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The Incredible Bouncing Cow

Psychic Vibrations

Robert Sheaffer

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 31.2, March / April 2007

One question has long plagued researchers of the paranormal and the unexplained: when aliens return cows after they have finished mutilating them, do the cows bounce when they hit the ground? Now, thanks to the research of noted UFOlogist Linda Moulton Howe, we know that the long-sought answer is yes, as established in Howe’s ground-breaking paper, “Scientific Data Supports Theory That Mutilated Montana Cow Dropped from Sky and Bounced” (see Howe’s on-site investigation revealed far more than the usual alien slice-and-dice operation on the poor dead animal: “there appeared to be a bounce mark some four to five feet southeast of the dead cow’s body. The soil was shoved up against the north side of the mark, suggesting that the 1,300-pound cow had dropped from high enough above to hit the ground with considerable force and bounced to its final resting place with its legs and head pointed north.”

Howe submitted soil and barley samples to W.C. Levengood, a biophysicist and PhD-Eq at the Pinelandia Biophysical Laboratory in Grass Lake, Michigan, who specializes in the investigation of crop circles. Levengood measured the “charge density plasma pulses” of the samples (whatever they may be). He found that the greatest “energy change” was about 200 feet south of the cow, and zero “energy” in the bounce mark in the ground. He concluded, “Right at the cow, the energy in the plants were also anomalously low. That would fit in because when the cow hit, the initial impact and second landing, the plant energies were neutralized.” Who says that UFOlogy is not scientific? Howe suggests that these “energy changes” might be due to “advanced beam technology,” a kind of tractor beam that aliens allegedly use to pick up and return cows, although it would seem that in this case the batteries or whatever powers the tractor beam must have been a bit weak, setting the animal down with a big thud. (For more on Levengood’s research see “Italian Skeptics Debunk Crop Cir-cle Electromagnetic Radiation Claim,” SI, September/October 2005.)

As if this were not sufficiently amazing, the famous animal that started it all, Snippy the Horse, is back in the news after almost forty years. Snippy, a three-year-old mare in Appaloosa, Colorado, became famous in 1967 when her owner, Nellie Lewis, claimed that she had been mutilated by space aliens. Lewis claimed that the dead horse gave off a sweet scent like incense, that its mane burned her fingers, and that the boots she was wearing were later found to be “radioactive.” No mention was made as to whether poor Snippy bounced when the aliens dropped her off. The Case of Snippy was investigated and included in the famous Condon Report (Case 32), which concluded in true closed-minded debunker style that “There was no evidence to support the assertion that the horse’s death was associated in any way with abnormal causes” (see Another spoilsport was local veterinarian Wallace Leary, who determined that poor Snippy had been shot twice in the legs with a .22 caliber rifle. This probably would not have killed her, but may well have caused the infection that appears to have left her disabled.

Snippy was the first widely publicized claim of alien mutilation of livestock, and it seems to have started a big trend. Snippy now even has her own Web site (, which includes a Snippy store selling Snippy merchandise. Recently Snippy’s skeleton was offered for sale on eBay, with a minimum bid of $50,000. However, bidding was suspended when ownership of the bones was disputed (see No mention was made of whether any bids for Snippy’s bones were actually received.

As scary as all this animal mutilation talk may be, it’s nothing compared to the hunt for the Skinwalker. A new book by Colm Kelleher and George Knapp, Hunt for the Skinwalker, tells the chilling tale. Kelleher is a physicist who formerly worked for the now-defunct National Institute for Discovery Sciences (NIDS), funded by Las Vegas billionaire Robert Bigelow. Knapp is a Las Vegas TV personality who has made a name for himself reporting sensational stories about Area 51 and such. When stories about an allegedly haunted ranch in northeastern Utah reached NIDS, Bigelow decided to buy the ranch to further his paranormal research. (The “Skinwalker Ranch” now has its own Wikipedia entry.

