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

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2012: Year of the Birds, and the Self-Indulgent

New Year's 2012 brought the Fortean realm tons of dead and dying bird stories. The phenomena seemed to have started in the southern states of the U.S., (Beebe, Arkansas) but we saw stories from all over the world of birds falling from the skies. A common explanation from the MSM: fireworks. New Year's celebrations, complete with fireworks going off to bring in the New Year, startled birds from their perches. Disoriented, they fell to their deaths. Other explanations included birds drunk on fermented berries and bad weather.

Adding to the Fortean tone of these stories is the history concerning Beebe's name. The town was named after Roswell Beebe. Yes, Roswell! And William Beebe -- inventor of the Bathysphere, among other things -- was an ornithologist.

A story that I missed in 2012, and that is hard to deal with, if you're an animal rights person, is the self indulgent "artistic" masturbations of Naveen Thomas. Thomas used live birds in an installation exhibit which emitted "white noise." Thomas has been using animals in these "sound sculptures" for some time, and, bewilderingly, has won an award for his work. Needless to say, he has his critics.

Also in 2012, Amber Hansen created an exhibit in Kansas called "The Story of Chickens: A Revolution." She wanted to slaughter the chickens in a public display but said she'd abide by the local ordinances against doing so. While personally I think Hansen fell into her own I'm -an- artist -I -get- to trap, I intellectually get her intent, which was to bring awareness of our treatment of livestock and our "disconnectedness" from what we eat. (Still don't go for it though.)

Another artistic form; this story from Michael Luebke, who wrote of homeless people in Hollywood madly scrambling to partake of the dead birds that fell from the skies.

One man had already cleaned his fowl and was arguing with a hot dog vendor about frying it on his hot dog grill. The homeless held a bloody knife and shook the pigeon in the vendor's face. The pigeon's entrails hung at least a foot from the pigeon's slashed belly. The guts swayed as the homeless man passionately pointed his knife at the hot dog grill...The poor pigeons that had landed in the street were mostly squashed. A bloody mess."

As I wrote in a blog post at the time, the story was a hoax. What was interesting about this story is the fact several sites linked to it as being real, including Jeff Rense's site, not surprisingly.