“Questions Not Asked Are Never Answered.”


August 21, 2018

MONTANA RANCHERS: If you discover a new mutilation case showing stereotypical cuts ,and if that case is dead less than 48 hours, please first obtain good photos of the scene and the animal, with close-ups, and then immediately load the animal for transport to our state’s veterinary diagnostic lab in Bozeman for a formal necropsy. This necropsy is to be performed ONLY BY A VETERINARY PATHOLOGIST!!  Request this individual be veterinary pathologist Stephan Smith, DVM, if possible. I will help you get all of this accomplished in any way I can, and I will pay for the necropsy! Call me, Richard O’Connor, M.D., (406) 461-2823.

Treat this case like an emergency!

We now have 1 lab report from UC Davis veterinary diagnostic lab  from blood obtained from a cow discovered dead no more than 28 hours and showing the classic stereotypical cuts. The lab report is NEGATIVE for cyanide or drugs. This is important, probative information!

Cascade Colony Cow 540 collected July 17 2018 by Paul Johnson lab report

This new data suggests, but does not prove, that human beings are not involved in these crimes against you and your animal. We need more data, and we must convince veterinarians throughout our state that these cases are not the work of the usual predators and/or scavengers found throughout Montana. The only way to do that is to get these animals to the state lab within hours after they are discovered and have them closely examined and tested by a veterinary pathologist. I will help you do this. In these cases, seeing really is believing.


“When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains (no matter how unlikely), must be the answer.”  — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


When you eliminate what is possible, whatever remains (no matter how unlikely), must be the answer.” — Richard K. O’Connor, M.D.


The author of this website is a physician, Richard O’Connor, M.D., recently retired from a 30 year career working as an anesthesiologist at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena, MT.

Richard O'Connor

Hi! This is me, Richard O’Connor, a retired physician who has become interested in cattle mutilations! Hiking in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, N. Fork of the Sun River.


Some ranchers say cattle mutilations are carried out by “satanic cults”. Some say “it’s the military”. Others say “it’s extraterrestrials”. A vet recently told me he thinks these animals must have died of natural causes, quickly followed by an individual who just happens by with a sharp knife and bad intentions. Given the circumstances generally surrounding cattle mutilations this explanation seems highly unlikely, but perhaps no more preposterous than the others. These are, after all, really strange events. What is the truth about cattle mutilations? What can we do to find out?

The vast majority of information about cattle mutilations existing today has come to us through the hard work of free-lance investigative journalist Linda Moulton Howe, via her website, www.earthfiles.com, through a video documentary she produced titled  A Strange Harvest, and through a book she has written about this subject titled An Alien Harvest. For those interested in this subject who want to learn more, I highly recommend reviewing all of these.

So Where Am I Going With This?

I have now personally examined what is termed a “cattle mutilation”, and I now understand why this term has made its way into our lexicon. I can state with certainty that cattle mutilations are real, because I have seen one. According to my research cattle mutilations are not rare events (there have been at least hundreds, and perhaps thousands of these reported) and they are still happening right here in Montana, other states in the USA, and in Canada, as well as in several other nations scattered worldwide. And they have completely eluded an adequate explanation for over 4 decades. These gruesome acts are being carried out by someone for some reason, but by who, and how?

These events are happening in wide-open grazing pastures usually hundreds of acres in size. No pens, no chutes – no mechanical means available to capture and restrain these animals. Cattle are large, powerful animals that must either be killed or be completely subdued, either physically or chemically (deeply sedated or anesthetized), to be subjected to these highly invasive procedures.

Killing (sudden death) an adult cow or bull could be accomplished via blunt trauma (car or truck impact), sharp trauma (a bullet, an arrow), perhaps a knife (doubtful), or through strangulation (a rope), electrocution (a lightening strike), poisoning (cyanide), or through the use of pharmaceuticals – anesthetic drugs and/or neuromuscular blockers. I can think of no other way to accomplish this daunting feat, in the field, where these animals are always found dead while displaying the stereotypical cuts of a cattle mutilation. Not only are they found dead, they are often left in highly unnatural positions (flat on their backs, legs straight to the sky, heads stuffed into holes, dumped onto large woodpiles, etc.).

What I believe to be true today is that no previous investigation has resulted in any information leading to an answer to the questions of who is perpetrating these heinous acts, or how they are doing it. Nobody has ever been arrested for committing these felony offenses. The question of why these events are happening, although an interesting and important question, will not be addressed in this study. Why will likely be better understood when we know the answers to the questions of who, and how.

Necropsies, toxicology screens, and a few pathologic (histologic) studies have been carried out over the years by accredited veterinarians in several to many of these cases. We need that information to be gathered in a centralized database. I will be working on that through this project, and I will attempt to present that data in an organized fashion through this website. Suffice it to say that none of these forensic studies has resulted in answers to the questions who, or how?

