While at work on the morning of May 17th 2011, I was contacted by rancher Manuel Sanchez from San Luis Colorado, about a possible mutilated cow. This is Manuel’s sixth mutilated animal since 2006, so he’s quite familiar with these strange types of deaths. His last mutilation in which I investigated, occurred in November of 2009. He actually lost four young calves within less than a month during that time period, with the fourth being the one I investigated. His 2006 mutilated case was featured on the Syfy Channel’s show, Fact or Faked, in which their lack of investigative expertise made their team look foolish thus tarnishing that mutilation case. What a shame.
UFOnut investigative team member Matt and I, rolled on this case leaving Colorado Springs by noon on the same day. Upon arriving in the San Luis area at 2:40 that afternoon, a simple phone call enabled us to meet with Manuel in person. We then followed him just outside of town, down a long dirt road, through a gated fence, into a pasture where the animal laid. A quick rolling down of the truck window told us we were in the right area, because off in the distance was the animal laying on its left side.
The following are some of my field investigative notes:
Date of field investigation, Tuesday May 17th, 2011.
Location of mutilation was San Luis, Colorado.
The rancher found his animal the morning of 05/17/2011 after re-checking the head count realizing he was down by two animals. One female cow and a one month old calf were unaccounted for.
The last time the rancher saw this animal was on 05/13/2011. Based on the condition of the animal, assumptions are it was killed on either late Saturday May 14th or early Sunday, the 15th.
Another rancher in the area very recently spotted the carcass and flash burned the animal so as to keep his dogs and scavengers from feeding on it. Flash burning a dead animal is normal procedures for ranchers in this area, unfortunately he didn’t realize he was destroying any attempts for an investigator to gather valuable evidence for a lab. Rancher Sanchez was unaware of the flash burning until he found the animal.
The mutilated cow is a 1.5 year old female who had a 1 month old calf.
A 1 month old calf was found dead lying in a stream about 300 yards from the mutilation site. Cause of death appears to be drowning. Due to the recent rains and snow melt, the streams can be deeper at times which is normal.
The dead calf is not believed to be the offspring of the mutilated cow. Another female cow was spotted by the rancher leaving the herd as if she was looking for her calf.
The mutilated cow’s calf appears to be with the rest of the herd due to a good head count. The calf was recently weaned from nursing but is unusual the calf was not with the mother. Even though calves may not be nursing, generally within the first couple of months the calf usually stays near its mother.
The animal’s estimated weight was 900 to 1000lbs.
Upon arrival to the mutilated carcass, it appeared the burning was not as severe as we thought. We were still able to perform a standard investigation but without taking flesh or soil samples.
Both eyes were present with no apparent bird damage.
The tongue was present but slightly scorched due to the flash burning.
There was an extremely large void of hide exposing the majority of the rib cage area between the forelegs. The hide was completely void in that area with no trace evidence of it nearby. Estimated size of cut was approximately 27 inches by 42 inches respectively and the edges of the hide were slightly burned.
Part of the abomasum (digestive track) appeared to be expanding outwards and out-gassing due to bloating.
The right front leg was stripped of flesh from the radius through the knee joint. The cannon (lower leg) was still covered with hide. There appeared to be serrated marks along the edge of the exposed knee joint. (Possible scavenger markings.)
No high EMF readings were measured.
No metallic substances were found during a magnetic wand sweep.
No unusual cuts or markings were seen after the animal was flipped over.
Overall dimension of the animal was 81 inches in length and estimated girth of 86 inches.
The animal’s body was positioned pointing 65 degrees North/East.
No apparent signs of predator take-down evidence were seen which would include, clawing, biting, and other prints.
No apparent signs of struggling, and no soil movement was seen near the edges of the hoofs.
Land survey surrounding the animal showed no unusual markings in the soil. Animal tracks left by the dead animal were found in soft soil following a nearby fence. The hoof tracks did not show an injured cow had made them, appearing normal compared to older tracks found nearby. The assumption was made the animal was not previously injured before the mutilation.
Costilla County Sheriff’s department responded to the mutilation.
When the animal was flipped over it exposed an outline of the body between the burned grass and the untouched grass. What is unusual about this cave-like-drawing silhouette left by the animal, was the exact outline of the body in the soil showing no movement in the soil whatsoever. The animal appeared to either have died with no struggle or was laid there after death.
The absence of hide from this animal is reminiscent to the horse mutilation damage I investigated last year in Rush Colorado. It definitely appears the hide was removed unnaturally and not by predators or scavengers.
Animal death classified, “Unknown”…