A SHEEP farmer sparked a full-scale alert after making a mysterious discovery on the moors above Meltham.
Chris Crowther, 51, called police after uncovering a suspicious site on windswept Wessenden Head, a mile off the Greenfield to Holmfirth road.
Police teams from Saddleworth and Kirklees cordoned off half an acre of moorland on Wessenden Head Road above to Meltham.
And a huge media posse crowded into the area. Many came after Sky News strongly hinted the “human remains” could be linked to the Moors Murders.
But after a comprehensive examination, police announced: “We can now confirm that the remains are that of a sheep and the scene is now closed.”
The road was shut while a specialist team of scene of crime officers from West Yorkshire, put a tent over the spot.
Chris, who farms 12,000 acres of land between Greenfield and Meltham, talked of how he discovered the site with one of his sons, Christopher, 18, and 16-year-old daughter, Claire.
They had been rounding up sheep near Holly Bank and West Nab yesterday, when the farmers’ four collie dogs began rolling on an indented spot of moorland scrub 100 yards from the road.
“The dogs just kept on rolling round – even when I called them away,” said Chris. “They kept going back to the same spot and rolling round again.
“It’s a sign of death when collies do this. And the dogs know more than me.
“I went over with Claire and Christopher and probed the land with my shepherd’s crook. Something white and crumbly, like decaying bones, came up. Then something that could have been skin or tissue.. But I couldn’t be sure.
“I didn’t know what to think, but I didn’t want to investigate further particularly if what I had discovered was a body or an animal of some sort. It could have been anything – I just didn’t know.”
He added: “But whatever it is had been in the ground sometime. There was white crumbly stuff on the soil that could have been bone.
Claire, a former pupil at Saddleworth School said: “There seemed to be some kind of shape in the ground. We put a spade in the ground and some mushy, white stuff like bone came up.”
The family contacted the police and Uppermill and Lees Inspector Danny Milovanovic took a team to the scene, and detectives from Kirklees joined them.