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Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah Paperback – December 6, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Rarely do scientists have the opportunity to study and measure a recurring series of mysterious and inexplicable events in the field. So, in 1996 a team of open-minded researchers from the National Institute for Discovery Science, founded and funded by Las Vegas businessman Robert Bigelow, jumped at the chance to investigate weird phenomena still occurring on a cattle ranch in Uintah County, Utah. Its owner had been plagued for the past two years by odd disappearances, manifestations of a shape-shifting entity the Ute Indians called a "skinwalker," floating blue orbs of light, cattle mutilations, a giant wolf that seemed unaffected by bullets, and a sinister, hyena-like creature. Biochemist Kelleher tells the story of the team's experiences on the ranch as "an ambitious if unconventional example of what science is supposed to do--explore the unknown." Unfortunately, after a few intriguing observations, the phenomena ceased and the scientists were left to speculate about shamanic and interdimensional realities intersecting with our own. An interesting and sometimes frightening narrative of events, though ultimately short on final answers. George Eberhart
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Colm A. Kelleher, Ph.D., is a biochemist with a fifteen-year research career in cell and molecular biology. Following his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Dublin, Trinity College in 1983, Kelleher worked at the Ontario Cancer Institute, the Terry Fox Cancer Research Laboratory, and the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine. For the past eight years he has worked as project manager and team leader at a private research institute, using forensic science methodology to unravel scientific anomalies.

George Knapp is Nevada's best-known journalist. For 20-plus years, he has served as anchor, chief investigative reporter, and commentator for KLAS TV, the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas. He is a six-time Emmy winner, has earned the AP's Mark Twain award for news writing seven times, and twice was given the Edward R. Murrow award for Investigative Reporting. His reporting on Nevada's infamous Area 51 military base was selected by UPI as Best Individual Achievement by a Reporter in 1989. He also writes an award-winning weekly column for a Las Vegas newspaper.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Paraview Pocket Books; 1st Paraview Pocket Books Trade Pbk. Ed edition (December 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416505210
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416505211
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

129 of 147 people found the following review helpful By Shofixti on December 3, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ok... I ask you... if you were routinely harried by a bullet-proof wolf the size of a Ford Supervan, if you encountered a 400 lb. pterodactyl sitting in a tree, if you and your prized cattle were constantly under assault by glowing gobs of light, if you witnessed a portal to an alternate dimension suddenly appear in the night sky, if you saw a refrigerator-shaped craft soundlessly take flight, what is the ONE ITEM that you might (just might) want to consider taking along with you next time you headed out to the pasture? Perhaps... a camera!?!? Better yet, maybe even a video camera! I mean, c'mon, if I saw 1/100th of the crap alleged to have been witnessed by this bunch I'd take out a second mortgage acquiring every type of surveillance gear imaginable. Yet, as mentioned in some other reviews, the book contains not a SINGLE photograph or video still of any of the fantastic events alleged to have been seen.

Ultimately, the behavior of the people in this book (primarily the Gorman clan) just doesn't make much sense. They are alleged to be hard scrabble ranching folk whose very existence is tied to maintaining their prized herd of cattle and yet they routinely leave their animals out in the midst of what appears to be an inter-dimensional combat zone. I mean, the dude allegedly shoots a wolf at 10 feet with a .357 Magnum FOUR times, then lobs THREE rounds from a 30.06 rifle into it and the wolf barely flinches before VANISHING into thin air... at that point, I think most sane people would probably be inclined to round up the cattle ASAP and get as far away from that place as possible.

Still, it's a pretty fun way to pass a few hours leisure time and it does have a pretty creepy overall vibe which might make for some good campfire stories
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By C. A. Loewen on January 15, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Imagine if you will a remote ranch located in Utah has been the focal point of every known paranormal phenomenon you can think of: UFO's, poltergeists, Bigfoot, cattle mutilations, portals opening to reveal an alien sky beyond, and strange, unknown creatures ranging from invisible horrors to bizarre chimeras attacking the cattle and horses.

Supposedly, the Gorman Ranch in Utah is one of the planet's focal points for high strangeness and its story is captured in Hunt for the Skinwalker, by Colm A. Kelleher and George Knapp, the purportedly true story of the Gorman Ranch. Ultimately purchased by the National Institute of Discovery Science from its battle-weary owners, this group of scientists attempted to study the paranormal events that took place on the ranch with amazing frequency and diversity.

The result is a story that, if not true, is still worthy of a movie. The opening chapter with the bulletproof wolf that eventually disappears into thin air is creepy enough for a good Hollywood flick let alone the farm dogs being incinerated by a floating orb of blue light, cattle being horribly mutilated practically under the very noses of the ranch's residents, disembodied voices, and invisible monsters roaring and running throughout the property.

However, I still have to withhold judgment as to whether the story actually is true. The book contains many anecdotes and theories as to the cause of the paranormal events, but we are not treated to one picture or even one simple report form from one of the scientists who witnessed any of the events.

Plus, for scientists, they surprisingly appear to lack imagination on how to conduct active research. For example, none of the farm animals were chipped and tagged so they could be located with a GPS system if needed.
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59 of 69 people found the following review helpful By D. Allen on February 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
Merging and alternate dimentions being a pet study project of mine, this book was reccomended to me by some fellow paranormal researchers. From the moment I opened this book, it became rather difficult to put down.

This book outlines a plethera of phenomina occuring in an around a valley property in Utah, ranging from giant wolves, possible sasquach-like beings, demons, orbs, UFO's and all mannor of cryptozoological oddities, all tackled in their own chapters. The phenomina picked up in the early '90's, when a rancer and his family moved onto the property (and were driven out when they had more than they could take 20 months later) through the time NIDS (National Institute for Discovery Science)bought the property from the rancher and through 2 years of the occupancy of NIDS researchers. The most fascinating chapters have to do with the first hand accounts by the rancer and his family. Some of the phenomina continued on through the NIDS era, but eventually slowed down.

My only complaint about this book is that it does not seem to get too deeply into the science; just the recounting of the occuring phenomina; the presance of pictures (it seems many were taken) would have been a definate plus as well. What it lacks in science, though, is made up in the streightforward writing style, and the interest in the range of accounts of what had happened.

If you are a fan of horror novels or the paranormal, this book is one hell of a good read. If you are a serious researcher looking for hard core proof or facts with outlined scientific backing, it probably will be a dissapointment.
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