Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program

Birds aren't real

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A satirical conspiracy theory which posits that birds are actually drones operated by the United States government to spy on American citizens. Birds Aren’t Real was created online in 2017 by Peter McIndoe from Memphis, Tennessee, and first attracted attention during the 2017 Women’s March at the University of Arkansas, at which McIndoe and other supporters appeared carrying anti-bird signs. It soon was described as “a joke that thousands of people are in on.”

The movement argues that all birds in the United States were exterminated by the government between 1959 and 1971 and replaced by drones. They claim that birds sit on power lines to recharge themselves, and that bird poop on cars is a tracking method.

In 2018, supporters started demonstrating with signs stating “Birds Aren’t Real” and related slogans. A year later a billboard was erected stating “Birds Aren’t Real” in Memphis, Tennessee.

In December 2021, The New York Times featured the movement and its founder Peter McIndoe, who eventually admitted that he did not truly believe the conspiracy. On January 5, 2022, the US Government responded by tweeting via the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s official account, “Birds are real.”

Birds aren't real - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program
Birds aren't real - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program
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