It started not two weeks ago on New Years Eve 2010. Over three thousand blackbirds simultaneously started attacking each other in mid-flight and then just fell out of the sky over the city of Beebe in Arkansas. People out to celebrate the new year were suddenly forced to dodge falling birds and bodies bouncing off buildings and cars, in an event they would never forget. It was a mysterious event and one that would be mentioned for years to come, eventually falling into folklore, but there was nothing to it to keep it in the news for long. The birds showed no sign of poison after several animals who ate the corpses suffered no ill effects, and the initial investigation showed no signs of disease. The event was put down to the birds becoming disoriented by the fireworks going off in celebration of the upcoming new year and this, combined with the poor eyesight of blackbirds, causing them to fly into each other and die of their injuries. City authorities hired a specialist firm to dispose of the birds that were now littering roads and gardens and life moved on. At least until it happened again. Three days later on the second of January and three hundred miles to the south in Labarre, Louisiana two groups of blackbirds (again) totalling just over four hundred and fifty were found dead spread across the highway. In that case it was determined that the birds had again been spooked by something which had caused them to fly into the powerlines near the road, however an investigation into possible disease or physical trauma is ongoing.
Two events, only a couple of days apart, and involving the sudden mysterious deaths of mass numbers of the same species in the same sort of geographical area. To most people that's a hell of a coincidence. Add the speed of publishing and lack of proper research that the web has brought to all of us and you've got a recipe for panic, a recipe that someone just had to cook. People started to connect the two events that quickly became known as harbingers of the "aflockalypse" while others went looking for other similar events that could prove a connection to some conspiracy theory or other. They weren't disappointed. Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States, had over two million fish suddenly die on January third, and this event was soon linked to the deaths of just over a hundred thousand fish downriver in, believe it or not, Arkansas (which in turn linked the fish deaths to the bird deaths). These fish deaths are currently thought to be the result of sub-zero temperatures over the holidays cooling the waters until the fish couldn't survive in them, but the investigation is ongoing. Suddenly the events were forming a chain and more people were starting to take them seriously. As more people started to believe something beyond what we'd seen was happening, more related events came to light in the next few days. Forty thousand dead crabs washed up on the beach of the small town of Thanet right here in the UK, while a hundred and fifty tons of fish washed up in Vietnam and 100 tons of sardines and catfish were found dead in Brazil. Sparrows in China and Jackdaws in Sweden took a note out of their American blackbird cousins' book and plunged from the sky en masse. For many it seemed that the joking name of "Aflockalypse" was becoming more and more accurate as these events seemed to be spreading across the world. Many started to seriously talk about these deaths as omens of doom on a biblical level, never once suspecting that the mysterious connection between these events actually lay more in my dominion than anywhere else.
You see, mass animal deaths happen all the time. Seriously, we're talking hundreds of these sorts of events around the world every single year. The only reason people took special notice of these ones is that the two blackbird deaths seemed related and that set people looking for other similar events, which were in no short supply as usual. So how does the connection fall into my dominion? It's simple enough when you think about it. The increase in technology over the past decade or so, specifically in mobile communications technology, has put information, the ability to misunderstand that information and the ability to spread that misunderstanding into more people's hands than ever before. This simply enabled the story to travel faster and further, which is the only real connection between these so called harbingers.