0029 - The Curious Case of Birds

Some are saying that the US government secretly killed all the birds and replaced them with advanced drones. This is non-sense and satire, but still useful to tease apart so we can understand how to tackle other less obvious misinformation. This is analogous to many other harmful lies and we will discuss several from a few angles.

[00:00] INTRO

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: Warning. This show contains adult themes and language including birds shitting on cars.

MAKO: Dysevidentia is an inability to reliably process evidence and this is a podcast all about it.

SQEAKY: This episode was released on February 28th, 2022 and we are discussing dysevidentia because it is clear dozens of bird truthers are suffering from it.

SQEAKY: I am Sqeaky.

MAKO: And I am Mako. We discuss logic and evidence because the government didn't pay us well enough to engineer their drones.

SQEAKY: You can support us by becoming a Patron and patreon.com/dysevidentia.

MAKO: If you spent all your money starting your own conspiracy theory you can still help us. Please like, subscribe, and leave a review to help us out.

SQEAKY: If you have a paper you have written or a small business to plug, let us know.

MAKO: Today we are going to discuss birds and whether or not they are real. They are.

SQEAKY: A government drone would say that.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: Does "shitting" have one "t" or two "t"s.

MAKO: Well Google isn't spell-correcting that, does it do it with two "t"'s? It does not. Google seems to accept it either way.

SQEAKY: I bet one's the American spelling and the other is the British spelling.

*Guitar riff*

[01:26] META

SQEAKY: We had a pretty decent episode last time, two weeks ago. We only had one correction and it wasn't sent in by a user so we didn't have to give away and flash drives.

MAKO: Oh boy.

SQEAKY: Uh near the end you or I were talking about Lindsey Cockburn in the segment about Bigfoot's dick.

MAKO: Okay, I want to say that was you but okay, yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah, probably. I'm just trying not to take ownership of the whole girth of the problem.

MAKO: Uhuh, that could be quite hefty to take ownership of such girth.

SQEAKY: And one of us said Lisa Cockburn, it's Lindsey Cockburn. That's all.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: So nobody gets a flash drive for that one, we found it. But if you find an issue with one of our episodes we're gonna give out up to three flash drives per episode. Let us know, they're pretty nice. Stainless steel guys, 128 gigs. We don't have any new Patrons, we don't have anything else super amazing to discuss but if you have something you want to share with us, a paper or... if you want to correct us, there's a bunch of ways to get in touch with us.

MAKO: You can find our Patreon at patreon.com/dysevidentia.

SUPPORT [2:22] Dysevidentia on Patreon - https://patreon.com/Dysevidentia

SQEAKY: Yeah, we can chat on Reddit, r/dysevidentia.

CONTACT [2:25] Dysevidentia subreddit on Reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/Dysevidentia/

MAKO: We have a Twitter, @dysevidentia.

CONTACT [2:27] At Dysevidentia on Twitter - https://twitter.com/dysevidentia

SQEAKY: We have a Discord server and a YouTube channel where we do read all the comments and we... we stay up in both, and both of the links will be in the show notes.

CONTACT [2:27] The Dysevidentia Server on Discord - https://discord.gg/EZtcgdsCDA

CONTACT [2:30] Dysevidentia on Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBbU3rnK52CXUkK0cJ-o29g

MAKO: We have an email, contact@dysevidentia.com

CONTACT [2:38] Dysevidentia by email - Contact@dysevidentia.com

SQEAKY: But we're not on Facebook. Fuck Mark Zuckerberg.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Ha, I stole it from you.

*Guitar riff*

MAKO: I could feel the laughter building right as you finished the sentence.

SQEAKY: This episode was released on February...

MAKO: Let me go.

SQEAKY: Okay. Bird truthers.

*Sqeaky giggles*

MAKO: You like that?

SQEAKY: Nope. Not at all. Not one fuckin' bit.

*Guitar riff*


SQEAKY: This is hopefully going to be our last COVID minute!

MAKO: Well, last regular COVID minute.

SQEAKY: You want to have irregular minutes? That sounds problematic.

MAKO: We can do it. I believe in us.

SQEAKY: Don't even know where I'm going with any of that.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: Um. We'll come back to that. Let's get a couple of the facts out there.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Nothing terribly interesting has happened with COVID news in the past two weeks, has it?

MAKO: No, not really.

SQEAKY: And certainly nothing dysevidentia-related.

MAKO: Nothing that's made major headlines.

SQEAKY: No new celebrities saying something exceptionally dumb, no new gigantic problem.

MAKO: Most of the COVID stuff I've seen anywhere is individual people saying they're sick of the pandemic.

SQEAKY: Yeah, that makes sense.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: I wish more people would mask up and get vaccinated. Our vaccination rate has been stuck at about seventy-six percent and the booster rate is up slightly from last time. We'll drop a source to usafacts.org, it has the current vaccination rate. Last episode the boosted rate was in the mid-twenties, it's now at twenty-eight percent. Everything's slightly increasing but we're just gonna level off at some point, it's not gonna keep going up, there's enough people out there who just don't think it's real or whatever.

