Unexplained phenomena baffle owner of infamous Skinwalker Ranch

Mystery Wire

(Collection of the University of Maryland Art Gallery / Christopher M. Bartel)

MYSTERY WIRE — Skinwalker Ranch in northeastern Utah could be considered the strangest place on Earth. The ranch is among the most intensely studied paranormal hotspots anywhere.

Current owner and businessman Brandon Fugal has installed a team of investigators and banks of surveillance gear to record what occurs there.

Skinwalker Ranch owner meets with musician Post Malone at the ranch in February, 2021. (Photo: @BrandonFugal)

The picturesque property consists of more than 500 acres of well watered pasture, three homesteads, and a craggy sandstone ridge.

Native American tribal land surrounds the ranch. They say the ridge is in the path of the Skinwalker, a malevolent force that, for as long as humans have lived here, plays mind games and manipulates people, animals, and property.

  • Skinwalker Ranch Google maps

Skinwalker Ranch has been the site of bizarre animal mutilations, UFO and orb sightings, and what seems like poltergeist or trickster phenomena.

For twenty years, it was studied by a team of scientists working for Las Vegas aerospace tycoon Robert Bigelow and a U.S. intelligence agency.

Fugal bought the property five years ago this month. He then sent in his own team, and started documenting bizarre activity of unknown origin, including frequent inexplicable damage to electronic gear.

“It messes with electronics, I mean, until you experience that it’s very easy to laugh at off or to be skeptical,” Fugal told Mystery Wire in a recent interview. “But even the third party engineers, the experts that we brought on the property, most of which have been complete skeptics leave with a completely different perspective, and experience their equipment, not only malfunctioning, but in some cases being completely damaged. And for no reason that they can actually pinpoint that, that can be easily explained.”

Fugal’s team has documented unknown aerial objects, lights that emanate from the ground, and radiation that’s caused injuries to team members.

“It’s transient, it comes and goes, it’s not always in the same place it moves across the property affects people differently,” Fugal said about the radiation his team has found. “You know, one moment, the equipment, the sensors are going off like crazy. And you know, minutes later, it’s gone. And no matter what samples are taken, no matter how many experts we bring in to the property in order to test it, there’s no consistency relative to really understanding, at least up until now, we’ll see what the future holds as we tighten up some of our protocols, but we have yet to be able to really pin that down and it is definitely transient in nature.”

The story of their investigation is told in a television series, The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, on the History Channel. Season two of the show premieres next week, on Tuesday, May 4.

George Knapp  
Is it five years ago this month that you bought the property, the ranch?

Brandon Fugal
It is. In fact, it was five years ago last week, in fact that I took possession of the property. And we launched this, this new phase of the investigation that continues today, on a 24 hour basis, seven days per week.

George Knapp
In those five years. Have you ever had just a moment where you said, What did I do here? You sort of casually regretted jumping into this.

Brandon Fugal 
Maybe, maybe a few brief moments, but honestly, in general, I’ve found it quite inspiring to be honest. Even even though we’ve had some negative experiences and some challenges, I find the nature of the investigation, and frankly, a lot of what we’ve been able to document and discover to be quite inspiring. And so I really started off considering my ownership a stewardship. And taking, I think, a very serious tone as it relates to the investigation and really taking over from Mr. Bigelow, and taking it into a whole new era. And I found, there have been a lot of pleasant surprises along the way. As I have stated in previous interviews, I bought the property as a skeptic as someone who had never seen a UFO or a ghost or orb or anything of the sort. And I fully expected that there would be a, you know, a 95% chance of the natural prosaic explanation for what had been reported for decades. If not millennia out there. And I, I have been quite surprised at what we continue to experience and document.

  • Skinwalker Ranch trailer
  • Skinwalker Ranch trailer
  • Skinwalker Ranch trailer
  • Skinwalker Ranch trailer
  • Skinwalker Ranch trailer
  • Skinwalker Ranch trailer

George Knapp   
You no longer have the luxury of being a skeptic.

