Book Reviews Perceptions Magazine, January 2022
Skinwalkers at the Pentagon:
An Insiders’ Account of the Secret Government UFO Program
By James T. Lacatski, D.Eng., Colm A. Kellerher, Ph.D., and George Knapp
P.O. Box 50790
Henderson, NY 89016
2021, 251 pages, Paperback, U.S. $16.95
Reviewed by Brent Raynes
Skinwalkers at the Pentagon is a very unique contribution to ufology. It has some genuinely high-strangeness that’s quite Keelian, if you will, but this one was actually reviewed by the U.S. Department of Defense and cleared for public release. It’s an extraordinary book that sounds rather like material from Chris Carter’s X-Files, but instead, as the subtitle boldly declares, it’s “an insider’s account of the secret government UFO program.”
Well, it was cautiously stated on the first page of this book that the views expressed in it were those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Department of Defense itself, but what an impressive line-up of keynote players going on record here regarding many very enigmatic experiences described by very credible individuals. Beginning with a Foreword by U.S. Senator Harry Reid we are quickly introduced to how this formerly secret government investigative work came about, bringing in academic people of science to conduct a comprehensive, thorough study of the UAP mystery.
An early and significant part of this story was detailed in Colm A. Kelleher and George Knapp’s book Hunt for the Skinwalker (2005). As you may have noticed, Kelleher and Knapp are both co-authors of this newest volume. Both focus heavily upon a remote ranch in Utah, called the Skinwalker Ranch, where lots of very peculiar and even terrifying things have been reported happening for decades now.
Two incidents to the former rancher and his wife who had owned the property were quite disturbing to them. In 1996 the rancher sent three of his dogs after a baseball sized blue orb that was flying close to the ground. It seemingly dodged their efforts to attack it and retreated behind some undergrowth and trees, soon followed by yelps and then silence from his dogs, who never returned. The next morning, the rancher walked out to where the orb and dogs had disappeared and found three circular areas with three greasy lumps in the middle of each, which he felt was the remains of his dogs. In the second incident the rancher and his wife were sitting out enjoying a summer evening when they noticed a blue orb circling a few inches around the head of a horse out in their field less than 100 yards away. Then suddenly it came over to them, hovering about 10 feet above them. It was about baseball sized. They became very frightened at this and the wife shined a flashlight beam at it, at which point it darted away. This compelled them to sell the ranch to Las Vegas businessman Robert Bigelow in September 1996. Bigelow had an organization called the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS) and he was bringing together prestigious academics, former U.S. senators and others to look into the UFO phenomenon. The ranch had a history of anomalous activity that Bigelow felt would be a perfect location for a team of scientists to study firsthand.
Then in 2007 Bigelow heard from a Dr. James T. Lacatski, a physicist who was with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and third co-author of this book, who was interested in visiting the Skinwalker Ranch. And so on July 26th of 2007 Lacatski and Bigelow got together and flew out to Vernal, Utah in Bigelow’s private jet. About an hour later they were on the ranch property walking around. During their two hour visit, Lacatsky had an experience that was very profound for him – something unlike anything he had ever experienced prior – like an unearthly technological device described in the book as a “complex semi-opague, yellowish, tubular structure” silently hovering for about 30 seconds in a kitchen area of one of the buildings before it vanished before his eyes as mysteriously as it had appeared.
Within a mere two hour visit Dr. Lacatsky was given a powerful sign that he needed to indeed follow through on helping to initiate further investigations of this site! It’s impossible to detail in a book review all of the intriguing aspects and events covered in this volume. But I feel I should mention that there became, with a good number who investigated at the ranch, what they came to call a “hitchhiker” effect where they describe “bringing something home” – something similar to things happening on the ranch and very paranormal too. Even DIA people had this problem – with the blue lights showing up at their homes in Virginia and Maryland, along with shadow figures, a 7-foot tall upright wolf-type figure, footsteps heard but no one is visible, etc. Also unusual health effects when these phenomena are manifesting.
TRINITY: The Best-Kept Secret
By Jacques F. Vallee and Paola Leopizzi Harris
StarworksUSA, LLC and Documatica Research, LLC
2021, 358 pages, Paperback, U.S. $24.68
Reviewed by Brent Raynes
TRINITY: The Best-Kept Secret by the highly respected French born scientist Jacques Vallee and Italian journalist Paola leopizzi Harris, neither one strangers to the UFO issue, have together here authored what I dare say may well be one of their most thought-provoking and controversial books yet.
Certainly Vallee has often been no stranger to the controversial. His 1969 Passport to Magonia and the firestorm of shock and debate that it generated within the UFO field at the time, with its comparisons to modern UFO alien reports with centuries old accounts of fairies and religious phenomena, readily leaps to my mind. Nonetheless, being the competent scientist that he is he always lands on both feet and his writings always provide worthy, well researched and investigated accounts and thought-provoking alternative speculations and theories that are often quite valued and provide worthwhile consideration, no matter where your head may be at ufologically.
Vallee, being the scientist he is, is guided by the content and quality of whatever evidence comes his way, and if it meets the potential evidence standards and looks to be something that might make a genuine and meaningful contribution to furthering our understanding of this enigma, then he’s all in.
