Mass animal deaths scrutinized as Google map cites numerous incidents
The deaths of 5,000 blackbirds in Arkansas is one of several recent instances of mass animal deaths across the world.
January 7th, 2011
01:06 PM ET

Mass animal deaths scrutinized as Google map cites numerous incidents

Five thousand blackbirds in Arkansas. One hundred pelicans near Jacksonville, North Carolina. Three hundred doves in Italy. Seventy bats in Tucson, Arizona. Thousands of fish in Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brazil and the United States.

Google is now hosting a map of incidents of mass animal deaths around the world. Google Maps' distinctive blue balloons indicate where the deaths took place. Click on a balloon, and the map provides you with a link to a news report on the incident.

As of Friday afternoon, there were about 30 cases pinpointed on the search engine's mapping site, most of them in the U.S. and Europe.

Some might say it's getting spooky - and not just by conspiracy theorist standards - but experts tell CNN Radio that theories of UFOs and secret government weapons are, naturally, far-fetched.

In the case of the Arkansas blackbirds, wildlife buffs have said that a loud noise or other event may have precipitated the blunt-force trauma that killed the birds. Of all the notions about their deaths, Susie Kesielke, curator of birds at the Los Angeles Zoo, believes the theory that fireworks startled the birds is the most plausible.

“Blackbirds roost communally in the wintertime, and they sleep more soundly than most animals,” Kesielke said, adding that the birds were shocked awake and extremely disoriented.

Jonathan Sleeman, director of the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin, said his office has investigated 16 mass bird deaths in the past 20 years.

“This is a bit unusual but not unique,” he explained. “Most of the cases involved pesticides or poison ingested by the birds, but trauma has also been found to be the cause of mass bird deaths."

Good to know experts aren't buying that Armageddon is upon us. Offering even more comfort is the blog Universe Today, which suggests that the deaths aren't so much strange as they are "a symptom of the digital age where news travels faster than you can say, 'The End is Nigh.' "

It cites a Time magazine article that details several strange mass animal deaths and wonders "if the internet age allows us to connect the dots where there are none to be connected."

As for connecting dots, the blog suggests that the map on Google could be laid on top of a "current global oil exploration map to test the hypothesis that the deaths could have been caused by ground-penetrating tomography."

In any case, it seems level heads are prevailing for now - at least until scads of humans succumb to spontaneous combustion.

“Until the sky turns red and there’s a plague of locusts, this event is not that unusual,” Sleeman said of the blackbirds.

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Filed under: Animals • Arkansas • Google • Science • Technology
soundoff (748 Responses)
  1. Doug Terry

    There were several indications about a year after the 9-11, 2000, attacks that the government was testing dispersal of chemical agents in the atmosphere. Schools reported in many different states that students playing outside at recess were complaining of skin irritations and other unexplained problems. It would not be surprising if such tests had been conducted, because chemical/biological agents were one of the main concerns following the terrorist attacks.

    It is interesting to note that most of the bird kills and other problems reported have mainly been in the United States, but that could relate to reporting rather than actual incidents. The same applies, of course, to the world wide events. "Patterns" often emerge because we are looking for patterns, not because there is necessarily something new.

    What is striking to me is that different species are being killed off: birds, fish and antelope in at least one case. Do we even have enough information about past events to make a correlation between what is happening now with then? If not, saying that it is normal for birds to die en mass doesn't really mean anything, sort of like saying everything is okay until it isn't.

    If this is some sort of government related test, then it would be of a new and unusual order. Further, how could something be tested on this scale without also killing humans or making us ill? The likelihood is that this represents over reporting of recurring events, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be vigilant and skeptical about what is told to us in the name of making things appear ordinary.

    The TerryReport

    January 7, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JLO in NO

    WOW after reading most comments...that's all I can say- I would lay blame on some weather related (heck sometimes it can rain frogs or fish that get caught up in a water spout) some on the Earth's gravitational pull being out a wack (they said the Haiti Earthquake was so strong it could cause the poles to shift & we're just now seeing it) or the Ozone layer depletion- but not sure why its focused in some areas & not the others. Keep the lively comments coming...

