Four of rancher Manuel Sanchez’s calves appear to have been mysteriously mutilated in the last three weeks in the pastures he leases near Los Vallejos. In each case, the skin of the animals was peeled back and the organs were cleaned from the rib cage. There were no signs of human activity, such as ATV tracks or footprints, and the Costilla County Sheriff’s Office did not find any indication that a predator, such as a mountain lion, attacked.

Sergeant James Chavez, a spokesman for the sheriff, says there was also a lack of blood at the site of the deaths.

“I’ve butchered a cow before and I know what kind of a mess it leaves,” he tells The Pueblo Chieftain.

While Sanchez and Chavez remain perplexed, Chuck Zukowski, a UFO chaser from Colorado Springs who visited the pasture to investigate, says it’s too early to rule out the possibility that the deaths are the handiwork of aliens.

As Zukowski writes on his blog, UfoNut: “This area is not new to cattle mutilations, the first documented case was the famous ‘Lady’ (aka. Snippy) the horse. This unusual death affected an Appaloosa outside of Alamosa on the King Ranch in which the animal was found with very strange laser-like cuts with no presence of blood pooling. Rancher Sanchez has experienced passed [sic] cattle mutilations, the last one back in 2006.”