SOURCE [3:46] The vaccination rate is largely unchanged, still hovering around 76% in the US - https://usafacts.org/visualizations/covid-vaccine-tracker-states/

MAKO: So the one bit of news that I have seen, I mean again it's not major news because people that understand how serious COVID is are just gonna be like 'Well yeah' and people who don't are gonna be like 'Fake news' so it's not exactly something that is going to be going around like national news all that much but the CDC has published a report specifically talking about excess deaths in the United States. And since the pandemic began or more specifically since February 1st, 2020, to February 16th, 2022, the CDC has recorded 1,045,389 excess deaths.

SOURCE [4:45] CDC Reports over 1 million excess deaths during the pandemic - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/17/us-excess-deaths-pandemic-cdc

SQEAKY: Now if this is like other excess death numbers, what they do is they account for every known form of death and then they look at a known period of time and look at how many unknown deaths there are and then they take the accounts for the period where you're not sure how many unknown deaths you have, you take into account all the known deaths, then you compare the differences in the deaths and the normal amount of unknown deaths is other unknown deaths, right, and then that difference, the extra deaths, that's what we're talking about, and we're attributing all of that to COVID is my understanding.

MAKO: Yeah, pretty much. I don't know about all of it but I mean it is-

SQEAKY: Statistically all of it, right?

MAKO: Yeah it's statistically it is a significant unknown increase over a period that matches the pandemic itself.


MAKO: Yeah. I'm not gonna say it claims causation but very tight correlation.

SQEAKY: This is one of those things where the other unknown deaths are like people spontaneously dying of heart attacks and strokes when somebody else is around.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: We didn't suddenly have a massive rash of those or those didn't spontaneously disappear so the number isn't going to be perfect, it's gonna be up or down a few thousand because we're talking about a million people, but even if it's off by 40,000 in one direction or the other which would be four percent, it would still be over a million people dead.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Okay. So our source for that, it is initially a CDC report but we have theguardian.com.

MAKO: There is a link to the CDC report in the article.

SQEAKY: Back to why we're gonna drop the COVID minutes. We don't think there's going to be a lot of special news from here on out.

MAKO: We hope not. There's always the chance of a significant mutation and...

SQEAKY: ...with every mutation comes a new rash of people saying COVID doesn't exist.

MAKO: There's that but there's also we've used COVID Minute to do PSAs as much as we can about COVID and share COVID news and any mutation that's significant enough, definitely more significant than Omicron B, that is a very insignificant mutation, otherwise if that kind of thing happens we'll talk about it if there's a significant dysevidentia topic, if there's some new group that comes about that tries to deny or cast doubt on vaccines or whatnot, of course we'll still talk about that but in general, news about COVID is dying down.

SQEAKY: Yeah and the pandemic itself, numbers are down everywhere we look. We didn't check the whole world but it's kind of for every state and Europe and stuff, it's way less major. And when things are leaving the news, new conspiracy theories and new nonsense don't form around it.

MAKO: Yup.

SQEAKY: So some of the nonsense we've had. What, right in the beginning people were trying to claim hydroxychloroquine- hydroxychloroquine would cure it. No evidence, no studies, just started claiming it.

MAKO: Probably the one that sticks out to me the most was hearing stories from ER doctors and personnel where they would diagnose somebody with COVID and the patient would be like 'No, tell me the truth'.

SQEAKY: Yah, that happened, we have news reports. But even knowing that happened-

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: -it's still mind boggling.

MAKO: And some of them would be like 'Alright if you're not gonna tell me the truth I'm storming out of here' and then they would unplug themselves from the machines and they would make it to the end of the room before they collapsed because their blood oxygen level was too low.

*Sqeaky sighs*

MAKO: Like guys, it's real. It's there. You're being treated.

SQEAKY: The ivermectin thing still is floating around. Since the last episode I've argued with people on Reddit and LinkedIn whether or not Ivermectin is a valid treatment. The CDC hasn't cast any firm ruling either way, I think they're trying to avoid looking political but if you look at any of the studies, it doesn't do anything. There's one Japanese study that shows that Ivermectin does kill it, in a petri dish. When you cover it in so much Ivermectin you're depriving it of water.

MAKO: There was a quote I saw a long time ago when people were talking about all the headlines like 'Oh we found this new material that cures cancer'-

SQEAKY: In a petri dish.

MAKO: And they were like remember, any time you read that headline remember, so do bullets.

SQEAKY: Yup. We'll include the relevant XKCD.

SOURCE [8:37] Guns cure covid in a Petri dish - https://xkcd.com/1217/

SQEAKY: Oh I started typing in "XKCD" and it brought up Gun Petri Dish. It's a conspiracy! The government spy drone is onto us. Just Google.

MAKO: Oh my god. The trick is not to kill the cancer, the trick is to kill only the cancer. That's what makes it hard. Likewise, yeah if you drown something in Ivermectin in this case then yeah okay sure maybe you do kill the COVID but if you're killing all the healthy cells along with it, that's not useful.

SQEAKY: Yup. Other dumb stuff. We've had a bunch of celebrities talk about freaking COVID in dumb ways. And the big one we have to keep going to is Joe Rogan because he won't shut up about it. Every other celebrity gets yelled at by their superiors and it's only Spotify that's not reigning in their underlings.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Under the guise of not wanting to censor anyone.

