I sadly note the untimely passing of David Perkins, (October 18, 1945 — August 20, 2023) known within a small circle of mutologists as “Izzy Zane.” Perkins was among our last mid-1970s-era cattle mutilation researchers and its most noteworthy. David, a superb analyst, is best known as the first theorist to notice the proximately correlation of irradiated regions of high incidence of “cattle mutilations” downwind and downstream from areas where we see nuclear power plants, missile silos, uranium mines and other places where we utilize fissionable materials. He further expanded his theory into a general “Environmental Monitoring” theory that today, has the strongest argument to support this explanation as a potential major motivation for the mystery mutilators.
David, a Yale graduate with a masters in political science, possessed a towering intellect and was one of a small handful of Ivy League post-graduates that became publically linked to paranormal (and other low-status) proto-scientific subjects. I publically stated for years that I considered him to be one of our most creative analysts and foremost thinkers. He was also one of the field’s most unsung and little-known, but his loss is huge for both the field and myself, personally. Everything is different now that IZ is no longer there to listen dispassionately to yet another conundrum and then advise me with his wise, sardonic, insightful brilliance. As his friends will attest, he was a giving, warm and engaging person who always listened carefully to your how you felt and was selfless in his service to others. He spent many hours helping me track down data and resource material for all of my books, but especially Stalking the Herd. His selfless support of my work was invaluable and I literally could not have done it without him. You will always occupy a special place in my heart and memories my friend, may you rest in eternal peace.
David was the only one I knew that could find the un-findable: any person, place, number, file, family acquaintance. He dropped everything more than a few times to help me find an extra tough-to-locate person, or fact—many times for a friend of mine he didn’t know! He was selfless like that because he wanted to help his friends in any way he could and he did. Since it’s founding in 1969, David, along with his first wife Roberta Price, became leading figures at the Libre Commune in the Huerfano Valley of Southern Colorado. Libre is now considered the longest continuously operating commune in America! As stated in the acknowledgments for Roberta Price’s award-winning “Book of the Year” (2004), Huerfano:
“As the revolution got stuck up to its hubs in the Reagan years, David got more and more interested in the paranormal—UFOs, crop-circles, rods, and his specialty, the unexplained cattle mutilations reported throughout the country for the past thirty-five years. He’s always studied the extremes in our culture and believes that the paranormal is the key to understanding consciousness. He compiled his X files long before the television program. He founded and writes for a regional Magazine [Western Spirit], played a role in local politics, writes articles on the history of the West, the environment, and the paranormal, and speaks at national conferences, dividing his time between Santa Fe and Libre… David’s thorough edits and suggestions were invaluable, and his assistance on [this] work with contents no doubt difficult for both of us was always gracious. [He did mention to me that he found it rather disconcerting to read descriptions of his p*nis in his ex-wife’s book.]…In the summer of 2003, [David] went to the White House with his lady, Paige, to dine with a freshman year drinking buddy from Yale who was hosting a huge dinner for the class of ’68 before their thirty-fifth reunion in New Haven. What he saw that night was harder to believe than the possibility of little green men from outer space.
Here I must digress. David was George W. Bush’s roommate during his first two years at Yale. Space does not permit me to recount the many stories that slowly became revealed over the course of our thirty-plus year friendship. I never asked him to tell me more about his time around “W” and was content with the speed of his opening up process, and for good reason. Rolling Stone magazine tried their utmost to get him to sit for a “tell-all” “W. in college” interview in 1999 during the run-up to the 2000 election. As they say in pro football, Izzy made a business decision and politely refused. RS would not take no for an answer and their third attempt was accompanied by a $250,000 offer. He kicked himself for years about not taking the money and probably swing the election to Gore. I never had the heart to dog him too much about turning them down, but I zinged him pretty good once or twice when he would tell the story of that strange night in the White House.
The trip to the White House started out in a rather inauspicious manner when Paige was bitten by a White House squirrel upon their arrival to the dinner for 750, all living members of the Class of ’68 plus their dates. Paige, not a Bush fan by any stretch, had chosen a spangled pretzel pin as her adornment, in remembrance of the pretzel that almost choked W. to death. Bush looked puzzled by the pretzel pin as they moved down the receiving line. After dinner, the president sat at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the residence while a large crowd of adoring women had their brief minute or two each fawning over the leader of the free world as Bush’s handlers hustled the women along. David, who hadn’t spoken a word to Bush since his college days stood off to the side watching this scene unfold and then saw his chance to approach the president and say hello. Bush immediately recognized him and enthusiastically began asking him how he had been all those intervening years. Being that the USA was just about to invade Iraq, ever the trickster, Izzy then made a sardonic comment to him about Bush getting ready to “go over there and kick some ARab ass” upon hearing this, Bush stood up ramrod straight from the stair he had been enthroned upon and his eyes grew into a strange, wide-eyed stare as he began reciting in a robotic voice, “I must be humble, I must be humble, I must be humble…” Evidently, the dude’s programing developed a skip in the Matrix and poor W was hustled upstairs not to be seen again for the entire evening! Now, I wasn’t there but I don’t doubt for a minute it’s true. This is exactly the kind of weird-ass story that could only have occurred in the amazing life of Izzy Zane. Maybe it was a good thing he didn’t take Rolling Stone up on their offer; at least we were then blessed with another 24 years of the Izmeister’s company.
