over, by some sort of hostile intelligence that warned him that he was not welcome. It is here that an entire team of researchers watched in awe as a bright door or portal opened up in the darkness and a large humanoid creature crawled out before quickly vanishing. And it is here that several animals--cattle and dogs--were mutilated, obliterated or simply disappeared.

For as long as anyone can remember, this part of northeastern Utah has been the site of simply unbelievable paranormal activity. UFOs, Sasquatch, cattle mutilations, psychic manifestations, creatures that aren't found in any zoos or textbooks, poltergeist events. You name it, residents here have seen it.

There is to be a second part to this article next week: whoever picks up the link first (it'll be somewhere on // Mod Edit: That newspapers website no longer exists) please post it here!
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Can't wait for next week's instalment: I've bookmarked it, so I'll do the honours.

An American crime-fiction author named Tony Hillerman has written a novel called Skinwalkers. (Harper. 1986?). This is one of a series of books set in the deserts of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah which constitute the Navajo Nation, the Hopi Nation and the Joint Use Areas. Hillerman uses members of the Navajo Tribal Police as his main protagonists.

This is really good stuff helped because the author appears to have a deep interest in and genuine understanding of and respect for Navajo culture and beliefs. The plots of his stories are always clever but the books are as much about the place and the people who inhabit it as anything else.

I know it’s fiction but if you are interested in the Las Vegas Mercury story it’s definitely worth reading the book. I'm a great believer in the fact that good, well-researched fiction can sometimes give you insights into subjects that journalism and factual writing cannot.

From what I can remember of the book there is absolutely no mention of UFO’s but you do get an impression of the genuine terror inspired by Skinwalkers and how that kind of fear can spread from those who follow traditional ways to those people who feel that they have left old beliefs behind them.

Crime fiction, anthropology and Forteana - who could ask for more.
Spook - you got there ahead of me. I'm a big Hillerman fan and I can totally reccomend his books. No, he doesn't mention UFOs, but he does tell you a heck of a lot about Navajo belief systems; and yes, Skinwalkers are a reality for these people. Read his books - just about any one will do, Skinwalkers are mentioned in several of them.
Hmm - one wonders what the seismic conditions are like in and under that area. Balls of light, 'UFOs', dog creatures are alot like tales from northern England (i.e. the Penines) where heavy faulting of the earth's crust and teh resulting geomagnetic field may have some impact on those that live there (for example, see Devereux's book 'Earthlights Revelation').
Coincidentally, in his book Haunted Land Devereux visits Cooke's Range in New Mexico. I think this is actually Apache territory and further south than the area we are talking about.

Have to confess that I haven't yet read the book so I can't tell you if there is anything about skinwalkers in there.
Annasdottir said:
Spook - you got there ahead of me. I'm a big Hillerman fan and I can totally reccomend his books. No, he doesn't mention UFOs, but he does tell you a heck of a lot about Navajo belief systems; and yes, Skinwalkers are a reality for these people. Read his books - just about any one will do, Skinwalkers are mentioned in several of them.

FYI: At least for people in the USA. The excellent (to my mind, anyway) public television series Mystery! is showing an adaptation of this very book this weekend. Supposedly quite good, and I think the first time they've ever done a US story. Is usually Inspector Morse or whomever. I'm sure it'll air in the UK at some point, but I wouldn't even hazzard a guess as to when. Enjoy.
Posted a new thread on this before I realised this one existed (I'm sure some kind Admin will delete it)...

Basically I was saying the whole thing appears a little "too good to be true", and the influences of legend and modern TV shows is very apparent. Combine this with the fact the paranormal events weren't, in the main, witnessed anywhere but land that was part of the ranch, makes me wonder.