MAKO: Yeah that's kinda-

SQEAKY: Kinda bullshit.

MAKO: Kinda bullshit.

SQEAKY: It's completely bullshit. Spotify knows what they're doing. Spotify knows that by-

MAKO: They're making money.

SQEAKY: Yeah, by hurting people they can make money, so they're cool with it. If they want to they can just nip this and just move on. Pick some other halfway controversial topic and deal with it. But it helps Joe Rogan's ratings.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: They invested a ton of money in him and it cost him something like a third of his listeners to switch from being a free agent to being a Spotify exclusive. It really hurt his numbers but they're all Spotify numbers now but that's what Spotify wanted.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Half of Joe Rogan's audience is bigger than none of it. Oh, masks. Since like episode seven people have been telling us that masks don't work and they always cite some bullshit.

MAKO: Yeah, always. I remember when Omicron came about and people were trying to say 'Masks are no longer effective against Omicron' it's like, what?

SQEAKY: Yeah if a new variant comes out, masks will almost certainly be somewhat effective. Even cloth masks, not gonna say rely on them first but if you can get a KN95 or an N95. Can't? Get a surgical mask. If you can't, a cloth mask or a scarf is still better than nothing.

MAKO: A mask that's capable of stopping water droplets in your breath is all you need to reduce the likelihood of infection.


MAKO: And the only way for Omicron to say- to actually have it be true that masks are no longer effective for it would be if this transmission mechanism no longer applied to COVID for the Omicron variant. That is a gigantic mutation. If you actually understand the underlying mechanisms here you would immediately realize how bullshit that claim is.

SQEAKY: Yeah. I think the only other thing that isn't on our list is people trying to say that they shouldn't have to wear masks because they want their freedom and you should wear the mask. Stuff like that, arguments like that. But wearing- The person wearing the mask is where the viruses can be prevented.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: So we're all protecting each other wearing masks and these people don't realize that. They're just selfish assholes.

MAKO: Masks are more effective at preventing transmission than they are at preventing like receiving it from the outside.

SQEAKY: Yeah 'cause if I just cough really hard like straight into your eyeball, like get a whole bunch of phlegm into your eye, that's kinda gross but yeah if I did that you'd probably get COVID straight through your <> eye but I can imagine some hole in your body I can cough enough into and you'll get sick, right? If I'm wearing a mask I can stop that. If you're wearing a mask I can still sneeze on your wound.

MAKO: Gross.

SQEAKY: It's fucking gross. We all have to wear masks. If we all would've worn masks the pandemic would have been half as long.

MAKO: Actually recently I saw some people trying to say "My body, my choice" in regards to COVID and well, that's a popular thing to say on the left side of the political spectrum in regards to abortions but abortions and COVID are quite different, primarily in that abortions are not contagious, COVID is.

SQEAKY: Yup. I think the anti-abortion stance would be the pro-suffering stance would be that you're killing a baby but that's also not true because most abortions are when it's a tiny clump of cells and has nothing to do with anything, it's like a personal medical choice. Godddamnit. Who was it that did the abortion on stage?

MAKO: I don't know.

SQEAKY: Goddamnit, there was somebody that was in a debate that claimed to be preganant, they took a pill, and they're like abortion isn't murder and they had an abortion on stage by taking a pill. Killed the fetus. Goddamnit. Now I gotta Google it.

MAKO: That's a fast-acting pill.

SQEAKY: Yeah but they didn't the process of doing it, they took the pill. It probably took a couple days or however long abortion pills take to kick in. I found her.ie. A pro-choice activist was in a debate on TV on Fox 2 and took the pill right on TV just to prove how safe it was. Uh, we're way off topic. Back to contagion and infecting other people is one of the big difference but also evidence. One side can appeal to reality and evidence and the other side can't.

SOURCE [13:01] Livestream abortion to shutdown debate - https://www.her.ie/news/activist-takes-abortion-pill-on-live-tv-during-debate-546643

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: You made this knowing nod like huh, hadn't thought of it like that.

MAKO: Well it's just...

*Mako sighs*

MAKO: Debating if I want to get into the details of it and no, no I don't. I'm fine with the high level overview here.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: And we're discussing dysevidentia because it is clear mill-

MAKO: You reflexed into that one.

SQEAKY: Yup, I did.

MAKO: There are dozens of us!

SQEAKY: Dozens!

*Guitar riff*


SQEAKY: So that kinda segues into the topic of the episode because, well, everyone who's anti-abortion kinda comes at it from a religious standpoint and I know, don't write in I'll ignore you or cuss at you 'But I'm the one atheist who doesn't believe in abortion', fuck off, no one cares, you're all alone, you're just doing it to troll me.

MAKO: Sure.

SQEAKY: So everyone who's anti-abortion is coming at it from a religious standpoint and the argument is almost always 'Well you're killing the baby, it has a soul' well you're actually causing suffering here in the real world with things we can demonstrate are real so if you believe bullshit, even bullshit that seems like a good thing like you believe in the sanctity of life, because it's wrong you wind up hurting people. So how do you...

