Season 1: Episode 7

Skinwalker Ranch

Hosts:

Zoe

Mike

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Episode Transcript

Zoe: 00:00:29 Hello and welcome to episode seven of Stories of Strangeness. We are your hosts: Zoe, that’s me and Mike. (Mike: Hello) And today is a Mike episode.

Mike: 00:00:42 Yeah, it is.

Zoe: 00:00:43 So what are you going to us about Mike?

Mike: 00:00:45 I’m going to tell us about Skinwalker Ranch, as much as I possibly can in a short episode, this is not a topic that lends itself to short form podcasting, unfortunately.

Zoe: 00:00:57 Indeed. So before we get down to the Skinwalker Ranch matter that is something that we do have to say and that is are you all tucked in Sam? Are you ready to go to sleep? Okay, so night night and sweet dreams, (Mike: Night night) I hope this doesn’t give you nightmares. So that was for our friend Sam who likes to listen to this podcast as she goes to sleep.

Mike: 00:01:22 I’d also like to get a little quick shout out, we do seem to be getting listeners from all over the place now because I check analytics through our hosts, through Spotify, through all sorts of different channels that I can. We have at least one listener in Columbia, we have listeners in Australia, which we think we might know who that is but,

Zoe: 00:01:42 Yeah Hi

Mike: 00:01:44 But we have listeners in the Faroe islands and I mentioned on social media a while back that I’d kind of seen that and looked into some of the interesting things about Kelpies, legends on the Faroe islands but I just wanted to say hello to the people in Tórshavn and Hoyvik in the Faroe islands. So, Hello! If you’re listening, we love that you’re listening.

Zoe: 00:02:07 Yeah, we really love that we’ve got people, like, all over the planet listening at all different times. I find it incredibly strange but also quite special.

Mike: 00:02:18 Okay So let’s answer the obvious question, what is a skinwalker? According to the law of the Southwestern tribes, a skinwalker is a witch that can alter their shape at will and take on the form and characteristics of animals. Think werewolf, only the human part is in control at all times and that human part is pure evil, possessing far greater ferocity and bloodlust than any of the forms that assumes. Skinwalkers are always seen as purely evil with malicious intent and can cause any number of maladies, murders and mayhem. They are selfish, evil people who study black magic and may even be involved in grave robbing and necrophilia. They have to kill a relative or sibling in order to become a skinwalker and gain its fearsome power. The Navajo, Hopi, Ute’s and other tribes of the area all have similar stories about the skinwalker, with common elements being that it is a malevolent shape-shifting witch, who can assume the form of a wolf, coyote, bear, bird or other animal at will. Often the witches are depicted as wearing the hide of the animal they wish to become, inheriting the creatures strength, speed, cunning and other attributes. Witches were also generally blamed for unexpected illnesses or deaths within the tribe or their livestock, resulting from the curses. And even sudden reversals of fortune even from bad to good could seem like something of witch may have influenced away from the natural balance and order of things. Navajo law even States that witches have forfeited their status as a human being and can therefore be killed on site, without recourse. In 1848, the Navajo nation purged itself of more than 40 witches as a reaction to a horrific forced march they had to go on, led by the U S army. During the march, hundreds of Navajo people were murdered, left to die or starved. The Tribe was then put into oblique reservation which left them starving and destitute.

The scale of the injustice against them was so great they assumed that witches where to blame and murdered them in droves in an attempt to redress the disharmony after finding a collection of witches artifacts which were wrapped in a copy of the treaty of 1868 and buried in the belly of a dead person. Navajo legends tell of skinwalkers using mind control to make victims hurt themselves or even end their own lives. Skinwalkers can run faster than a car and can jump great distances, seemingly effortlessly, as well as being able to travel in other supernatural ways. If you see a skinwalkers face they have to kill you to prevent you from discovering who they are, but if you already know who it is, they will die. The Navajo culture regards witches and witchcraft as an important part of life: very real and not something to be taken lightly. Daily behaviors may be used to avoid, prevent or cure the effects of witchcraft and the Navajo language incorporates many words for the various forms Witchcraft takes. Navajo do not generally talk about skinwalkers, even among their own, as naming it gains the attention of any in the area and marks you as a target for their misdeeds. The Utes feel similarly, with stories about the land the ranch is on having had an unexplained phenomena happened on it which stretched back over 15 generations. A local amateur UFO historian, Junior Hicks, who used to work as a science teacher before retiring, says that the Utes told him that the skinwalker lives in a place called Dark Canyon, which is not far from the Gorman Ranch. In the 1980s, Hicks sought to gain permission from the tribal council to explore the Canyon as he’d been told that the Canyon contained centuries old petroglyphs, some which depicted skinwalkers. The council denied his request, and one of the members confided in Hicks that it was because they did not want to risk disturbing the skinwalker and in doing so attract its ire, their final advice to Hicks on the matter was to leave it alone.

The Ranch.

Nestled into the Uinta Basin, in the Badlands of Northeast Utah, somewhere between the towns of Vernal and Roosevelt, sits a lonely 480 acre Ranch. Previously owned by a prosperous family who moved to salt Lake city, the Ranch was bought in the autumn of 1994 by a rancher and his family who wanted to move somewhere to raise cattle and have some privacy, which had been in short supply at their previous home in a small town in New Mexico. It seemed perfect. It was out of the way, about a half mile from the nearest road, down a dirt track that was almost concealed from view. The previous owners were elderly and having moved away, they only came back occasionally to check the fence lines were still intact: the ranch and the buildings themselves had been virtually abandoned for the last seven years, and as such needed about a year’s worth of work to fix it up. Due to this fact, the Ranch had been bought for a very reasonable price. The contract of sale included some unusual elements. One stipulation was that the Gormans were not allowed to dig on the land without prior warning to the previous owners,The Gormans shrugged that off as a meaningless clause by elderly eccentrics and signed the paperwork. The 480 acres includes some beautiful scenery, as well as Cottonwood trees, Russian olives, lush pasture with a Creek running through it and an irrigation canal to the North, where the property is bordered by a 200 foot red rock ridge. Around this area it gets very muddy at the slightest rain and the family learned quickly not to drive along the track that ran the East to West across the property near to the canal: after having to pull their vehicles out of the canal on several occasions