According to Knapp, “For as long as anyone can remember, this part of northeastern Utah has been the site of simply unbelievable paranormal activity. UFOs, Sasquatch, cattle mutilations, psychic manifestations, creatures that aren’t found in any zoos or textbooks, poltergeist events.” He suggests that it may be “the strangest place on Earth.” Some observers trace this weirdness back to an old Indian curse that the Navajo supposedly placed on the Utes. As you know, lots of paranormal problems can be traced back to old Indian graveyards or curses; one Indian graveyard in South Park, Colorado, has been particularly troublesome. One anthropologist quoted in the book describes Skinwalker beliefs as follows: “Skinwalkers are purely evil in intent. I’m no expert on it, but the general view is that skinwalkers do all sorts of terrible things—they make people sick, they commit murders. They are grave robbers and necrophiliacs. They are greedy and evil people who must kill a sibling or other relative to be initiated as a skinwalker. They supposedly can turn into were animals and can travel in supernatural ways.”

The previous owner of the ranch had reportedly encountered numerous unexplained phenomena, such as a bulletproof wolf that could not be killed, and apparently walked off into thin air. Later, three dogs were zapped by something while chasing blue orbs of light in a pasture. All that was left of each of the dogs was a greasy, butter-like glob.

One of the incidents described in the book occurred in August 1997. Two unnamed researchers were perched on a bluff of the ranch late at night, monitoring a pasture. One of them descended into the pasture to meditate, as he believed that this sometimes “activated the phenomenon.” After about two hours, they allegedly spotted a small yellow light a few feet off the ground. They watched as it began to expand. One of them grabbed a pair of Generation III ITT night vision binoculars, while the other reached for a 35mm camera loaded with infrared film. As seen in the binoculars, the light seemed to expand, and take on a tunnel like appearance. At the far end of the tunnel, what started out as an indistinct motion gradually became the head and shoulders of a humanoid creature. It stepped out of the tunnel and walked off into the night. All that remained was the smell of sulphur. Unfortunately, the observer with the camera saw only the circle of light, and doesn’t seem to have taken any pictures anyway. Researchers installed cameras atop telephone poles, but they were attacked and disabled by some invisible force. Another golden opportunity for scientific research, lost forever. . . .

As scary as all this Skinwalker stuff is, it’s nothing compared to the story now being told by Robert Duncan O’Finioan, who claims to have been “brainwashed, conditioned and controlled as part of a highly classified MKULTRA program called Project Talent,” and whose story is now being featured on Jerry Pippin’s mystery-mongering Internet broadcasts ( Of a thousand others allegedly trained as “child warriors” in 1966, he says he is one of only twenty left alive. He was selected, he says, because of his mixed Native American and Celtic heritage; both of those groups supposedly have unique spiritual and mental abilities, so the combination is unbeatable for making a powerful psychic warrior. His top-secret training, which was very abusive and brutal, supposedly gave him “enhanced physical and psychic abilities . . . including the abilities to hurl someone across the room with his mind, and walk through a solid wall.” His right arm was “hardwired” with an “enhancer” implant, supposedly giving it “astonishing speed and strength.”

Supposedly O’Finioan and eleven other child warriors were flown to Cambodia in 1972 to deliver a “death blow” to Khmer Rouge troops, “using only the combined power of their minds.” A helicopter lands, coming to the aid of a platoon of Marines pinned down by hostile fire. Twelve children disembark, form a semicircle, and hold hands. When their hands are raised, the combined psychic force kills every enemy soldier within twenty miles.

Now O’Finioan says he is beginning to recover conscious memories of all these alarming events from his past, which had long been repressed by the mind controllers. When he underwent a recent MRI scan, not only did it detect an implant deep inside his brain, but the implant caused the MRI machine to catch fire, sending doctors and nurses scurrying with fire extinguishers. This also seems to have burned out the implant, effectively freeing him from MKULTRA’s control. Unfortunately, none of his remarkable physical abilities are demonstrated on the video Ultimate Warrior on Pippin’s site, in which O’Finioan simply talks to the camera and doesn’t walk through any walls. By way of explanation, he says that most of his paranormal abilities belong to his “alternate personalities,” which cannot be brought out on demand. What do his enhanced mental abilities foresee for the future? A giant supervolcano in a western state will rip the U.S. apart, and “very soon.” So if this happens, as you’re being buried in ashes and debris, remember that you read it here first.

Robert Sheaffer

Robert Sheaffer's "Psychic Vibrations" column has appeared in the Skeptical Inquirer for the past thirty years. He is also author of UFO Sightings: The Evidence (Prometheus 1998). He blogs at