The Report from Sand Mountain: April 15, 2002
Phantom Surgeons return to northeast Alabama. Recent cattle mutilations in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains have area farmers on alert.
Ted Oliphant, Documentary Motion Picture Producer (Former Patrolman, Fyffe Police Department)
Three months ago I was approached by independent video producer Matt Debow, he wanted to produce a documentary on Animal and human Mutilation Cases that have occurred in Brazil, Former West Germany, Great Britain & the United States. I agreed and we began scanning the hundreds of photographs that I took or collected as a police office. There were police reports and the pathology reports from various veterinarians, state diagnostic labs and the universities which were involved. I had forgotten about much of what Iâ€™d collected over the years. Matt & I decided to travel to Alabama to interview the farmers, police officers and newspaper publishers about the cattle mutilations of 1992, 1993 & 1996.
Nine years ago this month, I presented The Fyffe Police Department Press Conference & Report on Cattle Mutilations. Three weeks ago I returned to Sand Mountain to produce my first documentary on this subject. I expected to videotape interviews with the farmers from the previous cases of 1992, 1993 and 1996 and cull what old photographs, videotapes, police and pathology reports that Iâ€™d missed when I was a police officer there. What I found in addition to these materials, was a brand new series of cattle mutilations that started three weeks prior to my arrival. We arrived on Sand Mountain Monday March 25th, 2002 and all hell broke loose. Two of these recent mutilations occurred approximately 7 hours after I arrived back there in the foothills of The Appalachians.
I couldnâ€™t sleep the first night; I had recurring dreams of seeing hundreds of mutilation photographs. Iâ€™d wake up from one of these dreams; fall back asleep only to have the same dream over and over again. I awoke the next morning saying to myself â€œI have to collect as many photographs and videos of these animals, as is possible.â€ I drove to Tennessee Tuesday morning to pick up Matt Debow. We drove back to Sand Mountain and started shooting b-roll, footage of the scenery and area. That evening we interviewed former Alabama State Trooper & Gadsden Post Commander Ron Ogletree who had been involved in the cattle mutilation investigations. A three decade career lawman, Sgt. Ogletree had seen it all in North East, Alabama. He & Tommy Cole, Chief of Detectives for Albertville, Alabama; were my lone supporters in Alabama Law Enforcement.
What Sgt. Ogletree had to say, floored us. He described how the Department of Public Safety was planning to place three State Troopersâ€™ SWAT teams on Sand Mountain, complete with helicopters and high tech surveillance aircraft for one week in hopes of catching the perpetrators of the crime. Sgt. Ogletree described how the whole operation was called of and how all of his superiors were immediately re-assigned to other cases instead. Ron also described how he was silenced by his bosses â€œThey said I was out of the UFO business, the cattle mutilation business and back in the Highway Patrol businessâ€.
Back then in 1993, even the Army went on the news asking farmers not to shoot at helicopters, publicly saying that they werenâ€™t responsible for the mutilations. You couldnâ€™t buy a high powered rifle on Sand Mountain. They were sold out. Some local Law Enforcement even went as far as to visit all the gun stores to determine who had recently purchased a high powered rifle.
At the end of the videotaped interview Ron produced a stack of documents all in support of my findings as a police officer. He also produced a number of â€œsmoking gunâ€ documents from the University of Auburn, The Alabama Department of Public Safety, The State Diagnostic Labs at Boaz, Alabama as well as a hefty stack of inter-departmental correspondence confirming the cover up of these crimes by state and local law enforcement agencies. He also gave us a stack of official photographs of cattle mutilations that Iâ€™d never seen before; it was from a definitive case where the DeKalb County Sheriffâ€™s Department mis-led a victimized farmer, and the public. This public deception will be one of the corner stones in our documentary. The next morning Matt Debow & I ventured out to Buckâ€™s Pocket State Park to shoot more scenery (this place is beautiful). On the way back Matt looked at a pasture and said â€œWhatâ€™s that?â€ Matt had spotted a cow in rigor-mortis lying in the pasture, though we had previously driven by this pasture, we hadnâ€™t seen it on the way in. I wanted to show viewers what a normal bovine death looked like.
