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Exclusive Interview: Travis Taylor on The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch

dr travis taylor on the secret of skinwalker ranch
Dr. Travis Taylor as featured on HISTORY’s returning series The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch. Pic Credit: HISTORY Channel

There is a spot of land in the Western United States with historical paranormal occurrences that defy most rational explanations.  

The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch is back for season two on HISTORY Channel as the core team is led by entrepreneurial owner, Brandon Fugal. The team also features Dr. Travis Taylor, and together they have recorded and observed actual phenomena, corroborated and verified by serious people. 

Undeniably, Skinwalker Ranch has supernatural energy, which accounts for the unusual activities. The Ranch is surrounded by the Ute Indian Reservation in the Uintah Basin, near Ballard, Utah, and is just south of Highway 191.

Skinwalker Ranch is the most scientifically studied paranormal hotspot globally, and it was part of a Pentagon-funded black budget program from 2008-2013, as reported in the New York Times.

Brandon Fugal bought the place from billionaire UFO-enthusiast Robert Bigelow. Fugal conducted his unpublished studies at the Ranch to eventually get powerhouse producers Prometheus (Curse of Oak Island, Ancient Aliens) to investigate further in a televised docuseries on the HISTORY Channel, The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch. Season two features ten new episodes.

The lead investigator is Dr. Travis Taylor, a highly educated aerospace engineer, optical scientist, science fiction, textbook author, and many remember him from the series Rocket City Rednecks. 

Now, he has headed back to Utah alongside a team of credited researchers and investigators to the Ranch located in Utah’s Uintah Basin in an attempt to uncover what’s taking place on this active site of more than 200 years of mysterious paranormal and UFO-related activity.

After experiencing UFO sightings and gathering hard evidence in season one, season two follows the team as they use advanced technology, test new theories, and even garner the support of the Attorney General of Utah to explore further and dig below the surface of the Ranch, an action that owner Brandon Fugal was concerned about for various reasons.

Why was there a fear of digging on the Ranch?

It is important to note that Brandon Fugal’s team was investigating Skinwalker Ranch before the History Channel and Prometheus created the series. 

In the season two premiere, Fugal is alarmed that the team wants to dig below the surface, as what he has seen so far has him on edge, for liability issues perhaps, but primarily for everyone’s safety.  

Undulating levels of radiation have played havoc on the group. Travis Taylor got radiation sickness, and one team member had strange swelling in his head, and his presenting symptoms stymied doctors. 

And along with Fugal, the footage features ranch manager Jim Morse, security chief Bryant “Dragon” Arnold, Kaleb Bench, ranch supervisor Thomas Winterton and experts like Casey Smith, investigator Erik Bard, caretaker Tom Lewis, Circo Silva, Petroglyphs expert, and archaeologist Dr. Alan Garfinkel, radiologist Dr. Christopher Lee and investigative journalist Linda Moulton Howe.

The team sort through experiments and footage to make sense of the nonsensical and continuous chain of alarming events.

Monsters & Critics spoke to Dr. Taylor ahead of the premiere.

Exclusive interview with Travis Taylor

Monsters & Critics: You are a scientist, an academic. Have you ever been to a place on earth that has affected you mentally and physically the way Skinwalker has?

Dr. Travis Taylor: No, I’ve never, never experienced anything like it. And I’m shocked to the core of my understanding of the universe as to how it could happen and what is going on.

M&C: Ranch owner Brandon Fugal, how did he select you to lead the team?

Dr. Travis Taylor: I wouldn’t say that I lead the team. I’m part of the team. Brandon is the property owner, and he and his guys, his principal investigator from 2016 is Erik Bard.  

They had been working on it for two or three years, and they wanted to document it. And they came to History channel and said, well, you can’t just sit and watch because nothing might happen.

You need to experiment. Well, Eric isn’t necessarily an experimentalist. And so they said, we need to put someone who is a scientist and experimentalist and can also be on TV and understand how to explain things on TV. And, they also wanted Prometheus as the producer for this show. 

They have such success with other shows like Ancient Aliens, Curse of Oak Island. So on. They called me in, and we all met in a room, and we all got to talking and, and then we came to an agreement that, you know, we all wanted to work together and I think it’s worked out great.

M&C: It has the second year now, you’re refining from the first year. You had an injury; you had an operation, it didn’t heal. Has anyone else been injured?

Dr. Travis Taylor: Not to our knowledge, but we have had folks that are locals make claims to similar things, but they haven’t been willing to bring forth evidence of it, or didn’t want to be, have their private information released to the public. 

So, I can’t explain the injuries. Nobody can. And we can’t explain or express that we have a genuine complete view of all the injuries occurring. We don’t believe that they’re confined to within the barbed wire fence, around the 500 acres on the Ranch.

We just believed the Ranch is in the dead center of all the events occurring.

M&C: It’s my understanding that there’s a lot of underground rivers, for lack of better terminology, and caverns and voids where the water disappears, and it stretches almost into Idaho and all over Northern Utah. Have you done any more geological exploration of what what you’re standing on?

Dr. Travis Taylor: Yes, we did a lot of that this year and you’ll see a lot of that in the new season that comes out in May. One of the things you just talked about was things that we were very interested in trying to understand, and I believe we did get more information on that.

We know there are some things underground that we were not expecting. I’m not going to say we did or didn’t find specific items, but we have a better understanding. We think of what’s underground, at least directly underground. 

