'Mysterious' Cow Mutilations Spur Alien Theories

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The mysterious deaths of three cows on a remote Missouri ranch has spawned a variety of weird theories, from Satanic activity to aliens.

According to ABC's 10 News:

"Rancher Lyn Mitchell 'found the first mutilated cow in December 2011. 'She had obviously been cut on the side of her jaw,' Mitchell said. 'Her tongue was gone, her ear was gone.' She initially assumed the animal had fallen victim to teenagers or was part of a sacrificial ritual, until earlier this month. Mitchell made the next discovery on July 9. 'I looked first to see her tongue was gone, then immediately noticed the udder had been completely removed,' Mitchell said. The reproductive organs were gone too, Mitchell said.... Finally on July 19, Mitchell found the third cow. She said its heart was exposed, its teats were cut off and its tongue was cut out. Mitchell said the cuts all looked surgical with clean, precise incisions. And in all three deaths, Mitchell said there was no blood despite the animals' gaping wounds.'"

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It certainly sounds creepy and mysterious. So what's going on?

Mysterious Mutilations?

Mitchell's proposed explanations, though bizarre on their face, are not that far-fetched in the world of paranormal and conspiracy beliefs. That one or more people (it's not clear why teenagers were singled out) might harm a cow is certainly possible, but very unlikely. Surely most people - and especially most teenagers, even ones in rural Henry County, Mo. - have better things to do than drive to a remote ranch, park their vehicle, cross a fence, hike to an isolated area where one or more cows are grazing, kill one, and then cut out the animal's tongue, ear, or udder with a surgical instrument - especially during one of the worst heat waves in years.

The same is true for the idea that the cows died in some sacrificial ritual. Animal sacrifice has historically been a part of many religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism, though in modern America the practice is mostly limited to Afro-Caribbean religions such as Santeria. However these groups carefully choose, groom, and prepare their own sacrificial animals - typically goats, chickens, and sheep; they don't pick them at random from ranches and sacrifice them on the spot. As for Satanists, there is no evidence that true Satanic cults exist, much less tour rural midwest ranches looking for cows to kill and remove body parts from.

Then of course there's the theory that aliens in spaceships are responsible for killing cows and removing their organs. This claim, which has circulated for decades, raises a curious question: Just how many tongues, ears, and udders do these extraterrestrials need to answer whatever pressing research questions they have about Earth's cows?

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Surely any alien civilization advanced enough to master interstellar travel is competent enough to correctly analyze these cow parts the first time. After the first few hundred cow tongues and udders have been collected, what important information about cow taste buds or bovine teat mechanics could possibly elude the alien scientists after so much research?

Scientific Answers

The problem with this line of reasoning is that just because you can't explain something doesn't mean that the correct explanation must be something mysterious like Satanic cults or aliens. Had Mitchell consulted an expert on animal predation from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, she would likely have come to a different - and much more mundane - conclusion.

Often so-called "mysterious" wounds are actually created by ordinary predators and scavengers, both large (such as vultures, raven, and crows) and small (such as blowflies and maggots). In many cases, what has been described by ranchers and others as cuts with "surgical" precision turned out to be ordinary decomposition.

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Carrion animals eat soft tissues of the body cavities first - the mouth, tongue, anus, nose, eyes, and teats. That's why those are the parts that would be discovered "missing" in an animal discovered dead after several days or weeks. Without knowing what killed an animal, it's impossible to determine the exact time of death. Most "mysteriously killed" animals are found within a few days, which is plenty of time for an animal's soft parts to be completely gone.

This case is also typical in that the animals are said to have been drained of blood. This, too, has a scientific explanation. Blood will naturally begin to clot and coagulate after the animal dies, creating the appearance of a disappearance of blood. The blood of course hasn't gone anywhere. It has just partly dried up, and the water content has evaporated-especially likely given the sweltering heat that has baked the state. Unless the animal is professionally necropsied, it will appear that the carcass has been drained of blood - a process detailed in my book, "Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore."

So what did kill three of Mitchell's cows over the past three years? Cattle deaths are not unheard of, and can be caused by many things including lightning, dehydration, illness, injury, and predators. Mitchell believes that her cows did not die a natural death, however, and has vowed to install surveillance cameras on her ranch to identify the culprits. If the answer is anything but natural causes, we will likely hear about it.