MAKO: I know... I don't know how to connect it. I don't know how you're trying to connect this and I don't know how to make that happen.

SQEAKY: What I'm trying to say is that if a belief as wholesome as believing in the sanctity of life or that everything has a soul or a spirit can lead to causing real suffering and misery, like forcing a kid to be born to parents that don't want it or forcing a rape baby to be born then what harm can come from beliving that there are government spy drones on every street in America or that the government has perpretrated mass extinctions?

MAKO: Well that is a little bit hard to say but non-zero.

SQEAKY: Oh fun! Why don't you enlighten me? Can you tell me what is "Birds Aren't Real"?

MAKO: Okay. So, Birds Aren't Real is a conspiracy theory and they claim that their movement began in 1976 although they also claim that it actually technically began back in the 1950s but yeah they're not entirely consistent with their story.

SQEAKY: Oh that doesn't sound like any other conspiracy theory, they're all perfectly consistent.

MAKO: Uhuh, it's it's it's weird and compli- Okay, I don't want to get enmired in all the details r- just yet.

SQEAKY: What is their biggest claim?

MAKO: Their biggest claim is that birds in the United States no longer exist as an organic species.

SQEAKY: All birds?

MAKO: All birds.

SQEAKY: Even chickens? Turkeys?

MAKO: I guess, yeah.

SQEAKY: Okay. And uh, what happened to the birds? Why-

MAKO: They were genocided by the United States government and replaced with synthetic versions of themselves loaded with surveillance equipment to surveill the United States citizens.

SQEAKY: I'm trying not to laugh. It is so ridiculous. But we can look at this one from a detached comical standpoint only because people aren't taking it seriously yet.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Twenty years ago we'd look at flat earth and see how ridiculous it was but now major... politicians and major celebrities are saying shit about flat earth supporting it and there's scammers milking people out of millions of dollars so yeah, this could be harmful if lots of people believed it but what are- tell me more about it, where can we hear about it?

MAKO: Well there is a website, birdsarentreal.com, where they have a bunch of information posted and I will be going over some of that information here but real quick, minor correction on myself for what I said about the inconsistency, the movement is what they say began in 1976 but the actual bird genocide began in 1959 and then was completed in 2001 so they are technically saying different things.

BULLSHIT SOURCE [16:24] Birds Aren’t Real Official Webpage - https://birdsarentreal.com/

SQEAKY: So the rough timeline: They're saying that in 1959, the U.S. started killing birds. In 1976, their organization caught wind of it and started fighting this vaguely somehow, but in 2001 all birds were extinct.

MAKO: Yes.


MAKO: Yep. And since 2001, they shifted the focus of their movement to awareness in order to get accountability for the genocide of all the birds.

SQEAKY: Is there any evidence this organization actually existed in 2001?

MAKO: None whatsoever.

SQEAKY: Okay. I was pretty sure this was purely a concoction of the internet age.

MAKO: We'll go over that in a little bit. One thing I did find interesting was they do have, of course, a merchandise section on their website where you can buy a bunch of bird truther gear. Okay so I have a link in our notes here that is a link to my personal favorite merchandise from this movement.

BULLSHIT MERCH [17:42] Mako's personal favorite - https://birdsarentreal.com/products/i-want-to-disbelieve-hoodie

*Sqeaky laughs*

MAKO: You like that?

SQEAKY: It's a hoodie. I'm gonna talk to the graphics guy and see if we can get that put in there. So if you're just listening to the YouTube video, look at the- look at the screen. And it has the X-Files "I Want To Believe" font and structure in black and white and instead of the UFO it has a bird, a big-

MAKO: And it says "I Want To Disbelieve".

SQEAKY: It's fantastic.

MAKO: It's obviously an X-Files reference.

SQEAKY: Oh my god. But that's a thing that a conspiracy group might actually do.

MAKO: Maybe.

SQEAKY: Flat earthers, they refer to UFOs and they even talk about the X-Files sometimes and they say that that stuff isn't real and I know that stuff's fake so you should believe that I'm credible on this other ridiculous thing I'm saying.

MAKO: Eh. I'm sure that works on some people.

SQEAKY: Oh my god. That's unfortunate.

MAKO: Yeah. Okay. So they have a separate page where they go over the history of just everything that's happened and I tried to take condensed notes on what they cover in it, it's actually quite a wild ride. Some of it is so outlandish like okay yeah if you were unsure if whether or not this movement was satire, read the history section of their website.

BULLSHIT SOURCE [18:41] Birds Aren’t Real History - https://birdsarentreal.com/pages/the-history

SQEAKY: But the Time Cube guy is serious and it's the fuck out there.

BULLSHIT SOURCE [19:00] Time Cube is something like a conspiracy from the early days of the internet, Clearly mental illness - https://timecube.2enp.com/

MAKO: The what guy is serious?

SQEAKY: Time Cube.

MAKO: Time Cube, okay. I guess.

SQEAKY: Oh okay.

