When people think they have seen UFOs, Chuck Zukowski takes their calls.
“I’m Ghostbuster for aliens. If a local rancher hears about a possible [cattle] mutilation, they contact me,” Zukowski told ABC News.
Over the past 30 years, Zukowski has become the go-to paranormal investigator along the southern borders of Colorado, Utah and Kansas, where he examines bizarre animal mutilations and UFO sightings in an effort to record evidence of alien activity.
“A lot of cattle mutilations have occurred where UFO sightings have been seen,” said Zukowski. “Either the rancher or somebody nearby would see lights in the sky.”
Zukowski said he believes that these mutilations are caused when UFOs, or unidentified flying objects, lift the cows, take their blood and return them to land.
He acknowledged that many of his suburban neighbors think he is crazy, but he said he now embraces the nickname “UFO Nut” on the custom license plate of his investigation truck and his website UFONut.com.
“With me, it becomes part of your life,” said Zukowski.
Zukowski pays for all his equipment and travel from his own pocket, but would not specify how much he’s spent in total. “I don’t get funded for this at all," he said."I’m afraid to say because if my wife sees this she’s going to kill me. But thousands obviously.”
When he is not searching for UFOs, Zukowski works as a microchip designer on a freelance basis, which allows him to leave whenever he receives word of a potential paranormal activity.
Zukowski admitted that in his 30 years of searching, he has not found any extraterrestrials.
“I have not seen alien life, but I have seen balls of light. I have actually seen a craft in the sky. Something was out there that’s communicating. Something was coming down.”
Zukowski said he usually carries a firearm with him when pursuing UFOs, either a 40-caliber or 9-millimeter handgun, which he tucks into his tactical vest.
His investigations have caused problems for him in the past. In 2011, Zukowski was fired from his position as a reserve sheriff’s deputy with the El Paso Sheriff’s Office as “a result of conducting paranormal and unidentified flying object investigations into animal mutilations” and refusing to “refrain from conducting paranormal and unidentified flying object investigations, which could be viewed as a conflict of interest,” according to his termination letter.
“If it’s not a human, it’s something else,” said Zukowski when asked about his disagreement with the sheriff's office.
Despite losing his badge, Zukowski continues to investigate unusual incidents on his own.
In 2016, best-selling author Ben Mezrich wrote a book about Zukowski’s adventures and his theory that UFO activity is concentrated around the 37th parallel of the equator.
“We have a paranormal highway going across the United States. From my research and investigations, the 37th parallel appears to be the main corridor of UFOs traveling across the U.S.,” said Zukowski, who noted that Roswell, Area 51 and other reported UFO sightings are near this latitude.
When the Department of Defense confirmed in December that the U.S. government had a $22 million program for investigating reports of UFOs, Zukowski said he was not surprised.
“I knew that already,” said Zukowski. He recalled sending a piece of so-called UFO evidence years ago to be tested at Bigelow Aerospace, a major recipient of that government funding in Nevada.
Although the Pentagon said the UFO program was ended in 2012, Zukowski said he believes is still going on in secret, under a different name.
“There’s a lot going on, flying across the United States,” said Zukowski. “Let’s see what’s it is.”