Project Chameleo + Skinwalker Ranch



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Article by contributor, Hunt The Skinwalker

From more than six hundred anomalous incidents on Skinwalker Ranch that have been investigated, documented and catalogued since 1994, a small number of events stand out for the brazen use of invisibility and “cloaking” technology deployed during daylight hours.

As Skinwalker Ranch scientists and researchers investigated these incidents and “war gamed” how they may have been perpetrated, inevitably the “us or them” question arose. Were humans (us) capable of pulling off this incident or was a non-human intelligence (them) responsible? This “us or them” conundrum has existed at the heart of “UFO-ology” since the 1950s and is a major contributor to the confusion and lack of progress in the field for decades.

The following are a couple of incidents that happened on Skinwalker Ranch that exemplify this ambiguity between “Us and Them”.

Incident 1:

Following scores of bizarre unexplained incidents experienced by the NIDS team on Skinwalker Ranch between 1996 and 1998, it was decided to deploy multiple surveillance cameras on telephone poles on the ranch in the hope of capturing videotaped evidence of anomalies. By summer 1998, several cameras were recording 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

A particularly disturbing and graphic incident of vandalism unfolded on July 19, 1998. Ranch personnel discovered the wires had been forcefully ripped from three separate cameras that had been installed on one particular telephone pole. Two of the cameras were mobile, employing pan tilt and zoom capabilities, a third was stationary with capability of viewing into the Infra-Red (1000-1200 nanometers).

Mobile camera 1, mobile camera 2 and still camera 4 were located in the middle of a large pasture on the most westerly telephone pole. There was no cover to conceal an individual or a group within dozens of yards of the pole. Investigation revealed that the power cord was ripped out of all three camera housings but the optic cords were still attached to the cameras. According to the surveillance tape records all three cameras lost power at approximately 20.28 on July 19, 1998.

Investigators also found a PVC piping of about 6 inches in diameter which itself was attached to the telephone pole by U-shaped brackets through which all wires were threaded was forced away from the pole and the brackets were broken. Multiple rounds of duct tape that circled the wires and encircled the pole were missing. Investigators spent hours meticulously quartering the ground around the pole looking for pieces of plastic from the brackets or pieces of duct tape which might have fallen on the grass. They found nothing.

By a fortunate coincidence yet another camera that was located on an adjacent telephone pole was aimed directly at the far telephone pole from which the power cords were ripped. Investigators were exultant. They knew it was light enough to easily detect the perpetrators on the other camera. They rushed to the command center to retrieve the relevant recordings. After exhaustively playing back the tape, celebration became muted and depression took over. No human presence could be detected at 20.28 hours. Instead the herd of cattle was seen grazing peacefully near the telephone pole.

Skinwalker Ranch investigators conducted extensive high-resolution video enhancement and analysis but no evidence of any human activity was seen. Yet, the resolution was sufficient to validate the extinguishing of a small power light on each of the cameras that occurred precisely at 20.28 hours.

The duct tape from the wires that attached the wiring to the other telephone pole had been removed and could not be found. Investigators searched the entire area including the ridge for any unusual tracks and found none.

This incident was a brazen act of vandalism and seemed designed to intimidate the NIDS scientists who were living on the ranch. The technology employed advanced camouflage optics that completely shielded the perpetrators from view as they unwound several feet of sticky duct tape from around the pole and then exerted considerable force to rip the wiring out of all three camera housings. The incident was never solved.

Incident 2:

In July 1996, about six weeks before Tom Gorman sold the property to the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS), news about the paranormal shenanigans was beginning to leak through the print media: a Deseret News article by reporter Zack Van Eyck (1) had just been published and a radio show had leaked details about the ranch.  The following account is summarized from Hunt for the Skinwalker (2). Tom Gorman and his son were approached on their property by a tall stranger asking if he could meditate on the land. Gorman relented and he and his son tad drove the stranger about a mile west on the property to a small pasture that was surrounded by a grove of trees. The man walked into the middle of the open ground, about a hundred yards from the tree line. Tom walked with him a short distance and then stood watching. Tad stayed sitting in the vehicle and silence reigned as the late afternoon sun cast a bewitching light on the scene, this tall man standing silently in the middle of the pasture with his eyes closed and his arms raised much like the pose struck by saints and angels in religious paintings.

