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|Author and paranormal researcher Christopher O'Brien returns to BoA:Audio for a discussion on his latest book, Stalking the Herd: Unraveling the Cattle Mutilation Mystery. Over the course of this marathon conversation, we discuss the evolution of the cattle mutilation mystery from a lone event which spawned an international news story to a growing field of research which exploded with a wave of catmuts in the mid-1970's, and the subsequent attempts by the government to debunk the phenomenon and paranormal researchers connecting it to the UFO enigma in the 1980's.
Chris also talks about how, despite the lack of media attention, the cattle mutilation phenomenon continues to this day and he shares numerous puzzling and breathtaking cases of cattle mutilations from his vast library of incidents. We also ponder the challenges which hinder attempts to unlock the true nature of this mystery as well as how the nefarious beef industry may have a hand in either the mutilations themselves or the cover-up of the phenomenon. The alleged cult connection to cattle mutilations, possible clandestine government ritual squads, Oprah's lawsuit from the beef industry, factory farms, chicken picking, and British TV presenter Louis Theroux are amongst the other areas of discussion delved into during this lengthy episode.
Highlights: We begin with Chris telling us about the massive amount of data on cattle mutilations that can be found in Stalking the Herd and how this is leading to a follow-up book which will synthesize that data to possibly find some kind of patterns or answers related to the phenomenon. We then circle back and have Chris tell us about early strange cases of livestock deaths as well as describing a 'standard' cattle mutilation as we know it today. Chris also dispels the notion that cattle mutilations are a thing of the past and shares some remarkable modern stories of the phenomenon occurring in recent years.
From there, Chris talks about the skeptics' theory that cattle mutilations are simply the result of predators and explains how, on occasion, that is the case, but other incidents are far too elaborate to simply be scavengers. He also talks about the difficulty in truly unraveling the mystery of cattle mutilations because each unique theory can be supported by some cases, but can also be refuted when looking at other cases.
Next we revisit the origins of 'mutology' and learn about how cattle mutilations first burst into the consciousness of the mainstream with the 'Snippy the Horse' case in September of 1967. He then details the explosion of cattle mutilation cases in the mid-1970's which featured strange lights and mysterious helicopters. Chris also details how the emergence of Mad Cow Disease may be somehow related to the cattle mutilation phenomenon since the timeline of events appears to overlap in some instances.
Additionally, Chris tells us about strange instances of animal mutilations occurring in other parts of the world. He also talks about the strange timeline of events surrounding cattle mutilations from the early 1970's until 1975. Chris also reflects on the strange evolution of the relationship between humans and cattle, specifically the religious aspects and the enormous power of the beef industry. This segues into some talk about factory farming and the dangers surrounding that industry.
Continuing our discussion on the field of mutology, we find out what (or who) was responsible for cattle mutilations losing the serious interest of the mainstream media and general public. This also leads to talk about the Rommel Study, which was a government-sponsored investigation into cattle mutilations which was eerily similar to the Condon Report which killed Project Blue Book and crippled ufology for many years. Chris goes on to talk about how he believes that cattle mutilations are a "locations specific phenomenon" and explains why he came to that conclusion.
This leads to some talk about how the "cult connection" ascribed to cattle mutilations actually came from prominent UFO researchers who were desperate to keep the two phenomena separated in the eyes of the public. The conversation then turns towards human mutilations and Chris reflects on how the phenomenon is highly covered-up by law enforcement officials. Additionally, we talk about the cultural blindspots which keep people from taking a hard look at the origins of the food they eat, which leads to them not wanting to look at cattle mutilations.
Our look at the power of the beef industry continues as Chris details just how potent a force they have been in American politics as well as how the resources used in the production of beef could actually be used to feed far more people than beef does. Getting back to the topic of cattle mutilations, we find out if Chris has ever heard from any whistleblowers who may be able to shed light on what was really happening during the big catmut flap of the 1970's. Chris talks about one man's claims that the government had some kind of ritual group which performed cattle mutilations in response to catmuts that were already occurring.
We then reflect on the strange aspect of cattle mutilations in that the phenomenon requires an inordinate amount of skill coupled with fast action usually taking place in the dead of night. Taking a question from the chatroom, we find out if there are any cases of animal mutilations happening at zoos and Chris details a couple of intriguing cases that have come to light over the years. Chris also talks about cases where animals are either mutilated in an extremely short window of time as well as where the 'victims' are deposited far away from where they were last seen.
Chris then shares a truly bizarre story where a group of cows circled one of their brethren and, after breaking the circle, the cow was mutilated. He also talks about how the cult aspect surrounding cattle mutilations was allegedly debunked by a high-ranking Satanist, likely as a way of protecting that religion. We also find out why there haven't been any academic studies on cattle mutilations and we return to the many emerging health issues surrounding factory farming and the beef industry. This leads to some talk about factory farming of chickens and Chris' days as a teenage chicken picker.
Nearing the end of our live program, Chris talks more about prions and Mad Cow disease as well as how biological weapons and Alzheimer's disease may be involved in all of this. Closing out the live show, we find out what's next for Chris O'Brien and where folks can pick up Stalking the Herd.
In the bonus portion of the show, we talk about how Chris advocates for changing the name of the cattle mutilations to 'unexplained animal deaths' in order to eliminate the salacious aspect of the phenomena. We then talk about Oprah being sued by the beef industry as well as what Chris thinks needs to be done to get to the bottom of the cattle mutilation mystery. We also get Chris to recount his time with British TV personality Louis Theroux and taking Louis on a cattle mutilation investigation. Nearing the end of the conversation, we ponder the possibility that ranchers, themselves, may be behind cattle mutilations for financial gain. And, wrapping up the program, we talk about FOIA info on cattle mutilations and the challenges of getting the media to look at paranormal phenomena, in general.
His ten-year investigation resulted in the three books of his "mysterious valley" trilogy, The Mysterious Valley, Enter the Valley, and Secrets of the Mysterious Valley. His meticulous field investigation of UFO reports, unexplained livestock deaths, Native American legends, cryptozoology, secret military activity and the folklore, found in the world's largest alpine valley, has produced one of the largest databases of unusual occurrences gathered from a single geographic region..
He is currently working with a team of specialists installing a high-tech video surveillance and hard-data monitoring system in and around the San Luis Valley. His latest book Stalking the Tricksters has just been released by Adventures Unlimited Press. This controversial book distills his years of field investigation and research into an ingenious unified paranormal theory that is sure to create intense interest and controversy.
His website is ourstrangeplanet.com