Head over to Livia Gershon’s piece at JSTOR Daily to learn more about the 1970s “cow mutilation mystery” and the work of historian Michael J. Goleman. Here is a taste:
In the 1970s, ranchers all over the country began reporting something strange. Their cows were turning up dead, with portions of their faces and genitals removed. Historian Michael J. Goleman dove into the mystery, and found answers that had nothing to do with aliens or satanic cults.
Goleman writes that the reports of cattle mutilations began in 1973, mostly in the West and Midwest. It was often small-scale ranchers who reported them. When local law enforcement agencies investigated, they frequently found that the cows’ ears, eyes, rectums, and sex organs had been cut away with “surgical precision.” According to newspaper reports, more than 10,000 of the incidents occurred by the end of the decade.
Some news stories suggested UFOs or cults might be involved. But among ranchers, the most common theory was that this was a government conspiracy. Some suggested that the mutilations might be part of a secret government program testing biological weapons. Some reported seeing unmarked helicopters near the crime scenes and even being chased by the aircraft. In a few cases, incensed ranchers shot at government helicopters. The threat was serious enough that the Nebraska National Guard began flying at 2,000 feet rather than 1,000 during its exercises.
To see what the panic was all about, Goleman suggests we consider the context.
Read the rest here.
Can’t say about the ten thousand, but the Report of the [Missouri] Select Senate Committee Investigating the Rock Festival (October 25, 1974) says that one of them was killed and eaten by some of the 250,000 freaks, hippies, and rock fans that came to Sedalia, MO for the Ozark Music Festival in July 1974. ( I did not witness this incident, but can confirm that groceries were in short supply.)
In other words, your headline runs contrary to the truth of what was happening. But people who don’t read past the headline won’t know that.