Just the facts: mutilations get Belzil around North America

July 24, 2001
By Steven Heywood - Editor - The St. Paul Journal

Photo by Steven Heywood

With its UFO landing pad and conferences on the paranormal, St. Paul has become a focal point for reports of the unusual, the mysterious and the downright terrifying.

In the middle of all this is one local man who never thought an idle interest in one aspect of the paranormal would one day give him national exposure and take him all over Western Canada and the US.

Fern Belzil, a local rancher who lives miles from any neighbour, was a cattle specialist from an early age - taking part in shows; winning trophies for his quality polled Hereford breeds and raising cattle on his property. He no longer raises cattle, but his years of learning about them and working with them has made Fern a specialist in cattle mutilations. He knows the breeds, their habits, shape and mannerisms.

It's this experience with cattle which gives him a unique insight Into the mysterious mutilations that are still occurring across the country

Often associated with alien abductions, government conspiracies or cult activity, cattle mutilations are the subject of a morbid curiosity that presents itself in television documentaries and fictional shows based on whatever could be "out there". While he does not go in for some "out there" explanations for the mutilations and tries to stick with what he can see, touch, feel and smell, Fern says It's obvious something weird is happening to cattle. He says in his six years investigating mutilations, he has seen a lot - from the unexplainable to incidents of predators killing livestock.

"I thought at first this wasn't going to be a big deal or anything," Fern says recalling how six years ago he was asked to check out a mutilation report. "I never thought in a million years that it would go this far".

Fern may be Canada's only cattle mutilation expert. He has been to many incident sites and keeps a map marking each occurrence in his basement. His office displays the awards he won while raising cattle and a desk is covered In faxes and emails from other people involved in paranormal investigations. Fern has traveled to Area 51 in Nevada and has attended conferences and lectures, where he is asked to speak on his area of expertise. In May he was in Vancouver for a broadcast and lecture for UFO BC, which has offered him his own web site. To this day Fern continues to work with North American investigation organization, reporting incidents and sending his samples away for testing.

These days, in addition to the odd report of a mutilation, Fern is dealing with national exposure. The Space Channel contacted him and Fern brought them to meet the mayor at St. Paul's landing pad. At the same time, he hosted a writer from Maclean's magazine and has been contacted for an interview by the Regina Leader-Post.

Fern admits he started looking into cattle mutilations as a lark, but things changed fast. "It's very mind boggling, he says. I've been asked so many times what I think (is happening to the cattle). If I knew, I would beat Stockwell Day (in the Alliance leadership race) real easy."

What he sees are mutilated cattle. Ears are removed, circular patches of skin taken off the stomach and face, unexplainable bare spots on an animals body, rectal areas are defiled and there's never any blood around. In some cases, the land around a mutilation site is radioactive and scorched by some unknown source. More recently, samples from a dead cow he sent off for testing In Massachusetts came back containing hemoglobin. Fern says this part of all blood can only be found after it's put into a centrifuge in a lab and separated. It's a mystery he has yet to explain.

Many incidents are identical, Fern points out, adding some are not "mutilations" at all, but are predator kills or natural deaths.

"If it's not a mutilation, people who have reported it to me are happy as hell."

Fern says there is a stigma attached to the idea of cattle mutilations - thanks mostly to their association with aliens. As a result, he says he never reveals people's names in his reports.

"You'd be surprised about how many people are really scared," he says. "But the important thing is to have an open mind."

With an open mind Fern has approached each reported mutilation. He says he's heard all kinds of theories from aliens and religions to cults and conspiracies, but he keeps his own counsel, sticking to what facts he can dig up.

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