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Cattle Mutilation

If you're reading this, and you're a cow, first let me say congratulations on learning how to read, suspicious bovine. Secondly, let me say that you're totally out of luck. Aliens are coming to chop you up for their experiments.

According to UFO enthusiasts, cattle mutilations are the work of aliens gathering the organs and tissues of the earth's dumbest creatures so that they can run nefarious experiments. Apparently, this sort of thing happens thousands, if not millions of times each year in North America alone. The UFO enthusiasts, always eager to make their crackpot beliefs appear scientific, have even come up with a fancy name for it: Mutology, the study of animal mutilations.

The basic story runs like this: a farmer comes out to the pastures, where he finds a couple of his cows have been killed. But not just killed - they've been torn apart! Some of their organs or genitals have been removed, and some UFO enthusiasts go so far as to claim they've been sprayed with luminescent paint, used to identify them in the dark.

So, it's simply a case of organ harvesting by beings from beyond, right? Not quite. Like all things paranormal in nature, there's no such thing as a simple definition. Some cattle are found dead with no apparent cause of death, not a single mark on their bodies. Others are found torn to ribbons. Sometimes it's the tongues, genitals, specific organs, muscle tissue, skin, eyes, hooves...basically, the aliens have a long, long shopping list. What it comes down to is this: if your cattle is dead, no matter what happened to it, you can construe it as an alien cattle mutilation.

Surely, you say, there must be some evidence to support this crazy ass theory. There is. Here's the UFO enthusiasts' argument that aliens are killing our cattle, in it's entirety: since we can't prove that they're not doing it, they must be doing it. That's it. That's as complicated as it gets. The argument that there are solely natural forces at work, explanations that require no beings from other planets, is a lot better.

For instance: the FBI has investigated cattle mutilations. A man named Kenneth Rommel, an FBI agent, was chosen to head up a program called "Operationa Animal Mutilation" in 1979. Over the course of that year he spent almost $45,000 investigating cattle mutilations. I'm no economist, but if my calculations are correct, $45,000 in 1979 is the equivalent of at least seventy billion dollars today. I'm just saying...there were probably some better things to spend that money on at the time. Because crazy people think that space people are coming to make hamburgers of our heifers, somewhere in the country someone went without food or shelter. If you've ever wondered why I'm so dead-set against these deranged fantasies of space people, this is why. My tax dollars, even as we speak, are being used to convince loons of the obvious.

But I digress. What did Rommel discover? Of all the cases he investigated, none lacked a natural explanation. The cows died and predators (buzzards, flies, skunks, whatever) came a long and ate some of them. Sometimes, they made a mess doing it. That's all. No spaceships. No alien surgeons. Nothing that doesn't have a reasonable explanation. These sort of investigations happen all the time; never, ever, has an animal carcass been brought before scientists that couldn't be explained in simple, reasonable terms.

Ah, but the UFO enthusiasts have an ace up their sleeve! We can't trust scientific reason, because scientists are all allied with the government, which is trying to cover up the plague of alien cow slaughters. You see, cattle mutilations aren't associated with just crop circles and lights in the skies, but also with sightings of, you guessed it, silent Black Helicopters. Either these helicopters are the property of some secret branch of the government that works at the beck and call of their alien masters, or they're UFOs that have somehow been camouflaged as helicopters. If you've started getting the feeling that the UFO group is a little paranoid and has trouble with logical thought, welcome to my world.

I may have been born on a farm, but I don't count myself as an expert on livestock. For that I turn to farmer-type people, who, for the most part, have been offering simple explanations since this whole things started. Cattle killed without any blood being spilled on the ground? My rustic friends point out that when an animal is dead, the heart does not pump, which makes it hard for blood to be spilled. If blood is spilled, it pools underneath the body, where you can only find it after moving the body. Not something most casual witnesses do.

Some of what is spilled before the moment of death is usually consumed by hungry bugs unless you find the body right away. Those cuts that appear to be from a scalpel, making the incision through which the animal's organs were removed? Believe it or not, the teeth of predators are very sharp, and can sometimes resemble knife cuts. Surprised that the eyes, genitals, and mucous membranes of the animals are removed while the juicy organs are left behind? It is of no use to point out to the UFO enthusiast that cow hides are exceptionally tough, and a variety of predators, such as small mammals, birds, flies, and the like, prefer to eat the vulnerable parts of the animal first rather than trying to work their way through the tough hide. It's not a question of alien involvement. It's a question of predatory animals being lazy and not wanting to do the work to get to the innards.

