15 min readDec 5, 2022

Todmorden, Calf mutilation - 5th July 2020

**Warning: This article includes graphic images which some readers may find distressing. We DO NOT condone this activity; however, we do believe this subject represents a genuine mystery and images are included here for research and educational purposes. **

The Calf as first discovered on the 5th of July 2020. Image credit -Albert Tyas.

In July 2020, I was able to assist in the investigation of an unusual animal death in West Yorkshire. The following is a revised and updated version of my earlier report, including all of the available and relevant information discovered to date.

The Discovery:

Sunday, the 5th of July 2020, was a beautiful day in West Yorkshire. Albert Tyas and his girlfriend, Hannah Firth, decided to spend the day out walking in Todmorden. They parked close to the Shepherd’s Rest Inn, on Lumbutts Road and set off for a walk around Gaddings Dam, a nearby disused reservoir originally built in 1833.

Not far into the walk, they noticed what they at first thought was a dead sheep. As they moved closer, they quickly realised that it was actually a male calf, approximately 3 - 4 months old. Possibly a Jersey, Dexter dunn or Limousin breed.

Google Earth image, showing exact animal location. Image credit — Albert Tyas

Fortunately, Mr Tyas was familiar with the subject matter and instantly recognised what could be termed a 'classic animal mutilation’. He had the presence of mind to take a series of eight pictures documenting the scene. Albert and his partner also searched the site for signs of anything unusual. The area was clean, with no signs of a struggle, no blood and no missing parts, such as ear, with tag, or tail.

Mr Tyas, next contacted Deborah Hatswell who runs a network of researchers across the UK; (Being Believed Research, cryptid and paranormal investigations. BBR) She, in turn, reached out to David Cayton, a prominent UK based animal mutilation investigator. She also posted a series of reports on her Facebook page.

9th July - Facebook post

10th July - Facebook post

22nd July - Facebook post

After seeing the first of the posts above, I reached out to Deborah Hatswell and she very kindly put me in touch with both Albert Tyas and David Cayton. With the discovery and initial series of events detailed, we will now turn to the photos, the scene and the injuries to the animal itself.

The Photographs:

As can be seen from the images below, the animal was lying on its right side, roughly 50ft down an incline from the footpath. It was facing East-North-East and three large wounds were clearly visible. Close examination of these wounds revealed a small amount of wet, red blood seepage around the lower jaw, suggesting that the calf had been killed very recently.

The animal displayed a typical 'jaw strip’, which is to say that the skin and muscle tissue had been removed, in an oval pattern, from the muzzle to the throat area, right back to expose clean bone.

The left ear was missing and appeared to have been cut back to the skull with a complete lack of any blood around the wound. Here it is apparent that the ear was probably removed post-mortem due to the clear absence of any blood staining around the injury.

There was also a large circular hole in the rectal area, including the removal of the tail. Here again clean bone was just visible in the images and there were no signs of blood on the surrounding hide.

Close examination of the pictures appears to show that the tongue was also missing. (See image #9.) It is also worth noting that the calf’s head was actually lower than the rest of the body, due to the incline of the pasture. Given the apparent removal of the tongue, and large facial wound, it seems that there should have been much more evidence of blood pooling around the head area. Possibly suggesting some degree of exsanguination.

#1. Here we see the animal as it appeared on the 5th July, relative to the footpath, visible right corner. Image credit - Albert Tyas

#2. Another shot showing the rural location and pristine scene. Image credit - Albert Tyas

#3. Here we see removal of tissue from the jaw area, exposing relatively clean jawbone. Image credit - Albert Tyas

#4. In this image some small blood spotting and possible signs of disturbance is visible around the head area. (Could this be an indication that the animal was dropped?) Image credit - Albert Tyas

#5. Close up, showing pristine, bloodless removal of the entire ear. (Note, right, inside cheek tissue visible here is not the calf’s tongue.) Image credit - Albert Tyas

#6. Note the complete lack of blood and undisturbed grass, despite severed tail and large hole. (Approx 5" or 125mm) Image credit - Albert Tyas

