Reprinted from The Toronto Globe and Mail, March 4, 1993. (Canada's National Newspaper) MU

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Reprinted from The Toronto Globe and Mail, March 4, 1993. (Canada's National Newspaper) MUTILATED COWS RAISE QUESTIONS, UDDER CHAOS -Cox News Service Sand Mountain, Alabama Who's killing the cows of Sand Mountain? Some suspect aliens in UFOs. Some say Satanists. Or else it's government agents swooping down from helicopters for the kill. Or exposure to high-pressure lines. Or it's cow murderers, impure and simple. Whoever, it's udder chaos up here. As Ted Oliphant said: "There's strange things afoot." Ahoof, too. Since October, 26 (1992) animals -nearly all cows- have been mutilated in several small, rural communities in this mountain in northeastern Alabama. Nearly all have been killed in the same manner, with precise, bloodless, almost high-tech surgical incisions that removed various animal parts: tongues, teeth, eyes, ears, hearts, and excretory and sexual organs. And when the animals are found in pastures, there are no footprints. No wire tracks. No trails. No blood, either. "It's pure Sherlock Holmes and one of the weirdest cases I've ever seen in my life," said Mr. Oliphant, a Fyffe policeman investigating the killings. "We've got no witnesses, no motive, no suspects. The only thing we got is the animals left behind." The mystery is enhanced by two factors: helicopters and UFOs. According to Mr. Oliphant. 95 per cent of the cases have involved reports of helicopter sightings, often with red, green and white lights or blue and white ones. Last month, Jean Cole, the wife of Albertville Chief Detective Tommy Cole saw a copter in their back yard. She saw four men in business suits sitting in it. When she spied them, the copter flew off. The next day, Det. Cole found a Black Angus mutilated, it's sexual organs and rectum removed. "I've seen many animals killed by predators, and there's always blood around, " he said "I've never seen anything like it. I don't know what it was. I've been in the business 35 years. I've had many, many dead cows and bulls, but none like that." Furthermore, Fyffe is the "UFO Capital of Alabama," as proclaimed by the Alabama state Senate in 1989 after several UFO sightings that year. Mr. Oliphant, 33, once a filmaker who made a documentary on UFO's, moved here two and a half years ago to study this phenomenon. A year later, he became a policeman to better understand the effects of life in the UFO Capital of Alabama. Now he is investigating another phenomenon. Thousands of such cow mutilations have occurred across the U.S. since 1967. Linda Louton Howe, a Philadelphia filmaker who made a documentary and wrote a book on the subject, arrived in Fyffe last weekend with a film crew. She's convinced that aliens are responsible. Margaret Pope agrees. A calf belonging to the Geraldine woman was mutilated earlier this month. At first she suspected coyotes. But not with the calf's udders removed. "Like somebody had sliced it off - a straight cut, not like an animal," Mrs Pope said. There was an incision on the left shoulder and a circular cut on the left side of the jaw. The teeth were gone. "There was no sign of a struggle," Mrs Pope said. "No blood, nothing. Just laying there with it's parts cut out. I think it's UFOs, because of lots of lights in the sky, no disturbance on the ground. And the cuts were too precise. But you watch who you say [aliens] to. I don't want to be made fun of. We're not weird. And this isn't fun." Not for John Strawn of Albertville, who's patrolling his land at night to protect his cattle. "This ol' boy don' believe in little green men and flying saucers, because it ain't," he said. "Its strange but it ain't [aliens]. If we want to make up stories we can do better than this." "I heard one storythat it was a swamp ape. I like that one pretty good, a lot better than I like aliens. They ain't no aliens piloting these helicopters, I can tell you. We got cow murderers over here, thats all there is to it." Mr. Strawn insists he's seen helicopters in pastures at night. Earlier this month, Doug Segers said he saw a helicopter forcing his 42 cattle into a corner of his pasture. He was carrying his rifle and when he ran to his truck the copter flew off. Who's responsible? Is it merely bovine intervention? Another theory: Goverment agents, flying in low-level helicopters at night, are killing animals and removing their organs to sxtudy the effects (testing for cancer and other diseases) on livestock living near high-power lines. The most recent mutilation occured Feb 17 (1993), when P.T. Williams of Arab found one of his Black Angus calves with its reproductive organs, togue and right eye removed. "I'm not saying there are mutilation cases in this county that have not happened," said Jimmy Miller, an investigator for the Alabama Department of Agriculture. "But what I've seen have not been mutilation cases except for Tommy's. There were body parts removed from his that could not have been removed by predators." "Predators don't do this," Mr. Oliphant said. "And if it were a satanic cult they would have used knives and there'd be blood. They'd do it in secrecy and not with technology. Everybody wants me to tell 'em it's a satanic cult, because this is the heart of the Bible Belt and they want an easy explanation so they can be done with it. They don't want to look at the scientific facts. The evidence doesn't lead to that. We've got more than one group doing this. We've got the unexplained events, with high technology, cauterization of wounds. And we've got something I can't release right now." So the folks on Sand Mountain wait and watch. Watch carefully for close encounters of the herd kind.

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank