A new documentary feature examining inexplicable phenomena at a remote ranch in Utah will “weaponize your curiosity and invigorate the debate about UFOs and the paranormal.” So says its director, Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell. The documentary, Hunt for the Skinwalker, is based on the eponymous bestselling book by investigative reporter George Knapp and Dr. Colm Kelleher. Corbell, a former Jujitsu sensei-turned documentarian of extraordinary beliefs, expects his film to provoke serious scientific discussion when it drops on iTunes on September 11 this year. “It’s a huge injection of information to the public on this topic,” says the filmmaker. “It’s inescapable and certainly it will be impactful.”
Corbell’s film revisits and significantly expands upon the material presented in its 2005 source material, which examined a myriad of terrifying, seemingly supernatural events reported over hundreds of years in a scenic Utah basin. Isolated and exposed within this basin sits what is ominously known as “Skinwalker Ranch,” a property long-plagued by otherworldly intrusions, from poltergeist activity and animal mutilations, to sightings of UFOs and unknown creatures and entities. After the owners of the ranch fled in terror in the 1990s, an exhaustive, multidisciplinary scientific study began, spearheaded by the enigmatic Las Vegas billionaire, Robert Bigelow. A team of PhD-level investigators was deployed to collect evidence; eventually, they would spend more than a decade on the ground, interviewing witnesses, searching for explanations, and directly confronting what seemed to be an unknown intelligence.
Today, the ranch remains shrouded in mystery and secrecy. Certain government/corporate interests have preferred to keep the ranch off-limits to the general public as their scientific investigations continue. But this hasn’t stopped Corbell from gaining access (he knows the right people—and Jujitsu). After years of distant fascination with what George Knapp tantalisingly describes as “the paranormal Disneyland,” the filmmaker was compelled to visit the ranch for himself. In this exclusive interview for Mysterious Universe, Corbell discusses government involvement at the ranch, the nature of the phenomena reported there, and the theories that may account for them.
RG: Tell us what first attracted you to Skinwalker Ranch, and what viewers can expect from your film.
JKLC: Like most people, I first heard about Skinwalker Ranch from the book, Hunt For The Skinwalker by George Knapp and Dr. Colm Kelleher. I was initially drawn by the stories about a broad scale of paranormal events, and my interest was cemented years later when I learned about the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) involvement, even though I could not publicly acknowledge it. The DIA attempted to scientifically investigate the occurrences experienced at Skinwalker Ranch. Investigators used the unique location as a “living laboratory,” attempting to understand for themselves the varied phenomena that display on and around the property. One of the aims was to determine if The Phenomenon presented a threat to National Security, and another was to attempt to determine the mechanisms utilized by The Phenomenon. The fact that the United States government was involved at all is fascinating.
There is an undoubtedly a rich and diverse recorded history of “paranormal” phenomena—including UFOs and creatures—in the Uintah Basin. Groups like NIDS (National Institute for Discovery Science) and BAASS (Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies) attempted to use the scientific method to grasp the nature and origin of what is witnessed. I’ve been fortunate to have a unique vantage point on what has occurred at Skinwalker Ranch through my mentor in journalism, George Knapp. The opportunity to interface with those closest to the events at the ranch has compelled me to make it the focus of one of my documentary films. For the first time in history, I will be able to show rare footage that spans more than twenty-five years, over three active investigations, and two owners of the ranch, and with past and current interviews with witnesses to the high-strangeness in the area. My film will give you direct access. You can expect a powerful documentary that will weaponize your curiosity and invigorate the debate about UFOs and the paranormal.
RG: How much time have you spent at the ranch, and have you personally experienced any anomalous activity there?
JKLC: I have been to the ranch on a number of occasions, spent multiple days there in succession. I joined members of my team for night observations, day missions… and have been lucky enough to be used as “bait” for The Phenomenon. Or at least I was told I was lucky to be used as “bait.”
I was able to film at the ranch with my team, conduct interviews and use that footage in my upcoming film. Footage from the ranch is so rare; it was an opportunity I could not pass up. Due to the secrecy surrounding Skinwalker Ranch, naturally people want to know if I’ve personally experienced any anomalous activity there. I will offer this… a friend to many of us on the Hunt For The Skinwalker investigatory team is artist and musician, Robbie Williams. He and I were out and about on the ranch recently, discussing the potential of experiencing The Phenomenon. Robbie made a funny comment to me that sums up much of our experience…
SKINWALKER RANCH / 3AM / HOMESTEAD II
Robbie Williams: So, the NIDS team was here on the ranch attempting to document the high-strangeness for seven years?
