The FBI has joined in the investigation of the bizarre mutilation of thousands of grazing horses and cattle over an 18-state area - attacks which have been linked to UFO's.
Disclosure of the FBI role was made at a recent conference of officials from seven states where the attacks have reached an alarming level.
Sen. Harrison Schmitt (R.-N. Mex.), the ex-astronaut and scientist who organised the conference, declared: "Either we've got a UFO situation or we've got a massive, massive conspiracy which is enormously well funded."
At least 8,000 cattle and horses have been butchered with surgical precision over an estimated 1.28 million square mile area stretching from Tennessee to Oregon since the mutilations began around 1970. The 1.28 million square miles is more than a third of the total land area in the continental United States.
In many cases the attacks have coincided with UFO sightings. Baffled investigators say the strange pattern of the mutilation includes these startling facts.
Sen. Schmitt, who receveid a Ph.D. in geology from Harvard University and was a member of the Apollo 17 moon-landing crew, said state and local law enforcement officials have been unable to come up with leads on their own and FBI help is needed.
"To date, the mutilations have been as mysterious as they're been grisly," he said.
"The Justice Departement authorized the FBI office in Albuquerque to become involved in the investigation of these crimes on the basis that several of the mutilation killings occured on Indian lands."
Many attacks have occured on animals at the Jicarilla Apache Reservation in Dulce, N. Mex.
"Any place we've had a mutilation, we've also had UFO sightings," reported Gabe Valdez, a veteran New Mexico state trooper who has investigated more than 30 attacks.
If predators are involved, he said, "we have some predators with super powers. We find these carcasses are being lifted up (off the ground) and later they leave clamp marks on the legs. It is also very hard for me to believe that a predator can take the heart out of an animal through a small wound in the neck."
Dr. Henry Monteith, an engineering physicist at Sandia Laboratories which handles secret government projects, revealed that Indians are so terrified by the mutilations, they bury the carcasses immediately and are reluctant to discuss what happened. Even their dogs refuse to go near the carcasses.
Dr Monteith, who has been investigating the attacks since they began, said Indians have told him of actually seeing spaceships land and unload "star people" who chase down animals and take them back to the spaceship.
"There have been thousands of these mutilations nobody knows about. The Indians are usually frightened to death." he said.
"They don't say anything about it because they know it's being done by 'star people', they know why they're doing it, so therefore we should leave it alone.
"Those are their exact words... The 'star people' know what they're doing and should be trusted."
Dr. Monteith said he has no doubt that aliens from outer space are responsible for the attacks and are using the animals bodies as part of the study of life on earth.
Many other investigators — police, scientists and UFO researchers — agree that UFOs are the only possible explanation.
Suid Richard Sigismund, a Boulder, Colo., psychologist and UFO researcher: "What few clues we have concerning those responsible for the mutilations suggest that we are dealing with well-equipped, highly capable airborne entities... We are forced, I feel, to the hypothesis that unidentified aircraft are the means — UFOs."
To aid in solving the mystery, District Attorney Eloy Martinez of Espanola, N. Mex., is seeking a $40.000 grant from the U.S. Law Enforcement Assistance Administration.
Admitting UFOs are a possibility, he said:
"I might be the first district attorney in the country to prosecute an alien from outer space."