“And folk to come, ayont the sea,
May hear the yowl of the Banshee,
And frae the water-kelpie flee,
Ere a’ things cease,
And island bairns may stolen be
By the Folk o’ Peace.”
– Andrew Lang
HUNT FOR THE SKINWALKER
Just south of the small town of Ballard, Utah outside there is an infamous piece of land that has been given the unsettling moniker of “Skinwalker Ranch“. Its name is derived from the local Ute Amerindian tribal lore, which states that the ranch itself is located along “the path of the Skinwalker“.
In the lore of the Navajo peoples and other Amerindian tribes of the “Four Corners” region of the southwestern U.S., a “Skinwaker” is a shaman/medicine man who has “attained the highest level of priesthood in the tribe, but chose to use his or her power for evil by taking the form of an animal to inflict pain and suffering on others.”
According to the legend, in order to become a Skinwalker, the sorcerer must do, what according to the local Amerindian tribes is the most evil of deeds- the intentional killing of a close family member. According to the late outdoor survival guide, researcher and founder of “Crypto Four Corners“, J.C. Johnson; the Skinwalker is initiated into what is a secretive cult of dark sorcerers- the price of initiation being the sacrifice of a parent, sibling, spouse, or child.
After completing this task, the shaman gains immense power, and is essentially transformed into a supernatural being; capable of shape-shifting into the animal whose pelt they were initiated with. They will then go prowling about, harassing and terrorizing whomever they are taken to for the purposes of either a personal or professional nature (i.e. they are contracted out).
Whether this transformation is done through masterful illusion work (as has been practiced in various psychospiritual mystery cults the world over), or if the Skinwalker is truly able to bend the fabric of matter (or both); the bottom line is that the Skinwalker is extremely hard to catch.
However, when they are caught, according to Johnson, they are dealt with in the most harsh manner as they are seen to have essentially given up their humanity due to the sheer wickedness of their actions. Navajo legend has it that once someone is able to successfully track a Skinwalker and learn his true identity, he must pronounce the sorcerer’s name in full. When this happens, the Skinwalker will fall ill and/or die for their wicked deeds.
Tribal policing of the supernatural is a very secretive thing, but many within the Amerindian community will at least acknowledge such a thing exists, even if they refuse to talk about it. To this day, among a great number of these peoples, the Skinwalker is seen as a very real, and very dangerous being, that is seldom mentioned or discussed out of fear of attracting his ire.
While these legends have been around for centuries, and persist across the southwest, it is not just its association with tribal lore that has garnered Skinwalker Ranch its reputation. Reports of poltergeist activity, disembodied overhead voices, mysterious flying objects, cattle mutilations and animal disappearances, crop circles, “Bigfoot”, shadowy humanoid figures, extinct prehistoric animals, strange underground metal-on-metal sounds described as sounding like “machinery“, and aggressive orbs of light that terrorize humans and animals.
One particularly disturbing incident occurred when a group of three dogs was reported chasing one of these “orbs”. The owners saw them go into the woods after it, only to hear a horrible cry, and find no trace of the animals except three piles of oily black goo, as though they had been “vaporized”.
In all the occurrences of sightings of entities by ranch hands and those that later came to study the place, these beings seem to appear out of nowhere, materialize into visible bodies that even had significant weight at times, only to then vanish again. There are reports of witnesses tracking strange creatures only to have their tracks suddenly disappear with no trace of the beast.
In one instance, an actual opening was seen to appear above the ground resembling what could only be described as a “portal”, opening in this world, but showing a strange alien light on the other side. Stranger still, from this opening a shadowy humanoid figure appeared to literally push the portal open and step out, disappearing into the shadows, with the portal closing behind it.
The seemingly unending cycle of strange occurrences at the ranch drew the attention of real-estate tycoon, Bob Bigelow, founder of the “National Institute for Discovery Science” (NIDS), which was created to study UFOs, the paranormal and other phenomena that Bigelow saw as having never been subjected to serious, well-funded scientific investigation. Bigelow bought the property and conducted studies with a team of people from across the STEM fields, many of whom had government backgrounds of one kind or other. At one point, Bigelow even received funding from the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program– a secret, but unclassified U.S. government program.