Our technology isn’t good enough to go deep underground. We keep having all these conspiracy folks tell us that there’s stuff half a mile deep underground. Well, you need the expensive multi-million dollar oil rigs to drill that deep, to find things.

M&C: It doesn’t seem logical.

Dr. Travis Taylor: To what purpose is the big question? Why in the middle of nowhere, Utah, would such strange things be going on? We asked the big thing. I’ve never been able to figure it out.

M&C: Do you know where the United States government deposits spent uranium and the spent radioactive weapons and the storage? I know it’s out West. Could that be part of it?

Dr. Travis Taylor: A long way off, there is a place called Yucca Flats.

M&C: So it’s just that in that one place, it’s not spread out?

Dr. Travis Taylor: No. It’s way out in Nevada. Now it’s possible that if there were an event like an explosion or something, the prevailing winds, like the above-ground nuclear testing in the 1950s. The prevailing winds could have deposited some residual radiation fallout in Utah. 

And it’s likely, but that’s so many years ago, that the levels would be minimal. It’s not what we’ve been measuring.

M&C: Talk about the phones going haywire. Who experienced it, and what happened?

Dr. Travis Taylor: Yes. All of our phones tend to do things like that over time out there, and I’m going to say a dozen phones with different brands, all of them acting squirrely while we’re out there.

And the most significant thing, for some reason, is batteries of all sorts. Whether they be for drill motors, cameras, cars, you name it, cell phones, they’ll be charged one second. And one second later be completely dead. 

We see that happening all the time. And interestingly enough, a few minutes later, they might be charged again without plugging in and charging.

M&C: Are you concerned for your health?

Dr. Travis Taylor: Well, I keep a watch on it, and every, before I go out and every time I come back, I have a complete physical screening with my family doctor, and we do blood work and tests for all sorts of different things.

So far, it doesn’t look like I’m going to grow another eye in my forehead or anything, but I’m not concerned. The biggest concern to me about being out there over extended periods is your mental health because the place wears on you. After all, it constantly sort of picks at you, and you never can get a break where you let your mind relax. 

The local Bigelow people warned us that keep an eye on each other, that when you see people start acting irritable, they need to take a break from the Ranch for a period of time.

M&C: Why are the cows the victims here? Why so many cows with all these odd deaths?

Dr. Travis Taylor: I don’t know the answer to that question. It’s a good question. We’ve only had one cow since we’d been there in two years die of mysterious causes, to my knowledge, unless one died since I left in October. 

But I don’t think we have, in fact, the cows. They take them off [the ranch] in the wintertime. It’s a good question. Maybe they’re more susceptible to whatever the phenomena are, and it’s just their bad luck. Maybe there’s something about whatever the phenomena is may be attracted to cows. 

I don’t know. I can’t explain it. It is an interesting question, and I’m not sure that anybody could tell you the answer to that. 

I’m sure there are plenty of conspiracy theories that people like to tell you, but, conspiracy theories are, they’re no better than mythology. You have to be able to test these things and see if they’re real. 

M&C: And you did, you analyzed the halo around the imagery that the object that was above the dead cow and, you have a background in the Tic Tac videos and people called upon your expertise to explain the aura or whatever the atmosphere field around the moving object was. What do you make of that?

Dr. Travis Taylor: Now, the UFO that appears over the cow is fascinating. The fact that it goes from basically a dead still hover to faster than a rifle bullet within a 24th of a second is pretty amazing. And, we don’t have technology that’ll do that. I don’t know what it is. I don’t even know how to explain that.

M&C: How do you feel about humans as not the only intelligent life in the universe and that we might have UFO friends keeping an eye on us?

Dr. Travis Taylor: Whether or not they keep an eye on us. I don’t know. But certainly, there are four times ten to the 22. That’s a one with 22 zeros after it, in our known universe. 

We know that planets form pretty much around all of those as the leftover stuff from when the stars formed. So it would be ridiculous for there to be that many places to live, and humans are the only folks living here. 

The odds of that are pretty much, no way, it’s inconceivable that we’re the only life in the universe. 

And, if there are others here visiting us and doing something well, that’s something we need to find out. We need to know to what end, why they are here, and what they are doing? 

Hopefully, they’re benevolent, but how many times have people come to help and throughout our history, and the help wasn’t exactly what we needed.

M&C: I read that Post Malone visited Brandon Fugal on the Ranch. He wanted to see it for himself. Have you had to field outsiders—famous or not— people just want to see if they can feel anything or observe any phenomenon? How do you deal with that when you’re in production?

Dr. Travis Taylor: Yes. One day, we were working on an experiment, and some ladies drove up from Tallahassee, Florida, in a camper trailer. They’d driven from Florida just to come out to see the Ranch, and Dragon (security) had to go out and tell them they couldn’t come in. 

People don’t realize, number one, the Ranch is private property. And number two, it could be hazardous. 

We don’t know what’s causing the phenomena, and we’re doing experiments that sometimes these experiments — if you’re in the wrong location — you could be in danger. 

We’ve had high-powered lasers out there, huge rockets. We’ve had high voltage systems out there. We’ve done all sorts of things that if you snuck on and we didn’t know you were there and we turned this on, it could be a very bad day for you. 

That’s why every time I get the chance; I tell people, don’t think it’s a cool thing to sneak on the Skinwalker Ranch because you’ve put yourself in danger, and you’re breaking the law.

The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch Returns for Season Two on May 4 at 10PM on HISTORY Channel.

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