#7. Slightly closer view of head and neck area. Roof of mouth is clearly visible, suggesting that the tongue was also missing. Image credit - Albert Tyas

#8. Large hole, clean bone and missing tail clear to see, grass in foreground appears undisturbed by animal activity. Image credit - Albert Tyas

#9. In this enhancement the back teeth in the lower jaw are visible, indicating that the tongue and possibly other organs were also removed. Image credit — Author

Saturday, 16th July:

Following a request from David Cayton, Mr Tyas returned to the location and checked to see if the calf was still in its original position. He provided two more images and confirmed the exact location.

#10. Here we see the site after 11 days. Dead grass from under the carcass exposed. Scavenger activity has set in and the calf appears to have been moved slightly. Image credit - Albert Tyas.

#11. ‘Blow fly strike’, with maggots, now in effect. Note the circular nature of the original incision. Contrast also with earlier, much fresher carcass. Image credit - Albert Tyas.

Site visit:

On Sunday, 17th of July, I finally had plans in place to meet with Albert Tyas and visit the calf mutilation site. Myself and my business partner (and fiancé), Victoria Morris, gathered a few items (latex gloves, for sure) and set out for Todmorden. About a 40-minute drive.

We met with Albert and Hannah part way along the walk, as arranged. They were both very friendly, open and helpful and led us the short distance to the site.

The scene that greeted us was very different from that of the 5th of July and quite ‘fragrant’ to say the least. Below is an excerpt from my email back to the group of interested parties:

"From: Lee Nicholson.

Finally got back from the calf mute site, unfortunately predators (probably foxes) have pretty much decimated the scene.

I was a little bit behind on this story and two weeks has left very little evidence to recover. Full credit goes to Albert (and Hannah) here for the initial discovery and for the thoughtfulness to reach out to others.

Thankfully, again credit to Albert, we have pretty good images of the site before predation. As per David's suggestions:

- We checked EM with a phone based app, nothing above normal background.

- We couldn't see any sign of the ear tag(s), nor anything unusual around the area.

- Second set of pics from Albert shows blow fly strike, and predator activity, so nothing present to deter that.

- We did take soil samples from directly underneath the carcass's original location and two more from about 20ft away either side.

- We also scanned the area with a powerful magnet looking for any metallic debris but found nothing.

Side note: we also found a dead white Hen in the same area, which again seemed odd. Inspecting the animal we didn’t see any signs of injury."

Site visit images, 17th of July, 2020:

#12. The scene; carcass had been dragged away slightly and dismembered. (Possibly foxes, as we found droppings.) Image credit — Author

#13. Victoria Morris, Albert Tyas and Hannah Firth on location. Image Credit — Author

#14. White Hen, as discovered. No signs of injury, possibly unrelated, but seemed out of place and looked to have been dropped in the long grass. Image credit- Author.

Background from David Cayton:

"Might be worth a call at xxxx … He had a sheep mute we went to in 2002, I think, could be later? Despite a promise informing me of any other later incidents, he has had at least 4 other later mutes but did not tell me! He is some sort of denial mode and likely skeptical about the ufo connection! He may now have a few cattle, so the calf could be his???"

David Cayton also provided one image from the event in 2002 showing an almost identical 'jaw strip’, this time on a sheep:

#15 Close view of ‘jaw strip’ discovered on the farm in Todmorden, in 2002. Image credit - David Cayton.

Other Mutilations:

After conducting online research, I discovered that, apparently there were a series of unexplained animal mutilations occurring throughout 2020, not just in the US and UK, but also in France where hundreds of cases were investigated by the Gendarmerie.

The following links highlight some of these cases:

United Kingdom -

France -

United States -

Further research:


We contacted the Shepherd’s Rest Inn, which is very close to the location where the calf was discovered and asked if they noted anything unusual at that time, including helicopter activity. Unfortunately, they hadn’t seen or heard anything:

"Thank you for your feedback on our procedures we do aim to make people safe, And we haven’t noticed anything unusual around that time, sorry"

Significantly, almost 12 months later on the 7th of June, a UFO in the form of a “glowing plasma ball” like object was witnessed in this exact area and not for the first time. For more on this see:

Material Recovery.

