“This is a really complicated subject [and] it deserves an objective, dispassionate treatment, and we really need to look at all possibilities. We can’t factor anything out or in. And we have to allow the facts and the data to lead us to any potential conclusions.”
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SA interviews O’Brien about his latest book, “Stalking The Herd.”
CO has been investigating this type of phenomena for about twenty-five years. He’s written six books but only five have been published. In my opinion, his first book, “The Mysterious Valley” is a must read for anybody interested in UFOs or related subjects.
Notes & Quotes
CO has always had an interest in the paranormal/fringe subjects. His mom, “was a dowser and did pendulum divination,” so he was surrounded by these “progressive” subjects from a very early age. He had an interesting experience at seven years old that jump started his interest in UFOs.
The guy who built the house that he and his family moved into in 1970 was best friends with Roger Patterson (stabilized version of Patterson-Gimlin film here) and spoke to him quite a bit about Patterson, Bob Gimlin, John Green and some of the early Bigfoot hunters/researchers. CO’s grandfather was aware of the 1920s event near Mt. St. Helens, where miners were allegedly attacked by Bigfoot.
He read lots of books on these subjects by authors such as Frank Edwards, Raymond Fowler, John Keel and later on, Jacques Vallee. He grew up in Washington state, moved to NYC out of high school and quickly learned that he wasn’t gonna make a lot of friends and influence people by talking about these subjects, so he kept it to himself. His closest friends knew of his interest and were okay about it but he wouldn’t bring it up in a bar at 4am. Plus, living in Manhattan wasn’t conducive to UFO sightings.
Had his first, bonafide UFO sighting in 1979 in New Paultz, N.Y. when he and the group he was with saw some brilliant points of light, very high in the sky. He caught one of them moving and as soon as he looked at it, it stopped. As he stared at it, he saw that they were milling around. He and the group did an experiment and had some semblance of an interactive experience. Then they got bored and went to a party!
That was the extent of his interest and involvement until he moved to Colorado in 1989, which just so happened to be the birthplace of the first major case of the unexplained livestock death phenomenon (known to most as cattle mutilations) that received international attention in September 1967. And that was Snippy The Horse, whose real name was Lady. It happened on a ranch, forty miles from where he was living.
When he got to Colorado, he asked some of the old timers about the Snippy case and the hundreds and hundreds of UFOs sightings that took place in that area at the end of the 60s until about 1970 and then a big wave of mutilation cases in the mid-70s. Being the new guy in town, O’Brien knew he wouldn’t make any progress socially if he expressed more than a passing interest in these subjects.
November 1992. – The town he lived in had about 200 people. He was a gigging musician and on that weekend, there was an amazing UFO sighting of two large, hundred-foot ovals that came down out of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. It flew out into the valley and was seen by quite a number of people in the town, but O’Brien wasn’t around so he missed it. Although he heard rumors of it, he didn’t pay much attention until a month later, when at a New Year’s Eve party, he heard various people talking about it. At the time, he was writing articles for the town’s small newspaper so he started checking into their stories and cross-referencing their accounts.
Someone jumped in and said that on that same night, there was a cattle mutilation in Costilla County, a few counties south of where he was. That got his juices going and he intended to write a tongue-in-cheek, cynical, cool article that would poke fun at some the hippie types who lived in his town and note that some of them still had stashes of magic mushrooms in their freezer. But he still had two weeks before he had to turn in the article so he dove in and started researching the history of the area. Within days, he knew, “it was a complete, treasure trove of stories, legends, documented reports, databases, amazing accounts, A- Z, in the paranormal. Pretty much, anything that you can imagine has been reported in the San Luis Valley (SLV).”
SLV is the largest alpine valley in the world. Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and is a sacred site to Native Americans. There are “amazing, kind of…fairly impressive geophysical anomalies there.” There’s a tradition of sacredness. It’s the only area in North America where three regional groups of Native Americas overlap. It has some of the more enigmatic, sacred sites in the four corners area, including Blanca Peak, which has UFO sightings going all the back to the 1770s.
During the weeks of researching the area, he was able to locate some of the top experts in the cattle mutilation phenomenon: Linda Moulton Howe, Tom Adams and David Perkins. He spoke to local sheriffs who were involved in the 70s and who investigated hundreds of cases, and Dr. Lynn Weldon, head of the Sociology department at Adams State College. His five-hundred-word article turned into a two-thousand-word article that was the first in a series of articles he did every month. He was inundated with interest from around the world and within two months, he was on national TV.
For thousands of years, we worshiped and considered bulls and cows to be very sacred. In India, we still do. Humans revere the sacred, white Brahman cattle of India. Trace the sacredness of cow and you’ll find an interesting, symbiotic, spiritual relationship between humans and cattle. 1.37 billion cattle on the planet today are recent hybrids. 10,500 years ago, eighty animals were domesticated from wild oxen (auroch) and they made up the first herd of cattle in Northern Iran. From those eighty animals, we created 940+ breed of cattle.
