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Skinwalker Ranch Has Deep, Surprising Connection to UFO Whistleblower David Grusch

Skinwalker Ranch and David Grusch

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UFO whistleblower David Grusch and the UAP task force he worked for have a series of intriguing connections to Skinwalker Ranch. But if you weren’t paying close attention, you might have missed them.

Grusch recently testified under oath before the House Oversight Committee that the U.S. has a secret UAP retrieval and reverse engineering program. He uncovered these details while working with a government UAP task force — a task force that has a long and deep connection to Skinwalker Ranch. 

To review a comprehensive, in-depth breakdown of all of Grusch’s claims, with citations, see our story here

Grusch Served on the UAP Task Force at the Same Time as Travis Taylor

David Grusch testifying at the House hearing (C-SPAN)
David Grusch testifying at the House hearing (C-SPAN)

Grusch, 36, is a former combat officer who served in Afghanistan and a veteran of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Debrief reported when first breaking the story about Grusch’s allegations. According to Debrief, Grusch was on the government’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF)  from 2019 to 2021, serving as a representative for the NRO. Then from late 2021 to July 2022, he was the NGA’s UAPTF representative and co-lead of UAP analysis. 

Dr. Travis Taylor serves as a scientist and host of History Channel’s The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch. This compelling series explores unexplained phenomenon on the Utah ranch, including UAP orbs, mysterious electronics failures, time anomalies, and more. There have been a lot of theories made about the ranch’s storied history, including the theory that there might be a buried UAP on the ranch grounds or a secret underground base

It appears that Taylor’s time on the UAP task force overlapped with Grusch’s. 

Dr. Travis Taylor on Skinwalker Ranch (History Channel)
Dr. Travis Taylor on Skinwalker Ranch (History Channel)

Jay Stratton, who worked with Bigelow at Skinwalker Ranch before Fugal purchased the ranch, brought Taylor onto the UAP Task Force, 8 News Now reported. Taylor told 8 News Now that Stratton asked him to be the chief scientist while he was heading UAPTF. The task force’s job included summarizing known UFO evidence for Congress and highlighting the most compelling 144 cases. 

In a separate interview with Mystery Wire, Taylor shared that it was in 2019 that Stratton asked him to join, after he reached out to the Pentagon about concerns he had regarding potential security issues at Skinwalker Ranch.

So if Taylor joined the task force around 2019, that would overlap with when The Debrief said Grusch was part of the UAPTF from 2019 to 2021. 

One Redditor noted that during a Skinwalker Ranch livestream, Taylor was asked about Grusch and he simply said that he was a colleague and he couldn’t say any more. 

Before Grusch’s Allegations Went Public, Taylor Spoke About Whistleblower Programs and UAPs

A scene from Skinwalker Ranch
A scene from Skinwalker Ranch

There’s an interesting Reddit thread on the Skinwalker Ranch subreddit where fans discussed a panel that Taylor took part in at AlienCon, before Grusch’s allegations were made public. They note that in June 2023, Stratton, Taylor, and George Knapp spoke about UAP secrecy at AlienCon, and Joe Murgia shared a transcript on Twitter of what they shared. 

It’s unclear if this is a word-for-word transcript or instead a summary, so keep that in mind while reading this section.

During the panel, Knapp brought up the new law Congress had passed protecting whistleblowers. He talked about how they had all heard rumors of legacy UFO programs that reverse engineered UAPs, and wondered if that might open the door for whistleblowers to speak to Congress. 

In the transcript, Taylor started out by emphasizing that he has no knowledge of whether such a legacy program exists or not. He noted that if such a program existed, whoever created a legacy program for the Roswell crash, for example, would be long since retired and possibly dead. Any new people added to that SAP (special access program) would now also be close to aging out.

The transcript reports Taylor noting: “And they signed a non-disclosure agreement for life, if it’s a Special Access Program, unacknowledged. You never, as long as you live, reveal that that existed or you’ll go to jail for the rest of your life…”

The transcript then notes that he said about the new whistleblower clause: “There was no way for any of these people to actually tell anybody, because nobody in Congress has any knowledge of any of these unacknowledged SAPs, that can be briefed. So, that’s what the whistleblower clause is for, to create a super caveat, a super-access program that they can brief upwards in classification to, and there would be some elected officials that are briefed into that program so we have elected-official oversight. That doesn’t mean they’ll ever tell the general public, but at least you could be somewhat comfortable in knowing that you had an elected official that was at least doing oversight.”

