Penthouse Retrospective

by David Rorvik Originally Published: September, 1980

Uncontrolled Media | 40 Years Ago This Month

Despite the combined efforts of the media, conspiracy freaks, cultists, and UFO fans, investigators have found the real answer to the greatest nonmystery of our time.

Penthouse Magazine - September, 1980Cattle Mutiliations: The Truth at Last

After the death, the animal’s rectum and sex organs always are removed in a mutilation case with a precision many investigators believe could be accomplished only with a sophisticated instrument, such as a laser beam ….

Strong evidence exists that cattle are killed elsewhere, then flown by aircraft to the spot where they are found, and dropped to the ground. …

There is much speculation as to why Los Alamos wants less attention paid to mutilations, including the fact that they do know why the mutilations are occurring, but that the reason is classified material.

Excerpts from a grant application submitted to the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) by the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Santa Fe, N.M., in 1979.

The same month — April 1979 — that the Santa Fe DA’s office received a $50,000 government grant to investigate animal mutilations throughout the country, U.S. Sen. Harrison Schmitt of New Mexico convened public hearings on this topic, which terrifies some and, as we shall see, strangely comforts others. Ranchers, law-enforcement officers, Indian chiefs, scientists, veterinarians, and assorted devotees of The Unknown flocked to Albuquerque to enunciate with new force what has become the Holy Writ of cattle mutilations:

  • Since 1967, from 8,000 to 10,000 cows and horses have been mutilated with “surgical precision” across more than 20 states ranging from Alabama to Oregon and extending out of the country into Canada, Puerto Rico, and perhaps the entire world.
  • The mutilations, accounting for a loss to U. S. ranchers of more than $3 million, occur without witnesses in the dead of night.
  • The perpetrators leave no tracks whatsoever.
  • The mutilated carcasses are almost always utterly devoid of blood and brain fluid.
  • In the “classic” mutilation case, the animal is missing part of its lips, one eye, one ear, its tongue, and its genitals. Its rectum is also absent, expertly “cored” out with great finesse.
  • Sometimes various internal organs are missing, even though there are no external incisions.
  • “Mystery helicopters,” strange lights, and assorted UFOs are frequently reported in association with cattle mutilations.
  • “Clamp marks” are found on the legs of some of the mutilated animals, indicating they may have been hoisted into the air.

It all began, according to those who speak with apparent authority on this subject, with Snippy the horse. On September 8, 1967, the hapless gelding failed to show up for his customary daily watering at the corral on the King Ranch near Alamosa, Colo. A search was launched the next day, and the absent Appaloosa was shortly discovered dead in a small meadow north of the ranch house. Missing was all the flesh from the shoulders up; the skull and shoulder bones were entirely exposed. It was a terrifying sight.

A Denver pathologist is often quoted by the media and by those who cite this case; the doctor is said to have examined the shocking remains and ruled out the possibility that the cutting was done with a knife or that predators could have accounted for the bizarre mutilations. News accounts add that internal organs were discovered missing, as was the blood and brain fluid. UFO activity is said to have been intense at the time of the incident.

The Valley Courier, a Colorado paper, reports that in the wake of Snippy’s sensational demise, “a line of traffic resembling a freeway wound its way to the King Ranch for months. Reporters from major newspapers in the country and television cameras were numerous in the area.” Even today, Snippy still finds his way into the lead paragraphs of most accounts of the “cattle mutilation mystery.” It was in the wake of the initial wave of publicity surrounding the horse’s death that animal mutilations began to be reported with vigor throughout the United States. The uncontrolled media surge had begun.

Who, or what, is behind this phenomenon? The headline writers have never hesitated to speculate: DID POOR HORSE POKE HIS HEAD INSIDE RADIOACTIVE SAUCER? (Tucumcari Daily News, October 1967); UFO’S LINKED TO WEIRD ANIMAL MUTILATIONS (National Enquirer, October 1977); IS IT THE WORK OF A WITCHES’ CULT, SPACE ALIENS, OR THE CIA? (Weekly World News, October 1979). None of these speculations, representative of hundreds of others, comes even remotely close to the truth — which is, in one sense, dull by comparison but, in another sense, for what it tells about human nature, very interesting indeed.

In his opening statement at the public hearings in Albuquerque, Senator Schmitt declared that animals are being “killed and systematically mutilated for no apparent purpose, by persons unknown. One of the most extraordinary facts of this problem is that the group or groups responsible for the mutilation killings have shown almost unprecedented discipline. There have been no leaks or informants.”

Years before even the launch of Fox and MSNBC we were talking about Uncontrolled Media. Seems like we may not have that fire contained yet.

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