During two further visits to the site, we recovered most of the skull and jawbone, which by that time were completely clean of tissue due to natural predation and insect activity.

My fiancé, Victoria Morris, initially noticed a pair of unusual scratches on the left hemisphere of the skull, just above the eye socket. Looking more closely we saw two parallel marks, less than 0.5mm wide, approximately 13mm and 10mm long, 5mm apart drawing to 3mm. (See photo).

#15 ‘scratch marks’ visible centre screen just below natural holes above left eye socket. Image credit — Author.

A closer examination with a digital microscope revealed deeper holes at the top and bottom of each scratch mark which were deep but did not penetrate through the skull. We were also able to determine an angle of approach of about 45 degrees.

It is important to acknowledge here that these marks could well have been caused by scavenger activity. However, they do look very unnatural, we would love to hear from anybody with experience in this area and the sample is available for further study.

I was especially interested in recovering the left jawbone, as it had been stripped of flesh in a very unusual manner and we hoped that closer examination might reveal the instrument used. We employed UV light and the microscope again, but no signs of any cuts, scratches, or teeth marks were visible. (Again, this sample is available for further study.)

#16 Left jawbone as recovered, no obvious signs of cuts, scratches or teeth marks. Image credit- Author.

The Farmer.

We also discovered a mixed herd of cows in the area (up on the moorland near Gaddings dam) which included calves of a similar age to the unfortunate victim of this mutilation. We noted that these calves, at that time roughly 6 months old, did not have any ear tags. Strongly suggesting that the mutilated calf was never tagged.

Combining information from several sources we were able to confirm that the calf was indeed owned by the farmer identified by David Cayton. This means that as many as five mutilation events may have occurred on the same farm since the sheep investigation in 2002.

We further discovered that the farmer in question had been fined by DEFRA (Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs) to the tune of £4000 and banned from keeping livestock for 5 years in 2014. Whether this was related to the mutilation incidents we cannot say for certain, but the charges listed are not inconsistent with that possibility. For this and other reasons we have chosen to protect his identity.


Ultimately, we have no idea who, or what, killed and mutilated this unfortunate young calf. We can say that on the 5th of July when the animal was first discovered, it was relatively fresh and there were no obvious signs of predation. The area around the site was clearly not disturbed by animal activity, especially at the rear end. (See photo #6 & #8) There was a significant lack of blood at the scene, considering the extent of the injuries present and the orientation of the carcass.

More importantly, the injuries present in this case have been seen many times before, researchers have documented literally tens of thousands of cases worldwide with almost identical ‘calling cards’. The following is a brief list of some of those repeating patterns discovered over many years by investigators of this topic*.

(*See references.)

Typical Repeating Patterns:

- Remote location; no evidence of a struggle, no tracks, no signs of predation, suggestion animal was killed elsewhere and deposited at the scene.

- No blood, or very little blood found at the scene, possible evidence of exsanguination.

- Precise, almost surgical, removal of tissue, usually bloodless, (post mortem?), cut hair around excision sites. Internal organs removed.

- Flesh removed from jaw area, exposing clean bone, ears cut back to skull, circular or oval incision to rectal area, eyes, ears, tails and genitals frequently removed and absent from scene.

- UAP, UFO, strange lights and/or other unusual aerial activity, such as helicopters observed in or around the area.

Contrasting this list above with the injuries found by Albert Tyas on the 5th of July, we can easily identify four out of five of the ‘repeating patterns’. This strongly implies a common source for the unknown perpetrators of these events, which have been occurring worldwide for decades. Perhaps much longer.

