Research scientists who took control of a Uintah County ranch last fall will remain on the property even though they haven't seen the UFOs and other phenomena they were expecting.

A spokesman for the Las Vegas-based National Institute of Discovery Science said the researchers have yet to see the flying craft, cattle mutilations and dog-killing "balls of light" that Terry and Gwen Sherman said they experienced while they owned the 480-acre property near Randlett."There have been some minor observations, but nothing you would stand behind," said John Alexander, the institute's director for scientific liaison, who would not elaborate. "Those of us who are familiar with phenomenology know that they tend to be very fragile. It's like a watched pot."

Robert Bigelow, a Las Vegas real estate magnate who founded the institute, bought the ranch last September, three months after the Shermans first told their bizarre story publicly in the Deseret News.

The Shermans reported seeing several types of UFOs, some of which emerged from circular "doorways" that seemed to appear in midair. Three of their cattle were found dead and partially mutilated, and at least seven other cattle "disappeared" from the ranch.

The couple put up with the activity for a while but decided to sell after their three dogs vanished one night last summer. The pets were last seen chasing a strange, flying "ball of light," which had approached the family's house and appeared to be monitoring the area. The Shermans reported hearing a yelp shortly after the dogs chased the baseball-size object into the woods and the next morning found three burned circles on the ground in the same area.

Alexander, former director of nonlethal weapons testing at New Mexico's Los Alamos National Laboratories, said nothing like that has been observed since at least two scientists and a veterinarian set up an observation post on the ranch.

"Definitely no craft. No, we haven't had any dog-zappers. . . . Nobody has landed," Alexander said. "There has not been anything of significance. . . . We don't have anything to work with."

Ryan Layton, a Davis County UFO researcher who met with the Shermans several times before they sold the ranch, said he "seriously doubts" the reported phenomena have ceased.

"The question is how much are they filming, how much are their sensors monitoring, how much are they learning? We don't know," Layton said. "Has it slowed up because of their presence, or are the phenomena putting on a display for them?"

Layton, Colorado researcher and author Chris O'Brien, Illinois investigator Gary Hart and others continue to be frustrated that Bigelow and the National Institute of Discovery Science staff have not released details of their research on the ranch. Alexander said any findings the institute decides to release would be posted on its web page (

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Other UFO researchers "don't want any information that might be breakthrough information to be privatized and not brought forth to the public," Layton said.

Uintah County Sheriff's Sgt. Steve Hatzidakis said no one has reported UFOs, unusual animal deaths or any other strange activity since Bigelow bought the ranch. He said two cattle mutilations on a neighboring ranch were reported last summer.

Sherman signed a nondisclosure agreement with Bigelow after selling the ranch and has declined subsequent interviews with the Deseret News. Sherman, however, gave new information to Colorado writer and cattle mutilation researcher David Perkins for a story in this month's "Spirit" magazine.

According to Perkins' article, the Shermans had a bizarre experience the last night they spent on the ranch: They woke up to find their bed sheets "covered" with blood and one-eighth inch deep "scoop marks" on their right thumbs.

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