Native Americans say the sightings extend back even further.
But aerial anomalies weren't the strangest occurrences on or near the ranch, not by a longshot. In his two years on the property, Tom Gorman had lost 14 head of cattle from his hybrid herd. Some animals simply disappeared, as if plucked from the sky.
Others were carved up with surgical precision. Family members and neighbors had also seen Bigfoot-like creatures, oversized wolves, animals and birds that no one could identify. Their horses had been attacked, their dogs incinerated, their cats abducted.
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The Gormans themselves were bedeviled, almost daily, by odd little household incidents that, separately, wouldn't amount to much, but when considered together, were hard to dismiss. Windows and doors in their home would rip open or slam shut, seemingly on their own. Frequently, when Mrs. Gorman would take a shower, she'd emerge from the tub to find that her towel and personal items had been removed from inside the locked bathroom.
On one occasion, she returned from town with a large haul of groceries and other supplies. She carefully put the provisions away in various cabinets, walked into another room for a few minutes, and returned to find all the supplies back out on the kitchen table. Clothing, tools and appliances seemed to develop lives of their own. But this wasn't the equivalent of socks disappearing in the laundry. For example, Gorman's son worked up a considerable sweat to meticulously stack a one-ton pile of cord wood on the south side of a treeline in the middle homestead.
He took a minute water break and returned to find that the ton of wood had been moved yards to the north side of the tree line. Tools often disappeared, then reappeared on the range. In one instance, a heavy post hole digger vanished. It was finally discovered, days later, high up in the branches of a cottonwood tree, as if placed there by a crane.
The uneasy feeling grew among family members that they were constantly being watched, but they had no idea who, or what, was doing the watching. A small newspaper article about mysterious events at the property prompted Bigelow and his team to fly to Utah. Bigelow bought the ranch and convinced Tom Gorman to stay on as caretaker, against the wishes of his family.
NIDS staff members include highly trained and educated scientists, engineers and former law enforcement personnel with solid credentials, degrees and experience. Although the organization investigates seemingly bizarre events, it has no preconceived ideas about the true nature of the subject matter and is primarily interested in getting to the truth, wherever that truth leads. This observation is a personal one, based on more than six years of interaction with the NIDS organization. NIDS staffers emphasize that they are constantly drilled by Bigelow and by his Science Advisory Board to rigidly adhere to the scientific method.
Because the subject matter itself is so controversial in science circles, NIDS realizes that any deviation from the scientific method would mean a loss of credibility. If they were deemed a crackpot organization, their findings, no matter how profound or well-documented, would be dismissed out of hand. The Gorman ranch presented a unique opportunity to study a rich tapestry of strange stuff. UFOs and Sasquatch, balls of light and cattle mutilations, poltergeists and crop circles, psychic manifestations and Native American legends--the ranch sounded like a unique place in all the world.
NIDS staffers knew they had to be careful but also knew they couldn't merely dismiss the stories told by locals. They installed a command post, positioned video and other monitoring equipment around the ranch, built new fencing around the perimeter of the property to better control access to the site, constructed observation posts in the pastures and staffed the property with trained observers. The effort constitutes the most intense and thorough surveillance of a UFO hot spot ever undertaken. UFO researchers were incensed at being excluded from the study.
The constant criticism prompted the publicity-shy Bigelow to grant a rare interview. He told a Utah newspaper that NIDS was not communicating with either extraterrestrials or lizard people. He appealed, perhaps in vain, for a reasonable amount of time, free from outside interference, so a legitimate study might be undertaken. He admitted that the activity at the ranch seemed to be "selective in how it exposes itself and to whom," suggesting that a tailgate-party atmosphere where people sit around outside the ranch, barbecuing hot dogs while awaiting flying saucers, would not be conducive to a scientific study.
Not surprisingly, this plea for sanity fell on deaf ears among the UFO faithful. They were so busy expressing their outrage over being barred from private property that they failed to grasp the major clue dropped by Bigelow during his interview. Activity continued, but grew even harder to comprehend. But their attempts to photograph or videotape the sightings were largely futile. Team members, accompanied by Gorman and former lawmen who were hired for the study, often saw anomalous aerial phenomena, with their eyes, their binoculars and with night vision equipment. With few exceptions, though, the images inexplicably could not be recorded on film or video.