One unusual feature that The Gormans noticed when they first visited the ranch house, was that every door had multiple heavy duty deadbolts, both on the inside and outside of the doors. The windows were all bolted too and at each end of the farmhouse, large metal chains were embedded into the wall, ending in metal rings, suggesting that the previous owners had kept large dogs. Dogs on a ranch were commonplace enough but bolts on both sides of the doors?

The Gormans.

The Father of the new family, called Tom Gorman in the book “Hunt for the Skinwalker’ by George Knapp and Colm Kelleher, was a pragmatic man blessed with exceptional hearing and vision and who is also a seasoned and accomplished rancher, raising Black Angus and Simmental show cattle that fetched high prices at auction. Tom ran a tight ship, considering losing more than 1% of his livestock in a year as an affront, where other ranchers would be happy if they only lost 5% to predators or issues with husbandry. His wife Ellen was also a practical woman and their children, Tad and Kate, had been straight ‘A’ students back in New Mexico. Unbeknown to the family, the whole of the Uinta Basin is a hotspot for paranormal activity including UAPs or UFOs and other darker phenomena. According to the local First Nation Tribes, particularly the Utes, The Ranch is ‘in the path of the skinwalker’ and they will not venture onto the land. Of course, The Gormans were unaware of the law and eye witness accounts of phenomena in and around the area when they bought the ranch, but that would soon change

The first encounter happened when Tom spotted an animal loping across his field. It was much too large to be a coyote, Ellen saw it too and it was headed in their direction. “Wolf?”, She asked.

The creature was gray and they watched it as it meandered towards them, finally stopping about 50 feet from the family. At this distance it looked to be the largest Wolf that Tom or any of them had ever seen; coming up to Tom’s chest, who stood over six feet tall. Ed, Tom’s father who was helping out, ventured that it might be someone’s pet as it seemed tame and unafraid of the family and Ed even petted it after it trotted up to him. Suddenly, the beast bounded over to the nearby corral and grabbed the calf’s head in its jaws, quicker than any of them could react to. It tried to drag the calf through the bars of the corral and Tom ran up and kick the Wolf hard in the ribs. Ed joined in hitting the creature with a baseball bat across its back. The Wolf did not release the calf’s head or try to retaliate in any way. In fact, it seemed nonplussed and even unconcerned by the heavy blows. Tom told Tad to get his Magnum and proceeded to fire into the beasts ribs, the crack from the shot resounding across the fields, but it seemed to have no effect whatsoever on the Wolf. It didn’t flinch. It didn’t let go of the calf’s head. Nothing. It didn’t even seem to bleed from the wound. Tom fired two more shots into the Wolf’s abdomen. Still nothing. As the third shot rung out, finally the Wolf slowly and reluctantly released the calf’s head from its powerful jaws. At this point, the creature was about 10 feet from Tom and it displayed no sign of having been shot. It showed no discomfort or fear and Tom aimed and fired again and the animal backed off 30 feet. Four shots from a 357 Magnum had not killed it. In fact, it had had very little effect at all. The beast still hadn’t bled from the wounds.

Tom asked Tad to get his Rifle, known as a 30 ought six, which Tom had previously taken down elk with. The shot roared and the sound of the bullet hitting flesh and bone could be heard straight after. The Wolf recoiled but still calmly stood observing Tom with its glacier blue eyes. At this point the creatures should have been dead. Ellen began to cry softly as Tom raised the rifle once more and using his marksmanship skills aimed for the chest cavity. The bullet tore through the animal, leaving a chunk of flesh on the ground. Still the Wolf made no sound. It looked at the family, seemingly unconcerned and trotted off across the grass. Tom, with the Rifle, and Tad, with the Magnum, followed after it. It had about a hundred yard lead on them. They slowly gained on the beast near some cottonwoods. Tom and tad sprinting to keep up with the Wolf that, despite only trotting, seemed to cover ground quickly. The animals tracks were visible in the wet ground as it darted into the treeline of thick Russian olives. They followed the tracks, which still showed no sign of blood amongst them, through thick undergrowth, to the banks of the Creek, back out into the open. Near the river, the prints showed deep depressions as the 200 pound animal had sunk into the soft mud. They followed the tracks for another five yards before they suddenly stopped. It was at least 60 feet to the river, which should have been an impossible leap, from almost still, in thick mud. Dumbfounded and with no sign of the Wolf, Tom and Tad turned back and walk the mile back to the Ranch.

Ellen had another encounter with a large wolf a few weeks later, as she drove back to the homestead. She had stopped to open the gate and had got back into her car, at some point during that time a huge wolf had silently approached and stood next to her window. The animal’s head was higher than the roof of the car and it had to bend down to breathe on her window. It too, seem tame. In her mirror, she also saw another, slightly smaller, animal; all black that looked like an odd breed of dog that Ellen was unfamiliar with, with a head that was too large for its body. Ellen hit the gas and drove the last half mile to the ranch house vowing to inform the local tribal office about the animals trying to get onto her property, thinking perhaps they were pets of the local tribesmen. She drove to Fort Duchesne to file her complaint and was met with blank stares from the tribal office employees. They told her that, not only did no one own wolves around there, but wolves had not been seen in that part of Utah since the last Wolf in the area had been shot in 1929. In fact, local Ute legends from the area, that the Gormans would learn about in bits and pieces from various sources sometime later, spoke of the Gorman’s property being off limits to tribe members due to it being cursed and “In the path of the skinwalker”. Even today, Ute Tribe members will not set foot on the land. There are reports of many other encounters in the area, including some made by Police Officers, one of whom had two encounters with Wolf-like beings on the highway.

