For quite some time now, we've known that UFOs tend to whisk away people and return them to Earth with amazing stories. But there are plenty of stories of aliens abducting cows. While the thought of alien abduction of humans can be frightening, we seem to have embraced the idea of UFOs carrying off our cows. Maybe it's a case of reassuring ourselves that there are alternate victims.
Aliens from outer space were blamed for a spate of cow mutilations in the 1970s. Since then, it seems that extraterrestrials are more careful not to leave evidence of cow abductions. Maybe they've learned how tasty beef is. But in 2009, rancher Mike Duran in Colorado saw strange lights in the sky before finding one of his cows dead. Duran said it was a repeat of an incident from 1995. Derek Bridges reported seeing a buffalo being beamed up into a spacecraft in 2009 in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. A nearby farm has imported bison, but the farmer said no livestock was missing. However, Bridges recorded video of the incident, in which you can see lights, but not much else. Farmers elsewhere say that cows aren't the only livestock bothered by aliens. They'll take sheep if no cows are available. Image by Flickr user Theron LaBounty.
This video has been around for quite some time, but its provenance is shrouded in mystery.
So it has become common knowledge that visitors from other planets really, really want our cows. Some theorize that cows themselves originated from somewhere outside the planet Earth. Image by Flickr user electricnerve.
Others posit that cows are space travelers and have a distinct affinity for our moon. Cosmocows holds that traveling space cows are the only logical explanation for our moon being made of cheese, and that cows have longed for their lunar home so much that they call out for it ...but have a problem pronouncing it correctly. This theory also explains the nursery rhyme about the cow jumping over the moon.
The ultimate source for information about this phenomenon is Cow Abductions, from the fine folks at the California Milk Processing Board. They interviewed farmers about the alien problem.
I rejoiced to find a blog named Flying Cow Observatory Blog, then was disappointed to NOT find any flying cows in it! This is a blog dedicated to astronomy and astrophotography, but the name is a clear homage to the many cow abduction stories. There are video games about cow abduction as well.
Alien cow abduction has so ingrained itself in our pop culture consciousness, we are liable to see it referenced anywhere. This British channel identification was produced by animator Cyriak Harris, who once said,
Cows are always getting themselves abducted by UFOs, thats just the plain truth. Some of them even look forward to it, filthy beasts that they are.
Cyriak made a longer animation about cows abducted by aliens, called Moo! that may be a bit disturbing for sensitive viewers, hilarious for others.
It has become a common art subject as well. This image is from DeviantART member AtelierLambert.
The Alien Abduction Shop at Etsy has earrings that illustrate the alien's obsession with cows.
Or how about a wall sticker to decorate your home?
Flickr user crises_crs built an abduction a vignette with Lego bricks and a Duplo cow.
But the real question is: WHY are extraterrestrials so obsessed with cattle? No matter how many movies we've seen, we still can't assume that aliens think the way we do. But I have a theory. It makes sense that intelligent alien life forms would look for the most successful species on another planet. We know that insects and microbes are more "successful" than humans by numbers alone, but they are too small to see, at least from a spacecraft. But an observable species that flourished in large numbers would certainly draw interest. Below is a map of the U.S. showing human population distribution, from Population Labs.
As you can see, there are a lot of people, but the large numbers tend to clump in small areas, mainly along the east and west coasts. Compare that to the 2002 distribution map of cattle in the U.S. from the USDA.
Cattle are spread all over vast expanses of the country! Yeah, sure, there are only 100 million head of cattle in the country, and over 300 million people, but on any given day, most of those people are inside and out of view. Is it any wonder that alien explorers would assume that they are the alpha species on earth? It makes perfect sense.