In 2016, Bigelow sold the ranch to the somewhat mysterious “Adamantium Holdings“; a corporation that is based out of Georgetown, Guyana and apparently does business in precious metals and mining (any comic nerd will tell you ‘adamantium’ is the fictitious indestructible material that Wolverine’s claws are made of).
However, in the Jeremy Corbell documentary “Hunt of the Skinwalker“; of which the video clip above is a trailer for, the head of Adamantuim Holdings and new owner of the ranch (whose identity is kept confidential) states that they are now continuing private research essentially where NIDS left off.
The documentary itself is based on the book of the same name by biochemist Dr. Colm Kelleher (who worked for NIDS at the ranch) and TV journalist George Knapp (whose unreleased tapes provided the basis for Corbell’s film). Both men have been speaking about the paranormal events at the ranch since the book’s release in 2005.
On a personal note in regards to the film, while I was taken in by the stories and documentation presented as I had not heard of any of this prior; and while the production value was decent; the director unfortunately seemed as though was modeling his documentary style after Michael Moore, inserting his “personal journey of discovery” into the film as sort of the “other” main narrative- complete with cliche scenes of him staring at a wall with pictures and news-clippings with lines connecting them.
In a 2017 interview, Dr. Colm Kelleher spoke of the frustrations of attempting to apply empirical scientific method and procedures with “non-repeating phenomena” that don’t seem to obey the general laws of physics. He also spoke of a general consensus among those working at NIDS that there seemed to be an over-arching “consciousness” that would seem to toy with them, playing games as to when and how it presented itself.
THE SECRET COMMONWEALTH
In an article I wrote three years ago entitled, “The Thinning of the Veil“, I looked at descriptions of paranormal encounters and compared them with descriptions of “lower entities” (demons, siths, etc.) from folklore and esoteric writings. I am picking up that topic again, as the events described above have roused and unsettled me in a particular way, that I wish to use this essay as a way of “fleshing out“.
But first I want to go back to a work I mentioned briefly in “The Thinning of the Veil“, which describes another attempt at serious investigation into encounters with the paranormal.
In 1891, renowned Scottish poet, novelist, literary critic, and folklorist/anthropologist, Andrew Lang (publisher of Lang’s Fairy Books), re-published an obscure work along with his commentary on it, under the title “The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns, and Fairies“.
The work was originally penned in 1691 (but not actually published until 1815) by a Scottish scholar and minister named Robert Kirk, under the incredibly lengthy title: “The Secret Commonwealth or an Essay on the Nature and Actions of the Subterranean (and for the most part) Invisible People heretofore going under the names of Fauns and Fairies, or the like, among the Low Country Scots as described by those who have second sight, 1691.”
In a similar spirit of folks like Dr. Kelleher, George Knapp and Bob Bigelow, Kirk sought to collect what were generally understood to be honest and truthful accounts by those who experienced or were close to those that had encounters with the Siths (pronounced shees):
“These Siths or Fairies, they call Sleah Maith, or the ‘Good People’, it would seem, to prevent the dint of their ill attempts, (for the Irish used to bless all they fear harm of;) and are said to be of a middle Nature between Man and Angel, as were Daemons thought to be of old; of intelligent studious Spirits, and light changeable Bodies (like those called Astral,) somewhat of the Nature of a condensed cloud, and best seen in Twilight. These Bodies be so plyable through the subtlety of the Spirits that agitate them, that they can make them appear of disappear at pleasure.”
In his commentary, Lang remarks how Kirk “treats his matter in a scientific spirit, as if he were dealing with generally recognized phenomena“.
Among the rural Gaelic peasant folk, “Sith” was essentially a blanket term for any number of strange, entities that seem to materialize and de-materialize at will, and often torment and abduct humans as well as animals (particularly livestock).
At the time Kirk was conducting his investigations, Western Europe was entering into what became known as the “Enlightenment“. Ironically, having spent most of its existence as a rural outpost in the hinterlands of Europe, Scotland became the producer of some of the most influential minds of the Enlightenment. The rational, scientific, and ultimately, materialistic spirit of the Enlightenment was embodied in figures like David Hume, Adam Smith and James Watt– all of whom were Scots that were integral to shaping the modern world.
