Wednesday, May 14, 2008
REGINA -- A macabre mystery that pops up around the world has surfaced once again on a secluded Saskatchewan farm.
The most recent case of cattle mutilation occurred in the Stockholm area, just yards away from where Heather Harris and her husband slept. Harris was out tending the cattle the next day when she made the grisly discovery.
"It's hard to describe what she looked like ...," Harris said, recalling finding the cow's corpse. "I told my husband, 'You don't even want to see this.' "
The pregnant cow was missing its rectum, female organs, udder, navel, top and bottom lips, one ear and one eye. The animal's tongue appeared to be cut out.
Harris said there was no sign of blood in the area, and all of the injuries appear to be precise incisions. Harris said there were no signs of struggle in the area, and no tire tracks, footprints or blood anywhere around the animal.
The gruesome scenario appears to be a classic case of "cow mutilation," a bizarre occurrence attributed variously to natural predators, aliens, government operatives, cults and a variety of other elusive sources.
Mutilations first rose to public prominence in the United States in the 1960s, and have continued to surface around the world ever since -- including from time to time in Saskatchewan.
Documented mutilations are remarkably similar and often involve the removal of one ear, the animal's eyes, udders and sexual organs, tongue and lips. They are also characterized by a lack of blood and what appear to be clean incisions and cuts.
Many who have studied cow mutilations maintain the deaths are attributed entirely to natural sources, in particular the effects of scavengers and predators, coupled with the effects of dehydration and decomposition.
But others aren't so sure. Some surmise the mutilations are the work of alien spacecraft conducting experiments or gathering genetic information from the animals, and others believe they are conducted by cults or Satanists who use the animals' blood and body parts for rituals.
Still others maintain the mutilations to be part of a government conspiracy -- whether testing high-powered laser weapons or doing covert research about radiation, mad cow disease, or other cow illnesses which could spread to humans.
After looking at pictures of the remains of Harris' animal, veterinarian Dr. Kathleen Francis said she was shocked.
"Anything that could make that kind of incision took a little bit of skill," said Francis, who has been a vet for 11 years. "There was absolutely no blood anywhere around the carcass which was really weird, you know, to be able to make those kinds of cuts without losing blood somewhere on the ground."
Francis discounted predators as a possible cause of the cow's death, noting there were no bites or claw marks on the carcass. She said the bloodless wounds could mean some kind of electric cautery unit was involved.
"I'm not so convinced I believe the alien theories, but I could certainly go for the cult or that kind of thing happening. ..." she said. "It kind of makes you think -- strange things are out there."
Harris said the experience has left her shaken and she is unwilling to go outside by herself at night. But after reading up on some of the theories, Harris says she still isn't sure what to think about the bizarre occurrence.
"I know from what I've seen on the Net they put it down to cults or extraterrestrial ... but I don't know," she said. "I just know it's very, very freaky."