Alien Abductions Of 2 Wyoming Men In The 1970s Remain Unexplainable

Recent whistleblower accusations of a U.S. government cover-up regarding UFOs casts new light on old claims, including a pair of Wyoming encounters in the 1970s that made national headlines.

Jake Nichols

September 30, 202314 min read

Alien abductions main 9 30 23
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

If aliens from other worlds exist, what is their fascination with our cattle?

Extraterrestrial visits to the remotest of American soil like far-flung ranches and secluded forests makes sense if, say, Martians are not yet ready to land in Times Square, whip out their ray guns and order everyone into their spaceships.

But judging from scores of UFO sightings, close encounters and reports of alien abductions over the decades, Earth visitation by space beings appears relatively benign and, at face value, seems to involve an inordinate preoccupation with bovine defilement.

Roswell, Area 51, Wyoming — all places where virtually no one lives. Therefore, all places intelligent beings from outer space choose to land their unidentified flying objects and snoop around. After travelling presumably jillions of light years cooped up in a souped-up saucer, the last thing aliens want to do is have to make a lot of chitchat with locals about the weather.

These remote locations also allow space creatures to get down to their main order of business on Earth — harvesting cow parts and probing unsuspecting yokels.

Two such prodigious examples of which happened in the Cowboy State in the 1970s when UFO hysteria was at its peak.

Drawings showing the interaction between Carl Higdon and the alien Ausso One.
Drawings showing the interaction between Carl Higdon and the alien Ausso One. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)


Abducted Wyoming Hunter Travels 163,000 Light Years To Ausso One’s Planet

Bosler, Wyoming. Population: Fewer than 10.

The dusty old railroad town north of Laramie is perched squarely in the middle of the state’s vast high plains.

Pat McGuire ranched a 5,000-acre spread east of there in the 1970s. Born and raised in Wheatland, McGuire was a Wyoming cowboy through and through, the kind born in a pair of Wranglers with a pearl snap shirt. Handy with horses in a quiet sturdy way and, unlike most of his ilk, he was not given to drink.

A hunting trip with in-laws changed McGuire’s life course. He would never be the same.

While chasing wapiti — elk — in the Tetons in early October 1973, McGuire and his brother in-law became lost. The pair experienced what was later described as an orange glow in the sky. They eventually made their way back their pickup with an eerie feeling and unable to account for several elapsed hours.

It wouldn’t be long before aliens would make contact again. Though, at the time, McGuire just chalked up his hunting experience as “weird.”

Unearthly Visitations

Strange instances of cattle mutilations were in the news across the country beginning in 1974. McGuire had his own close encounter on Aug. 30, 1976, when he found one of his calves dead, missing its nose and ears.

The rancher camped out that night to “catch the culprit.” He and his cousin Mark Murphy witnessed lights streaking across the night sky. They followed the lights, rifles in hand, but could not find where they went or if they landed.

The next morning, they found another dead cow. Again, no tracks. No sign of struggle. Nothing unusual except a dead cow with organs and sex parts missing.

McGuire called the Albany County sheriff, who came out to take photos.

On Sep. 5, a routine head count found a cow missing.

The lights came again Sept. 12. The sky was ablaze in orange, McGuire recalled. Five distinct crafts hovered low to the ground as two others landed. Shadowy figures could be seen through the spaceship’s windows, walking about and pointing outside at the Wyoming cowboys.

The spaceships returned the next night and McGuire was ready. He snapped several photos of the scene. Polaroids. Oddly and predictably, none of them came out.

McGuire was at his wits’ end. He decided to enlist a third witness — a man named Jimmy Ashley — and add a dog named Bear for protection.

One night while camped out on the ranch, Bear started barking. The trio woke and saw a craft had landed again. McGuire recalled Ashley walking right up to it as if in a trance. He touched the ship and was immediately engulfed in flames, although he did not appear to be burning.

Ashley was unharmed but never the same, according to McGuire’s son, David.