In the distance, Tom heard a cow bell reverberating through the deep silence. Gorman was puzzled. None of his animals had cow bells. Again, the sound pealed out nearer this time and plainly within the grove of trees. Tom looked in the direction of the sound and thought he could make out a faint blur. Something was moving very quickly between the trees. He watched carefully as the shape moved like a fast blur from tree to tree as if it was circling. Tom suddenly felt uneasy. The guy meditating in the pasture seemed oblivious.

Without warning, something large broke from the tree line and moved swiftly towards the meditating man. Tom blinked and tried focusing. He still couldn’t see what it was even though it was broad daylight. It was blurred as if it was hidden in the middle of heat distortion and it was moving very quickly. Gorman realized that this cloaked “thing” was making a beeline for the blissful meditator who was completely unaware of what was bearing down on him. Tom was about to yell a warning but it was too late. The shimmering wraith like phantasm had stopped just inches from the meditator. It let out a deep throated animal roar that reverberated around the ranch. Tom froze.

The stranger leaped back about ten feet and began screaming. As fast it had approached the shimmering almost invisible creature departed for the tree line. Tom watched as it was hidden behind pixelated blocks and within seconds it had vanished deep in the trees. The visitor was on ground screaming hysterically and out of his mind with fear. Quickly Gorman and his son bundled the quivering man into their vehicle and drove to the gate. The stranger still babbled incoherently about how the property was cursed and he would never set foot there again.

A few weeks later the family was watching a rerun of the 1987 movie Predator starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura, both let out a yell when they first saw the shimmering alien creature. “That is what we saw” they swore to the other family members. The predator in the movie appeared to exactly encapsulate the level of camouflage of what they had seen on the ranch. When Gorman related the story to the Skinwalker Ranch research team a few months later, the team wondered if the ranch was being used as an experimental field testing station for advanced camouflage technology.


The EG&G Operative


In August 2001 Ranch investigators were introduced to a retired Marine Corps Special Forces individual who had worked on multiple projects for several different contractors including one for Edgerton, Germeshausen, and Grier (EG&G) Special Projects Division. At the time EG&G was a wholly owned subsidiary of the Carlyle Group.

The Special Forces operative was careful not to reveal sources and methods but over several hours of questions and answers did confirm that one of the projects he had worked on was testing advanced technology “toys”, including non-lethal weapons, at several locations in the Uinta Basin. He confirmed that some of the advanced technology test projects were targeted to multiple areas around Skinwalker Ranch. Some of the units operated out of Hill Air Force Base, located about 150 miles west of Skinwalker Ranch, other units came from elsewhere. In spite of multiple attempts to obtain additional sources, Ranch investigators were never able to robustly corroborate the story told by the retired Marine.

Project Chameleo:

In 2015, Robert Guffey published a book entitled “Chameleo” (3). The book was written in the style of a Hunter S Thompson epic and it described multiple surreal incidents of serial harassment of a couple of individuals in San Diego California by a mysterious group that appeared to possess very advanced technology, including advanced camouflage technology. The book detailed the advanced camouflage technology discovered by an optical engineer named Richard Schowengerdt and allegedly developed and enhanced by Science Application International Corporation (SAIC). 

