BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham residents may have noticed an odd billboard on University Boulevard downtown. The billboard, located between the Retina Specialists of Alabama and an EasyMoney office, simply reads “Birds Aren’t Real.”
The billboard is connected to Birds Aren’t Real, a movement with an unusual message. The organization’s website states they believe that “the US Government destroyed over 12 Billion birds from 1959-2001, and replaced these birds with surveillance drone replicas.”
“That’s why we see them charging on power lines,” said Peter McIndoe, founder and public face of the group. “That’s why bird poop falls on your car more than the ground. They’re tracking your car.”
However, in interviews with The New York Times and CBS’ 60 Minutes, McIndoe admitted that the movement, which began in 2017, is both a parody and response to conspiracy theorists and misinformation.
“So it’s taking this concept of misinformation and almost building a little safe space to come together within it and laugh at it, rather than be scared by it,” McIndoe told “60 Minutes” during a segment last month. “And accept the lunacy of it all and be a bird truther for a moment in time when everything’s so crazy.”
McIndoe, who continued his “Birds Aren’t Real” conspiracy theorist persona during his interview with CBS 42, said the billboard was not erected by his team and was likely the work of a private citizen.
“The people who put up this billboard are not affiliated with us officially on paper,” he said. “But they’re affiliated with us in our hearts and our souls and our minds.”
McIndoe also encourages Birmingham residents to do their own research on the movement.
“Don’t just look at the billboard and see that it says ‘Birds aren’t real’ and say, ‘Oh, I don’t believe in birds now’,” McIndoe said. “Because then you’ll just be making the same mistake you made the first time when you thought the birds were real.”
When asked about the organization’s end goal, McIndoe stated it clearly.
“We want [the birds] deprogrammed,” McIndoe said. “We want the eventual repopulation of real birds in the American skies and we want the surveillance to go away completely, and we are done asking politely.”
McIndoe said he plans to continue to reach others throughout the county through rallies, which are to be announced soon on their Instagram page.
“We have a few rallies coming up this summer,” McIndoe said. “[And] we may be coming to Birmingham.”
McIndoe encourages Birmingham residents who are interested in learning more about the Birds Aren’t Real movement to visit their website here.