The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch: Beaming Up (S5E6)

There are two quick things I want to bring up before getting into this week’s episode. Starting off, I do not have some whiplash-inducing drama within the world of Skinwalker Ranch or the larger scope of disclosure. A lot has happened in the two weeks since the previous episode, but honestly, it’s too much to even try and tl;dr. What I do want to say is thank you for all the kind words I received from the many The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch Facebook pages and groups I’ve joined. I’ve been able to have so many excellent conversations with people from many different backgrounds and it’s been an incredibly wonderful two weeks of meeting some excellent people. 

The people I don’t care to thank are the many people who found my interview with Jeremy McGowan as a platform to attack me. Hate to break it to ya, but you’re kind of proving McGowan’s point here. 

Secondly, I want to make a quick note about ranch owner Brandon Fugal and his absence in Season 5. Some of my favorite moments are the ones where Brandon or Cameron fly out to the ranch and join the crew for something. Whether it’s Brandon’s choice or the network, he’s seemingly been relegated to a thirty-second talking head at the end of each episode, usually with some variation of a “Just what the heck is going on here,” remark. My hope is, with just a few episodes left, that Brandon at least comes back out to the ranch once or twice. 

Night vision footage of Brandon Fugal in Cameron's helicopter

Oh Hi Mark

We start off Season 5 Episode 6 “Beaming Up” with Dr. Travis Taylor, Erik Bard, Thomas Winterton, and Dragon inside the Skinwalker Ranch Command Center. Kaleb Bench introduces us to Mike Seriani and Alex Swanson of Mark Construction Inc. This meeting was set up by Thomas. The team from Mark is here to learn about what their drilling expertise will be needed for. Erik shows them Dr. Jan Francke’s GPR data from Episode 5 “The Flash,” data they have dubbed a possible debris field. 

The team from Mark is briefed, by Erik, on what they’re looking for, drilling-wise. Two boreholes will be drilled into the Mesa on the left and right sides of where the dome-shaped anomaly (debris field) is. From there, they will plan on putting a receiver in one of the holes, and a transmitter in another. The goal of this is to create a sort of guerilla-style X-ray machine. This could also help them decipher whether or not this anomaly is natural or technological. 

Dr. Travis Taylor tells the team from Mark that whatever they put in the Mesa to help conduct the transmitting/receiving experiment mustn’t be conductive. Mike quashes any worries and says they’ll fill the holes with a non-conductive cement gel-based casing. 

This Is Not A Drill Pt. 2

Two days later, Mark Construction Inc. shows back up–in droves. A convoy of drills, drilling equipment, and water tanks tear down the entrance of Skinwalker Ranch. Dragon and Kaleb grant them access and it’s time to get cracking. 

Going back to what I said at the start, this is the PERFECT time to either have Brandon show up OR give him a talking head. This drilling experiment is significantly grander than any drilling they’ve done before; both in manpower and drillpower. The fact that no one thought it would be a smart idea to have Brandon saying something along the lines of, “This is to date the biggest experiment we’ve done,” is a travesty. Anyway.

The team from Mark set up south of the Mesa and across the road. We’re told the game plan. First, six-inch holes will be drilled into the Mesa. The drill will trace along the east and west sides of the dome-shaped object. Second, an 18-inch diameter drill will trace through the six-inch holes and will coat the new holes with the non-conductive concrete gel-based sealant. 

Jim Royston and Sam Deriso of OmniTeq are here as well. As the drilling starts, so does the high strangeness. A 31 MHz signal emits from deep within the Mesa. Travis mentions this is coming from the exact spot of the dome-shaped object. Who would have guessed, but soon after the drilling starts, it’s halted. The drill has run into an object that is too hard for it to penetrate. Travis rehashes the strange signal he and Kaleb found a few weeks ago in the East Field Canyon, a signal that Travis says might resemble communication of some sort. 

Thomas Winterton radios Erik to inform him about the drill snafu, and Erik hilariously says, “Well that’s foreboding.” If Brandon/Erik/History Channel don’t create merch of that then they’re missing out. Travis, Erik, and the others meet up with Thomas and Alex Swanson to discuss what’s happening. Alex says the drill bit is pushing up against something too hard, and won’t make it even halfway through the Mesa at this point. What’s crazy here is they’re using 12,000 to 14,000 pounds of push with this drill, that’s at least 4,000 more pounds of force used by the drills in 2021. Travis points out something strange here and that’s that they shouldn’t have even hit the dome-shaped object yet. Could whatever the drill is hitting be part of the purported debris field? 

Continuing to take charge, Thomas says before they start anything back up they should check the spoils pile. If you remember, the spoils are where they found the previous NASA spacecraft-used materials in their 2021 drilling excursion. The team pulls the soil truck out and to a clearer area. They pull out a sieve and start to empty to bin. Will they get lucky? Well, maybe. After washing away the dirt, mud, and various other things, they find a singular tiny flake. The flake is bagged and will be sent for testing. Since the drills need to move and reset, they call it a day…for the drilling that is. 