And how could I possibly question the better part of his valor and judgment after all the help he supplied me over the years? David seemed to attract aspiring writers like a welder’s torch attracts sculptures. Here’s more from a partial list of his behind-the-scenes help in literary projects, besides helping me for 30+years on mine:
Perkins spent five years helping Bob Dylan’s bus driver ghost write a “sanctioned” autobiography covering his “40 years on-the-road-with Bob,” only to have him unexpectedly pass away from a heart attack with his immediate family reluctant to go on the record. A writer friend of Izzy’s has been given the manuscript to finish for an attempt to get it placed into The Dylan Center library in Tulsa, OK.
Or there’s the slippery, elusive Adam Gorightly and his book that Izzy named for him “Saucers, Spooks and Kooks” after spending months fact checking, running down leads, combing through files and contacting difficult-to-find parties. All the while slogging in the trenches with David playing sounding board cheerleader for an author understandably uneasy with the subject matter and the company it keeps.
And then there’s Phaedra Greenwood, long time Taos, NM investigative journalist who helped develop, research and edited her book on a new look at the cattle mutilation mystery, complete w/ a new scientific source/whistleblower-theorist from Los Alamos National Lab. Phaedra had a University Press interested in the book until they weren’t. Oh well, there goes another painstaking year of hand-holding, research, and countless weeks and months of digging, all for not. Or at least not before he passed. The book still may land a university press deal.
But enough of other peoples’ work, David Perkins left us a small, concise body of written work that contains a treasure trove of insightful, creative thinking, One of his best articles is “High Heat” that was originally published in Western Spirit Magazine in the May 1998 edition where David was chief contributing writer and published the magazine’s popular “WeirdnessUpdate: This article is an excellent look at the scientific body of evidence gathered by BLT Research from Crop Circles, Mutilations and UFO Landing Trace Cases. This look at the pioneering work of the Pinelandia Biophysics lab was the first time someone had observed the uncanny parallels between biophysical changes in plants and soil found in true high strange crop circles, UFO landing sites and cattle mutilation sites. These groundbreaking observations have not been adequately addressed by the scientific community and Perkin’s razor-sharp insight into this body of evidence is the first, to my knowledge.
Here’s another important article penned by Perkins that has been overlooked by the breathless newbie fans of History Channel’s “Secret of Skinwalker Ranch.” What many people don’t know is that yours’ truly was the first outside investigator to visit the then unknown “Sherman Ranch” right as Zack Van Eyke’s original Deseret News article hit newsstands in early July 1996. Of course, the first person I told about my trip up to spooky central to meet Terry Sherman was David Perkins. I suggested that David give him a call, and it was fortunate that he did, for Sherman became effectively muzzled by a Robert Bigelow Non-Disclosure Agreement. David’s riveting intervew/article “The Ranch from Hell” originally published in Spirit Magazine Vol 10 # 1 1997, is an historic classic of high-strangeness and it proved to be Terry Sherman’s last interview!
Perkins also contributed an in-depth chapter in the highly respected compilation book UFO 1947—1997 edited by Dennis Stacy and Hillary Evans.Titled, Darkening Skies,1979-1980: Of Dead Cows and Little Green Men. The article starts with several classic Perkins’ ornamental quotes:
“‘I can’t see what the attraction of a bull’s ass would be to a UFO’ (Toronto Star (12-17-79) “We’re looking for humans doing these things [cattle mutilations] not UFOs or little green men.’ Edmonton Journal (11-26-79). Both quotes by Corporal Lyn Lauber, Royal Canadian Mounted Police. ‘If little green men are responsible for the mutilations, I’ll bring them in by the ears.’ Ex-FBI Agent Kenneth Rommel, Project Director of Oeration Animal Mutilation statement to Albuquerque TV Station KOB (5-26-79″
The article perhaps better than any other, captures the twilight-zone-ish nightmare experienced by Rocky Mountain region ranchers and law enforcment offcials trying to make mutilated heads or missing tails of the dozens of mutilation reports during the hell year of 1979. Of course our intrepid “mutologist” Mr Perkins was hot on the trail of the mutilators, but he was starting to realize that this hunt was far from over and these cowboys had a tough row to hoe before the cows could come home safe and sound. Very few investigators who were active in 1979 are alive today to tell their tales of ‘darkening skies.’ This territory is fraught with a rare form of personal peril and for the past 50 years until his untimely death David Perkins traveled these bloodless roads relatively unscathed.