MAKO: Well, I mean, you'll see what I mean when I go over some of these things. So, they claim that the CIA formulated a plan to increase surveillance as part of keeping tabs on the U.S. public during the whole red scare to try to see if any U.S. citizens are supporting communist ideas, supporting Russia, et cetera. So they wanted to expand surveillance. And they decided they could do that by putting a bunch of bird drones just into all the environments. But curiously, that doesn't necessarily mean they need to kill birds and certainly not all of them. They could displace some of the populations and put in drones, but the-

SQEAKY: I mean would you even need that. You could totally just get a search warrant and just put one bird drone up there. Or even a dozen bird drones and then when you're done put them back in the box, save them for later use.

MAKO: Well this wasn't- The premise that the website was going for was not that they had particular people that they wanted focus on, they wanted to watch everybody.

SQEAKY: Yeah if you're looking for red scare bullshit you kinda have to have omnipresent surveillance. Okay, I follow.

MAKO: Yes, that's what they were going for. So the project director for all of this had a personal disdain for pigeons because the pigeons kept on sg on his car. So he wanted to exterminate all birds.

SQEAKY: So we had a birdocide because this dude didn't go the car wash often enough?

MAKO: I guess, yeah.

SQEAKY: Okay, fine. Fine.

MAKO: According to this. Yeah.

SQEAKY: So this sounds ridiculous, right?

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: But when you break apart any of these conspiracy theories they all sound this ridiculous, right. Flat earth, election truthers, Obama birth certificate, they all sound this ridiculous when you dig in the facts for any of them. Just some of them are politically or emotionally charged.

MAKO: The project to engineer these drones to actually create a bird likeness was supposed to take place at Area 51.

SQEAKY: What project didn't happen at Area 51!?

MAKO: The lame ones that nobody wants to talk about.

SQEAKY: I didn't expect you to have a concise answer.

MAKO: There you go. They claimed that most of the evidence they received about what the government was doing with bird drones and the extermination of birds themselves came from individual testimony from individuals involved in the project. One engineer in particular, when going to Area 51 there was a bus I guess, maybe an RV, I don't know. That was transporting all of these engineers and they were not told to be discrete so they weren't. They had Area 51 or Bust written on the side of their vehicle-

SQEAKY: So this is highly implausible.

MAKO, laughing: Yes.

SQEAKY: But okay, 'cause just having heard stories from people in the military, and I'm not- Goddamnit. I guess I should disclose this: I have worked for the military writing software as a contractor, I have clearances, but I will not use any of my experience here just having heard from people who worked at sites that you're not supposed to talk about that are supposed to be secret or whatever, discretion is the rule and has been for at least thirty or fourty years like, you don't bring credit card with you, the government asks how much money you'll use and then they give you that much money and then you pay them back later or you get it deducted from your payroll or something, they cover all the things and they have rules for what you wear for civilian clothes to not get caught and they have rules for where you say and it's really well- Oh my god. Area fi- Where- How do- Who commissioned the sign "Area 51"!? They didn't call it Area 51-

*Sqeaky makes horse sounds*

SQEAKY: Incoherent mutterings, what the fuck, oh my god.

MAKO: I tried to warn you it- it's... If you're not-

SQEAKY: You're ju-

MAKO: -not sure that this is satire just read the history section.

SQEAKY: Just keep going, keep going. Someone's gonna believe it man.

MAKO: There's more. They were also caught chanting "Let's kill all the birds".

SQEAKY: How did they know that was their mission before they got there?

MAKO: They were told I gu- I don't know.

SQEAKY: What you're gonna hire scientists like 'Yeah we need to... We need to commit bird genocide, come on down. Do you hate pigeons?' They put out an ad in the paper: 'Do you want to kill all the birds?' Okay fine, fine.

MAKO: I don't know. Presumably these were military engineers so they probably could do it somehow- I don't think they would need to put it out in a newspaper ad or anything, they would have military-specific channels, if we are to believe this, don't do that. Okay. So, one of the engineers was named Neil Ford and on this road trip to Area 51, he was left behind at a Waffle House-

SQEAKY: There aren't any Waffle House- the fuck!

MAKO: -and he was left behind because quote "He had to pee so much it ruined the vibe of the road trip.

SQEAKY: There aren't any Waffle Houses in Nevada. I have the whole map of every fucking Waffle House so I guess I have to include that in the sources now and Area 51 is northwest of Vegas. So just- Wh- Wh- Where are they road tripping from that they left him at a goddamned Waffle House?

SOURCE [23:51] No waffle house in Nevada - https://locations.wafflehouse.com/

SOURCE [23:59] Wiki Area 51 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Area_51

MAKO: That was not specified.

SQEAKY: Gonna have so many ridiculous sources for this. Who the fuck thought we would need to reference goddamned Waffle House maps? Okay give me- Let me type this.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: They just abandoned him fuckin' after you- Your group includes people chanting "Let's kill all the birds" and you leave a guy at a Waffle House 'cause...

MAKO: 'Cause he had to pee so much it ruined the vibe of the road trip.

SQEAKY: Alright next. Okay, next.

MAKO: So I guess this caused friction but either way Neil Ford is the primary source of testimony for what was going on with the government relation to birds. The engineers, they went to work doing all of this, and they ran into a number of problems and apparently the project director hit one of the engineers in the head with a forty pound wrench in order to quote "knock some sense into him" and he fell into a coma and never recovered.