Trace the development of belief systems around bulls and cows and you’ll find that the worship is kind of a solar aspect of religious belief. In the West, you have bull fighting in Spain and in the East you have the cow/lunar aspect. In Egypt, bulls and cows were very important and worshiped equally, and the Minoan civilization was totally based on cattle worship. ‘Til this day in East Africa, with the Massai and Dinka cultures, still, cattle are their lives and their form of money. “Cattle have been held in high esteem and been treated ceremoniously for thousands of years. In the modern age, we have a very unceremonious relationship with cattle. Some of the feed lots and rendering operations, we can render up to four hundred animals an hour, which is done, pretty much by hand.” It’s a fairly recent development in the rendering of beef protein.
“These super-industrial, big agro operations tend to exist now where we had the highest rates of incidents back in the 70s when cattle mutilations were one of the biggest news stories of the decade. Thousands and thousands of animals were discovered by ranchers and law enforcement, who claimed that they had been unnaturally killed somehow and disfigured. Taking away the soft tissue organs. Usually, the tongue is gone from deep within the esophagus and the mandible flesh on the jaw is neatly and cleanly excised. Reproductive organs are gone. If it’s a cow, the mammary glands are bare, the utters are gone. Oftentimes, the rear end is taken out like a plug. Sometimes an eye, sometimes an ear, sometimes a patch of hide is expertly cut off. No real way to explain the lack of tracks, of physical evidence at the site. There’s rarely any crime scene evidence, although that’s not always the case.”
It became a real law enforcement puzzle, especially in the mid-70s when a handful of investigators were documenting these cases and working with law enforcement and newspapers editors in hard hit locations. Many of them created databases that have never been brought together before. “Stalking The Herd” is the first time all this data has been brought together in one book. CO thinks his book puts the whole mystery into a cultural context and, “it also bring up some very, very serious health issues and environmental concerns that we should have in regards to cattle, in using cattle as a source of protein.” There is quite a bit of consistency in the cases but as soon as you think you’ve found a pattern and get all excited and start talking about it, that’s when it switches to the complete opposite. That’s the trickster element.
When an outbreak of cases takes place and the media gets involved and publicizes it, more and more people start looking for dead cows. And since they’re not veterinary pathologists and don’t have the training, they misidentify a cattle death as mysterious when it was caused by scavengers. Often times, soft tissue organs are what scavengers go for first, to get into the viscera and body cavity, so that confuses the non-professional into thinking it’s a mysterious cattle death, when it’s not. You need to be trained on what to recognize.
CO admits that he’s an amateur but he’s been given enough pointers, done enough research and spoke to a number of veterinary pathologists and law enforcement so he’s been trained what to look for. The average person has not so they’re ignorant and don’t know what they’re looking at. Then the media gets involved and many times, deaths caused by scavengers are reported as legitimate mutilations. And in the areas where legitimate cases are taking place, a bit of hysteria may break out and that makes it difficult for serious investigators. They can’t focus on the legit cases because Joe Public is wasting their time by reporting cases that are mundane.
When researching these cases, CO covered an area of 10,000 square miles and put 300,000 miles on his truck in six years. He lived in the middle of nowhere and it took him an hour to drive to a Walmart or a hardware store. A lot of the cases, but not all, are reported in remote areas of the country and some have been reported in Taos and Las Vegas. There was a case within the site of the door leading underground of the Cheyenne Mountain, NORAD facility. A few months later, another case on the north side of Cheyenne, which is some of the most secure military space on the planet and very well monitored. Had eighty cases in the Malmstrom AF base, missile fields and other missile fields around the country. Mutilations tend to occur fairly near military installations and bases and CO finds that to be a potential, interesting correlation.
It’s a complex subject and you can’t cover it in a two-hundred page book. It’s a half a million word manuscript. He pulled out two-hundred pages that will go into an analytical book that will be a follow-up to “Stalking The Herd.”
Earliest case he could find where something was documented/written down and descriptions were given comes from King James the 1st from England in early 1606 where hundreds of sheep were reported being mutilated in a strange condition. The last line of the entry in the court record stated, “…about the city of London and some of the shires adjoining. Whole slaughters of sheep have been made, in some places to number 100, in others less, where nothing is taken from the sheep but their tallow and some inward parts, the whole carcasses, and fleece remaining still behind. Of this sundry conjectures, but most agree that it tendeth towards some fireworks.”
You scratch your head trying to figure out what they were trying to say. Fireworks?
Cases in the early and late 1800s in Ireland and also in 1902, 1905 and 1920 in Australia. Cases reported in the Midwest in the 30s and 40s in Missouri and Texas. Has a pretty-well described elk mutilation in 1949 and some hogs in the 1930s in Missouri. So, cases did occur but they didn’t really attract a lot of attention or create a (mutilation) meme like the Snippy case did. Snippy put the whole mystery on the map. Reporters are far away as China were contacting the ranching family. There were a bunch of cases in the mid-to-late 60s in Pennsylvania that were investigated by John Keel and Ivan T. Sanderson, and cases in the early 70s.
