The recent documentary Hunt for the Skinwalker chronicles disturbing paranormal occurrences that allegedly took place on a remote ranch in the Uintah Valley of Utah. A book of the same name, which covered the results of an extensive scientific investigation of the ranch, inspired the movie. However, the documentary further reveals that the Department of Defense primarily funded the study. In essence, this was the real X-Files.
The 2005 book Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah was co-authored by Las Vegas-based investigative reporter George Knapp and biochemist Colm Kelleher. Kelleher works for Robert Bigelow, the owner of Budget Suites of America and Bigelow Aerospace.
Bigelow has had a lifelong interest in the paranormal, and Kelleher has led several Bigelow-funded paranormal investigations, including the study of the ranch in Utah, which has been named by locals the Skinwalker Ranch. The term Skinwalker originates from a Native-American legend of a malevolent shape-changing witch some believe wanders the vicinity of the ranch.
According to Kelleher, during their multi-year study, the scientists did experience strange and often terrifying paranormal activity. However, it alluded their cameras and recording devices and always seemed to be one step ahead of the researchers. The phenomenon outsmarted them claims Kelleher.
At a recent showing of his soon-to-be-released documentary, filmmaker Jeremy Corbell told Den of Geek the phenomena reported at the ranch “range from UFOs to creatures to poltergeist-like activity, to cattle mutilations to all sorts of just bizarre phenomena that seem to be outside of what we call consensus reality.”
“It really, truly is like a paranormal Disneyland,” says Corbell.
Knapp also attended the film screening and told Den of Geek he is happy they can finally share the story in a documentary format.
“It’s very satisfying, because I started working on the Skinwalker Ranch as a documentary product long before there was a book project in mind, and we had to stop it,” says Knapp. “And then, along the way, we continued to collect footage and didn’t really know if it would ever see the light of day. And finally, 18 years later, it did.”
Knapp is no stranger to breaking big paranormal related news stories. He is responsible for putting Area 51 on the map.
In the late 1980s, Knapp broke the story of a man named Bob Lazar who claimed to work at a secret base in the desert outside of Las Vegas back-engineering alien spacecraft. Knapp’s interviews with Lazar lead to the United State’s most secret base to also become one of the most famous. Even after Knapp’s reporting made Area 51 a household name, the US government did not officially acknowledge its existence until 2013.
Now Knapp’s reporting has revealed that the Pentagon’s secret UFO program the New York Times exposed in an article in December 2017 has its roots at Skinwalker Ranch.
“The New York Times put out the story in December of last year, about AATIP [the Pentagon UFO study],” Knapp explained. “And they sort of conflated some of the facts. The 22 million dollars that they allege funded AATIP, actually went to AAWSAP, the program that basically funded [Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies], that funded the study of Skinwalker Ranch and funded a much broader discussion, much broader than just UFOs. What we’d call paranormal activity.”
“I hope to clarify that there wasn’t just one Pentagon program, there were two,” says Knapp.
“People have not understood that connection,” adds Corbell. “This is the most studied paranormal hotspot in history, not only by private industry but also by the United States Government, by the Defense Intelligence Agency.”
“That connection and the ranch being the hub, the center, the beginning and the reason for that 22 million dollars has not been expressed to the public,” Corbell continued. “Our film expresses that, and it also shows in the bonus features, very much in-depth, those connections and how that occurred. So this is a movie, but it’s also a historic moment where we get to break the news.”
Knapp says he hopes the documentary achieves what they set out to accomplish with the book.
“We hoped that we’d sort of change the paradigm,” Knapp explains. “It’s that the UFO mystery is not just about flying saucers and things in the sky, it’s about a lot more different kinds of phenomena that happen in association with it. That there is some kind of a connection between these different stovepipes of paranormal activity, and I hope that people start thinking of it in that way.”
Corbell adds that he feels it is time society faces what he says is real paranormal activity.
“These events and the history of what happened at this ranch, it really bends the imagination, but it’s real. It’s true,” Corbell stresses. “It happened. And that’s something that you and I gotta deal with. And we should explore it because it’s fascinating.”
The Hunt for the Skinwalker documentary is now available on iTunes.