Historical reports:

Many researchers point to the case of Lady (or Snippy the horse), discovered in the San Luis Valley, Colorado, in September 1967, as the first publicised account. However, in his excellent book ‘Stalking the Herd’, Chris O’Brien presents several early examples, including the following passage from ‘The Court and Times of James I’ dated, 1606:

“…about the city of London and some of the shires adjoining. Whole slaughters of sheep have been made, in some places to number 100, in others less, where nothing is taken from the sheep but their tallow and some inward parts, the whole carcasses, and fleece remaining still behind. Of this sundry conjectures, but most agree that it tendeth towards some fireworks.” - Stalking the Herd pg. 50.

While this account is without a doubt fascinating, I recently came across an even earlier example with much more explicit detail. The following passage from 12–13th century collection of Welsh stories, the Mabinogion, was passed to me by a female experiencer who lives in Todmorden:

“With that he [started] striking up at the horses. He sliced their lips back to their teeth, and their ears back to their heads, and their tails to their backs — and wherever he could get a grip on their eyelids, he would cut these back to the bone. And the horses were mutilated thus, to the extent that no further use could be got from the horses.” — Mabinogion: Branwen daughter of Llyr.

As the reader can see, the quotation above reads like a contemporary account of animal mutilation, in fact three of the four injuries described are almost identical to those inflicted upon our young Calf in Todmorden and match perfectly with our list of ‘repeating patterns’.

Final Thoughts:

Considering all of the above information, we can say with reasonable certainty that our Calf was killed and mutilated by unidentified, but intelligent perpetrators, using unknown tools for an unknown purpose and that samples were retrieved and removed from the area. There was no evidence of natural predation and/or scavenger activity in the initial set of photographs. Contrasting those with the later site visits this is very clear to see.

The injuries documented in the initial set of eight pictures clearly match those discovered by multiple independent researchers across several countries and stretching back decades, possibly even hundreds of years. To date there have been no convictions despite numerous detailed investigations by private individuals and organisations, veterinarians, pathologists, public authorities and even the FBI.

As I write these closing thoughts in December of 2022, reports of unexplained animal mutilations continue to appear in the media. Just a few weeks ago, Brandon Fugal, owner of the infamous Skinwalker Ranch reported “Another dead Cow & strange activity ongoing…” on his twitter feed. In the image shared it is clear to see the typical ‘Jaw strip’ discussed above, all of this occuring in an area covered with hi tech cameras and monitoring equipment. Yet, according to Mr Fugal the team “didn’t see anything”.

#17 Tweet from Brandon Fugal showing the unfortunate animal with ‘jaw strip’. Image credit — Twitter.

So, the mystery continues and probably will until funding becomes available for field investigators to liaise with animal owners and veterinary professionals, to conduct post-mortems, consult experts and access laboratory equipment. Unless, of course, a chance encounter results in video imagery and physical evidence of the perpetrators ‘caught red-handed’ and ‘in the act’, not exactly impossible, but don’t hold your breath.

Media Coverage:

Independent journalist, Jonny Dillon, was following the story and pitched an article to various media. The Sun and the Daily Star both published articles. Coast to Coast AM and LADBible also picked up the story:

Pioneering cattle mutilation researcher, Linda Moulton Howe, reported on this story at her Earthfiles website, on the 4th of August and on her weekly YouTube live stream.

Deborah Hatswell was a guest on Paul Sinclair's Truth Proof YouTube live stream on the 7th of August, this case was covered in the first 20 mins:

Author interview with Paul Sinclair:

The case was also featured in the book, “The Black Monks of Accrington” by Craig Bryant (pg. 170–173).

References and further reading:

David Perkins -

Thomas Adams -

Linda Moulton-Howe -

Christopher O’Brien -

Paul Sinclair -

David Cayton and Phil Hoyle - Silent Killers Mike Freebury- Killers on the Moor. -



Thanks to; Albert Tyas and Hannah Firth for the discovery and thoughtfulness to capture good images. Deborah Hatswell for initial reporting and lead. David Cayton and Paul Sinclair for invaluable support and advice. Also, to Jonny Dillon for media coverage and Linda Moulton Howe for her pioneering work on this topic.

Lee Nicholson
December 2022


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