Dead Cows I've Known - Part 3
By Ted Oliphant III <>
©1998 All Rights Reserved
In the first two parts of this essay, I discussed Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as "Mad Cow Disease," and recent admissions by British Government Officials that this is a species-jumper and that some of the British blood supply is likely contaminated. I also discussed the connection between bovine excision sites and unmarked helicopters in 35 cases in Northern Alabama in 1992 & 1993. In Part #3 I will discuss other facts and events not covered in the previous two installments.
By February, 1993 another phenomenon appeared in and over DeKalb, Jackson, Cherokee and Marshall counties -- UFOs.
In early February of 1993, Reverend Roger Watkins and his family were startled at 3 a.m. A sound "like a tornado, or freight train" woke them up, according to Brother Roger. Looking out their bedroom window, they saw a large illuminated disc shaped object, with multi colored lights on its rim, moving in opposite directions. The disc hovered over their cow pasture at fence level. It finally ascended and disappeared into the sky. The next morning they found their goldfish bowl empty. The fish were lying dead on the table covered in water, but the bowl was still upright. The family dog was missing, never to be seen again.
Rev. Watkins' family had seen this same object four years earlier during the UFO wave of 1989. At that time, Rev. Watkins was out of town preaching at a revival in another state. He got an unexpected phone call from his son Chris, who described the mutli-colored flying saucer that flew over his mother's car while they were driving near Gilbert's Crossroads. It was the same location where the Fyffe Police had seen a large triangular shaped object fly silently over them a week before.
Chris was very upset, so much so that Rev. Watkins came home a day early to be with his family. Mrs. Watkins wasn't disturbed at all, in fact she dropped Chris off at home while she drove back to Gilbert's Crossroads, in search of the mysterious object. It would be four years before the entire Watkins family got their own, private light show, courtesy of the same flying disc.
This time, the UFO caused an uproar at the Rainsville First Baptist Church where Rev. Watkins had been pastor for the last seven years. Seven years that saw his flock grow from a little under a hundred to over four hundred parishioners. When word got out that the Watkins had seen a UFO, it started a chain of events that spelled doom for the pastor. Rumors and lies were circulated throughout the parishioners and clergy.
Then when journalist Linda Moulton Howe arrived on Sand Mountain, I recommended that she talk to Rev. Watkins. After he agreed to be interviewed on camera, the clergy took Rev. Watkins aside. They told him they didn't want him to go on camera, that "It wasn't any body's business." Watkins backed down and canceled the interview. But the pressure didn't stop. Private plans were made to "get rid of" Rev. Watkins. Friends betrayed him and turned a cold shoulder on their pastor, the man who had made their church grow. (No good deed goes un-punished.) When his departure became imminent, Rev. Watkins changed his mind and went ahead with the on-camera interview. It was the end of his career at Rainsville's First Baptist Church.
What makes Rev. Watkins' story equally important is the fact that he is also a cattle farmer. Though the UFO hovered over his pasture, the cows were not molested. So here's a case where UFOs were seen over a cow pasture at 3 a.m., but there were no mutilations. It's important to consider that fact because the cattle mutilations that did occur, started in October of 1992, four months before UFOs were first reported. Though the mutilations continued during the UFO wave of 1993, they were never reported at the same time or locations of the crime scenes. The aliens had an alibi. It doesn't mean they weren't involved, just that nobody ever connected them to the crimes law enforcement officials were investigating. But although there were no UFOs, there were plenty of unidentified helicopters.
Flip-Flopping Veterinarians, The Silencing of Law Enforcement & State Employees.
The first five months of the investigations into mysterious livestock deaths was conducted in concert by the Fyffe Police Department, The Albertville Police Department and The Alabama Department of Public Safety, particularly the Alabama State Troopers. My partners in this investigation, Chief of Detectives Tommy Cole, Albertville Police, and Ron Ogletree, Post Commander of the State Troopers, were actively involved in the investigation. They, like myself, made several statements about the reality of these crimes to the local and outside news media. Tommy Cole appeared on CNN after being quoted in many newspaper headlines. Sgt. Ogletree also made statements about the investigation and was quoted as well. They were important allies in the investigation and their public statements helped back up what I was telling reporters.
