The eyes blinked out. Tom raced to the spot beneath the tree, only to discover the area abandoned. The rancher would once again catch sight of the creature, and fire two more rounds into it. Again, the anomaly would vanish, leaving the four men cautiously searching for what Gorman described as a 400-pound beast. Although there were no traces of blood, a pair of huge tracks, with apparent talons, were discovered in the snow.
Tom informed NIDS he had seen a pair of creatures, one in the tree, the other on the ground. Able to fell a predator from 500 yards, he claimed to have hit both beasts, the first with the initial round, the second with the last two.
NIDS was left with almost no physical evidence to substantiate their encounter. This trend would prove indicative of the group's overall experiences at the Skinwalker. Anomalous events never followed any pattern. Thereby, scientists were unsure where to focus their data collecting equipment. Still, investigative teams were able to corroborate one another's reports, ensuring researchers something beyond their comprehension was occurring.
Overwhelming neighbor testimony also lent credence to the supernatural origin of what appeared to be happening. If the Gormans were fabricating a yarn, their efforts were thorough. To achieve such a monumental accomplishment, collusion with countless acquaintances would have been necessary.
The scientists began to feel as if some type of force was toying with them. During one particular instance, an NIDS researcher spotted a massive, black entity moving through a copse of trees in front of him. Whatever he gazed upon was large enough to block out the stars. Abruptly, the man began screaming. Racing to their colleague's side, the group discovered their associate bewildered and horrified. The frazzled scientist claimed whatever he encountered had somehow penetrated his thought processes, informing him it was watching the team. The individual, an esteemed academic, appeared to have his entire belief system shaken.
Among the more prevalent enigmas witnessed by NIDS were inexplicable lights displaying malicious intent. Such was the case when a pair of mysterious, blood-red spook lights attacked Tom's herd, causing the animals to race headlong over a 15-foot cliff. When all was said and done, two more cows would be injured, one would die, and a fourth would be aborted.
It should be noted the most common UFO purportedly witnessed throughout history is the mysterious light. Lest one forget the unexplained "foo fighters" observed by Allied and Axis pilots, or the strange spheres ineffectually tracked by radar and fighter jets over the White House in 1952.
On the evening of August 25, 1997, whilst surveying the ranch, two scientists witnessed a glowing opening in the distance. This egress grew in the lenses of their night vision binoculars. From within the portal, a black, faceless, 400-pound humanoid emerged, stepping onto the ground and walking into our current dimension. Moments later, the opening vanished. Following suit, the entity disappeared, as well, but only from view, as the men realized they were now alone, in the dark, with a being from another reality.
Cautiously, the scientists set out to acquire evidence from their sighting. Although the creature never manifested again, the pair of researchers did detect a distinct odor in the vicinity where the beast had crawled on its stomach and elbows. A thorough search for footprints revealed nothing, as the ground in the region was too hard to absorb impressions.
In time, NIDS scientists mounted six CCTV cameras at one of the more active regions on the property. One evening, Tom noticed three of the devices were no longer working, their electronics violently gutted. Fortunately, an undamaged camcorder had been pointing toward the vandalized cameras. As a result, whomever, or whatever, eviscerated the equipment should have been caught on video. Upon examining the footage from the operating camcorder, NIDS was astonished to find no unusual activity on the tape, even during the time stamp displayed at the moment the three other devices were destroyed.
Eventually, activity on the ranch dissipated, although anomalous encounters continued throughout the Uinta Valley. Despite the fact the individual members of NIDS witnessed the enigmatic whilst at the Skinwalker, they felt they had missed their opportunity to capture evidence validating these experiences.
The fear emitting from the Gormans was almost tangible, whereas NIDS displayed a more intrepid demeanor. The assemblage of scientists hunted anomalies, whilst the Gormans were the hunted. Tom and his family had minimal technology at their disposal, as opposed to the barrage of electronics employed by the researchers. Had these variances in approach produced the disparity in results?
In the words of one NIDS delegate, "We know so little in terms of what the overall scope of these phenomena are that it's just embarrassing to try and make some conclusions at this point. Imagine that you have a phenomena that is very selective as to how it exposes itself and to whom. So if you have a tailgate, football stadium-type of atmosphere and everybody's got hotdogs and hamburgers and they're barbecuing and waiting for the UFOs to come down, I don't picture a continuation of the activity."
In conclusion, the National Institute for Discovery Science spent eight years on the Skinwalker Ranch. Such exhaustive field research is unparalleled in the realm of the paranormal. NIDS is certain the enigmatic disturbances on the farmstead were not the result of an elaborate fabrication by the Gorman family, themselves.
Tom and his clan are "rock-solid, firmly grounded, honest people." The Gormans never made a dime from their story. Neither did their neighbors. In fact, numerous ranchers in the region lost considerable capital due to cattle losses. In addition, "dozens of the most disturbing incidents were personally witnessed and documented by NIDS scientists and researchers. The Gormans did not -- and could not -- manufacture them."
Tom and his family have subsequently moved out of state. To this day, they refuse to grant interviews.
Could whatever enigmas once present on the Skinwalker Ranch have been so collectively intelligent, they orchestrated who would experience their presence, as well as when and where these encounters would occur? Answers to such questions currently elude us, which may forever be the case.
© 2011. Hugh Mungus
Kelleher, Colm, Ph.D.; Knapp, George. (2005). Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah. Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. ISBN: 1416505210