A confidential report prepared for NIDS board members and obtained by this reporter documents dozens of encounters involving NIDS staffers, the Gormans and other witnesses. After several months of round-the-clock surveillance, a mind-boggling pattern began to emerge. The phenomena, whatever they represent, seemed capable of anticipating the moves of the scientists. If they placed extra cameras and personnel in the southern field, the activity would pop up in the northern pasture.
If they concentrated their observations in the center homestead, the activity might move to the ridge overlooking the ranch. Skeptics might suggest that such an explanation for a lack of photographic evidence sounds a little too convenient. But something happened on July 19, , that sheds further light on the challenge faced by the research team. Soon after arriving at the ranch, NIDS had installed three telephone poles in one of the pastures.
Atop each pole was a sophisticated package of sensoring equipment, including multiple video cameras. The cameras had a full view of that section of the ranch and were connected to video recorders back in the command post. At exactly p. When NIDS staffers went to check out the problem, they saw that something had shredded their electronic equipment. Wires had been ripped out of the cameras with considerable force. Plastic brackets were snapped in two. Thick layers of duct tape that had been used to secure the equipment had been ripped away. A foot-long piece of TV cable was missing. Analysis of the remaining cable showed it had been slashed with a knife.
Team members excitedly returned to the command center, knowing that the telephone pole that had been assaulted was in full view of cameras positioned atop the second pole, located about feet away. The assumption was that, whatever had ripped the guts out of the first camera would be clearly visible on video recorded by the second. But when they rolled the tape back, they saw nothing.
At the exact moment the first camera package was being vandalized, nothing visible could be seen anywhere near the second telephone pole. This incident set a pattern for what was to follow.
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It certainly seemed to be intelligent, and it seemed to know what we were going to do even before we did it. As a scientist and military insider, he is reluctant to jump to any conclusions about the nature of what has happened there. But he suspects, after exploring the property and reading the witness reports, that there is an intelligence behind the assorted phenomena and that it almost seems to be playing a game with those who are trying to observe it. Another NIDS staffer arrived at a similar conclusion. He has a doctorate in physics, a long list of peer-reviewed papers about cutting-edge scientific concepts, and a lengthy employment history with prominent think tanks and classified military programs.
He asked that his name not be used in the belief that he would never again be hired for sensitive scientific work if his involvement with the ranch were made public. Nothing is clear cut. It isn't as simple as saying that E. It's reactive to people and equipment, and we set up the ranch to be a proving ground for the scientific method, but science doesn't seem amenable to the solution of these kinds of problems.
One of the most recent incidents occurred on a cold morning in February. The caretaker for the property was patrolling the grounds early in the morning. As he walked past a watering hole, he noticed an odd circular impression in the thin ice that had formed overnight. Something had carved a perfect circle in the ice. The circle was just under six feet in diameter and seemed oddly reminiscent of the crop formations seen in English wheat fields. The cuts extended only a quarter-inch into the ice and the ice itself was perhaps another quarter-inch thick. The question arises, how could this have been done?
Someone standing on the muddy bank would have left footprints. The only prints were cattle tracks. The ice itself was so thin that it could support almost no weight and certainly would have cracked and broken if someone stood on it.
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Could someone have suspended themselves above the ice patch and then somehow carved a perfect circle? How, and more importantly, why? NIDS staffers, following the scientific method, collected and analyzed ice shavings from the spot, took readings for magnetic fields and EM radiation, checked for tracks throughout the area but found no clues. There is no natural explanation for such a subtle event, and it has never been reported again.
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NIDS employees compiled a confidential report containing information about all the assorted incidents on the ranch. Reading this report will make the hair stand up on your neck.
To date, the researchers have recorded seven distinct incidents involving magnetic abnormalities. Simply put, their compasses went nuts while out on the range. The needles of the compasses either spun out of control, or pointed straight down at the ground. No one has a reasonable explanation.