Veterinarians also were of great help, in the beginning of the investigations. Vets would initially show a great deal of interest in the cases, and were glad to show up in the pastures, examine the carcasses and even perform autopsies in the field, or accept the animals into their labs for analysis. When Tommy Cole lost his steer on January 9, 1997, He called Dr. Adams, a local Albertville veterinarian. Dr. Adams took fluid samples from the animal's eye, and he also took blood samples. When Dr. Adams called Chief Detective Cole back, he reported neither he nor the State Labs at Auburn University could determine the cause of the steer's death. But he was still interested and was willing again to inspect another fresh mutilation case in Albertville, should it occur. It did.
On January 14, 1993 a local cow farmer found his 10 year old cross-bred Gert cow mutilated and dead with an enormous, mysterious round wound in its hind quarters. This looked totally different from any of the other cases Cole, Ogletree and I had investigated. Not only had this cow's sex organs been removed, but there was a large, irregular incision around the entire hind quarters. We called Dr. Adams and he performed an autopsy on site. He also took blood and eye fluid samples. He couldn't determine the cause of death from what he inspected, but promised to send the physical evidence to Auburn for analysis.
As Chief Detective Cole and I left the crime scene, he looked at me and asked what I thought. "This is a diversion, Tommy, it's not what we've been seeing." Tommy agreed, "No it isn't." "Somebody is trying to throw us off, and I think that cow's been cut on twice. I think the original incisions have been excised." Tommy just looked at me and didn't say anything. I drove home and got ready for work, not looking forward to another 18 hour day.
I called Tommy a week later to see what the Vet told him. "He hasn't returned my call," explained the Chief of Detectives. I called Dr. Adams, but he couldn't come to the phone. His secretary took my number, but he never called me back. Finally I got him on the phone and he said he couldn't explain the animal's cause of death. I asked him about Tommy Cole's steer that he had examined two weeks earlier, and he denied ever taking blood or fluid samples. I called Tommy Cole who said, "That's a damn lie, he did too, I watched him do it."
Then Tommy Cole tried calling Dr. Adams but his secretary explained that he was busy. Cole called again, but the doctor wasn't in. After that Dr. Adams never again returned our calls, or talked to us. Tommy and I just hunched our shoulders and threw up our hands in dismay. Soon this became a recurring theme.
In Fyffe, I took crime scene photographs to veterinarian Dr. Danny Thrash. I explained that we were investigating these strange deaths and if he ever saw something suspicious, I wanted to know about it. I didn't have to wait long. On February 1, 1997 I got a call from Dr. Thrash saying he'd just received a call from a ranch hand in the Grove Oak community, just outside of Fyffe. He asked me to meet him at his office and we'd ride out together.
When we arrived at the Glen Fricks ranch, a cowboy met us at the gate and escorted us out to the crime scene. There were two cows in various states of decay. One was missing its udder and jaw, while the other was missing it's rectum and vagina. All the incisions were clean and bloodless. Dr. Thrash and I examined the animals and took pictures. On the way back to the Vet's office Dr. Thrash said it indeed "Looked suspicious" to him, but we agreed the animals were too far gone to determine the cause of death. We left it at that until the local newspaper reporter, Steven Smith, called and interviewed us. Dr. Thrash made a statement that echoed mine, and it went it the newspaper. A week later Dr., Thrash was interviewed again in another newspaper. This time he said, "This whole thing is getting blown out of proportion," and contradicted his previous statements by saying, "Predators are probably responsible for these two cases." When I read that in the newspaper I called Dr. Thrash and challenged his reversal. He got mad at me and we never spoke again.
On February 4, 1997 I decided to get an early start and drop in on Chief Detective Cole in Albertville. I sat down across from his desk and we started talking about what we thought should be done next. Tommy explained that he'd talked to the State Diagnostic Lab in Boaz and they'd be willing to look at the next case we investigated, as long as the animal was "fresh."
Five minutes into our conversation, the phone rang. It was DeKalb County Sheriff's Department Assistant Chief Deputy Dale Orr. He wanted Tommy to meet him at the Waymon J. Buttram ranch in the Martling Community. Though it was in Marshall County, in Tommy Cole's jurisdiction, the call had gone to DeKalb County. We hopped in Tommy's unmarked police car and arrived at the scene around 10 a.m. When we pulled up, we were greeted by Dale Orr who recognized me and said, "How the hell did you know to be here?". I just grinned and followed him out to the crime scene. Soon Sgt. Ogletree arrived, and as usual, his presence made the locals breath easier. They all knew and respected him. Sgt. Ogletree has a great reputation with the locals, because his professionalism, like Chief Detective Cole's, was unparalleled. Soon other officers and ranchers arrived, and everyone was deeply concerned.