CO hears most people say, “Well, it’s aliens.” Why do they believe that? “For the past 30-35 years, Linda Howe and other investigators have sort of put blinders on and really cherry-picked the cases to support their conclusion that ETs are here gathering genetic material for hybridization programs and that sort of thing. When somebody comes to me and says that, I say, ‘Wouldn’t it be easier to pick the lock in a rendering plant? You’ll have as much genetic material as you can ever want. It makes a lot more sense than going out into the fields.’ And they say, ‘Why would the government leave cows in the middle of the field?’ And my stock answer is, ‘Well, if they took the cows, it would be larceny. It would be grand larceny in some cases. And the animal would be gone and there would be a stolen head of livestock report. And that’s a pretty serious crime in the West. If you leave it there, you have plausible deniability.'”
He finds that the more bizarre the case (wounds and circumstantial evidence are bizarre), it’s much less likely that the rancher will report it. If they see military-style helicopters or occultist, hooded (human) figures, it tends to piss them off and they’re more apt to report those.
(At this point, I decided to transcribe the rest of the interview. ~Joe)
“In many ways, it’s a self-nullifying mystery. You have the plausible deniability of the same parts – basically, that are targeted by scavengers, often times, predominantly – are the parts that seem to be excised in the real cases. So the debunkers and skeptics say, ‘Oh! Every cattle mutilation case is misidentified scavenger action.’ There are so many cases that we have proven, that science has proven, law enforcement has proven, without any shadow of a doubt, that were perpetrated by some sort of intelligence with extreme prejudice and with a lot of talent. Some of these cases are extremely difficult to explain away. And there is a body of scientific evidence that backs this up. Now, the Linda Howes and the people who are into this whole ET angle – which, you can’t factor that out. I’m not saying that that couldn’t possibly be an explanation. But I think it’s the least likely explanation in my view. And if there are cases of this type, they are few and far between compared to the vast majority of cases, which I think are done by human groups.
You know, the first thing I do when I go on a case is I look to see if there’s hair follicles that have been cut in a straight line. It doesn’t matter what kind of insect, bird, predator, scavenger you are, you’re not going to cut hair like, with a sharp knife, right? And if there’s cut hair follicles, to me, that’s an indication that somebody did that to that animal or something with intelligence and with tools did that to the animal.
SA: Well, why don’t you tell people a little bit about the Snippy case and first of all, the horse actually wasn’t called Snippy, that was the father of the horse, right?
CO: Yeah, the sire of the filly was named Snippy and the press, you know, kind of got the names mixed up and the owners never corrected them. Because it was, you know, kind of an appropriate name for a horse that ended up in the condition that it was found in. On September 7, (1967), Snippy and several other horses were out in the San Luis Valley on the King Ranch. The next morning, Snippy didn’t come in for feed and water. So they went out looking for him and the ranch owner found the horse a quarter mile away from the ranch house in a kind of a damp meadow and all the tissue, the hide, the muscles, the hair, the skin, the meat, all the connective tissue, was vacuum cleaned from the tip of its nose down to his shoulders. A very unusual case. We’ve never had one like it before or since.
The horses tracks, in one version of the story, ended almost 100 feet from where the animal was found. Strange kind of giant prints were found at the site. There was a piece of meat that was found on a piece of vegetation that when it was touched, it created like an acid-like burn on the hand of the horse’s owner. A flying saucer, some sort of silver object…a round, silver object was seen by the grandmother a day or two before that. She didn’t have her glasses on when she was doing the dishes so she couldn’t really get a good look at it but she definitely saw something hovering over their corral. And there’s even photographs that I’ve dug up that show where the thing apparently sheared off the top of one of the fence corral posts.
So, the owner of the horse, Nelly Lewis…again, this is in September 1967, based on some UFO reports that occurred around that time frame. And then later, there were quite a few of them. But that and her mother’s, you know, kind of…without-her-glasses, sighting. She made the statement, when news got out, that flying saucers had killed her horse and that that really created a huge, international news story. People, reporters from China, France, all over South America, they were inundated with requests for information, interviews. It hit the news services and then Associated Press and UPI, and Reuters and all that, and it really became a really celebrated story. In fact, I remember as a ten-year-old kid, standing in line at Safeway in Bellevue, Washington, where I was living, growing up, and seeing this like World News, you know, in a National Enquirer-type rag, with this headline and this, you know, awful looking photograph of this horse lying on the ground and people looking at it. And of course, I begged my mom to give me a dime or five cents, or however much it cost to buy the by the paper and I devoured the story. And so I was exposed to the Snippy case, you know, within a month or so, five weeks, maybe, after it happened.
So, you know, that whole seed was planted early on, and when I moved to the San Luis Valley, I didn’t move there because UFOs had been reported there. I didn’t move there because Snippy had died there. I moved there because I had friends that had a house and it was a beautiful place, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever lived. So, you know, all this other stuff kind of came along, got piggybacked on top of just trying to live a regular life and pay my bills and put together the most kick ass rock and roll band I could in the area. And it’s just been off to the races ever since.
I’ve been on seventy TV shows and produced and even directed some national TV segments and field produced and helped develop programming for quite a number of shows over the years. And I do try to keep as an objective, dispassionate, unbiased view of this stuff and I try to present the information as objectively as I possibly can. I don’t factor anything out. I don’t factor anything in. I’m intellectually honest, I don’t put on blinders [and] I don’t promote a particular pet theory. I really do attempt to do the analysis and allow the data to provide me with the evidence to support any conclusions that I may come up with in the second book.