Robbie Williams: And they only documented about one-hundred dramatic encounters throughout that time?
Me: That’s right.
Robbie Williams: So, we’re basically hunting for the proverbial paranormal needle in a haystack.
JKLC: When you put it that way, it really brings things into perspective! (laughter)
With that said, I personally have not experienced anything on Skinwalker Ranch that I would consider truly anomalous. If you look at it from Robbie’s perspective, he’s absolutely right. Spending any given night or weekend as a guest at Skinwalker Ranch, or around the ranch, does not guarantee observation into the unknown. Activity reports paint the picture of a trickster-like intelligence that controls the theatre it performs in. IT shows you what it wants to show you. IT decides how you will perceive it, or IF you will perceive it. IT is in total control.
The Hunt For The Skinwalker team has been lucky enough to have uninterrupted access to the ranch, and a great openness has been established between our team and the locals—including the Tribal Elders. However, boots-on-the-ground research over decades—such in the case with George Knapp—is not about immediate gratification or getting a quick soundbite. You need to invest yourself to hear the real stories, to understand the complexity of what we’re dealing with in the Uintah Basin. Our team is looking at this mystery from a much broader perspective, historic, interpersonal, as well as from a phenomenological point of view. Meaning, we don’t really know what we’re dealing with. We know the intelligence that performs these displays in the area of the ranch has a sort of precognitive-sentient-intelligence (as Dr. John B. Alexander has described). We know it can be violent—especially towards animals; we know that it continues unabated to this day, that it can mess with you. That it travels, like a hitchhiker for some who are unlucky. But it’s one thing to hear stories of bullet-proof wolves, or predator like beings, shape shifting animals crawling out of portals and fear-inducing orbs that target your emotions. It’s a whole other thing to actually engage some of this stuff; to see it with your own eyes and to have to come to terms with that.
For example, on a recent trip, one member of our team had a particularly shocking experience while in the command trailers previously installed by NIDS. He was private security with our group, and this was his first experience on the ranch. What he saw was an entity following me through the command trailer. It was dark, tall and had the texture of thick billowing black smoke, yet in the form of a bipedal human—it was tangible. It followed me through three different areas, just inches from my body and then immediately vanished before anyone could speak a word. The security individual remained calm but told us it was time to go. Once we arrived on the outside of the gate he pulled the car over and conveyed the information to us. A reliably stoic and level-headed military veteran… he was shaken. I think I dodged a bullet by not seeing this thing myself. What the witness didn’t know is that exact apparition-type shadow-entity had been observed in that same area of the ranch before and on multiple occasions. Pretty wild. But again, I didn’t see it.
RG: Who currently owns the ranch?
JKLC: Although the new owner of Skinwalker Ranch appears in my film, he would like to maintain his confidentiality—and for good personal reason. I will continue to respect that. I will not break that bond.
RG: A considerable amount of data has surely been gathered through the many years of scientific investigations at the ranch. Will any of this data formally be made available to the public at some point? If not, why?
JKLC: You are correct on the data. There were two major studies at Skinwalker Ranch, with a third underway. From about 1996 till 2004, NIDS a multi-disciplinary investigation at Skinwalker Ranch. And some of that data has already been made public by NIDS when they maintained a website. You can still find those reports online. Then from 2008 till 2011 we had BAASS, that led another intensive multi-disciplinary scientific investigation. This government study of Skinwalker Ranch was funded through the DOD (Department of Defense) / DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) / DWO (Defense Warning Office) to support AAWSAP (Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program).
BAASS was the contractor that received the agreement from AASWAP, and BAASS certainly did generate numerous reports related to research at Skinwalker Ranch. Those government reports may or may not see the light of day. I’m hopeful that they will, as we have seen George Knapp report on aspects of this case and release documents on multiple occasions. Such as when George released a technical report by Dr. Hal Puthoff that was generated within AAWSAP/BAASS. This report is one of approximately 76 formal papers derived from a large database that includes thousands of incident reports, some written by defense officials from other countries. So, I’m optimistic that this is just the beginning of what we are going to learn. In the future, anything that becomes part of the public record will be available for download at HuntTheSkinwalker.com
I also think it’s important to take this opportunity to clarify public confusion caused by the New York Times article from December 16, 2017. There are some things you should know about the recent UFO related revelations. Specifically, about the $22 million that was allocated and what the AATIP (Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification) program really was in relation to the funding championed by Sen. Harry Reid.