McGuire filed a report with the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) in 1976, claiming visits from extraterrestrials were a regular thing on his ranch.

Pat McGuire was a Wyoming rancher in the Bosler area in 1973 when he claims to have had an encounter with extraterrestrials while on a hunting trip.
Pat McGuire was a Wyoming rancher in the Bosler area in 1973 when he claims to have had an encounter with extraterrestrials while on a hunting trip. (Courtesy Photo)

Wait, It Gets Even More Bizarre

If McGuire’s story isn’t outlandish enough, it takes a decidedly bizarre turn in late 1977.

Stymied at every turn trying to find water for his ranch, McGuire had run out of drilling companies that would help him. Dozens of failed holes and scores of expert geologists told McGuire he would never find water in the arid prairie basin where his ranch was situated.

Undaunted, McGuire convinced well driller Rick Henderson to try. He promised they would hit water within 10 days. He had a vision.

Whether a dream, déjà vu (which McGuire had frequent vivid bouts with) or an actual recollection of what happened on that fateful hunting trip, McGuire suddenly knew right where to dig.

He piled three rocks to mark the spot and Henderson began drilling. They made it 275 feet, deeper than any other hole McGuire had dug on his ranch, but still had found nothing.

Henderson was ready to quit, but McGuire urged him on. At 350 feet, exhausted, they knocked off for the day. That night while sleeping onsite in a trailer, the two heard a loud knock, then another. Then a third.

They were terrified.

Water began gushing up from the hole. McGuire had hit a deep and dependable aquafer pumping 5,000 gallons of fresh water to a parched prairie where everyone said the rancher would never be able to irrigate.

If friends and neighbors were laughing at McGuire before, they suddenly took notice. So, too, did mainstream media.

McGuire’s appearance on ABC’s Eyewitness News on Mar. 5, 1980, where he said UFOs landed on his property “maybe 25 or 30 times” opened the floodgates. Mass media couldn’t get enough of the Wyoming rancher who met regularly with aliens.

The National Enquirer ran the headline: “Farmer: Aliens Use My Ranch as Their Landing Place” on March 24, 1981. Casper Star-Tribune also published several articles on the local celebrity.

But at home, the ridicule was relentless.

In a recent piece for HuffPost, David Riedel recalled the alienation his father experienced from even his own family.

Hypnosis Drudges Up Dark Memories

Around that time, noted University of Wyoming psychologist and UFO researcher Leo Sprinkle became aware of McGuire’s story. Sprinkle led the rancher through several sessions of hypnosis where McGuire was able to recall more of his encounters.

McGuire called the aliens “Star People.” They were human-like in appearance — about 6 feet tall, weighing around 200 pounds. They had large eyes, thin lips, hairless with no bridge on the nose. Their clothing was black except for a silver belt buckle with a star resembling the Star of David.

The Star People warned of a coming climate apocalypse. They instructed McGuire where to dig for a well. The Star People promised they would bring an underground river from Canada to his ranch if he flew the Israeli flag over his property.

Dozens of sessions with Sprinkle had a toll, it seems. McGuire’s paranoia grew worse. Friends say the jovial Irishman was never the same after them.

McGuire would talk about a star man named Michael who instructed him to father 13 children —o ne for every tribe of Israel. When his wife Wanda balked at No. 9, he divorced her and married a woman named Lynn.

McGuire also claimed he was transported into Ariel Sharon’s body during the Six-Day War. He thought the government put implants in his brain. On and on the wild accusations went until the day Michael wanted McGuire to run for governor in 1982.

“A vote for me is a vote for extra-terrestrials,” McGuire proclaimed during his first election campaign rally at a local shopping mall. He lost to three-term incumbent Ed Herschler by a wide margin, 44,396 to 7,720, in the Democratic primary.

His grasp with reality slipping, McGuire fell into financial ruin. His property was foreclosed on. It is now owned by UW, including the well. Abandoned by friends and family, McGuire died destitute on May 14, 2009, at the age of 67.