I drove out into the pasture and flagged down the farmer who was digging a hole to bury the animal. He shut down his John Deere and got out. I introduced myself and I asked for permission to videotape his cow. The farmer had lost two animals, I asked what killed them; â€œgrass tetanus killed one. That other one, I donâ€™t know what killed itâ€. I asked for permission to videotape him burying the animal. The Farmer said â€œNo, if anything ever comes of this I donâ€™t want to be part of itâ€. A bell went off in my head; I asked myself â€œWhy would he care about thatâ€. Matt & I found out when we approached the cow.
There was a large circular incision around the tail, rectum and birth canal. There was a small, fifty cent piece sized hole on the udder next to one of the teats. The incisions at the rear of the animal were the same â€œstepped and notchâ€ incision that I had seen so many times before. The farmer made us hurry up so he could bury his animals. The farmer knew who I was, and as we got ready to leave he asked me: â€œHow did you know to be here?â€ Matt asked the farmer if he knew who I was and the work that Iâ€™d done.â€ The farmer said â€œOh yeahâ€. In the eyes of that farmer I must be a suspect. Iâ€™d never stumbled upon a mutilation before, not even when I had been a cop. This was a little too close for comfort.
When we got home that evening the man who owns the house where I was staying got out of bed, he wanted to talk. Three hours after I had driven off Tuesday morning to pick up Matt, he said a black turbo helicopter had circled his house twice, flying very low. Iâ€™m glad I didnâ€™t see it. I wouldnâ€™t want to be the one telling you I did. We all looked at each other and started cracking up, but it put us into a daze. It mightâ€™ve been a coincidence, but we seemed to encounter a lot of coincidences.
Thursday, March 28, 2002, we interviewed former police officer and coroner P.T. Williams who had lost a bull in 1993. Though his animalâ€™s ribs were snipped clean, the police told him it was the work of predators. P.T. knew better. That was 1993. Friday March 29, 2002 Mr. Williamsâ€™ wife called me on my cell phone, P.T. got on the line and said â€œYouâ€™d better get down here; Iâ€™ve got something for your movieâ€. The day after we interviewed him, P.T. Williams found his last bull mutilated. Judging from its condition the animal had been down for at least two days. It had occurred around the same time as the other animal that we stumbled across, near Buckâ€™s Pocket. Two fresh mutes in two days, a black helicopter. DÃ©jÃ Vu, but this time I felt it possible I was being set up; but by whom or what I couldnâ€™t tell you. I put Matt on a plane back to California with all the videotape weâ€™d shot, he was spooked and didnâ€™t want anyone to know what weâ€™d accumulated until he was back in California.
I called up three cops I knew and told them what was going on. They told me to have somebody with me at all times, that people would start blaming it all on me. I took their advice and spent all that day with riding a local cop. Then I got back to work. The next day I began calling on local farmers who had lost animals and began the search for more photographs and videotapes of mutilated animals. I learned of another case that had happened two weeks prior to our arrival. In total we collected over one hundred new photographs plus eight new videotapes including these two new cases we videotaped and photographed. Comparison to other cattle mutilations documented by law enforcement in forty-eight (48) other states since 1963 shows that these newer cases recently documented here in northeast Alabama (2002) are part of a national problem.
In over ten thousand (10,000) reported cases of livestock mutilations reported since 1967, the organs and tissue taken are usually the same. Sex organs removed, tongue cut deep into the throat and removed. Individual eyes and cars or sometimes both have been excised. The jaw stripped to the bone in a large oval cut and all tissue cut clean. Rectums are cored out, almost like a stovepipe had been inserted and all the tissue and muscle has been pulled out. Everything having to do with input, output or reproduction. Ninety percent of the cows (female) had given birth to a calf within two weeks of being discovered mutilated. Why are recent and expectant mothers so desired by these phantom surgeons?
