Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Skinwalker Ranch - a second BAASS employee speaks out

Christopher Bartel

A while ago, I compiled a list of individuals whom I believed, based on their own profiles on the LinkedIn website, worked for Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS,) the firm which was the successful bidder for the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP) contract. One of these individuals was named Christopher Bartel.

Bartel's LinkedIn profile includes the following details:

"Security Officer
Bigelow Aerospace
Sep 2010 - Present - 9years 2mos.
1899 West Brooks Ave, Las Vegas NV
Security Officer/Investigator. Responsible for protecting multi-million dollar equipment and assets
Expert in investigative writing and detailed reports.
Holds a Department of Defense active T/S clearance.
Small arms expert and secondary defense tactics.
Security professional with over 14 years experience.
Effectively operate all CCTV equipment.
Provide a safe work environment for all Aerospace employees."

"Nevada Test Site
June 2006 -Nov 2009 - 3yrs 6mos
Security Police Officer -Level II.
Physical security specialist certified for duties in sensitive areas....

United States Air Force
May 1998- June 2006 8 yrs 4mos
Nellis AFB Las Vegas NV."

Chris J Marx

In a recent blog post, I discussed the account of a former BAASS employee, Chris J Marx, who worked at the Utah ranch between 2010 and 2016.  Chris Marx was employed by BAASS as a security guard for Robert Bigelow's Utah ranch, commonly known as the Skinwalker Ranch. In that prior post, I provided details of Marx's experiences at that ranch, as relayed to Erica Lukes, a Utah researcher, who hosts an Internet radio show named "UFO Classified."

New show

On 20 September 2019, Erica Lukes, as host of "UFO Classified" interviewed both Chris J Marx and Christopher Bartel. Below I give details from this interview. My thanks go to Erica, Chris Marx and Christopher Bartel for being willing to discuss this matter.

Bartel had heard Chris Marx on a previous edition of "UFO Classified" and got in touch with him. Bartel said he was a former USAF security officer for ten years, stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, and living in Las Vegas. After he left the USAF he took a job at the Nevada Test site and worked there for a couple of years, during which he obtained a Q clearance.  His wife was also a USAF security guard, but later left the USAF.

In 2009, Bartel got a message from a friend whom he had known from the USAF. That individual was working for BAASS and asked Bartel if he was interested in a job with BAASS? Bartel said yes, and in due course was interviewed by Colm Kelleher of BAASS. During that interview, Kelleher asked Bartel if he (Bartel) had had any unusual experiences? Bartel responded that he had. Before the USAF, in around 1996/1997 he had been in Kansas, and explored a house which had paranormal experiences occurring there. In 2008, he conducted investigations into a Nevada hotel where odd things happened. Bartel was then offered a job with BAASS, and he accepted.


Erica Lukes asked Bartel about his induction to the ranch, specifically how much information he was given by BAASS about the ranch? Bartel responded that he was told very, very little about it. He bought a book about the ranch but decided not to look at it until he had been at the ranch for a couple of months.

During his first week of his initial two week rotation/tour, nothing unusual happened. In the second week at the ranch he was joined there by Chris Marx. They formed a team which lasted between 2010 and 2016, when the ranch was sold by Bigelow.


Lukes asked Bartel what equipment had BAASS provided to them for use at the ranch? Bartel replied that it was night vision equipment; thermal imaging gear; EMF detectors, and cameras. However, that the cameras were in such poor condition, especially dusty, that when photographs were taken with a flash, dust particles would show up in the pictures, as "orbs." They bought their own high definition cameras to use.

Bartel also mentioned that a couple of the ranch surveillance cameras were just fake ones. At one time, when there was a fear of outsiders talking about shooting "hybrids" at the ranch, they bought additional surveillance cameras out of their own money.


On the associated question of how much training did BAASS provide to them, Bartel said he didn't recall any. It was more like a "shoot from the hip" style introduction to the job.


Lukes asked Bartel if at any time he felt threatened while at the ranch? He responded that there were times when he had felt scared, as you were putting yourself into the unknown. The ranch was isolated and there was no cell phone service. However, he never felt threatened, although he did elaborate that there were some ranch locations, e.g. the west side of the property, where he felt uneasy.

Paranormal episodes

Over the six years at the ranch, between 2010 and 2016, there were the following occurrences:

1. He often felt a sense that he was "being watched."

2. In October one year, Marx had found some wolf prints during the day when he was out for a run. He and Marx went out that night, during a full Moon, "to capture the wolf." They found a set of huge prints. They walked around for hours, then decided to backtrack their own prints to the trailer. They found wolf prints by their original outgoing tracks, as if the wolf had been following them. About 1/4 mile from the trailer, with flashlights in use, Marx heard a noise. Bartel turned around and out of a ditch came a deep growl. Then he suddenly saw a wolf appear, "the size of a donkey." It headed westwards. They and their dogs went after the animal. Bartel then said, he blinked his eyes and the wolf disappeared in front of him, and that the wolf's tracks simply stopped.

