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The Dark, Disturbing Reason Why Bigelow Sold Skinwalker Ranch

Skinwalker Ranch

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Skinwalker Ranch is not only the source of mysterious phenomena and UFOs, but it’s also been at the center of a heavily funded federal government investigation that’s still classified to this day. Brandon Fugal purchased the ranch in April 2016, and revealed in a recent interview that Robert Bigelow had a dark, disturbing reason for selling the ranch and stepping away from the Skinwalker research. Bigelow himself confirmed the rumors in a recent interview last month. 

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Bigelow’s Advisors Approached Fugal About Buying Skinwalker Ranch

Fugal shared stories about the ranch during an August 2023 multi-hour interview with the Shawn Ryan Show on YouTube. During the interview, he revealed how he acquired the ranch and why Robert Bigelow, the former owner, had decided to sell it. 

Around 1:21 into the interview, Fugal shared that before acquiring Skinwalker Ranch, he had worked with a young tech mogul in 2009-2010 who had UFO encounters and thought he had discovered technology that could enable anti-gravity. Fugal devoted resources to ultimately debunking the claim. 

“Through that experience, I developed relationships with a team of science advisors that, unbeknownst to me, were simultaneously advising an elusive billionaire out of Las Vegas named Robert Bigelow…” he shared. 

After he ended the anti-gravity project in 2013, two of Fugal’s science advisors approached and asked if he would like to meet with Bigelow about Skinwalker Ranch. Fugal said he made sure the science advisors knew that he was a skeptic who had just concluded a project where they had debunked core claims using scientific rigor. They were OK with that, so he flew to Las Vegas to meet with Bigelow. 

“(Bigelow’s facility) is the closest thing to a James Bond villain lair that I’ve ever seen,” Fugal joked. “…It’s an incredible facility. I mean, huge buildings that house full-size space stations and space habitats… They’re doing the materials science and the life safety testing and engineering…” 

The transaction for the ranch was completely private. 

“He was not putting the property up on the market for sale,” Fugal clarified. “…This was a very private transaction, private dialogue, and I told him I would acquire the property as long as my identity would be kept confidential. I worked with legal counsel to structure the entities that would shield my identity.” 

They closed on the property in April 2016.

Fugal said he was surprised at the shape the ranch was in when he bought it. The septic system wasn’t working, there was no fiber optic connectivity, and reports were simply transmitted by fax. For the first few months, he worked with Thomas Winterton and Jim Morris to just build out the infrastructure. 

Fugal said that when he acquired the ranch, he thought he would be finding prosaic explanations for all the mysterious phenomena. He was quickly proven wrong, and later decided to no longer hide his identity as the ranch owner. 

Fugal Said Bigelow Sold the Ranch After Having Dark Experiences Connected to It

Fugal speaking on the Shawn Ryan YouTube show.
Fugal speaking on the Shawn Ryan YouTube show.

Bigelow was interested in selling Skinwalker Ranch because he was moving on to other interests, including working with SpaceX, Fugal shared. But he later learned that there was more to the billionaire’s desire to leave the property behind. 

At around 2:17 into the video, Fugal elaborated on what he learned.

“Mr. Bigelow was actively engaged with growing his aerospace company and and jumping into the private space race…” Fugal said. “And the ranch, to a degree, it had faded. At the time I was led to believe that it was simply because Mr. Bigelow was just buried, very busy with getting his B modules and his space habitats up in orbit and ultimately on the moon and Mars, which I believe is true.”

But there was more.

“But also I’ve learned, he ascribed negative events afflicting his family to really his ownership of the ranch,” Fugal said. “Mr Bigelow blamed the ranch for dark disturbing events that happened in their lives. And it’s not my story to tell. It’s been told by others in the media and advisors. But owning the ranch was not a positive experience for him.” 

When Fugal asked to get access to some of the data Bigelow had acquired while studying the property with the government, Bigelow said no.

