Montana Cattle Mutes Baffle Authorities
From: Stig Agermose <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 02 Jul 2002 02:24:16 +0200
Fwd Date: Tue, 02 Jul 2002 22:51:33 -0400
Subject: Montana Cattle Mutes Baffle Authorities
Source: Las Vegas Weekly via AlterNet
Rural Cow Mutilations Baffle Authorities
Kate Silver, Las Vegas Weekly
January 23, 2002
If there's a black market for cow organs, someone in Montana may
be rolling in moo-lah. After the mutilation of 12 to 15
(depending on who you talk to) cows and steer in about seven
months, folks in sleepy Pondera County are baffled. They're
still hoping that National Institute for Discovery Science
(NIDS), a place known for using the scientific method to explore
such anomalies as UFOs, cattle mutilations and other
controversial topics, can answer who, or what, is behind these
It began in June. A Montana farmer discovered that some kind of
unauthorized surgical procedure had been performed on his cow-
one that left it dead and lacking blood, organs and hide. By
now, it's happened to many more. Whoever or whatever has been
mutilating the cattle leaves behind no evidence, not even
footprints. It's so mysterious that the townsfolk don't know
whether to blame the government, aliens or satanic cults -- but
the mutilations are nothing new. They seem to come in spurts
every 10 years or so, according to Pondera County Commission
Chair Bill Rappold. Only this time seems different, more
extensive. Locals say it's the largest wave of bovine butchery
since the 1970s, when 62 mutilations occurred in this area of
Montana. And they're getting frustrated.
Ruby Bouma knows about this frustration firsthand. She and her
husband, Glen, found their 9-month-old steer calf sliced up Nov.
1. Puzzled by its death, they're almost equally confused by the
"When an animal dies, a predator, whether it be a coyote, wolf,
whatever, they will chew into the animal and make a large enough
hole so they can start eating into the flesh," Ruby explains.
"... Nothing had eaten on this animal (almost two months after
it was killed). "If you lose a calf you just take it back in the
pasture and the predators will take care of it. ... In the
mutilated ones, these wild animals won't do that. Why? I don't
know. How are they dying? I don't know." She's certainly not
alone in her confusion.
That's where the National Institute for Discovery Science comes
in. Last June, the institute acquired its first sample from one
of the mutilated Montana animals. "It interested us because
underneath the left jaw, under the bone, was an area of what
investigators described as green tissue, in contrast to the
remaining tissue, which was the usual pink," says NIDS Deputy
Director Colm Kelleher.
The head was shipped to NIDS, where a battery of tests was
performed. NIDS also acquired a dead cow from a slaughterhouse
to use as a control in the experiment. They allowed the cow to
decompose under natural conditions for four days, protected from
scavengers. Samples were taken and compared to the mutilated
cow, and a surprising difference was found. A substance called
oxindole was found in the mutilated cow but not in the control
sample. "Oxindole has, at the kinds of concentration we found it
in, been used as an experimental sedative," explains Kelleher.
"It could have been used to drug the animal prior to or during
the mutilation. We haven't nailed that down but that's one of
the uses of oxindole."
So they've found a starting point, which comes as small relief
to Pondera County folk. Only time will tell whether their
discovery is significant; that is, if oxindole is found
consistently in other mutilated cattle. And that, of course,
depends on the mutilator striking again. The townsfolk know this
and, at least for Ruby, the prospect is frightening. "What will
be next?" Ruby ponders. "Why haven't these people, or whoever's
doing this, why haven't they done horses or sheep? Why haven't
they done other kinds of animal? And if it gets to (mutilating)
people, then we really need to get it under control. The most
scary part is the unknowing. When you don't know any answers,
that's what's weird."
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