Missing Items.

So many items seem to move or disappear inexplicably in the Ranch House that Ellen started to question her own memory. She would leave a kitchen utensil on the countertop, go outside for a moment and return to find it gone – normally turning up sometime later in a completely unexpected place. This would happen a couple of times per week. One particular incident had Tom raging, demanding to know who’d hidden his post digger. Ellen told him that she and the kids had been inside the house for the last couple of hours: with the kids doing their homework. Tom had left the 70 pound piece of machinery to get a wrench and returned a couple of minutes later to find it gone. The family looked with Tom for half an hour without success. Two evenings later, Tom’s pliers disappeared from the top of a fence post, literally while he turned around. It was at this point that Ellen finally told the family about her spate of similar issues. Tom’s post digger eventually did turn up, perched 20 feet up a tree, which would have required quite a massive effort.

Orbs.

Tom and Ellen both saw a blue orb flying in the tree line next to their horses one evening after noting that both their cattle and horses seemed restless. It emerged from the tree line and flew around one of the horses heads, which noticed it and reacted shaking its head as if to dislodge a buzzing fly. The animal was bathed in an eerie blue glow emitted from the orb. Suddenly, it darted off with incredible speed and moved towards the Gormans. It stopped and hovered about 20 feet from them, 15 feet up in the air. It’s exterior seem to be a clear shell like glass or perspex, inside which swirled a blue substance, like a liquid beginning to boil. The object emitted a static electricity noise and sped away into the nearby trees when Ellen trained her flashlight on it. There were also numerous accounts of strange lights in the sky from the area, including some that have been seen entering and leaving a local reservoir called Bottle Hollow. In 1998, a local Police Officer observed a large light plunge into the middle of the reservoir before quickly exiting again and flying off into the night sky. In 2002, four young men had taken their dates to the beach there and watched as a ball of bluish-white colour flew over from the direction of The Ranch and entered the water a few feet from the shore. It then changed shape, into a shimmering belt shaped shaft of light and then emerged, taking off at high speed, low to the ground, before disappearing near the Ridge.

Tom caught sight of a trespassing RV one evening, about half mile to the West. He’d seen it before and ignored it, but this time had had enough. He was with Tad and Dave, his nephew. They increased pace and walked over to it. As they got within a hundred yards it began to move away from them, they would have been difficult to spot without night vision equipment but it appeared to have seen them. Tom didn’t want the idiot driver to break fence lines and broke into a jog to catch up to it. Oddly, the lights from the front of the vehicle and the red lights on the rear were moving very smoothly across the rough terrain. Suddenly, the lights rose up a few feet. The three men started to run, with the vehicle keeping the same distance from them. It rose again and Tom realized it was somehow lifting itself up, over the fences. As they continue to chase, the vehicle came close to the last pasture on the property which was bounded by a line of Russian Olive trees and a five foot high barbed wire fence, which should have trapped the vehicle in the pasture. Amazed, the three watched, out of breath from running, as the thing rose up over the 50 foot high trees and silently flew away. They’d seen it silhouetted against the sky, oblong, shaped like a large fridge with a headlight in front and a red light behind.

A few weeks later Tom and Ellen heard a clanging sound while out on a walk just after sunset, it was like something metal being banged against metal but seemed to come from about a hundred feet above them in the dark night air. Then they saw a bright light about a hundred yards away and walk toward it. As they approached, it lifted off, moved another 50 yards away and settled down again. It was the same vehicle as before, whenever they would approach, it would lift off and glide further away in complete silence. It seemed to be aware of them and trying to keep a certain distance from them. The metallic clanging sound came again from behind them and they turned to look but saw nothing. When they turned back the vehicle had either turned its lights off or somehow vanished. They walked to the spot where they had seen it but saw tracks.

In fact, the Uinta Basin area has been studied as a UAP hotspot, with sightings recorded by over half of the local residents, dating back as far as the 1950s. In 1974, Frank Salisbury, at the time a plant physiologist and professor of plant science at the university of Utah, wrote a book on the history of UFO phenomena in The Basin called “The Utah UFO Display”. Frank does not speculate about aliens in the book, however, which is more of a fact based catalog of sightings.

So, the Gorman Ranch seems to be a hotspot for all kinds of paranormal activity, many of which we haven’t managed to get round to discuss in this evening. There have been cattle mutilations, where cattle have been found out in the middle of fields or in places that seemed inaccessible – like under barbed wire fences which no natural form of death would make a cow slide under a barbed wire fence, generally.

There was the incident when, I think, it was four or five of Tom Gorman’s prized bulls disappeared from their pen and turned up in a small temporary building nearby, which they could only just about fit in, and when they were noticed in there, they were kind of dozy or in a daze, then as they open the door they obviously went crazy and tried to stampede out of the trailer, wrecking it.

There have been people who’ve seen giant snakes in the nearby Bottle Hollow reservoir, writhing around in the water. There have been multiple UFO and orb sightings of varying colours and types. Tom has had dogs go missing after they’ve chased after orbs, only to turn up later completely incinerated.

There has been Poltergeist type activity inside the Ranch House itself. There are sightings of a Bigfoot type creature or a Sasquatch. The Ute Indians actually used the term Sasquatch and skinwalker interchangeably, and Junior Hicks claims not only to have collected the testimony of local residents who have sighted Bigfoot but also says he’s seen photos of large footprints taken in the area around the Ranch.