Lasers point up at the sky as a rocket flies through the center

All Night Long

Travis, Erik, Thomas, Dragon, and Kaleb join Nu-Salt Laser’s Tim Anderson and technologist Pete Kelsey over at the triangle. We’re getting a night experiment baby, let’s gooooooo! Throughout this whole conversation, Erik has a grin on his face like a kid in a candy store. It’s absolutely precious to see how happy he is here. Tim, who is back on the ranch for a second time, says they have better and more powerful laser! More wattage! They brought eight high-powered laser space cannons. “I love the idea of getting more photons into the sky,” says Erik. If Brandon/Erik/History Channel don’t create merch of that then they’re missing out.

Travis says they should set up the eight high-powered lasers to create a circle around the anomaly. This will be so if something passes through the lasers/The Blob they can notice the breaks in the beam. Also, they will be setting up a 12’x8’ whiteboard 31 feet in the air, where The Blob has been charted, and lasers will be shining directly onto it. Travis will also direct a spectrometer at the whiteboard laser to measure any variations in the color spectrum. And while all of this is going on, they will be firing rockets AND Jim Royston and Pete Kelsey will be flying LIDAR and thermal drones, respectively. OH YEAH, I almost forgot, there are multiple long-exposure cameras locked down and taking photos every few seconds from multiple angles.

WOW, that’s a lot. 

8:45 rolls around. It’s time to start the—suddenly, a large white orb appears in the sky. It’s clear there are no aviation lights on the orb. Travis says the orb is bigger and brighter than anything they’ve seen to date. Okay, now it’s time to start the lasers. They start by shining the laser onto the whiteboard. Watching with his spectrometer, Travis immediately notices something odd. The green color waves get brighter, while the blue color waves drop. This is especially notable because these high-powered lasers are specifically designed to create and keep a constant and consistent coloring. Ready to move on, they light up the lasers surrounding The Blob. 

Over at the Skinwalker Ranch Command Center, Erik notices something funky. See, there are five antennas placed strategically around the ranch, and one of them, over at Homestead Two, is picking up the 1.6 GHz signal. Travis also picks up the 1.6 GHz signal from his mobile command center. 

Jim Royston gets his LIDAR drone going, while Pete Kelsey gets his thermal drone up and running. Dragon and Travis prepare their first rocket. 3…2…1…fire! The rocket, which as usual should fly straight up, flies in an S-shaped pattern. Shortly after the strange rocket pattern, Pete questions the team if anyone is near the ‘out’ side of the Mesa. No one is. What’s weird is how there is a single boulder emanating heat more than any of the other boulders around it. This perfectly mirrors what happened when Blazing Bear did their drum circle in Season 4. Travis and Dragon jump into their Jeep and head over to the boulder. There’s nothing special to note here, other than this boulder is showing an anomalous amount of heat. Travis says there is no geological reason this should be happening. 

It’s time for another rocket. And, again, the rocket flies completely off the path it should fly in. Is The Blob forcing these rockets to fly in crazy directions? This is where things get a little weird…or sad. No 1.6 GHz signal is detected. Jim is having no drone issues. There is nothing in the sky. This causes them to call it a night, but not before a bit of a huddle. It’s clear everyone is pretty bummed that literally nothing strange is happening right now. They seem a bit defeated, but Erik’s optimism keeps spirits high. 

The Evidence

We join Dr. Travis Taylor, Erik Bard, Thomas Winterton, Dragon, Kaleb Bench, Jim Royston, and Pete Kelsey one day later. What would be our typical “Here are some orbs,” moment, Travis reveals something in a talking head and that is they have evidence that no one was expecting. Erik pulls up three photos from the long-exposure locked cameras focused on the eight lasers. Each photo shows a break in the green laser’s beam. But it’s only the green laser. Strangely enough, these breaks in the beam have rounded edges to them as well. 

There’s one thing Travis is certain of…it’s not a camera error.

Erik Bard sits back in his chair and looks at the Command Center computer

Final Thoughts

The majority of this episode was high-octane early-season Skinwalker Ranch. It raised new concerns and questions and prompted even more results. BUT there’s something a bit lackluster about how the only evidence we get to see is three photos of broken light beams. It’s still compelling, but I could have used a little bit more. With just a handful of episodes left in Season 5, and so many questions, I wonder if they can put a bow on this season, or if it will continue to fall down the Curse of Oak Island pothole. Who knows. I’m still hooked, and that’s all that matters to me.

Written by Brendan Jesus

Brendan is an award-winning author and screenwriter. His hobbies include magnets, ghouls, and finding slugs after a fresh rain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fan made poster for a fan edit of Fire Walk With Me.

A New Fan Edit of Fire Walk With Me Called The Missing Season Makes the Film into a Mini Series

Killer VHS Series #3: Teleportasm Is Damn Fine!