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UFOs in the daily Press:

Mystery in Alsaka, 1972:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper The Sun, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on July 26, 1972.


53 caribous found dead in circle

Sun Staff Reporter

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Mystified wildlife scientists are puzzling over the strange fate of 53 caribou which appear to have simultaneously dropped dead in their tracks.

The carcasses were found lying in a peculiar circular arrangement on range land near the Fort Greely military reservation, about 100 miles south of here.

So far, no cause of death has been found and several theories - including starvation, avalanche, lightning, shooting and chemical weapons - have been ruled out.

"They were all drawn up in a circle, like Custer's last stand," said Ken Neiland, a wildlife disease specialist with the Alaska fish and game department.

"It's the first time I've ever seen or heard of anything like it."

The caribou - 48 adults and five calves - were found in late June by a patrol from Fort Greely and first examined by wildlife officials several days later.

Neiland said the presence of calves indicates the animals had probably been dead for only about two weeks, since the earliest likely calving date is June 5.

Most of the carcasses were within 10 feet of each other in an elongated circle 50 to 75 yards in diameter.

Neiland said they had been fed on by grizzlies and eagles and were in an advanced state of decomposition which has made the task of analysing their deaths more difficult.

Samples of bone marrow and internal organs have been sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service toxicology laboratory in Denver, Col., but Neiland is not optimistic of a definite finding.

"It's going to take some fairly tricky analysis on their part," he said. "I would say it's unlikely they will come up with enough facts to be reasonably sure of what caused death - I think the best thing we will come up with is speculation."

Neiland told the Fairbanks News Miner that ‘the theory that it might have been beings from a different planet testing weapons is as good as anything we have yet."

But he hastened to explain to The Sun Tuesday: "That's a completely facetious thing. Let's not get started on anything like that.

"I think it's something right here on the face of good old earth that happened."

Whatever it was, Neiland believes it was something that happened rapidly.

"It's so unlikely that if they died over a period of time, they would all be in one spot," he said. "The peculiar grouping really makes things difficult to understand."

Compounding the mystery is the presence of several other herds of caribou in the same area one within a mile of the dead herd — which appeared to be unaffected.

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