Another weird phenomena, that Tom has observed himself, was a strange kind of gap in the air which he could see a different sky through. So, it was quite late in the evening and when he looked through this, this shimmering piece of air, he could see a blue sky on the other side. Various encounters with various Cryptids, which usually lead to them disappearing in midair or reapperaing far further away than should be possible.

When the Gormans sold The Ranch, they sold it to the National Institute for Discovery Science, known as NIDS, which is a team specifically set up to investigate Fringe Science or paranormal phenomena. It’s actually the longest running study of paranormal phenomena anywhere on the planet, and it’s all centered around the Skinwalker Ranch and some of the participant scientists have said that they felt that whatever they were dealing with, it felt like some kind of intelligence, because it would react to things they did: like they shone torches at UFO and orbs, which then reacted and moved out of the way of the path of the beam and things like that. There was another time, where they set up a circle of cameras which, so that they were looking in every direction. And when they came back in the morning, they’d all been unplugged but on the footage there was nothing that had gone up to them and remove the plugs or anything like that, wires that were taped in, with gaffer tape, had been removed. All kinds of weird and wonderful things. It is quite possibly the most paranormal place on earth and there’s not an awful lot of paranormal phenomena that hasn’t happened there.

So what do you think?

Zoe: 00:24:17 So, almost stunned into silence. The notes I have been writing for this episode, there are just a lot of question marks and exclamation marks and underlining and just random scribbles. It’s a biggie, Isn’t it!

Mike: 00:24:33 It’s, it’s huge, Yeah. I mean, I’ve only got about halfway through the book, I have watched the documentary previously and I have, I’ve listened to other podcasts covering Skinwalker Ranch and things like that, so I have a little more around knowledge but I literally didn’t have time to get through the whole book but there’s All sorts in there

Zoe: 00:24:56It’s such a big topic though, to thoroughly investigate each individual thing and give a backstory of it, that’s like, way too much.

Mike: 00:25:06 I know, I’ve tried to kind of just narrow it down to stuff that happened directly on The Ranch and I’ve, I’ve barely scratched the surface, ‘cause like I said, I didn’t even get to talk about cattle mutilations and all the other kind of weird and wonderful things.

Zoe: 00:25:17 ..and I know how much you love that

Mike: 00:25:19 not as such, no. But yeah it’s, it’s fascinating but yeah, I don’t love it.

Zoe: 00:25:23 Okay, well, one little, little snippet that I’ve heard, and I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this on a previous episode when we mentioned Skinwalker Ranch, apparently, like you say, if you know who this skinwalker is that’s not good for them,

Mike: 00:25:39 No, they die.

Zoe: 00:25:40 If you call them by their name, or the name of the person that they are, that apparent can kill them. I listened to an interview of someone who had an experience with a skinwalker that was coming onto their property and the grandfather said, “Oh, I think I know who it is” and he shouted the name of this woman out of the door and two days later, apparently, she was dead. So, it could have been like, a really weird coincidence

Mike: 00:26:04 Could have been. Yeah, I was going to say actually. I’ve just remembered theres lots of other cases from around the area, like I said, there was one about a Policeman that had two encounters with wolves

Zoe: 00:26:14 You did say a couple of police witnesses.

Mike: 00:26:17 Ran alongside his car as he was driving along the highway, there was another report from a woman who; she was driving along and a skinwalker ran alongside the car, opened the door and try to snatch her baby from the car, and she managed to get away. There was another family that were in a truck, and now, I don’t know if that means, kind of like a flatbed truck or like a big 14 Wheeler or whatever, it wasn’t specific. But. Basically, there was a family in the truck and the dad was driving and it mentioned that he was a Vietnam veteran. So, generally not that easy to scare and that kind of thing and apparently they saw something that looked like half man, half animal, running along the side, holding its arms up in the air as if it was trying to grab the door of the truck. And this thing had clothes on. It had a shirt on and apparently, like, it just had long pants and they managed to get away from it, and apparently the dad’s face, who was driving, was completely drained of blood. He was just completely white as a sheet from whatever he’d seen.

Zoe: 00:27:27 It just gives me the

Mike: 00:27:28 It gives you the willies doesn’t it

Zoe: 00:27:30 do you know what, that’s what, exactly what, I was going to say. I’ve got like, little little shivers and little like goosebumps and stuff and kind of keep going Blerrrrrghhhhh.

Mike: 00:27:36 Well, this is the thing, as well. Because the Navajo particularly don’t talk about skinwalkers, even amongst their own kind, because they feel that even saying the Navajo word for skinwalker, which I think I’ve read but I’m not going to repeat, just on the off. But the idea is, if you say the Navajo word for skinwalker, that attracts it to you.

Zoe: 00:27:57 It’s kind of like beetle juice.

Mike: 00:27:58 yeah, kind of thing, yeah. Or Bloody Mary or whatever

Zoe: 00:28:01 You don’t want to be saying it too much, that kind of thing, basically, yeah, I suppose there’s so many instances of names giving power.

Mike: 00:28:07 Yeah, but yeah, there’s so many things going on at this ranch, It’s like the nexus for crazy shit happening

Zoe: 00:28:13 So yeah, The Ranch, I was interested by the no digging clause and you had to inform the previous owners…

Mike: 00:28:19 had to inform the previous owners in case if you went digging.

Zoe: 00:28:22 If they’re an elderly couple away, you know, what happens once they pass on? Did you, are you just not allowed to ever dig?

Mike: 00:28:30 Well it’s changed hands again since then because, obviously

Zoe: 00:28:33 But did they keep that stipulation in the sales

Mike: 00:28:36 I don’t know But it was a it was an odd one

Zoe: 00:28:38 Also, the bolts and chains, bolts on both sides of the doors?

