Background 1 - AAWSAP
The 16 December 2017 edition of the New York Times featured an article written by Helene Cooper, Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean, which revealed the fact that the US Department of Defense had spent $M22.5 on a program titled the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. One particular paragraph of the article caught my eye. There was mention of former Senator Harry Reid, and Las Vegas businessman Robert Bigelow.
"Mr Reid said his interest in U.F.O.s came from Mr Bigelow. In 2007 Mr Reid said in the interview, Mr Bigelow told him that an official with the Defense Intelligence Agency [DIA -KB] had approached him wanting to visit Mr Bigelow's ranch in Utah, where he conducted research."
"Mr Reid said he met with agency officials shortly after his meeting with Mr Bigelow and learned that they wanted to start a research program on U.F.O.s."
This all led to the establishment of the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP.) You can read the DIA's solicitation for companies to work on the AAWSAP, here.
As far as I can determine, the main DIA official in all of this, was one James T Lacatski, who was the manger of the AAWSAP. This program ran from late 2008 to 2011.
Although not confirmed, as Lacatski has never been interviewed by any researcher on this matter, it seems reasonable to conclude that Lacatski was the DIA individual who wished to visit the Utah ranch.
Blackground 2 - Robert Bigelow
The so called "Skinwalker Ranch," in Utah, was purchased in 1996 by Las Vegas billionaire Robert Bigelow. In the book "Forbidden Science: Volume Four" researcher Jacques Vallee writes about his knowledge of the ranch and its activities, from Vallee's perspective as a member of the Science Advisory Board of the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS), established by Robert Bigelow, to look into both UFOs and aspects of the paranormal.
A number of books have been written about the ranch, including one by Las Vegas journalist George Knapp, and NIDS scientist Colm Kelleher. Their book was titled "Hunt for the Skinwalker" (2005. Paraview Pocket Books.) However, there has, until recently, been a lack of good information about the research activities at the ranch in the period of the AAWSAP contract [2008-2011] and beyond. Bigelow sold the ranch in 2016.
Chris J Marx
In July and August 2019, three episodes of the radio show "UFO Classified" hosted by Utah researcher Erica Lukes featured extensive interviews with an individual named Chris J Marx and his time at the ranch between 2010 and 2016.
Erica provided a summary of Marx's background. He was born in Germany and at 21 years of age moved to the USA to further his interest in music. He was, for 10 years, a deputy sheriff in New Mexico, then on a small protection team in Los Angeles. Then he undertook three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chris revealed that he is still in the military and holds a secret DOD clearance.
He was a member of Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS), a company Robert Bigelow established in January 2008, which undertook the AAWSAP contract for the DIA. Chris was a BAASS member until 2016, then further employed by the parent company Bigelow Aerospace, until he resigned in February 2019 to again pursue a career in music. He states that he worked at the Skinwalker Ranch between 2010 and 2016.
How was he recruited by BAASS? He saw an email in the Nevada National Guard where BAASS was advertising for staff. He applied for a position and was interviewed in Las Vegas and subsequently hired by BAASS.
Is he bound by a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA)? Erica pointed out to Marx that he had signed a non disclosure agreement with BAASS. Marx stated that the ranch was sold three years ago, and that the NDA no longer applied, and therefore he could talk about the topic.
Why is he speaking out now? Chris had recently seen a documentary on the topic of the Skinwalker Ranch and became dissatisfied with it for commercializing the ranch. He stated that this was the reason for getting in touch with Erica Lukes as he wished to "put the record straight."
One of the items mentioned in the interview with Chris was that he retains copies of some of the reports he prepared about his stay at the ranch, and a variety of unusual events which occurred while he was there. He said that one copy of the reports went to Bigelow and one copy to the Pentagon. He mentioned that the chief of security for Bigelow at the time was someone named Bob King. Another statement by Chris was that BAASS monitored the website of enthusiasts interested in the ranch.
Late, in the interviews he also mentioned the fact that when he was recruited for Bigelow he had the usual job related medical testing before being accepted for employment. However, he also periodically underwent more comprehensive medical tests in Reno, for which he was never given the results. These tests included urine, blood, ECG and EKG. These tests were conducted at random intervals, on him and others who served at the ranch.
Asked by Erica if he had ever experienced any negative medical conditions while at the ranch, his response was no. However, he went on to say, that in fact, he had experienced several medical episodes where he recovered more quickly than you would expect. In addition he didn't get the flu, headaches or other medical conditions.