SA: And you seem to be a true skeptic in that you’re questioning everything. And that’s refreshing to read, especially in a book like this that’s so packed full of information. You’re not doing what Linda Howe does and push a certain idea and it definitely adds to the the weight of the material. And the ET thing. It seems like we can’t even prove they’re extraterrestrials in the first place much less that they’re dissecting cows. And why would they do that anyway?
CO: Right, and the percentage of cases that have unusual lights that won’t conform to conventional aerial activity, or landing traces. There’s just a handful of cases where actual landed craft have been seen and one or two cases where entities have been seen. These cases are a vast minority. You know, for one of those cases there could be a thousand of the other, really mundane but very perplexing and high strange nonetheless, but appear to be done with sharp implements. People don’t understand really…you gotta do your homework and you really have to do your research. And you have to become up to speed on what happens to an animal in a particular environment during that particular time of year. What happens when it dies of, you know, whatever it might be…poisoned plants, bad water, old age, maybe its sick and taken down by a predator. And then what happens to it once it’s dead? You really have to be up to speed to understand, you know, the natural processes that do take place out on the range.
Two percent of all livestock die every year. Ranchers are around dead livestock all the time. They’re very familiar with what happens when a pack of coyotes comes in and overnight, just totally tears a carcass up and just devours it. They know when it’s strange, when their own animals won’t approach it, when the other cattle seem to be afraid of the site, for instance. There’s been hundreds and hundreds of military helicopters that have been seen around these mutilation sites. And I mentioned that to Linda when I asked her to do an interview for the book. And she said, “Well, Chris, it’s just UFOs masquerading as helicopters.”
SA: Which, of course, is possible.
CO: Yeah, of course, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. But you know, Occam’s razor here. Yeah, you know, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and if you shoot at it, and it starts smoking, and there’s quite a number of cases where the helicopters have shot back, including one case where they were shooting back at the rancher on the ground. Another team was on the ground. In 1972, for instance, before the mutilations became a big news story, there weren’t mutilations being reported, let’s say in Iowa. Hundreds of hogs and hundreds of dozens of cattle were being stolen. And these mystery helicopters were associated with this rustling activity. And vigilante patrols were being formed and helicopters were being fired on and, you know, it turned into a real kind of a nightmare for the utility companies with their, you know, helicopters checking the power lines or National Guard helicopters, they had to fly at extra high altitudes. And there was a bit of, you know, kind of a vigilante sort of hysteria going on. And, you know, there was some concern that, you know, conventional helicopter flights might inadvertently get caught up in this.
So, I find it very interesting that, you know, other investigators who are more attached to a high-strangeness, sort of off-planet explanation, they don’t mention the cases where animals have been found killed with firearms, you know, shot and then mutilated. They don’t mention the cases where animals appear to have been, you know, mutilated with sharp implements that don‘t have this, you know, kind of pop culture, you know, sort of cliche of laser cuts and cookie cutter incisions. You know, those types of cases are pretty rare and even cases that have been scavengers. Once the animal bloats, the area that’s been cut or torn, dries out, and then when the animal shrinks back down, those areas tend to become hard and dark and have a glistening, sort of smooth, kind of shiny appearance. And it looks burnt to someone who doesn’t know what they’re looking at.
So a lot of these types of crime scene evidence, if you will, has been misinterpreted. And these terms have become part of the lexicon. And there’s been a number of cases where I’ve gone out and the rancher said, “Oh, they drained this animal of blood” And, you know, if the animal died, let’s say, of poison plants or some sort of natural attrition, and the blood pressure subsided and then maybe it got scavenged by birds, or maybe some smaller animals, even maggot blooms, can can scour the edges of what appear to be cuts, gravity has a way of pulling all the fluids down into the body cavity. The moisture wicks out of it and it loses its moisture, becomes pretty thick and gelatinous. But all you have to do is flip that thing over and whoosh…out comes all the blood and fluids that you can’t see looking down at it from an uninformed viewpoint. All you have to do is flip it over and you’ll find plenty of goodies.
SA: But there are cases where they have been fully drained of blood.
CO: There have been cases, yes, there have. I’ve had some. But out of the two-hundred, I’ve had only two, maybe three, four, that the meat appeared to be grayish colored or light pink. It didn’t have the robust, red color. One case, a whole calf was totally drained the fluids and the spine was gone, the right front leg was gone, the reproductive track was reamed out, the brain was taken out of the skull with no break into the cranium. We only found one drop of blood and this thing was in a brand, fresh, spanking, new five inches of snow. And we found one drop of blood on the left, rear hoof. So that case would be an example of a high-strangeness case. There were strange lights seen in the area, reported by two separate witnesses unbeknownst to one another. I do consider that to be the strangest case that I personally have ever investigated.