Mike: 00:28:43 bolts on both sides so that people could bolt themselves into a room if needed to.

Zoe: 00:28:47 So, it’s good, it doesn’t matter which room you’re in, you can bolt yourself in, I’m guessing to make the central room, a safe room or something, I don’t know?

Mike: 00:28:54 or if they get into the room you can bolt it, get out and bolt the otherside

Zoe: 00:28:58 and bolt them in.

Mike: 00:28:59 them trapped in there, yeah.

Zoe: 00:29:00 Yeah that’s that’s pretty hardcore

Mike: 00:29:02 but yeah, there’s just so many things to discuss with this case that it’s difficult to know where to start and stop.

Zoe: 00:29:09 Well, I’m just going to go through my notes. So we’ve got the family, their first contact with the chest high Wolf. That’s a big lad. I am quite surprised that they thought to themselves, “Oh, you know, here’s a strange Wolf, that comes up to my chest, I think I’ll go pet it.” ‘Cause you know, as much as I feel like I would possibly want to do that I would also be a little bit apprehensive.

Mike: 00:29:31 Something that big, yeah. But it seems so tame and just didn’t seem to want to make any problems until….

Zoe: 00:29:38 well that that changed quickly.

Mike: 00:29:39 …..it went for the calf. Yeah. Yeah

Zoe: 00:29:41 the note I have for him is,” Rasputin Wolf”. Well, you know, Rasputin, they couldn’t kill him, could they.

Mike: 00:29:48 No, true. Yeah. Yeah.

Zoe: 00:29:49 and also where’s the chunk of flesh?

Mike: 00:29:53 Yeah, I’ve always wondered about that. It always gets mentioned and you think you would pick that up.

Zoe: 00:29:58 Yeah, God Yes!

Mike: 00:29:59And Maybe have it tested. But the thing is this was their first ever experience and they weren’t necessarily thinking anything other than, “Oh look, a Wolf or some sort of hybrid comes onto my land.

Zoe: 00:30:09 Sorry, but as soon as I started shooting and it didn’t die, then I’d be like, what the bloody hell is this?! So I would be like, any chunks flying off that, I’ll be like, yeah, I’m havin’ that!

Mike: 00:30:20 I don’t think anything that I’ve seen or read tells what happens to that chunk of flesh.

Zoe: 00:30:25 Yeah That’s something that I would like to know. So, if anyone does know what happened to that chunk of flesh, can they let us know?

When you said about the Wolf, obviously it was running away from them, they were chasing, you said that there were very, very deep footprints in the mud. Did they increase, like the depth?

Mike: 00:30:43 So yeah so

Zoe: 00:30:45 Do you think it could have gone up on two legs and that would obviously have put more pressure on those particular feet and then when the footprints disappeared, could it have been it changed into a different creature?

Mike: 00:30:57 I mean that’s a theory Yeah absolutely Cause if in theory if it can shape shift into different creatures, it could have just become an Eagle and flown off or whatever.

Zoe: 00:31:06 That’s what I’m thinking. If it was on four, so, obviously the weight distribution would be certain depth, and then they say, “Oh, it got a lot lot deeper, so if it went up into two legs…

Mike: 00:31:15 I think, I think it was partly the mud around that area was softer near to the river but yeah, they tracked it and then literally the tracks just stopped and there was nothing

Zoe: 00:31:27 Unless it was really clever and backtracked and then circled round and was watching them through the bushes…

Mike: 00:31:33 Maybe, not, not normally the kind of intelligence you associate with wolves but who knows?

Zoe: 00:31:39 You don’t normally think they’re going to be chest high and not die.

Mike: 00:31:42 And resistant to gunfire, yeah.

Zoe: 00:31:46Exactly, the one that came to the car as well. Wolves are so shy, like a true Wolf and they generally roam around in packs, whereas this seems to be sort of…

Mike: 00:31:58 Single

Zoe: 00:31:59 …the opposite in both instances.

Mike: 00:32:01 They’re also talking about these things look like dire wolves and dire wolves died out a long time ago, as far as we know.

Zoe: 00:32:09 But then, look at my favorite fish.

Mike: 00:32:13 The coelacanth?

Zoe: 00:32:14 Exactly. Everyone thought that was you know…

Mike: 00:32:17 Everyone thought that was extinct for years and then all of a sudden one pops out and goes, alright, how you doing. Yeah.

Zoe: 00:32:23 So, as much as we think they’re extinct, you never know but I’m not sure if dire wolves are actually…

Both: 00:32:31 Impervious to gunfire

Mike: 00:32:33 You wouldn’t generally think so, No. You… I don’t know of any natural creatures that are impervious to gunfire in the way this thing was.

Zoe: 00:32:40 No, no, yeah. Especially with the the last Wolf being shot in 1929… And this is…

Mike: 00:32:45 Yeah, this is 1994, They took The Ranch over.

Zoe: 00:32:49 Yeah, so it’s a little while!

When you said that the Sasquatch and skinwalkers were interchangeable…?

Mike: 00:32:57 No, the Utes use their word for Sasquatch and their word for skinwalker, whatever they are, I haven’t looked at what they actually are but apparently they do sometimes use them quite interchangeably.

Zoe: 00:33:08 Right

Mike: 00:33:09 As if to suggest that Sasquatch is something of an another worldly creature rather than just a natural kind of mountain ape-human hybrid thing, that we normally think of. And actually, if you go into reading about a lot of Bigfoot and Sasquatch lore, there are instances where people have seen something like a Sasquatch or whatever, which then disappears and then reappears much further away, as if it’s kind of bridged the distance somehow in a different way. They’re talked about as almost being inter-dimensional travellers, so that they, they literally appear through portals to this earth, roam around and do whatever they need to, yeah, take a shit in the woods, whatever you need and then go back.

