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Now, this was all told to me by my husband's great grandfather, just prior to his passing last year. He hadn't mentioned it to me beforehand, because he hadn't realized I was into the "unknown" and, being a sound, logical man, he never really came to terms with what plagued his ranch for almost a decade and cost him close to two-hundred heads of cattle in total, plus a few dogs and a couple of horses.
GG had a ranch of over a thousand acres in Montana (actually on the small side for a MT ranch). It was passed to him from his father in the early 50's. From roughly 1956-1967, the following occurred.
The first time was just as fall had started to move in and, as anyone from MT will tell you, the winds get kind of rough. There had also been some issues with a male mountain lion over the previous months, but he only claimed two heads of cattle in total. This one evening, GG noticed that his head count for the day had been off by three, but didn't think much of it because of the size of the ranch; it wasn't uncommon to miss a few and have them wander back within a few days.
The following morning, one of his hands (a teenager who helped him on weekends and before school) found him doing whatever in one of the barns. He said the boy was six different shades of green. Now, MT boys in that day weren't easily sickened. Dead animals were what happened. This kid could barely get a word out, so GG got on his horse and followed the boy out to a large tree some of the cattle rested near in the summer. This was way out on the property and GG couldn't recollect exactly how long it took to get from the barn area to the tree, but it was out there. On the ground were his three missing cattle. Two cows and a calf.
Immediately, something was off. Firstly, no mountain lion was going to kill three heads and three cows certainly weren't going to stay in one spot while a predator attacked. Then he got closer. No blood. Anywhere. Their bellies had been slit open with more precision then a first class butcher (his words). No bite marks or bullet holes. He told the boy to ride back to the house and ask his wife to call the police.
While he waited, he kept examining. He bred cattle for meat, not dairy, so he was familiar with how a cow was to be butchered, where their organs were, the like. He put the no blood thing aside and began to look inside the two adult females. One had her entire reproductive system removed, and the area where it had been looked almost charred. She also had several organs in places they just shouldn't have been. They weren't just thrown back into the torso- they were neatly placed, just in the wrong areas.
The second adult female had one of her stomachs removed, as well as her uterus and tongue (Later, after a necropsy by a local vet, GG would find out her brain had also been removed, although her head lacked any markings). The calf was young and male and had his testicles removed, along with his eyes (the sockets had a similar charred look to them), even a kidney. He was completely confused and frustrated.
The police finally made it out there, although it took several hours. I forgot to mention that he also told me that his horse was not fond of the scene and, despite some blaming it on the smell of blood, he knew his horses and swore this was a whole other class of "spooked". Anyway, the police came, surveyed the scene, took a few pictures and took GG back to the house for a stiff drink and an interview. At first, they wanted to blame it on teenagers. GG pointed out the precision, lack of blood and the fact there were no horse tracks near the site. Then they thought it may be a female mountain lion teaching her cubs to hunt. Again, GG shut them down. No blood, not a drop, the charred bits, no claw or teeth marks and the delicate removal of particular organs.
Now, in this day and age, there were still such thing as old fashioned cattle drives. The previous year GG had helped a fellow rancher with one. During the drive, GG got separated in a huge thunderstorm and pretty damn cold temperatures. He came across a family of Crow Indians who took him in for the night, fed him and traded his horse for a fresh one in the morning. Racism against Native Americans in that area was rampant back then (but, surprisingly, not against African Americans. Just thought that was weird) and he had gotten some guff around town for what happened. The police began to question if, perhaps, his thanks and sticking up for some local Crow had pissed anyone off bad enough that they would do that. Nope. Guff was all he got and again he brought up the fact that there were no tracks out anywhere near the bodies. None of any kind, except for cattle.
The police left as stumped as he was, so he called in a local vet to necropsy the bodies. The vet confirmed that there was not a drop of blood left in the bodies and confirmed his findings about the missing organs. The vet also failed to recreate the charred look using the body of a cow that had died of natural causes several days earlier and was being tested for diseases.
About a month later, a friend and fellow rancher was visiting and GG was going over what happened that day. His friend mentioned an old family story of something similar happening in the early 1900's to part of his family living in Wyoming. No blood, missing organs, no nothing. GG didn't feel so crazy after that.
Five or six months later, it happened again, but this time it was over a dozen heads of cattle. That time of year it's still snowing in MT and he said the sight of these butchered cows in the midst of pure white snow just shook him to the bone. This time was the same as the first, but several of their hind legs had been cut clean off and there was no trace of them.
This continued, with varying frequencies, for years. Sometimes a few times a week, sometimes months would go by. Sometimes it was two to three cows, one time it was twenty-three. He hired hands to patrol the ranch at night, looking for answers, but none ever spotted a thing, or if they did, they didn't say out of fear of looking crazy. In the early sixties, he lost several good cattle and hunting dogs in a period of one year; all found in similar states to the cattle, but those times were very close to the house which was very disturbing, and in 1964 he found a horse in its stall, dead and mutilated in almost the same exact manner as his cattle.
He logged hundreds of reports with local police and, when he began really talking with other ranchers, he found out that he was far from the only one. The others simply didn't report it, because they had no one or anything to blame. One rancher reported that he butchered one of the mutilated cows for meat and his wife and children, as well as himself, became very ill afterwards. A strange rash covered their bodies, their feet and hands swelled, and they suffered from intense migraines for almost two weeks. Doctors were baffled and offered no official diagnosis.
After he sold the ranch and moved to another part of the state in the late sixties, he tried to forget about everything that had happened there. He did, until a new show came on TV; In Search Of, hosted by Leonard Nimoy. He was watching an episode one day when all of a sudden there it was. Mutilations like he had experienced and ranchers telling stories, just like he had.
One rancher on the episode claimed to have staked out his property at night and had seen strange and inexplicable lights in the sky almost every time a head turned up mutilated. The rancher plainly stated that in his mind the only answer was UFO's and aliens. GG first found this answer to be ridiculous and a bunch of bullshit. Then he thought about it and even picked up a book at the local library that covered all sorts of first hand UFO/alien encounters. After awhile, he admitted to himself that it WAS the ONLY logical answer to what had happened over that decade or so.