Brandon Fugal, The Mystery Owner of 'Skinwalker Ranch' Revealed

Jul 1, 2020 @ 10:40 GMT-0500
Brandon Fugal, The Mystery Owner of 'Skinwalker Ranch' Revealed

For ages, decades and even generations, the Skinwalker Ranch has been a mysterious place for everyone who doesn't work there or own it, for one thing. There has never been cameras into the property whose footage has been authorized for the public until now, with the release of The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch on History Channel.

As for the owner, Brandon Fugal has been in the shadows as the owner, and no one knew about the ownership for the four years he's owned the Skinwalker Ranch until he decided to come out of hiding. And over that with a sci-fi reality show. Well, almost sci-fi, though the ratings has taken a nosedive.

Either way, we are getting more than a glimpse into the place where the rumors UFO sightings, strange electromagnetic waves, mutilated cows and such have emerged. And Fugal has been more involved on the show than he needs to be, which gives us more insight into his life, professional or sometimes personal. But his success is immeasurable to what we knew about him.

First, The Big Question for Brandon Fugal: Why Come Out Now?

Sure you would like to know who Brandon Fugal actually is first. But you can't deny your interest in why he's decided to come out of hiding at all. Of course, the government has tried to hide everything going on there (Woah, back off flat-Earthers). But with the ownership now belonging to a private company not tied with the government, Fugal figured it was time people knew the government isn't behind the conspiracy theories.

Brandon Fugal, the owner of 'The Skinwalker Ranch', on 'The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch.His entry was as cool as ever, no secrets.
Photo Source: The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, History Channel

But it was not the first thing that came on his mind when he decided to show himself. For one thing, he thinks people might find it crazy that he bought the Skinwalker Ranch in Utah’s Uintah Basin, a hotspot of UFO sightings and paranormal stories, in the first place.

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As for the main reason, he figured he would have to engage with the press and the public eventually, given the high profile nature and notoriety of the place, he tells VICE’s MJ Banias. Fugal bought the estate back in 2016, and the deal was completely under wraps. Before that, aerospace billionaire Robert Bigelow was given a government contract, with $22 million for his company in 2007, to figure out the strange activities of the area.

Robert Bigelow during conference for NASA.Robert Bigelow owned Skinwalker Ranch before Brandon Fugal until 2016.
Photo Source: The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, History Channel

Called the Advanced Aerospace Weapons System Applications Program or AAWSAP, the project was canceled after two years. And despite Bigelow continuing the project, his government funding ran out in 2011. Fugal had been associated with the ranch since 2010 for another project, while sharpening his real estate empire, but did stay in touch with the scientists involved in the AAWSAP. They got him to meet with Bigelow and the sale was arranged in 2016 after months of legal negotiations.

Then Who Is Brandon Fugal?

Brandon Daniel Fugal is a tech investor, venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and the chairman & owner of the largest commercial real estate enterprise in Utah and continuously invests in a lot of cutting-edge technology. Despite having a background in real estate, he is fascinated by all things science and technology, as he's co-founded several enterprises involving technology. And it's not like he was hiding either; he'd given interviews a lot of times before.

Born on a weird date of April 1, 1973, Fugal was brought up in a middle-class family with three brothers, two of whom appeared on The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, CEO of Aero Dynamic Jets Cameron Fugal and Matthew Fugal in charge of its Operations. The third's name is Patrick Fugal. The siblings were raised into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, and that may have piqued his interest in exploring the unknown.

Brandon Fugal and his family, parents and three brothers.Fugal sits second from right.
Photo Source: The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, History Channel

For now, he is the owner of Skinwalker Ranch and serves as a Board Members in and co-founded a number of technology companies such as Axcend, Cypher Corporation and more recently, Zenerchi, associating with other companies like Texas Growth Fund and Thanksgiving Development. His career prominently started in the early 90s, with a role of Senior Vice President for Utah Realty Group for two years.