Over the years, some of David’s friends have questioned his decision to devote so much time, energy and shear brain power examining such a ‘low status” subjects that certainly doesn’t rate very high as popular cocktail party subject material, Izzy has always been adament that this subject is not only important, it may be our quickest path toward a more complete understanding of human understanding itself! As he stated in the Introduction to Stalking the Herd:
“I have long maintained that the sheer theatricality of mutilation-related events seems designed to demand our attention. In this tricksterish Theater of the Absurd production, there is a fine line between horror and hilarity. Where do each of us stand in the spectrum ranging from “suspended disbelief” to harsh criticism? How do these attitudes reinforce our self-images? On what do we really base our opinions? Our fears? Our needs? Our expectations? No matter where one stands on the issue, the mutes seem to cry out for our response and visceral participation. Right now, in some remote eerie pasture there is quite possibly a mutilated cow bearing mute testimony to our unwillingness or inability to step up and come to grips with this exceedingly strange situation.”
Over the course of the past seven years, David and I have recorded many hours of dialogues to be used in my followup book to Stalking the Herd. We must have recorded over 100 hours. Sadly, David won’t be here to see the final, completed book, but his wisdom, humor and ironic insight will be captured in its purest form for as long as books are read. I am reminded of this late night gem that ended a long weekend session and encapsulated why David felt his cattle mutilation research was so important:
David: I think to not pursue these things is the real crime. I think people are really missing something. As much as it’s been a hassle to us [and] in some ways frustrating, it’s also been the most incredible education that I’ve gotten myself through it and people I’ve met, experiences I’ve had, research I’ve done, which I really love doing; it’s like a whole college degree in weirdness that really broadened my scope, It intrigued me to no end the possibilities that this implies. I never liked the term paradigm shift particularly; I don’t know why. Something about it seems New-Agey and psychobabble.
Chris: Well, you’ve always been more like into a “threedigm shift,” forget the paradigm. We’re “threedigm shifters!”
David: It could be a real turning point in the level of like let’s say a Darwinian understanding of origin of species and evolution. It could really change the worldview of the population of the Earth!
Chris: THAT was definitely a paradigm shift!
David: Yeah. And again Darwin, sort of like Lovelock [originator of Gaian Theory], kind of hesitated to publish it. He waited until the last possible second. I think Darwin sat on [Natural Selection] for 20 years…Darwin knew there’d be a shitstorm of Biblical proportions coming back on him about “how dare you say we come from apes.” We’re angelic by nature. We’re God’s creations. We’re not smelly apes. They’re not our relatives. So he got a lot of blowback, which he knew was coming. The same with Lovelock and his Gaia: “I can just hear them now. A bunch of tree huggers. It’s a new religion; new age mystical bull pucky” that sure enough came as predicted.
Chris: It sounds like me talking about the ‘true believer’ crowd…
David: …So you’ve just got to proceed. I know some of this stuff sounds insane that we come up with, but it’s definitely worth airing out. It’s been fairly disappointing because I do air these things out in published works and I never get a response. Nobody ever says that’s bullshit or that’s some very intriguing ideas you’ve got there Perkins. Neither one. It’s just like this void, which makes it kind of hard to perceive because you don’t get any feedback, either positive or negative. People just don’t know where to put it.
Chris: What-ever-you-say Dave…
David: Yeah, you just go on your mystical way. But it seems like it be worth a good debate at least. But it would take time to unpack what we’re talking about here.
Chris: That’s one of the problems for this type of research because it’s just so dense and so complicated; there’s so much entailed to it. It’s just really difficult to bring somebody up to speed quickly and accurately for them to develop an intelligent opinion. [end of recording]
One thing I do know as I sit finishing up the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write, the obituary for my friend, mentor, research partner, David Perkins, trying to capture his essence is akin to watching the warm, sparkling essence of his spirit (and towering intellect) vanish slowly into the coldness of pure, blinding light, over and over again.There is no way I would have ever been able to tackle this perplexing conundrum of research and new thinking without David Perkins’ help, humor, hope and guidance. I’m sure those that knew him would heartily agree, he was a bright, shining gem of a man.