But again, for every one of those, there’s a hundred much more mundane cases that could be some sort of government group monitoring the environment. There’s various explanations that have been proposed over the years to explain why anybody would want to do this, and one thing that I’m pretty sure of is…it’s not so much the head of livestock that’s important it’s where it is, in the environment. It’s almost like, you know, if these livestock are downwind and downstream, let’s say, of where we utilize uranium…mine it, weaponize it, put it into power plants, you know, put it into missiles. If you go downwind and downstream of these areas, oftentimes you’ll find a high incidence areas that have high numbers of mutilation cases. And you know, just the hundred above ground, nuclear tests…if you look at maps of the spread of of radiation through the weather systems, that correlates with areas of high incidents.
Of course (laughs), then you have, you know, three thousand plus cases in South America from 2002 to 2005. You have an outbreak of cases on the Canary Islands that couldn’t be explained. There’s been cases in Puerto Rico, strange cases in Australia. There have been weird horse slashing cases over the years and sheep cases for hundreds of years in England. There were mutilated seals washing up in the Orkney Islands, North of England in the North Sea, dolphins washing up with identical wounds, dead on beaches in South of France. Thousands and thousands of domestic house cats that have been found and they look like they’ve been clipped in half by a giant pair of scissors and the back end’s gone. Almost every urban center in western United States has reported these cases, even in Brentwood. In some of the most exclusive neighborhoods in California back in the early 70s, there was an outbreak of these these strange, half-cat deaths. So it’s not only cattle, it’s pigs, goats, sheep, bison, elk, deer. We’ve even had a case of a cow that was mutilated, and right next to it was a mutilated coyote, which is the only current carnivore case that I’ve ever had. So again, this is a really complicated subject [and] it deserves an objective, dispassionate treatment. And we really need to look at all possibilities. We can’t factor anything out or in. And we have to allow the facts and the data to lead us to any potential conclusions.
SA: And tonight we’ve been talking with Christopher O’Brien about his new book “Stalking The Herd,” dealing very thoroughly with the subject of cattle mutilations. And as you just said, they’re not always cattle. And that’s a little odd, too I would say.
CO: Well, you know, when you look at it, it’s not really that odd. You know, there’s the old adage, you are what you eat. We have been eating cattle for so many generations that cattle hemoglobin has been used routinely in war zones as a replacement for human hemoglobin to get, you know, injured or wounded army guys or whomever, back to hospital areas. It’s a virtual genetic match to human hemoglobin. I think it’s 99.9 to nine places, a genetic match to human hemoglobin. Swine would be second, 99.9 to seven places. A transfusion of swine hemoglobin would kill you. But if you’re a universal donor, you could literally survive a transfusion of pure cattle hemoglobin. I think right now, artificial human blood is patent pending, of course, based on cattle. So we do have this symbiotic kind of incestuous, you know, connection with cattle. And it’s not by accident that I think cattle or the sizeable majority of cases reported over the years, probably ninety plus percent of unexplained animal death cases, are of cattle. It is a very perplexing mystery.
There’s a high burnout rate among people that have attempted to look into this particular mystery. There’s quite a number of investigators who agreed to help me but refused to comment publicly, [but] they allowed me access to their data. But it’s so frustrating to chase after something that’s leaving thousands of pounds of physical evidence behind and not get the help and not get the credibility needed to get science, get academics, get real diagnostic criminal laboratories involved. They have ebbed and flowed their involvement over the years, mostly in the 70s into the 80s, but now it’s just a buzzkill, man. Somebody introduces you, “Oh, he investigates cattle mutilations.” I mean, that’s the last thing you want to be introduced as. I just roll my eyes and you just don’t want to talk about this stuff.
And it can be scary. You know, this is some frightening territory. It’s not like a ghost sighting where it’s, “Dude, did you hear that?” You know, or, you know, “I just heard a Bigfoot smacking on a tree.” I mean, that’s all, I think [that’s] important in one sense of the word. But when you’re dealing with a big burly rancher crying on your shoulder because they came down and mutilated his finest breeding cow, or took his seed bull or melted his dogs out in the pasture like the Sherman (Skinwalker) ranch case where they had a mutilation that occurred when the rancher and his wife were in the field a few hundred yards away. So there are some high-strangeness cases, I think, that are separate from the majority of cases. I think these high-strange cases may tie into our ancient practice of animal sacrifice, for instance. I do go into that particular correlation to some degree in the book.
And I think though, as I mentioned before, that it appears to be some sort monitoring program going on. Mad Cow Disease may be possibly lurking in the food chain. That may be one of the motivating factors behind monitoring livestock in specific geographic regions. It gets into some pretty scary territory when you really dig into it and start bouncing off some of the data off of the trending and the patterning. It’s enough to freak somebody out who’s not grounded and really doesn’t have the ability to compartmentalize and sort of stand outside of this type of material. You know, I could name a whole list of people that are have dropped away from the field. One investigator committed suicide. Tom Adams disappeared fifteen years ago. We only know of one person that’s talked to him. Peter Jordan no longer will comment. Ted Oliphant, who was a police officer in Fyffe. Alabama, investigated dozens and dozens of cases. He’ll no longer publicly talk about it. Philip Hoyle at the animal pathology field unit has been investigating sheep mutilations for since the 90s in Wales and Western Britain. He is not involved anymore. The list goes on and on and on. And it’s unfortunate that we don’t get the kind of attention and respect and help that we need to get to the bottom of this.
