Cattle mutilations in Las Animas County were the topic of a Sept. 4 edition of The Unexplained Files on the Discovery Science Channel.
Tom Miller, who ranches northeast of Trinidad, appeared on the show to talk about a rash of mysterious mutilations which have occurred on his ranch since 1997.
Just this year, Miller said he has witnessed two mutilations, a calf and a full-grown cow. In both cases, the eyes, tongues, internal and sexual organs had been removed in what Miller called a "surgical" manner, apparently by a laser.
No blood was at the scene, nor any sign the animals had been dragged or moved. There were no predatory bites or claw marks on the carcasses.
Not surprisingly, Miller said he has no rational explanation for the incidents.
That's because there is no rational explanation.
Take it from one who witnessed the aftermath of such a mutilation.
In the mid-1990s, while working for a Trinidad newspaper, a fellow reporter (Pat Malone) and I stumbled upon a cattle mutilation story by happy accident. At Trinidad High School to do a sports-related story, a coach - Mike Duran - nonchalantly asked if the sheriff had contacted us about a cattle mutilation that occurred on his property a few days prior.
Replying in the negative, we listened as Duran gave a few details about the odd incident, the main point being that the carcass was still in the field, just as it had been discovered. It was enough to convince us to make the drive about 15 miles west to investigate.
As we arrived at Duran's property in the late afternoon, the eerie stillness in the air was thick enough to cut with a knife. Locating the field where the mutilation occurred, we parked the car and began the long, slow walk over to the carcass.
And that's when things got obtusely strange.
This particular cow was "wet," meaning that she had just given birth and was still milking her calf. But the calf, as well as any other living creature - ants, flies and buzzards included - was nowhere to be found. It's as if this unfortunate bovine had been quarantined by nature for the fate she suffered.
As Pat and I both looked down at the bizarre sight, I do remember uttering, "Man, there is no way that something human did this." It resembled, for lack of a better term, an "animal murder."
The cow, whose innards and last drop of blood had been removed, was lying flat on its back, it's broken legs curled up at an odd angle, resembling, in a way, a dead insect. There was a huge, wretched hole where the life-sustaining udders had been. To my eyes, the poor animal looked like a balloon which had been completely deflated, leaving only the skin.
Bending down for a closer look at the cow's stomach wound, I was amazed that the flesh around it was amazingly intact. No cut marks, no bites, no tears. Indeed, it looked like the incision had been made by a laser, uniform and precise. Not even the most skilled surgeon could have used a scalpel in such an exact manner.
Where once were vital organs and blood was emptiness. Not even a piece of cartilage, membrane or tissue. And yet the exterior hide of the cow was unblemished. It's as if the entire insides of the animal had been sucked out in one giant motion.
But there was more. Not only had the eyes been removed, but the cow's reproductive organs, tiny horns from the skull, and, if I recall correctly, the tongue. In my mind, I imagined what kind of an ungodly grip and immense power would be needed to yank those horns from the animal's head.
And the lack of animal tracks - not to mention a single drop of blood - around the carcass did little to further the theory of a predator attack.
I do remember that Pat and I didn't say too much to each other as we studied the carcass. But there was an unspoken feeling that we had, indeed, stumbled upon something extraterrestial in nature.
The reporter in me suggested clipping a bit of the animal's hide, for testing of possible radiation or other contaminants through the Trinidad State Junior College science lab.
Those tests, however, turned up nothing, as the biology professor there told us that the cow had been in the field too long for radiation or any other anomalies to be present.
With that information in hand, Pat and I wrote up the story, included a picture of the mutilated animal, and ran it, front page, in the next day's edition. To little surprise, it did get people talking and we sold a few more newspapers than on a typical weekday.
That's almost the end of the story.
A few days later, I received a mysterious call from someone, an older gentlemen, who claimed to live in the area where the mutilation occurred. He quietly asked why I had included no mention of the silent black helicopters which had been seen in the area prior to the incident. Before I could ask a single question, he hung up.
In a published report, Tom Miller presented his belief that the animals are, somehow, "taken away, killed and their organs removed. And then dropped from the sky to the place where they're found. I know that might sound crazy and I know there are a lot of skeptics, but when it happens to you, you kind of start to believe."
Even before I read Miller's story, I too proposed the same theory. The only way I could surmise that cow ending up in the condition we found it was this: It was plucked or lifted from the field by an energy force of some sort into a craft or flying object. There, the nefarious surgery took place and once the work was done, the animal was simply dropped from the sky back onto the field. Such a fall might explain the poor animal's back and leg trauma
Even if that theory is in at least part correct, more questions than answers remain. Who? For what purpose? Why cows? What's next?
Also interviewed for the Discovery Channel show was Lou Girodo, former sheriff of Las Animas County and investigator for the district attorney. Girodo recalled an incident in 1975 in which he was asked to check out radar reports about four UFOs east of Trinidad.
Girodo - recognized as an expert an cattle mutilations for decades - said he saw a glowing object in the sky 20 minutes after he arrived on scene. The object rose into the sky and split into two parts, one of those parts taking off at a high rate of speed.
Later that year, Girodo investigated his first cattle mutilation near Ludlow. Many more were to follow.
Like Miller and this writer, the former sheriff has no solid explanation for the mutilations ( via chieftain.com ).