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`UNIVERSE’ REPORTS ON STRANGE UTAH OCCURRENCES

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A Los Angeles-based TV news magazine that delves into unexplained, extraordinary and bizarre occurrences throughout the universe will feature some rather odd activity being reported in west Uintah County.

Reporters from "Strange Universe," a syndicated show that airs locally on Channel 4 at midnight, were in the area two weeks ago to interview people in connection with the sightings of UFOs and incidents of cattle disappearances and mutilations on the former Sherman ranch between Fort Duchesne and Randlett, Uintah County.The 480-acre ranch was purchased three months ago by Las Vegas millionaire Robert T. Bigelow, perhaps the most prominent American financier in the paranormal research field. Bigelow has established the National Institute for Discovery Science and has erected an observation building at the ranch and moved in a pair of scientists and a veterinarian. Someone is on the property 24 hours a day to record anything out of the ordinary.

Terry and Gwen Sherman gained national notoriety last June when their experiences - including sightings of several types of UFOs, cattle mutilations and unusual soil impressions and circles of flattened grass in a pasture - were featured in a Deseret News story and on a national radio broadcast.

Producers from "Strange Universe" picked up the story and sent a four-member crew to the Roosevelt area in late November to conduct interviews and tape what will air as a five-minute segment Friday, Dec. 13, said production assistant Renee Barnett.

"We talked to believers, skeptics, a paranormal investigator, a veterinarian, a friend of the former owner, it was our intent to turn the camera on what seems to be quite an unexplained mystery in your part of the area," said Margaret Roberts, one of the show's executive producers.

"This is very much the heart of our show to go out in areas where sightings have been reported and apply classic journalism to the story . . . our position is that we go out to cover the story neither as believers or debunkers."

Reporters from "Strange Universe" also talked with Deseret News reporter Zack Van Eyck, who broke the story. Those working for Bigelow declined to be interviewed.

One of those interviewed was Roosevelt veterinarian Dr. Dan Dennis, who is assisting the veterinarian working at the Institute for Discovery Science in conducting necropsies on livestock that farmers and ranchers report as being the victims of strange deaths.

So far only one case has been investigated. The death of the cow in that incident was not attributed to mutilation.

Dennis said he told interviewers that in his 40 years as a veterinarian in the Uintah Basin he has seen only one case that he felt "fit the category" of an actual mutilation. That case involved a horse that had been sliced open and cut in pieces and occurred about 25 to 30 years ago north of the sales barn in Ballard.

No pictures or records were made, said Dennis, so it's impossible to go back and review the incident. It occurred in the 1950s or 1960s when "alien sightings were quite actively present around here," he said.

Regarding numerous claims of cattle mutilations, Dennis feels they are actually "10 percent scavenger activity and 90 percent imagination."