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Significant Observations Relating To Animal Mutilations

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By Richard Bonenfant, Ph.D.

The subject of animal mutilations is distasteful if not repugnant to many of us. It’s hard to imagine why anyone would inflict such cruelty upon helpless creatures, especially those so dependent upon us for their existence. Yet, deliberate and premeditated assaults on both domestic and wild animals has been ongoing for nearly five decades. Since livestock are the most common victims of these mutilations, farmers and ranchers have had to bear the financial brunt of these events. In addition, they have endured considerable anxiety over the nature of the mutilations inflicted upon their herds.

A problem must first be defined before it can be analyzed, so this article will begin by reviewing the nature of physical evidence most often found in mutilated animals in the United States and England. Fortunately, this information has already been collected by a core of dedicated researchers over the past decades. For the record, it should be noted that their investigations have, for the most part, been carried out privately with little or no public support. What they have discovered through dedication and persistence can now be used to define the subject matter of this work. After their findings have been presented, a number of observations relevant to the methodology of animal mutilations will be discussed. Finally, I will conclude by attempting to offer a reason why these acts are being carried out, followed by a number of recommendations that could advance our understanding of the matter.


Although animal mutilations may be of prolonged historical duration [2], it first came to the public’s attention in the United States (U.S.) back in 1967. At that time a female horse named Lady was found dead on a ranch near Alamosa in southern Colorado. The unusual nature of Lady’s mutilation led investigative reporter Linda Moulton Howe [3], to publish an account of the incident. This brief excerpt describes her initial visit to the mutilation scene:

A Horse Named Lady

“The horse’s entire skull and long neck had been stripped of flesh and every organ in the horse’s chest had been surgically excised. Yet no blood could be found anywhere around the animal…And no tracks were evident.” [4]

Click to Download Photo Document: refer to second photo

Her article about Lady’s mutilation had far reaching consequences. Its publication opened the floodgates to a host of similar reports that have continued unabated over the years. Not only were horses being mutilated, but so were other domestic animals like cattle, and sheep as well as a host of wild animals; deer, elk, bison and many more. Furthermore, animal mutilations were being found in a number of different regions throughout the world. An estimate of the numbers involved has proven difficult to make because many of these mutilations were never formally reported. However, knowledgeable estimates now place the number in the tens of thousands.

Hallmarks of Animal Mutilations

One of the principal hallmarks of these mutilations is the complete absence of blood in the animal’s carcass or at the mutilation site. Strangely, these animals have almost always been completely drained of blood.

Another peculiarity is that tracks or footprints are never found around the animal’s body, even when weather conditions like rain, frost or snow would have favored their presence; no footprints, tire tacks, signs of a struggle – nothing at all.

These mutilations also bear a remarkable similarity to one another. Perhaps one of their most notable characteristics is commonly referred to as a “jaw swipe.”

Click to Download Photo Document: refer to top photo

This term refers to a condition whereby one or both sides of the animal’s jaw are stripped of all tissue right down to the bare bone. For some unknown reason this often occurs on the left side of the animals face but not always. The right side is occasionally stripped in this way. Less frequently both sides of the jaw are removed. Also immediately evident are the removal of one or both eyes and ears.

Not so obvious, but visible upon inspection of the animal’s oral cavity, is the complete absence of a tongue. The organ has usually been excised from deep within the throat.

One other common mutilation is the removal of external genitalia including a bull’s penis and scrotum, or a cow’s udder. These organs are also found to have been cleanly excised from the carcass.

Examination of the animal’s hind quarters often show evidence of “anal coring,” a procedure whereby the anus is cored out to a depth of several inches and used as a portal for extraction of the animals rectum. Other circular or teardrop shaped orifices cut into the torso also appear to be used for removal of organ systems located within the body cavity. Such a feat is impossible to carry out through such small openings, but most of the mutilated animal’s viscera are usually missing.