These previous efforts, and especially those of Linda Moulton Howe, have been quite valuable because they have increased our understanding of what causes are not contributing to the death of these animals. That is to say, evidence of blunt trauma, bullet entry wounds, dart sites, internal organ damage due to exploded shrapnel, strangulation, and/or electrocution by lightening strike have all been essentially ruled out as the proximate causes of death in many of these cases that she and others have investigated. To my mind this leaves pharmaceuticals or sodium cyanide (drugs/poisons) as the singular remaining explanation of how these large, powerful animals could be completely subdued and then subjected to these morbid procedures. As far as I am aware, this possible explanation that addresses how these animals have been fully subdued and then murdered has not yet been adequately explored, and that’s where I am going with this.

Veterinarians: if you have already done drug testing in cattle (or horse) mutilation cases you have been directly involved in, and if you have retained those records, please submit that information to this website through the CONTACT page.

The Purpose Of This Website Is To:

  1. Create a database of relevant and well-documented information about cases of cattle mutilation focused on gathering necropsy and/or lab data, together with photographs of these cases previously documented by an accredited veterinarian or a rancher. If you have collected any such information, please CONTACT me.
  2. Enlist the trust and the help of ranchers, veterinarians, and state livestock officials  (the first responders to future cattle mutilations) throughout the USA and Canada, asking them to obtain high quality photos as well as biological samples of blood, urine, and liver from stereotypical, photographically well-documented cases of cattle (or other large animal) mutilations, freeze them, and send those off for drug and cyanide analysis.
  3. Subject liver and/or blood and/or urine specimens (frozen after collection) to GC/MS (gas chromatography / mass spectroscopy) and LC/MS (liquid chromatography / mass spectroscopy) analysis. These GC/MS and LC/MS tests will screen liver,  blood, or urine samples for a wide range of poisons, pesticides, and drugs commonly used in large animal veterinary anesthesia (xylazine, tiletamine, carfentanil, etorphine, benzodiazapines, barbiturates, ketamine, etc.). The cost of these tests is around $165 / sample. Quantitative analysis will not be required. We simply want an answer to this question: are these drugs, which are all controlled substances, detectable in these biological samples, or are they not?

(Note: drug pharmacokinetics  / elimination half-lives will be dramatically altered in these cases of animal sudden death and will, in general, become much more prolonged. Thus, this study is worth doing in animals discovered within 48 hours of death).

4. Subject blood samples (frozen) to quantitative testing for cyanide. Grey and lavender top tube (send both), 2 ml. You must specify that you are looking for cyanide poisoning. The cost of this test is $115.

5. For detailed instructions of what specimens need to be sent, how, and where, click HERE.

The Premise of This Study

If these sedative/anesthetic drugs (or their metabolites) and/or a clinically significant blood level of cyanide are discovered to be present in the samples tested, this will provide strong evidence that some person, or group of persons, are utilizing these drugs (perhaps via a dart gun?) to subdue these animals and then subsequently mutilate them. This information might provide other leads for law enforcement officials to pursue through attempts to determine who is obtaining these drugs (most are DEA controlled substances), and from where.

If these drugs or metabolites are not detectable in samples tested (providing that samples have been acquired, quickly frozen, and then tested in a timely manner), then logic dictates that it becomes much less likely, even impossible, that human beings are the perpetrators of these criminal acts.

Into the Weeds

Before I write another word about any of this, I ask the reader to consider an incident recently reported through the mainstream media (the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and others) that merits your attention and may be germane to cattle mutilations. This incident concerns an encounter involving the USS Nimitz, the USS Princeton, and a fleet of UFOs off the coast of California in November 2004. 

If we can acquire good quality data that rules out the presence of pharmaceuticals, their metabolites, and/ or poisons in mutilated animals we will be further down the road to finally discovering the truth about who, or what, is responsible for cattle mutilations because we will have excluded the final, reasonable explanation of how human beings could be subduing these animals and accomplishing these acts. If no drugs are discovered, then we are pointed down a different path, one that could lead, given other information that we know to be true today, to a very surprising conclusion.

What Is My Experience With Cattle Mutilations?

On May 5, 2017 I was invited by retired Teton County sheriff (and Justice of the Peace) Pete Howard to accompany him to a ranch near Choteau, MT where a cattle mutilation had recently been reported. The photo below was taken by the rancher who owned that fully mature but now dead and mutilated Angus bull. This bull was discovered dead within 24 hours of being last seen alive and well. Upon discovery by the rancher’s hired hand, only a small amount of blood was noted on the surrounding ground. You can see this in the photo below.

Stott 5

Adult Angus bull discovered dead and mutilated May 1, 2017 near Choteau, MT. Stereotypical cuts over mandible. Tongue excised. Tongues are highly vascular, yet very little blood is seen. Upon necropsy, entire blood volume discovered to be missing!!



