Horse skull Photo Credit: aloha_17 (iStock).

File photo. Photo Credit: aloha_17 (iStock).

"Flying Saucer Sought in Death of Horse," read a headline following the death and mutilation of Colorado's most infamous equine, Lady.

More commonly known as Snippy, Lady's posthumous alias, the body of this horse was found stripped clean of the hide covering its skull, seventeen miles from Alamosa on September 9, 1967. Cuts said to be made with surgical precision had been used to remove organs, somehow without leaving any blood behind – in the carcass or on the ground. The exposed bones of the animal were white, as if they had been bleached or left in the sun for years, though some also report them showing an odd pinkish hue.

According to an article published by the Denver Public Library, Lady was noticed to be missing just two days prior, when the horse didn't return to its stable at the Harry King Ranch.

As the investigation into the gruesome discovery continued, more oddities were discovered. A number of circular imprints were said to be found near the carcass, along with darkened patches where the ground appeared to have been scorched. A bush was found flattened nearby and the dirt in the area was oddly wet despite notable dryness during previous days. Some reported that pieces of the horse were hot to the touch or left hands feeling itchy. An oddly sweet scent similar to acetone was said to be hanging in the air. The horse's footprints ended around 100 feet from where the remains were found, with no other prints in the area.

Making the situation even more peculiar, an article from Westword notes that a US Forest Service ranger used a Geiger counter to find that the area around the carcass was highly radioactive.

The death of the horse was ultimately blamed on lightning by the local sheriff, though no lightning was reported in the area around the time of the horse's death. Some would later explain that the horse died in a fall to be picked clean by ants while others suggested foul play. Perhaps the most outlandish suggestion of them all was that extraterrestrial life was to blame. 

The lattermost suggestion was egged on by reports of flying objects in the area, wounds on the horse that were said to be cauterized, and green gelatin glue that was reportedly found at the scene. Making this plotline even more interesting are the many reports of UFO sightings that have taken place in the San Luis Valley over the years, long before and after the discovery of the horse.

The case remains with a definitive explanation more than 54 years later and with its mystery, the legend of Snippy lives on.

Eventually, two students from Alamosa State College would claim to have shot Snippy in the rump. While this could have caused the death of the horse, it doesn't explain the other oddities in the case.

In recent Snippy news, the owner of the San Luis Valley's UFO Watchtower has purchased the remains of Snippy with plans to put them on display. Those plans haven't come to fruition quite yet, with a GoFundMe set up with intentions to raise $20,000 for the effort.

Find out more about the UFO Watchtower's effort to make Snippy publicly viewable here and find images of Snippy post-mutilation here. Viewer discretion is advised.

NOTE: A number of discrepancies exist in the account of Snippy, including name confusion. The horse was initially referred to as Snippy by media, though signs point to the deceased horse being named Lady with Snippy being the name of Lady's father. Whether or not that's the case, Snippy was the name reporters used and it stuck.

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Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee is OutThere Colorado's Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to hike, rock climb, and trail run. He's on a mission to summit all 58 of Colorado's fourteeners and has already climbed more than half.


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