Nine brains were found scattered in a village street, alongside a railway line. Where did they come from?
The locals are baffled, although it seems likely they were thrown from a training passing through.
Clover Forsythe, who lives nearby, said a neighbor found the scene while walking her dogs.
“We think somebody threw them off the train. It goes by quite often,” she said. “It’s just a sick prank somebody did. They’ll probably never find who did it.”
The brains themselves were of some concern until they had been examined a little closer. Gouverneur veterinarian Dr. Timothy Monroe tested one of them.
“In examining the specimen, weighing and measuring … it weighed 70 grams, which is consistent with a dog, beagle-sized brain,” Monroe said.
He says it had been removed from its former owner’s head with precision and skill, noting it was preserved with either formaldehyde or Formalin, a brand-name formaldehyde solution.
“It had been professionally removed and preserved… it was in very good condition, had not been damaged in any way,” according to Monroe. “You have to appreciate when you remove a brain from a skull, which is made of bone, you have to cut the bone all the way around. This had not been damaged, or nicked, or cut in its removal.”
“I supposed it was somebody’s collection that had outlived its usefulness and been disposed of,” Monroe said.
Gouverneur Police Sgt. Gordon Ayen agrees that there’s nothing to worry about. He said his only concern is that someone littered in a village roadway and unnecessarily alarmed the public.
“It’s nothing to be really concerned about, other than somebody polluted a particular street in our community,” Ayen said. “It’s concerning from the standpoint of putting them out there in the street to have to look at, to alarm everybody.”
He said he fielded the initial report but so far has no leads.
Both Ayen and Monroe said this is the first time they’ve ever seen anything like this.
An assistant professor of chemistry and biomolecular science at Clarkson University, Alisa Woods, says it’s possible they came from sheep.
“Those could also be sheep brains, which are more commonly used in dissection laboratories,” Woods said after seeing a photo of the brains online. “They look more like sheep brains to me.”
I’m not sure what anyone else makes of this. It seems to me that the brains have been expertly removed, but at the same time there’s been no mention that the brains have actually been used for dissection. I supposed that it’s possible a research laboratory or hospital might have an excess of brains to dissect, but then why dump them out of a train? Did someone steal them for more sinister purposes, and then have to get rid of them quick?