100 Year Old Cattle Mutilation
Story A Hoax (Darn!)
Submitted by Gary Tenuta
From: Mark Cashman < Here is the straight scoop on the Hamilton "cattle mutilation" story, from Jerome Clark, noted UFO historian and editor of CUFOS IUR:
Hi, Mark,
Geez, so that yarn is still circulating. It's positively unkillable.
In 1976 I conducted an investigation of the story and talked with the editor of the Yates Center, Kansas, newspaper, which then ran a short article urging anyone who knew anything about the story to contact me. I heard from a woman whose mother had been at the Hamilton household in April 1897, when Alex pulled up and jokingly took his wife about the tall tale he and friends (members of a local liars club) had concocted. One of the friends was the editor of the local paper. In 1943 the editor, looking back on his career, remembered the hoax and the circumstances of its creation.
My expose first appeared in the February 1977 issue of Fate. (I also write about it on page 17 of my 1996 book High Strangeness [UFO Encyclopedia #3].) Subsequently, Eddie Bullard found a letter from Hamilton in a Missouri newspaper, the Atchison County Mail (May 7, 1897), in which Hamilton cheerfully acknowledged that he'd made up the tale.
Jerry Clark

This account (of the mutilation and airship) actually was first published much earlier (than in the mid 1960's book called ANATOMY OF A PHENOMENON by UFO researcher Jacques Vallee) in Lorenzen's first book. It has been reprinted many times since then. However, it has been called into question a number of times, and I have just sent off an e-mail to UFO historian Jerome Clark to determine the current status. The most recent take on the story is that Hamilton and the signers of the affadavit were actually members of the local Liars' Club, an organization, essentially, of tall-tale tellers. I have yet to find a full citation in any reference containing this assertion, however, and am waiting for the response from Mr. Clark before offering a final opinion.
There are many good reports from the 1890-1920 period. However, many of the "high-strangeness" reports of the period are believed to be hoaxes by journalists and others. But there are a number of reports which contain many of the components of current sighting reports, and which are probably valid. At any rate, the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR) at has a few large publications dealing with the flaps of this period which are listed at and include
UFOs of 1896-97: The Airship Wave by Robert G. Neeley, Jr. H011 Fund-sponsored The most thorough analysis ever done of the wave of "airship" reports in the US just before the turn of the century. Spiral-bound, 324 pp. $50.00
The 1912-1913 British Phantom Airship Scare Catalogue by Watson et al. H012 An exhaustive compilation of more than 300 sighting reports. Spiral-bound, 509 pp., illustrated $80.00
The 1912-1913 British Phantom Airship Scare by NIgel Watson, et al. H013 A summary report of this heretofore unresearched sighting wave. Stapled, 29 pp., illustrated $6.00
The hoax story as it was posted originally here

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