  • Margery Higdon, wife of Carl Higdon, wrote this account of her husband's alien abduction while out hunting in Wyoming.
    Margery Higdon, wife of Carl Higdon, wrote this account of her husband's alien abduction while out hunting in Wyoming. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)
  • Ausso One as sketched by Carl Higdon.
    Ausso One as sketched by Carl Higdon. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)
  • Cow alien Bruce Warrington 9 30 23
    (Photo Courtesy Bruce Warrington)


Abducted Wyoming Hunter Travels 163,000 Light Years To Ausso One’s Planet

Almost exactly a year after McGuire said he was invited aboard an alien vessel while hunting in Wyoming, another local man made a similar claim.

Everett “Carl” Higdon Jr., a foreman on an oil rig in Rawlins, took off from work one day to go elk hunting in Medicine Bow National Forest. On Oct. 25, 1974, he, too, would have an unexplainable encounter of the fourth kind.

Higdon, 41, married with four kids, was a capable roughneck with 15 years of experience in the patch. The former Air Force veteran of the Korean War was often dubbed “the Wyoming Coyote” by his crew for his dogged ability to keep at anything until he got it done.

That fateful day, he borrowed the company truck and headed 40 miles south for McCarty Canyon. When the road got rough, Higdon parked and took off on foot. At about 4 p.m., he topped a ridge, spotted five elk grazing and hoisted his brand-new 7 mm magnum rifle, taking aim at the bull elk in the bunch.

The next thing Higdon knew it was 11:30 p.m. He was being shaken awake by friends who found him sitting in his truck dazed and incoherent. He remembers blacking out. That was it. 

Later that night at the Carbon County Memorial Hospital, nurse Ella Peterson asked him again and again what his name was. Higdon did not know. Nor did he immediately recognize his wife, Margery.

His eyes were red, watery and burning. He was disoriented and his equilibrium was off. He was extremely sensitive to light.

As Higdon slowly began to get his memory back, he recalled pulling the trigger of his rifle and strangely feeling no kickback, hearing no report. The bullet exited the gun in slow motion and then dropped to the ground about 50 feet in front of him.

“That’s crazy,” thought Margery.

Then, while going through his clothes for the wash, she found the bullet in his jacket pocket. It was turned inside-out and flattened — but intact, as if it had struck a very hard object. Ballistics experts were unable to explain what could do that to a bullet.

  • The March 16, 1973, edition of the San Antonio Star features Wyoming resident Carl Higdon and his story of being abducted by aliens.
    The March 16, 1973, edition of the San Antonio Star features Wyoming resident Carl Higdon and his story of being abducted by aliens. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)
  • An October 1974 story in the Casper Star-Tribune recounts the alien encounter Carl Hidden of Rawlins had.
    An October 1974 story in the Casper Star-Tribune recounts the alien encounter Carl Hidden of Rawlins had. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)
  • Carl Higdon, left, being hypnotized by Dr. Leo Sprinkle on the TV show "In Search Of" in 1978.
    Carl Higdon, left, being hypnotized by Dr. Leo Sprinkle on the TV show "In Search Of" in 1978. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Encounter Recalled

Again, enter Sprinkle. Through several sessions of hypnosis, the oil field worker recounted a tale that never changed in five decades.

Higdon said he was knocked to the ground somehow. Standing over him was a humanoid figure about 6 feet tall, weighing 180 pounds.

The male-looking alien had yellowish skin, no ears, with eyes small and deep-set. His mouth was thin and lipless with an open slit from which three large blocky teeth were visible. Two short antennae grew from his forehead. The hair on the being’s head was like straw and stood straight up.

He wore a tight black jumpsuit, similar to a diving suit. He also had on a pair of seat belts and a metal belt with a yellow star decoration at his waist. Instead of a right hand, the creature possessed a prosthesis that resembled a power drill of some kind.

“How you are you?” the alien asked in English.

“Pretty good,” Higdon responded, trying to stay calm.

