Reports of cattle mutilation date back to the 1970s when farmers across North America began to report the strange deaths of their livestock. In most cases organs such as eyes, ears and genitals were removed with surgical precision. Some farmers claimed their cattle were completely drained of blood. No evidence could be found of the assailants and local police officers were stumped. As time passed, residents began to create their own theories behind the strange attacks. Ranging from cults to aliens, all possibilities were considered as the incidents continued.
Beginning in fall of 1973, residents of Minnesota and Kansas began to report occurrences of cattle mutilations. Investigators found vital organs removed with amazing precision that left no traces of who performed the procedures. Deputy Gary Dir reported that a "large majority of these mutilations occurred near occupied houses" and that no animal carcasses were found farther then a quarter-mile from a road.
In December of 1973, about a dozen Kansas sheriffs met to discuss to the problem. After several meetings, the officers decided cultists were to blame for the strange deaths. Lincoln County Sheriff Albert Thompson, of Minnesota, was skeptical after investigating several cases. Thompson found most of the animals dead of natural causes and small animals had caused the "mutilations." Blackleg, a common and fatal disease only in livestock, was found to be the real killer after a Kansas State University Veterinary Laboratory performed several tests. Many rural people, however, still believed in the cultist theory.
By the end of 1970s, newspapers and other media began to claim thousands of cattle had been killed under unknown circumstances. Paranoia began to take hold of several rural towns. As time went on, four main theories became accepted by the masses: cultists, biological tests by the government, aliens and natural deaths that had been over exaggerated.
Some data, however, linked cultists to deaths in Alberta, Montana and Idaho, but nothing conclusive came from the investigations. Strange poison was found in some bodies and several cloaked figures were seen, but officials could not form a concrete explanation.
In 1975, Donald Flickinger was assigned by the U.S. Treasury Departments Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division to study cult activity and the mutilations. Nothing came of his investigation, though, as his main informant was falsifying information to escape from jail. Black helicopters and a government issued blue bag (with artificial insemination gloves, bloody scalpel, cow ear and tongue) were found.
In 1979, the First Judicial District of New Mexico received $40,000 from the Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Administration to investigate mutilations. Former FBI agent Kenneth Rommel led the investigation and found that no evidence of mutilations was found. Rommel claimed the mutilations were a manufactured legend created by the media. Mute Evidence, written by Daniel Kagan and Ian summers, put the blame on UFO investigators.
It appears the cattle mutilation scare was nothing more then a legend created by those who were searching for one.