Sedona Skinwalker: Ancient Wolf Pack
Before we get started there must be given the following advice which according to legend comes straight from the Navajo people themselves:
“The first rule of Skinwalkers is; you don’t talk about them. Period. When it comes to these beings, try not to think about them too hard, and whatever you do never say the name out loud.”
The name alone hints of something which could raise the hair on your arm with the supernatural. There are many Navajos who firmly believe in the existence of skinwalkers and refuse to discuss them publicly for fear of retribution because they believe the beings walk freely among the tribe and secretly can transform under the cover of night. In Navajo cultural beliefs, witchcraft itself is regarded as a taboo subject because it deals with concepts and objects surrounding death, therefore, meaning the Navajo people are strictly prohibited from even speaking of such things.
Skinwalkers are most commonly encountered near-native reservations, though they have been seen all over the United States. The best documented Skinwalker beliefs are those of the Navajo yenaldooshi. The yenaldooshi are said to be evil human beings who have gained supernatural power by having murdered a close relative. By committing the cultural taboo, these what have been called witches can become a skin-walker. This ability allows them to be able to transform themselves into animals where they would appear slightly too large, disproportionate, have red glowing eyes, and place curses on people. Those who report having seen skinwalkers say they are slightly deformed in their animal state with dull and unreflective eyes -- the opposite of a real animal.
Although a Skinwalker possesses the ability to assume the form of any animal, it is most often reported in the forms of a few key carnivorous animals: a coyote, a fox, an owl, a crow, or a wolf. Actually, the Navajo term “yee naaldooshii” literally translates to “with it, he goes on all fours.” This is a reference to the special ability to transform into a four-legged animal. According to most modern descriptions, this seems to be the only real determinant for defining someone as a Skinwalker. According to University of Nevada-Las Vegas anthropologist Dan Benyshek, who specializes in the study of Native Americans of the Southwest:
“Skinwalkers are purely evil in intent. I’m no expert on it, but the general view is that skinwalkers do all sorts of terrible things—they make people sick, they commit murders. They are grave robbers and necrophiliacs. They are greedy and evil people who must kill a sibling or other relative to be initiated as a skinwalker. They supposedly can turn into were animals and can travel in supernatural ways.”
Navajo Rangers are one of the few who will respond to paranormal cases since regular law enforcement does not give much credence to reports of paranormal activity. Rangers John Dover and Stan Milford over the years together managed a section called the Special Projects Unit that sometimes took paranormal reports from Navajo people. Navajo Rangers are well-trained officers of the law but no amount of training could apparently prepare them for some of the strangest reports of the unusual paranormal suspects they were to come across. Dover and Milford say they have rolled on reports of the usual paranormal suspects, such as ghosts, Bigfoot, and UFOs, and they have also investigated sightings of creatures of Navajo lore, such as Skinwalkers. Dover made it to the rank of Lieutenant before retiring and was in charge of supervising the Arizona and Utah side of the reservation.
What are they?
You may be wondering, what is a skinwalker and why are they so scary? There is little-documented information about the details of “witchcraft” among the Najavo—or Diné, as they call themselves. According to most experts, not all witches are skinwalkers but all skinwalkers are witches with skinwalkers at the top. They are a witch’s witch, so to speak. While there have been many self-published books and websites that offer some insight into this world of Navajo witchcraft, much of the information is obscure and does not provide any sort of real account for how these stories and their details came into being.
The Alpha Skinwalker is according to legend the very first skinwalker and, although not seen, he directs the actions of numerous packs of skinwalkers. The main objective seems to be infiltrating families disguised as pets and then biting them at a signal in order to create more skinwalkers. For most Skinwalkers are really just another type of witch; more specifically, they are considered to be practitioners of what is called the “witchery way.” In the book Navajo Witchcraft by Clyde Kluckhohn, he states Navajo witches are actually divided into four different groups: witchery, sorcery, wizardry, and frenzy (Kluckhohn 1944, 22).