SQEAKY: How do you even swing a forty pound wrench as a weapon?

MAKO: Very carefully.

SQEAKY: I mean sledgehammers are unweidly and heavy and like a really fuckin' heavy sledgehammer is like ten pounds and the handle might be another five so that's like swinging a giant bag of rice as a weapon or something.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Okay fine, fine. So, we now have to oppose physics to make this story possible. Great, great. Okay.

MAKO: Okay, moving on. God. So after the other engineer was put into a coma, the other engineers decided they wanted to hurry up, finish the project, so that they could get out of that lab and be safe and away from the malicious project director. They did complete the project, after which they were told they could go, they started going, they were loaded onto a bus and sent off to Vietnam. The project director presumed they would die in Vietnam and that would be that.

SQEAKY: What does that even mean they were shipped off to Vietnam?

MAKO: During the Vietnam?

SQEAKY: Yeah but like you have to train soldiers. What- What is- You're an officer or a Sergeant or some other leader in the Vietnam combat zone-

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: -and a dude shows up with a pocket protector and he's like "I don't know how to use a gun". What do you do with him?

MAKO: Well again these are military engineers, they've gone through basic I imagine. They they have more than just pocket protectors.

SQEAKY: Most military engineers are contractors. I didn't go through basic. I worked for some tiny company that wound up working for a recruiter that wound up working for Northrop Grumman that wound up sitting me in Air Force Weather and I sat there for a year writing code. Same type of thing, these like- Yeah, people that work on these projects? They're usually not in the military, they're usually contractors like Richard Feynman. Never in the military, worked on the Manhattan Project. Sorry. Blah. Sorry. So just- Okay. Just every hole we can plug in this story- or poke in the story.

SOURCE [26:34] Richard Feynman worked on the manhattan project but never enlisted - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Feynman#Manhattan_Project

MAKO: Can you call it a hole? Is there-

SQEAKY: Is it supposed-

MAKO: Is it literally all engineers are civilian contractors? Do military engineers simply not exist?

SQEAKY: In the world of software, there are a lot of military engineers but they don't get anything done. They are really bad.

MAKO: Okay so that's the whole. Military engineers are so bad this never would have happened.

SQEAKY: Um. In software. Now, I guess drones need software so yes. But in a more practical sense? Uh, most military engineers, they're not the ones doing the innovating, sometimes they are but usually they're the ones out in the field deploying... They need a mix of military training and technical know-how so often they're trained in how systems work, like people who deploy radio systems. I was actually good friends with a guy who deployed radio systems for the Air Force and he'd go out to combat areas and set up the radio systems to communicate between like fighter jets and the ground but he didn't invent anything related to radio, he didn't do the initial research. Almost everybody who's doing initial research needs like a PhD or a Master's degree in the field and joining the military at a young age and having a PhD are kind of mutually exclusive. There are some people that do both but that's not even like ten percent of 'em.

MAKO: So you're saying there's a chance?

SQEAKY: I'm saying there's a chance.

*Mako laughs*

SQEAKY: No but if this team of people making the bird drones was like thirty people, I would experience expect like one of them to be both a member of the military and active in the research part of it. And I would expect the project manager to be a person in the military because the military is great at logistics. That is like what the military does. That's how you fight a war: You move bullets and people from A to B and put them there and make them do the shooting and you keep piping in the bullets. Logistics is what you need for project management and project management is what you get when you get to heard a bunch of people with PhDs and Master's degrees to research some new crazy thing like bird drones. Blah. Keep going. Keep going. This is just like any other conspiracy, just nothing but holes.

MAKO: There's more, there's more.

SQEAKY: Oh god.

MAKO: So they needed to start exterminating the birds. And I didn't quite catch all of the exact mechanics which they used to exterminate the birds.

SQEAKY: Clearly they just invented cat drones.



MAKO: Involved the commissioning of a 122 and B-52 variants, the B2- B-52B, or the B-52 Bird, yeah, that had its bomb bays replaced with large liquid containers and was fitted with equipment to make it run silently or seem silent at ground level from 3,000 feet.

SQEAKY: 3,000 feet?

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: That's like super low.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: Normally planes y'know fly at like 15, 20, 30,000 feet.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: Six miles or something like that. So this thing's half a mile off the ground or like a kilometer off the ground, okay.

MAKO: And is allegedly completely silent at ground level and has a bunch of liquid containers and it would dump these- this liquid that would do something to kill the birds, that's the part that I don't think they dove into too much detail on but yeah that was how they went around exterminating birds and they also painted the B-52 variants black and they removed all exterior lights to the B-52 and they ran them during the night.

SQEAKY: Okay so all that is so implausible that like no, of course fucking not, you would hear a B-52 even from 3,000 feet away 'cause it's shaped like a goddamned brick with wings, it's gonna make a noise, it has eight jet fucking engines or actually back then, eight giant propeller engines that were somehow just as fucking loud.

MAKO: Yup.

SQEAKY: We should include a Wi- a link to the B-52 Wiki page. There's a rich history in the creation of this airplane.

