When I was investigating paranormal occurrences on A&E's Ghost Hunters, I was always looking for an explanation for the strange activity we encountered during our cases. Whether it was erratic wiring triggering our EMF detectors, animals trapped in walls making all sorts of strange sounds, or the walkie talkies our production team was keying, there were tons of exciting moments caused by mundane coincidences.
But every so often, we wouldn't be able to explain a phenomenon, and sometimes natural elements seemingly enhanced it. This is why I'm interested in what gilsonite is on Skinwalker Ranch.
What is the deal with gilsonite on 'Skinwalker Ranch'?
The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch is a lot like Curse of Oak Island. Both shows dedicate multiple seasons to uncovering the mysteries of a specific location. They're not looking to package everything in a "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" fashion or to put a bow on things.
Every single clue is meticulously pored over. Every little detail is played out to the fullest extent in order to test the implications of whatever strange activity is occurring in said location.
Sure, Oak Island is more a treasure hunting show than anything, but one would argue that the treasures of Skinwalker Ranch are the extraterrestrial beings we found along the way.
And gilsonite might be the key to all of it.
Dr. Travis Taylor talked about one peculiar environmental trait of the 512 acres of property that the Skinwalker Ranch sits upon in Utah's Uinta Basin. Its peculiar characteristic is that it's littered with gilsonite, a substance that is typically associated with meteorites.
Cinemablend spoke with Dr. Taylor regarding his thoughts on the substance and why it may prove so important to the legacy of Skinwalker Ranch.
"There’s gilsonite all around the Uinta Basin, which typically is only found in a meteor impact crater, plus all of the petroleum that is underneath the Uinta Basin. There are a lot of geologists and natural physicists [who are] now beginning to think that impact craters cause a phenomenon that creates petroleum."
"If you look at this impact crater, the ranch is dead center give or take, but it’s pretty much dead center. And perhaps something to do with the bowl shape of the basin or whatever caused the basin made this the [center] or the nexus for whatever the activity might be."
How gilsonite ended up in the basin is the question. The material is constantly mined in Utah and is used as a "performance additive" for Utah's foundry and asphalt businesses, according to ABC.
It's also used in the production of ink and paint as well.
The material's actually one of the oldest mined substances in Utah. In fact, the Beehive State is the "only place where gilsonite is economically produced in large quantities," according to the Utah Geological Survey, per ABC 4.
Where is Skinwalker Ranch on the map?
If you want to go in person and see the famed location for yourself, then you're going to want to head east of Salt Lake City. Remember, the property is a whopping 512 acres wide. But it's privately owned by real estate mogul Brandon Fugal, so it is trespassing to visit the grounds.
You can catch new episodes of The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch on History Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. EST.