Marx wrote a number of reports while at the ranch, some as frequently as every day. There were also reports about specific incidences which occurred on the ranch. He said that when the government was sponsoring research, one copy of each report went to the sponsor out in the Pentagon, and one copy to Bigelow. Marx carbon copied some of the reports to himself. He still has these copies, which he has shown to Erica Lukes, who confirms their existence. He also retains hundreds of photographs which he took while at the ranch.
|One of Chris' reports|
Paranormal episodes while at the ranch
What kinds of unusual experiences did he report while at the ranch?
1. On his first night at the ranch he placed his gear on a bunk bed in one of the bedrooms, then was taken for a tour of the ranch. After being shown around the ranch he returned to his bedroom to find that his gear had been tossed all over the place, yet there could not have been anyone who could have done that.
2. Electrical malfunctions - e.g. at Homestead two with a nuclear physicist present, they had eight laptops connected together and all their batteries drained in seconds.
3. Apparitions - e.g. they had game cameras on the property. One captured images of transparent type things, including images of a human shape in 1860's garb.
4. Unusual sensations - e.g. At 10 o'clock one night he was standing at a gate when his three dogs ran off. He then saw eyes in nearby trees which turned out to be squirrels. He noted that there was an unusual lack of sound. All natural noise was muted. He felt sick and left the area.
5. Unusual odors - e.g. often there was the smell of tobacco as if from a pipe or a cigarette, but there had been no one present smoking. At other times, there was smell of sulphur. In the early, BAASS days, he had a BAASS checklist for unusual experiences. One of the check boxes concerned the observation of a sulphur smell. Marx once spoke to Dr Eric Davis who had an experience of an unusual odor in the bedroom which Marx had occupied.
6. Unusual lights - e.g. Marx and a partner were at the east gate. It was snowing, and they saw a bright light in the canal area near homestead one. They ran there to investigate but found nothing to account for the light. At other times a super bright light would light up his bedroom. However, nothing was ever found to account for its origin.
7. Photographic images - e.g. At one stage he set up a camera and took maybe 1000 images over five days in black and white. In some photographs there were light spots which weren't caused by dust particles. In some images there was a transparent human like silhouette.
8. Ouija board experiment - e.g. Seven individuals sat around a ouija board. It was a BAASS approved experiment and was videoed and sound recorded. Before anyone touched the planchette, it lifted up and flew across and hit Chris int he chest. He changed chairs but the same thing happened again.
9. Unusual animals - e.g. during a jog, Chris and another individual named John, were opening irrigation canals whey they saw a very different type of frog which had the snout of a cayman.
10. The skinwalker? Once, when patrolling the west gate with his dogs, late one afternoon, and walking past homestead two, he had a strong sense of being watched. Up on the mesa he saw a person. It was just after sunset. The person was looking in Chris' direction, facing southwards.
Chris thought it was a trespasser, and called out to the man, but the man did not respond. Chris could see that person's head, legs and arms, but not the face. The mesa runs east/west, and the person then turned eastwards, and started bending at the waist with arms straight out, and fell forward. As he touched the ground he turned into a wolf. This animal then walked behind a rock formation and was lost to view.
Due to an approaching electrical storm Marx returned to the ranch caretakers and reported the incident up the chain of command. He wrote it all up in detail, and still has a copy of that documentation.
|Footprints left by the "man on the ridge"|
Next day, he went up to the mesa and there in the mud, found human tracks then canine tracks that walked away. He took photographs, measured the tracks, took DNA scrapings off the tracks and collected soil samples in case there were hairs present. All these went off for analysis. Two vets responded that the tracks were most likely those of a wolf. Chris never do hear the results of any of the other tests.
|Footprints left by the "man on the ridge"|
Firstly, I wish to thank both Erica Lukes and Chris J Marx for sharing his story, and for sharing three images from his collection from his time at the Skinwalker ranch between 2010-2016.
Secondly, as I mentioned in a recent interview on "UFO Classified" I think that the UFO phenomenon and what is termed "the paranormal" are intimately intertwined. My investigatory research over the years has found that many individuals who report experiencing a close encounter with the UFO phenomenon, also self report personal paranormal experiences at a higher rate than the general population.
I look forward to seeing many more of Chris' Skinwalker Ranch documentation, the first available for the period 2010-2016, when he is ready to do so.
I also look forward to the day when James T Lacatski is ready to tell us what he knows of both the Skinwalker ranch and the AAWSAP/AATIP.