Gabe Valdez was a former New Mexico state patrol officer in the Dulce, New Mexico area. During his tenure, beginning in the 1970's, he was tasked with investigating mysterious cattle mutilations. The area suffered many cases of cattle found mutilated without blood, organs that appeared carefully removed and cuts in the skin that were so precise they were believed to be made by lasers. After years of research Valdez concluded that a clandestine government agency was responsible and that they used secret underground bases in the Dulce area for their experiments.
I have investigated a cattle mutilation case myself, just down the road from Dulce over the Colorado border, outside the town of Trinidad. Like many other cases, a cow was found with the udder missing, patches of skin removed, the anus cored out, genitals removed and part of the tongue missing. The animal was found at the bottom of a wash, and unlike a typical predator kill, there was no indication of a struggle or massive blood loss. The rancher had been raising cattle his whole life, and had seen many animal deaths, but could not explain why this animal had died. In fact, because he had a UFO sighting just days before, he suspected that the culprits could be extraterrestrial.
The first publicized case of a strange cattle mutilation was outside of Alamosa, Colorado in 1967, only 100 miles or so northeast of Dulce. An appaloosa horse was found with the head and neck skinned and defleshed. The bones where white and clean, and there was a lack of blood in the area. The lacerations were cauterized as if a laser scalpel were used according to a pathologist out of Denver. No satisfactory explanation has ever been found as to how or why this animal was killed.
Since then hundreds of cattle mutilations have been discovered. The ranch with the largest number of mysterious animals deaths belongs to the Gomez family, near Dulce, the area Valdez was assigned to. Unlike the rancher I spoke with, Valdez told me that he had never seen anything that had lead him to believe there were extraterrestrials in New Mexico. Instead he says he had found military gear such as gas masks and glow sticks around the carcasses of mutilated cattle.
Valdez also said that UFOs seen in the area were actually advanced military craft, some of which were involved with picking up these animals to conduct experiments on them and then returning them without being seen. He says the animals were returned mutilated in order to make locals believe it was done by extraterrestrials. As for the identity and motives of this secret military group, Valdez said those topics were too "sensitive" to discuss.
Valdez is not the first to suggest there is a secret underground base near Dulce, in fact the legend in UFO circles is that there is not only a secret underground base, but it is a joint US military and alien facility. These rumors began with two gentlemen whom Valdez befriended, Paul Bennewitz and Richard Doty.
In a nutshell, Bennewitz owned a technology company outside the gates of Kirkland Air Force base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1980 he reported to the USAF he was filming strange lights over the base and tuning in signals that he thought might be ET in nature. Instead of informing Bennewitz that he was observing secret military projects, Air Force Intelligence officer Richard Doty was allegedly assigned to encourage Bennewitz's ET beliefs and perpetuate them with fabricated evidence. Going so far as to convince Bennewits there was a secret ET and US military base under the Archuleta Mesa, which looms over the town of Dulce, New Mexico.
One may wonder why the USAF would want to make up such stories. Researcher and Author, Greg Bishop, wrote about Doty, Bennewitz, and Valdez in his book Project Beta. In it, he makes the case that the purpose of the deception was cold war counter intelligence. Should the Russians wish to question Bennewitz about his findings, they would be given a wild story and dismiss the entire affair. Others have suggested that perhaps Doty was rogue and feeding lies to Bennewitz for his own personal entertainment.
Valdez believes that Doty was under orders to lie to Bennewitz, in order to cover up the US military secrets he felt were too sensitive to speak of. Through all of this, Valdez remained friends with the two men, eventually helping Doty secure a job as a policeman in New Mexico.
Valdez passed away on August 6, 2011 in his sleep at his home in Albuquerque, less then a week after my first and last interview with him. Valdez had a kind disposition and dry sense of humor. Being a product of the southwest myself, his demeanor felt familiar. Even thinking about him now reminds me of sitting back looking over deserts, mesas and mountains covered in piñon trees, enjoying a sunset and a conversation that slowly evolves at a pace near that of the sun as it creeps along making its spectacular exit over the horizon.
I wish Mr. Valdez a safe journey and my heart goes out to his family members who I am sure sorely miss him.