The Former Owner of Skinwalker Ranch, Robert Bigelow, Helped Launch an Extensive Government UAP Research Program

However, Taylor and Grusch working on UAPTF at the same time is just the beginning of connections between Skinwalker Ranch and government UAP programs. Government-run UAP task forces have existed under different iterations and different names, starting with a connection to the former owner of Skinwalker Ranch, Robert Bigelow. 

In 2007, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid launched the Advanced Aerospace Weapon Systems Applications Program (AAWSAP) to study UAPs. Robert Bigelow, who owned Skinwalker Ranch before current owner Brandon Fugal, persuaded Reid to start the program, CNN reported in 2007. 

Interestingly, it was in 2008 that Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) revived its Skinwalker Ranch lab to study UAPs there, according to a website called Enigma Labs. Enigma Labs notes that AATIP (Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program) is a sub-office of AAWAP that ran until it was officially shut down in 2012. Luis Elizondo oversaw AATIP for almost a decade, including for a few years after it was the “official” shutdown, he has previously stated

BAASS (Bigelow’s aerospace company) won a contract from AATIP and wrote a 494-page report about UFO sightings that has not been released publicly, Wikipedia noted. Hal Puthoff, chief scientist for BAASS, gave a public presentation about BAASS’s studies several years ago, 8 News Now reported, and said the group studied topics like warp drives, invisibility, and metamaterials, allegedly including unknown material from crash sites. (Interestingly, this includes many topics that are still theorized in connection with Skinwalker Ranch to this day.) 

After AATIP was shut down, the Pentagon in 2020 admitted that it had another similar program called the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force (UAPTF), Baltimore Sun reported. This program was created to “standardize collection and reporting” on UAP sightings and report on its findings every six months. This is the group that Grusch and Taylor were part of starting in 2019, based on media sources cited above.

UAPTF pre-dated AARO (All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office) which is now led by Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick, The Debrief reported. The UAP task force was expanded into AARO so it could also investigate underwater phenomena, according to Debrief. 

Jay Stratton, who worked with Bigelow at Skinwalker Ranch before Fugal purchased the ranch, has been involved in almost every UAP program iteration: AAWSAP, AATIP, and UAPTF, 8 News Now reported.

He and Elizondo co-wrote a letter shared on Twitter (and embedded above) sharing how proud they were of Grusch’s testimony and the UAP House hearing that took place in July. 

An Original Member of AATIP Came Forward & Said ‘The Threat at Skinwalker Was Legitimate’

Stratton talked on Skinwalker Ranch this season about an encounter they had when he was there as part of Bigelow’s team. He said that one night in particular, here was a line at the ranch that they couldn’t cross “no matter how hard we tried” due to interference from an unknown phenomenon. He said they felt intense fear and a teammate saw a “dark mass” over Homestead 2, an area on the ranch known for strange activity still to this day. 

J.L. Bourne recently spoke out on social media about his connection to Skinwalker Ranch and AATIP. He said on Twitter that he was an original member of AATIP, and said he was with Stratton when he had the strange experiences on the ranch that he recounted this season. 

“I was @jaystratton’s teammate that night,” Bourne tweeted. “He can confirm. The threat at Skinwalker was legitimate. I was an OG member of #AATIP working for the IC as an active duty naval officer. As a published novelist, I could have written a few books about all of this but chose not to. I’m coming out on @X to get ahead of the major league dox being orchestrated against me.”

According to Bourne’s website, he’s a published author with “twenty years of active military and intelligence community service behind him.” 

So in summary, there are numerous connections between Grusch, UAP programs, and Skinwalker Ranch, including: 

  • Grusch and Taylor served on UAPTF at the same time
  • Bigelow, the previous owner of Skinwalker Ranch, helped launch AATIP and had the first AATIP contract
  • Stratton, who worked for Bigelow at Skinwalker Ranch, had signifcant roles in every UAP government research program that predated AARO
  • Bigelow’s company produced a 400+ page report on UAPs for AATIP that has never been made public, but may have included discussing phenomenon similar to what we’ve seen on the Skinwalker Ranch TV series 
  • Stratton and Elizondo co-authored a letter sharing how pleased they were with the House UAP hearing and Grusch, Graves, and Fravor’s testimonies.

We will continue updating this story as we have more information. 

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    Stephanie Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. She's a licensed attorney and has a master's in science and technology journalism. You can reach her at [email protected].

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