The skinwalker is a frightening Native American legend of a being who specializes in shapeshifting and wields supernatural powers where humans can change into any animal they want just by using that animal’s skin, including that of a person as well. Some legends say Skinwalkers have the ability to “body-snatch”, to take possession of another person’s body if that person locks eyes long enough with the Skinwalker who are also said to use voodoo-like tactics to manipulate their victims. They usually carry a whistle, a bullroarer (tsindi’ni’), or are armed with a long poisoned, tipped needle called a “tsahgai.” People claim to hear their ‘whistling’ sounds or “unnatural whirling sounds” late at night. Some have also claimed scent that is unnatural as well described as a retching sulfuric odor.
Numerous cultures all over the world believe in some version of a Skinwalker, which is closely related to beliefs about werewolves and other were-creatures. The outcasted Skinwalkers are said to assume begrudged and hate-driven existences, their spirits in constant search of revenge and mindless harm. The more modest accounts of Skinwalker encounters portray them as mischievous and poltergeist-like. While they can take many forms, many people who reportedly see them describe them as “hollowed out” dog-like animals. When they shape-change these beings gain a bestial visage evoking the creatures they emulate; the snout elongates, claws emerge from fingertips, and teeth become prominent. The Navajo Skinwalker legend is not unlike that of the European werewolf: A once-ordinary human discovers the ability to shift into animal form at night where his doings then become almost exclusively evil. Unlike the werewolf, however, the Skinwalker curse is desired and acquired, that is, Skinwalkers do not have the bad luck to be “bitten” and forced into the curse. Rather, they want it and are willing to perform extraordinary rites in order to achieve it.
The most prominent historians of the Skinwalker tells of a particular form of Navajo witch, or a ’ánt’įįhnii, called ayee naaldlooshii, translated to mean “with it, he goes on all fours.” The yee naaldlooshii is usually a medicine man or high-ranking priest who has obtained supernatural powers through breaking a cultural taboo, including murder, seduction, or the corrupting of a family member. Upon accepting this deep and consuming level of witchcraft, Skinwalkers are then banished forever from a tribe (but considering the foreknowledge of this as well the despicable acts required for the transformation, the aspiring Skinwalker surely possessed an early, pre-seated hate for the tribe). Prowling alone in the desert, a Skinwalker (and also unlike the werewolf) has the ability to shape-shift into any animal they wish, although most commonly the animal is a coyote, wolf, cougar, fox, owl, or crow — a reason why pelts of these animals are widely restricted among the Navajo.
In animal form, the eyes of a Skinwalker are distinctly human, while in human form this is reversed. Varying versions of the legend attribute Skinwalkers the ability to “body-snatch”, to take possession of another person’s body if that person locks eyes long enough with the Skinwalker. It is also said Skinwalkers, through this same eye-locking method, have the power to read human thoughts or even mimic perfectly the voice of that person, a ploy used to lure relatives. Skinwalkers are also said to use voodoo-like tactics to manipulate their victims, such as collecting a target’s hair, wrapping it around a pottery shard, then burying it in a tarantula hole. Outcasts skinwalkers assume begrudged and hate-driven existences, their spirits in constant search of revenge or else mindless harm.
There are multiple legends behind the origin of the Navajo Skinwalker. One claims the Navajos mastered shapeshifting in order to escape persecution and relocation. Another version relates to the Navajo belief in the Anasazi curse — that the Anasazi were responsible for the prevailing witchcraft in the Navajo tribes — and that Navajo Skinwalkers used the off-limit Anasazi ruins and grave sites to gain certain powers. In Norse folklore, a Skinwalker is a person who can travel in the shape of an animal or take on certain characteristics of an animal. When in human form, skinwalkers are said to use various spells and potions to sicken and kill. As animals, skinwalkers are said to be fierce, vicious, and bloodthirsty. Hardly any creature in the folklore of the Native Americans is as feared as the skinwalker. According to some the Skinwalker curse is desired and acquired:
“A once-ordinary human discovers the ability to shift into animal form at night where his doings then become almost exclusively evil. Unlike the werewolf, however, the Skinwalker curse is desired and acquired, that is, Skinwalkers do not have the bad luck to be 'bitten' and forced into the curse. Rather, they want it and are willing to perform extraordinary rites of evil in order to achieve it.”
