Apr 07, 2021 I Nick Redfern

Why Cattle Mutilations Aren’t the Work of Aliens

There was a time when I thought it was at least feasible that cattle mutilations might be the work of aliens. That, however, was more than a few years ago. The more I dug into the mystery, the more I came to believe that the subject had far less to do with aliens and far more to do with government activity. Within in the field of Ufology, there is an acceptance that the first real animal mutilation case (as ufologists see it) was that of Snippy, a horse found dead under bizarre coincidences. As the Denver Library state of the Snippy affair: "On September 7, 1967, near the town of Alamosa in the San Luis Valley, Snippy, a 3-year-old Appaloosa, failed to return to the Harry King Ranch where she was stabled. Two days later, Mr. King (the ranch owner) discovered Snippy's remains roughly a quarter-mile from the ranch house. According to his account, the neck and head had been completely stripped of flesh, leaving nothing but bare, seemingly sun-bleached, white bone, while the remainder of the mare remained unscathed."

The problem here is not the story, but the fact that the more I dug into the matter of the mutilations, the more I came to find that secret government studies of the United States' cattle herds had been going on for decades. In fact, way back. The reason: the U.S. government was quite rightly very worried about foreign nations and agents using deadly viruses to bring the herd down and, as a result, cause chaos in America. So, the government - periodically and careful and quietly - ran tests on cattle to see how such attacks on the U.S. were working or not on the poor animals. If that disappoints you, too bad. And if you think that such a thing couldn't be done, consider the data contained in the documents I'm about to share with you now. It was back in 2001, while spending about in the National Archives, that I found out the extent to which government agencies were secretly tied to America's cattle.

Bacteriological Warfare in the United States is a fascinating FBI document – declassified into the public domain via the terms of the Freedom of Information Act - that covers the years 1941 to 1950. Notably, of the file’s original 1,783 pages, no less than 1,074 have been firmly withheld from declassification by the FBI. The file reveals a wealth of illuminating and disturbing data on animal disease and death, and their potential, theoretical links to bacteriological warfare and sabotage by enemy nations and individuals. For example, J.R. Ruggle, the FBI Special-Agent-in-Charge at the Savannah, Georgia office of the Bureau in the early-to-mid 1940s, wrote thus to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover on February 3, 1943: "This office has received a copy of a communication from John T. Bissell, Colonel, General Staff, Assistant Executive Officer, Military Intelligence Service, Washington, D.C., dated December 29, 1942, to directors of intelligence in all Service commands…" Colonel Bissel’s communication read:

"It has been brought to the attention of this division the possibility in the immediate future of an attempt on the part of the enemy to plant bombs containing germs or to endeavor to create an epidemic, such as hoof and mouth disease, among cattle and other livestock. It is requested that should any information concerning the above come to the attention of the Directors of Intelligence of the Service Commands or the A.C. of S. [Assistant Chief of Staff], G-2 [Army Intelligence], Western Defense Command, that the same be transmitted by the most expeditious means to the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 War Department." And what did the government do? I'll tell you: they very carefully began to take a look at the cattle herd and to determine the extent to which those "enemy nations and individuals" might be. And the secret investigations were undertaken wherever it seemed the cattle were being subjected to viruses by our enemies.

The FBI even found examples of such concerns going back to the First World War: "Anton Dilger, a German-American medical graduate from John Hopkins University, was in Germany when the First World War broke out. He offered his services to the Kaiser, and was promptly detailed by Colonel Nicolai to do secret service work in the United States. Dilger returned to America with a supply of cultures of glanders and anthrax germs. Financed by von Papen, he set up a laboratory in Chevy Chase, near Washington, and started breeding germs on a large scale for infecting mules, horses, and cattle awaiting shipment to the allies. This man then organized a band of some twelve assistants to travel around the country, carrying Dilger's germs in small glass phials stopped with corks through which a needle extended. This roving band jabbed their deadly needles into the livestock. They also spread germs by placing them in fodder and drink. Thousands of soldiers, as well as horses and cattle, died as a result of Dilger’s germs. At last Dilger revolted against his mission of silent death. He was murdered by German spies a few months before the end of the war. Could it happen here? It did happen here!”

Now, let's take a trip to 1949. Particularly notable is a July 11, 1949 document that refers to the government's desire to acquire "world-wide information on animal diseases and animal population" [italics mine]. And, one year later, the FBI was still collecting such data. On October 19, 1950, the FBI prepared a document titled Abnormal Loss of Hogs in Nebraska and Illinois that dealt with an unusually high number of hog deaths in the aforementioned states - as a result of cholera. The files, however, make it clear that, in official, FBI quarters, the nature of the animals’ deaths had been viewed with deep suspicion. It was concluded that the deaths were due to a "variant virus" or "atypical virus"” that stemmed from “local conditions and the physical conditions of the hogs.” The important factor, however, is that this document was found within a file specifically focused upon bacteriological warfare. In other words, the FBI was still looking closely at any and all animal deaths that might not have wholly conventional explanations.

So, we've seen that government concerns went back the First World War. Then, in the late 1940s the secret investigations were still going on. And, as was shown above, secret investigations of hogs in the 1950s took place. Then, a decade later, cattle mutilations began. I could have made this article at least a 4-part one, such is the sheer number of documents now available on the subject (if you know where to look). There are thousands and thousands of pages. Had cattle mutilations suddenly surfaced out of nowhere in 1967, I might be a bit more open to the alien angle. The fact is, though, that covert studies of America's cattle have been going on for around a century. Sometimes with the bodies of the dead left where they were covertly studied. Add to that a bit of government disinformation to the effect that all of this is due to aliens, then it's very easy to see how government agencies were able to undertake their secret studies and with the real (and far more disturbing) story kept hidden.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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