Article by Contributor, Hunt The Skinwalker
On Saturday June 4, 2011 at about 9.30 PM, Riana Smith, Blake Bagley and their young infant son were driving North on 6500 East, North of Fort Duchesne Utah near Skinwalker Ranch, on their way to a friend’s house for a quiet get together. They were approaching a corner when out of nowhere a panicked cow burst from the undergrowth and ran directly in front of their car. Blake hit the brakes, but it was too late. The car hit the unfortunate cow head on. Suddenly the car headlights picked up a large wolf-like creature approximately six feet tall that ran on two legs into the road next to the prostate cow and continued running across the road in front of both astonished witnesses. Skinwalker Ranch investigators separated both witnesses and interviewed them individually. Both described a tall creature that had the head and shoulders of a German Shepherd or wolf with dark brown or black long hair. The beast was running very easily and rapidly on two legs and passed within a couple of feet of the cow as it lay in the road. According to both witnesses, the creature was originally heading East to North West in apparent pursuit of the cow but once in the headlights then abruptly turned and ran Southwest into the darkness.
The couple promptly called the Bureau of Indian affairs (BIA) and BIA responded to the scene. The damaged vehicle was towed from the scene and Skinwalker ranch investigators confirmed the incident was recorded in the BIA blotter although it was not assigned a report number. The couple were cooperative with Ranch researchers and brought them to the scene of the accident. A large stain was seen on the west side of the road and multiple pieces of clear yellow and black plastic were recovered from the vicinity. These pieces were consistent with the grill and front of the couples damaged vehicle. No evidence or unusual footprints were found at the scene. This case, if taken on its own, would inspire skepticism in most people. However, beginning in 2008, dozens of cases involving dogmen walking on two legs were relayed to Skinwalker Ranch investigators.
Consider another case that occurred within a stone’s throw of Skinwalker Ranch. Sometime during the month of October 2008, at approximately 4PM, Lamar Oaks and his 16 year-old son Craig were out in the backyard of their property that directly abuts the Skinwalker Ranch. Both carried .30-.30 rifles and they were target practicing. Their pit bull was browsing nearby. A movement about 60 yards North of their location near a ravine with a creek caught Lamar’s eye. The animal was dark colored and looked like a wild dog or coyote and both ranchers became concerned about an attack on their chickens, sheep, goats and other livestock. Lamar and Craig took aim and fired and both were certain that one shot had hit the animal. Then things became bizarre. Instead of the animal falling over, it stood up on its hind legs and looked deliberately at the astounded pair. The movement, according to Lamar was “intentional and graceful”. Both eyewitnesses had a clear, unobstructed view of the animal. Both described a thin coyote or wolf like creature with long coarse reddish hair, with regular dog like paws. The hind legs were angled and curved and Lamar described the front legs as retracted towards the chest “like a kangaroo”. The creature had a thick long bushy tail. Both men again raised their rifles and the animal suddenly ran swiftly Northward towards the creek. The pit bull took off in pursuit. The creature ran on two legs like a human and was able to outpace the pit bull. Both father and son confirmed that the creature did not hop or jump like a dog, but ran like a human. The creature crossed the creek and as Lamar and Craig approached the ravine, they could see the dogman disappearing into a group of Russian Olive trees.
The Skinwalker Ranch personnel conducted an investigation and thoroughly searched the area and separately interviewed both father and son over many months. Neither story changed over time. Both were certain that one of their shots had hit the creature.
Between 2008 and 2011 Skinwalker Ranch investigators created a grid like pattern around the Ranch and methodically began interviewing neighbors within a couple mile radius fanning out from the property. Over that three-year period they accumulated dozens of eyewitness testimonies of anomalies, including a large number of independent sightings of upright coyote or wolf like creatures some seen at night, but several were seen during the day.
Investigators tried to rule out eyewitness collusion by showing up unannounced at neighbors houses without calling first. This tactic was designed to limit neighbors calling neighbors, or witnesses “preparing” their stories. The dozens of eyewitness stories collected 2008-2011 were remarkably consistent and all described upright wolf like or dog like creatures within close proximity to the Skinwalker Ranch.
Interestingly, of the over 600 anomalous incidents gathered on the 480 acre Skinwalker Ranch property itself from 1994-2016, very few describe the dogman phenomenon. It is almost as if the dogmen stalk the outskirts of Skinwalker Ranch without necessarily invading the perimeter of the property.