I also wonder on how good a deal Mr Bigelow got - buying a "haunted" 400-acre ranch at $200,000. Add Scooby Doo to Predator and Stargate as the list of TV influences...
Desperado, you can delete any thread you start by deleting the first post. (Don't bother now, I've already done it!) But you also said there
The whole thing, if true, certainly sounds like the biggest paranormal display I've ever heard of. But reading up on it, there seems to be a strong element of "hmmmm" behind the scenes. A bit of background, here:

The stuff described seems to come straight out of Navaho legend with influences from Stargate and Predator. Also strange, that Bigelow himself bought the whole 400 acre ranch for 0,000, then sealed it up like Area51. I don't know how US prices compare to UK, but 0,000 equivalent here will buy you a small, 3-bedroom terrace with no garden and a single garage.

Does anyone know of any books with more info in, as all I've been able to find so far is on the net? I'm becoming more and more tempted to dismiss it all as another too good to be true story (especially due to the total lack of photographs, or evidence that wasn't handed straight to " was Jesus an alien" researcher Linda Howe)
which was worth keeping.
Here are several UFO stories involving the Shermans from before NIDS got involved.

I haven't checked them out yet, I thought I'd share them here first.

Mod Edit: Link just goes to search engine results with no indication of a particular article present.
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Desperado said:
Combine this with the fact the paranormal events weren't, in the main, witnessed anywhere but land that was part of the ranch, makes me wonder.
According to some of the links in the Google search given above, other ranchers have also seen UFOs and had cattle taken or mutilated. Some of the stories go back many years.
Desperado said:
I also wonder on how good a deal Mr Bigelow got - buying a "haunted" 400-acre ranch at 0,000.

Yeah. As soon as I found out that Mr Bigelow is a millionaire property developer I wondered about that. From the few websites I visited after googling his name it appears he elicits either deep suspicion or fawning admiration. Unfortunately the names of the people who express admiration for him do not exactly reassure me.

The Las Vegas Mercury article appears to be fairly partisan in his favour describing at one point his critics as "whining". I also have to wonder why its author seeks to hide the names of the property's previous owner when their real name has been public knowledge for years - maybe in order to make the story appear more of a scoop than it actually is.

Still, it's an interesting story and, whatever Bigelow's influence, strange things were happening before he appeared on the scene - so there may well be something going on under all the potential bullshit.

The other thing that strikes me about this story is the way ufologists often claim all sorts of older phenomena (eg skinwalkers and earthlights) as a kind of backdated evidence of UFO activity. They normally claim that traditional, non-technological societies interpret UFO phenomena in ways they can more readily understand.

Couldn't the truth actually be the exact opposite - that ufologists cannot comprehend any activity outside the realms of "normality" without believing that some unknown and advanced technology is behind it.

What I'm saying is that they patronise those societies that follow ancient traditions whereas the actual gap in perception may well be their own.

Does that make any sense?
Re the other ranchers seeing strange things, from what I can gather it was only after more investigation that a handful of neighbours reported a few cattle mutilations and one or two old UFO sightings. I'm guessing now, but I reckon you'd have the same proportion of witnesses no matter what area you canvassed. After all, what's the average percentage of people country-wide who claim to have seen a UFO? 15%? 20%? Add to this that mutilations seem pretty widespread in that area of the US and this suggests a suspiciously odd localisation to the Sherman phenomenon.

The Herald story is also very unconvincing in parts. I mean, how many ranchers - especially well educated ones, as we are assured Sherman is - would take their family out into the yard to pet a colossal wolf, no matter how "friendly" it looked? And how many cattle would stand so close to a corral fence as a wolf walked by so as to be grabbed by the nose? And, if the phenomenon was so intense over such a long period of time, where are all the photographs? (One part that made me laugh was the reporting of an experience by a guy "with a PHD", as if formal qualifications are some sort of guarantee of trustworthiness).

And I agree with Spook about the UFO conjecture. It's the pidgeon-holing of such phenomenon (if true) that hinders their investigation, with too many "investigators" believing that any light seen in the sky automatically designates all other unexplained phenomenon in the area as being caused by aliens.
Work of fiction

I did enjoy reading parts of the article, but as the events got odder, I began to realize that the reports were works of fiction.

