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In 1994, a Mormon family bought a 480-acre plot in in Utah’s Uintah Basin, thinking they’d get back to the land. But this particular land was weird. It came with too-large-thrice-over wolves that refused to die by bullet, cattle with their reproductive organs sucked clean out, and a multitude of UFOs, as they told the Deseret News in 1996. It was driving them bonkers.

Robert Bigelow saw their story. Today, the Nevada businessman is known for founding Bigelow Aerospace, which spun off a business to sell its expandable space habitats just last Tuesday. But in 1995, he had also founded something called the National Institute for Discovery Science, an organization built to research paranormal phenomena. Soon after reading the newspaper story, he took Skinwalker off the family’s hands, and his institute set up shop.

That, at least, is the story told in Hunt for the Skinwalker, a book that I downloaded in audio form one Friday night in January. Bigelow deactivated the National Institute for Discovery Science in 2004, after years of failing to capture the supposedly supernatural. But as the world recently discovered, he didn’t give up the cause. In December, a New York Times story revealed that Bigelow Aerospace had conducted a study on UFOs—for the Pentagon. I’d been interested in Bigelow’s anomalistic dealings since that article came out; thus, the audio book.

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Category: Weird Desk