The beginning of his story here starts only a few years ago. It was October 2017 and he had been engaged in a day long digging exploration on the Plain of Augustin trying to verify early UFO crash stories in New Mexico, trying to find something for lab people back home in Silicon Valley to test that might prove verifiable of such claims and rumors. But before he was to catch his flight home, his colleague and friend, Ron Brinkley, who had been working at his side that day, insisted that they stop at a legendary eatery and watering hole at San Antonio’s Owl Bar and Café for a drink and snack, before Vallee was to go to the Albuquerque airport to head back home to San Francisco. As it turned out, the Owl Bar and Café played a noteworthy role in a big story that was to unfold. As they were relaxing and unwinding, Brinkley shared local stories and rumors, like how just a few miles from them was the Trinity site, where the first atomic blast in history occurred, on July 16, 1945. He told how they had just passed, on the other side of the street, the house that Dr. Robert Oppenheimer had stayed at, and pointed out the nearby corner of the restaurant that he used to sit at. In all of Brinkley’s storytelling there emerged one particular story, one regarding two young witnesses of a UFO crash nearby, an incident two years prior to Roswell, which the majority of ufologists and the scientific community were completely in the dark over. Vallee wrote that he came to realize that this was the reason Brinkley had insisted on them grabbing a drink before his departure. He knew Vallee would take the hint.
And he did. He discovered two UFO authors had come upon the story and mentioned them in a book; Ryan Wood in Majic Eyes Only (2005) and Timothy Good’s Need to Know (2007), who had questioned the two witnesses himself, but then went on with other investigations. It was Paola Leopizzi Harris, an Italian journalist and a former associate and translator for Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who had also interviewed both witnesses herself and took the additional steps of sponsoring technical teams to assist her in gathering further background information and even having TV reporters with cameras following her to the site of the alleged crash.
Beginning in July 2018, learning of Vallee’s interest in the case, Harris wrote to him, describing her seven years of devotion to the story, complaining how the only people who seemed interested in the matter were researchers outside of the U.S. Vallee and Harris soon after this established their own small investigative team. Together they visited the site of the crash several times together, each time spending several days with a search team with instrumentation. The two young boys were still alive to be thoroughly interviewed about how they witnessed the explosion made by the strange craft. They vividly still recalled investigating and coming upon the crash site of a dull grey avocado-shaped craft, estimated at 25-30 feet long and 14 feet high, with debris scattered upon the landscape, leaving a very significant ground disturbance. During their first viewing of the object they could see through an opening in the craft, from a distance of about 200 feet, swapping a pair of binoculars, three humanoid figures, who looked to be about three or four feet tall, with ‘bug, praying mantis” heads, “big, bulgy eyes” and thin bodies and arms, moving about inside. The young lads were mesmerized in their tracks watching the creatures, hearing a noise comparable to how a rabbit sounds when being killed.
On later visits, they saw no evidence of the beings, though the craft was still there. On the fourth day, on Sunday, August 19, 1945, an Army Sergeant named R. Avila paid a visit to the home of one of the boys, on whose property the object had come down on, to acquire permission to cut a fence and install a gate to retrieve what he called an “experimental weather balloon.” The father was home and granted him permission.
Soon a group of young soldiers arrived but as the authors note, unlike what we’d see in a Spielberg movie this military team seem unprepared. There was no sanitized equipment or biohazard suits, and they’d leave the site unsupervised and periodically go dine at the Owl Bar and Café, during which time the boys would revisit the crash site and even go inside the craft, where one of the boys used a crowbar to remove a metal bracket from a panel [which the Vallee/Harris team was able to handle, photograph and have analyzed in a lab], as well as pick up various other debris laying around on the ground.
The site was barely 18 miles northwest of Trinity, near where the family whose property the object came down on lived. It was a large ranch that supplemented its income by raising cattle. The two boys did many chores at this ranch located at San Antonito, near San Antonio.
This is only a small part of this big story. But hopefully it’s enough to arouse curiosity among my readers to order the book and delve into its fascinating contents for themselves.
The Empires of Atlantis:
The Origins of Ancient Civilizations and Mystery Traditions throughout the Ages
By Marco M. Vigato
Bear & Company
One Park Street
Rochester, Vermont 05767
January 2022, 416 pages, 6 x 9, U.S. $25.00
32-page color insert and 51 b&w illustrations
Reviewed by Brent Raynes
The author of this book, Marco M. Vigato, has devoted some 15 years to researching advanced ancient civilizations worldwide. He is the author of several research papers, documentaries, and contributes a blog entitled Uncharted Ruins [https://un charteredruins.blogspot.com] and an informative website at: https://www.marcovigato.com. Italian born, with degrees from Harvard and Milan’s Bocconi University, he has been featured on many podcasts and TV shows. He currently lives in Mexico City, where he is actively engaged in ongoing research and explorations and is regarded as an authority on ancient Mesoamerica and global megalithic sites.
Delving deeply with his research and field studies and with recent discoveries in archaeology, geology, anthropology, and genetics, and his knowledge of mystery teachings [“Sacred Science”] from around the world, Vigato traces the previous existence of an Atlantean civilization and the trials and tribulations that it went through over long historical periods of time, claiming it went back as far as 432,000 BCE with a final cataclysmic destruction around 9600 BCE – though he speculates further that Atlantean survivors worked at restarting civilization in other parts of the globe, from Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, as well as in Egypt, India,. Mesopotamia, and the Americas. In all of this research, we learn that Vigato is not simply an armchair researcher. He’s a boots on the ground kind of guy who has explored hundreds of archaeological sites around the world and has drawn upon more than 500 ancient and modern sources for his information.