SOURCE [30:20] Wiki B-52 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_B-52_Stratofortress

MAKO: Yeah, yeah, it's got quite a bit going on for it.

SQEAKY: When I mean it's big it seriously has eight giant a jet engines, it's a big fucking thing, and there were lettered variants of it but when you make a change to something you increase the version number, when you make a change to a military airplane you add a letter or you increment the letter in the designation and the first version of the B-52 was the B variant according to the Wikipedia page. It held bombs, not tanks of liquid. Okay, so just to-

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: None of- Okay. So their basic facts are trivial to check don't match up with reality. Again, looks just like a conspiracy theory or religion, right, I mean people try to claim things about- Okay. Most American Christians think Jesus was white, right. Just doesn't line up with the reality of anything. There's not going to be a white guy in the Middle East blending in, it's not gonna fng happen.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Just people believe things for emotional reasons not logical reasons and this is all that.

MAKO: Okay, so, the next thing, time goes on and they start exterminating the birds. Eventually, John F. Kennedy finds out about the project.

SQEAKY: So they shot him.

MAKO: Pretty much. John F. Kennedy ordered the project to be shut down, they gave pushback, one month later he was assassinated.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Okay, so like all conspiracy theories it brings in other conspiracy theories and makes it all fit.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Yeah, okay.

MAKO: So later, after JFK's assasintation, after they had created designs for the birds and they started manufacturing these birds, they ran into supply shortages. They needed an incredible amount of aluminum that the normal U.S. supply could not provide.

SQEAKY: We had aluminum cans back then though didn't we?

MAKO: Think so.

SQEAKY: We go through a fuckload of aluminum but okay, okay, I suppose if you're making enough drones to replace all the birds you need fucklods of aluminum.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: Is aluminum light enough?

MAKO: Maybe, I don't know.

SQEAKY: Okay. Fine, whatever.

MAKO: So, the Vietnam War did not happen for containment, it was to get access to Vietnam's vast aluminum reserves...

SQEAKY: What the fuck.

MAKO: ...in order to build these drones.

SQEAKY: Does Vietnam even have aluminum?

MAKO: I didn't bother checking.

SQEAKY: Y'know what, I'm gonna use the CIA World Factbook to look this one up.

MAKO: Sure. They- I don't think it's a meaningful difference in the broad context of things but they do specify uh bauxite ore.

SQEAKY: Well, the CIA acknowledges that Vietnam does have bauxite. Okay. So they've gotten one fact right so far. Vietnam has bauxite. Do you actually need bauxite to make aluminum, is that a thing?

SOURCE [32:48] CIA World Factbook Veitnam - https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/vietnam/

MAKO: Aluminum is extracted from bauxite.

SQEAKY: Okay you checked that or you just knew that already?

MAKO: I knew that from other things.

SQEAKY: Well, I'll add this source. So we've got the Waffle House map, Wikipedia for Area 51, Wikipedia for the B-52 and the CIA World Factbook for Vietnam. So we started the Vietnam War to build bird drones. How do you escalate from here? Is there escalation?

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: Ah, okay. Lay it on me.

MAKO: So you might wonder... Okay, there's all these factories. Now you have all this bauxite and aluminum coming in from a foreign nation to drive this massive, massive manufacturing effort in order to replace all the birds that are being exterminated by a special variant of the B-52 in the country with their surveillance mechanical counterparts.

SQEAKY: And somehow we did all the chemical engineering for this poison so it killed only the birds we wanted to kill, didn't kill bees, didn't kill people.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Didn't kill any plants.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: And now you're telling me the hole is the factory workers? We didn't just build a robot to build the robots?

MAKO: Nope. We had actual factory workers.

SQEAKY: Wow. Made in America, look at that. Makin' jobs.

MAKO: And you might wonder well, how the hell did we ma- have all these factory workers working to make these drones and just nobody knew. Well, according to birdsarentreal.com, how that happened was these workers were picked up from clubs, they were just scouted and like 'Hey, I think that person can assemble a uh robot bird.' They were approached, they were like 'Hey, would you like some hard drugs, go on a trip, it will be really great' and they're like 'Well, yeah' so they were given something that was just essentially a placebo and then they were loaded onto the car, taken to the factory, instructed on how to build the bird, and then were just told to go away and they thought that whole experience was an acid trip.

SQEAKY: So we're explaining away MK Ultra as an acid trip? The thing we've- the government has released papers for showing that there were extrajudicial kidnappings here in the U.S. and we did drug some people --not the thousand conspiracy theorists often claim-- but a couple dozen people and we're escalating that story up to we didn't give LSD to thousands of factory workers and somehow these untrained ignorant people were both competent, capable, did it without being paid, and thought it was an acid trip so none of them thought to tell anybody?

MAKO: Yep.


MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Okay that checks out as much as anything else in this story.

MAKO: Really. Uh, so after this system was put in place, the manufacturing was largely complete, the birds were exterminated, the drones were put in place and things started to plateau and reach their new normal. They started finding some interesting innovative ways to utilize these drones. And for the most part these drones do stay within the country borders of like the United States, they don't really go into Canada or Mexico all that much, they do do that a non-zero amount and according to Birds Aren't Real, one of the purposes that they will go into another country is to pick up drugs to drop those drugs off in low income areas of cities.

