A "Mute" Companion

by Graham Conway. 7-August-2000

Photographs courtesy of Fern Belzil

In the early part of July 2000 I was asked to speak at a UFO Conference in St. Paul, Alberta. This community of 5500 people is located about 125 miles north east of Edmonton. Its principal claim to fame is the fact it has the only official UFO landing pad in Canada! However the residents readily admit no spacecraft have accepted the open invitation to drop by. Well, not so far.

It very quickly became apparent to me that the attendees had in some cases come considerable distances and their focus was not UFOs per se. Instead they were more interested in what a local community member had to say. This gentleman, whose name was Fernand Belzil could very easily claim to be Canadaís cattle mutilation expert, in a field where no competition existed for that rather dubious honour.

St. Paul Chamber of Commerce had a large ring binder on hand for public perusal. This held a large collection of personal sightings and experiences from farming members around that particular area. Anyone was free to add their own experience should they so choose. Regrettably I did not have the opportunity to read all the reports contained therein. But what I did get to read made very captivating reading. For example one local farmer had lost "one animal a week for MONTHS!" Did you read about that in the papers or see it mentioned on TV? Well I certainly didn't. This unfortunate cattleman had appealed to Cold Lake military base to help, all to no avail. Then he turned to the RCMP and was met with similar indifference. With no where else to turn he told Fern Belzil. This all took place in 1995. Since that time many more cases have come to light. Fern told me that so far he had investigated a good forty-five or more cases within a (for him) reachable radius. He admits that he gets calls from some locations that would require two days driving to reach. As he operates an 800-acre farm himself he canít afford to be away for such long periods.

Another aspect to this prevalence of numerous dead cattle is the disposal of the carcass. Very seldom is an autopsy done. The farmer is emotionally and financially devastated by the repeated killing of his livestock without seeking additional expenditure to find out how they died, when it would seem no one in authority cares to hear about it.

Fern told me that one animal he checked displayed radiation around the nose. We heard some years ago that a vet in Saskatchewan had done an autopsy on a mutilated animal and found that the insides were "like mush", as if they had been microwaved! But he didnít intend to include that in his report. Which brings us back to what happens to these unwanted animals? The victimized farmer phones the recovery people who send a truck to pick up the carcass. After that it is rendered down for dog or cat food and possibly other things too. Fern poses the question, is it smart to blatantly ignore the ramifications of what lasting effects these injuries may have on later animal consumers? Maybe itís about time we sat up and began to take notice; after all it has been going on for more than a quarter of a century.

The mutilated animals that he has observed and researched fit the classic patterns of clean "cookie cutter" incisions and in most cases no blood is to be found near or on the carcass. In one case he was phoned about a case where the animal had been killed early one winter. Five months later no predators had been near it.

As Fern is frequently told by the "donít want to know crowd", that wolves, coyotes, bears, crows, etc. are responsible for the damage to the dead animal, a statement he most certainly does not subscribe to, he decided to test the veracity of this claim.

Travelling home one day he found a dead deer at the side of the road that had been killed by a car. Picking it up he placed it in the bush not too far from his home. Each day he went out and took a photo of it. The crows were the first to locate it and attack the animal. The coyotes took five days to locate the carcass and only when it began to decompose. The photographs clearly illustrate that the tearing, ripping action that these animals employ, bears no resemblance to what can be found on a steer that dies suddenly without a struggle and grass still in its mouth, and displays large neat circular incisions. Fern calculated that out of 43 investigations he had conducted up to the summer of 2000, 69% were cows, 24% were bulls and 7% were steers.

Inevitably the question arises and is asked of the poor suffering farmer, "do you ever see UFOs or strange lights around your property?" Often the answer is yes. One farmer was so upset about the constant attacks on his herds that he would go out to check them late at night before going to bed. One night he saw a large bright light apparently on the ground some distance from the farmhouse. Silhouetted in the illumination were three short figures. He called out, "What do you want with me?". He received no reply except to see the three "people" presumably enter the craft, for within a few seconds it began to lift off into the sky where, after gaining height, it remained stationary. The farmer roused his family from their beds and had them confirm what he was witnessing. The next morning he found another dead animal!