There are multiple legends behind the origin of the Navajo Skinwalker. Sightings of skinwalkers have been reported by non-Indians since at least the 1960s becoming a subject of greater interest since the publishing of Tony Hillerman’s novel Skinwalkers and the subsequent television movie.
Long before pale-skinned invaders from Europe arrived in America, in some tribes, Skinwalkers were not evil. The Navajo would choose the best warriors to spy on other tribes like the Apache and Hopi. At night these warriors would disguise themselves as, or transform themselves into, Coyotes, and by infiltrating a neighboring village, could learn if the enemy was planning a raid against them. Only after the Europeans overran native American land, crippling their culture, did the skinwalkers begin to wreak havoc against their own tribes.
How is it done?
Skinwalkers are said to recruit more skinwalkers themselves. There is some dispute in how this happens, but some say that there is an official ceremony and that skinwalkers only take their form with a gathering of people and specific chants. According to Angelfire.com some insight into the closely guarded group process of the pack states:
"It is said that a group of people meet in some isolated region. Out of this group, three people are chosen to ‘run around in the skin.’ The three chosen people sit naked in front of the group, with a coyote skin lying before them. While the crowd behind them chants songs, these three individuals ‘enter the skin.’ Then these Skinwalkers travel around doing their evil deeds, leaving the group behind to chant songs that give them power.
The reason three individuals are chosen to be a Skinwalker is because one person is assigned to be a lookout. The next person serves to chase away any dogs, while the third person actually does the specific evil deed. The activities involved include terrorizing people, casting spells on certain people, or grave robbing. Each of them carries a ‘red light.’ It is by means of this ‘red light’ that they communicate with one another while out on their evil errands."
Not far back in history apparently, in the 1800s, the people of Salem were not alone in their quest to hunt down witches. A. Lynn Allison wrote in the article “The Navajo Witch Purge of 1878,” which appeared in the Arizona State University West literary magazine Paloverde:
The words “Navajo Witch Purge” might at first call to mind the similar phrase “Salem Witch Hunt” and all the lurid imagery that goes with it. A bit of investigating, however, produces a cultural and historical picture of the Navajo and their tradition of witchcraft profoundly different from anything ever imagined by those early New England Puritans. As the Salem Witch trials in seventeenth-century Massachusetts may have evolved as a societal response to the religious thinking of the day, so the Navajo Witch Purge of 1878 evolved as a cultural response to the effects of colonialism on the Navajo way of life. Witchcraft was always an accepted, if not widely acknowledged, part of Navajo culture, and the killing of “witches” was historically as much accepted among the Navajo as among the Europeans. The events of 1878 were a culmination of situation and circumstance that created the seemingly sensational out of what had been the cultural norm. (Allison 2001)
One Navajo commentator remarked, “Navajo witchery is the essence of predatory criminality. No law enforcement agency of any kind intrudes into the matter of traditional Navajo self-defense when this extremely ancient evil threatens one’s very health and life.”
Research and Publications about Skinwalkers
Do these dangerous mischief-makers really prowl the land? In 2005 the book about Skinwalker Ranch titled, Hunt For The Skinwalker by Knapp and Kelleher was published which frankly scared people since the activity at Skinwalker Ranch was beyond the ability of most humans to comprehend. The Las Vegas-based investigative reporter was allowed within the inner-circle of the Skinwalker Ranch research to observe, interview and speak with the National Institute of Discovery Science (NIDS) team.
As I walk through the thick brush and ancient rocks of this haunting landscape, I recall the warning I received from a tribal police officer earlier in the day. I was pulled aside and told point blank, “You need to be careful. You need to protect yourself. You’re messing with something that’s not good. You’re actively hunting it. It will hunt you back. It’s powerful, and given the chance, it will harm you. I’ve seen it happen. These things will attach to you. They will follow you. This is real. People I know have been driven mad by it. You’re hunting this thing, and it knows it. You need to be really careful.”