Stott 6

Adult Angus bull discovered dead and mutilated May 1, 2017. Scrotum and testicles are absent, cleanly excised. Wound margins are very well defined, sharp, clean. Penis has been dissected free of all surrounding tissue. This does not look like predation! Wildlife biologists, please weigh in on this!

A vet was consulted who performed an on-site necropsy. Both the rancher and wife were present during that procedure. Both, in my judgement, were straight-up, reliable witnesses. According to the rancher and his wife, the necropsy revealed no explanation for what had killed this animal. Consistent with previous reports of cattle mutilations, both the rancher and his wife reported that there was almost no blood found in this bull! Given that the total blood volume of this bull should be in excess of 40 liters (>10 gallons), there was a very large volume of blood that was simply unaccounted for! Not found anywhere! This finding fits into the category of “high strangeness”, a term used by Linda Moulton Howe to describe the many characteristics of these events that simply defy explanation in terms of our day-to-day reality.

Stott 2

Adult Angus bull with peri-anal tissue circumferentially excised. Discovered May 1, 2017 on a ranch near Choteau, MT. Again, note absence of blood on the ground. Areas denuded of hair on hide are notable and this physical finding has also recently been seen with a new, July 17, 2018 cow mutilation in MT.

This rancher had paid around $4000 for the bull, and he estimated its current market value at $1800. I was surprised to learn that his family’s loss, approximately $5800 (plus feed, plus vet bills, etc.) was an uninsured loss. No less surprising was his answer to my next question, “Has anything like this happened before”? to which he replied, “Yes, this has happened on this ranch a couple of times before”. Clearly, this Montana rancher and his family have been adversely affected, both financially as well as emotionally, by these recurrent and still inexplicable events. Just imagine if you were them!

This rancher’s story is typical of those of many other ranchers throughout Montana, many other states all across the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, and Argentina. Repeatedly, cattle and a range of other mammals, both large and small, have been discovered mutilated, displaying these stereotypical cuts that have, by now, been well documented photographically in at least hundreds of nearly identical cases. These events, like this one I personally examined near Choteau, are still going on and have been since at least the mid 1970’s. Incredibly, today we still remain with no certain answers as to who might be the responsible for perpetrating these criminal acts, or how they are doing it!

Clearly, the cattle mutilation phenomenon is one of the greatest mysteries of our time. I believe it is possible that the reason this problem has remained so intransigently resistant to explanation could be grounded in a thought that I believe many ranchers, and even many veterinarians have entertained over the years, but have been either unable or unwilling to express out loud. That thought – perhaps we are not alone?

The American Veterinary Medical Association, essentially all state veterinary medical associations, and state departments of livestock have all been deafeningly silent with regard to this topic. Their is no question in my mind that these events have been essentially, and perhaps deliberately, ignored by the mainstream media. The apparent unwillingness of our nation’s foremost animal health organizations to confront this phenomenon head-on by providing education, funding, or even encouraging open-minded, scientific investigation of this phenomenon is curious, if not somewhat alarming. But, if they won’t do this, then someone must. Ranchers, veterinarians, livestock inspectors, and veterinary laboratories – I am calling out all of you to help sort this out. Nobody will be able to do this alone. We must work together to solve this!

Richard O’Connor, M.D.

May 10, 2017

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About idcutters

I am a retired physician having completed a 30 year career as an anesthesiologist working primarily at St. Peter's Hospital in Helena, MT.
This entry was posted in Cattle Mutilations, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “Questions Not Asked Are Never Answered.”

  1. Dennis Trimble says:

    I like your ‘site here. I am a retired businessman from Silicon Valley. I have been a student of the paranormal since childhood and now have time to pursue these interests. My fascination with cattle mutilations goes back to ‘ Mystery Stalks the Prairie’ I live in the Fallon, Nv area and can easily visit Northern Nevada and Northern California. If I can be of assistance by visiting an event
    site please let me know. I have a little experience in investigation and the necessary equipment. Thank you for your time. Dennis Trimble dennist4@garlic.com


    • idcutters says:

      I welcome your interest in this mystery. I have never been alerted to any cases that may have been discovered in N. CA or N. NV. I would recommend contacting your nearest NV Dept. of Livestock inspector. They are frequently the ones who are initially contacted by a rancher who discovers one of these mysterious cases. Explain your interest in these cases, and ask if he/she will immediately contact you and allow you to accompany him/her to such a case when they receive a report. I think by now many livestock inspectors are aware of this special subcategory of sudden animal deaths, many have seen them before, they recognize them when they see them but they don’t know what to make of them, and therefore they continue to be (ignorantly) ascribed to some “usual and customary” cause of sudden death of large ranch mammals, usually bovine.

      What equipment would you bring to the site of a mutilation to facilitate your investigation?


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