Charles Fort would have loved the stories of the dead birds falling from the skies over Arkansas, Louisiana, and Kentucky these past few days, for he loved to fill his books with such accounts, and dead animals falling in large numbers from the sky were one of his favorite “Fortean” things to write about. Fort, of course, approached such things rather differently than today’s contemporary “alternative researcher,” for Fort did not seek explanation of such events, but merely sought to catalogue them and present such a blizzard of them as to overwhelm the scientific orthodoxy with phenomena it couldn’t explain on the basis of conventional models. And he was an assiduous collector of “orthodox explanations” as well.
But if one were to speculate, what would be the explanation for these weird events? Well, the first thought that comes to mind is that when this latest round of “dead-bird-dropping-from-the-sky” stories hit (yes, there have been others, a few years ago, in Tennessee), it may have been some sort of species-specific test of a biological agent of some sort. The stories of fireworks, sudden thunderstorms – just the sort of conventional explanation Charles Fort would have loved – just do not make sense in my mind. Were sudden thunderstorms, and fireworks, going on in Arkansas, Louisiana and Kentucky? (And were they going on a few years back when a similar story appeared in Tennessee?)
However, some sort of biological test does not seem very likely either, for no sooner had a bunch of blackbirds fallen from the skies over Arkansas and Louisiana, then stories began to appear of dead brown pelikans in California, and we were no longer dealing with a species-specific biological agent test. Maybe we had a biological test of some agent targeting birds in general. But that doesn’t make sense either, for then birds of all sorts would be dropping out of the skies all over the place. To make matters very much worse, the story was soon “supplemented” by stories of dead fish…
Well, predictably enough, almost as soon as the story broke, there were those seeking to tie the affair to the enigmatic High Altitude Auroral Research Project, better known as HAARP, in Gakona, Alaska. Admittedly, this has to my mind a bit more traction. For one thing, the dead birds appear to have died – in some cases at least – of sudden blood clots. They appear to have been cooked to death right where they flew, and the concentration of the birds over particular areas also fits to some degree the idea that electromagnetic weaponry of some sort might have been involved, maybe even exteremely high wattage pulses from radar. While this electromagnetic idea is appealing to me on a number of levels, I am not yet quite satisfied that it is the explanation, though I certainly think it is a component of that explanation.
To me, the most intriguing aspect of this strange story has not been the how of the story – the mechanics of whatever technology was involved to do this – but the why. I have little doubt that there was a human technological intervention in these poor birds’ lives. What interests me is the why – what would be the purpose in testing whatever technology was tested, and then allowing such a story to be circulated, especially under a “conventional explanation” that raises more questions than it answers, and thus highlights or draws special attention to the story to begin with?
One purpose that immediately springs to mind is perception management. Look at the sequence of events: (1) a strange, downright weird event is perpetrated and, presumably, some “technological test” was perpetrated on some hapless and innocent birds; (2) a perfectly “normal” explanation is concocted that really explains nothing about the extraordinary event, and this draws attention to the event; and (3) as attention to the event is drawn, its extraordinary nature is highlighted and various alternative and speculative explanations begin to be discussed – bio-weapons tests, tests of HAARP or some other electromagnetic technology, and so on. The “meme” is planted: “‘we’ (whoever “we” are), are doing this, we possess fabulous technologies that can clot your blood or cook you where you stand, and you are powerless to stop us.” This “Operation Dead Bird,” if we may so designate it and if indeed it was an operation, seems to me to be the typical MO of combining operations: one operation to test whatever might have been tested, and another psychological operation to engineer whatever social transformations one wished to reap from the first operation’s eventual discovery (after all, it’s rather difficult to hush-up the fact that thousands of black birds are suddenly dropping from the sky in a particular region; notwithstanding the control over the electronic media, word of mouth eventually gets around rather quickly in this internet age).
Viewed in this light, the “Episode of the Dead Birds” might be giving us a profound lesson, namely, to seek not only technological and speculative explanations for the how of such events, but also to thoroughly understand the potential why’s of such events. In this, it connects very directly to the “Episode of the Dead Fish,” for like a mackerel on a moonlit beach, it both shines, and stinks.