Sunday, October 13, 2019

Former Skinwalker Personnel Suspect They Were Unwitting Research Subjects

Robert Bigelow
Two men who state they formerly worked on Robert Bigelow's Skinwalker Ranch are expressing concerns they were unwitting research subjects during their employment. Chris Marx and Chris Bartel took to social media and podcasts to voice claims they experienced paranormal-like events at the ranch and that they underwent medical tests they now suspect involved research lacking their knowledge and fully informed consent. 

Marx suggested legal action may be forthcoming:

Bartel on Twitter:

Each of the two men were interviewed by Erica Lukes. More about their claims may also be found at the blog of Keith Basterfield, who is following this developing story. It is yet to be seen how much documentation will be presented to support the statements and allegations made by Marx and Bartel, but the circumstances have the potential to prove interesting.

Concerns about adherence to human research subject protocols arose when a statement attributed to a BAASS senior manager was posted May 4, 2018, by Channel 8 in Las Vegas, the host of controversial reporter George Knapp. The statement asserted BAASS adopted "a novel approach of utilizing the human body as a readout system for dissecting interactions with the UFO phenomenon." It was further asserted that several medical technologies and related tools were used "for in depth study of the effects of UFOs on humans." 

Such circumstances were previously suggested in the now well known NYT article published in December of 2017 that broke the AATIP story. The article stated, "Researchers also studied people who said they had experienced physical effects from encounters with the objects and examined them for any physiological changes," but no details or substantiation were provided.

Information pertaining to the review, approval, and oversight of research involving human subjects is thus far sorely lacking from the vague and anonymous reports. To date there has been no clarification of specifics surrounding the medical exams or whether the work was approved by an institutional review board, or IRB, which ensures adherence to legal and ethical standards. Several FOIA requests are pending which researchers hope will shed light on the methodologies and means of measuring progress of such claimed studies, among many other questions which remain unanswered, and, in many instances, unasked around the UFO circuit.

Non-lethal weapons expert,
former NIDS spokesperson,
CIA consultant, and ufology
influencer, John Alexander
Long before the 2017 article at the Times, select researchers expressed concerns the Skinwalker saga was misrepresented for what might be a number of different reasons and motives from one person to the next. Among the suspected reasons was the possible existence of some type of classified research and development project. 

The suppositions seem bolstered by a 1996 AP article (pictured below) in which non-lethal weapons expert Col. John Alexander, acting as a spokesperson for Robert Bigelow's now dissolved National Institute for Discovery Science, made vague and contradicting statements. Alexander told the AP a mission of NIDS was to make information widely available yet simultaneously declined to provide details of how or why research was being conducted at Skinwalker Ranch.   

"You know, the Skinwalker Ranch to me is interesting for a couple reasons," writer, researcher, and former MUFON International Director James Carrion explained in 2014.

"There's a mythology that was being built up. Why was it being built up? I think it had somewhat to do with the mythology surrounding Area 51. Somebody wants to continue that mythology."

Summing up his thoughts on Bigelow and the Skinwalker Ranch, Carrion added, "All I know is somebody is obfuscating what is really going on, and I don't think it has to do with protecting people's lives [concerning the lack of access and lack of transparency]. I think it's something else."

The funding sources for research conducted at Skinwalker are as unclear as the objectives and outcomes. The Defense Intelligence Agency, which funded the AAWSAP, responded to an FOIA request it has no records pertaining to contracts undertaken with or funding provided to NIDS. 

It may be noteworthy that the FOIA does not require agencies to disclose the existence of properly classified records. It is somewhat feasible such records exist and are classified. 

The National Security Agency, rumored to have been involved at Skinwalker, fully denied an FOIA request for documents pertaining to NIDS and BAASS. "Please be advised that due to security concerns, this is our standard response to all requests where we reasonably believe acquisition records are being sought on a contract or contract related activity," the NSA explained.

Many FOIA requests to the DIA remain pending on BAASS. One FOIA request which was completed, however, substantiates that BAASS was indeed awarded an AAWSAP contract in 2008. Details of what was ultimately delivered are yet to be fully disclosed. The project may eventually prove to have taken place in either part or whole at Skinwalker Ranch, but, as of this writing, that is yet to be established, as is a great deal about activities surrounding NIDS, BAASS, and intelligence agencies. 

Part of an FOIA response from DIA establishing BAASS
was awarded an AAWSAP contract

Recommended further reading:

The Carpenter Affair: For the Record 

UFO-Pentagon Story Reflects Fundamental Problems


  1. I'm confused. Is the place a paranormal hotspot and the experiment is to see what happens to people who spend time there, or is it to test weapons on people under the ruse of paranormal activity?

    1. It seems that's yet to be determined, Jeremy, and opinions on it depend on who you ask.


    "Marx promises his data, as well as other scientist’s work will be revealed by the end of the year"

    Heard this one before. How about, you know, releasing the data FIRST. Hopefully, they will follow through as otherwise, "fool me once...."

  3. This development seems more interesting than the appearance of former Navy pilots in popular podcasts like the JRE. In fact I almost feel Fravor is being used as a diversion to distract the public about this.

    1. Agreed. Everything I have read about SR is consistent with advanced camouflage and directed energy weapons testing. I suspect that Bigelow wasn't aware of this when he purchased the ranch (was Alexander?). Rather, Bigelow and NIDS stumbled upon ongoing defense projects and may have been briefed in. The objectives of these projects might have evolved over time.

    2. Late comment,... but the witnessing of paranormal events goes back centuries before our government existed

  4. Yawn..
    An ongoing Mythology+anecdotes+ the truth is just around the corner and will be released in the future=Ufology
    What a train wreck... :)

  5. I had an experience in that region when I was 17. That was in 1996. Long before I ever knew anything about Skinwalker Ranch or the strangeness surrounding the Uinta basin. It was disturbing enough that I started investigating missing girls or strange deaths involving young girls because of what I saw. After that experience weird things kept happening. Even to this day over 1,000 miles away things still happen to or around me. I left to get away from it. I had my head examined repeatedly to make sure I wasn’t crazy. Whatever it is, it changes you.

    1. I was out there in '77 taking a 4 week wilderness survival class. During the last week the instructors took our food and we had to catch or pick our own and make it 90 miles back to base camp. During that week we saw a Sasquatch. It was in the distance and my eyes didn't believe it and I didn't believe it until just a few years ago.

  6. My suspicion is that Bigelow and his "side hustles" are being used to funnel US government funding to projects the American public would be upset to know they're supporting.

    Descriptions of Bigelow's government funded "research" might well be outright lies - that is, those descriptions are exercises in creative writing to hide the truth. It's not exactly "black ops" money Bigelow's getting, but more like "charcoal gray" ops money since the funding is openly acknowledged.

    1. From my vantage point, "projects the American public would be upset to know they're supporting" pretty well covers the range of possible scenarios.

    2. Agreed. But I'm thinking along the lines of an MK-Ultra (electronically induced) or, since Mr. Non-Lethal (John Alexander always seems to be in the loop somehow), maybe some brain scrambling electronic weaponry that's meant to be used possibly for crowed control by law enforcement. Yep, there are endless roads to go down. And I don't believe any one of them leads to UFOs.

    3. Well, they were experimenting with electronic harassment as far back as the 60s; had working invisibility (sorry, I mean "low observation" :-) )by the 80s, and could shoot directed energy weaponry with pin-point precision via satellite by the 90s. All of this can be found in the open literature, but people would rather read about friendly gray aliens, or bullet-proof wolves. I understand, it's exciting escapism: but it should not come at the cost of rational deduction.

  7. It is rather telling that if one REALLY researches the history of that ranch that there was little high strangeness occurring. Not before the Shermans arrived.

    Then in 1996 they sold up, They were terrified from their experiences. They received higher offers from - " a Colorado family and a local hunting club but did not want to put anyone at risk."

    So Bob Bigelow secured the sale from them after a family risk assessment as opposed to pure profit.

    "Sherman, now employed by Bigelow to maintain the ranch, said he can no longer discuss the activity because of a non-disclosure agreement Bigelow had him sign."

    Really odd that a man who was frightened for himself and his family would, not only choose Bigelow (a billionaire offering a lower bid than others) to buy his ranch. But also agree to stay on and manage it as a paid employee, wouldn't y'all say?

  8. Mtad: Please expand on your experiences especially post visit. Even email me if you’d like: blackrussianangel @yahoo

  9. "Chip" (fake name) shared ansimilar story years ago on the paracast with me.

  10. The NSA is technically tasked with foreign intelligence gathering (*cough*at least before 9/11). They have ZERO broad authority, black project or otherwise, to contract workers on US soil, outside of their intelligence centers. So "Chip" (not known currently if potato or tortilla)claiming the ultimate money behind his employment, and the program, was the NSA, is suspicious on it's face, even if he was working as a contracted security guard at SWR in some capacity. Also the tall tales with ZERO physical evidence gets more than a little stale after awhile. At least the Navy videos show "something" credible that can be analysed and correlated to witness testimony, even if not definitive in root source. I eagerly await more than pollen on polaroid.

    1. NSA is authorized for activity on U.S. soil. It is also the cutout/go around, or in simple terms, the access point for CIA to also operate on U.S. soil.

    2. And then there are Native American reservations which provide the agencies with some interesting legal "technicalities". I don't want to draw too much attention here, but some very interesting programs have been established and conducted on those lands.

  11. The Wilson memo says JA, John Alexander, is a liar. If he’s former intelligence, then this is quite true.