    January 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. 11:11

    Mark C seems to be all knowing. Maybe he is behind these mass animal deaths and doesn't want us to find out.

    January 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • ficheye

      People like Mark C come on the blogs for one reason: to diss people. Name calling, intelligence references, all are an indication of someone who is immature and completely insecure. All you can do is ignore them. He has nothing to add except bitterness.

      January 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Peter

    Obviously, even if fireworks was a trigger for the death of the blackbirds, it would not explain the fish, and other animals dying around the world.

    The only common denominator here seems to be the fact that only certain birds were affected, only certain types of fish were affected, etc. So, my theory is an experiment on an advanced weapon that targets creatures with the same genetic makeup ...

    Now, that is scary ... World War 3 may no longer be fought with Nukes but with genetic weapons targeting humans with genes from a certain culture ...

    Be afraid, very afraid!

    January 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jgc

    I am not a religious person. But a friend show me this is in the Apocalypse. Let u find it!!

    January 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |


    January 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. blah

    the mayan calendar ends in 2012. this is the beginning of the end of the world....

    January 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ohhiya

    Okay this is getting silly....

    January 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bill paterson

    after reading the above posts I'm thinking maybe mark c should quit criticizing everyone else and take his head out of his ass and wake up, oh, and I was wandering if he has a job, and if so, could it be government work?

    January 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. NotMexican

    I wonder if it is from all the chemicals dump to disperse the oil in the Gulf.

    January 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned

      Disruptinon of the earth's electromagnetic field will cause animals to not be able to navigate... Natural?.. Look up HAARP

      January 7, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. logan S

    maybe it'S THE END OF THE WORLD PEOPLE... WE JUST GETTING OUR WARNINGS BEFORE THE END COMES... OR IT MAY JUST BE ANIMALS GETTING NEW VIRUSES THAT IS KILLING THEM OFF... A BIRD EATS SOME INFECTED FISH IT's prob going to die... an animal does not have to die for a reason like poison or wheather somethings just die because servival of the fitest... just birds that no longer were saperior...

    January 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Eric

    The mass bird deaths were due to blunt-force trauma. However, I find the explanation that 5,000+ birds all hit randomly placed homes and cars completely absurd. The statistical odds of 5,000 birds flying in a large volume of air all hitting individual objects spread over a square mile in area are astronomical.

    500+ birds were killed in Louisiana, and hundreds of birds were killed in Sweden, over the past 6 days. All of these birds died from blunt force trauma.

    It is abundantly clear to me that all of these incidents cannot be coincidences, as the statistical odds for it are again, astronomical. The more likely scenario is that all of these birds collided with a large object that was directly in their flight path, but for some reason, the birds could not see or detect this object. I believe that more research needs to be done with regards to the radar data (both civilian and military) near the bird deaths to determine what objects may have been in the atmosphere at the time of the deaths.

    I wish to refer an organization of former NASA scientists (and others) who study the sudden appearance of anomalous phenomenon, especially as it relates to interference with commercial aviation traffic. I believe that there is a better statistical chance that the birds in these 3+ locations hit an airborne object in their flight path, maybe one that was only temporarily visible.

    January 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bird

      I doubt a bird would hit anything in the atmosphere.

      January 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • jps

      well it may sound crazy but KTHV in Arkansas reported this morning that there was something unidentified on the radar right around the time the birds died and in the same area.

      January 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whaat??

      Yeah ... it was blunt force trauma when they hit the ground!!

      January 7, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bird

      Whaat?? Thank you MASKED MAN!

      January 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      More like blunt force trauma hitting eachother. Did nobody notice that almost all of the dead birds were male? These birds are very aggressive and will defend territory and breeding rights to the death. Their habitat and resources are dwindling... Unfortunately, we will be seeing more of this in the future because the problem for them is only getting worse.

      January 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ThAtCanadianguy

    Google PHOSGENE.. and then recap on the Pentagon employee that was found murdered..Wild!!!

    January 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bird

      Although I did find that article very interesting I just have a hard time seeing the connection here. It would be really hard to contain in a specific area.

      January 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. K12L

    ...and this is all part of Regis Philbin's plan for world domination.

    January 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |


    January 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
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