UPDATE: Two million fish died in Chesapeake Bay on December 6. There have now been diebacks reported of birds and fish from the US, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The mystery started when thousands of red-winged blackbirds and starlings were found lying on the ground in a one-mile area in Beebe, a town about 40 miles from Little Rock. In addition to the bird deaths, there was a fish kill in the Arkansas River involving a hundred thousand Drum Fish, a kill of at least 40,000 crabs in England, and hundreds of Snapper Fish in New Zealand.
It is believed that most of the diebacks have been caused by weather-related stress, hypothermia and starvation. Why birds would suddenly drop out of the sky, however, remains a mystery. CNN quotes ornithologist Karen Rowe as saying, "It's important to understand that a sick bird can't fly. So whatever happened to these birds happened very quickly. Something must have caused these birds to flush out of the trees at night, where they're normally just roosting and staying in the treetops, and then something got them out of the air and caused their death and then they fell to earth."
Rowe says the incident is not that unusual and is often caused by a lightning strike or high-altitude hail, and a strong storm system had moved through the state earlier in the day. The loud booms of fireworks may have also had something to do with the bird deaths. CNN quotes Rowe as saying, "Initial examinations of a few of the dead birds showed trauma. Whether or not this trauma was from the force of hitting the ground when they fell or from something that contacted them in the air, we don't know."
300 miles to the south, in Louisiana, power lines are being blamed for killing 450 birds. Is there a connection between the 3 US bird kills? MSNBC quotes veterinarian Jim LaCour as saying, "I haven't found anything to link the two at this point." And 50-100 jackdaws fell out of the sky in central Sweden. MSNBC quotes Police officer Tomas Ahlgren as saying, "We do not know what the cause is."
Could these bird deaths have something to do with climate change? Brutal weather has been present in almost all of the kill areas, and the bird kills might have been related to the animals being stressed by the cold, then being forced to fly at night when they cannot see, due to storms or New Year's fireworks. The kill of the Drum Fish is unexplained. If it was due to pollution, it's not clear why just one species was affected.
There have been clusters of microquakes in Arkansas in recent months, but there is no evidence that they contributed to the animal deaths. The HAARP project, which some believe can have an effect on living creatures, was not operating at the time the deaths took place. The Red Wing Blackbirds in Arkansas suffered massive internal trauma. This was not due to hitting trees as they flew, because their necks were not broken. If it was due to their striking the ground, then the reason that they fell out of the sky is still unexplained. While there had been severe weather in the area at the time, the temperature was not low enough to kill them. There were loud explosions just prior to their deaths, which caused them to take flight. The reason that they died while flying remains unknown.
For a Google map of recent animal deaths, click here.
There has even been speculation that there is a UFO connection of some kind, as UFOs are thought by some to be capable of invisibility. There is also substantial evidence that close proximity to UFOs can be hazardous to health, as has been documented, for example, in the 1976 Iranian Air Force UFO chase, which left two of the pilots with their blood unable to coagulate, a condition that passed in a few months. Could UFOs somehow be responsible for these deaths? For more speculation, click here.
For Dreamland guest Joseph Farrell's insight into the animal deaths, click here.
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