I just had a case reported two days ago, a bull calf mutilated up on the Crow Indian reservation. And in a very rare twist, the calf evidently survived. I guess it’s now a steer but was a bull calf before the operation, let’s put it that way. So I’m hopefully going to be in touch with some of the folks investigating those cases up in Montana. We had a case last year in western Nebraska that was really freaky. The animal was found mutilated and its head was stuffed down a hole in the pasture. There have been some pretty freaky ones. We’ve had animals discovered in trees. They’re pretty rare. But you know, again, this is an area that doesn’t get the amount of attention that it deserves.
SA: Now, when they find them in trees and things like that, I mean, the belief is that they’re being dropped. If helicopters or the government or some part of the government is involved. that would make sense. They could lift it up, drop it back down. But like in some cases, like you said, the farmer was out right in the fields when it happened. Wouldn’t they have seen something?
CO: Yeah, or heard something. That was very bizarre and it happened up on the Skinwalker Ranch as they call it. It’s kind of a misnomer but the Sherman Ranch, the rancher, it was about ten in the morning, he immediately called the National Institute for Discovery Sciences (NIDS), who were in the process of acquiring the ranch. And a private jet flew up a microbiologist, a veterinary pathologist, you know, a crack team of scientists who did a on-site investigation within hours and they were just horrified by this. We had a case down in…a very interesting case that I haven’t really dug completely into, but there’s a number of interesting newspaper reports from South America of a giant, 60,000 gallon stock watering tank that would water a whole herd of cattle that was inexplicably drained overnight. Not one drop of water was found anywhere. And, you know, I think in one one report, it said 19 mutilated cattle were found inside the empty tank. We’ve had animals found two miles away and three pastures away from where they were last seen, through locked gates and over fence lines. A huge bull was found inside an abandoned adobe shack and the darn thing couldn’t have even gotten in there, even if it had tried to walk in there. We’ve had cases on the Sherman ranch again where he goes out and he’s looking for his nine seed bulls and they are nowhere to be found. And he kind of hears scuffling and inside a locked horse trailer, he found the animals and there was still dust and cobwebs on on the lock that was used to secure door.
So there are a number of cases that really are high strange that there’s no possible prosaic answer for and these are the cases that I think are the least likely to be reported by the ranching community. Something like this happens, it’s so freaky, oftentimes, they won’t even tell their own family. They’ll drag it off to a bone pile or bury it with a backhoe. Out of sight, out of mind. And for many cases that I found out about, I found out from neighbors, from friends that would hear about cases, or from law enforcement sources, and they’d tell me. And I’d just slowly start working on the rancher. And finally, he would, you know, I would call him in and never ask him anything about the case, I just ask him about the price of hay. What do you think about the local high school team’s basketball tournament? I’ll talk to you later. And I call back a few weeks later, and then finally, they just blurt out, “Okay, okay, I’ll tell you.” I kind of have a weird, reverse psychology that I use on these guys, because, you know, to be honest with you, this is scary stuff. These guys see dead animals all the time and when they see something that they know is high strange, it’s freaky. It really puts you in a place of fear, you worry about your family, you worry about your livelihood and we don’t have enough people that are concerned enough to help these people out, in this country and other countries.
SA: Well, why don’t you tell people a little bit about the first case you investigated?
CO: Oh, boy. Well, the first case that I went out to interview a rancher was probably the most important case in my process. During that initial two weeks when I was researching the article, I contacted the local Sawatch County Sheriff. Officially, there had been no mutilations reported in Sawatch to any of the investigative databases that I had access to. And so I went to the sheriff and he said he’d look into it. He said, “I’m not gonna promise anything. We don’t have files on murders that happened back then.” So much to my surprise, a couple days later, he showed up at my house and handed me a couple of dozen photographs and only two of the pictures had any writing on the back to indicate whose ranch it was, dates or anything like that. And fortunately, the deputy, who was the main investigator for all the cases, was still around, so I was able to meet with him and we slowly went through all the photographs and IDd where they came from. And as it turns out, there are probably thirty or so cases in Sawatch County that had never officially made (it into) any sort of databases. So I picked out the one that was closest to me, and in January 1993, I went out to the next town over in Moffat, Colorado and visited the Sutherlands, who, on June 6, 1980, they had a bull mutilated and the night before, they’d been sitting down to dinner and this helicopter buzzed right over their house. And then they thought it disappeared but then they heard it start up again like twenty minutes later and it appeared to be about a mile south of their house, out in their pasture. And so they ran outside to get a look at it, and this was right after sunset so there was still enough light to get a good look at it. And it flew directly over their house, less than 50 feet. It was a 1950s, late 40s, early 50s like a UH 47, Bell whirlybird like you see at the beginning of the show MASH. It was one of these antique, ancient helicopters and it was painted this weird mustard yellow color and had no markings on it. And it flew back in the direction it had originally come from.
