John Harr Mutilation Case (From The Mysterious Valley page 152-153)
Harr and his family were awakened the night of October 20, by what Harr described as a terrible noise. It sounded like a “huge helicopter hovering right over the top of the house.” Harr, also the Del Norte Postmaster, said. “I went outside and all I could hear was the downdraft from the propeller, there were no engine-sounds. I didn’t hear anything mechanical!”
Two days later, October 22, Harr’s two sons discovered two cows and two calves 1/2 mile away from the house to the east, dead for “no apparent reason.” According to the rancher, the oldest cow, who “would’ve died soon anyway,” was discovered missing the flesh off her jaw, and the tongue and rear end were “cut out.” He also noticed that, “It looked like she’d floundered around a bit before she died.”
The other cow and two calves “looked like they had just died in their sleep.” These three animals displayed no incision-like marks and scavengers made short work of two of them. The second cow was untouched, even by birds. No additional clues appeared to be present at the site. No tire-tracks, footprints, scavenger tracks or any blood was discovered at the scene. No vet examined these animals, and Harr never bothered to roll the “mutilated” cow over to ascertain if the downside had been butchered.
Alamosa County K-9 deputy Jim McCloskey investigated the Harr report. For some reason, he left his animal partner in the car while at the site and no animal reactions were noted.
The Alamosa River snakes through a corner of the ranch where the animals were discovered. This river is polluted with heavy metals 40 miles upstream in the mountains, for 17 miles, by the Summitville Mine superfund site. It is one of the only known sources of pollution in the pristine Greater SLV. This appears to give more ammunition for “the UAD as environmental monitoring” theorists.
Harr “stewed for a couple of days” and then started making phone-calls. He called Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell’s office about the matter and was referred to the governor’s office. The governor’s office told him to talk with State’s Veterinarian advocate, Dr. John Maulsby. The vet spoke knowledgeably about the phenomenon. “He (Maulsby) told me he was going to put an article in our local paper requesting ranchers provide him with fresh samples for testing,” said Harr. “But if he ever put one in, I never saw it.”