We examined the crime scene. It was a black Angus cow and it lay on its right side. There was a tear drop shaped incision on its left jaw, and it was very bloody. The animal had been dead for about seven hours, but the blood hadn't coagulated, and was still flowing out of the animal. Dale Orr called DeKalb County Sheriff Harold Richards on the radio and advised him about what he had found. We waited for him to arrive, and Dale handed me his camera and asked me to take pictures for him, and made me promise to give him copies of all the photos I was taking. Soon, the rest of the cows in this pasture "surrounded" us.
They had to be scared off twice before Sheriff Richards arrived and examined the animal. He agreed it looked suspicious. At that point Tommy Cole took over the investigation. He asked me what I thought we should do. I just looked at him with a cocked eyebrow. He said to me, "You want to take it to the State Lab and have it examined right?" I nodded, and we loaded it up into rancher Buttram's livestock trailer. Tommy called the State Lab and made arrangements. While we were waiting, a helicopter flew over the southern edge of the pasture. I took a picture of it. Then we drove to the Sate Diagnostic Lab at Boaz and tracked down the Lab director, Dr. Rick Sharpton.
When we had finished unloading the animal, and attached it to a chain hoist, we all heard a helicopter approaching. I went outside with Tommy to look, and we saw a black Hughes helicopter fly directly over us. We went back inside and said nothing about it.
We told Dr. Sharpton what we wanted to know. Then we watched as the blood was washed from the jaw, revealing the large, tear drop incision. He stripped the hide off the cow, looking for bruises or other injuries. None were found. Then the whole cow was dissected, piece by piece. Dr. Sharpton couldn't find anything unusual, outside of the jaw excision. We asked him what he thought, "It looks like this was done with a sharp knife, by someone experienced with field stripping animals." He echoed this sentiment, under condition of anonymity, to a local newspaper.
For the next week at the Buttram ranch, the remaining herd defecated and urinated all over the site where the animal was originally found, as if it would make what had happened, go away. The remaining livestock were noticeably upset.
The silencing of Dr. Rick Sharpton, director of the State Lab at Boaz.
A week later the TV camera crew from "Sightings" arrived in Alabama to cover the story. Dr. Sharpton agreed to meet with them for an interview. When he did, his boss, Dr. Lee Alley, the State Veterinarian, was looking over his shoulder. With the camera rolling, Dr. Sharpton totally reversed his prior position, explaining that it was "All the work of predators." Dr. Alley also went on camera explaining that Tommy Cole, Sgt. Ogletree and I didn't know what we were talking about, because of our inexperience.
A week later, Dr. Sharpton had "resigned" as director of the State Lab. I asked Tommy about it and he said that he learned Sharpton had "resigned under fire." He had been pressured out. This was our third case of flip-flopping veterinarians. It was our 20th livestock mutilation case in four months.
On February 6, 1997 I got a call from Geraldine Police dispatcher Corey Dobson. He told me he'd just heard about a new case near Crossville and gave me the directions to the crime scene. By the time I got there, the Crossville Police Chief, Ron West, and Dekalb County Sheriff's Department Assistant Chief Deputy, Dale Orr, had already left the scene. The farmer took me to the crime scene, explaining that he'd heard a helicopter over his pasture the previous evening, but he hadn't thought anything about it until he found his calf dead. I asked him how knew it was hovering over his pasture? He replied, "I used to fly choppers invite Nam, and I know what a hovering helicopter sounds like."
I decided not to argue with him, and inspected the victim. This cross-bred beef calf was lying on its right side, with an enormous circle of hide missing from its back, neck and rib cage, and much muscle was missing. The esophagus was exposed and an eight inch length of it was missing. It appeared to have been snipped cleanly by a pair of scissors, and there was foam at the end of each side. There was still color in the animal's blue eyes, and they were just beginning to get cloudy.
This animal was alive when it was cut, and it hadn't been dead long. I looked closely at the cuts on the animal and found no blood on the hide or ground. The farmer told me that the police who had just been there told him it was the work of predators. They had offered that explanation before they looked at the animal! When they did inspect it, they just said the same thing, "Yeah, that look's like predators all right, go ahead and bury it." They didn't even file an incident/offense report.