Zoe: 00:33:56 So we’re basically a Sasquatch toilet

Mike: 00:34:00 Well, I wouldn’t. Actually, if anything, it might be the other way around because, I don’t think anybody’s ever found any poo that could be definitely said to be Sasquatch or Bigfoot or Yeti or

Zoe: 00:34:10 True, the would be breaking news.

Mike: 00:34:12 Abominable snow poop

Zoe: 00:34:13 Abominable snow poo. Yeah, ‘cause that links in with the whole portal thing doesn’t it?

Mike: 00:34:18 It does, yeah, because that’s one of the weirdest things, ‘cause he started out looking at, like, a weird orb or shimmering kind of gap in the sky, and as he walked around he could see through it. And there was a, there was a blue sky on the other side, whereas, it was kind of late evening, early night where he was.

Zoe: 00:34:36 So, looking into a different sky. So, could those orbs be extra terrestrial, like, almost like keys? Looking for a place to open a portal?

Mike: 00:34:45 Right, Okay. I’ve always thought of the orbs as more mechanical spy drones, from their behavior and, and the, the cases that we’ve got of sightings of them. They seem to be partly self-aware and they seem to be on some sort of mission.

Zoe: 00:35:03 I’ve figured it out what it is Love.

Mike: Go on, what is it?

Zoe: It’s a bird who’s caseing has fallen off, because birds aren’t real!

Mike: 00:35:11 Because birds aren’t real, and the only reason we’ve all been asked to stay indoors for months, is so the government can change the batteries in the pigeons, yeah I loved that, that was amazing.

Zoe: 00:35:22 …can change the batteries! Oh my god! Amazing

Mike: 00:35:23 There’s a, for those of you that aren’t in on the gag, there is a social media account called “Birds Aren’t Real”, and it’s spews the Spurious Conspiracy Theory (try saying that 10 times fast) that birds aren’t real the government spy drones and it’s hilarious

Zoe: 00:35:40 I can’t say it once! Basically, but yeah, the pigeon outfit fell off. There you go, that’s what it is.

The Poltergeist guy stuff was interesting too, because the moving of things – So, I know there was issues with, like, there was a woodpile as well, wasn’t there? That moved? I don’t know if you found that? Like, from one side of the house to the other and back again?

Mike: 00:35:57 I mean the, the post digger’s the weirdest one, ‘cause if you see the post digger, it’s about as long as our sofa. So it’s a big piece of kit and it weighs, you know, it’s…

Zoe: 00:36:07Yeah. But it was found up a tree.

Mike: 00:36:08 ..it’s found 20 feet up a tree.

Zoe: 00:36:10 So you would need, like what? Some kind of like: scissor lift to get it up there?

Mike: 00:36:13 Well, this is, this is the other thing as well, ‘cause this kind of ties back in with the portals and the cattle mutilations. Because a lot of the time, like I say, the cattle will be found in ways that suggest they’ve almost been dropped from a height. Like one calf was found with two broken legs, managed to survive and they were trying to nurse it back to health and a few days later it disappeared again and turned up this time with all its legs broken; and then it had to be put down. But the cattle mutilations are very weird. There are a lot of parallels between cattle mutilations because they’ve been going on for decades and decades as well and possibly a lot longer. But usually you’ll find things like ears and tongues have been removed, but with surgical precision and with with very sharp cuts, so it’s not kind of, it’s not been torn off by a predator or torn off by a barbed wire fence or anything like that.

Zoe: It’s not been ripped out, or bitten.

Mike: It’s a surgical cut. Eyeballs often get removed, the cows anus is often cored out. Like, you would core an apple.

Zoe: Holy Moly!

Mike: Yeah. That’s a very common thing with cattle mutilations. They’re often found with skin removed around the jaw and things like that. Sometimes all their organs are removed and the thing that generally always ties them together as well; there is never any blood anywhere. So somebody has literally opened a calf, taken all its organs out and managed not to drop a single drop of blood.

Zoe: 00:37:41 So that suggests then, that that’s not the kill site.

Mike: 00:37:44 Exactly. That suggests that the cow, or calf, has been picked up, taken somewhere else, experimented on in whatever way, for whatever reason. Now, if you’ve got portals that can appear a midair with different skies through them, that suggests that that’s possibly a technology that somebody or someone or some thing is employing…

Zoe: They could suck them in and pop them back out.

Mike: …and could do so at any moment, at any point on the earth. But there seems to be a very odd thing there because Tom and Junior Hicks have both recorded things like compass needles going crazy on the property. To the point where Tom stopped carrying a compass with him cause he could never rely on it. There was one instance where he saw some kind of UFO and took his compass out, which was back when he was still carrying one, and the needle was pointing to the phenomena, no matter which way he turned.

Zoe: 00:38:35 So, magnetic fields and like disruptions in that kind of thing.

Mike: 00:38:37 Yeah. Yeah.

Zoe: 00:38:39So, what do we think about the no digging rule? Do you think the old couple knew that there’s maybe, an alien spaceship buried somewhere?

Mike: 00:38:48 It’s possible, I mean the old couple knew something, didn’t they? ‘Cause you wouldn’t normally sell a proper and go “But don’t dig anything unless you’ve let us know”

Zoe: 00:38:56 Unless, they have killed loads of things, and people and buried them?

Mike: 00:39:00 People? And buried the bodies on The Ranch? Yeah. It’s entirely possible.

Zoe: 00:39:02 They, I mean, part of me is completely intrigued and I’d love to see it. The other part of me is just like, well…

Mike: Run away!

Zoe: …it’s like the bigger part of me, is just screaming: “What are you on about! Don’t even!” It’s like, if there are still Utes, you said, that they still will not set foot on it.

