When I hear about birds falling out of the sky, I think of dioxin. However, scientists being quoted in the press are saying the birds that fell over Beebe, Arkansas, died in midair from blunt trauma. This happened one day after about about 100,000 fish washed up 200 kilometers away near Ozark on the Arkansas River. Again and again, people are claiming that the two incidents are unrelated. Whatever got those birds got them all at once; same with the fish. News journalism likes to present things in a tidy little package, especially if the journalist spends more time in hair and makeup than reading and making calls. Here are a few questions that I haven’t seen addressed, or asked.
1. What were thousands of blackbirds doing flying at 11:30 pm? Nobody has suggested that this is a migratory route. Either some incident alarmed them into flying at night, or the birds were sick and disoriented, and therefore flying at night.
2. Has anyone done dioxin or PCB tests? I haven not seen these particular toxins mentioned; I’ve seen no toxins mentioned by name, just that “the birds weren’t poisoned.”
3. Arkansas is famously toxic. In Pine Bluff, south of Little Rock, right on the Arkansas River, there was a U.S. Army chemical weapons depot — an enormous one — nerve gas, mustard gas, sarin, and many other chemical weapons. Was there a release from this facility?
4. A company named Hercules was one of the most horrendous dioxin polluters during the Vietnam War era. That site, now owned by a shell company called Vertac (associated with Dow Chemical) is located in Jacksonville. Famous for dumping huge amounts of dioxin into the Rocky Branch Creek that drains into the Arkansas, Hercules’ toxins polluted the waterway for 100 miles downstream. Is anybody checking into whether a toxic hot spot was disturbed?
To sum up, this is not an ordinary part of the country where these events happened. There are, in this area, any number of extremely toxic sources that could have caused this. Any thoughts? Do we believe the blunt trauma thing? Are these incidents related or not?
That’s quite a chart — it’s (yet another) Aries Point chart.
— with Carol van Strum