AATIP and AAWSAP are not the same program. AATIP has likely always existed, in one form or another, but probably under a different name. AATIP was more of an assignment than a program. Luis Elizondo did excellent work, but he was one man, and for him it was an extra duty assignment. It wasn’t his full-time job. He worked with a loose network of other DOD employees in other agencies. They analyzed UFO info as it came in, meaning they might go months without getting a report. AAWSAP is the program created by Sen. Reid and colleagues. The money they designated for the study was sent to BAASS—the $22 million dollars mentioned by the New York Times. AAWSAP was much larger than AATIP; it had approximately 50 employees. Another important distinction is that AAWSAP was pro-active, not reactive. It actively investigated UFO matters and related phenomena, where AATIP was re-active and focused on nuts and bolts flying saucers. AAWSAP looked at saucers/UFOs, but also looked at the larger picture-related phenomena, exotic stuff, creatures, mutilations, Skinwalker Ranch. So, the recent UFO releases that have swept the across mass-media like wildfire tell only a small part of the story. The real story is WHY the money was allocated, and WHAT it was allocated for. Skinwalker Ranch is central to that story, and my film will detail much of that.
RG: The ranch has allegedly played host to everything from Bigfoot and giant wolves, to UFOs and Poltergeists. What do you feel is the best theory to account for the numerous and seemingly disparate anomalous phenomena reported at the ranch? Could this locale hold the key to a unified theory of the paranormal?
JKLC: One of the theories explored by George Knapp and Dr. Colm Kelleher in their book, Hunt For The Skinwalker, is that the area surrounding Skinwalker Ranch is some sort of “portal” for inter-dimensional activity. A place where the world is thin; a hotspot. This is exemplified by the large creatures and vehicles observed traversing out of what appears to be orange glowing geometric “holes” around the ranch. The observations made by scientists like Dr. Colm Kelleher and Dr. Eric Davis were similar to technical descriptions of the optical nature of wormholes—as detailed in a physical review paper by John Cramer, Matt Visser and Bob Forward. However, both authors of Hunt For The Skinwalker make it clear that nobody really knows what we are dealing with at the ranch. There is no simple definition or explanation for the occurrences there. Any sole theory you try to apply to the ranch and the surrounding area simply falls short. It’s a disturbing mystery. Disturbing because it reveals how little we really know about the physics and nature of the world we live in. Faced with the events at Skinwalker Ranch, consensus reality seems to fall short.
Could this locale hold the key to a unified theory of the paranormal? Beats me. It’s entirely possible that the explanation for the broad range of unusual and occasionally hostile activity as experienced at Skinwalker Ranch is beyond the ability of humans to comprehend or to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. However, the pursuit of truth is still a worthwhile endeavor and could eventually help us to understand our place and role in the cosmos.
RG: To your knowledge, are there any other sites in the United States or globally that are comparable to the Skinwalker Ranch in terms of the variety of phenomena reported and of the frequency of their reporting?
JKLC: Yes. There are currently multiple locations around the globe that present performances similar to those experienced at the ranch. Some are known to the public—such as the San Luis Valley—while others are not. I’m aware that the intelligence agencies involved with the study at Skinwalker Ranch have knowledge and current interest in other locations of a similar nature.
RG: What do you hope your Skinwalker film will contribute to public knowledge of the ranch and its associated phenomena, and how does it differ from existing media products on this topic?
JKLC: My film will have impact on the study of this subject and the field of phenomenology in general. It’s a huge injection of information to the public on this topic. It’s inescapable and certainly will be impactful… simply by the merit of its rarity. However, it is my larger hope to uplift the visual aesthetic in the medium of filmmaking on this subject. Traditionally, my documentaries are focused on the human story, the individuals involved and the lessons they learned. This also tends to separate my films from the heap. They’re intimate and personal. This upcoming film contains lots of never-before-seen footage—rare and historic footage. So ultimately, I’m confident that my film provides a narrative for people who want to learn more about the unique location of Skinwalker Ranch, but it also provides insight into the lives of the pioneering individuals who have been navigating this mystery for decades. They are the unsung heroes who continue to engage The Phenomenon for greater understanding—from the standpoint of technological innovation, as well as understanding the nature and power of consciousness.
RG: Tell us about the other projects you have in the pipeline, and what’s next for you after you’ve finished your Extraordinary Beliefs project?
JKLC: In December of 2018 I will be launching the official, definitive and authorized documentary film on Area 51 whistle-blower, Bob Lazar. It’s going to free your mind like a hallucinogenic medicine. Get ready.
Hunt for the Skinwalker, is available for pre-order on iTunes in August of this year, and it launches globally on September 11. For more information, visit HuntTheSkinwalker.com