This ideal that was taking over societies throughout Europe would come to operate in direct opposition to the rural peasant folk; eventually causing them to be forced off the land they had been on for generations, and forced into the cities and factories to work, eventually losing connection to the land and the old folk customs and traditions.
The shepherds and farmers that lived in the Scottish lowlands were in tune with the land in a supersensible way. Throughout history, “sophisticated” urbanites would often marvel at the uncanny ways the peasant could seem to communicate and understand the animals and plants in his or her environment. This deep knowing that existed from being rooted to a place and a simple way of life for generations; a way of life rooted in the Natural world.
Was it this rooted-ness to the land that enabled these rural peasant folks to see and perceive what others rooted in the life and mindset of the city could not?
Or was there something about the land itself?
Or is it a bit of both?
Perhaps befitting of his own legacy, the end of Rev. Kirk’s life is shrouded in an air of supernatural mystery. While Kirk supposedly was supposedly cremated, with his remains placed in a tomb at the east end of the Aberfoyle churchyard where he ministered, it has been reported that the remains are not there.
Stranger still are the words of his successor at the church, the Rev. Dr. Grahame, who, according to Lang, stated in his “Sketches of Picturesque Scenery” that “as Mr. Kirk was walking on a dun-shi, or fairy-hill, in his neighborhood, he sunk down in a swoon, which was taken for death.”
In his retelling of the account, Andrew Lang quotes famed Scotsman Sir Walter Scott, who said this of Kirk’s legendary disappearance:
” After the ceremony of a seeming funeral, the form of the Rev. Robert Kirk appeared to a relation, and commanded him to go to Grahame of Duchray.
‘Say to Duchray, who is my cousin as well as your own, that I am not dead, but a captive in Fairyland; and only one chance remains for my liberation. When the posthumous child, of which my wife has been delivered since my disappearance, shall be brought to baptism, I will appear in the room, when, if Duchray shall throw over my head the knife or dirk which he holds in his hand, I may be restored to society; but if this is neglected, I am lost for ever.‘”
According to Lang, apparently what appeared to be the apparition of Mr. Kirk did appear at the baptism and was “visibly seen“. Unfortunately though, Duchray was so astonished by the occurrence, that he could do little more that stare with slack-jaw, and hence did not complete the task that was needed in order to restore Kirk to this reality.
Of all the factors generally looked upon as contributing to the creation of folk tales from across the world, experiences of rural, native farming, herding, “peasant” folk with paranormal entities that seem to live in certain remote to semi-remote areas is almost never discussed.
Looking at these stories, it becomes difficult for me not to conclude that much of what we call folktales, and in particular, faerie lore, might be actual re-tellings of paranormal encounters from the perspective of individuals who would have seen, understood and described the world in ways very different from that of a modern American.
Indeed, the paranormal in and of itself is an area of human experience that is rarely discussed or looked into with any degree of seriousness. It is perhaps more comfortable to nervously laugh and ridicule those who cite personal experience with these entities, than it is to accept what the ramifications of what proving the existence of these things would be to us, our society and our world.
At Skinwalker Ranch, the researchers found that digging in the ground seemed to agitate this phenomena, causing paranormal activity to take place. Again, we have ties to the ground and the Earth, which along with the sounds of metal-on-metal underground, is reminiscent of Northern European and Eurasian tales of dwarves; as well as a consistent theme of the faeries being associated with the Underworld.
Myths, legends and folklore from around the world describe strange, seemingly otherworldly entities that dwell beneath the Earth. Does this correlate with the numerous accounts of modern-day UFO and “cryptid” taking place around caverns and bodies of water, with the beings often seen as originating from them?
But beyond this, I see an ethical question that lies in the middle of all this- one that may force itself upon more and more of us as the Veil seems to thin: These beings will often inflict a vast array of trauma upon humans and animals. What do we do about this?
This idea of studying them is all well and good, but the fact remains that they act in a malicious manner towards life on this plane- and we humans are the stewards of life on this plane. These astral beings are NOT “gods”‘ and they are NOT our superiors, and it would be right for one to bring them heel if they act in a way that causes harm to us those we are charged to protect.
