A phenomenon often associated in the pop media with UFOs, satanic cults or the paranormal, but in the real world more likely connected with insurance. The typical scenario is like this: A farmer living in the middle of nowhere reports that he saw a flashing light (or other such vague UFO-ey evidence), and when he went outside to investigate, he found his cattle dead, with parts of their bodies cut off, but no blood on the ground!
The sci.skeptic FAQ has this to say:
The first publicized case of animal mutilation occurred on September 9, 1967.
The victim was a horse named Lady (mistakenly called Snippy by the press), who was found in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado. her body had been stripped of flesh from the neck up, with the rest of her untouched. There was no blood at the site. The cut around the neck was very smooth -- perhaps too smooth to have been made with a hunting knife. Her exposed skeleton was so white and clean, that it looked as though she had lain in the sun for days. But Lady had been alive and well only two nights before. Another odd thing was that, according to her owner, who found her, Lady's tracks stopped about one hundred feet southeast of her body, with no tracks of any kind between her and where she was found.

When Lady's owner returned to the site the following day, the soil beneath Lady was damp, and a medicine-like smell pervaded the area. Nearby was a bush that was flattened to within ten inches of the ground. Near the bush were fifteen circular marks pressed into the ground; close to that were six additional indentations in a three-foot circular configuration -- each was two inches across and four inches deep. Lady's owner also found a piece of horse flesh encased in skin. When she punctured it, she said, a sticky green paste came out, burning her. Alamosa County sheriff, Ben Phillips, was less impressed by the unusual elements at the scene and blamed the horse's death on lightening.

John Henry Altshuler, M.D., was a doctor of pathology and hematology at Ross Medical Center in Denver. He happened to be camping illegally in the area at the time of Lady's death. During his extended camping sojourn, he claimed, he saw three UFOs over the valley, and in fact had gone to the area in the first place because it was a UFO hotspot. Before long, park rangers apprehended him, but when they learned of his profession (medical hematologist), they brought him to see the horse.

Altshuler saw Lady ten to twelve days after her death. He conducted a thorough examination, and concluded that she had been surgically worked on with some type of burning instrument. 'Most amazing,' he said, 'was the lack of blood.' He added:

"I have done hundreds of autopsies. You can't cut into a body without getting some blood. But there was no blood on the skin or on the ground. No blood anywhere."
Upon looking at the inside of the horse's chest, he found no organs. "Whoever did the cutting," he continued, "took the horse's heart, lungs, and thyroid. The media sternum was completely empty -- and dry. How do you get the heart out without blood? It was an incredible dissection of organs without any evidence of blood."

The case finally made the press when the Pueblo Chieftain reported it on October 7, replete with all UFO connections. Soon, everyone came out to investigate: the Colorado Project, Blue Book, NICAP, and APRO had their own people on the scene. All but APRO attributed Lady's death to conventional causes. Still, the theory connecting mutilations to UFOs retained its defenders, especially after the mid-1970s, when a wave of animal mutilations spread throughout the western U.S. Following APRO's lead, MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) gave credence to the UFO connection, and Linda Moulton Howe placed herself at the forefront of the issue with her film and book, Strange Harvest. But while the phenomenon did not become widespread for several years hence, there were still a significant number of animal mutilation reports that followed in the wake of Lady's death. In Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, and western Colorado, animal mutilation reports were made through 1968."

--Richard Dolan, UFO's and the National Security State p336-337 with references.

Since this first case until 2001, there have been approximately 10,000 mutilation reports.
Animal mutilations became widespread throughout the American West during the 1970s, especially in Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. They also occurred in such eastern states as Pennsylvania and Florida. But the phenomenon was global, reaching Canada, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Brazil, parts of Europe, the Canary Islands, and Australia.

As mutilations became common, cases arose which defied simple explanations. Frequently, the anal area of the animal was bored out and the reproductive organs removed. The cuts seemed to be precise, very smooth, and in a few cases, a near perfect circle of hide was removed from the belly. Often the eyes, tongue, ears, and reproductive organs were missing. Usually there were no signs of struggle, nor of blood -- either in the victim's body or anywhere at the site -- and predators often avoided the carcass. Even more strange, there were frequently no tracks around the animal other than its own.

Many mutilatioins appeared to coincide with sightings of nearby UFOs, as well as mysterious, unmarked, black helicopters.{. . .}

Beyond question, the phenomenon of mutilated cattle was real. In Minnesota, twenty-two cases of mutilated cattle carcasses were reported between 1970 and 1974. In Iowa, so many reports emerged that U.S. Attorney General Alan Donielson asked the FBI in 1973 to make "an intensive investigation." Between 1973 and 1975, the state of Colorado confirmed more than 130 cattle mutilations. {. . .}

John Altshuler, who had examined Lady in 1967, later examined many such cases during the 1990s and found lesions "consistent with electrosurgical excision." Other researchers continued to find abnormally high radiation levels near the dead animals.

---ibid p.376-377

Many theories exist as to the reasons behind animal mutilations. Another node under this same heading succinctly outlines the Skeptic's view regarding the matter.

An albeit more unusual theory offers. . .

Aliens descending to our realm need to consume blood product to survive. (Though not through oral ingestion, but rather through dermal absorption.) Humans are also taken, it is claimed; thousands of children each year from less developed nations, such as India, where population tracking is less reliable and abductions are easier to perpetrate without causing social upset. But in the West, too many humans taken would threaten to raise awareness beyond 'acceptable' levels.

Interestingly enough, A significant portion of the animal mutilations are described as being copy-cat actions performed by covert military operation, (those associated with black helicopters). This effort is made in order to confuse researchers and keep the truth from leaking out. --That truth being, "Humans really are cattle. We are Food."

This claim, according to the Cassiopeia channeled material, is certainly outlandish and frightening. It would be very nice to rationalize the animal mutilation phenomenon into something more benign, (like an insurance ploy, as suggested by the Skeptic camp). However, the facts simply do not support any of the less fantastic attempts so far used to explain the phenomenon. Perhaps with better reporting structures and scientific investigative techniques the truth can be learned by the public in a manner which will be acceptable to all parties.

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