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In many cases there is an absence of tracks of any kind including when the conditions are muddy or snow is on the ground. If humans are to blame for the tens of thousands of reported cases worldwide, than why has not a single person ever been convicted much less charged, Finally, ranchers have been on the land for generations so I think they know the difference between predation and something not normal.

October 07 2013 at 9:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Kay your aliens are pagan cult ritualists who offer these animals to their gods just like the bible and other religions who brutally had millions of animals suffer horrible deaths for their God Yahweh that still continue in today's worldwide societies. This is known as slaughterhouse religion from people who are unloving, uncompassionate, evil, corrupt, no pity, no mercy all done pagan cult religions for their blood-thirsty God and gods of religions. We have that precendence from these actions in today' societies in the form of: slaughterhouses, factory farms, fur farms, trapping, hunting, fishing, animal sports, bull fighting, cockfighting, dogfighting, vivisection, animal experimentation, etc. All because the Bible says so that we have dominion over the animals, that the animals have no soul, that God and Jesus says it is Ok to eat and wear animals. God and Jesus are Love and Compassion and Mercy to all His creation. The bible and other religions that believe are believing in the Devil and his followers who are just the opposite who the true God and Jesus are.

August 02 2013 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The cow is a major food source from the meat to the milk for so many human beings so yes ET study regarding cows could be possible. They the cows produce food for babies and for adults all over this world. Saw a foreign object in air before watched it for minutes was not man made 28 years ago and ill never forget

August 02 2013 at 7:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

These cow mutilations are being done by E.T.\'s so to speak because they are trying to understand how to exterminate us by altering the DNA structure of the cows which WE mostly consume, that\'s why they take the sex organs and they take the utter which of course is where the milk comes into play. Of all the species on planet earth WHY cows? Because they know that we eat them more than any other animal. They are interested in OUR planet and they have no room so to speak for us humans. This is why the government is keeping a lid on the entire alien thing but I have personal connections that have informed me that even though there are species out there that trying to keep us from total destruction of ourselves there are also certain species that care NOTHING of us and want us off the planet, which they could come down and wipe us out at their leisure but we have for lack of a better term guardian angel species that are keeping a close eye on them and think about it what better way to kill off something than to attack its food source. Why do you think all these new diseases have popped up all of a sudden and not to mention if you have seen any UFO documentaries a few of them show craft slowly coming down of neighborhoods and sprinkling some sort of shiny substance on trees then taking off all of a sudden MUFON has collected this substance and is puzzled\" gee that\'s a surprise\" about what it really is. Think about this WHY would you travel from lord knows where just to fertilize some trees? If you came upon a new species of intelligent life would you NOT WANT to know anything about them? No they are TOTALLY not here for our better interest THEY want our planet and WE are NOT in the plans for them to take care of. People you can call me anything you want but search your mind and what I have told you and it should give you a clearer picture of what is really going on. In case something happens to me I wanted the truth to be told before I mysteriously vanish or the government decided to silence me for good. I\'m dead serious people, planet earth is on the list of places to be overtaken by them and we need to know the truth being the government is waiting until we are just about totally wiped out in numbers, I.E. diseases and other forms of destruction before they tell the few remaining that they not only exist but have been here for a long time. It\'s no use for these doomsday men and women to prepare for what is going to happen only the government who is in direct contact with them can do anything about it. You can\'t dig a hole deep enough to escape from them and by the way keep your eye on H.A.A.R.P. That\'s all I can reveal for now hope- fully I can return on this subject at a later date. Thank you!!!

August 02 2013 at 5:00 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ddokken69's comment

Good comment, You sir are correct! It will not be much longer before a massive pandemic strikes! Stay safe and keep your head down and take what you need to keep your immune system strong... Remember there is strength in numbers even though these pricks are being helped by our government!

August 02 2013 at 8:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Practical Nomad

Just once it'd be nice to see a rancher who has video surveillance! The strangest thing is no blood to be found.

August 02 2013 at 2:38 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Jayme Talson

Stop with all the freaking hype! Its the act of yet more twisted things called humans! I use that term loosely! ....

August 02 2013 at 1:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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