redfirelight: (Default)
That Red Firelight ([personal profile] redfirelight) wrote2010-06-06 06:54 pm


Okay so.

As some/many of you know, I'm currently working on a novel project involving men kissing and skinwalkers.  Unrelated events, but still. For some reason, I am absolutely fascinated with the whole skinwalker mythos. Partially because it's like the dark side of animal transfigurations. And partially because I love legends and shit like this. This isn't your typical "Man turns to wolf" story, this is evil. This is the stuff Native Americans don't talk about. The Fight Club of the supernatural world.

So of course, I think it's the neatest thing ever. And naturally the amount of information on the subject is minimal, because, according to what information there is, talking about skinwalkers, or yee naaldlooshii ("with it, he goes on all fours") in the Navajo tradition*, is extremely taboo. You don't talk about it. Especially to outsiders.

The book I do have on it, is Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah. Stupidly long title, but, basically, it details the experiences of a rancher family in the Utinah Basin region of Utah.

Their experiences entail:

-- Sightings of two giant wolves
Their shoulders reportedly reached to the chest of a 6' man. One silver (sighted twice) and one black (noted for a grossly enlarged head). The silver wolf was, reportedly, shot at close range with both a magnum and a "thirty aught six" rifle used for elk hunting. Neither weapon managed to kill the animal. When tracking it after the original encounter, the animal's tracks simply stopped, as if it had vanished into thin air.

-- Cattle abductions, mutilations, and general harassment.
In one case, a cow vanished in the same manner as the wolf above. Several others were found with the hallmarks of general cattle mutilations. One, however, was discovered with a "brown, goo-like substance nearby, which began to evaporate under normal temperature conditions". In once instance, a calf was mutilated (dismembered, I think) while the ranchers stood not more than twenty feet away. No one heard or saw anything.

-- Strange lights and shapes in the sky.
Most of these centered around what witnesses felt was an "RV-shaped object" with headlights and a red "taillight". Whatever this thing was, it liked to bobble around the property, apparently observing things without actually damaging anything. Except for the family's psyche. There was, however, one instance in which it appeared "20 yards from the kitchen window". In this instance, the witness was able to see inside the "craft", and observed a sinister figure in black (not Lord Vader) watching her right back. Needless to say, the woman was disturbed.

-- Orbs. Yes, orbs.
According to reports, said orbs came in a variety of colors, and all danced around as if under "intelligent control". One such orb was blue, and while it wasn't Navi by any stretch of the imagination, it instilled a great amount of fear in witnesses, a fear which they later felt to be brought on them by an outside force--i.e. someone making them feel this way, instead of the witnesses being genuinely fearful. Although this changed when the same blue orb lured away and then incinerated three ranch dogs. Their remains were discovered as "charred and greasy smears with the lingering odor of burning hair". Orbs were also responsible for draining power from the home, and causing havoc among the cattle and horses.

-- A large, unidentified creature
This only happened once. A stranger came to the ranch with the intent to meditate on the property. When he began to do so, the ranchers observed something moving in the nearest clump of underbrush. They were unable to accurately describe the "creature", except that it was large, and the image of it, once it actually emerged from the brush, was blurred and difficult to see, even in broad daylight. Similar, they said, to the effect of the Predator in the movie of the same title. It emerged from the brush, and roared at the meditating man. Who promptly dissolved into complete hysteria and fled the property in a panic.

SO. What does all this have to do with my new theory?

The so-called UFO phenomena, lights, and cattle mutilations, are all connected to the skinwalker. In order to illuminate this, I present some of the known facts on said creatures. The information in italics is taken from the wiki page, here:
  • According to Navajo myth, the only way to successfully shoot a skinwalker is to dip bullets into white ash. Often people attempting to shoot a skinwalker find their weapon jamming or frozen. Other times the rounds fire but have no effect.
  • Skinwalkers possess the ability to get into their victims' heads. Legend has it, skinwalkers can have the power to read human thoughts. They also possess the ability to make any human or animal noise they choose.
  • Some Navajos describe them as a mutated version of the animal in question.
  • The skinwalkers are described as being fast, agile, and impossible to catch. Even flying...

In the case of the Chippewa, they have a similar legend, of bearwalkers, who are of the same sort of evil, cursing, breed as the skinwalker. These stories, in addition to cursing and bearskins, include sightings of, of all things, lights in the sky during attacks by the bearwalker.

My theory concludes that all of the bizarre phenomena encountered by the residents of "skinwalker ranch" were the result of the yee naaldlooshii, the witch or spirit of the witch, still cursing the land. It wanted the family gone. And so, it started to try and frighten them.

The wolves are obvious, as is the strange, large animal. The vanishing act the animals pull can be seen as part of the skinwalker's ability to fly away from danger, or otherwise escape the scene undetected.

The lights, were the next step, as the family was undeterred by the wolves. Same with the shapes. It would be relatively easy for a witch to get into their heads, and convince them they were seeing these things.

When this fails, it moves on to attacking cattle. What rancher doesn't worry about things happening to his/her cattle? Their livelihood? Or the animals protecting that livelihood? This is also where the brown substance mentioned earlier comes in. It's my belief that this was not an alien chemical, but an ectoplasm-like substance, created from the manifestation of something from the spirit world. It's usually clear, but there's been reports of it being brown as well. And what's a skinwalker, but a spiritual being of great power?


So that's what I did with my afternoon.


*Or "Shagnasty" if your name is Harry Dresden.

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