Saturday, August 8, 2015

UFO Cultists and Cattle Mutilations

A series of possibly interconnected incidents occurred in rural Colorado in the summer of 1975. While occasional lone UFO sightings had been recorded in the area of Gunnison County, that July saw an explosion of activity. Various balls of green, blue, yellow, and red were recorded looping in odd patterns, chasing each other, and possibly fighting over the skies for four days. This was the mildest incident of the summer.
            At that time there were also several dozen cattle mutilations reported by ranchers. The majority of the blood had been drained from the cows and various pieces removed- ears, sex organs, kidneys, udders etc.- but never the same pieces from any two heifers. Most of the written accounts of this time use the phrase “surgical precision” when describing the wounds, but this may have been creative license on behalf of the reporters. It may simply be a person who is skilled at cutting meat. Several of the bovine appear to have been dropped from a height of twenty or thirty feet. Unusual, as they were found in their pens nowhere near any device capable of lifting such a heavy animal.
            While some may leap to a supernatural or extraterrestrial explanation for these dead cows, there may possibly (or probably to be exact) a very human cause. A blue plastic bag was found lying by a trash can in the Thornton City Greyhound bus terminal. Inside was a cow’s ear, a severed cow tongue, and a scalpel, but no blood. Whether it was left there by design or accidentally it indicates a very human origin to the mutilations.
      John Lahti, an investigator of paranormal claims, has come across an old organization which existed in the town of Pictin, Colorado, called the Silver Society or, alternatively, The Silver Raiment Society. It was originally formed (and even briefly incorporated) in the 1910’s and flourished in the 1920s. Very little documentation remains on this organization, but what does exist indicates that this group married the idea of astral projection with the possibility of contacting intelligent extraterrestrial life. Astral projection and other forms of meditation had become a fad in America during this time, along with many ideas imported from Eastern religions.  The organization was shut down in 1927, due to a federal court case involving back taxes.
            Or did it? A bizarre incident during the night of August 21st, 1975 on the outskirts of Pictin may suggest otherwise. A motorist driving down Route 76 at about 3:30 a.m. encountered some 15 masked people in silver colored robes forming a roadblock with linked arms. As he stopped they attempted to encircle the vehicle, but he managed to turn around, nearly hitting several of them, and escape. The police paperwork on this incident has been lost in the subsequent decades or been misfiled. The incident has only been preserved because the motorist related the story to several reporters at the time.
            There has been some speculation, with no actual evidence, that the mutilations formed as part of a ritual for this group to communicate (or realistically, attempt to communicate) with an otherworldly entity. Whether this is a rite passed down through the generations or something new is up for grabs.