August 13, 2010 | By | 1 Comment

On Monday August 2Nd received the following sighting report from Whitney Ellis. (Permission was granted to use Whitney’s name, location of investigation and ranch ownership of animal is not publicized at this time pending the rancher’s approval)

Name: Whitney Ellis
Today, August 1, 2010 at 11:00AM upon entering the (censored) trail in Crested Butte, my boyfriend and I discovered a dead cow some distance from the trail head. We wandered to investigate the cow carcass expecting to find evidence of a wild animal attack but rather we discovered a bizarre and unnatural sight. The brain and ear of the cow appeared to have been removed (through surgical methods) and there was evidence of anal inflammation. No animal markings, blood or predator tracks were to be found. Additionally the cow was lying on its back in a stiff shocked position. * I have vivid photographs* the cow seemed to have been left undiscovered. The remainder of the herd left the cow alone until two hours later, upon completion of our hike; we found the herd surrounding the dead cow.

I want to emphasize that I’m not a veterinarian, rancher or sheriff. I was not able to examine the animal, so I could be wrong about my observations, specifically the removal of the brain, I am quite certain that the ear was removed.  I have notified the local police station.

(end of report)

Note: First I would like to thank Whitney for not only taking the initiative to investigate a dead animal that so many others either missed or didn’t care to examine, but also for researching and reporting the sighting to the website.

Upon receiving the sighting report, I immediately contacted Whitney to discuss her discovery.  This investigation is quite different than the other cattle mutilation cases I’ve investigated, and the big difference is, “This one is an eye witness initiated investigation”.  The other cases were initiated by the ranchers, so I had to pursue this one a little differently.

First, I needed to contact Whitney for a phone interview and pick up some necessary information.

Second, I needed to research the location of the animal and look for a history of mutilations in the area.

Third, I needed to contact the team and decide if we were going to do this investigation.

Fourth, I needed to contact the rancher for approval to run an investigation on the animal.

The interview with Whitney was quite interesting and I was delighted to learn that she is also a professional photographer so her vivid photographs were probably not so vivid.  Her pictures helped me and the team make the decision to take the 3 hour trek to Crested Butte, Colorado to take a look at this animal.

There have been animal mutilation stories coming out of this part of Colorado, but nothing recently and nothing I’ve ever investigated, so we were eager to see this one. One of my main concerns about doing cases like these are whether or not it’s an actual mutilation, or unknown death. As Whitney stated in her sighting report, she’s not a rancher which would make her unfamiliar with normal cattle deaths due to poisons, viruses, or predators, but she is a concerned eye witness which makes up the majority of reports we receive.  Animal mutilation investigations can be a “crap shoot” so to speak, by gambling with your time, resources and expenses.  I wasn’t completely prepared for this case because I couldn’t get the information I needed to contact the rancher.  Some initial information gathered put the exact location of the animal on public access land so I wasn’t too concerned about trespassing. But without the rancher’s initial permission my investigation becomes more of a “visual investigation” only touching an animal if I feel there was foul play. If evidence of foul play was present, then it makes the death a criminal case in which the rancher and the local authorities would have to be notified. Because time is of the essence with mutilation cases, I had to see the animal as quickly as possible.

Locating the animal was a bit of a challenge, we were given directions from the eye witness and wouldn’t have the luxury to be shown the location in person. Being unfamiliar with the area and hiking trails, we… well… we got lost. Oh we knew we were in Colorado, and hopefully still in the Crested Butte area, but “Where was that damn cow?” Sounds like a reality show. Ok, note to all you up and coming investigators out there. Find the actual site first and then carry all your investigative gear out there. Don’t do what I did and carry your gear hiking through the woods for more than 2 hours while looking for a cow which was actually 5 miles away. Oh the woes of being an investigator, at least it was a pleasant day’s hike. (I’m lying of course)

The following information is from my investigative notes:

Eye witness’s friend did not see the animal at this location during a hike on Saturday 07/31/2010.

