When Ray Peck walked out of his home in the about-to-be exceedingly appropriately named Skull Valley Of Utah on the morning of March 14, 1968, the first unusual thing he noticed was that the land had been blanketed by late-winter snow. The second unusual thing he noticed was a dying rabbit struggling to drag itself back to its burrow, as if a scene from Watership Down had escaped from his recurring nightmares and wriggled its way into reality. The third and fourth unusual things he noticed, respectively, were that the surrounding ranch was mysteriously peppered with dead birds and that entire flocks of sheep – thousands upon thousands of sheep – had simultaneously come to resemble sweater-wearing doornails.
March 14, 1968, was an unusual day in Skull Valley, is what we’re saying.
But, while Peck’s day had started out weird, it was about to take a screeching turn onto Batshit Boulevard. Soon, an Army helicopter from the nearby Dugway Proving Ground arrived and dumped out a stream of military scientists, who collected creature corpses and jabbed Peck’s rightfully terrified family with frightfully terrifying needles. They were gone as quickly as they had appeared, and, soon, rumors of bizarre military chemical weapon tests were running rampant throughout the community. The U.S. Army’s official answer to such allegations was, “Nu-uh, but we’ll pay for all your dead sheep, anyway.”