3. He experienced disembodied footsteps near the trailer.

4. Unusual sounds, e.g. close by, drum-like sounds for 6-7 seconds duration, heard on the east side of the property.

5. Something followed him home once. After about 3-4 rotations at the ranch he was at home. He was in his living room, and beside him, his 1-2 month old baby son was sound asleep. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a billowing, black smoke, in the form of a small ball. He looked directly at it, and it shot across the room. In the hallway, he saw what appeared to be the shadow figure of a man sitting there. His son suddenly woke up with a scream of terror. Bartel felt scared but not threatened, and told the thing to go back to the ranch, as it didn't belong in the house. His wife had separately seen something standing in the hallway.

6. Asked by Lukes if he'd ever seen any UFOs at the ranch, Bartel said no classic UFO sightings. Once, at 3am, at the east gate he had seen a glittering gold coloured light above the trailer. He turned the car around, but by then there was nothing to see. He recorded it in a report. Another time there was another low key sighting.


He noted that if an individual who had an arrogant approach, visited the ranch, then some things would happen to that person. It was better not to have an ego, and he had remained open minded. His mother had raised him as a Buddhist. He went to the ranch "showed up'" "told the truth" and saw what happened. He practiced meditation.

His approach

He saw the ranch as a "crime scene" and his job was to gather data and evidence. That was hard to do, as things happened at random, and they had to document them. They wrote reports about incidents which occurred. Sometimes they would phone in their reports. He felt he was thrown into the environment to see what happened to him. A typical military-like mission.

Medical tests

Like Marx, Bartel spoke about going to Reno to have an MRI. He said he never received any results, although he would have liked to have known them.


1. During his six years there, between 2010 and 2016, he never once saw Colm Kelleher or Robert Bigelow at the ranch. He has respect for both men. Kelleher was into gathering data.

2. Bartel said that the narrative about the ranch, from the start, had featured such things as cattle mutilations. He said this might have happened during the 1990's but during his time there, although there were some cattle on the property at times, nothing like that happened of which he was aware. In talking to the locals, the manager of another property told him that the mutilations had been conducted by locals, sourcing food.

3. Marx and himself had found evidence of native American occupancy of the property at some time in the past. He thought that the property should be treated with respect because of this.

4. Asked by Lukes about his feelings about the ranch, Bartel said that he felt he was missing part of the puzzle; and that the ranch had become a "second home" to him. He appreciated his time there; had a good relationship with the caretakers on the ranch, and had a great time while there.

My comments

1. My congratulations to Christopher Bartel for coming forward to tell his experiences.

2. Both Chris Marx and Christopher Bartel tell of being recruited to work for BAASS. Colm Kelleher was their supervisor. Both Marx and Bartel said they were unaware at the time about the USM$22.5 Defense Intelligence Agency AAWSAP contract.

3. Bartel's description of BAASS recruitment; and experiences while at the ranch, dovetail nicely with those previously described by Marx during his three interviews with Erica Lukes.

4. There seems little doubt that investigations at the ranch somehow fitted into the overall BAASS operation. We know from former Senator Harry Reid, that DIA officials visited the ranch. Whether DIA AAWSAP contract money was used for ranch research remains unclear.

5. Colm Kelleher's LinkedIn profile contains the following details:

"Deputy Administrator
2008 - 2012 4 years
* Interviewed and hired and trained a team of 50 scientists, engineers, analysts, and created the classified infrastructure for an IC contract to study proprietary advanced aerospace technology and threat analysis
* Briefed government department undersecretary and senior United States senators on threat analysis and advanced technology programs.
* Worked closely with IC to develop and execute multiple programs involving advanced aerospace  technology including negotiating  and executing multi-disciplinary subcontracts for database creation, physics and engineering analysis and medical science studies
* Led in the creation of all scientific programs and strategic initiatives  for the company
* Interfaced with Congressional staff, political consultants, Washington DC think tanks and other organizations in the furtherance of company goals.
* COMSEC Custodian and Facility Security Officer for IC latter contract period."


  1. Hi Keith and fellow blog readers.

    You might find this 2012 interview on Youtube interesting from another security guard working for BAASS.

    His tour of duty was limited to 8 weeks in 2010. But knowing what we know now it is apparent that the 'guards' were being used for more than just security work.

    I also find it odd that, despite all the claims, Skinwalker Ranch has few if any stories of paranormal events before the Deseret News reported Bigelow was purchasing the ranch in 1996.

    It's also odd that Sherman's sold up because they were allegedly frightened out of their skins. But Tome Sherman was then employed by Bigelow as the Ranch Manager and his lips sealed with a non-disclosure agreement.

  2. I've never once in my 69 years had a feeling I was being watched.

  3. ...podcast of one that was there.


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