Sherman Ranch also known as Skinwalker Ranch sits on a little over 500 acres just southeast of Ballard, Utah. Sightings of UFOs and several cryptids have been reported. Prior to settlers arriving there, the Ute and Navajos tribes claimed it was used by malevolent witches known as skinwalkers.
Terry Sherman bought this 480-acre property in 1994. The intention of the Sherman family was to run a cattle business there.
The reputation this piece of land had for strange sightings preceded the arrival of the Sherman family. In 1951, a local teacher named Junior Hicks, along with his students observed a UFO moving through the skies above the ranch. Junior Hicks then went on to record over 400 individuals events of paranormal activity in and around Skinwalker Ranch.
During his research Hicks came across the fact the Ute tribe which lived in the area refused to go near this land because they believed it to be cursed. Navajo witches known as yee naaldlooshii frequently used a trail that ran across it. Besides being cannibals and necrophiliacs these Navajo witches had the ability to shape-shift. The land had been considered dangerous for hundreds of years.
A ridgeline directly behind Skinwalker Ranch was given the nickname "Werewolf Ridge" by the locals for reasons lost to history.
The Myers family settled the ranch in the 1960s. They made a small homestead on the property's northwest corner. This was right below Skinwalker Ridge supposedly one of the most active parts of the property. The Myers abandoned the small homestead, and moved to a home on the eastern side of the ranch. According to Mr. Hicks the family never reported any unusual experiences but their neighbors did. The next owners were the Shermans.
When Terry and Gwen Sherman bought the ranch it had been abandoned, and they had difficulty tracking down who had been the previous owners. When inspecting the structures they were mystified to find deadbolt locks on the doors and windows, as well as the cabinets inside the kitchen. At both ends of the house, iron stakes and heavy chains had been installed. Terry Sherman guessed the previous tenants had positioned large guard dogs in the front and back of the home, but he had no idea why.
It did not take long for the Sherman family to start experiencing paranormal activity of all different types. They heard mysterious voices not only inside the home but around the property as well. They had UFO sightings, cryptids and poltergeist activity inside the house. They owned 80 heads of cattle and in the span of two years, fourteen of them were mutilated.
It started on the first day as they were moving in. They had an encounter with a large wolf that allowed the family to pet it. Lulled into a false sense of security, shortly thereafter it attacked a small calf. They shot at the creature with a handgun and shotgun and it would not let go of the calf. Eventually it walked off into the woods uninjured, and when Terry Sherman tracked it into the woods it's prints just disappeared.
Another time Gwen Sherman drove into the ranch in her Chevette. She encountered a wolf that stood taller than her car. This would be one of several times the family ran across larger than normal wolves on their land.
There were times that beams of light could been seen dancing around the land from sky to ground. There were times when the family discovered large holes and crop circles throughout the land.
The phenomena was not limited to sights and sounds, but smells as well. Occasionally a musky odor would waft through the house. At other times the sound of running machinery would be heard coming up from the ground the house stood on.
Even nearby farmers witnessed blue orbs flying around above the ranch. The family claimed that there seemed to be some type of intelligence behind the orbs and that they were quite frightening. Eventually the family ended up all sleeping together in one room.
UFOs sighted in the area came in all shapes and sizes. Some looked spherical, others just like orange balls of light and some resembled an RV.
One time their dogs followed the orbs into the brush. The family heard the dogs howl in pain and the next day they were discovered incinerated. This was the event that prompted the Shermans to put the property up for sale.
It took just two years for the family to have their fill of all the strange occurrences and they sold the property to an organization known as the National Institute of Discovery Science (NIDS) for $200,000.
Despite their horrific experiences the new owners of Skinwalker Ranch convinced the Shermans to remain on the ranch for a few more years to aid in observing and documenting unexplained events.
If they had any doubt about what the Sherman's had described they didn't have long to wait. The first night they witnessed yellow orbs twenty feet off the ground. They saw an animal that appeared humanlike climb to the top of a tree. They tried to kill it suspecting it was responsible for the mutilations, but just like the wolf the Shermans shot, it was unharmed. It ran off into the snow leaving human-like footprints with large claw marks.
NIDS continued with their research. Several cattle were mutilated and it was observed that it was done very quickly and with an extremely sharp object. Incredibly in some instances researchers were only 300 yards away when the mutilations took place. Examination of the carcasses found they had been drained of blood and 40% of the mass inside the animal had been removed.
The researchers like the Shermans experienced UFO sightings, different types of cryptids around the ranch, poltergeist activity and other paranormal events. After seven years they had documented 100 separate incidents. The documentation however did not include any film or photographs. It eluded their cameras and recording devices and whatever was there always seemed to be one step ahead of the researchers. They stopped research on the ranch in 2004.
Humans who have lived or visited the ranch have not been harmed physically but psychologically they have. In some instances some researchers said they saw a 'smiling or smirking' wolf outside their homes, which were on the other side of the country from the Utah ranch.
In 2005 Colm Kelleher and George Knapp wrote a book titled Hunt for the Skinwalker. Kelleher works for Robert Bigelow, the owner of Budget Suites of America and Bigelow Aerospace. In September 2018 a documentary was released based on the book. The documentary further revealed that the Department of Defense primarily funded the study.
Adamantium Real Estate acquired the ranch in April 2016. Security is high due to the high amount of trespassing and vandalism that has taken place. Paranormal activity on the property has all but disappeared over the past couple of years. The mysteries however still remain.
Marlene at Miami Ghost Chronicles is a freelance writer and paranormal researcher.
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