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
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
"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
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