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This article was published in the daily newspaper El Tribuno in its provincial news section, Salta, Argentina, on Sunday, August 4, 2002.

Santa Victoria Oeste / Strange discoveries and explosions

Mutilated Cows Found at 4.000 Meters Above Sea Level

A Saltan geologist provides a curious account on strange deaths and demands an investigation.

Juan Antonio Abarz˙a - El Tribuno

Saltan geologist Carlos Taballione specializes in high-altitude highways and has carried out such tasks for the United Nations in different parts of the country. He demanded a thorough, credible and serious investigation to uncover the enigma of Argentina's "mutilated cows", which recently flared up again in the Saltan community of La Troja, where six cows were found missing their eyes, tongues and flesh and hide covering the lower jawbones, although the rest of their bodies was intact and gave off no odor whatsoever, and had not been caused by carrion animals or insects.

Taballione told "El Tribuno" that: "as soon as information on similar events began to appear throughout the republic, I recalled an event which occurred in August 2000 and which I witnessed. While involved in laying out the new Santa Victoria-La Quiaca road at the request of the Secretary of Mining and the local municipality, I found half a dozen lifeless animals in an esplanade located a little over 4,000 meters high. All of them showed the same signs which have characterized the unsolved mystery of "cattle mutilations". They had no eyes, tongue, flesh or hide on the lower jawbone. Nor did they issue any odor or attract flies. Condors, the world's most powerful winged predators, and which can cosume a large bovine in less than two hours, seemed to ignore the carcasses. And not only that: I also recalled that in the recent cases and the one I witnessed, there were further similarities--the beasts appeared to have been slain simultaneously and did not make a single movement after hitting the ground. There were no tracks around them save their own, interrupted by a sudden and instant death. It was as if they hadn't even lost balance before dying. The left no signs of erratic movement, nor signs of a struggle for their existence. But there were even stranger things. All of the animals fell in the same direction, on their right flank, heads pointed toward the north and forming an almost perfect circumference of 100 meters in diameter."

Taballione, 55, noted that on said occasion he was "accompanied by a backwoodsman, who was startled by the discovery but attributed the deaths to lightining, which is very common in Abra La Apacheta, where we were standing. The man's reasoning was questionable," he added, "beacuse when lightning strikes, it falls in a given location and not over a wide area. It is therefore impossible for one of these meteorological phenomenons to cause the death of 6 animals over such a wide area. Still less to think that they were slain by individual lightning bolts. However, after taking a few snapshots, I continued my work and never forgot the incident, which represents a mystery I've never been able to solve."

The geologist noted that "the challenge to really find out what happened in these cases has spurred me on even more, now that similar claims have been made everywhere. The carnivorous mouse hypothesis put forward by SENASA is groundless: rodents are vegetarians, and the Puna is not inhabited by the "red-muzzled" species to which the official explanation has ascribed the deaths. Nor are vamipre bats to blame, and the theory put forward by my colleague Domingo Jakulica, who attributes lethal properties to the saliva of the flying hematophage Desmodus Rotundus - can be rejected, at least in cases occuring in the Puna. The only way to dispel all doubts is to conduct a thorough investigation. I don't mean to say that the Chupacabras or aliens will be found behind all of this, but the fact is that the nervous explanations given to justify the natural are so weak that they make those who believe in alien intervention or fantastic predators seem credible," he concluded.

Translation (C) 2002 Scott Corrales, Institute of Hispanic Ufology. Special thanks to Alicia Rossi and Gloria Coluchi.

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