Brandon Fugal   
No, people ask me if I’m a believer, so are you now a believer? And I say no, I’m not a believer, I’m an experiencer. I don’t believe I know. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Now. Do I understand or know, the origin or the agenda of that which we are experiencing and observing? No. And I think those are the truly big questions that we’ll continue to ask, and that looms over this entire investigation.

George Knapp  
Looking back at season one of your TV series, The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch. Is there anything you can point to that you personally saw that was included in the series that you would say was instrumental in changing your opinion, changing from a skeptic to, if not a believer then at least a curious student of what’s going on out there?

Brandon Fugal 
Yeah, good question. Well, I shifted from being a skeptic to an experiencer long before there was any talk of a televised efforts or any sort of series, I mean, long, long, you know, in the rearview mirror, when I was still keeping my my identity confidential, and I had no intention of ever revealing that I was the owner of the ranch and we ended up having some very compelling experiences with with eyewitnesses, multiple witnesses, there by my side, that literally caused me to reevaluate all of my preconceived notions and what I had believed before acquiring the property and so, you know, as the series rolled and I entered into the agreement to allow the History Channel to come out and film my team and their efforts on a day to day basis. There were, of course, so many events that occurred, that only reinforced that which I had come to know is the reality of the phenomenon that Skinwalker Ranch.

George Knapp  
I’ve been around it a long time have written about it and I watched you on social media, how you engage with the public and I’m amazed at your calm demeanor and the patience that you have with people because as you know, as you have learned, once they see you on TV, they figure they can just tee off on you or your fellow cast members or the crew in the in the show they assume all kinds of motives, evil motives about what’s going on. You must be in this for all the big fat TV money that’s involved. I kind of chuckled and thinking, I can’t imagine that the TV production, if you make anything from it, would possibly cover the investment that you’ve made out there.

Brandon Fugal 
No, for one thing I have yet to take a penny personally from this effort at all, and even if I were to end up taking some reimbursement in the future, it would be a drop in the bucket as compared to the the expenses associated with the ongoing investigation and the maintenance of the property and really keeping a team fully engaged. I think a lot of people don’t realize that this effort involves around the clock coverage and engagement. I mean, we have two full time ranch caretakers we have our own Candace Lindy, who’s a published anthropologist who resides in homestead one or the ranch house and along with Tom Lewis, and then we have Eric Bard who is ever vigilant if he’s not out at the ranch physically living there in the command center he’s he’s monitoring it nearly round the clock. And then we have Thomas Winterton in the security detail that rotates on a constant basis through the property as well as our visiting professionals and consulting scientists, engineers and physicists. Even Travis Taylor lived out on the property for four months solid. We had a trailer for his own use out there during his part of the investigation this past year that was filmed for the series. And so we’ve had constant watch and experiments that go on both before the cameras ever appeared on the ranch and after the crew left. And it only gets more advanced by the month as we add additional components, instrumentation, and platforms to strengthen what we’re doing in order to better understand the phenomena at the ranch.

George Knapp   
As you know better than everyone. Brandon, everyone wants to go to the ranch. Everyone says they want to spend the night there, spend a weekend, spend some time. But bringing people onto that property, visitors, production crew, friends, cast. I mean, there are risks involved. I mean, do you agree that there is an interactive quality to whatever is going on there? Whatever the intelligence is?

Brandon Fugal   
Yeah, the ranch is a dangerous place. There’s a reason why we have everyone who enters the property sign liability waivers, it doesn’t matter whether they’re delivering the porta potties or bringing food service in or whatever everyone has to sign a liability waiver acknowledging the risks associated with entering the property. It’s a fact that bad things happen out there. And we have unfortunately had a number of people in the hospital with mysterious injuries that still defy any real conventional explanation this past year alone. And you know, that’s an addition to Thomas Winterton his injuries that are showcased quite a bit on the series, just because of his role, but it is a dangerous place. We’re dealing with, with forces that, frankly, we don’t understand, I believe there are both malevolent and benevolent forces as well as benign. And we have to, to be vigilant and I think enter the ranch with a degree of reverence and humility with that in mind. You know, we encourage everyone who enters to prepare themselves spiritually or to armor themselves spiritually or psychologically, I mean, we offer a prayer, before entering either the airspace or even on land, just in order to protect our team and to hopefully set the right tone.