And so they thought it was really strange and but they didn’t think anything of it until the next morning when went out to check on the animals and they found their prized, seed bull mutilated in the field. Well, thirteen years later, of course, I have a picture of the bull in my hand and I called up Virginia Sutherland and arranged for an interview and went out there. And she gave me all the blow-by-blow description. I interviewed her son and then I asked them to go out to the field and sure enough, there was the bull still laying there. It was kind of melted into the field. And I took the skull home and ended up painting it, it’s hanging on my wall.
And so the next morning, I got up and was typing up my notes, my field notes and, you know, I’m just sitting there in my shorts and drinking a cup of coffee. and I hear this THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP sound. And I look out my window and the same exact description of helicopter. An antique, 1940s-50s, UH-47 or U-47, flew right over my house. Mustard yellow color. Just a totally bizarre trickster-ish coincidence, if you will. And I’ll tell you, man, I kissed the tar baby that morning, boy, it’s still stuck to my face. That just floored me. And I kind of had a sense, right from that point on, that we were dealing with something infinitely more complicated than the simple answer of aliens coming from other planets, you know? That there was way more complicated at work here.
SA: Or even just government interaction because some of this stuff, as far as we know, couldn’t have been done by the government.
CO: Yeah, not in 1602 or 06, rather. Yeah, so I mean, there is a high strange, supernatural, if you were, or preternatural. I often kind of had a feeling that there’s some sort of dimensional predator, that as soon as that belly hits the ground, that animal’s fair game for something. Maybe that’s why when they slaughter kosher – when they have a Jewish ritual to slaughter animals, it’s called the kosher process – they don’t let the animal’s belly hit the ground until it’s dead and drain the blood. And there’s some interesting parallels if you go around the world and look at look at certain ritualized behavior around the slaughtering of animals. There’s over a million people in this country that slaughter animals routinely for religious purposes. Mostly chickens, some sheep and goats. And some ducks and other fowl. But it’s a constitutionally protected, religious practice of slaughtering animals and using their blood and body parts for ritualistic purposes.
And this is something, most Americans, they don’t want to think about that stuff. All they want to know is, if I go to the store, I can buy some chopped meat that’s on a piece of styrofoam, wrapped in plastic. I mean, out of sight, out of mind, I don’t care where it comes from, I don’t care how it got here. It tastes good. They keep the price down and I haven’t died from it yet. I mean, that’s the basic attitude in the West. And unfortunately, if people really knew (laughs) how that meat got to their supermarket, from the birth canal, all the way through the raising and rendering and processing and, you know, I think a lot of people would become vegetarians very quickly. 80% of the antibiotics used in the United States go into cattle. A sizable majority of growth hormones go into cattle, chickens, swine. They’re being kept in these horrific, huge mega feed lots of a hundred thousand plus animals in places, striding around in their own filth. They have to try to get them out of that very unclean, unsanitary environment as quickly as possible so they pump them full of grain, which they’re not naturally supposed to eat, they’re supposed to eat grass. So they use up to 1700 pounds of grain to put 400 pounds of weight on them, pump them full of antibiotics to make sure that they don’t get sick from walking around in their own feces and urine. And then they want the the animal to grow as quickly as possible so they pump it full of growth hormone so they can get it out of that feedlot, put it into the processing chain and send it out.
The beef industry in this country is one of the most powerful forces, politically, in this country and you’ll never hear about them, unless you’re Oprah. And back in the late 90s, when she did a show on mad cow disease and made the comment, “I’ll never eat another hamburger again,” she was instantly slapped with a $2 billion lawsuit. And it took her a million dollars to beat it. But, you know, a million dollars is a million dollars. So, you know, the beef lobby is one of those real, kind of super, low key, sort of under the radar, political forces. It’s the largest single section of agriculture. Back in the 1890s, when they tried to do the Sherman Antitrust Act to break up the, you know, people think they were trying to break up Standard Oil or the railroads or, you know, this that or the other thing. No, they were trying to break up the beef industry, the beef packers: Cudahy, Swift, Armor.
This is an area that really gets into some kind of, it’s a sticky area and it gets into some some political intrigue. I find it interesting that 70 to 80% of ranches that were around in the 70s, when these cases were hot and heavy, are all out of business now. And I have cases where it looks like rich ranchers, with lots of land, have been trying to drive smaller ranches, their neighbors, out of business, using the mutilation phenomenon as an intimidation tactic, for instance. Linda (Moulton Howe) and other investigators aren’t going to even address these cases. And I’ve got a case with two County Sheriff’s, not one but two, publicly have named a rancher as aiding and abetting and helping helicopter crews who were responsible for mutilating hundreds of animals down in southern Colorado.
SA: You’re on WVBR FM, Ithaca and you’re listening to, “Where Did The Road Go?” We’re talking with Christopher O’Brien for a little bit more here on part one of this conversation about cattle mutilations and such. Wow, the thing is it’s so mind boggling because you know, you talk about that, how they’re they’re aiding these crews. And where are these crews coming from? And why would they need to be aided if they were, say, a government group?