In the end, nothing I write will ever convince the diehard UFO enthusiasts the error of their ways. This evidence is nothing new; it's not even anything that takes a whole lot of critical thought. Anytime an animal is found dead, they'll come out of the woodwork and scream about UFO space people, no matter how obvious the cause of death may be, or what the nature of the wounds are. They are content to sit and say that although they have no proof aliens are involved, we have no proof that aliens are not involved. And this is true. But, as always, I ask you what is more likely: aliens have conquered the non-trivial problem of travel between the stars, only to get to earth and attack our fattest, ugliest animals; or perhaps mother nature is just a shred more complicated than the narrow views of the UFO enthusiasts will admit?

Cows and various other animals, rest easy tonight. You may have to worry about disease, predators, and the eventuality that you will become both my shoes and my dinner, but you don't have to worry about UFOs chopping you up to get at your organs.

First Published in The Triangle, 4 March 2005

Reader Comments:

Chris O'Brien, "Serious Mutilation Researcher and good friend of Laurance Rockafeller", says:

Hardly worth the read. He obviously doesn't have a clue and enjoys mouthing off just to hear himself pontificate about a mystery he couldn't possibly understand. Crazy kidz...

Brad Steel says:

Great story, Aaron. I'm far from convinced that animal mutilations are the result of alien activity, but I think you're a little too quick to conclude that every mutilation incident can be written off as the work of predators, scavengers or pranksters.

About a year ago, I interviewed a retired Hereford breeder in western Canada who has personally investigated more than a hundred mutilation incidents. It's freaky stuff.

This man, named Fernand Belzil, knows cattle inside and out, quite literally. He showed me photos in which animal carcasses that fogged the camera's film (a blue glow around the fallen cow. Lab tests on soil samples confirmed that the area was radioactive. Close-up photos make it clear that the tissues and surrounding hairs have been cut by a very sharp blade. Many excisions have been cauterized around the edges. Some of the carcasses have broken bones consistent with having taken a long fall, sometimes with their horns planted in the ground so forcefully that a strong man can't pull them out. I've seen pictures of big branches snapped off of tree trunks forty feet above a dead cow.

It's also of note that as well as not having any blood on the ground nearby, it is common for a mutilated animal to have been completely exsanguinated. Drained of all its blood, in plain English. That just doesn't happen in nature, and if it did, the five gallons of blood an average-sized bovine contains ought not be too hard to find.

Interestingly, after showing me two full rolls of mind-bending slides, Fernand told me he wasn't convinced that this was the work of aliens. But he knew one thing for darned sure: it wasn't being done by animals or ORDINARY people, either. If it's pranksters or cultists, they've got deep pockets!

Personally, I also doubt if it's the green men who're at the bottom of this phenomenon-and it is a phenomenon. I wrote a novel based on another, I believe less “crazy ass” theory-one that takes these and other real-world factors into consideration. You can find out more if you're interested at

Without a doubt, it IS more complicated than those zany UFOlogists (and probably most mutologists) believe. Thanks for your insights.

"Geezer" Says:

Man, leave the investigations to the professionals, because you clearly ain't one of 'em; Your article clearly demonstrates that you don't have a clue what you are talking about, and that you hide your lack of knowledge of the subject matter by ridiculing the things you don't understand. It's a very typical thing for a skeptic to do, but what makes your case so sad is that you commit your thoughts to the internet, allowing everyone to see how truly biased and limited your perception of this enigma is.

Therefore, I would suggest that a little experiment might enlighten you...

1. Go to the local slaughterhouse and get yourself some fresh bovine blood.
2. Throw it liberally onto the ground in a field somewhere.
3. Come back in about a day or so see if your pathetic hypothesis stands up to its first scientific test.

... YES, IT'S STILL THERE ISN'T IT !!! And here's another experiment for your disillusioned mind.

1. Go to your local store and get yourself a steak. Cut it into two and label one half "A" and the other half "B".
2. Take piece "A" and eat HALF of that portion with just your hands and mouth. Put the other half of "A" to one side.
3. Take piece "B" and slice it in half with the sharpest knife you can find.
4. Take the sample left over from piece "A" and compare it to one of the pieces of "B".

Now look at where the halves once joined. Do they look the same, Aaron? Well, do they??


Author's response: First, blood by itself won't do anything. I tell you what I'll do: I'll go sprinkle blood liberally in a field near an animal carcass giving off the stench of death that attracts scavengers. Yep, turns out my hypothesis is right. As for your second comment, I'm not claiming human beings are eating cattle; I'm claiming scavenging animals and insects are. Next time you're at the dentist, ask him about the difference between human and animal teeth. Yes, animal teeth or insects can leave knife-like incisions.

I'd also like to mention that "geezer" spammed the forum with this post. Who's being childish now?