Thousands of birds fall from the sky in Beebe
Just before folks in Beebe rang in the New Year, many witnessed an uncanny resemblance to the Hitchcock movie “The Birds.” About 2,000 black birds fell from the sky off Windwood Drive, leaving quite the mess to clean up.
Folks Today’s THV spoke with initially thought the birds were poisoned because they are what they call a nuisance around this time every year, but they are surprised to hear it is more of a mystery.
Stephen Bryant recalls, “Millions, millions fly over every night. You look up at the sky and it’s just black and then last night at about 10:30 I came out here and saw a bird drop.”
In a matter of hours on New Years Eve thousands of birds fell from the sky to their death.
Melissa Weatherly says, “I immediately called mom because I had to go to work, I said you have to come get the kids and get the dog because I don’t know what’s going on.” She continues, “It was horrible; you could not even get down the road without running over hundreds. It was that bad.”
The mystery is unraveling like scenes from a movie, dozens of U.S. Environmental Services crews spent the day picking up the birds, walking between homes and climbing on roofs with protective hazmat suits and breathing masks,.
Charles Boldrey stands outside watching the crews, “Nobody knows, I asked these guys who are out here picking them up and they don’t seem to know anything. Nobody seems to know anything. It just kind of freaked everybody out.”
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Massive fish kill blankets Arkansas River
Dead drum fish floated in the water and lined the banks of a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River near Ozark, about 125 miles northwest of Little Rock, said Keith Stephens of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. A tugboat operator discovered the fish kill Friday night, and fisheries officials collected some of the dying animals to conduct tests.
Stephens said fish kills occur every year, but the size of the latest one is unusual, and suggested some sort of disease was to blame.
“The fish kill only affected one species of fish,” he said. “If it was from a pollutant, it would have affected all of the fish, not just drum fish.”
Ozark is about 125 west of the town of Beebe, where game wardens are trying to find out why up to 5,000 blackbirds fell from the sky just before midnight New Year’s Eve.
Dead birds a mystery in Arkansas
Biologists believe the bird deaths were stress-related from either fireworks or weather and are unrelated to the fish kill near Ozark, Stephens said.
Editor’s Note MWFH’s: Interesting that authorities responding to this incident came prepared with full gear to combat any airborne illness that could be transmitted in the event that some sort of biological agent had been released on an unsuspecting public. And the public? Well, they just went about their business. And it seems just like a movie, not Hitchcock’s “The Birds” but more like “The Andromeda Strain” or some military exercise gone right.