© 1976 by Fredrick W. Smith, Freedland Publishers
“A Benson, Minnesota farmer fed his cow and later returned
to his barn to turn out the lights. He discovered the cow mutilated
‘inside the barn.’ A mutilation in South Dakota left a steer with the lower jaw removed and some tissue cuttings so delicate that veterinarians maintained it would have taken them two weeks to perform the same type of surgery. The animal was found 200 feet behind the owner’s barn.”
– Brush Banner, Brush, Colorado, September 10, 1975.
Chapter 2, Part One
Blueprint for Confusion
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than were ever dreamt of in your philosophy.”
– Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Cattle mutilations have provided a basis for every conceivable theory. Margaret Maul at the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association has heard hundreds of them. One person explained at length and in great detail who the mutilators really are. One of the insiders is Henry Kissinger. Many people, she says, have thought the whole thing was exaggerated Cattle couldn’t be mutilated like the stories say. but after seeing with their own eyes what’s been done to one of their neighbor’s animals, or to one of their own, they suddenly become believers. The physical presence of the actual facts has a profoundly enlightening effect on ranchers, farmers and most lawmen.
Everyone vaccinates for blackleg and other common cattle diseases. Ranchers and sheriffs, most of whom were raised on ranches, claim to have been able to recognize common livestock diseases from childhood. No, what they’ve been seeing here is something completely different, something no one they know has ever seen before.
Local vets who have been at the scene of mutilations have not come up with any answers. They send off tissues and specimens, but that never provides satisfactory answers, either. It’s true that most vets have tried to shun those cases. According to one sheriff that is so they won’t have to testify in court. There is nothing to the insurance angle either. Few stockmen were insured against “vandalism.” Four claims are known to have been paid in Colorado, and they come to less than $300 each, according to The Denver Post on September 15, 1975.
The few carcasses that were taken to be examined at Colorado State University (CSU) were skinned out, the flesh and hide examined for wounds, bruises, or holes that could have been caused by injections or darts. None to which death could be attributed were ever found. then the vital organs, hearts, brains, livers, kidneys and so on are removed, cut into slices and examined. The process takes three men about an hour. In one case, for example, the sheriff who had brought in the carcass and was watching the examination, says a small spot was found on the brain. That later became the “cause” of death.
He has also watched autopsies on humans where the probable cause of death could be more accurately determined. In humans, it is natural for various organs to have anomalies, or even be in an advanced state of deterioration without being the immediate cause of death. The pathologists who actually did the dissections usually admitted they did not know the cause of death in the animal brought in to them. Yet, when the report comes back from up front, the cause of death is usually very clear and prosaic – you can read it in the professional jargon right there on your yellow carbon copy!
The most significant autopsies were done on the bison at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. The carcasses were fresh, the weather was cool. As display animals, they were more valuable than meat animals, and this was a matter of public rather than private interest. The zoo’s veterinarian, who could be expected to be familiar with exotic as well as common animal diseases, spent many hours studying every aspect of the deaths. The county coroner examined the carcasses and tissue specimens were submitted to the state lab for analysis. Everything appeared very strange and unprecedented. No disease or cause of death for the mutilated animal was ever found, and residents of the area think the animals were killed by a laser, a theory that neither CSU nor the CBI has come up with yet.
In a number of cases, other animals in the herd die mysteriously within a short time, as though they had also been effected somehow. This has been observed in a number of cases, including a report from Balch Springs, Texas on September 15, 1975. Maybe they had barely been caught in the edge of the killer beam. The second buffalo cow died the day after the first mutilated one was discovered, and a third animal died the day following that. This was the entire yearly death rate within three days, none of which could be accounted for. The second buffalo was seen passing blood in great quantities. Since it might have a contagious disease and also was very weak, the animal was destroyed and an autopsy immediately performed on it. It had “hemorrhagic enteritus,” internal hemorrhaging, as had been observed externally. The third animal was found dead and a coyote had chewed on its udder, according to The Gazette Telegraph on November 21, 1974 in Colorado Springs. Very precise surgical bites had been taken and never once was flesh torn or left the least ragged or bloody, we presume.