I make my living as an editor, and I have (or at least I sincerely hope I have after 20 years' experience) some feeling for the way language is used.

Not knowing Mr Bigelow, of course, I can't prove that he is planning to do something not quite "by the book" with his land purchase; but, I mistrust his role in this story.

I just looked up realtors offering property in the area of the Sherman acreage: the $200,000 price is exactly in line. Right now, a 400+ acre property with an unfinished house on it is being offered at $225,000 (and others are listed in that range, also).
I reckon it's more "buy the book" than "by the book". I'll bet there'll be one coming out in the next couple of years. If you ask me (I know, you don't!) this is what happened:

The Shermans buy a ranch in an area that happens to have a history of strange events. For perfectly normal reasons, they are unable to make a go of it. With Bigelow being a big(elow) noise in the property scene in the area, they naturally get talking to him. He offers them a deal whereby he buys the ranch for a slightly reduced amount but employs the Shermans as caretakers (amazing in itself). His plan is to make up a bunch of stories about paranormal phenomenon, based on local legend for added interest, and write a book off the back of it. The Shermans are promised a cut of the profits. Now, much to the surprise of his neighbours, and "in an uncharacteristic moment, [Sherman tells] parts of his story to a news reporter" and the deal goes through.

Bigelow then seals the ranch off, only allowing his own "investigators" access to the propoerty. Because of the leaked story, rumours about strange phenomenon on the ranch still circulate. Years later, Bigelow announces to the press that he's almost completed his investigations and invites them up to the ranch for a scary sleepover. He also says that the phenomenon is now on the wane, which is all very convenient. The press starts printing incredible stories about the place...

I reckon what's to follow is that they give the press even more tantalising evidence (after all, they've had years to come up with it) and on the back of that, a book will appear. The book will sell well, the ranch will be sold, Bigelow will make a packet and strengthen his reputation and that will be the end of that. Another one bites the dust.

I'd love to be wrong, of course...
Desperado said:
I don't know how US prices compare to UK, but 0,000 equivalent here will buy you a small, 3-bedroom terrace with no garden and a single garage.
Depends where you live. $200,000 is about £130,000. For that sort of dosh, around here, you can get a nice detached house with an acre or two.
You can get a hole in the ground covered in a bit of tarpaulin in London for that sort of cash
I enjoyed the stories but agree they seem just that. I am less certain
about whether this Bigelow bloke is in it for the proceeds of a book or
a modest property deal. I gather he has megabucks to spend on his
fringe science enthusiasms and has a reputation for secrecy.

Why he should suddenly be courting publicity for this far-fetched saga
is puzzling. A movie in the offing, maybe? :confused:
NIDS website - but I can't find anything about the Sherman story on it! (But it is a large site - maybe it's hiding in there somewhere.)

Mod Edit: Original link is dead. Archive link found via The Wayback Machine here:

There are many other interesting stories there, however, and investigations into them, which sound sensible and serious. One UFO photo, taken in 1945 (before UFOs were 'invented') looked very promising, until someone tracked down that it was probably a street light, suspended from a wire strung over the road! (Apparently there are street-light enthusiasts, who even run websites with pictures of the things!)
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There are a few links on here to do with the Sherman ranch, including the some mutilated cows that survived (for a short time) and the (underwhelming) ice circle mentioned in the original press article:-

ice circle
Mod Edit: Original link is dead. Archive link to PDF file found via The Wayback Machine here:

Report on an Ice Circle in NE Utah, February 21, 2002
National Institute for Discovery Science

NIDS was contacted at 8:00 AM on the morning of February 21, 2002 regarding an “ice
circle” that had mysteriously appeared on a ranch overnight. According to the report, at approx
7:00 AM on the morning of February 21, 2002 the circle—measuring 5 feet 9 inches in
diameter—was discovered in an irrigation canal on a ranch in NE Utah. The local NIDS
investigator, who is a retired deputy sheriff and an experienced tracker, was on the spot within
less than an hour. The investigator immediately proceeded to take photographs (see Photos 2–5).
The ice was approximately 3/4 inch thick under the circle. The circle occurred near a spot
where ranch cattle frequently drink water (see Photo 2 below). According to the investigator, the
nearby cattle were behaving normally when he arrived.

