Q: How far back do mysterious cases of livestock mutilation go?
A: The first wave of unexplained livestock deaths occurred in 1606 in England. Hundreds and hundreds of sheep were reported mutilated near London.
Q: And more recently?
A: You had cases in Canada in the mid 1960s. You had a ton of cases in the late 1970s to the early 1980s in Alberta. The RCMP chief investigator was running himself all over B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan. There were dozens and dozens of reports coming out in the early 1980s.
Q: How many cases have you investigated?
A: Somewhere around 200 (in Colorado and New Mexico). My least favourite thing in the world to do is to get called out on a cattle mutilation investigation. I can’t stand the smell of dead rotting flesh. I can’t stand to see the shock and horror in the rancher’s eyes, to deal with a traumatized family, to deal with law enforcement that feels embarrassed and impotent. To me it’s the stuff of high drama and quite frankly I’m not into high drama. I really don’t like doing it but somebody has got to do it.
Q: So what’s going on?
A: A lot of cases are just scavenger action — magpies, crows, birds. The first thing I look for is cut hair follicles. If a knife or other instrument has gone through and cut the hair in a straight line, I know I have a case that was perpetrated by something with intelligence. Out of 200 cases, 40 of the cases I’ve personally investigated were highly suspect. Out of those, I had 6, maybe 7 cases that really, to me, were just jaw-dropping and scary. It’s really complicated and unless you’re a veterinary pathologist with a budget, you’re not going to be able to come up with a real report that indicates how the animal died and how it was disfigured. This whole thing with UFOS or aliens, sure it sounds great but only one or two per cent of cases have the anecdotal evidence to support that. We’ve also heard of hundreds of cases of helicopters being seen in conjunction with mutilations.
Q: RCMP suggested to the victims of the recent incident in Madden, Alberta, that the dead cow could have digested poisonous herbs that cease digestion and cause gas explosions. What do you make of that theory?
A: That’s ludicrous. I’ve never ever heard of that explanation. In terms of an explosion, there’s a reason why we use cowhide on our shoes, it’s extremely tough. I’ve researched tens of thousands of cases, investigated 200 personally, and I’ve never heard of that explanation by law enforcement.
Q: Why are you so interested in the topic?
A: When you go and talk to ghost-hunters or UFO investigators, it’s all anecdotal. With the unexplained livestock death phenomenon, you have thousands of pounds of physical evidence. It’s the only so-called ‘paranormal phenomena’ that leaves behinds pounds of physical evidence…The more I know and the more I think I know (about this topic), the more I realize I don’t know.
Q: The cover of your book is kind of spooky. Tell me more about it.
A: I wanted the various types of potential explanations to be appearing in one image. You have a helicopter with a line coming down from it hovering silently in the clouds. On the left you have this weird cloud formation that looks like a mouth coming down and pulling the cow up in the air. The cow is glowing like the UFO concept. I wanted something that would appeal to everyone that has a particular leaning towards a theory they feel is going on.
This interview has been condensed and edited.