Discovery Channel is looking for gold – and maybe find aliens in space? – in eastern Utah
Utah is home to mountains, deserts, national parks, the Great Salt Lake, the largest snow on earth and … evil spirits and an alien spaceship?
Maybe. At least according to a new series that airs on the Discovery Channel.
“Mystery at Blind Frog Ranch” follows Texan Duane Ollinger, his son Chad and a small team in search of gold and buried treasure in Uintah County. They fight the elements and dangerous situations – and possibly some paranormal elements in an area that Older Ollinger tells viewers about “just doesn’t feel right”.
In 2009 Duane Ollinger saw the region’s caverns for the first time. In 2018 he bought 160 acres there southeast of Ballard and named it the Blind Frog Ranch because he discovered the caves below were populated – you guessed it! – blind frogs. The aim is to mine the country for precious metals and possibly to find treasures left by the Aztecs, Spaniards, Mexicans and / or “Mormons”.
Discovery has aired shows about treasure hunts, gold hunts, and alien artifact searches with creepy elements, but “Mystery at Blind Frog Ranch” combines all of those elements as the drama unfolds in eastern Utah. It’s about 20 miles north of the Skinwalker Ranch, which is also rumored to be the site of paranormal activity.
“I didn’t believe in any of this until we actually stayed outside,” Chad Ollinger told The Salt Lake Tribune. “It’s real. I thought everyone would make it up. I’m 100% convinced now.”
For real? Aren’t you kidding us? “I believe in aliens 100% now,” insisted Chad.
On the surface – well, below the surface – this series is about the Ollingers’ attempts to get into the two mile long caves on the property. They have hard evidence that there is indeed gold down there, although they don’t know how much. You even find what appears to be a very old gold coin – possibly a Spanish one? – in the first episode.
But there is also a kind of “dark force,” according to Duane, that they believe is trying to prevent them from finding treasure. Their equipment seems to be failing for no reason – they attribute such a failure to an inexplicable “electromagnetic pulse”. And sometimes devices just disappear.
Locals interviewed for the show say there is “something out there,” including possibly sinister skinwalkers (aka shapeshifters), UFOs, and / or a buried alien spaceship.
A woman, Veronica Lawson, appears on camera to tell a story of Native American babies who long ago drowned in the waters of the Blind Frog Ranch because the tribe was starving – adding that the spirits of those infants stay vicious. For at least this first episode, no one identified as belonging to any of the tribes in the region is asked about their knowledge of the history of the region.
“It’s not a good idea to dig out there,” Lawson says. “Don’t look for trouble.”
But the Ollingers have invested “a lot” of money and time in the project and are not giving up.
“We’re here to find buried treasure,” said Chad. “We are taking all security precautions we can. But at the end of the day, you just have to make it.
“It’s fun. It’s an adventure. There’s no doubt about it.”
He promises that there will be “absolute” surprises for the audience. “We’ll never forget what we’ve seen,” said Chad. “Oh man, it’s pretty wild.”
He said members of the TV production team were as skeptical as he was about all of the paranormal and / or alien stories. They “would initially say, ‘I have to tell you – I don’t believe in any of this stuff.’ And next they changed their minds. “
He said he once found two crew members locked in their car holding shovels as a defensive weapon because “they were absolutely scared. And they were believers afterwards. “
It remains to be seen whether “Mystery at Blind Frog Ranch” will turn viewers into believers. But who knows? Perhaps Uintah County will give more reputation for paranormal activity and aliens from space to put the area on the map.
Hey, at Roswell, NM, it worked, didn’t it?
“Mystery at Blind Frog Ranch” airs Fridays on the Discovery Channel – 8pm on Dish and DirecTV; 11pm on Comcast. Episodes are also streamed on Discovery +.