Eye witness spotted the animal on Sunday 08/01/2010.

Eye witness contacted UFOnut website sightings report and was contacted on Monday 08/02/2010.

Investigation initiated on Tuesday 08/03/2010.

Type, age, weight, and medical history of animal: These particular stats are unknown without further communication with the rancher.

Animal was bloated and gas was released when rolled over (ok, it farted and it wasn’t pleasant).

Animal legs were in an unusual position and did not appear damaged. Normally the animals are laying on their left or right side; this one had its legs pointing up towards the sky. One explanation could be the bloating of the animal and the curvature of the land it was lying on. As the animal bloats (like a balloon) the animal could roll if on a slight incline.

There was no evidence the animal was dropped from any height.

Tail was removed leaving a stub. This could be scavenger damage because noticeable tail hair was seen nearby.

Animal was approximately 7 foot 5 inches from tip of nose to tail stub.

Estimated girth was 5 foot 8 inches.

Head length from tip of nose to lower jaw bone curve was 14 inches.

Estimated length of legs approximately 2 feet 6 inches.

Lower teeth were clean and not broken.

Tongue appeared to be missing.

Round circular hole in anal area approximately 11 x 5 inches. Not sure if original damage was of unknown origin, but it did appear to have slight scavenger damage by the time we saw it.

Small circular damage on stomach area due to bird scavenging. We viewed this.

Circular damage where right ear used to be approximately 9 x 4 inches.

Right eye damaged due to bird scavenging.

Left eye undamaged due to animal lying on left side.

Left ear was present with ranch tag attached.

EMF testing across body of animal yielded around 8 to 10 microteslas. This has been consistent with other mutilation cases I’ve investigated.

EMF testing near unusual circular damage on right side yielded 4 to 6 microteslas.

Hand held Metal detector sweep of entire animal showed no signs of metal detection.

I was unable to use my field metal detector due to damage sustained during transportation. I would normally sweep the ground around the animal looking for any type of anomalies.

Compass check showed no signs of unusual magnetic fields.

Animal was laying approximately 275 degrees towards the West, nose first.

The animal was lying in the center of a circular damaged grassy area. The eye witness reported seeing other cows circling the dead animal for a short period of time. This is interesting.

Circular incision on right side including the ear. Some hide is seen where the upper ear used to be.

Picture of mouth showing little damage and lack of a tongue.

Summary of investigation (pending further information):

This mutilation case is an interesting one. First it was initiated by an eye witness who took the time and went the extra mile to research and finds this website to report her sighting. Thank you Whitney. Second, I tried and couldn’t get in touch with the rancher before the investigation was initiated. I like to have the rancher or a representative from the ranch meet me at the location and observe my investigation. This way I can ask questions and answer any questions they may have during the investigation. I can also learn more about the history of animal. Third, because I wasn’t able to speak with the rancher before the investigation, I only performed a visual investigation on the animal only moving it once looking for possible gunshot entry and exit wounds.

When we finally located the animal we saw it was lying in an area where the general public has complete access. The animal was lying in the center of a circular impression at least 50 yards from the closest access trail. Upon walking up to the animal we viewed birds scavenging off the animal and noted the areas they were feeding from. The smell of the dead animal was not that overwhelming which seemed to coincide with a recently deceased animal within the time frame the witness had described.

Upon inspection of the circular wound on the right side of the head I was concerned it could be trauma due to a fire arms wound. I checked closely into the wound looking for any type of bone fragments or splintering of the skull due to bullet impact. I saw none. I took the initiative to flip the animal over to check for a possible entry or exit wound and noticed the animal tag located on the left ear. There were no signs of possible bullet damage.

Upon inspection of the mouth area no tongue was noticeable. Previous mutilation investigations I have worked on have had some cows with tongues and some cows with the tongues removed. Because I didn’t have the rancher’s permission to proceed further, I was only able to perform a visual inspection of the mouth.

