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Four Dead Cows  June 25, 2005

SeptimusH — June 25 @ 12:04am

In the last month. Three dead in this county one in the next over, one’s my neighbor’s. When I was in town I heard ranchers in the hardware store where they like to talk and some are worried that it’ll be like it was in Pondera County in Montana, not only in the 70s where like 60 or something cases were reported, but in 2001 they had 12-15 mutilations.

I think about Dale’s cow Lucy and that she felt light. I didn’t see blood or anything like tracks it seems like a coyote would have left that and round her head and neck it was all bare bone, especially along the jaw. I didn’t see a tongue.

The cow in the county north of here had two of it legs broken. The second cow after Lucy apparently had no utter or sex organs, and the digestive tract was cored out they said. One rancher said “wide like a Crisco can.” I wished he hadn’t said that right away. The third cow was taken to a local vet for a quick look and he said the cuts look too clean for wild animals and scavengers. At least that’s what one of the men said. One of them said it was all crap and left. When that happened they looked at me listening to them and I walked away. The rancher types don’t like the way I look too much but they could be just as responsible as I am.

I probably shouldn’t have but I looked up stuff on the internet when I got home. In the recent Montana case they found something called oxindole, an experimental sedative in one of the cows corpses. Back in 1998 there was a cow mutilation in Cache County, Utah and investigators found a blue gel containing formaldehyde around the eye, ear, and anus of the animal. I need to stay off the internet at night because you get to the point where you think you see shadows moving in your house out of the corner of the eye.

Reading about cattle mutilation doesn’t make it easy to sleep I can tell you. When I was young Mom used to say to me that if I had too much imagination at night I should just recite the words to “I am a Child of God” in my mind and it would help clear away scary thoughts. Don’t laugh but I still do that sometimes, a lot of times. Lead me, guide me, walk beside me. Over and over. Thank God, for that song.

I also do this relaxation technique where you imagine you can see through your eyelids as you lie there. This way I don’t see Lucy. You breathe deeply until you can see all the details of your room with your eyes shut. Sometimes I open my eyes to check and it’s exactly like I saw my room with my eyes closed. It helps me fall asleep and dream because I feel like if something did happen I could see it coming.


  1. Septimus, what are you doing online at 12:04 a.m., buddy? And I thought we talked about how you were going to lay off the mushrooms.

    Greg Fox — June 25, 2005 @ 9:28am
  2. Seriously, you’re being paranoid man. Ranchers aren’t gutting their own cattle, no one’s doing experiments on Dale’s livestock. My grandparents are farmers and they always say about nature that this world is a lot bigger and with a lot more things going on than we think it is. You’re grasping at explanations that (1) are freaking the hell out of you, (2) don’t take into account any number of other possible rational factors, and (3) are the product of supersticion and living in the middle of freaking nowhere. The world is a lot less sci fi, Sep. By any chance, have you been watching reruns of X-Files while you’ve been researching cow mutilations? You’re getting scared over nothing, Sep. Life is normal.

    Greg Fox — June 25, 2005 @ 9:40am
  3. Maybe it’s just cow tipping gone awry.

    Susan M — June 25, 2005 @ 12:36pm
  4. I’m sorry for the cow in Cache County. My patented blue-gel eye/ear/anal creme (now with formaldehyde!) is meant only –as it says right on the box– for use by humans and nocturnal sea birds.

    Justin H — June 25, 2005 @ 1:05pm
  5. According to Desolation Jones, cows are mutilated by surgically altered CIA agents.

    DKL — June 25, 2005 @ 7:39pm
  6. One, two, three, four… five, six… SEPTIMUS! Just kidding.

    My advice? Get a small dependent creature to live with you. When I used to be home alone at night, I almost always got really, really spooked. But now that I’m home with my two small dependent children, I have to be brave and rational for them, and I almost always am. Except when the possums walk across my patio to get to the diaper pail, which they root through every night about 11:45, just a few feet away from me at my computer. They’re seriously creepy.

