Their tongues were cut off, but there was no spilled blood. No signs of struggle. No footprints or tire tracks were found. Investigators were stumped: who is going on a murderous rampage of cows in Texas, and how are there no clues surrounding their deaths?
It seemed a scene straight out of The Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch, the reality TV show on the History Channel about the Utah ranch that is supposedly the site of unexplained supernatural phenomena.
Across three Texas counties within the span of a few weeks, seven cattle were found dead under the same suspicious circumstances: lying on one side with the mutilated part of their face exposed, minus a tongue.
The cow-killing spree happened Madison, Brazos and Robertson counties – all located in east-central Texas. Each cow was from a different pasture and herd.
“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 Madison county sheriff’s office said.
“On two of the five cows, a circular cut was made removing the anus and the external genitalia. This circular cut was made with the same precision as the cuts noted around the jaw lines of each cow.”
Ranchers reported no predators or birds had scavenged the remains, a common theme in similar killings.
The official cause of most of the cows’ deaths is still unknown, but the freakish events have sparked memories of a long-held conspiracy theory about the mysterious deaths of livestock animals dating back to at least the 1970s in the US that lays the blame at the feet – or tentacles – of aliens in UFOs.