Brandon Fugal is a supercar owner, aviation enthusiast, movie memorabilia collector, tech innovator, musician, and owner of Skinwalker Ranch…
The epicenter of anomalous behavior in the United States and perhaps in the world is a 512 acre property located southeast of Ballard Utah, ubiquitously known as Skinwalker Ranch. The ranch hosts a cornucopia of phenomena including UFO sightings, transient radiation spikes, mysterious visual and audio anomalies, cattle mutilations, paranormal activities, and inter dimensional portals. It is no coincidence that the man who owns this most uncommon property is a rather unique individual. Until recently this gentleman had remained anonymous, mostly to prevent any disruption and distraction from the day to day running of his business empire. The cloak of anonymity was lifted this year thanks to the History Channels TV show “The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch” which follows a team of experts who are attempting to scientifically catalogue the many phenomena occurring at Skinwalker Ranch and provide rational explanations for the intriguing occurrences taking place on the ranch. A condition of the contract with the History Channel was for the owner of Skinwalker Ranch to reveal himself. That man is Brandon Fugal, a modern-day polymath, commercial real estate magnate, aviation enthusiast, musician, movie memorabilia collector, innovator, and investor in James Bond meets Mission Impossible real world technology.
Brandon Fugal describes himself as a child on the 1980’s whose pop cultural influences were the movies of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Ridley Scott. Today Brandon is an avid collector of movie props from iconic films such a Terminator, Superman, and Blade Runner amongst others. I was a huge fan of the TV X-Files, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Brandon has the FBI badges used by the fictional FBI agents Scully and Mulder. A suit worn by Keanu Reeves from the latest John Wick movie sits in one of his offices, as does the short sword used by John Wick in the glass cage fight scene in John Wick 3. Amongst the collection are glasses used by Tom Cruise in the first Mission Impossible as well as numerous items from the various James Bond films featuring Daniel Craig. Brandon also collects screenplays, rare books, and historical documents.
Music has always been a fun creative source for Brandon going back to his childhood when he learnt to play the piano at age 7. It was a natural progression to being a member of rock bands in junior high and high school. While researching for my interview with Brandon I came across a new wave dark electronic music video by a band called Supplicant. The composer, producer, and silent man in dark clothing in the video was none other than Brandon Fugal himself. Supplicant’s musical influences once again reflect the 1980’s and indeed mirror my own musical leanings. Depeche Mode, OMD, Duran Duran, Human League and Erasure influences can be heard in Supplicants album and in their 5 videos. If you are looking for some lighthearted entertainment head to supplicant.com for the musical styling of Brandon Fugal and his vocalist and high school friend Mick Harwood. As this was pre -smart phones the content is best viewed from a desktop computer. Sadly, Brandon has not had the time in the past decade to continue to nurture this creative outlook which at the time was helpful in retaining his sanity in a hectic business world.
“Why have one ridiculously expensive, impractical sports car when you can have two.” I love this statement and it perfectly sums up Brandon’s passion for Ferrari and Lamborghini. His current stable includes a Lamborghini Huracan and a Ferrari 488 spider. Truly a man after my own heart Brandon is that rare supercar owner who uses his supercars as daily drivers. Exemplified by the last Lamborghini Huracan which had 25,000 miles on the odometer after only a year and a half. Brandon goes so far as to hail the AWD Huracan as the best AWD supercar on the market today. AWD is handy in the fall and winter in Utah. Brandon’s latest favorite supercar is his silver Ferrari 488 spider. The Ferrari is a departure in that is it rear wheel drive which is a challenge in winter as well as being painted silver as Brandon typically only drives black cars with black interiors. The Huracan and the 488 spider provide two very different driving and visual experiences. In Brandon’s words “the Lamborghini is sinister and diabolical, whereas the Ferrari is a beautiful work of art.” He intends to have a Ferrari and a Lamborghini in his collection for the long term. For a less visceral experience above 100mph Brandon turns to his Porsche 911 Targa GTS with its unique glasshouse clamshell design that is poetry in motion when the car converts from soft-top coupe to open roof convertible. Brandon jokingly refers to his supercars as time machines, helping him to get to his business appointments in the shortest amount of time.
