Urban Legends

Animal Mutilations, Urban Legend or Extraterrestrials?

Animal mutilations have been fodder for Urban Legends since the 50s. Now, cattle mutilations are in the news, again.

Reports of animal mutilations started occurring as early as 1606. But the Urban Legend didn’t gain momentum until 1967 when Snippy the horse got… well, snipped in Colorado. Forty-five miles from where I live today. (There is a chilling coincidence here that is explained farther down in the blog.)

First Investigation

Snippy’s History 1967

The horse’s owner, Nellie Lewis, found three-year-old Snippy dead. Someone, or something, had peeled the skin from the poor horse’s head and neck down to the bones. Numerous precise incisions appeared over the body. The killer had skillfully sliced open the skull and removed its brains, which were never found.

There was no blood at the scene and Snippy’s tracks were one-hundred feet from the body. However, a strong medicinal odor dominated the area, reports say. Those present said the horse looked as if it had been dead for months. Although it had only been two days since Snippy’s disappearance.

Lewis touched a piece of the horse’s flesh and it badly burnt her hand. US Forest Service ranger, Duane Martin, using a Geyer counter, found significant radioactive readings in the area surrounding the corpse. Additionally, not far from the body, they found landing marks some type of unknown equipment made.

Not surprising, authorities—vets, Sheriff investigators, even the FBI—couldn’t agree on the cause or the circumstances of Snippy’s death. One theory blames drunk teens who supposedly were lucid enough to aim and shoot the horse through the a**hole so precisely, the bullet exited from the horse’s skull, taking the skin with it. Other reports blame decomposition and bloating for the surgical type incisions.

Animal Mutilations, 1960

Besides relocating some twelve years ago to Colorado and close to Snippy’s home, the horse and I have a connection. I too encountered my own unexplainable animal mutilation at my home in Texas where I grew up.

We raised registered Angus cattle. My parents found my Grand Champion heifer, Babe, mutilated. I had put Babe in a completely fenced-in pasture the night before, because she was due to calf. The next morning, we found her surgically sliced opened and organs placed neatly to the side in the same pattern in which they were removed. But there was no womb, no placenta, no calf and no blood. My parents called the vet and the sheriff.

The sheriff’s report listed devil worshippers as his prime suspects. We lived in a small, rural town near Fort Worth and trust me when I say in the twenty-plus years I lived there, I never once heard of any devil worshippers living in Bono, Texas.


Weeks that followed, I explored the pasture. I walked the fence line, pulling in closer to the center with each completion of the square. But I found nothing. However, six months later, early on a Saturday morning, I heard a calf bellowing for its mother.

In the middle of that same pasture, which was completely fenced off with a locked gate, stood a six-month-old Black Angus heifer. No mom. No blood. But there was the large disc-shaped indentation in the Johnson Grass. Unmistakable, because the grass was tall and green except there, where something had flattened and burned the grass.

It was well past calving season and all our other heifers had successfully given birth to healthy offspring. Our closest neighbors, who lived miles from us, swore they weren’t missing a calf.

Trending Now, 2023

Photographer, Jeff Hemphill, photographs victim No. 1 on Papoose Meadow, Lassen National Forest.( – Courtesy photo) Image depicts the current descriptions of mutilations in Texas. But this photo was taken in 1995.

Recently, reports of cattle mutilations went viral on Facebook.

Madison County Sheriff Department Madison, Texas, is currently investigating a string of cattle mutilations. They found six dead cows along the highway on different properties over three counties. (Thank you, Lynette, for the tip.)

Same M.O. as Snippy and Babe.

“A straight, clean cut, with apparent precision, had been made to remove the hide around the cow’s mouth on one side, leaving the meat under the removed hide untouched. The tongue was also completely removed from the body with no blood spill.”

Investigators noted  no signs of struggle and the grass around the cow was undisturbed. Additionally, they found no footprints or tire tracks in the area.

Ranchers also reported that no predators or birds would scavenge the remains of the cow, leaving it to decay untouched for several weeks.

Madison County Sheriff Department report mutilated cows on the rise in Texas.

The most updated report on the Madison County Mutilations gives pneumonia as the cause of death for one cow, but gives no explanation for the precise incisions.

Somewhat Happy Endings

Snippy on display. Photo by Patrick Shea. After she acquired Skippy in August 2021, UFO Watchtower owner Judy Messoline received help from Jay Young at Colorado Gators. Young built a museum structure for the horse, an addition to the original dome structure.

Snippy’s skeleton found a home after traveling to eight different locations. He is on display at the Watchtower Museum in Alamosa, Colorado.

I raised the orphaned calf on a bottle, named it ET, and won Grand Champion two years in a row at the county fair.

As for the Madison County Mutilations, the sheriff’s department has reported nothing conclusive. But it would make a great X-Files episode.


Do you have a theory? Of course, for me, it all points to extraterrestrials doing a little probing and research on Earth. What else explains the surgical incisions, lack of evidence, and the reoccurrences over many years? ETs come check on us ever-so-many years to document our advancement or de-evolution.

If you google animal mutilations, it will surprise you at the number of documented cases you find. Most of these mutilations have no rational explanation and all have the same M.O.s.  For more reading and more photos check out this 2008 blog.



Clara Bush
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2 replies on “Animal Mutilations, Urban Legend or Extraterrestrials?”

I’ve heard about these things for years. Sounds really awful. I believe it is aliens doing research. Why cows, though? Just maybe because they are alone out in a field, I guess.
I’m sorry for your having lost yours that time. I think they brought back the calf that they’d stolen.
Weird all the way around.

You and I think alike. I have no doubt it was extraterrestrials.I think they studied the calf and then brought her back to where they’d taken her. Cows?? Yeah, that’s something I have a hard time figuring out. Maybe they found them easier than humans to handle, to observe. I can’t find anything about ETs dissecting humans. At least not any they left behind to be found. We do have a lot of people who go missing. Sure makes for cringe-worthy thoughts. Have a great day. I’m binging Stargate Atlantis. I’d forgotten how creepy the Wraith are. Thank you for commenting. I’ll head over to your blog now and read a poem. Or look at the flowers. —Clara

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