Mutilations of Cattle: Terror in Colorado Ranchers Arm Selves as Mystery Killings, Butchery Increase

ISGP section: UFO press reports index

Los Angeles Times
September 11, 1975
Times Staff Writer


KIOWA. Colo.—The heifer, a 700-pound black Angus, was lying in a pasture about a mile off the nearest dirt road, about five miles from town. It was bloated, perhaps twice its normal size, its legs protruding stiffly into the air.
Sheriff George Yamell, circling the carcass, said it probably hadn't been dead more than a day. He poked the animal with the toe of his boot, disturbing a swarm of flies.
In a seemingly effortless gesture, Yarnell grabbed the animal by a leg and flipped it over to see if its left eye was missing. It wasn't. Neither was the left ear, the heart, the sex organs, the lips nor the tongue.
All they had taken this time was the rectum. But that had been removed in the usual expert manner. The hole was almost a perfect, smooth circle where the blade had been.
"Hell, this is the least I seen done to one of 'em so far," Yarnell said. He shrugged and shoved his pipe into his mouth, without lighting it.
Then Elbert County Sheriff George Yarnell, a big, weather-beaten man of about 50, dressed in the stained Stetson and grimy cowboy boots standard to this part of Eastern Colorado, went to work.
First he photographed the mutilated area from several angles. Then he searched the rest of the carcass for some clue as to how the cow might have been killed. There was none, not even a needle mark, although the animal apparently had died instantly, without struggle.
This one. Yamell commented almost casually, had been eating. Grass was still hanging from the half-open mouth. The cow hadn't even glanced around.

  Yarnell finally pulled out his knife to get a skin sample for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Rancher Loren Green, his wife, Lee, and two neighbors, both younger men in their 30s, watched as the sheriff crouched down and grabbed a loose flap of skin firmly with one hand. With the other he began hacking away at a strip about 3 inches wide, 5 inches long. His blade was dull.
"Hey, George, you ain't cuttin' that critter as smooth as them other fellows," cracked Green, a small, tight smile on his face. Yamell, by nature a man of few words, only grunted.
The silence was broken only by the distant lowing of Green's cattle. Perhaps instinctively, the entire herd had moved to the far end of the pasture, huddled beneath a thick cluster of towering blue spruce.
Beyond, to the west, the peaks of the Rocky Mountains rose into the clouds. But here, 6,500 feet above sea level, there were no clouds. Only a perfect, clear blue sky to the eastern horizon, and miles of gentle, rolling pastures in between, blanketed with tall, yellow grass, graceful spruce and a few windmills turning in the light morning, breeze.
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