It is his Airbus H130 helicopter that is the real time machine. Aviation is in the family; Brandon’s brother Cameron is the CEO and co owner along with Brandon’s father of AeroDynamic Jets a private jet charter company. Cameron is also the pilot in the family with ratings for both private jets and helicopters. Viewers of the History Channel’s ‘’The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch” will have seen Cameron and Brandon flying in the sleek black Airbus 130 helicopter to the ranch, often with scientific guests in tow. The Airbus H130 enables Brandon to conduct site inspections for his commercial real estate business as well as proving itself an asset for the investigations at Skinwalker Ranch. In Season 2 of the show aviation assets are, I’ve been informed, increasingly used to explore the airspace of Skinwalker Ranch as well as the geography of the Uintah Basin.
Placing the sleek black H130 next to Brandon’s black Lamborghini Huracan is the epitome of cool. Equally cool is founding a company called Axcend that invented the world’s first mobile liquid chromatograph. Brandon likens this to James Bond meeting Mission Impossible in creating a small device the size of a shoe box that can provide a chemical analysis of any liquid in 4 minutes. The days of sending a blood sample for example to lab for testing are reduced or eliminated. It does not get any cooler than when your first customer is NASA where your mobile liquid chromatograph was flown up to the International Space Station.
Brandon’s penchant for science, technology, and love of 80’s film and music culture might not make him the obvious choice to purchase a property steeped in paranormal events. A close relationship with the former owner, billionaire and space entrepreneur, Robert Bigelow helped bridge the gap to acquisition. Under Bigelow’s ownership the ranch had become the most scientifically studied paranormal location in the world. I asked Brandon if he ever imagined owning Skinwalker Ranch and becoming know throughout the world – “hell no” was his response. He bought the property as a skeptic who had never seen a UFO, an orb or a ghost, and he told Bob Bigelow he fully expected there to be a natural prosaic answer for the behaviour that has been reported about the ranch for decades. He was incredibly surprised to find out that the reports were the absolute truth and Brandon, himself, has personally witnessed UFO’s and strangeness at Skinwalker Ranch.
Is is important to note that Brandon’s team was investigating Skinwalker Ranch before the History Channel came calling and will continue to investigate long after the TV show has gone off air. The team many of whom are longtime friends of Brandon’s are experts in their fields. Season 1 of the Secret of Skinwalker Ranch aired in March of 2020 amidst the outbreak of the Covid pandemic. Season 2 concluded a few months ago and will comprise 10 episodes that were filmed during the pandemic placing an ever-greater emphasis on safety. The crew from Prometheus Entertainment (the production company who filmed the series) as well as Brandon and his team were all regularly tested for COVID-19 to ensure a safe filming environment.
Getting to know Brandon Fugal a little better a few key traits stood out, one his openness, before I even had a chance to start asking questions, he told me you I could ask him anything, everything. When discussing business success one of core tenements on Brandon’s business philosophy is to be of service and to treat others as you would have them treat you. One of Brandon’s mentors is Jim Morse who gave Brandon his first business opportunity in commercial real estate who advised “treat everyone as if they could be the next Bill Gates.” Jim in addition to being a successful real estate developer and entrepreneur is also the manager of Skinwalker Ranch. Eric Bard another key member of the team is a physicist that Brandon has known for ten years. Dragon (Byrant Arnold) the Chief of security at Skinwalker Ranch has been friends with Brandon since high school. One of Brandon’s conditions with the History channel was they had to use Brandon’s team, not some industry casting call. Nothing was to be contrived, or scripted and what you shoot is what you got even if that meant you got nothing.
Brandon’s goal for Skinwalker Ranch is to be a good steward of the property. With this comes great responsibility to the Uintah basin community, and local native tribes. The main approaches to the study of Skinwalker Ranch are being met with professionalism, integrity, but also with a reverence and humility towards Skinwalker Ranch itself. No one knows what the origin is of the activity within Skinwalker Ranch or what the agenda of the phenomena could be, is it a multi dimensional universe, is it a spiritual component, an alien component or all three. Only time will tell, however it is an endeavor worthy of study that could have ramifications for all mankind. Personally, the investigation makes me want to sign up to work on this project immediately.
I want to thank Brandon for taking the time to talk to me about his many passions and interests. Hopefully, my readers will have gotten some insight into the man behind the Skinwalker Ranch. I am looking forward to Season 2 of “The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch” which Brandon promises will reveal more mysteries and even more experiments to try to uncover its secrets. I will continue to follow Brandon’s supercar adventures, his aviation endeavors and see what new innovations his tech companies produce. I think it is fitting to end this article with one of Brandon’s favorite quotes that is attributed to Mario Andretti, “if everything seems under control you are not going fast enough.”