All of this has been accomplished on these of animals with no evidence of blood present at the incision. In some cases the entire blood supply of the animal had been drained, yet without cardio-vascular collapse. The tissue was often so devoid of blood that it was bright white in color, with a blue tint. On P.T. Williams bull (March 27, 2002) the blood had been sucked out of the animal through the jugular vein where we found a large lesion.
One thing that was never explained was how only hide deep incisions were made without disturbing internal organs, or why the incisions didnâ€™t cut the animalâ€™s hair. I think Iâ€™ve finally figured how itâ€™s done.
The animal is cut from the inside out. The first cut is the deepest; a puncture is made for insertion of a mechanical cutter; between the animalâ€™s hide and the internal bones and organs. Hide-deep incisions. With the cutting edges of this tool, the tissue is incised. This would either perforate the hide so it can be easily pulled away like tearing a coupon from a coupon book, or the top of your check as you tear it from your check book. With the cutting edge facing â€œoutâ€, rather than from â€œwithinâ€ towards the internal bones and organs, you would not hurt anything. From the top side, before (or as) the hide is cut, you might see an incision that resembles the pattern left behind by a seamstressâ€™ â€œpattern makerâ€ (A toothed wheel on a handle for marking dress patterns on fabric) or maybe even, pinking shears? Pinking shears on a wheel?! Now miniaturize that, add heat to soften the tissue, cauterizing the incision, preventing fluids from escaping. Cutting from the inside out only hide-deep, hair doesnâ€™t get cut. The cutting edge seldom extends above the flesh. Imagine miniature shark teeth pushing up from inside the animalâ€™s hide. On animalâ€™s Iâ€™ve examined, there often seems to be apparent shredding of connective tissue between the muscle and the newly absent hide. This circumstantial and physical evidence may indicate the past presence of a foreign object within the animal cutting as it plows through the connective tissue.
Pathology reports from many tissue samples Iâ€™ve provided to multiple veterinarians, have often (but not always) confirmed that temperatures of at least 300 degrees Fahrenheit or possibly more has been applied to mutilated animals I personally investigated with the Fyffe Police Department... Forensic analysis of these animals by veterinarians, scientists at major universities and by Alabama State Diagnostic Laboratories definitively proved that these were crimes, not the work of possums, coyotes, birds or â€œblow fliesâ€. Unless weâ€™ve got radioactive coyotes and possums, the predator explanation is forever history. Weâ€™ve got two choices; itâ€™s either the aliens or your tax dollars at work. Take your pick.
We still donâ€™t know who is responsible for these crimes, but recent revelations prove that our local and Federal governments were and still are, covering up the truth. In 1993, Alabama State Trooper and Gadsden Post Commander Sgt. Ron Ogletree, and my other partner, Albertville Police Department Chief of Detectives were both told by their superiors that they were no longer to make any statements to the press about cattle mutilations.
Chief of Detectives Cole (also a victim of the phantom surgeons) also received a visit from the National Security Agency (NSA). An NSA agent from Redstone Arsenal presented his credentials to Tommy Cole and told him the best thing he could do was â€œstay out of itâ€. Tommyâ€™s response to the agent was that if another helicopter appeared over his farm and it didnâ€™t have tail numbers on it he would â€œshoot it downâ€. The NSA agent told him that would be â€œvery dangerous to confront these peopleâ€ and that Tommy could â€œget into a lot of troubleâ€. Tommy responded: â€œI donâ€™t care, at least then Iâ€™ll know who it isâ€. You canâ€™t scare Tommy Cole, but you can silence him if youâ€™re his boss. Chief Detective Cole met the same fate as Alabama State Trooper Gadsden Post Commander Sgt. Ogletree. In 1993 while a surprised reporter from the Boston Globe looked on, Tommy took me aside and said to me â€œI canâ€™t do it; I canâ€™t talk to the media anymoreâ€. Tommy Cole had been silenced by his boss, Chief Benny Womack. Why I donâ€™t know.