    Rosalynde — June 26, 2005 @ 12:22am
  7. I live in the Cache valley. Last year during calving season we got a call that one of our cows was down at about 3:00 am. Went out and it was about 20 below. When I got there the cow had been cut upen like a big circle and the calf was gone. There was no blood. My boss said that was because it was frozen but it wasnt. I felt the carkus and it was warm.

    Jared — June 26, 2005 @ 1:54am
  8. Who called you at 3am to tell you a cow was down?

    Susan M — June 26, 2005 @ 11:42am
  9. At least it wasn’t a piper.

    Justin H — June 26, 2005 @ 3:07pm
  10. while calving season is going on we have a pretty good idea of when a cow is going to calf pluss all the cows in the country are calving at about the same time. Someones cow is calfing at any given time so if we see trouble when we are out well call whoever owns the cow and let them know.

    Jared — June 26, 2005 @ 4:34pm
  11. I don’t know that I should be surprised that no one’s taking my thoughts seriously and even mocking my ideas some. Greg, after reading your post on freakanomics it’s clear you’re smart, probably smarter than me (and I don’t do mushrooms) but I ought to tell you that I have considered deeply natural explanations for what seems to be happening to the cows where I live. Predators and scavengers would leave tracks and bitemarks. Even cows when they die naturally kick around leaving marks. None of those things have been reported locally and I saw nothing like that when I saw my neighbor’s cow. In many cattle mutilation cases the animals are seen alive shortly before they are found dead and eyewitnesses actually report that both domestic animals and natural scavengers steer clear of the bodies. Not to mention that wounds have shown signs of surgical excision, clean lacerations and tissues have shown signs of overheating and no bacteria–not typical on dead animals. I can’t explain it as well as these essays I found by a man with a PHD see here and here. I thought these articales were balanced.

    I have always tried to be open to ideas. What gets me what I don’t understand is how people who are deeply religious are often so close-minded to different ideas. I’ve always tried to be and people will say I’m odd, but if you think about it religous people should be the most open to unlikely explanations. I don’t want to offend anyone, but the idea that an angel revealed the location of ancient gold plates buried in the ground seems as unlikely to some as cows getting mutilated systematically. Understand I think both could be true. There’s about 2000 cases of cow mutilation reported each year and both government (FBI) and private investigation conducted. Hard scientific evidence is gathering up and I consider myself spiritual, but I think a lot of religions don’t even bother to offer hard evidence of their claims. So I don’t know. That’s all I’m saying is I don’t know. To me that’s the smart thing to say.

    I’m tired. It’s late. I need to go to bed, but Jared I also saw this report about a calf being mutilated in Northeast Utah that sounded like your experience. Warning: gross pictures. Seriously consider not looking.

    SeptimusH — June 27, 2005 @ 3:10am
  12. You hit on it septimus! Folks dont belive because they are afraid. Its like my uncle. He thinks no man has been to the moon because a general athority once said we never would. They think its a slip slope or whatever. I for one think why not. Book of mormon doesnt say anything about this type of thing. Im not saying its supernatral anything but folks cant just dismiss it.

    Jared — June 27, 2005 @ 5:48pm
  13. Tom Green did a show on cow mutilations. It was pretty funny.

    DKL — June 27, 2005 @ 5:57pm
  14. Point taken, Septimus. I was being condescending, didn’t mean to make you feel dumb. And in case you haven’t read the comments on Freakonomics, all five commenters systematically dismantled this book that I totally believed.

    I feel uncomfortable thinking about things like this. More uncomfortable than talking about mastubration, which is going on a lot around here too. I think we live in a pretty good world with pretty good people, and getting all worked up is generally a bad idea. But this is easier to believe in suburban Southern California than North Dakota. So maybe the question isn’t what’s really going on, but why are you living in that God-forsaken place where you have to think about things like that.

    Greg Fox — June 28, 2005 @ 11:16am

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