Mod Edit: Original link is dead. No archive links found.
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Good Old Jeff Rense has a reprint of this:

I read the "original" story when it was
on the FT main page... I have to say:
the story about the "bullet-proof" wolf
was MORE than enough to creep me out!
(Is there a thread about animal-guides?)

If Knapp truly follows this one up, we are
in for some amazing tales indeed!

From reading this article and also following up on other pieces written on the spate of cattle mutilations in the 70's - there does seem to be a lot of similarity between the various creatures reported(bar the birds) and some of the other events listed. What seems to have happened here is a condensation of all the things that have happened across the US has been concentrated onto one farm.

Don't know how much of it is true but the fact that so much is familiar from older reports and given the location I would say that there is a kernel of truth in there somewhere.

Maybe it's time I paid a visit to some of my friends over that way...
Part Two of the Las Vegas Mercury story!
Mod Edit: Original link is dead. Archived link found via The Wayback Machine here:

Close encounters, part two

Thursday, November 28, 2002
By George Knapp
This is the second of two reports about persistent stories of anomalous phenomena in a section of northeastern Utah. The activity, as reported by hundreds of witnesses over several decades, includes UFOs, unusual balls of light, animal mutilations and disappearances, poltergeist events, sightings of Bigfoot-like creatures and other unidentified animals, physical effects on plants, soil, animals and humans, and a vast array of other unexplained incidents.

The activities seem most concentrated on a 480-acre cattle ranch owned by the family of Tom Gorman. (Gorman isn't his real name.) In 1996, the ranch was purchased by Las Vegas businessman Robert Bigelow, who arranged for an intense, ongoing scientific study of events at the ranch. By agreement with Bigelow, and at the request of many of the witnesses, a few names have been changed or omitted to protect those who don't want to be hassled by media outlets or UFO enthusiasts.

(I haven't read it yet.)
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yes "caroline"

What about the "foot prints" at the tree !! a dinosaurs foot print!! "velopciraptor!! dino's with time machines?? that story can give anybody (with a bit of an open mind, the willys') I read it ,like I was reading a sci-fi, story. It was very cool. Go read part two if you havent yet everyone. The NIDS group seems to be legit ,though. They claim they are really using the scientific method ,I just don't know what to make of it,except that it might just be real "entities" here because its just to strange to be all made up!! :eek!!!!:
Yep, pretty much as I thought. NIDS took over the ranch, the phenomenon got stranger and more frequent but could not be photographed or otherwise recorded. Top scientists were involved (except they won't give their names, of course). Now, as the investigation draws to a close, the phenomenon has almost stopped, despite apparently having been going on for the best part of a century.

"For the record, no one at NIDS is saying he shot a velociraptor. They don't know what it was."

Maybe that was because velociraptors weighed about the same as a large turkey and didn't actually have heads 3 feet wide. No land predator has ever had a head 3 feet wide, not even T-Rex, and you'd have trouble getting one of those up a tree.

And the hole in the ice? A loop of wire placed in the water before it froze, then pulled out from some distance away? Nah, the actual cause is monsters from another dimension.
Caroline said:
Sorry if I seem to have a bee in my bonnet about this point but it seemed indicative of what is wrong with the whole article.
That could just be down to the journalist. But a bit more output from NIDS would be appreciated.


Suppose the facts are exactly as reported: Nids are trying to do serious scientific research, but they seem to be interacting with the Cosmic Joker, who is always one step ahead. NIDS think "We can't publish this, no-one will believe it, and we'll lose all our scientific credibility." So they keep quiet, hoping that something will arise that they can publish.

So for now the Cosmic Joker has the last word...

The story is incredible - but that doesn't mean it isn't true.