Which brings me to something that I had never suspected or sought to even question. During the conference I had noticed a middle-aged man frequently close by seemingly wanting to gain my attention. With some difficulty I made rather vague arrangements to speak to him, which I was able to later achieve although not under the circumstances I would have desired.

This person told me during a lengthy conversation that he and his brother had both lost animals in the manner described above. One had been killed in March of this year in fact. He described how a bull kept in a pen alongside the farmhouse was found dead one morning. The other animals in a nearby corral were so spooked they had stampeded through the fence. The remaining bull, which had previously been docile, would not let them near the herd when they attempted to round them up again. Despite having two dogs in the farmhouse neither had barked during the night of the attack on the mutilated bull.

But what really caught my attention was his concern over what was happening to him. For reasons that he did not explain and I did not question, he had been sleeping in the basement of the farm. But due to some "strange" ongoing activity he had moved upstairs. He told me that he had felt a "presence", seen strange lights and was consequently afraid to go to sleep. It came as no surprise to also learn that he had frequently woken to find himself in a state of paralysis.

Learning of this "new?" development for the very first time, I was in a hurry to query Fern as to whether he had heard about it also. He assured me he had and was familiar with maybe four similar situations and suspected from what was NOT being said that others he had met were also experiencing the same "visitor" interaction.

About a month later I contacted Linda Moulton Howe and asked her if she too was aware of this farmer /rancher "intruder" interaction? She readily confirmed that she had known about it since she had first made her award-winning documentary "Strange Harvest" in the 70ís! The reason she had not discussed it was because the farmers she had interviewed were reluctant to talk about it.

I am well aware that Fern Belzil is trying to stay on top of a situation that has every indication of being the tip of the proverbial iceberg. As one speaker at the conference said, "if we move Fern to Saskatchewan or Manitoba do we suddenly discover that the same phenomena is happening on the same scale there too?" Because right now there donít seem to be any signs of identical activity, or is that because itís not being reported by the press, or worse still, the farmers themselves? In the thirty or more years that animal mutilations have been taking place, no one has ever been caught. The same holds true for crop circles, despite the regurgitated announcement that they are "simply" man-made hoaxes. As a farmer I would be very anxious to catch the guys killing my livestock and laying waste to my harvest and potential yearís income.

It is a common but mistaken belief that only cattle suffer the mutilation process. Not true. We here at UFO*BC have encountered several occurrences where cats here in Vancouver have suffered some puzzling signs of mutilation.

We are aware of reports where deer, bison, elk, fox, etc. have suffered this fate. What is less well known are (to my own personal knowledge) three cases of human males who have also been found mutilated in an identical manner to what we have recorded happening to cattle.

Fern also told me during my all too short stay in St. Paul that he had heard a report from a trapper in the Fort McMurray area who had found a mutilated otter on his trap line. During our stay we visited two brothers who were also farming 800 acres. Not only had they had a forty foot craft land on their property twenty five years ago but also found a mutilated MOUSE left on the hitch of a combine. You really would have to believe that was some smart cat!

By the time the conference closed it was very apparent this was very much a learning process for everyone involved, including the so-called "experts" who were present to provide their own personal knowledge to the listening audience. I came away myself with the very strong feeling that I could have spent a solid month just going from one farm to another listening to personal stories of ongoing losses that no one in a so-called position of authority seems either interested in listening to or doing anything about. This may not garner the media attention of the prairie dust bowl disaster of the "dirty thirties", but its ongoing unspoken threat is equally depressing and financially devastating to all those involved.

Itís about time this apparent veil of silence and national indifference was lifted. In fact, it is long overdue. Letís shine some light on the long-suffering farmers and ranchers of this country so that an intelligent investigation can be implemented at a national level.