This silencing even hit the Alabama State Department of Agricultureâ€™s Diagnostic Laboratory near Albertville, under the direction of Alabama State Veterinarian Lee Alley. When Tommy Cole & Carried a freshly mutilated cow to that lab, we had Dr. Rick Sharpton do a necropsy of the animal. Dr. Sharpton agreed with us that this mutilated animal was the work of somebody with a sharp edge. Maybe even scissors he said. He was quoted in the newspaper. Lee Alley made him reverse what heâ€™d previously said, on â€œSightingsâ€ which broadcast nationwide. Dr. Sharpton then resigned under fire.
In 1993 I think I was the only one who wasnâ€™t officially told to shut up. So I held a Press Conference. That was nine years ago and these same crimes still plague the farmer. The number of cases grows and now Iâ€™m told of almost 1,000 cases in The United Kingdom. Thereâ€™s more cases than I can ever follow up on, which means at least documentaries on cattle mutilations. It was Jacques Vallee who first brought cattle mutilations to the publicâ€™s attention in â€œUFOs: It Has Begunâ€ aka â€œUFOs: Past, Present & Futureâ€ with Rod Serling, Jose Ferrer & Burgess Meredith. This was back in 1974.
The first animal mutilation case I could find occurred on Sand Mountain, near Geraldine, Alabama. Two young boys watched a daylight disk hovering over some distant trees. They went to where they saw this UFO, and found a mutilated cow and a burrow. That was 1963. When I interviewed Marian Strickland in 1991, she told me of finding a mutilated cow in the Corona Desert of New Mexico, back in 1952. So who knows when the first mutilation occurred? A retired Lockheed engineer recently told me of a mutilation in Tennessee in the late 1940s.
Tommy Cole thinks its Uncle Sam. Media Entrepreneur Linda Howe is convinced itâ€™s the aliens. Retired Sgt. Ogletree thinks itâ€™s the work of a Satanic Cult, he believes that because he was told thatâ€™s who was doing it. A private special briefing was held at the DeKalb County Sheriffâ€™s Office in 1993. Law Enforcement officers and detectives from two counties and various police agencies were invited by DeKalb County Chief of Detectives, Mike James to attend a special briefing. It was put together by Mike James, Marshall County Sheriffâ€™s Detective Tom Price and F.B.I. agent Glenn Slaughter. They produced an eyewitness named David Pratt, who worked in a jewelry store in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Mr. Pratt told the assembled law enforcement officers that heâ€™d belonged to a satanic cult who used helicopters to mutilate cows for their ritual sacrifices. It convinced most of the attending cops that a cult was responsible for the mutilations. Several wild goose chases ensued, including one where Sgt. Ogletree participated in searching for the body of an alleged, â€œBlue eyed, blond hairâ€ infant said to have been used in a ritual sacrifice. Nothing was ever found, much man power expended only to be thrown off the trail.
The Fyffe Police Department was not invited to attend this special briefing, I wonder why not? It was a smoke screen used to pacify local cops and give them a reason not to talk about it to the public. Marshall County Sheriffâ€™s Deputies even told one farmer that â€œWe know whoâ€™s doing it, but we canâ€™t tell you who it isâ€. This enraged the farmer who called me up to tell me about it. I felt like I was in a movie. Iâ€™m starting to feel that way again. As a matter of fact, I AM in the middle of a movie! A movie of Matt Debowâ€™s and mine.
We are wrapping up production with a few more interviews to shoot then weâ€™ll be editing it all together for a fall release. We really could use some help from everyone out there. Specifically we are looking for original photographs and videotapes of mutilation cases for our documentary: â€œTrail of Terror: Animal & Human Mutilationsâ€. If you or anyone you know has original film and/or motion picture/video/digital footage of animal and/or human mutilations, ritual sacrifices etc. and would like to see it included in â€œTrail of Terrorâ€, Please contact me or Matt Debow at the POCs listed below.
Together I know we can make a difference by making the most comprehensive documentary ever produced on this continuing mystery. Thanks to all for their continued interest in this growing story. It should be the responsibility of all law-enforcement, journalists, media producers and publishers to join together to find an answer to this problem that is adversely affecting so many cattle farmers at home and abroad.