Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The New Owner of "Skinwalker Ranch" Steps Forward, and He's No Stranger to Weird Stuff [Updated March 13]

A secretive company called Adamantium Real Estate bought the supposedly haunted "Skinwalker Ranch" from Robert Bigelow in 2016. The company was named for a fictional metal alloy in Marvel comic books that was indestructible, and nobody knew who was hiding behind that impenetrable corporate shell. Well, now we know. His name is Brandon Fugal, and (as might be expected), he is no stranger to weird things and weird claims.

Fugal steps forward in an interview just published in Vice by M. J. Banias, "This Is the Real Estate Magnate Who Bought Skinwalker Ranch, a UFO Hotspot." Cynics suggest that Fugal revealed himself only because of the forthcoming series "The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch"  on the "History" Channel on March 31, and wanted to take full advantage of that publicity.

Fugal's bio from the website of the Ancient Historical Research Foundation

We read in Banias' article,
Fugal’s journey to Skinwalker Ranch began in 2010. He and several other investors launched a project focused on testing gravitational physics theories involving exotic propulsion and renewable energy. In really simple terms, it was an attempt to create a gravitational reduction device that could produce clean energy. Fugal admits it was a shot in the dark.

“It was a challenging time. Admittedly, we were all governed by this childlike wonder. We were filled with excitement and gut-wrenching frustration at every turn,” Fugal said.
Do you care to hazard a guess who it might be that Fugal teamed up with in that dubious undertaking? Here is a hint: Who else lives in Utah, and is trying to build an anti-gravity device? That's easy: Joe Firmage. I wrote about this last year. That ill-considered venture has now resulted in the "Anti-Gravity Lawsuit" that TV producer Robert Kiviat has filed against Firmage and some of his associates, alleging that he didn't get paid for his work on their anti-gravity systems. Brandon Fugal is mixed up in that Anti-Gravity lawsuit, and will be called to testify.

Joe Firmage with his Anti-Gravity device (from his video).
Banias asked Fugal, "People have speculated that you are trying to develop a ‘paranormal retreat’ or a tourist destination." His reply:
Really? That isn’t going to happen. The ranch isn’t some place for ghost hunters to get their jollies. It's a serious scientific endeavor that requires patience and humility, and I have committed significant resources dedicated to discovering the truth of what is really happening. What a silly idea.

There is zero intention to monetize it in any way, although we do have traditional ranching activities such as raising cattle.
Fugal's answer doesn't seem to mesh with the Trademark filing he made for "Skinwalker Ranch," which lists the purpose of the venture as "Providing recreation facilities; Arranging and conducting special events for social entertainment purposes; Entertainment..." Hmmmm.

As researcher Tom Mellett has noted, Fugal is listed as a director of the Ancient Historical Research Foundation, an organization dedicated to investigating dubious claims about the "hidden history" of ancient civilizations that are described in the Book of Mormon. Another director of that organization is the physicist Dr. Steven Jones, well known as a "9-11 Truther," who suggests that the WTC buildings were destroyed in a controlled demolition.

A recent lecture sponsored by the Ancient Historical Research Foundation  told how "Sixty years ago in Central Utah, John Brewer discoverd a cave of stone boxes, ancient records and giant mummies."

[UPDATE March 13: Brandon Fugal now says that his association with AHRF ended in 2005, although that website still listed him as a Director until a few days ago. He also says that he does not believe that 'anomalous archaeology' stuff.]

Brandon Fugal was a Director of the Ancient Historical Research Foundation, which researches "Giant Mummies"
and stuff like that..

Saturday, March 7, 2020

'British UAP Sightings Now Online' - Another Facepalm for To The Stars

Oh, really?
TTSA writes, "British #UAP sightings dating back from 1950s to 2009 will be shared publicly for the first time, according to the British Royal Air Force. This recent Interesting Engineering feature details what can be expected." The posting links to an article claiming, "British UFO Sightings Will Be Published Online for the First Time Ever," and is illustrated by a fake photo of a flying saucer hovering over London's Tower Bridge.  In it we find the omnipresent Nick Pope, who claims to have once run the "MOD UFO Project,"

I knew that couldn't be correct. I had written back in 2013 that 
Dr. David Clarke
In fact, the sightings were first published on 4 December 2007. Somehow TTSA didn't get the word. As I have said before, DeLonge, Elizondo, and their crew are Babes in the Woods in matters of UFOlogy and UFO history.

To be sure, I contacted Dr. David Clarke about TTSA's claim. Clarke is a former reporter and currently course leader and senior lecturer in journalism at Sheffield Hallam University teaching media law and investigation skills. His Ph.D is in Folklore from the National Centre for English Cultural Tradition, University of Sheffield. From 2008-13 he acted as consultant and curator of the MoD UFO files project with The National Archives.

Dr. Clarke replied that "The story is complete nonsense," and referred me to his Blog entry of January 29, 2020, where we read:

Self-styled ‘former head of the [non-existent] British government UFO project’ Nick Pope is quoted by the MailOnline as saying he is pleased the public are going to be given an insight into ‘our work on these real-life X-files‘.

Sadly nothing could be further from the truth. As the MoD have made clear on numerous occasions, no work has been done on these ‘real life X-files’ since the admin office that logged calls was cut in 2009. ....  there is definitely nothing remotely ‘top secret’ being hidden away within these records and, as this link to MoD UFO reports 1997-2009 proves it is also not the first time – as incorrectly claimed – the UK MoD has made this type of material available online.
Clarke added:
There is nothing remotely top secret in the records it's just a list of FOI requests and emails from people reporting lights in the sky. Nick Pope has made a tidy living out of hyping this kind of story and then promoting himself to the media as a former British government UFO investigator. He was just a desk officer who answered letters about UFOs for three years during the '90s and was never in charge of anything There was never any such thing as a 'British Government UFO project'.

He included the following document drafted by the MOD, in response to an inquiry about UFOs from a Member of Parliament. It states, "The MOD has never operated anything described as 'The UFO Project'," adding "Mr. Pope elected to describe his position as the "Head of the MOD's UFO Project," a term entirely of his own invention."