Note: An earlier version of this post noted Brandon Fugal's connection to a Utah-based Ancient History Research Foundation, which listed him as its director on its website. The AHRF, which explored giants, hyper-diffusionism, and other fringe topics, was also affiliated with Wayne May, the patron of infamous figure Frank Joseph, and house Joseph's writings. These references have been removed because Fugal informed me that his affiliation with the foundation ended in 2005, he was not part of the organization when it began housing May's and Joseph's work, and he is not actively investingating anomalous archaeology. I regret the error.
This week, MJ Banias revealed the name of the new owner of Skinwalker Ranch, real estate investor Brandon Fugal, who came out of the shadows four years after purchasing the paranormal property from billionaire Robert Bigelow, just in time to promote his ranch’s new History channel series. But, as always, there is more to the story than meets the eye—and it is weirder than you might imagine.
Fugal is well known in Utah as a real estate developer, but he is also a science fiction nerd. In 2010, he invested in efforts to create, basically, anti-gravity technology. Although the project failed, he continued to invest in science-fiction projects he describes as “James Bond” technology. His pursuit of fantastical inventions naturally led him into the orbit of some very familiar figures. As Banias reports:
Several scientists who were brought in to consult on the project, namely Dr. Hal Puthoff and Dr. Christopher Green, were also involved in Bigelow’s DIA project. They became friends. Even after the project was shut down in 2014, Fugal stayed in touch with these scientists.
Yes, Bigelow’s team arranged for the sale of the ranch to its new owner, just like Bigelow’s pet reporter, George Knapp, helped push then-senator Harry Reid to take an interest in the ranch and UFOs. Puthoff moved on to Tom DeLonge’s To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science, where he continues to investigate his longstanding fantasy that UFOs are interdimensional incorporeal entities, or space poltergeists.
If you’ve been paying attention to the web of crazy that surrounds the History channel axis of stupid, you wouldn’t be surprised by any of this.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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