You are no doubt familiar with the iconic image of a cow being pulled up by a tractor beam into a flying saucer. You have to be a certain age to recall how this idea came about. In 1973, the first reports of mysterious cattle mutilations came in from ranches in the western US. Cattle were found dead, with their mouths, genitals, and anuses cut away, reportedly “with surgical precision.” Other ranchers checked and found the same thing. By the end of the 1970s, around 10,000 such incidents were reported. Law enforcement agencies investigated, and found no evidence of human activity. So it had to be aliens, right?
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That how the story was often framed in the media, and that’s the story that stuck around long enough for the idea of cows being abducted and/or experimented on by aliens to become a permanent meme. Some speculated the cattle mutilations were the work of satanic cults. But cattle ranchers themselves blamed the federal government, citing covert biological weapons testing. It got to the point where ranchers were shooting at helicopters flying over their land. The story eventually died down in the national media, and the actual cause of the mutilations wasn’t widely reported, or else we all forgot that part. But there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation you can read at Jstor Daily. -via Damn Interesting
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