Erik Bard

Erik Bard has installed a cutting-edge surveillance system, on the Skinwalker Ranch, that constantly monitors the entire property.

Erik Bard is the Principal Investigator and Chief Scientist at Skinwalker Ranch. This property in Utah, United States, is known for its history of reported paranormal phenomena. It gained public attention due to claims of UFO sightings, unexplained animal mutilations, strange lights, and other anomalous events.

By training, Erik is a plasma and X-ray physicist with thirty years of experience in consumer product and scientific instrument development, holding several patents in those arenas. Besides his work with Skinwalker Ranch, he is a founder and co-owner of a company that supplies custom-designed radiation transmissive and filtering components to U.S. national labs and other institutions.

Plasma physics is the study of matter in its ionized state, where a significant number of atoms or molecules have lost or gained electrons, resulting in a collection of charged particles. Plasma can be found in various natural and artificial systems, including stars, lightning, and plasma TVs. Plasma physicists study the properties and behavior of plasma and its interactions with electric and magnetic fields.

X-ray physics, on the other hand, focuses on the study of X-rays, which are a form of electromagnetic radiation with higher energy and shorter wavelengths than visible light. X-rays have a wide range of applications in areas such as medical imaging, materials science, and astrophysics. X-ray physicists investigate the production, detection, and interaction of X-rays with matter.

Erik is from Lehi, Utah, and enrolled in Transylvania University[1] in the late ’80s with a Thomas Jefferson full scholarship in Physics[2] and move on to the University of Kentucky in 1989 two years later, denying the continuation at his former college.

While majoring in Physics there (and minoring in mathematics), he immediately started working as a process engineer[3] at IBM until 1993.

Erik worked alongside Brandon Fugal, one of the most prominent businessmen and real estate developers in the Intermountain West and ranch owner, on various scientific endeavors for the last decade, Bard brings a vast wealth of knowledge and his intense curiosity to the study of the strange phenomena reported on Skinwalker Ranch. After leaving his work at IBM in 1993, Bard mentions in his LinkedIn profile that he went to Eastern Europe during the post-Soviet era for two years before returning to work for Lexmark in 1995 as an associate engineer involved in the printing technology industry.

After staying at Lexmark for just about a year, he went back to school at Brigham Young University in 1997 to get his degree in Plasma Physics. The physicist’s area of expertise has a lot to do with charged particles, having already worked for electrophotography R&D at IBM, and his focus at BYU was the unusual behavior in the motion of charged particles confined at cyclotron orbital resonance with the electromagnetic cavity modes of a Penning trap[4].

He got his master’s degree in 2002. While studying at BYU, he was a development and test engineer at PowerStream Technology from March 2000 to August 2003. He moved on as a senior scientist at MOXTEK later in 2003, working with X-ray products. After 5 years at MOXTEK, he was a lead scientist at Millenniata of a group that developed the “M disc” until mid-2010.

Just over a year later, he became the chief science officer at Motion Sciences and kept the job until exactly two years later in 2013. Following the stint, he became an independent physics consultant at CJ’s Toybox for a year and then at MicroRay, LLC., for less than a year in 2015. Being the VP of engineering at Brandon Fugal’s Axcend Corp. was another one of his short-lived jobs, in the same year Fugal bought the Skinwalker Ranch.

However, his big leap had already come in late 2010 when he joined ML3 Scientific as the director of Applied Physics before taking over as the director of the company itself in May 2012. He still holds his position while working on the Skinwalker Ranch and is listed as the co-founder of the firm. According to Justia Patents, the 53-year-old has at least 12 inventions to his name between 2008 and 2013. All of them are partnered with various people he’s worked with at Moxtek or Brigham Young University.

And the majority of them are in research of X-rays. Bard’s Alumni US profile also lists a plethora of skills under his name, going from technical writing & C++ programming to spectroscopy & nanotechnology[5]. And as a principal investigator at Skinwalker Ranch, he also conducted “a low-profile observational science program” within the compound quite before the History Channel continued it into a show.

  1. Transylvania University is a private liberal arts college located in Lexington, Kentucky, United States. Founded in 1780, it is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the country. Transylvania University offers undergraduate programs in a wide range of disciplines, including arts and humanities, sciences, social sciences, and business. The university is known for its strong academic reputation, small class sizes, and vibrant campus community. It emphasizes interdisciplinary learning, critical thinking, and engaged citizenship. Transylvania University provides numerous opportunities for students to participate in research, internships, study abroad programs, and community service. The university’s historic campus is home to various facilities, including academic buildings, residence halls, libraries, athletic facilities, and a performing arts center. [Back]
  2. Thomas Jefferson Scholarships in Physics are prestigious scholarships awarded to outstanding students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievements and potential in the field of physics. However, it’s important to note that Thomas Jefferson Scholarships are not exclusive to the field of physics and can be awarded in various disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and engineering. [Back]
  3. An IBM process engineer is a professional who plays a crucial role in the semiconductor manufacturing division of IBM, a leading technology company. These engineers are responsible for designing, optimizing, and maintaining manufacturing processes related to IBM’s semiconductor devices. They work closely with interdisciplinary teams, leveraging their expertise in semiconductor materials, lithography techniques, deposition processes, etching, and other fabrication technologies to enhance the efficiency, quality, and yield of the manufacturing process. IBM process engineers contribute to the development of cutting-edge semiconductor technologies, ensuring the production of high-performance and reliable semiconductor devices. [Back]
  4. A Penning trap is an electromagnetic device invented by Frans Michel Penning in the 1930s that is used to trap and study charged particles, such as ions. It consists of a cylindrical electrode structure that generates a static electric field along the axis of the cylinder, combined with a perpendicular magnetic field. Charged particles trapped in a Penning trap move in a circular or helical path, confined by the combined fields. These traps have found applications in atomic physics and precision measurements, allowing for experiments in quantum physics, tests of fundamental theories, and high-precision measurements of properties like mass, charge, and magnetic moment. They are also capable of trapping and cooling multiple ions to form ion crystals, enabling the study of collective behavior. Penning traps have become valuable tools in experimental physics for their precise control and measurement capabilities. [Back]
  5. Spectroscopy is a branch of science that involves the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation. It provides valuable information about the composition, structure, and properties of materials by analyzing the absorption, emission, or scattering of light at different wavelengths. Spectroscopy techniques have been widely used in various scientific fields, including chemistry, physics, biology, and astronomy, for applications such as chemical analysis, material characterization, and the study of molecular and atomic phenomena. Nanotechnology, on the other hand, refers to the manipulation and control of matter on the nanoscale, typically ranging from 1 to 100 nanometers. It involves the design, fabrication, and application of structures, devices, and systems at the nanoscale, enabling unique properties and functionalities. The combination of spectroscopy and nanotechnology has led to significant advancements in the characterization and manipulation of nanoscale materials and devices, enabling researchers to explore and understand their optical, electronic, and chemical properties at the nanoscale level. This interdisciplinary approach has been instrumental in advancing fields like nanophotonics, nanomaterials, and nanomedicine. [Back]

Further Reading


Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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