Biochemist Colm Kelleher,[41] who has investigated several purported mutilations first-hand, argues that the mutilations are most likely a clandestine U.S. government effort to track the spread of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy ("mad cow disease") and related diseases, such as scrapie. We limited the analysis to the continental United States. We found the resulting 774 county subsample to be well balanced (SI Appendix, Table S14). [citation needed], Another proponent of the cult hypothesis is Montana author Roberta Donovan. To this end, we employed county-level mobility data made available by Google for COVID-19 researchers. ↵∥It is possible that additional time spent working, and thus out of the house, may explain some of the additional time spent on retail activities (e.g., gas stations or workday meals). In 1975, the US Treasury Department assigned Donald Flickinger to investigate the existence of connections between cults and the mutilation of cattle. This article contains supporting information online at https://www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.2010115117/-/DCSupplemental. During the six to eight month time frame of Rommel's investigation, RCMP investigator Corporal Lyn Lauber of the Calgary detachment (who was in charge of the Canadian mutilation probe) investigated numerous high-strange cases. A and B plot coefficients from a panel regression, where counties are interacted with the weekly event index in terms of percent growth in cases (A) and change in case rates per 1,000 (B). Oliphant posits the NIH, CDC, or other federally funded bodies, may be involved, and they are supported by the US military. [18] In Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, June 1976, a "trail of suction cup-like impressions" was found leading from a mutilated three-year-old cow. Missing or mutilated mouth, lips, anus, and genitalia are explained as: Missing/mutilated eyes and soft internal organs are explained as: Surgical incisions in the skin are explained as: The hypothesis that natural phenomena account for most mutilation characteristics has been validated by a number of experiments, including one cited by long-time scientific skeptic Robert T. Carroll, conducted by Washington County (Arkansas) Sheriff's Department. The results are robust both nationally and when only considering variation within states after including state fixed effects. The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health and economic crisis in which policymakers face tradeoffs between maintaining essential economic activities and mitigating disease spread. Because these plants provide a central location for moving products, it is plausible that a linear increase in the potential infected within the plant would entail a nonlinear response, owing to the complex and exponential nature of disease-transmission dynamics (70). Livestock deaths . Over the decades, the livestock- and poultry-processing industry in the United States has consolidated its operations into fewer, larger plants, in which meat production per plant has increased threefold since 1976 (29, 30). A larger space that employees must navigate in reaching their workstations may also increase the number of workplace interactions. Very small plants (categories 1 and 2), which are often niche providers, were excluded.‡. Aside from Smithfield, the relationship with deaths is positive, albeit less significant, which may be due to small sample size.¶. If you accounted for your purchase as an asset you can record the loss of the cow by indicating the cow was sold. The relationship between local COVID-19 incidence and medium and large plants (FSIS categories 4 or 5) owned or operated by some of the largest US processors (National Beef, JBS, Tyson, Cargill, and Smithfield) and their subsidiaries is presented in SI Appendix, Table S6. We found that the relationship between livestock plants and COVID-19 incidence remained largely stable, meaning that it is not explained by a correlation with manufacturing (SI Appendix, Table S8). Tears in the skin created when it is stretched by postmortem bloat and/or as dehydration causes the animal's hide to shrink and split, often in linear cuts. On account of the time between death and necropsy, and a lack of background information on specific cattle, investigators have often found it impossible to determine if these variations are connected to the animals' deaths or not.[11]. And while shutdown counties have higher cumulative COVID-19 caseloads on average, this is likely because closures occurred too late to suppress community spread outside of these plants. Valdez was convinced that Rommel never was able to investigate a single high-strange case, because the mutilators moved their operations to other parts of the west. The selection of this instrument was motivated by meat processors’ need to minimize costs of transporting livestock supply when selecting the location of plants. Zenodo. Good Timothy, Alien contact: top-secret UFO files revealed, William Morrow & Co., M. Rommel Jr, Kenneth, Operation Animal Mutilation, pp.172-75, M. Rommel Jr, Kenneth, Operation Animal Mutilation, pp.12-13, Clark J, Pear N (1997), "Strange and unexplained phenomena", Visible Ink Press, Onet George E, DVM, PhD, Kelleher Colm, PhD, (1997), Histological Changes in Bovine Skin Exposed to Natural Environmental Conditions, Mystery Stalks the Prairie (1976), Donovan Roberta, Wolverton Keith, ASIN B0006WH8CA. That’s according to the Department of Rural and Community Development, which is responsible for dog control policy and legislation. In May 1979, the case was passed on to the FBI, which granted jurisdiction under Title 18. A concerning trend of criminal shooting of domestic livestock is appearing around the province. This includes (but is not limited to) ruling out the most obvious confounders, a cross-sectional IV, and the event-study analysis leveraging shutdown timing. [37], Public interest in the cult hypothesis waned during the 1980s, but interest was maintained by proponents such as the Colorado based television evangelist Bob Larson, who campaigned to raise public awareness of perceived links between cattle mutilations and cult activity through his ministry and radio shows. Angrist and Krueger (65) noted that “one should always be wary of drawing causal inferences from observational data.” We know of no random-assignment design that could address our research question and thereby yield the most reliable path to causal inference. Counties with plants have higher population density, a lower proportion of elderly people, higher proportions of Black and Hispanic people, and larger household sizes. Policy responses to the COVID-19 outbreak must strike a balance between maintaining essential supply chains and limiting the spread of the virus. 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