“He said, ‘Well, I’m selling the property on an as-is basis, I’m not willing to turn over any data,'” Fugal recalled. “Not only because the ranch was part of a Pentagon-funded black budget program between 2007 and 2013, but he went on to say that he felt that he wanted to keep that private. And I agreed… I didn’t push. I asked respectfully and I respected his response…”

Bigelow Himself Said He Sold the Ranch Due to Hitchiker Effects

Screenshot from Bigelow's interview on YouTube with Jeffrey Mishlove
Screenshot from Bigelow’s interview on YouTube with Jeffrey Mishlove

In an interview with Jeffrey Mishlove in August 2023, Bigelow confirmed the rumors that he sold the ranch due to something coined the “hitchhiker effect.” This is the idea that certain “entities” connected to the ranch might actually stay connected to people investigating Skinwalker, even after they leave. Mishlove asked Bigelow if he sold the ranch because dark, paranormal experiences kept happening and he couldn’t protect his people from it. Bigelow said yes.

“I think there were several reasons,” Bigelow said at about 27 minutes into the interview. “That was the biggest one. I had no way of, knowing how much things were going to get carried away. Which we later had to prepare for separately. And it happened. So harm coming to people was number one.”

But he was also moving on to other interests. That part was also true, Bigelow clarified.

“Number two, we were going full bore in the aerospace company by 2017,” he recalled. “That was before COVID and before my wife’s passing. And she passed in February of 2020. And so I was her caretaker in 2019, 18, 17, 16. She didn’t want nurses around so I was her caretaker…”

He said he just wasn’t really sure what to do with Skinwalker Ranch anymore. 

“I guess maybe outgrowing it isn’t quite the right word because how can you ever outgrow something so phenomenal?” Bigelow said. “I think it is we weren’t too sure what else we should do with it.”

He indicated vaguely that they were getting demonstrations from entities, but they weren’t sure how to respond. He said they didn’t want it to get to the point where an entity was sending them an actual invitation. They had some kind of a “rapport” going on with the entities, Bigelow hinted, but they were just getting to know each other when the project ended. 

“We weren’t in the dating frame of mind yet,” Bigelow said. “We were just trying to understand the who and the parameters. … We try to be as much in harmony as we can. And my philosophy with the other side… I think really boils down to two things. Stop asking what they can do for me. I want to know what can I do for the other side. That’s number one… And the second is, ‘What advice and wisdom can you offer us as to how should we operate and manage our institute?’ … I’m trying to get advice from the other side.”

He said it was possible they weren’t understanding the messages being sent to them. 

“And they can say, you know, we’ve been trying to tell you that’s what all these hunches are for,” Bigelow continued. “All this intuition that you’ve been ignoring. We’ve been pounding on your door just like the story about God and the guy on the roof of his house and the flood.

His interview lines up with quotes from the book “Skinwalkers at the Pentagon,” according to a Reddit discussion from a year ago. “Skinwalkers at the Pentagon” was written by Colm A. Kelleher and can be purchased on Amazon here (note: this is an affiliate link and we may earn a commission from sales.) 

The discussion includes quotes from the book noting that Bigelow was frustrated at knowning an intelligence was there but not being able to really communicate with it. And that he was very disturbed by things that happened to some of the people investigating the ranch. 

Bigelow was quoted as saying: “Everybody took things home with them; I took things to my house, things happened to my wife and to me. Everybody took things home. We all did, but we didn’t know it was like gonna be kind of permanent. We didn’t know that this going to stay with you for maybe years and years or rest of your life. Who knows? And it’s not that it happened on the ranch, it was when they left the ranch, I do say hitchhikers. And these are government people and it affected them in very dramatic ways. Very dramatic ways.”

But Bigelow was careful to find someone to take over the ranch who would be cautious with it and continue the research. And now that is continuing with Fugal and the Skinwalker Ranch team. 

This work by Stephanie Dwilson is licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0. Please note that this license does not include photos or videos that may be in the story.

    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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