A Strange Harvest (1980): Creepy documentary about aliens and cattle mutilation

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/27/a-strange-harvest-1980-cree.html




I recall a debunker stating that the “mysteriously removed” tissues just happen to be the ones that decay first, and tastiest to scavengers. Seems plausible, but I have no proof.


It was Dr. Frankenholstein, he needed fresh parts for his creation.


Really only one reasonable culprit here people.


I remember that doc. It was one of those VHS/Betamax tapes that got handed around a lot.


No. It’s those pinche chupacabras!


What is this from?

Uh… Mexico and parts of the Caribbean? It’s a folk cryptid that sucks the blood out of goats and cows—hence chupacabra, or ‘goat-sucker’—sometimes in Mysterious Ways™ like leaving a tiny perfectly circular drinking straw tip-sized hole in an exsanguinated dead beast that is otherwise completely unharmed. In Puerto Rico chupacabras got to a kinda kitschy place… kinda like Big Foot in other parts of the US.

At some point I took to blaming inexplicable everyday events on ‘pinche chupracabras’, and here we are.


Sorry, I meant what is this from? It looks like a board game card.


It’s from the game “Illuminati” . Looks like maybe the original pocket box edition. The point of the game is to build a network of secret societies. Each society has a card with power, resistance to attack, monetary income, and categories (Weird, etc.). The arrows are attachment points. As your network gains influence over organtizations, the gazintas have to match up with gazatas, and cards cannot physically overlap. Fun game. Lots of expansions.


Anyway, I also remember hearing once that it’s basically a cover for insurance fraud. If one of your animals drops dead of unknown causes you get nothing on your insurance. If one of your animals is mutilated by unknown assailants, you get paid. It all depends on the report from law enforcement. If the sheriff is willing to help you out by reporting mutilation, you get paid. If your sheriff is too honest, you get nothing. Apparently if you map reports of cattle mutilations, they are only in some counties and not in others. Hmmmm.


Interesting documentary so far.

That first deputy sheriff sure was grinning a lot.

“I don’t feel a predator can come up and… and… chew a half of a bag(?) off of a cow or the end of the penis off of a bull and not touch any of the rest of the cow.”

He said, while grinning.


a la Faces of Death?

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Yeah, it’s all pretty well known natural processes with animals that died of natural causes or predation. Another element was that small, irregular wounds on bloating animals turned into large, “abnormally regular” holes that were assumed to be (little green) man made.

But people get weird about ignoring known phenomenon in favor of wild speculation and ignoring experts in favor of conspiracy theorists. Something similar happened in the UK with cats being killed by cars and partially eaten by foxes - although this happens regularly, and the signs are well known, apparently every couple decades the idea that there’s a mass cat-murderer roaming the country suddenly becomes popular, despite the evidence.


For decades, Linda Moulton Howe has tried to bridge the gulf between valid scientific journalism, and wild-eyed conspiracy theory-land. Her level of success is on the low end of the scale…depending on the audience. I certainly admire her stick-to-it-iveness in the face of regular ridicule, but this book at the very least chronicles some truly strange findings by folks who are typically not the conspiracy theory types. I always find it a little odd to see a Coast to Coast AM alumni listed here, but not unwelcome. :slight_smile:

I’ll stick with Endangered Species :slight_smile:




Oh! Ha! That’s from the 1980s first edition of the Illuminati card game. A form of the card also makes it into the subsequent (and tragically out of print) Illuminati: New World Order card game.

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“Right, so the Cattle Mutilators will attempt to control the Boy Sprouts, with help from the Yellow Journalism… Damn!”



I watched for about ten minutes and they never got past the pre-amble.