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Regan Lee is also a columnist for UFO Magazine. Check it out !

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Animal Die-Offs and the Fortean Conspiracy Matrix

At the start of the New Year, we saw several stories of mysterious bird deaths, along with mass die-offs of fish and other marine life. Stories of large flocks of birds falling to their deaths and other large groups of animals dying were coming in literally every day, sometimes a few in one day.

As with mass UFO sightings and other Fortean phenomena, the mainstream media offered downright silly explanations for these UADs. (Unexplained Animal Deaths.) Fireworks startled birds from their sleep, causing them to drop to their deaths. It was too cold. It was too hot. No food. Disorientation due to severe climate change. Poison. Confused birds, drunk from eating fermented berries. And the most calm, rational and sane response from authority: it happens all the time, it just doesn't get reported. Humans, being pattern seeking creatures, create synchronicities or conspiracies inside of otherwise mundane events.

It's not that many of the above explanations are invalid; in some places, it was climate that caused animals to die off, and we know animals can get drunk eating fermented fruit. Fish kills are not uncommon. The government admitted setting out poison for birds in South Dakota.

But there are no coincidences, and within the context of a Fortean conspiracy matrix, these animal deaths are very strange indeed. Add the Trickster element into this mix and there is no doubt something beyond 'pattern seeking' was is going on.

Within the bird/marine animal daily death counts were the aforementioned 'rational' explanations to calm everyone down and distract, the lame jokes by talking heads on local news channels everywhere about 'wild conspiracy theories,' and the Associated Content story from a creative writer living in L.A. about pigeons falling to their deaths and hungrily scooped up by homeless people as they flung the warm bloodied bodies onto the grills of hot dog vendors. Adding further to the already global surreal vibe these stories caused was the fact that the L.A. pigeon story was picked up by several sites -- Rense.com included -- and presented as real.

For awhile a lot of us were on edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I remember thinking, after reading one more story about a mass die-off, that surely this was the last of these stories, only to find another one the next day. Sometimes the same day.

Then, abruptly, the stories seemed to have stopped. There are still reports of small die-offs, sadly, dolphins stranding and dying, or washing up dead on beaches. A not infrequent story unfortunately. But nothing has come forth that compares to the reports we were getting at the New Year. Still, there are some trickling in, earlier this month, we saw stories of mysterious duck and geese die-offs in Canada, the high strangeness story of race horses falling dead on the track (and witnesses feeling the ground "electrified.") And another eerie owl story, not of an owl die-off, exactly, but a study that shows owls are changing color due to climate change in order to adapt.

Watching the Signals, Waiting for . . .

It seems that since the end of December, 2010, and the New Year, in the wake of these stories, we've been on edge. We're watching, we're waiting. Things keep coming, huge shifts on many levels. From the trivial, like Charlie Sheen's pubic unraveling which caused CBS to cancel it's top money making show, to politics (union busting state of Wisconsin) to regime upheavals (Libya, Tunisa, Egypt . . .) Shifts are happening everywhere, from the everyday and mundane, to UFO culture. David Jacobs, Hopkins, MUFON, individuals taking sides, shaken up. So in this position of being constantly upturned and whirled about we wait. Watch.

A few days ago, as I was walking outside from wing to wing at work, I heard the birds signing. There are lots of trees here, and my work building is near a large park. Not one bit unusual to see large flocks of starlings, crows, sea gulls, and other birds. As I was walking, I listened to the birds calling, and at first I didn't realize why I felt there was something odd. I stopped and listened, really listened. And realized the starlings were all making a strange whistling kind of sound. There are a gazillion starlings in the area, and familiar with what they sound like. I have never heard them make this sound before. I know some birds mimic their surroundings and individual flocks will have unique calls, but this was very unusual. The weather was changing; there was a storm warning and snow was expected (which came a day later) but we've had those before. I looked up, hundreds of birds at the top of a swaying, leafless tree. A colleague came by; we watched and listened to the unusual whistles of the birds and suddenly, all at once, the birds took off towards the southwest.

Not anything as dramatic as a die-off, thankfully, not even strange, really. I had mentioned to coworker who had come by how "Hitchcockian" this all was, she agreed. I then said something about the bird and other animal die-offs in the news and she said "They say that's common, actually." (She wasn't being all skeptoid on me, just commenting.) But that day I wondered.

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