Forensic examination of the incisions used for extraction reveal that they appear to be made by a laser-like instrument. The incisions are clean, precise and carefully executed. A Denver pathologist named John Henry Altshuler, M.D. [5] examined Lady’s carcass a few days after her body was found. According to testimony provided years later, Dr. Altshuler stated:

“When I got to the horse, I could see that it was cut from the neck down to the base of the chest in a vertical, clean incision. At the edge of the cut, there was a darkened color as if the flesh had been opened and cauterized with a surgical cauterizing blade. The outer edges of the cut skin were firm, almost as if they had been cauterized with a modern day laser. But there was no surgical laser technology like that in 1967…. I cut tissue samples from the hard, darker edge. Later, I viewed the tissue under a microscope. At the cell level, there was discoloration and destruction consistent with changes caused by burning. …Then inside the horse’s chest, I remember the lack of organs. Whoever did the cutting took the horse’s heart, lungs and thyroid. The mediastinum (central chest compartment for organs) was completely empty – and dry. How do you get the heart out without blood? It was an incredible dissection of organs without any evidence of blood. [6]

Other veterinarian examiners remark that the borders of portal incisions show small serrated edges similar in appearance to those produced by a tailor’s pinking shears. Investigators often referred to this characteristic as a “cookie cutter” incision.

Bodies ‘Dropped From Above’

In addition to the actual mutilations, other attributes are frequently associated with the animal mutilations. For example, in some cases the ground beneath a carcass is slightly depressed suggesting that the animal was dropped from a great height. Consistent with this impression, their carcass’s are sometimes twisted in unnatural shapes that become frozen by rigor mortis. Necropsies of these cases show major fractures of the animals limbs and ribs which are consistent with impact trauma. Furthermore, when these cases are found in wooded areas, branches of nearby trees are found broken or bent in way that would imply that the animal’s body was dropped to the ground.

This brings to up another unexplained phenomenon. For years power and telephone companies have on occasion found carcasses of deer and other large animals inexplicably entangled in their lines. Often their bodies are suspended at great heights above the ground and require considerable effort to remove. What is not clear is how they became lodged there in the first place. Until now, these findings have been attributed to committed pranksters. However, animal mutilation cases suggest these carcasses may have been dropped onto the lines from above. It would be informative to examine the bodies of these suspended animals to see if they show any classic signs of cattle mutilation.

Then there is the factor known as “carcass avoidance.” Dr. George E. Onet, a doctor of veterinary microbiology and cattle mutilation investigator, has claimed that mutilated cattle are avoided by large scavengers “such as coyotes, wolves, foxes, dogs, skunks, badgers, and bobcats” for several days after its death. Similarly, domestic animals are also reported to be ‘visibly agitated’ and ‘fearful’ of the carcass.” [7] Dr. Onet’s claim is supported by numerous anecdotal reports gathered from cattlemen about their mutilated stock.

I am unaware of any significant statistical data relating to animal mutilation cases other than a finding reported by Dr. Howard Burgess [8]. His data showed that nearly 90 percent of mutilated cattle brought to his attention were between four and five years of age. Since the average longevity of cattle is between 15 and 25 years, it would appear that their mutilators have bias towards the selection of younger bovines. One cannot help but wonder why they seek this particular age group.

Associated with Extraterrestrial Activity

By process of elimination, the extraterrestrial hypothesis remains the most probable cause of animal mutilations. Ranchers who have lost cattle, horses, or even bison have unanimously concluded that the events are UFO related. In support of their opinion are numerous reports of strange nocturnal lights; spheres that glow in many different colors, then divide, merge and release both smaller spheres or beams of light into the countryside at night. The bodies of mutilated animals are often found in the vicinity of this activity shortly thereafter.

Also supporting this conclusion, is the fact that no tracks of any kind are ever found at the carcass site. Therefore, it’s conceivable that a hovering craft of some kind is used to capture targeted animals and remove them to a different location. Discolored circular patches of soil ranging from 25 to 35 feet in diameter are occasionally found near the remains of mutilated animals. Often these patches remain sterile for years after they are found. And on a few occasions, triangular depressions in the ground have been observed as well. These signs could represent UFO landing traces.

Phantom Helicopters (Continue Reading at




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