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But the most recognizable part of his career was his long-running role as the co-founder and owner of Coldwell Banker Commercial (CBC) Advisors since 1998 before it merged with Colliers International in 2018, which he still serves as the Chairman. With these, he's racked up quite an impressive LinkedIn profile, boasting his accomplishments in a very lengthy bio.

Brandon Fugal's Wife Who Likely You Won't See

Yes, Brandon Fugal is a married man. His wife is named Lacey Anne Fugal [née Hadfield], and they have four children together. They actually celebrated their Silver Anniversary (yeah, 25 years) within the last year and also have, or rather "had", a first choice venue for their "date night tradition" before it was closed out.

Brandon Fugal in his car with Kevin Matthews, with a birth defect affecting his limbs.He's equally a humanitarian.
Photo Source: Brandon Fugal, Twitter

Thhe 47-year-old, as open as he is about anything he wants to be open about, featured in a column about the eatery-shutdown on The Salt Lake Tribune, expressing his sadness of their go-to restaurant. "For the last 15 years, we don’t even ask for menus," he mentioned. "The staff already knows our order and where we want to sit."

A Science Fiction Geek, Brandon Doesn't Claim a Dime from the History Channel Show

Brett White of Decider investigated into the ownership of Skinwalker Ranch a year before the show was announced at all by History Channel and found out that it was currently owned by a shell company named Adamantium Holdings, LLC. Yeah, if you didn't read that right and gasped, you're missing something big. Wolverine's body composite, Adamantium, the fictional metal.

It turned out it was through Adamantium Holdings that Brandon Fugal bought the ranch from Bigelow. But he is not keen on sharing how much he paid for the 512-acre property (yes, huge), which makes it not so easy for Forbes to calculate his net worth. Of course, why should he? But what he can let you know is that he doesn't make a penny from his involvement from the show, The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, that he greenlighted for a documentary. And he makes a ton of appearances on the show.

And as to why he named his shell corporation after a comic book character, isn't it obvious? He's a big science geek, so much so that he has a huge collection of movie memorabilia related to science fiction. He always had a nerdy passion for science and dreams of future possibilities in technology and physics.

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For now, he has the shot-up jacket Arnold Schwarzenegger wore in The Terminator and the black robe Marlon Brando wore in Superman The Movie during the scene where he sentenced General Zod to an eternity in Krypton’s interdimensional prison system. Plus, he's on Twitter (@Brandon Fugal). So you can see how much of geek he is from time to time.

How about that! So yeah, he'll probably forgive you for misreading the name of the ranch as Skywalker, rather than Skinwalker (there's a whole different reason for that).

And He Owns Some Amazing Vehicles

Did you get the notion that Brandon Fugal is a billionaire from watching just the first episode of The Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch? With the helicopter and all? Sure, buying such a huge and controversial piece of land like Skinwalker (likely cost him over $10 million) was the first thing Fugal might be worth billions, but look at his hanger and his car as well!

That's a pretty sweet Lamborghini Fugal and the show's lead Travis Taylor, the multi-degree holding scientist, drove from the company building to his hanger at Aero Dynamic Jets. And the Airbus H130 (the helicopter) Taylor and Cameron cruised across Utah in! It's also called Eurocopter EC130 and costs around $2.4 million. And yeah, those might not be the only private vehicles he has to drive around the country. A private jet among them, for sure.

Brandon Fugal and Travis Taylor.Taylor is presented as sort of a lead character of the show.
Photo Source: History

And yeah, the show introduced Brandon Fugal as the owner and as if Taylor is the lead cast member of a movie as the series revolve around him finding the answers the government's project couldn't answer. The show aired on March 31, 2020, a year after it started filming, and ends with the findings being shown to the Attorney General of Utah, hoping to move forward with the secrets that lie in the ranch.

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And even though the findings may not be what we expect it to be like, it'll make for a pretty good discussion of the events in the series, one way or another.

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