Jeremy Corbell from The Mysterious Universe had this to say about the book when he wrote:
“The book chronicles the work of the NIDS scientific team, and represents a clear and precise testament to the events that caused so much wonder and bemusement. The book is fucking terrifying. The events described within became even more frightening for me when I started meeting the witnesses and scientists for myself. I could no longer look at the stories as works of fiction; I was forced to consider that the events at the ranch might just be real.”
Sightings in Arizona
The Navajo Reservation is a beautiful place in areas between Kayenta and the Utah border (site of the magnificent Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park) and over to the Arizona / New Mexico border. This area is also a desolate area with place names like Skeleton Mesa and Mystery Valley. According to some legend says:
“Be careful when traveling through the reservation at night, because strange things have been known to happen out there.”
Over the years very little has been documented about skinwalkers and possible murders attributed to such a being, except for one case for in June of 1987 which raised a lot of questions then and now. Behind the Flagstaff Medical Center, the body of a Navajo woman, Sarah Saganitso, was found nude, beaten and had suffered several fatal deep puncture wounds to her upper torso. The murder left the woman's breast to appear as if to have been bitten or eaten off. The bruising on her face was so severe that she was barely recognizable. Of course, this story normally wouldn’t be connected with anything of the supernatural until George Abney, a former English professor at Northern Arizona University, was arrested and charged a short time later with the murder. During an investigation, Abney claimed he was having bizarre dreams about Saganitso’s murder, which he related to friends about. Under pressure, Abney confessed to having murdered the woman, but by admission, he was having difficulty distinguishing between dreams and reality.
Abney’s attorneys first tried to implicate Saganitso’s former boyfriend on the basis that he was a member of the Native American church, but investigation proved that the man in question was at a sweat lodge in Tuba City on the night of her murder. During the course of the trial it was presented part of the woman’s left breast had been bitten off, and the prosecution offered testimony that the bite marks matched Abney’s teeth. The defense countered with a stunning claim that the circumstances surrounding Saganitso’s slaying suggested a “skinwalker-witchcraft murder.” A year later Abney had been acquitted and cleared of all charges. There must have been some pretty interesting and convincing evidence to come out in the trial that caused a group of people to actually believe a skinwalker did the killing. The not guilty verdict clearly stated there were reasonable suspicions that skinwalkers not only exist but they can be savage and are not to be messed with. (Most people believe skinwalkers are half-breeds of lycanthropes, or that they share some slight version of the curse of those creatures.)
Sedona Skinwalkers: Ancient Wolf Pack
Just outside of Sedona down a long, rough, dirt road winding through the desert lays an expansive ranch that currently sits quietly deserted. While driving near Sedona a man claimed that one night one of these apparent shape-shifters started running alongside the vehicle then darted in front and disappeared off the road after letting loose a volley of screeching laughter as it tormented the motorist.
According to Open Minds:
“Arizona ranked as one of the top three states in the country for UFO sightings per capita in 2013. Arguably, one of the most concentrated areas of reported anomalous activity is centered in Yavapai and Coconino counties. This area was first inhabited by indigenous tribes including the Anasazi, Hohokam, and the Sinagua, all of whom were deeply rooted in the belief that their ancestors came from the stars. Petroglyphs dot the canyon walls, hinting that visitors from other worlds had wandered amongst them and many locals maintain the belief that otherworldly visitors remain attracted to this unique area.”
It was in 1992 that Bob Bradshaw and wife Linda, along with several of her sons, began to catalog unusual activity on their property. It began slowly with sightings of unusual lights in the sky which escalated into tales of Bigfoot, UFOs, extraterrestrial beings, and sightings of what some have said were skinwalkers. Linda firmly believed that the Bradshaw ranch was home to what she referred to as a “portal.” She inferred the strange activity occurring was due to an inter-dimensional window through which creatures benign and benevolent were freely traveling from one dimension to another.