Mike: 00:39:21 They won’t set foot on anywhere, anywhere on that area.

Zoe: 00:39:23 To me, that’s like why? why would you?

Mike: 00:39:26 Well, they, they have, they have oral traditions, like I say, that go back about 15 generations, saying that skinwalkers have been in the area.

Zoe: 00:39:33 I was trying to work out, a generation is about 30 years?

I suppose, actually, no, it’s probably going to be more like 20, isn’t it?

Mike: 00:39:39 So it’s going to be more like 20, Yeah.

Zoe: 00:39:42 so that’s, what? 300 years.

Mike: 00:39:44 Yeah, and dark Canyon supposedly has petroglyphs on it which depicts skinwalkers, which are centuries old. Which again, could be 300 years old or more, but yeah. Junior Hicks wasn’t allowed to go down there and explore and look at it because the Utes were too scared that he disturbed a skinwalker and it would lead to problems for them.

Zoe: 00:40:04 Oh my goodness. What if 2020 is a result of those scientists getting a bit too nosy?

Mike: 00:40:10 Well, the, the NID stuff happened quite a while ago now and I think The Ranch has changed hands again since then.

Zoe: 00:40:17 So yeah, wasn’t there a bit of a mystery at one point, about who had bought it? They wanted to remain anonymous?

Mike: 00:40:23 Yeah. So, it was a guy called Bigelow, who was a an American millionaire.

Zoe: 00:40:28 So he’s not anonymous anymore.

Mike: 00:40:30 No, but he, he actually funded NIDs, bought The Ranch and set them up with equipment and all the rest of it, to try and investigate what was going on because he was a very keen UFO enthusiast and kind of obviously quite interested in the paranormal in general.

But there was an interesting thing I was reading recently which was saying about; as soon as somebody says like, “Unexplained Aerial Phenomena” or “Unidentified Flying Object”, the first thing people think of is: It’s aliens that have come from somewhere else, like, within our own galaxy or perhaps even further, But there’s a theory that actually these are creatures that are all native to the earth that have hidden themselves away from us because we’re quite violent

Zoe: 00:41:20 And they’re now just fed up and when we see them, it’s them escaping. Nope. That’s it. Time to get off this planet!

Oh yeah. So, I want to go back and talk about the skinwalkers themselves, because you said the being is like evil incarnate which I, not take issue with, but surely if a person was that evil: that they had killed a family member, that you would notice when they are in their human form, going about their day to day life that they are Evil.

Mike: 00:41:57 I mean, yes and no. If you come across a person that’s particularly self-serving, first thing you don’t think of is: are they a skinwalker. They might just be a dick.

Zoe: 00:42:05 I suppose, yeah. I suppose there are different, like, versions of evil aren’t there.

Mike: 00:42:10 Yeah and I’m guessing if you’re intelligent enough to learn black magic, and the rituals that go along with it, and all the rest of it, you’re intelligent enough to know not to, kind of, parade that stuff in public because that gets you discovered.

Zoe: 00:42:23 Oh God! Yeah! I, yeah, so, so I suppose, it’s the different aspects of what we consider to be evil, because, I’m thinking like, you know, proper demonic

Mike: 00:42:32 See, in my head, you were thinking: like, top hat, pencil thin moustache, cape, tying a woman to the railroad tracks, sneering and going ‘Nhee-heeee-heeee”.

Zoe: 00:42:41 I don’t think I was to be honest love.

Mike: 00:42:43 Like Waluigi, in a Cape.

Zoe: 00:42:47 Definitely, with like, angry eyebrows, ‘cause you know.

Mike: 00:42:49 Of course. Yeah.

Zoe: 00:42:50 So, the, the floating of the UFO, over the trees and far away. Fridge with lights, and that was interesting. It was like, it was trying to be sneaky, a bit incognito, like, yeah, I’m a car, I’m a car, I’m a car….

Mike: 00:43:07 Yeah.

Zoe: 00:43:08 …Oh, but I am not.

Mike: 00:43:10 Yeah. Very obviously not, by the end of it.

Zoe: 00:43:13So, it was almost like, because it was, it looked so normal, they didn’t quite bother with it.

Mike: 00:43:17 Well, they, they couldn’t really see the vehicle itself, as much as they could see the light from the headlight at the front and the red light at the back, and obviously kind of yellowish white light or the front red light at the back, you think car

Zoe: 00:43:28 The Light. Exactly, so then you just assume then, don’t you? It’s a car, yeah.

Mike: 00:43:29 Yeah.

Zoe: 00:43:30 I thought at one point you were going to say “And they were slowly getting further and further apart”. So, it’s like, stretching itself. No. No, it’s just getting higher and higher.

Mike: 00:43:37 Yeah. No, it basically jumped the fences and then flew over 50 foot high trees.

Zoe: 00:43:43 And that to me, yeah, there’s not many RVs I know can do that.

Mike: 00:43:47 No. I mean you’d need like an RV version of Nightrider with the turbo boost.

Zoe: 00:43:54What does NIDs stand for, or what does it mean, or is it just a name?

Mike: 00:44:00 It’s the National Institute for Discovery Science.

Zoe: 00:44:03 I heard you say that but didn’t actually cottoned onto the fact that that, actually says, NIDs. Maybe I was thinking, because I was thinking, cryptids and nipples for some reason?

Mike: 00:44:13 Crip-NIDs – Crip-nips?

Zoe: 00:44:15 So basically, it’s cryptid’s nipples.

Mike: 00:44:19 Cryptid. If we ever open a pub, it’s going to be called “The Cryptids Nipples”

Zoe: 00:44:23 “Cryptids Nipples”. Yeah.

