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Animal Mutilations

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, DAILY STAR, 10 October 1967, Page 2

'Saucer' Hinted In Horse Death

ALAMOSA, Colo. (AP) - An autopsy on a horse, believed by its owners to have been killed by inhabitants of a flying saucer, revealed Sunday night that its abdominal, brain and spinal cavities were empty, the pathologist who performed the autopsy said.

The pathologist, a Denver specialist who wished to remain anonymous, said the absence of organs in the abdominal cavity was unexplainable.

Witnessing the autopsy were four members of the Denver team of the national investigating committee on aerial phenomena. The team included Dr. and Mrs. Ken Steinmetz, Dr. Herb Roth and Capt. Dick Cable of the North American Air Defence Command centre in Colorado Springs.

When the pathologist sawed into the horse's brain cavity, he found it empty. "There definitely should have been a good bit of fluid in the brain cavity," the pathologist said.

"This horse was definitely not killed by lightning," the pathologist said. That was the official conclusion of Alamosa County authorities.

The controversy over Snippy, a three-year-old gelding, began Sept. 7 when the horse did not return to the Harry King ranch.

All the flesh had been stripped from the horse's neck and head and only bones remained.

King called the owners of the horse and together, they investigated the area in which the horse had been killed.

They said they found what appeared to them to be 15 circular exhaust marks 100 yards from the horse. Another area was punched with six identical holes, each two inches wide and four inches deep, they said.

The investigating committee Sunday measured markings on the ground and found the largest to be a circle 75 feet in diameter.

Sudbury, Ontario, STAR, 8 September 1976, page 39

Blame predatory animals for cattle mutilation but humans involved

DENVER (AP) - Ranchers armed themselves against an unknown enemy. Rural residents who never had locked their doors bought padlocks. Helicopters with beacons trained on the ground were reported flying over pastureland.

It's not a scene from a 1950s cut-rate horror movie. That's the way it was last summer: fear and anger in the cattle country of eastern Colorado and other western states because of unsubstantiated reports that somebody was mutilating cattle and other animals.

A year later, the mystery remains unresolved, but the furore is gone, despite a few reports of new "mutilations."

The president of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association says he feels there is "enough scientific data to put the idea of mutilations to rest." But local sheriffs remain concerned.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigations continues an investigation of the situation, but has turned up no human suspects. Acting director Carl Whiteside says investigators so far have come up with no motive for the mutilations if, in fact, there were any. There is considerable evidence that predators, mostly coyotes, picked over the remains of dead animals.

"If somebody were interested in animal parts, they could go to a rendering plant and get them for nothing," Whiteside said.


The mutilation saga started in Colorado on a spring night last year when a rancher found the shell of a dead cow, its tongue, sex organs, rectum and other body parts apparently carved out.

Similar reports began to pour in from the state's eastern plains and dominated the front pages and many newspapers.

Denver Post and eight organizations offered a $13,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension of mutilators. The Post didn't receive a single response.

It was suggested to Whiteside's office that the cause of the mutilations might be satanic rites or college fraternities or even creatures from outer space. But Whiteside says the facts point to predators, not humans or Martians.

More than 200 cases of suspected cattle mutilations were reported in Colorado alone last year. This year, Howard Gillespie, currently in charge of the CBI investigation, says he has received only three official reports of mutilations.


"We've conducted 37 examinations of hide samples," Gillespie said. "Of those, we've determined that two had been cut with a sharp instrument and 35 had been chewed by some type of predator."

Officials in the diagnostic laboratory at Colorado State University in Fort Collings, Colo. agree. A spokesman said only 11 "definite mutilations" were found last year, while the number has dropped to two or three this year.

Authorities in Wyoming, where more than 100 cases of mutilations have been reported in a year, say 99 of the cases definitely were the work of other animals.

Dr. H. A. Hancock of the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory noted that cuts in animal hides caused by predators can look "surgically straight."

Robert Burghart Jr. of Colorado Springs, Colo., who heads the state cattlemen's association, blames the "confirmed" mutilations on pranksters who read or heard news stories about mutilations.

"If there have been mutilations, they were done by pranksters working on dead animals."


Last summer, Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm called the mutilations "one of the greatest outrages in the history of the western cattle industry." He pledged the full resources of the state to arrest the persons responsible. Lamm backed down after results of various studies were released.

But there are enough local officials still convinced there are human culprits involved to keep the controversy flickering.

One such official is Logan County Undersheriff Jerry Wolever. "We attempted to co-operate with the CBI, but we didn't get satisfactory answers," Wolever said. "We're open to any and all suggestions. Anyone could be right." But Wolever discounts the predator theory.

Sheriff George Yarnell of Elbert County, hardest hit last year with 63 reported mutilations, says he has had six mutilations reported to him since March and he doesn't believe they were predator-caused.

And then there's Sheriff Harry L. (Tex) Graves of Logan County.

He said it's likely the CBI and lab officials would conclude the county's latest mutilation discovered in late July, was the work of predators, even though all the cow's teeth had been cut out with surgical precision.

"There's a coyote in northeastern Colorado wearing a necklace made from cow's teeth to take back to his den-hand; maybe he collected the teeth to take back to his dentistry class."

Sudbury, Ontario, STAR, 4 May 1996, page A11

Giant bat creature terrorizes villagers

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A giant batlike creature is terrorizing a village in the northern Mexican state of Sinaloa, where goats are found dead daily with their blood sucked dry, witnesses said Thursday.

Farmers have formed night vigilante squads to track down the flying beast that has been dubbed the Goat Sucker.

"We are telling people to keep the women and children locked up inside at night," said one villager. "Nobody knows really what it is."

Dozens of goats have fallen victim to the bloodsucker and one human is said to have been attacked. Farmers say the bat is more than 30 centimetres long and has two horn-like prongs protruding from a hairy head.

News clippings courtesy of The Sault Star and The Sudbury Star.