This is a creepy one.
This book is an account of a remarkable series of unexplained events that took place on a ranch in northeastern Utah and the unprecedented scientific study that followed. For eight years, a team of highly trained scientists and others came face-to-face with a terrifying reality that, on superficial examination, appeared to break the laws of science but that, in fact, was consistent with modern-day physics. At the ranch, scientists found a world where a great deal of activity was hidden from visible sight but, as the researchers soon discovered, was detectable with state-of-the-art instrumentation. The family that lived there came to believe that the ranch was occupied by some kind of intelligence that appeared to control—as if on a whim—human perception, human thought, and human physical reality.
The ranch in question lies well off the beaten path in a remote, rural corner of Utah, but is only about 150 miles from metropolitan, sophisticated Salt Lake City. The location is in the midst of a devout Mormon community and is contiguous with a Ute Native American reservation. Both communities have experienced unbelievable but well-documented phenomena in their midst for more than fifty years. In the case of the Ute tribe, the experiences are documented in the tribe’s oral tradition stretching back over fifteen generations.
The account you are about to read is true. I know because I directly participated in and witnessed several of these events myself. All of these incidents really happened. I, along with a small team of highly trained scientists and investigators, interviewed hundreds of eyewitnesses to these strange occurrences, including law enforcement officers, physicists, biologists, anthropologists, veterinarians, educators, and everyday citizens.
In addition to eyewitness testimony, we obtained an intriguing body of physical evidence to support many of the accounts described in the book. We compiled photos and videos and accumulated reports of demonstrable physical effects on people, animals, equipment, everyday objects, and the environment. Although observers might relegate the subject matter to the category of the paranormal, the research team adhered to the strictest scientific protocols throughout the project.
Some of the names in the book have been changed out of concern for the emotional well-being of the family that owned the ranch at the time and for the sake of others who were involved. As readers will discover, this family endured a painful and disturbing series of events that left deep psychological scars. The family has since moved from the ranch and is trying to put these events behind them. We also omitted the names of a physicist and a veterinarian, out of concern that the strange subject matter they pursued at the ranch might interfere with their ability to obtain future employment. The scientific establishment does not look kindly upon professionals who stray too far from what are deemed legitimate areas of study.
We also do not provide the exact location of the ranch itself. We are concerned that specific information about how to find it would encourage intrusions and trespassing by curiosity seekers and paranormal enthusiasts, which has already occurred to some extent. The ranch itself is still private property and its caretakers do not welcome incursions by strangers. Neighbors in this rural area also do not appreciate knocks on their doors from out-of-towners seeking paranormal thrills and other strange experiences. That said, the reader will learn about the region, the towns near the ranch, and the geography of the ranch itself, including specific information about where various events occurred.
An advisory board of esteemed scientific professionals over-saw this study of the ranch. This board was probably the most highly qualified team of mainstream scientists ever to engage in such a sustained study of anomalies. Board members insisted that established scientific principles and procedures be followed for the duration of the study. The problem is that we were forced to engage someone or something that refused to play by the rules of science. As a consequence, I realized that, despite my training in the minutiae of experimental protocols in immunology, biochemistry, and cell biology, we had to creatively modify the tried-and-true methods of establishing scientific experimental controls and of working under controlled laboratory conditions. We were obliged to conduct science in a weird shadowy netherworld where textbook science was but a quaint memory.
The account you are about to read is purely my own; it is not meant to represent the views of my employer at the time, or of the other members of the research team. I believe that these strange, sometimes frightening, often bewildering events represent far more than a potpourri of unrelated and unfathomable weirdness. In the end, I suspect that this intense concentration of “paranormal” activity could point us all toward a new understanding of physical reality, something that is already being debated at the highest levels of modern science. The world, it appears, is much bigger, much stranger, and far more complicated than most of us can imagine. —Colm Kelleher, 2005