Stories of men and women who have proven themselves superior to these sorts of beings are found throughout esoteric histories. The story of King Solomon tricking and binding the Goetia demons, forcing them to build his temple, only to then lock them away in various objects reminds us that even in our somewhat fallen state, we are the ones who are made in the image of the Creator.
And while to many, the existence of these sorts of entities and their potential to cause harm, may seem something so fringe that, even if true to some extent, are inconsequential to our lives. But I might argue that the rise of things like Artificial Intelligence and what appears to be a gravitational pull towards human consciousness to merging with “the machine“. With the construction of an artificial non-physical reality, what would the potential be for beings that are adept in navigating between different levels of reality to find their way into that one?
While this perhaps sounds like something out of a sci-fi novel, I would say that some sort of confrontation with the Sith in one of the virtual worlds envisioned by both gamers and transhumanists, may be more of a possibility than we may want to think.
Perhaps even stranger still, is the idea of developing “occult technology“. Although the idea of fusing science with what is seen as “the occult” is not really new, if such a technology were created with modern capabilities that enabled us to magnify psychic energy, or perhaps even pass through the other side of “the Veil“- and if the work of Tesla and others on ether technology is truly capitalized upon, the latter may be possible (if it hasn’t already been done); then we theoretically would be able on a more level playing field when it comes to confronting such entities.
Perhaps one day such technology may be employed in a sort of conflict that we could have never imagined.
But in the meantime, it is probably best not to go around challenging paranormal entities, which can vary GREATLY in power and intelligence, to a fight. In his book, “The Practical Psychic Self-Defense Handbook“, psychic energy worker and mystic Robert Bruce gives the following warning about confronting negative non-physical entities, or “Negs“:
“It is unwise to openly challenge or abuse Negs, verbally or mentally. Doing so could antagonize them and make matters worse…
It is also very unwise to let Negs know you are aware of them and what they are. Negs generally try to hide their true existence. If Negs drop the pretense, the gloves come off, and problems and phenomena can escalate. Please take this caution seriously.”
It is worth noting that these things cannot seem to stand the Light of the physical and spiritual Sun/Son. When we first and foremost, maintain a relationship with the Self; the Light within, and fill our atmosphere with that Light, while simultaneously calling down the Light of the Christ above; the Light of WR-ALDA.
An old teacher of mine used to continuously stress “staying grounded”; meaning staying clearheaded, sober, and generally out of trouble. He would stress working on ourselves to become strong mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually- because exploiting weakness is what these things do.
In closing, I want to go back to the Skinwalker and the idea of gaining psychic and temporal power through communion with lower entities. The temptation of gaining power through access to these lower realms and entities is something that has been with us for a very, very long time.
And when one compares the phenomena of cattle mutilations (of which Skinwalker Ranch had many) in which the bodies appear to have been drained of blood; with the per-requisites for exsanguination (being bled to death) of all ritual slaughters within that of Judaic and Islamic religious rite (which would have had their roots in earlier Middle Eastern traditions of ritual sacrifice); one could go so far as to suggest that these ancient “deities” that were said to have demanded these types of blood sacrifice, were not deities at all.
Following this thought, it would not be a stretch to assume that the priest class that did these blood sacrifices, did so at the behest of these entities after forming some sort of pact or “covenant” with them- no doubt with the promises of some sort of “reward” for their service.
Those dark priests and sorcerers who knowingly enter into pacts with these lower entities (as opposed to those that are genuinely deceived in some way), are often motivated by the desire to gain something (power, knowledge, wealth, etc.) in a very worldly or temporal way.
But there is always a cost. And sometimes that cost can be rather steep. So be warned.
In closing, I will cite a passage from the book, “Psychic Self-Defense“, in which the famed British occultist Dion Fortune makes the following statement in regards to those that look to take such short cuts:
“Those who choose to graduate into a Black Lodge… do so with their eyes open, and experience must be their teacher. One cannot feel that they deserve much sympathy if their experience is a painful one. The person I am out to help is the person who is a victim, not the one who is hoist to his own petard (creates his own problems). The man or woman who, rejecting the steady grade of the Way of Initiation, chooses to go up with a rocket had better come down with the stick.”
WR-ALDA’S Blessings unto you and yours.
“The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies“