Created: 07/03/2014 9:58 PM
By: Kai Porter, KOB Eyewitness News 4
There is a mystery unfolding along New Mexico's roads and highways. A mystery many of you may have already noticed.
Strange UFO symbols have appeared on dozens of cattle crossing signs. Where are they coming from? Some may want you to think it's the work of aliens, but the explanation is probably a little more down to earth.
It's a mystery straight out of the X-Files. Driving down the highway from Taos to Santa Fe, you'll see them. Just one of the many places they've appeared around New Mexico. UFO stickers placed on cattle crossing signs, giving the appearance "aliens" are beaming the cows up.
Maureen Ortega is one of the many New Mexicans who have noticed the strange signs. She says they first started appearing around Taos and northern New Mexico a few years ago.
"They've been there for a while and I've often wondered who did them. Wondered if it was someone who was into UFOs or did it for a prank or whatever," said Ortega.
She thinks the message behind the stickers may have to do with reports of cattle mutilations in the area. Mutilations, many believe are the work of extra-terrestrials.
"Twenty-two years ago ranchers were finding cattle mutilated all over the place and it was blamed on aliens. What else could have done it?"
For the answer we turned to author and paranormal investigator Benjamin Radford. The self-described skeptic has written books about the cattle mutilation phenomena.
"The majority of these so-called animal mutilations are actually perfectly explainable. There's nothing mysterious about it," Radford said.
He says here in New Mexico it makes perfect sense "some" would think aliens "are" involved.
"There's a strong folklore of aliens and ETs tied to New Mexico anyway. On top of that you have the animal mutilations, the cattle mutilations," Radford continued. "Let’s say for example you have the exact same animal and if it was found in the late 90s in Texas, people would say it's a Chupacabra. The vampire beast came and sucked it blood out. The same animal found in Northern NM in the 1980's people might say its aliens."
So does he think that is the reason behind the stickers? Is someone putting them up to send a message?
Radford said the people that are doing this aren't necessarily UFO believers. It's easy to assume there's some big important message here. He says they're having fun.
Even Radford admits we'll never really know who is turning our cattle crossing signs into extra-terrestrial messages, or why, but the truth is out there.
Whatever the reason, the mystery may be over.
KOB reached out to the New Mexico Department of Transportation to see what it thinks of the altered signs. A spokesperson says they weren't aware of them but will be taking them down since they can distract drivers and the stickers block the reflective areas meant to warn people about cattle crossing the road.