The heifer mutilated on Jim and Roma Lee Russell’s ranch just off the highway several miles west of Kiowa was one of the earlier Colorado cases. Soon after the mutilation, three more animals died there under mysterious and unexplainable circumstances. One was a 600-pound steer that began going downhill immediately after the mutilation. Neither Jim nor his neighbors nor the local vet had ever seen anything like it. The steer never lost its appetite and ate well until the day of its death. But it quickly lost weight until it was only skin and bones. The skin became dry, hard and leathery, cracking open with large black splits all over. The skin became so hard, it was impossible to inject it with anything.
The two other deaths were sucking calves. One had not been born when the mutilation occurred. Both had good appetites until death, but they lost flesh as though they had been starving. No one has been able to come up with an explanation.
Another unusual aspect of the phenomenon is the lack of blood. At first, it was generally believed that all the blood was somehow being pumped out before the animals were mutilated. In some cases, that might have happened, although no jugular veins are known to have been cut. Anyone with butchering experience knows it is impossible to cut a fresh carcass bloodlessly unless it’s been bled out well. And some of the mutilations had to have been done immediately after death because they were still warm when they were found, according to The Denver Post on September 8, 1975, the Ranchland Farm News in Simla, Colorado on August 28, 1975 and The Brush Banner in Brush, Colorado on August 16, 1975. Yet, in almost all cases, the cuts have been perfectly clean and free of blood, and blood is not found on the ground.
The lack of blood at the site, as well as the fact that there is seldom evidence of the least movement, or the struggle that even an animal that’s been shot directly in the brain always makes, has led many to believe that they had to have been picked up, cut, and then laid back down on the ground again. This is what the Russells are sure must have happened to their heifer. She was found lying in a dry shallow sandy stream bed a short distance from the house with soft sand in every direction from her for at least ten feet. Yet, there was not a single track in that soft sand to explain how she had gotten there unless she had been dropped. A back leg was broken and the head was twisted oddly as though that is what had happened. Her calf was almost due and she had been cut so that it was exposed inside her, but it was not taken. Otherwise, it was a “standard mutilation.”
A number of ranchers believe the animals are picked up, mutilated, then put down again. How else can the complete lack of tracks in sandy, dusty or muddy areas be accounted for? One large bull that was apparently dropped had all four legs broken. What kind of a predator might have done that? the report asks, according to The Denver Post on August 27, 1975. A number of cases where the animals were found outside the fence or somewhere else they could not have gotten by themselves are equally unexplainable.
Two cows mutilated in Park County “couldn’t possibly have been where they were found unless they had been dropped from aircraft,” according to Sheriff Norman Howey, as described in The Gazette Telegraph in Colorado Springs on September 17, 1975. The two dry cows were found half a mile apart in a different pasture than the one their owner had left them in. The pasture they were found in was where only cows with calves were being kept. “There were no strange tracks nor footprints,” the sheriff said. “On top of that, the gate was padlocked.” The cows had been operated on in the “traditional manner” with no trace of blood at the scene. One cow’s bladder, however, had been “popped” out of its body where the rectum had been excised. Internal pressure from the presumed fall is believed to have caused that.
Some animals, including large bulls, have been felled as though by a massive hammer. Others appear to have dragged themselves a short distance, or as much as several hundred yards. This was seen in several instances, according to the Elbert County Country Squire on July 24, 1975 in Elizabeth, Colorado, and “unusual in that large quantities of blood were visible at the site,” according to Ranchland Farm News in Simla, Colorado on July 17, 1975. Mutilated animals have been found in ponds, straddling ditches, tightly wedged between large rocks, and lying bloodlessly next to large trees where no helicopter could possibly have placed them.