CO: Or they could hire some guys. Just think in 1975, how many returning Vietnam veteran helicopter pilots were back and being put into into the job market. There was a lot of helicopters flying around in those days and a lot of people that were certified to fly them and it doesn’t take much of a stretch to think that maybe that there were some teams that were either employed by a quasi-governmental groups like the CDC or the NIH, National Institute of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, if it was concerned about Mad Cow Disease, for instance. Or other groups that may or may not have had some occult leanings. There’s been a number of cases over the years that have had these strange, ritual occult signs left behind. I had a number of them. These are cases that most investigators will not even talk about. That and ritual blood sacrifice, just, you know, I’m probably one of the only people on the planet that really has been digging into this whole, potential angle. And there is a body of evidence and there are cases that do have a veneer of ritual, occult magic to them. And I don’t care who you are, you’re gonna have a hard time arguing with the facts and there’s a ton of facts in my book. You know, dark figures trying to close down highways and stuff and carrying torches and bizarre stuff.
SA: At the same time, could that be a cover for whoever is really doing it to throw off the….
CO: Exactly. Exactly. I mean, red herring cases, I think, are a significant number of cases. It seems like real cases occur, they tend to be the high straange cases, then you have an outbreak of very slick, human perpetrated cases in and around those initial areas. Then you have red herring cases that are spread around the region and I think it’s to keep investigators running around, not focusing on the important cases that seem to occur at the beginning of a wave.
SA: So, if the government’s checking environmental factors, why wouldn’t they just buy a cow from someone? Or, why would they do it this way, rather than…
CO: They do and they rent pasture and they raise their own cattle and other livestock.
SA: So why would they need the mutilation cover?
CO: Well, it’s interesting. A lot of these areas that mutilations occur, tend to be where patriotic, militia-group types hang out. And in some of the areas where you have your biggest concentration of Chronic Wasting Disease, which is Mad Cow Disease in deer and elk. The areas where these herds are found tend to be the herds that militia groups and patriot members tend to hunt in. So, you can look at this from several different angles here. There could be some societal and political manipulation going on as a part of the overall program. I’m not saying that is the end all to be all, explanation, not by any stretch, But you can accomplish a lot just by simply killing and disfiguring a head of livestock and leaving it there. It sends a lot of messages and especially in remote, rural areas. Ranching communities tend to be more conservative, they tend to be more well armed, more patriotic, more prone to organize and have issues with the government. Just look at the recent, Bundy-ranch fiasco. And, you know, we’re not even beginning to talk about some of the scientific results. I mean, we found potassium chloride, mescaline, nicotine, all sorts of barbituates, ketamine…anticoagulants have been found when they do necropsies and do workups on mutilated cattle. So there’s animals that have been shot and then mutilated. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aliens don’t normally go around firing thirty-aught-sixes. Or injecting nicotine or mescaline into an animal
SA: It’s one of these things where you feel like you’re going down the rabbit hole. The more you look into it…
CO: Oh, yeah, no, no, you’re down the rabbit hole, baby. You just wonder when the rabbit hole is gonna end. It doesn’t seem to end very quickly.
SA: And also, when you’re talking about the environmental factors, like for instance, you say 1972 there were no mutilations at all but in 1975, there were so many cases. Is there a correlation there? Is there something that’s going on?
CO: Yeah, it’s funny. There were no mutilations, but there were hundreds of animals being stolen.
SA: Hmm. Okay, that was in 72.
CO: Yeah. And then 73, you had one of the largest, the UFO waves ever. And the places where there were helicopters sightings had no UFO sightings.
SA: (laughs) And there have been some cases where the helicopters have morphed into UFOs.
CO: Uhh, that’s only one or two that I know of.
SA: And I think John Keel also brings up the…
CO: I have footage of a helicopter morphing into a silver orb. It’s because the sun’s hitting it at the perfect angle on the round canopy. And the light bloom makes it appear like it’s a silver orb going across the screen. So, you know, appearances can be deceiving. I have great footage of that very, very, you know, effect.
SA: And John Keel also talked about, early on, some cases of like, ghost planes and ghost helicopters that made no noise. And this was before we supposedly had this type of technology. So I mean, that could factor in somewhere because something has to explain some of these high strangeness cases somewhere along the line.
CO: Right. Alexander Hamilton, the 1897, Yates Center, Kansas case, where the great airship lassooed his calf and drug it off, he was the Justice of the Peace of the county and ended up telling everybody about it. And then he resigned as a law officer and Jerome Clark, years later, you know, obviously in the 70s here, claimed “Oh, he was part of a liar’s club” and all this and I had found no evidence to back up Clark’s assertions. In fact, I found more evidence to suggest that the case was real.
SA: And that’s, again, just more down that rabbit hole. Alright, so we’re gonna have you back in, I believe, June. And we’re gonna cover the other half of all of this, getting some details on some of the years and some of the other stuff going and some of the other possibilities of what might actually be going on or what might be connected to. Do you want to tell people a little bit, where can they get the books?
CO: Yeah, sure, obviously, Amazon’s gonna have it. But if you want a signed copy, I’m only signing 1000 copies and they’re all signed and numbered. You can go to: www.ourstrangeplanet.com. I also have a dedicated site: www.stalkingtheherd.com. I’ll go ahead and sign it and shoot it off to you. Once you finish Chapter 12, I think you’re gonna have a ton of questions.