The Mind of James Donahue

Mass Suicides

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What Is Wrong With The Birds?


By James Donahue


The strange disappearance of an estimated 1,500 homing pigeons during a club-sponsored 93-mile flight in Sweden last week adds just one more mystery to the odd behavior of birds in recent months.


Of the 2,000 pigeons released by their owners for the flight, only about 500 of them returned to their lofts, club members said. The birds, all wearing sport electronic identification tags on their feet, were expected to complete the flight in about two hours.


Homing pigeons have a natural homing instinct and rarely get lost. They are believed to navigate by the sun and magnetic waves of the earth.


“I have worked with pigeons since 1960 and have never experienced anything like this,” said club member Lars-Aake Nilsson. He suggested that the birds were thrown off course by changes in the earth’s magnetic field.


Nilsson is not the only one voicing suspicion that the planet’s magnetic field is acting strangely these days.


Environmental and space writer Linda Moulton Howe suggested the same thing during a recent appearance on the Coast-to-Coast radio talk show. She said scientists have noticed a 10 to 15 percent weakening of the planet’s magnetic field during the last century, with the deterioration accelerating in recent years. This has caused some to believe the planet is in the first stages of a pole shift. This in turn could affect bird, marine and other animal migrations.


On her website,, Howe lists numerous other cases where large numbers of birds have gone missing. They include:


--About 1,600 homing pigeons out of 1,800 vanished while competing in a 200-mile race from northern Virginia to Allentown, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 5, 1998. That same day, 600 of the 700 birds in another flight from western Pennsylvania to Philadelphia also failed to return to their roosts.


--An estimated 29,000 pelicans disappeared without warning and while nesting in the Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota on May 28, 2004.


--More than 10,000 flamingoes were found dead at Lake Manyara within a national park in Tanzania, Africa, on July 15, 2004. The cause of the mass killing is still being sought at the time of this writing.


--Also during July, 2004, authorities are reporting large numbers of California brown pelicans washing up on local shores in a sick, dehydrated state and near death. They appear to be starving to death even though the ocean is filled with an abundant supply of anchovies, a natural food for these birds.


Writer Michael Goodspeed, in an article published on this site last week, reported even more bird mysteries and speculated, like Howe, that something is changed in the magnetic field which is causing the phenomenon.


He wrote about pelicans in Arizona flying suicide runs, head first into asphalt highways and parking lots. Some theorize that the birds are mistaking the “shimmering” head mirage for water.


Goodspeed also told of the strange disappearance of an entire heron colony at Point Roberts, Washington in recent weeks. One biologist, Ann Eissinger, said there were “at least a hundred active pairs with young. We don’t know what happened to them. The birds just disappeared.”


It is clear that something extraordinary is happening and that whatever it is, it is having an effect on the birds. And from the reports coming in at California, Arizona and Tanzania, Africa, the effects are deadly.


I have a problem blaming this on the slow decline in the earth’s magnetic field since this has been going on for a few hundred years and will continue for perhaps a few thousand years before a reversal of the magnetic field actually happens. It is an extremely slow process in terms of the human measurement of time.


There is unusual solar activity occurring at this time, however, that also is having an effect on electrical and radio impulses. Some of the largest solar storms and flares ever recorded have occurred this year. The energy that bombards the earth from some of these super flares disrupts radio and satellite communications, sometimes affects electrical service, and causes changes in the electrical currents within our bodies. I know that I feel them when my heart starts beating irregularly. Others in our household experience the same sensation.


The only other thought I have is that perhaps our military is tinkering with HAARP in some new way, or perhaps testing some other diabolical “secret” new weapon that is not only driving our bird populations into self destruction, but is causing whales and porpoises to lose their direction and make suicide runs into beaches around the world.

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