Sgt. Martinez, a sheriff’s deputy and “experienced investigator,” told of a mutilated cow near Canon City. “It was weird, – like maybe the blood was all soaked out. The cut around the face had to be made with a knife. The cuts were too clean. If you shoot an animal, it thrashes around before it dies. This cow dropped where she stood, just as if she had been drugged first. The animal put up no struggle. There were no tracks showing it had been in any death throes or anything like that. It dropped. Its head hit a small twig as it went down, broke the twig and that was it. That was the only indication of any disturbance in the area. It was awful rugged country in that canyon. I almost broke a leg trying to get down there in the daytime. Trying to get down there in the dark would be almost impossible. And to make those cuts in the dark – well, I just don’t believe it,” he was quoted in The Pueblo Chieftain, Pueblo, Colorado, on October 14, 1975.
The when and where of cattle mutilations are equally mystifying. Most are probably done at night, but some are known to have been done in the daytime. At least one was done in a snowstorm, according to The Gazette Telegraph, Colorado Springs, on June 13, 1975. One of the most recent in Elbert County was right beside a fairly busy road. The school bus had gone by in the morning without seeing it. In the afternoon, it was right there, too obvious to miss. How could that have been done in such an exposed place without it being seen? It’s very common for mutilated animals to be left in exposed places where they can’t be overlooked and where the mutilators could also be easily seen, too, one might suppose. Or they might be found miles from an access road.
The Russell’s heifer was left in a very obvious place in sight of the house. Knowing it was ready to calve, Mrs. Russell had been watching it and had gone by that spot several times a day. If it had been there, she does not know how she could have missed it. Mutilations have occurred in barnyards, very close to houses. A Benson, Minnesota farmer fed his cow and later returned to his barn to turn out the lights. He discovered the cow mutilated ‘inside the barn.’ A mutilation in South Dakota left a steer with the lower jaw removed and some tissue cuttings so delicate that veterinarians maintained it would have taken them two weeks to perform the same type of surgery. The animal was found 200 feet behind the owner’s barn. (The Brush Banner, September 10, 1975).
The buffalo at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo must have been about 50 yards from an expensive two story home. One investigator claims there have been ten mutilations within the Ft. Worth, Texas city limits, according to the The Brush Banner on September 10, 1975. The cow was mutilated for NORAD directly in front of its big entrance gate to the world’s most heavily guarded super secret installation. Two others, the only reported cases in Jefferson County, were mutilated near the gate to the Rocky Flats hydrogen bomb manufacturing plant immediately northwest of Denver, according to The Denver Post on October 24, 1975.
One widely publicized aspect of the phenomenon has been the occasions when it has been found impossible to photograph a mutilated carcass. “A well documented instance was that after several attempts, both Morgan County and Washington County officers were unable to take a photo of the carcasses with a Polaroid camera. “We even checked the bodies for radiation,” admitted Jones, Washington County Undersheriff. The photographs were consistently dark and even when the camera settings were changed to compensate for the conditions, the pictures were without contrast. A flash attachment was then used and still, the Polaroid failed to provide a usable photo. “I can’t explain it and I’m not going to try,” he told The Brush Banner on July 30, 1975.
Hundreds of photographs, of course, of mutilated carcasses have been taken. One sheriff, after showing some excellent black and white Polaroids, said one could not take colored photos at a site. I asked a newspaper man in the area who was also a photography expert about that remarkable circumstance. He thought it was just due to “pilot error,” although he had never photographed a mutilated carcass himself. Those officers had bad film and few sheriff’s departments are competent to take the colored photos that require more expertise, especially in developing.
That might be too easy an answer, however. Law officers take lots of pictures in their line of duty. They have good equipment and there is no reason to suppose they aren’t able to operate it. Very good photos can be taken with inexpensive equipment by people who don’t know any more than how to roll the film ahead and push the button. would sheriff’s departments in two different counties both come up with bad film at the same time and place when they had never experienced that on other occasions? That could happen, but it would be a rare coincidence. There seems no doubt but that mutilation areas are closely monitored from above. it would be equally feasible for the high energy beam required for that surveillance to be focused so as to make picture taking difficult or impossible.
Another surprising thing is that some carcasses have been mutilated at least twice.
Continued in Chapter 2, Part Two
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