The tangled web of conspiracy described as a part of Project Chameleo included claims by Richard Schowengerdt that the movie Predator starring Arnold Swarzenegger was an accurate representation of the capability of the technology that he had developed. During a radio show in 2016, author Robert Guffey agreed that some of the bizarre incidents described on Skinwalker Ranch overlapped to some degree with Project Chameleo. However, no tangible evidence for that overlap exists. However, the heart of the Chameleo book was definitive that a group of highly skilled individuals were utilizing advanced camouflage technology to systematically harass, attack and injure United States citizens both in San Diego and in Northern California.

Given the evidence cited above, it was, and is, an essential component of every investigation into incidents on Skinwalker Ranch to entertain the possibility that non-lethal weapons are being deployed or tested by United States Government (USG) contractors or by other arms of the USG. Indeed this hypothesis was covered in Knapp and Kelleher’s book Hunt for the Skinwalker (2).

The retired special forces Marine told Ranch investigators that the Uinta Basin was an ideal location to test “toys” because of the remote, under-populated terrain and the reclusive, predominantly Mormon and Native American populace. Both Mormon and Native American communities had long histories of keeping to themselves so they were not apt to be giving interviews about their bizarre experiences to the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times.

Chameleo in Ohio?

These Chameleo like incidents are not confined to Skinwalker Ranch. Dr. Bruce Maccabee has had a multi-decade career as an optical physicist with the US Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division. His wife Jan is an avid cross bow hunter who was in a hunting stand in Ohio on September 29, 2010. Jan had just taken a couple of photos of herself. According to Bruce Maccabee’s account (4): “Suddenly the woods went quiet.  Noise stopped. The silence was “weird.”  It so surprised and unnerved her that she wrote a text message to her friend (thereby documenting this event): “Something is wrong.  The woods just went to a dead silence. No squirrels, no birds, no crickets.  Is odd “!  (6:23 PM EDT)

Jan thought a coyote or maybe a black panther or some predator animal caused the quiet as she knows (as hunters know) that when a predator such as a bear, for example, enters an area the other animals tend to become quiet. Then she became aware that a weird visual “effect” was moving rightward across her field of view at an apparent distance of maybe fifteen to twenty feet. She described it as if looking through “saran wrap.” Perhaps a more apt comparison would be like looking at a mirage above a hot road.

She compared this distortion of the scene as being somewhat like the effect of the invisible creature in the PREDATOR movie! This distortion was at a higher altitude than her 15 ft above the ground, perhaps about 25 ft above the ground..  She took her glasses off and rubbed her right eye thinking at first she had a floater (a mote in the eye). But after rubbing it was still there and not a floater. It moved to her right from about 15 degrees to the right of straight ahead to about 45 degrees to the right (see the diagram below, not to scale). Then it disappeared…things looked normal and she could hear the normal sounds again…

There are undeniable overlaps between Jan Maccabee’s incident and that of the “predator” incident on Skinwalker Ranch, although it is not definitive that the two incidents had the same cause. In the case of the “predator incident on Skinwalker Ranch, a definite hostile attack occurred, whereas with Jan Maccabee, no interaction appears to have occurred.

We at are interested in receiving feedback from readers of this article regarding other possible incidents of a “Chameleo” nature. Please email us your account if you have had interactive experiences with a camouflaged entity, human or creature that gave the visual appearance of the “Predator” in the original movie.

Finally, it is outside the scope of this article to question the legality or otherwise of subjecting United States citizens to acts of aggressive and hostile trespassing, vandalism and in some cases injuries, as a result of deploying non-lethal “toys” in the Uinta Basin.

Regardless, the ambiguity between “Us and Them” as perpetrators of these unsolved crimes remains. 


1.     Van Eyck, Zack (1996) Frequent Fliers? Deseret News June 30 1996

2.     Kelleher CA and Knapp G (2005) Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah.  Paraview Books/Simon and Schuster New York New York.

3.     Guffey, R. (2015) Chameleo: A Strange but True Story of Invisible spies, Heroin Addiction and Homeland Security. OR Books New York.

4.    “Predator” in the forest. Dr. Bruce Maccabee website



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