Increased Dogmen Reports near Skinwalker Ranch after 2008
Readers of Hunt for the Skinwalker (1) are familiar with the concept of a wide variety of anomalies catalogued on Skinwalker Ranch property including Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), Bigfoot or Sasquatch, discarnate voices, hauntings, unidentified orange “holes” through which craft could be seen flying, poltergeist phenomena, cattle mutilations, dog killings and a wide variety of assorted bizarre paranormal episodes.
Only a tiny minority of ranch reports involve sightings of dogmen, but one earlier report described in Hunt for the Skinwalker took place in Fort Duchesne, the small village located a stone’s throw from the ranch is so bizarre as to defy belief. A security officer told investigators that a few times humans with dog heads were seen in the middle of the village of Fort Duchesne “smoking cigarettes”. Kelleher and Knapp describe this incident in Hunt for the Skinwalker as: “The figures he (the security officer) described are so unusual, so far outside the concept of reality as to be almost comical, like something out of a Saturday morning cartoon”. Yet, famed UFO investigator Ted Philipps in his investigations of the Marley Woods UFO hot spot in Southern Missouri also encountered a bizarre tale of dogmen smoking cigarettes.
Regardless of these quasi comical stories, a central thesis of this article is that the dozens of eyewitness reports of dogmen stalking the Skinwalker Ranch only came to the attention of Skinwalker Ranch investigators in late 2008/early 2009, about four years after the publication of the Hunt for the Skinwalker book. The NIDS investigations of 1996-2003 which also involved interviewing several dozens of eyewitnesses around Skinwalker ranch never turned up any reports or evidence of dogmen.
Famed local UFO celebrity Joseph (Junior) Hicks has been collecting reports of anomalies since 1951 from locals in the Uintah Basin. Hicks was science teacher at the local Roosevelt high school when he first began to hear reports of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) in the Uintah Basin. Hicks soon established a reputation for integrity and the ability to keep confidential information to himself, so local inhabitants began to relay reports to him. Over the years 1950-2017 Hicks, now a spry 90 years of age, has received several hundreds, maybe over a thousand, reports of anomalies throughout the Uintah Basin. The majority of the reports comprise “nuts and bolts” flying machines of unknown origin.
However, even Junior Hicks is not exempt from reports of the enigmatic “dogmen”. Hicks recounts a bizarre case of two young women encountering a dogman at a graveyard near Roosevelt several years ago. The creature fits the classic description of the animals seen in the vicinity of Skinwalker Ranch. The women became frightened by the menacing wolf like animal standing on two legs gazing silently at them, so they hurriedly got into their vehicle and sped off. Both women were terrified to realize that the creature was running on two legs close to the car and even more terrifying, appeared to be able to keep up with the vehicle. This bizarre drama continued for several miles after which the dogman veered off in another direction and was soon lost in the darkness.
Dogmen Around the United States
It was only when Skinwalker Ranch investigators began to look beyond the Ranch that it became obvious that the “dogman” phenomenon was not confined to rural Utah, but in fact was a national epidemic covering dozens of states. Ex newspaper reporter and author Linda Godfrey has collected scores of eyewitness testimonies from the Eastern part of the United States. Her book “The Michigan Dogmen” (2) is recommended reading and describes dozens of dogmen walking or running on two legs in Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, Wisconsin and in other states.
Why the Dogmen?
What is the explanation for the apparent upsurge in dogmen sightings around Skinwalker Ranch as well as in Eastern part of the United States? Has there been a sudden upsurge of magic mushroom ingestion around Skinwalker Ranch and around the Eastern US? Have people always encountered dogmen in these locations and never reported them, but now feel there is a more permissive environment in which to report these events? It is no secret that when Hunt for the Skinwalker was first published in 2005, thousands of copies were purchased in the Uintah Basin. Did the bizarre material documented in the book somehow lead to a greater social acceptance for coming forward and openly talking about dogmen standing on two legs whereas previously Uintah Basin inhabitants kept mum out of fear of ridicule or worse? Or are the latent deepest darkest fears of people in rural areas of the country suddenly coming alive and “manifesting” as dogmen or werewolves? Are dogmen stalking the outskirts of Skinwalker Ranch and other states an expression of long-suppressed fears of “monsters” in the Uintah Basin and elsewhere in rural America? Are the gates of hell opening?
1. Kelleher CA and Knapp G (2005) Hunt for The Skinwalker; Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah. Pocket Books; Simon & Schuster, New York NY.
2. Godfrey Linda S (2010). The Michigan Dogman; Werewolves and Other Unknown Canines Across the USA. Unexplained Research Publishing Company, Eau Claire WI.