George Knapp   
I remember that after the first four or five times I was there, I didn’t even want to admit it. But I started feeling good about the place. There was a kind of, a kind of, calmed me down, even though I knew there were a lot of things that had happened there that weren’t calming at all. Do you have the same feeling?

Brandon Fugal
Yeah, I mean, the first six months that I owned the property, I didn’t experience anything, anything unusual. I didn’t experience anything dark. I thought that it was just a strikingly beautiful backdrop. And setting and I was, again, still a skeptic. It wasn’t until after owning the property for six months that my experience changed quite a bit for better for worse and has led us to where we’re at today.

George Knapp 
Have you, your friends, family, crew, employees ever brought anything home? I’m talking about the so-called hitchhiker effect, which has been documented a number of times over the years.

Brandon Fugal
I haven’t personally. So I haven’t personally experienced the so-called hitchhiker effect, I guess I’ll count myself as lucky. Others on the team have not been so lucky. And I probably won’t speak for them. But I will tell you confidently several members of our team, in addition to past participants that you’re well acquainted with George have experienced phenomena that have seemingly followed them home and have in some cases terrorize their families. Again, interaction engagement with the ranch comes with risk.

George Knapp 

You mentioned about some of the other risks, the health risks. In season one, you had some encounters with radiation from an unknown source. Have you figured out what the source of that is? Is it always in the same place? And have you tried to mitigate the risks from that?

Brandon Fugal   
Good question. It’s transient, it comes and goes, it’s not always in the same place it moves across the property affects people differently. You know, one moment, the equipment, the sensors are going off like crazy. And minutes later, it’s gone. And no matter what samples are taken, no matter how many experts we bring in to the property in order to test it, there’s no consistency relative to really understanding, at least up until now, we’ll see what the future holds as we tighten up some of our protocols, but we have yet to be able to really pin that down and it is definitely transient in nature.

George Knapp 
People have a hard time getting their head around that they figure if it’s radioactive one day, it should be radioactive the next day and can’t quite understand the elusive nature of what you’re dealing with here. But tell me this, has anything ever happened in the same way in the same spot? Has it been repeatable? Or is it always different?

Brandon Fugal
Yes, we see repeated phenomenon at homestead two, for example, where we’ve seen the same effects, where we see people impacted, you know, the same types of acute medical episodes occur, the same type of, you know, electromagnetic anomalies, and also sightings, you know, visual sightings of strange phenomena that seemed to be focused in key areas of the property. But that being said, we continue to discover other regions of skinwalker Ranch that exhibit activity that really have not been reported previously.

George Knapp
You’ve got cameras all over the place, not only the TV crews, but surveillance equipment that covers the ranch. Is it true that you’ve had trouble capturing all the phenomena that are there. Again, this goes back to the idea that the phenomenon, the intelligence, whatever it is, is elusive on purpose that it messes with you at times?

Brandon Fugal
Yeah, well, it messes with electronics, I mean, until you experience that it’s very easy to laugh at off or to be skeptical. But even the third party engineers, the experts that we brought on the property, most of which have been complete skeptics leave with a completely different perspective, and experience their equipment, not only malfunctioning, but in some cases being completely damaged. And for no reason that they can actually pinpoint that, that can be easily explained. And so we’re dealing constantly with, you know, our electronics malfunctioning and with our cameras being manipulated to a degree, I think we’re definitely probably dealing with what has been referred to as a precognitive sentient intelligence that is aware of what we’re doing, that is, in some cases, one or two steps ahead of us. And it’s humbling when you take into account that you’re not in control that something more advanced is at play. It really, it’s terrifying, and it sets a different tone for the investigation.

George Knapp  
One of the allegations that you’ve heard, as I have is that none of this stuff happened. There were no weird activities or experiences or phenomena on the property until NIDS. Until Brandon Fugal and his team were there with TV cameras, it never happened before. The last time I saw you on the property you shared with me, and filled in some blanks about the previous history, the previous owners and things that go way back. Are you still heading down that road trying to document what’s happened in the past?

Brandon Fugal 
Absolutely. We have documented firsthand evidence and testimony going back nearly 100 years on the property and relative to this specific property as the center of gravity for a strange phenomenon. Everything from cattle mutilation phenomena, that was reported back as early as 1930. And witnessed by an entire family and documented at that time to others who actually encountered strange phenomena on the property, you know, even up into the 1980s, under the previous ownership, under the Myers. Well, before the Sherman family acquired the property from Kenneth and Edith Myers heirs, strange phenomena has been now documented, I think for the first time, relative to the property and we’ve had people come forward. I mean, we’re talking law enforcement professionals who were physically on the property responding to reports, responding to calls associated with the strange phenomenon. And a lot of this is going to come out in season two. So be prepared, we’re going to be bringing some unprecedented witness testimony and highly credible witness testimony to the table that will shed new light on the history associated with this property and the fact that this isn’t something that just showed up with the Sherman’s or, during the Bigelow investigation, this is something that goes back at least 100 years. And if you’re to believe the oral traditions and a lot of the Native American histories associated with the area it goes back much further.

George Knapp
One of the arguments has been used to try to debunk the ranch story is that this is all Some military intelligence operation, that secret government operatives, military, CIA, somebody is beaming weapons causing harm to people, playing mind games. Have you seen any evidence of that? Have you seen any evidence that there is some kind of surveillance program of you and your employees?

Brandon Fugal 
No. What we’re dealing with is far more strange. In some ways, it would be a lot easier. And frankly, believe it or not comforting, if we were to discover that this was part of some covert, government program or you know, some advanced skunkworks or aerospace program, but what we’re witnessing and documenting, it just doesn’t match up with that. I mean, we have dozens of cameras, recording, 24/7, we have thermographic imaging, night vision, we have our own weather station on site, seismic sensors, infrasonic, sensor devices. And what we’re recording and documenting speaks to something that goes far beyond, I think the capabilities of at least what we’re aware of within our most advanced aerospace and intelligence programs.

George Knapp 
So that leads us to season two, I know you can’t be a spoiler, but how much can you tell us about what we’re going to see, the kinds of things we’ll see in season two that we didn’t see in season one?

Brandon Fugal 
Well, you’re definitely going to see further confirmation, which is, which to a degree is a surprise. I think it’s important for everyone to know that when I agreed to this investigative series and allowing access to the crews to come on site for this History Channel. Series. I told everyone upfront, hey, my own experience was that I went six months as the owner visiting every month without experiencing anything myself. And if they were expecting to come out, and over a three to four month period, just be able to conjure up the paranormal, that they may have another thing coming. Because there’s a high likelihood that they may see nothing during filming. And that may indeed be the story that they’re left with is the lack of evidence or experiences in the wake of so much history and whatnot. But, you know, what we’ve seen, surprisingly, is a continuation. And even, I think, some heightened activity. Probably brought as a result of the, I think the elevated nature of our investigation, when we introduce new people to the property with a diversity of expertise in different backgrounds, it seems to trigger events on the property, it seems to trigger interactions, most often when you’re least expecting it.

George Knapp 
Well, it’s for sure that seems like the phenomenon calls the shots on what you’re allowed to see who gets to see it and when, and you know, there have been extended periods of time when people are out there hoping to see something, previous owners, and it was nothing, it went underground. So it’s encouraging that whatever is there is allowing you to get glimpses, more than glimpses. The debate is over evidence as always Brandon, you saw that the interviewer heard some of it with Joe Rogan, where he’s asking me to list the types of evidence that have been experienced and documented on property. But it still is not evidence of what the cause is, and people will always demand that, is it aliens, is it demons, is it something else, some secret government program? And really, as hard as it is to gather evidence of the phenomena itself, it’s really hard to make that leap to figure out what it is that’s causing it.

Brandon Fugal 
Yeah, I mean, people ask me all the time, on a daily basis, do you believe that it’s visitors from other worlds, other dimensions of reality, or spiritual phenomena? My, my honest answer is yes, I believe that what we’re seeing is really evidence of all the above, and there may be a chance that it’s all interconnected in some way that we have yet to really understand it. I mean, right now, I think for the first time ever, we’re documenting the phenomena in a really powerful, compelling way. You know, the evidence that we’ve been gathering everything from video graphics to photographic correlated with electromagnetic anomalies, acute medical episodes. I mean, when you add up all the correlating evidence, and data that we have been gathering, and carefully cataloging service to this effort, I challenge anyone to come up with a comparable effort or anything that even comes close to what we’ve been accomplishing out at Skinwalker Ranch. And I don’t say that arrogantly, I say that as a proud father, to a degree, because I’m really proud of my team. The team of multidisciplinary experts and participants who’ve really, really taken risk, and devoted so much of their time and attention and talent, to helping us document what is really happening out there.

George Knapp 
Have you asked yourself maybe late at night when you’re alone, is this a solvable mystery? I mean, you’re documenting phenomena, you might go 10 years documenting more. Ultimately, we might not know what the answer is.

Brandon Fugal 
Sure, but I’m convinced that this is truly the greatest science project of our time. The opportunity to prove that we’re not alone in the universe, whether that be that we’re part of a multi dimensional reality, we’re dealing with interdimensional phenomena or you know, that the veil is thin to other dimensions or worlds, whether that be a portal or a wormhole that may exist on the property. I think we’re documenting hard evidence that may truly be at work here. I find that all very inspiring, and it continues to drive the investigation.

George Knapp  
One other question, so at some point, while you were the owner, but were not identified as the owner, did you worry about what the effect would be when your name got out? I mean, I follow your career in business, you travel in some pretty upper echelon circles, the elite of your state, big businesses, national firms. Has there been any downside to that? Do your business colleagues ask you about it? Or do they snicker?

Brandon Fugal 
Wow, good question. And that is something that kept me up at night going into this, I mean, over 95% of my time, and attention and focus is on conventional business. It’s on my commercial real estate practice and other ventures. And we have the privilege of representing some very important institutions as well as Fortune 500 companies, with respect to their facilities planning and their commercial real estate obligations. And, you know, I never wanted some of this activity or research to compromise the work of my firm and my professional endeavors. But I found that so far people are intrigued and pretty understanding, I think, the questions that we are asking and seeking answers to whether people admitted or not have been plaguing mankind since the very beginning. You know, are we alone in the universe? What is the nature of our reality? Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? And the prospect of our research at Skinwalker Ranch potentially bringing a new level of understanding or insight, and even answers to some of those questions, wow. I think most people respect the gravity of what we are really involved with, and frankly, the fact that we’re using scientific rigor and discipline associated with this investigation, I think brings a whole new level of respect.

George Knapp
Brandon, season two, The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, May 4th, you must be chomping at the bit to see this thing on the air. Right?

Brandon Fugal 
Yeah! We’re really excited, I’ve been anxious, there’s so much to be revealed. There are so many experiences that the team had this past year, and we’re anxious to reveal that to the public. I’ve always felt like, you know, not only is this a stewardship, but this is something that should be shared with the public. This is collaborative in nature. I think the only way to get to the bottom of what we’re experiencing and really these big questions that we’re asking is by collaborating and bringing in people from all walks of life and disciplines in order to to help us better understand what is at work.

George Knapp  
Brandon Fugal, my friend, colleague, always great to talk to you best of luck with season two, and I can’t wait to see in person.

Brandon Fugal  
Well, hey, we look forward to welcoming you back out to the ranch. George. You are a key part of the legacy and frankly an extended member of our team. So we consider our relationship to be very sacred and consider your friend. Look forward to further engagement.

George Knapp  
Talk to you soon. Thank you.

Brandon Fugal   
Thank you so much.

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