The team was able to speak with some of the local residents and was informed that a bear had been seen off  in the distance earlier that day. The bear obviously picked up on the scent but was unable to venture closer to the animal probably due to the abundance of human traffic on the trail nearby. There were no signs of bear or predator kill evidence on the cow or near the scene. Either way we didn’t want any unwanted visitors helping us with our investigation so we picked up the pace.


The following day Wednesday 08/04/2010, I contacted the law enforcement agency within that area and talked with the police chief. (Agency name withheld at this time). He told me due to Whitney’s report he sent an officer to check on the animal. The officer reported back that it was his assumption the animal died of Monks Hood poisoning. Monks Hood is a weed which when eaten can be deadly to animals. Symptoms of the poisoning include bloating and paralysis which was seen on this animal. The officer also reported the cavity on the right side of the head was probably due to the rancher removing the ear to retrieve the tag. I informed the Police Chief the tag was located on the left ear, and there would be no reason for a rancher to cut into the skull of an animal to retrieve a tag, and (oh by the way) the tongue was also missing. I promised to send my investigative report and all my pictures to his department if a criminal case is opened in the future.

After repeated times calling and leaving messages with the ranch, I was finally able to speak with a family member associated with the ranch. They were not aware of the animal’s death and, while upset, expressed appreciation for the work we did and for reporting the dead livestock.  I gave them the ear tag number so they could trace the cow. I asked if they could send someone out to the site and look at the animal first hand and verify my findings, and then get back to me. At this time they have not returned my phone calls.

I’m not going to speculate the reasoning why I’m having such a difficult time communicating with the ranch; it may be nothing more than playing simple phone tag. In some cases, the ranch owners are not always present year-round.  Others are also worried about the ‘giggle factor’ when it comes to being associated with a paranormal investigation, no matter how seriously it’s taken by my team and the public that wants to understand what’s going on in these cases.  Nevertheless, I am persistent and will eventually talk with someone there. After I get their point of view on this matter I will release an up-dated blog. If they give me permission to release video of the investigation, then that will be released too! So at this time this is what I have to offer about this investigation.

Let it be noted that regardless of the outcome, we need to document these cases looking for any possible patterns. Still being fairly new to these investigations with now six under my belt, I still like playing the skeptic and not jump to any preliminary conclusions. I release the information and then let the readers communicate their personal opinions. Remember, cattle mutilation cases have been going on since the late ‘60’s with no one person being caught, tried or convicted. Police agencies not only across the US but in other countries have taken reports, investigated and have not been able to locate the culprits. These are real-life cold cases and are criminal acts regardless if they are human or even alien initiated. At this time I have seen no evidence of alien intervention, but I have seen evidence of extremely intelligent intervention. More intelligent than your run of the mill animal predators.

Of course if Yogi traded in his picnic basket for a degree in medical science, then all bets are off.

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Category: Cattle Mutilations, Chuck Zukowski, gore, The Z-Files

About the Author ()

For the past 28 years Chuck has been researching and investigating the UFO/Paranormal phenomenon. Chuck approaches his investigations with an analytical understanding, making sure to address all human known possibilities before venturing into the non-human or paranormal aspects of the sightings. (TV Shows in which Chuck's investigations have been featured on:) *2002, The Roswell Crash, Startling New Evidence: Documentary Sci-Fi Channel *2006, Sci Fi Investigates: Episode 5, The Roswell episode, Sci-Fi Channel *2009, Primetime: Outsiders, with Juju Chang, Alien Abductions, NBC *2010, SyFy Fact or Faked: Episode 6, San Luis Cattle Mutilation, SyFy Channel *2011, Chasing UFO’s, Episode 3, Alien Cowboys, San Luis Cattle Mutilation, Nat Geo *2013, Finding Bigfoot, Bailey Colorado episode, Animal Planet

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