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