Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Mutology Data and Deaths: Tom Adams and Gary Massey

Tom Adams (foreground) and Gary Massey (in the background) in the vehicle they called "Thing," which hit many roads on the way to investigate cattle mutilations. This was NOT the Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing," which was a two-wheel drive, four-door, convertible, manufactured and marketed by Volkswagen from 1968 to 1983.

Instead, according to Christopher O'Brien, this was the personal nickname that Gary Massey and Tom Adams gave to Massey's 1970s' Dodge van that was retrofitted to have four-wheel drive (as pictured below).

Cattle mutilations began in earnest in Illinois, Kansas, and Texas, in the early 1970s. A few of us began filing news clippings and exchanging reports with each other. I corresponded with a few people about the incidents. Jerry Clark, Mark Hall, and Lou Farish were three of my correspondents regarding the topic. 

Another passionate collector of incidents was Tom Adams, of Paris, Texas, who kept track of the cattle mutilations, as well as the (often black) helicopter sightings, via letters and in his publication called Stigmata. He was an especially well-informed researcher and loyal correspondent whose speciality was this one topic.

Traveling west from Texas in 1970, Tom Adams and Gary Massey drove to Colorado to research the 1967 "Snippy the Horse" mutilation case. Adams dove deeper into cattle mutilation cases after that. In 1978, he began publishing his newsletter Stigmata.

Tom also wrote The Choppers and the Choppers: Mystery Helicopters and Animal Mutilations (privately published by Tom Adams).

Out of this grew "mutology," the study of animal mutilations (most specifically cattle mutes, as they were called).

But what became of Tom Adams? And his friend and associate, Gary Massey?

Christopher O'Brien and Loren Coleman, June 27, 2018.

Christopher O'Brien, on the road in weird and mysterious America...

On June 27, 2018, a successful author and long-time cattle mutilation researcher visited me in Portland, Maine. He shared some partial answers to the mysteries of Adams and Massey.

Christopher O'Brien pointed me to some information he had posted in 2015: 
Thomas R. Adams (1945-2014) helped this fledgling investigator/researcher immeasurably from early 1993 through 1999. He sent me hundreds—possibly of thousands of pages of documents to help get me up-to-speed about the cattle mutilation phenomenon (and other peripheral subjects) in the mid-1990s and spent hundreds of hours with me on the phone.
I last saw him in 1999 —just before he dropped completely out of the field w/ no explanation. Weirdness has ensued ever since and myself and most of his other researcher friends have never spoken with him again. The prevailing theory is that he burnt out and probably became a hard-core Christian, but that's not for certain. What is for certain, is that in 1999, one of the most important figures in the "cattle mutilation" community disappeared off the radar screen for over 15 years. Now word comes (9 months late) that he died, alone in his Paris, TX house...He died on August 20, 2014 after not showing up for work for a couple of days. ~ Christopher O'Brien. Source.
Thomas R. Adams May 6, 1945 Paris, Lamar County, Texas, USA - August 20, 2014 Paris, Lamar County, Texas, USA. Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown
The Paris [Texas] News, Sunday, August 24, 2014, Page A7 - Thomas Richard Adams, 69 of Paris, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, at his home. Cremation was under the care and direction of Bright-Holland Funeral Home.
Thomas, the son of Jack T. and Hazel Evelyn Hutchison Adams, was born May 6, 1945, in Paris. He graduated from Paris High School and attended East Texas State University. His career at Flex-O-Lite spanned many years, and following that he worked several years at the Dollar Store.
He was preceded in death by his father on July 27, 1976, and his mother on Aug. 21, 2004. He was also preceded in death by his grandparents, James Thomas Adams, Ida Hugh Cochran Adams, Judge W. A. Hutchison and Edna Denison Hutchison.
Survivors include several cousins including a first cousin, Patsy Daniels and husband Clyde. Source.

David Perkins

Also to be consulted is "The Late Great Tom Adams: Thoughts on the Passing of Thomas R. Adams (1945-2014)" by David Perkins, Easter 2015.

Tom Adams in 1996.

"Itʼs unclear whether at the time of his death, Tom even knew of Gary Masseyʼs apparent suicide in 2010." ~ David Perkins.

Christopher O'Brien reports that Massey set his house on fire, shot his dog, and then shot himself dead.

Gary Massey was born March 5, 1948, Virginia, and died September 7, 2010, at Sulphur Springs, Hopkins County, Texas. He is buried at Restlawn Memorial Park, Sulphur Springs, Texas.
Gary Mac Massey, 62, of Sulphur Springs passed away Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010, at his residence. A private family burial will take place at a later date.
He was born March 5, 1948, in Virginia, the son of J.L. and Robbie Kathlyne Melton Massey.
Survivors include his mother, Robbie Kathlyne [Melton] Massey of Sulphur Springs; one brother and sister-in-law, Brad and Holly Massey of Sulphur Springs; and two nieces, Cara Thompson and Meredith Massey of Sulphur Springs.
He was preceded in death by his father (J. L. Massey, 73, August 21, 1920 - February 2, 1994, Sulphur Springs, Texas). Source.

Thanks to Chris for reminding me to dig deeper for the exact bio details on Adams and Massey, for the record. 
Christopher O'Brien is the author of
Stalking the Herd: Unraveling the Cattle Mutilation Mystery (2014)

More historical context

Two books, both appearing in 1976, pictured below, did much to break the silence about the cattle mutilations happening in the West.

The legacy of these early years continues with highway signs in New Mexico and continued reports from the Southwest to Colorado (2009) and Canada (2006).

h/t to Martin Willis for hosting C.O.


Noel said...

What a tragedy losing both men. It is sad they seemed to die lonely and without immediate family. They never received the attention they should have. Sadly I have met to many researchers in these strange but needed fields that are forced to make sacrifices to their personal life that seem very costly at some point. May we never forget those that blaze the trail of truth and seek a justice that requires no law but just answers to the age old question "Why?"

GaryMacsDaughter said...

Exactly. And, very kind of you to be so thoughtful...