Linda wasn’t the only person to see these doorways open. On August 25, 1997, a dark faceless humanoid was seen crawling out of a green light hovering over the ground by two National Institute of Discovery Science (NIDS) researchers. The two were reportedly on a bluff overlooking the Skinwalker Ranch hoping to observe paranormal activity when they got their wish. Seeing a very small yellowish light they at first discounted as a reflection off a broken bottle or something to that effect. However, the light kept growing and they became more interested. Focusing on the growing light they noticed it appeared to be hovering off the ground a foot or two. At one point one of the researchers noticed the light seemed to be a tunnel. As he identified the light as a tunnel they noticed there was something inside the tunnel crawling on its elbows. The creature crawled out of the portal, stood up, and simply walked away. As the creature disappeared so did the portal opening that allowed the creature entry to the Skinwalker Ranch.
The book “Merging Dimensions: The Opening Portals of Sedona,” which is all about the Bradshaw Ranch experiences is very similar to what happened at the Skinwalker Ranch in Utah. There’s a lot of info regarding windows to other worlds, etc. Just like Skinwalker but less sinister. Of particular interest are the “Orbs” found and clearly documented at both locations. Is there a connection? The fact both locations have undergone extensive research through which numerous books have been written suggests there is not to mention the fact Congress was forced to by the Bradshaw Ranch something covered in another chapter called, “Bradshaw Ranch: Portal Location and other Revelations 2017.”
Linda Bradshaw also stated something had torn the manes off several of her horses which scared and left her perplexed, surmising that it could not be the work of humans stating, “Her lovely, long golden mane was missing. The mare’s mane was not cut off evenly. It looked as if it had been torn off, resulting in extremely jagged edges.” What ripped the hair and the purpose of the action remains a mystery to this day but there are those who believe it was a skinwalker.
The experiences at the Bradshaw Ranch were very similar to the Skinwalker Ranch. One of the most commonly seen paranormal events reported at the Skinwalker Ranch were orbs. The glowing balls of light seemed to have a mind of their own flying around taking a special interest in the Sherman’s cattle. Many times the orbs were observed flying around the cattle and sometimes the herd reacted violently, running away “like an invisible force was plowing through the herd”. The Huffington Post reported in Skinwalker Ranch: Utah’s Hotbed of Paranormal Activity:
"The couple’s first encounter with the paranormal came on the day they moved their furniture into their new home. As they worked, a large wolf appeared in a nearby cow pasture. The animal seemed strangely untroubled by the Shermans’ presence. Then, as quickly as it had come, the wolf bit into the leg of a calf.
Terry grabbed his rifle and shot the animal at close range. But the wolf was unfazed. Terry shot again, then again, yet the creature remained standing. When the smoke finally cleared, the animal simply trotted away—with no trace of blood."
One night in May of 1996 Terry Sherman noticed a blue orb flying around his ranch house and commanded his dogs to go chase it. The dogs saw and pursued the entity/being/craft enough to get close to it but could never get quite close enough to capture it. The orb disappeared into a thick brush and the dogs followed. Then suddenly Terry heard terrible yelps and whimpering in the darkness. The dogs never did return. The next morning, Terry went out looking for the dogs and came across three round spots of dried and brittle black greasy lumps, leading him to believe as if the dogs had been incinerated. The dogs were never seen again.
Throughout the research thus far there is a connection to orbs being shapeshifters. These tales are found in the Bible itself where Seraphim Angels can and do take on many forms. Seraphim Angels are described as being “bright as the sun.” Seraphim in the original Hebrew and Greek means literally “fiery serpent”, Jewish Rabbis translated the word Seraphim to Drakones (δράκονες “serpents”), identifying dragons as heavenly creatures whose job was to consume the wicked. These beings are known for their ability to shapeshift. The notion that ultra-terrestrial beings (call them angels or demons) can travel back and forth between different realities and take on forms that are both material and immaterial may sound crazy to the natural mind, yet the concept is biblical.
Clearly, there was some kind of mysterious unexplainable phenomena at both Ranches and given that paranormal activity has all but ceased at both Ranches, we may never know what was really happening. However; the area is known for many secrets only the initiated know and those earned rites of passage are not generally freely given away, yet there are perhaps other signs.