Mike: 00:44:26 Yeah, which is interesting actually, because the Patterson Gimlin film of Patty, the Bigfoot, the famous Patty, is a female: you can actually see she has breasts of some sort, that move she walks.

Zoe: 00:44:39 Although, I’ve seen a fair few blokes with pretty impressive mammories.

So. I think that’s going to be where we’re going to end the discussion. Otherwise, we will just keep going and going, but, if you have enjoyed this episode: You can find us on, Facebook. We’ve got a page and a group and it is…

Mike: 00:45:12 facebook.com/storiesofstrangeness for the page and there is a ‘join group’ button, where you can join the group.

Zoe: 00:45:19 Fantastic. And you can come and say hello and have a chat with other people, like minded people, and you can leave us messages on there, if you want. You can also find us on Instagram:

Mike: 00:45:30 @storiesofstrangeness

Zoe: 00:45:32 And we do try to post random pictures with, with links to what we’re doing. We are on Twitter…

Mike: 00:45:39 @Sostrangepod

Zoe: 00:45:41 I don’t tweet.

Mike: 00:45:42 Nope.

Zoe: 00:45:43 Mike does all the tweeting.

Mike: 00:45:44 And I don’t do a lot of tweeting at the minute, so apologies but it’s just as and when I can.

Zoe: 00:45:48 And we also have a website…

Mike: 00:45:51 storiesofstrangers.com

Zoe: 00:45:53 That’s funny that isn’t it quite obviously obvious. Yeah. Yep yep yep.

Mike: 00:45:56 Which is where we post transcripts of each episode and other content on there as well.

Zoe: 00:46:02 And there’s a few links on there to, like, resources that we’ve used, isn’t there?

Mike: Yeah.

Zoe: That’s cool. And if you would like to support us, but get something for your money, we have a RedBubble account. So, every episode we record, we will also do a beautiful illustration for, which we put onto our Redbubble account. And you can buy many, many things with these beautiful pictures on! So do check us out!

Mike: 00:46:28 Yep, stickers, t-shirts, books, shower curtains, leggings, all sorts of stuff!

Zoe: 00:46:34 If there’s anything in particular you want us to draw let us know, ‘cause we both liked drawing. And our RedBubble account is…

Mike: 00:46:41 ZoeandMike. There’ll be a link to it in the show notes.

So, we’re going to look at opening our Patreon account. We’ve had one for a little while but we haven’t been plugging it because we want it to get some episodes out and some content out for you guys to listen to and hear and decide if you like or not. If you’d like to support the show, there is going to be a $1 a month tier, where basically you give us $1 a month. And, Thanks for supporting us! And we will say thank you, possibly to you, on the show.

Zoe: 00:47:11 We would definitely say Thank You!

Mike: 00:47:13 Yeah, we’ll definitely say thank you to subscribers. We are also going to be looking at opening further tiers with different levels of… Extra Content.

Zoe: 00:47:20 Extra Content.

Mike: 00:47:22 Compensation for your money, that kind of thing, so keep an eye out for that. I will put the link to the Patreon in the show notes.

Like I say, if you want to sign up on the $1 tier and then obviously you can move up to a different tier If you wish to where there might be extras from the show or outtakes.

Zoe: 00:47:42 So yeah, outtakes, ‘cause Oh my goodness, there are a lot, we do really chat shit, don’t we?!

Mike: 00:47:49 We do talk an awful lot of bollocks.

Zoe: 00:47:52 So if you I think we’re lovely, you can leave us a review. What’s the best place to leave a review?

Mike: 00:47:57 Generally, it’s iTunes, because it’s one of the biggest podcast aggregators out there and it helps the show get seen by lots of new people. The other thing you can do, is you can tell your friends about the show, or people that you know that might be interested in topics of the paranormal, weird and wonderful. Tell them about the show and get them to subscribe, possibly at knife point if necessary.

Zoe: 00:48:20 Yeah, ‘cause you know, that would make a good story too.

Mike: 00:48:22 Just make it a button off, don’t go crazy.

Zoe: 00:48:23 And, and saying that if you do have a story of your own that you would like us to read out, you can email it to us:

Mike: 00:48:31 storiesofstrangeness@gmail.com

Zoe: 00:48:33 And we will happily read it out. If you want to remain anonymous, that is cool. If you would prefer Myself or Mike, which one of us to read it out. Nope, that made no sense.

Mike: 00:48:44Or, we can try and read it together, It’ll be an absolute

Zoe: 00:48:48 Oh my goodness, that would be amazing.

Mike: 00:48:49 Yeah, it’ll be chaos.

And from this point on, we don’t know what the topics are going to be covered going forward.

Zoe: 00:48:54 Yeah, we’ve come to the end of our structured list.

Mike: 00:48:59 Of our planned list. I have a list about half a mile long, of other stuff that I want to do, But.

Zoe: 00:49:05 Yours is a written list, for once in your whole life. Mine is a virtual list, for the first time in my life.

So Mike has just told me we have to say goodbye now because we’re waffling…

Mike: 00:49:16 Goodbye. See ya, goodbye.

Zoe: 00:49:18 …again Oh my God. You’re so rude. Anyway.

Mike: 00:49:22 It’s been lovely, goodbye, now get out of my house.

Zoe: 00:49:23 Thank you for listening this far. It’s been a journey and our next episode, who knows what it’s going to be, It’s mine.

Mike: 00:49:32 We don’t!

Zoe: 00:49:32 It’s a surprise. So yes, take care, dear listener.

Mike: 00:49:36 Take care. Don’t have nightmares and don’t kill a relative to become a skinwalker. That’s my advice to you. Bye.

Zoe: 00:49:46 You talked over my ‘love you’.

Mike: 00:49:48 Do your love you again? And I’ll stick it somewhere else.

Zoe: 00:49:53 Love you.

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