Story at a glance

  • The Birds Aren’t Real movement parrots a conspiracy theory that birds are not real and instead are being used by the government in surveillance.
  • As part of an upcoming documentary, the movement has been holding and filming rallies and gatherings across the country.
  • While there is no scientific evidence to support the theory, many see the campaign as a form of satire.

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that birds aren’t real. But the truther movement “Birds Aren’t Real” isn’t quitting — in fact they’re just getting started. 

Springfield, Mo., was the first stop on the movement's tour through the United States that will be filmed for a documentary, according to the campaign's Instagram page, which has already begun posting clips on social media. 


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“What makes me think that? I think the evidence is all around us, birds sit on power lines, we believe they’re charging on power lines, we believe that bird poop on cars is liquid tracking apparatus," Peter Mcindoe, the leader of the movement, told a local news outlet on Friday. 


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The movement began in 2017, when McIndoe, an English and philosophy major at the University of Memphis in Tennessee, held up a sign at the local Women’s March that read, “Birds are a myth; they’re an illusion; they’re a lie. Wake up America! Wake up!” The meme quickly went viral, and the Audobon Society reported that while the campaign is political satire to many followers, to others, it is "no more unbelievable than QAnon." 

As conspiracy theories over politics and the coronavirus pandemic took off in the last two years — some spread by former President Trump himself —  the movement has grown, now offering merchandise called "truther gear." On their website, the movement offers a long history and explanation for the theory, which involves the American intelligence community and the Red Scare — and it doesn’t help that the federal government’s track record of transparency is less than stellar


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Published on Jun 28, 2021