The strange being called himself Ausso One.

“Your sun burns us,” Ausso One said, and then offered Higdon four pills in a small packet for nourishment. Higdon swallowed one out of compulsion, even though he would later say he rarely took even aspirin.

When Ausso One suggested they go for a ride in his cube-shaped spaceship, Hidgon said, “sure.”

The cube ship was windowless, doorless and too small for even Higdon to fit into. But somehow, he was transported inside along with Ausso One, two other alien creatures and the five elk that had been outside.

Higdon said the trip to Ausso One’s planet took less than a minute though it was described as “163,000 light years away.” They arrived at dark and landed near a tower with a flashing light on top so brilliant that it hurt Higdon's eyes. The tower reminded Higdon of Seattle’s Space Needle. It was conical in shape, about 100 feet tall and made a buzzing sound.

Surrounding the tower, Higdon saw five human-like beings (a middle-aged man, a young girl, two teenage girls and a teenage boy) standing around, conversing.

Ausso “floated” out of the craft with Higdon into the tower and up an elevator. They entered a room where Higdon stood on a platform while a device moved out of the wall, scanned him, then retracted back into the wall.

Higdon was then told he was not what they needed and would be taken back to Earth.

During the encounter, Higdon was told by Ausso that his people would explore Earth at various times to find animals to breed for food. Ausso also spoke of a different sun and seas on their planet that were inadequate for supporting life.

After the examination, Ausso and Higdon reentered the cubicle and returned to Earth. Ausso pointed his “drill-hand” at Higdon’s pocket and floated the package of remaining pills to himself. He also returned Higdon’s rifle.

  • Carl Higdon and his wife Margery in the 1970s.
    Carl Higdon and his wife Margery in the 1970s. (Courtesy Photo)
  • Carl and Margery Higdon's wedding photo.
    Carl and Margery Higdon's wedding photo. (Courtesy Photo)
  • Carl and Margery Higdon in their later years.
    Carl and Margery Higdon in their later years. (Courtesy Photo)

Back On Earth

Higdon stumbled back to his truck where rescuers found him at about just before midnight. The truck was not in the same place Higdon parked it, it would be noted later. It was in a much more rugged area about 3 miles away that the two-wheel drive could not have navigated. In fact, rescuers noticed no tire tracks leading to the truck.

Upon examination at the hospital, it was found Higdon’s tuberculosis scars were no longer visible on X-rays and he no longer suffered from kidney stones. Otherwise, the 41-year-old was in good health.

The San Antonio Star and many other publications made Higdon’s encounter front page tabloid news early in 1975.

“Life is not the same since I met that man,” Higdon would tell the newspapers.

Higdon never had another encounter.

For years, his story was dismissed as made-up fantasy by a man seeking a bit of notoriety. Yet, Higdon later passed polygraphs tests and never exploited his story for financial gain.

“In my own personal opinion, I find with the cases I’ve investigated there seems to be no evidence of hoax. No evidence of psychotic reaction which would cause an individual to falsely believe that he or she has had an abduction,” Sprinkle told “In Search Of” during an interview in 1978.

“So that I'm left with the mysterious, and sometimes uncomfortable, feeling that the cases are happening as the individuals describe,’ he said. “That is, that they are being taken on board, examined and released by intelligent beings.”

Carl’s wife, Margery, wrote a book about the experience. “Alien Abduction of the Wyoming Hunter” was published in 2017 and is available on Amazon.

Carl Higdon worked through the trauma and eventually returned to the oil fields. He retired in 1997 and relocated to Texas where he was born. Higdon died Jan. 26, 2022, in Temple, Texas of COVID pneumonia.

“It don’t mean a hill of beans to me whether anybody believes it or not. I know what happened to me,” Carl Higdon said. “If people want to take it at face value, that’s fine. If they don’t, that don’t make any difference.

“I just want people to be aware in case something like this happens to them.”

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Jake Nichols

Features Reporter