neth John Myers, who with his wife Edith (Childs) bought the ranch in 1933, and all told occupied it for 60 years. At the time, what better authority was there to recount the paranormal activity, or lack thereof at the so-called Skinwalker Ranch?
From Frank B. Salisbury’s The Utah UFO Display, (ad) pgs 218-222 (Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, Inc., 2010). Used by permission:
By an amazing coincidence, I found myself in contact with Myers. It turned out that Myers lived only a few blocks from me and after talking with him on the phone. I recorded my first interview with him on September 3, 2009. In our first telephone conversation, Myers cleared up a few things and told me the location of the ranch. After the interview, there were follow-up visits as we got to know each other. Here is a summary of the ranch’s history from our interviews.
Garth’s brother and sister-in-law, Kenneth John Myers and Edith Childs had purchased the ranch around 1933 (not in the 1950s). Garth who was eighty-eight-years old at the time of my interview, was much younger than his brother; he had actually worked on the ranch for three summers as a teenager. Kenneth and Edith began with about 160 acres and accumulated other parcels until they had formed the 480-acre ranch, living in quite primitive conditions at first but improving things through the years. They had one child who died in infancy before they moved to the ranch. There were no other children. Kenneth died in 1987 at age eighty-six, but his widow continued to live on the ranch for five years, until she was taken to a rest home. For two years the ranch was vacant but always leased out to other ranchers to farm and run cattle, even before Kenneth died. Then when Edith died on March 3, 1994, the ranch reverted to Garth Myers and his sisters, Helen M. Baxter and LaPriel Poulson. Less than three months Later, Garth, as executor of the Kenneth and Edith Myers estate, negotiated sale of the ranch to the witness family [The Sherman’s]. But after nearly two years, they ran into difficulties, losing several prize cattle, as recorded in Skinwalker. (This was when Junior Hicks first visited the ranch, witnessing some of the cattle mutilations and other phenomena: Junior had not visited the ranch when it belonged to the Myers.) But by then the UFO rumors were circulating wildly, especially after the two articles about the ranch in the Deseret News. Along came Bob Bigelow and the ranch was sold to him.
What about the important statement that the “greatest concentration of high strangeness has always taken place at what became the [Skinwalker] 480 – acre ranch?” Garth Myers vigorously denies it! Here are the important parts of the interview that I recorded:
Garth: I can tell you right off that my brother died in April of 1987. My sister-in-law lived alone there until about 1992. She died in March 1994. And I can tell you unequivocally that up to 1992 there had never been and there never were any signs of that [UFO and similar activity.] [My emphasis–FW]
FBS: I think that they make a statement in the book [Hunt for Skinwalker] that things had been going on since way back to the Indians, and so on.
Garth: See, this is [the witness (Terry Sherman)]. That’s the story he made. But it’s not the right story!
FBS: That’s why I’m here to talk to you, because you are somebody who knows.
Garth: … The next thing I knew I get this information that there were UFOs, and he was scared to death, and then this man in Las Vegas phoned in and was going to buy it. . ..
All I know is, about a month or six weeks after he bought it, Bigelow called me on the phone and wondered why we hadn’t told anybody about the UFOS. I told him they didn’t get there until [the witness] got there, and he said “UFOS were coming there and you had dogs keeping the people away.” And I said all they had at most were two dogs, and the last time my sister-in-law lived there five years with a three-legged dog and part of the time with no dog at all, and there were no UFOS. And he said “Oh, you’re not telling me the truth.” I said, “If you don’t believe it, I guess we don’t need to talk anymore,” and that was about it. So, after about six months I got another call from somebody, and they kind of told the same story. The last caller was maybe five or six years ago-don’t know who. He said he wanted to have lunch with me. I said “On one condition: That you’ll show me the ranch.” He said: “Can’t do it.” I said: “Okay, I guess no lunch.” That’s the last I’ve heard. You probably have the articles in the Deseret News.
