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New "Twin Peaks" brings to mind spooky Utah ranch where billionaire investigated "high weirdness"

Alicia Fraire / Red Dirt Report
The famous curve in the road near the fictional town of Twin Peaks, Washington.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Several Red Dirt Report writers gathered here at our offices Sunday night to watch the highly-anticipated return of Twin Peaks on Showtime.

Like so many hardcore fans, we were excited and not sure what to expect. I mean, most of us are still in utter awe of the fact that we are a quarter-century on since Twin Peaks left the air (rather unceremoniously, I might add) and it has returned mightily, with much fanfare.

Back in 1991, when I unsuccessfully tried to start a Twin Peaks fan club on my conservative Christian college campus, the flyers ripped down and the show condemned as “evil” and “demonic.”

I pressed on, though, and found likeminded “Peaksies” in the darker corners of that pious institution of higher “learning.”

"The Double R Diner" in fictional Twin Peaks, Washington. (Alicia Fraire / Red Dirt Report)

That quote Laura Palmer makes to Agent Dale Cooper, while both are in the Black Lodge, that they will meet again in 25 years … it’s just so damn bizarre and unreal that it has actually come to pass. I mean, it’s as if this was all planned back then.

I am not big on “spoilers.” I will leave readers to seek further analysis of the rebooted Twin Peaks from RDR film critic Kevin Tudor, who will publish something in short order. All I can say that fans of the original series will find themselves in far deeper and darker waters on this twisted voyage.

So, in the dark, with my damn fine cup of coffee and slice of cherry pie, I watched David Lynch’s latest ideas unravel before my eyes.

The tone and feel of the new series was darker, sharper and more edgy and graphic. It’s Showtime. Not the fussy ABC of yore.

The violence, particularly involving women, was particularly troubling, but, sadly, the targets of violence in Twin Peaks tend to be female.

The "train bridge" near fictional Twin Peaks, Washington. (Alicia Fraire / Red Dirt Report)

The sequence that really grabbed my attention, curiously enough, involved the college student, Sam Colby (played by Ben Rosenfield), who is participating in a “top secret” project involving him “watching” a large glass box, which is in a largely unfurnished room in a building in New York City.

Sam is visited several times by a young woman named Tracey (Madeline Zima), who is clearly interested in him – and his secret project, behind the code-locked door. The entrance is also watched by a security guard to ensure no unauthorized people enter.

So, we learn that Sam was hired to watch the box by a “billionaire.” Sam tells Tracey that someone who watched the box before him had seen something appear in the box but the person would not tell him what it was. It’s all very eerie, especially as the three cameras silently film the empty, glass box, which is connected to the wall, which includes a small window and a view of the Manhattan skyline.

On a second visit, Tracey brings Sam a latte and the security guard is missing. Tracey takes the opportunity to convince Sam to let her in, which he does, and one thing leads to another, all there in front of this most disquieting box.

Here’s where it gets interesting – and disturbing – it seems as if the act of sexual intercourse triggers the appearance of a rather frightening entity – very Lynchian in appearance, with what little you see – and it proceeds to rip the young couple to bloody shreds.

While watching that terrifying scene, it brought something to mind. It was the story of the spooky “Skinwalker Ranch” in Utah, where tales of high weirdness have been around for decades.

But it was the 1990’s that seemed to be a high point for strange sightings and such, as I noted when I reviewed three books addressing the mysteries of Skinwalker Ranch in 2015, which can be read here.

The Twin Peaks link for me had to do with the fact that the glass box Sam is watching was allegedly installed by a “billionaire” with an interest in portals and the paranormal. 

That would match what we have heard about aerospace bigwig Robert Bigelow, the secretive, Las Vegas, Nevada-based billionaire who bought the haunted Utah ranch so as to study what might be there via his now-defunct National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS), which I contacted in about 2000 or so when I was researching Bigfoot sightings in Louisiana where I worked as a newspaper reporter. 

Conspiracy Theory host Jesse Ventura even tracked Bigelow down in Las Vegas for his show to question him about the ranch and other alleged activity.

These books on Skinwalker Ranch talk of alleged Bigelow-hired security guards and NIDS researchers encountering all sorts of strange things on the ranch, where shape-shifting entities are seen, “orbs” and UFOs, and mysterious figures who try to lure the unwary to their doom.

I couldn’t help but think of Bigelow’s research (which I presume has concluded in the past decade or more) and also of the “research” featured in the recent Netflix hit Stranger Things, set in mid-1980’s Indiana, and involving secret government projects into the unknown. (For more on that and its relation to Twin Peaks, read this ...)

And what was also interesting is at the end of the second hour of the premiere last night, we are shown a wealthy man in Las Vegas telling an underling that working for a "mysterious" wealthy man is essentially making a deal with the devil.

We hope to learn more in forthcoming episodes.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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