2. Cattle mutilations spread into 22 states and Canada
In the 1970s cattle mutilations continued, and several congressmen and Senators from the affected states pressured the FBI to investigate. Although the FBI opened a file, largely of press clippings, it lacked the authority to initiate a formal investigation. It did, however, have a wide selection of press clippings to choose from. In Colorado over 1500 reports of mutilated cattle led to extensive press coverage. Although some ranchers and local authorities argued the events were natural occurrences, a sensationalist press was dominated by stories which supported the theories of satanic, pseudo-religious rites as the cause. In nearly all of the cases, including in Canada where the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigated, the animals were completely drained of blood. Tracks around the carcass were absent. Soft tissues, the genitalia, anuses, tongues, cheeks, eyes, and so forth, were removed. The bulk of the carcass was left to decay where it lay.
A contingent of ranchers and farmers, angered at the lack of action by the FBI, generated a theory that the mutilations were the results of a government research program. In Nebraska, some ranchers fired upon National Guard helicopters which flew at lower altitudes over their lands. The government involvement theory centered on the belief the animals were mutilated as part of a research program into the effects of biological warfare agents. Finally, in 1979, a series of mutilations (by then known as “mutes” in the tabloids) occurred in Indian Reservation lands in New Mexico. There, the FBI had full jurisdiction. The investigation remained active until the bureau closed it the following year, with results disappointing to the conspiracy believers and those citing further proof of alien invasions. The FBI determined the “mutilations” were the results of natural predators discovering a dead, or very ill, cow.