At this point, I told him about my scientific interest in UFOS, that I was a professor emeritus at Utah State University, and a bit more of my history. I told him that I don’t “believe” in UFOS; I investigate UFOS. I told him that I was working on The Utah UFO Display, originally published in 1974. I said, I must have a chapter on the ranch, so that makes this interview very valuable to me, because I can say there is another side to it that isn’t known.”
Garth Myers practiced with his M.D. in pediatric neurology. He spent much of his career at the LDS Primary Children’s Hospital but also worked for the State Department of Health. In his discussions with me, it became clear that, like most educated people with a scientific background (and no real knowledge of the extent and evidence of the UFO accounts), Garth simply rejects any idea that there might be some reality to the UFO phenomenon. I told him a few Uintah Basin stories, but he said: “That’s fine. As long as you know they are just stories!” This being the case, in all honesty we must consider the possibility that Kenneth and Edith Myers were experiencing UFO visits on their ranch, but knowing that their brother was such a skeptic, they decided not to share this information with him. Remember, however, that he was there himself (as a teenager) for three summers without seeing any UFOS. Yes, that was long ago, but the Skinwalker statement says the UFO activity goes back even to the time of the Native Americans.
In a telephone conversation on September 5, 2009 (sadly, not recorded!), I asked him if it were possible that his brother and sister-in-law didn’t tell him about UFO activity they were experiencing. This he vehemently denied. He said he was very close to his brother (in spite of the age difference), knowing every detail of their lives. [My emphasis–FW] After his brother died, he kept in very close touch with his sister-in-law-many visits and close emotional ties as he worried about her living there alone. He feels totally confident that his brother and sister-in-law would have told him about any strange activity, especially under the circumstances. Nevertheless, the point is so important that we’ll return to it several times in this chapter. Did the Myers couple have a secret life that was not known even to their brother? There are those who keep making that suggestion.
Later, I called Garth Myers from the Uintah Basin to ask him a few more questions.
First is the matter of locks inside and outside the house when the witness bought it. Garth has said that this simply was not true. When he
Second is the matter of no digging being allowed on the ranch. That rumor might have been fortified by Charles Winn, who said he was digging something for Kenneth Myers with his backhoe when Kenneth told him for sure not to dig in a certain area. That doesn’t sound very sinister. If I owned a ranch, I might not want someone with a backhoe to dig in certain places. So what? Garth said that the only stipulation in the real estate contract was that the previous owners retained the oil rights to the property! Since oil has become important in the Basin, such a stipulation is common when a ranch is sold. So the real-estate contract stipulated that if the new owners dug for oil, they must notify the previous owners. Does this sound like “a meaningless clause crafted by elderly eccentrics”? Further, as noted in my interview with Garth, he denied that his brother had ever used large guard dogs. The widow Edith had only the one three-legged dog, and he died a couple of years before Edith left the ranch for the rest home. And what about the following statement in Skinwalker with its ominous implication?: “The previous owners had bought the property in the 1950s but now seemed glad to unload it. Does it sound ominous that an elderly brother and his two sisters might like to unload a ranch that they had no way of keeping up? When the witness wanted to buy the ranch, it offered Garth and his sisters a chance to settle Kenneth and Edith’s estate.
But doubts persisted, so as the three of us-Junior, James Carrion, and I-made our Uintah Basin visits, we considered the question over and over, discussing it among ourselves and with many of those whom we interviewed: Was the Myers ranch plagued with UFO activity for over half a century while the Myers established their ranch? Junior had only one story to support this: He seemed to remember that a clerk at a drugstore told him that Edith Myers had UFO stories to tell. But that is very tenuous evidence. Memories long after the fact, especially of such trivialities as a brief conversation while counting out the change, tend to be distorted–and perhaps influenced by the extensive publicity that followed the Deseret News articles and then publication of Skinwalker.
We had a long conversation with John Garcia (called Mr. Gonzalez in Skinwalker), whose ranch adjoined the Myers/(Skinwalker) ranch on the
So according to Garth Myers, and there certainly is good reason to think that he should know the basic facts about the history of the ranch, and with the backing of Junior’s memory plus the comments of John Garcia and Charles Winn, the Skinwalker version of the ranch’s history is badly distorted.