Walking distance from the Bradshaw Ranch are some very ancient petroglyphs and other markings at places like V Bar V Ranch Heritage Site which clearly show images of what appear to have “canine/lycanthrope properties.”
Are these images telling of a time when these beings feely roaming the area? Does the Facebook wall of its time state “here stands the wolf pact?” Clearly, the artists wanted to convey a message. Just walking distance away from V Bar V Ranch is another location called the Palatki heritage site, ironically next to the Bradshaw Ranch, where even more ancient images were created for the world to see clearly showing large canines who walk among beings on two legs.
Those who have lived in the Sedona/Verde Valley region know first hand the flights of crows/ravens who leave the mountains to soar down into the valley each day to spy and look as if at the command of masters only to return to the mountains just before dark. Truly there is much hidden from those who are not accustomed to seeing, yet so much is in plain sight for those who are open and able to perceive. Some say the Uintah Mountains specifically by the Skinwalker Ranch is the location of where a powerful vortex is. Legend says an entity/being can step into a vortex and be instantly transported to any other vortex location. Since the Sedona/Verde Valley area is said to be the home of one of the most powerful vortexes like the Sedona Chapel of the Holy Cross then perhaps there are other connections as well.
Whether or not Skinwalkers exist is a matter of debate. These Dogmen have reportedly been sighted in over 32 states where you’ll find 1,000’s of eyewitness accounts. Another interesting and odd coincidence is how there are UFO sightings that have took place in the same area around the same time the creatures were seen which raised the question, “What if Skinwalkers are pets of Aliens or advanced human beings who utilize the practice perhaps thus teaching it to humanity?”
In the last 20 years, many brilliant people have contributed their thoughts and brought huge new information to light for mainstream academia resulting in the now accepted neuropsychological theory of cave and rock art. The now most widely accepted explanation of what these drawings are retrieved from an enormous amount of studies conducted according to best selling author Graham Hancock is what we are looking at when seeing these drawings is the work of ancient shamans who were depicting what they were seeing in visions. Some of the visions are according to legend of the future. Whether or not it was present time or in the future finding ancient drawing of orbs in the area where the craft/beings have been found flying around is very interesting.
According to JC Johnson, a CryptoZoologist, Professional River and Outdoor Guide, and Founder of Crypto 4 Corners International has studied Native American “Skin Walkers” and other reported Cryptids first hand the ability to shapeshift belongs to almost every tribe. For example, the word “Wendigo” (pronounced wehn-dee-go) comes from the Native American Algonquian language, meaning “evil spirit that devours mankind.” The Wendigo is reported to be a terrifying creature but because they are so swift, it is extremely difficult to get a good look. Most are tall, have long limbs, and are extremely thin with a maw filled with sharp yellowed fangs, and its hands and feet end in razorlike talons. Almost every tribe has tales about Skinwalker/Shapeshifting ability.
In the Sedona/Verde Valley, there are those who openly push this mysterious practice by giving grants to create masks, photos, text, and other material related to the subject of “Wetiko.” Then these strange events are published in the local newspaper.
The Church of Satan in the 1970’s had two books written by Atone Levay who lived in the Verde Valley, the Satanic Bible and Satanic Ritual, which both touches on the idea man is just like any other animal on earth having rituals where masks are worn if you want to be liberated or truly satanic a person had to liberate their animal nature by becoming an animal.
There are those who have demonstrated the desire to run this legend down yet with most of the supernatural it seems to always be one step ahead hiding in the shadows just out of sight. While on location chasing down the skinwalker legend Ryan Skinner told UFC host Joe Rogan:
“The main thing we’ve experienced is balls of light. One of these orbs actually landed, it became a twisted cloud, a black cloud, which swirled into the shape of a wolf.”
Have you heard the “unnatural whirling sounds” late at night!?
NOTE: This information has been taken from a chapter in the book theSedona/Verde Valley Vortex and or will be added on the next update.
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