There was minor damage on some of the tissue from scavenging or predatory animals. I could understand how the previous investigators thought it might have been the work of predators, but it still didn't add up. I told the farmer that the incision looked like it had been made by a straight edge of some kind, and that he should have a veterinarian look at it. He took my advice and called Dr. Creel in Boaz, and the Vet came out and examined the carcass.
Dr. Creel agreed with me and said, "I don't know what killed it, but animals were not involved in it's death." Dr. Creel stuck to his guns and never flip flopped. He was the exception to the rule.
By mid-February, these cases were the talk of police in both Marshall & DeKalb Counties. At month's end, I had filled out 12 reports covering 14 strange livestock deaths. Even without considering the sinister agencies causing them, the crimes by themselves were very disturbing. Large animals had been incapacitated and vivisected in plain view of ranch houses and farms. One was even found outside a bedroom window. Nobody heard anything except barking dogs at 3 a.m., which were ignored. Then came the grizzly discoveries.
While 90% of the farmers reported seeing helicopters before or after their animals were found dead, no one saw them at the critical time. This made me wonder, until I got a call from local gun dealer and pilot, Clyde Barksdale. He told me that the previous evening he arrived home and was walking around his house when he looked up and saw a helicopter flying only two hundred feet above him. He said it was almost silent. Clyde is also a helicopter pilot, and he couldn't understand why it only made a faint sound. "Whisssp whisssp, whisssp," he imitated the chopper's sound. "I couldn't believe it," he explained. A silent helicopter. A silent helicopter?
The Silencing of Sgt. Ron Ogletree.
One evening in late February when I was on duty in Fyffe, I met with Alabama State Trooper Ron Ogletree, who was post commander in Gadsden. Ron and I had been working together on the livestock cases for four months together. He explained that his boss in Montgomery had instructed him to cease interviews with the media. "No more talk about Cattle Mutilations, no more talk about UFOs, you're out of the business." Ron just took it in stride. He never spoke to the media again. I took it in stride too. Then it happened again.
The Silencing of Chief of Detectives Tommy Cole.
It was about a month later when the Boston Globe came to Sand Mountain to interview Tommy Cole and me. I finished the interview and drove with the reporter to Albertville, where we were scheduled to meet Tommy. When I arrived I went into the Albertville Police Department, but was denied entry.
Tommy Cole came out the back door and took me aside, away from the reporter. He wanted to talk privately. "Ted, I can't talk to this guy, I'm sorry. I've been told not to talk about it any more." He looked irritated but resigned to the fact that he wasn't allowed to talk to the media. I walked back to the Globe reporter and explained that the Chief of Detectives had been ordered to keep his mouth shut. He looked at me suspiciously, but accepted it, and gave me a ride back to Fyffe.
Snow Job. The Silencing of the entire Law Enforcement Community.
A special, secret briefing was organized and police officers and deputies from both counties were invited. Every police department, that is, except Fyffe. DeKalb County Chief Of Detectives Mike James ( A direct descendent of Frank and Jesse James) and his drinking buddy, Tom Price from the Marshall County Sheriff's Department, started the briefing and introduced David Pratt, a jewelry salesman from Chattanooga, Tennessee. They described him as a man who had been involved in so-called "cattle mutilations" while a member of a secret, well funded "Satanic Cult." Pratt outlined how the "cult" he was once a "member" of was responsible for the mutilations, and that they had backing that covered the expense of using helicopters to retrieve bovine organs for "their rituals." Pratt also proclaimed that his former cult "loved the publicity" and embarrassing local authorities.
Every cop present "bought" this story, except Tommy Cole. Even Sgt. Ogletree believed this con artist. Tommy Cole later told me, "That guy didn't impress me in the least. It's obvious why they didn't want you there, they said you were intentionally not invited" I could have challenged this guy and he couldn't have held up under my questioning. That's why I was kept out of it. The briefing was concluded with Detectives James and Price explaining that "These Satanist love the publicity, and if we ignore them, they'll stop what they're doing and go away." The assembled officers concurred.
Note - Mr. Oliphant's two earlier articles are stored in the UFO-Paranormal archives in the DATAPAGES section on our homepage.

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