SQEAKY: So we're bringing in government oppression by drugs? They're blaming the War on Drugs for this- What is this preposterous inversion? Wha- 'Cause I've heard the things where people say that like crack was made by the CIA to give people and I don't think that one's true, I don't really know, I suspect individual white supremicists in the CIA have done things like that to oppress black people 'cause we have good records of white cops fucking over black people who've been accused but you're saying that Birds Aren't Real has an explanation for just drug problems in slums?

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: I don't know if that's even an escalation at this point. This is the furthest I've seen a conspiracy theory go before becoming anti-semetic. Right like, normally by the time you link in like your third conspiracy theory somehow they blame the Jews.

SOURCE [36:53] Anti Semitism unites many conspiracy theories, 79% of antivax groups spread them - https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/anti-semitism-lurks-behind-modern-conspiracy-theories-1.4485495

SOURCE [36:53] There is a Wikipedia page for "Antisemitic Canard" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemitic_canard

MAKO: I didn't see a single reference to Jews in the whole website.

SQEAKY: That's how you know it's not a real conspiracy theory. They haven't crossed the anti-semetic event horizon of no return.

MAKO: I hate that that makes sense.

SQEAKY: Goddamnit I gotta get an article for that 'cause nobody will believe me here. Just so much of these conspiracies do circle around anti-semitism. I would have expected them to say bankers funded the birds or something. Okay, there's too many articles to pick just one, I'll pick a good source, maybe I'll get Christopher Hitchens in here or something like that but the concept of the anti-semetic event horizon of no return, that concept is that once you tie in enough of these conspiracy theories, one absurd and wrong way to tie them all together is to blame a nebulous the other and the Jewish people often get thrown under that bus because there's some rich Jewish people you can point out like George Soros and then you can say stuff like 'Oh they run all the businesses', they aren't, just like any other racial group they're distributed across society and not on any specific team but having one or the other that has a different religion, a different set of beliefs, is just odd enough to people that you can tie together things and if you already believe that this group did one bad thing, starting Vietnam, killing JFK, it's not hard to then pin other bad things to them, spying on all of America, hiding that the world is flat from the population, and when you get to this point where you actually believe this then any bad thing or any fact counter to this can be explained away as 'The Jews are hiding this from me'. So as soon as I try prevent evidence it's like 'No, COVID is real' they can say 'Where'd you get that from, the CDC and Dr. Fauci and the other Jews?' I don't even know if Dr. Fauci is Jewish but they'll claim he's Jewish.

SOURCE [37:04] Qanon is quite antisemitic - https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/25/qanon-conspiracy-theory-explained-trump-what-is

*Sqeaky sighs*

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: So there's no return. Once somebody's at this point, they're probably fucked and you definitely shouldn't take information from them. Sorry, you're just letting me ramble for a little bit.

MAKO: Yeah, you seem like you need to.

SQEAKY: Well ya keep saying the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Just keep doing it. Do it again. Do it again I dare ya!

MAKO: I have a short list of claims that I've seen, like people saying birds pooping on cars is clearly biological birds that poop because they need to but mechanical birds don't need to so why do birds poop? Well, in some cases, particularly when they poop on your car, they are actually dropping a tracking device onto your car.

SQEAKY: A tracking device that dissolves into water? So that way when we wash it away with a hose there is no evidence?

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Of course.

MAKO: That is the presumption anyway. I haven't heard anyone actually follow through with the thought. People saying that birds, these drones, recharge on power lines, which is why birds perch on powerlines.

SQEAKY: I got linked to a video that showed inductive charging. That was neat.

MAKO: We will get to that later.


MAKO: And for the birds that can't recharge, lockdowns during the pandemic are intended to allow the government to replace the batteries for these drones.

SQEAKY: Because of course.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: What the fuck!

MAKO: You told me to say more ridiculous things, there you go.

SQEAKY: Yeah and it's pretty f- No matter how ridiculous we get, someone believes it.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: And people don't believe me when I say that. Talking with any normal well-adjusted person and you say someone actually believes this is the truth they're like 'No, people don't actually believe that' and I'm like 'No, there are people who will die and fight for this thinking it's true' and then there's that satire boundary where you can't tell if someone is being satirical or serious because this is so ridiculous and that happened with flat earth.

MAKO: I believe that uh... Poe's Law.

SOURCE [40:23] Poe’s Law - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe%27s_law

SQEAKY: Poe's Law: There's no belief so ridiculous that it can't-

MAKO: That somebody- Someone's gonna believe it.


MAKO: No matter what.

SQEAKY: Poe's Law is based on a comment written by Nathan Poe in 2005 on christianforums.com, an internet forum on Christianity. The post was made during a debate on Christianism where a previous poster had remarked to another user "Good think you included the winky otherwise people might have thought you were serious." The reply by Nathan Poe read, "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor it is utterly impossible to parody a creationist in such a way that somebody won't mistake it for the genuine article." And this can be applied to any ridiculous idea, not just creationism. 'Cause remember, we're in the United States of America and something like forty percent of our compatriots literally believe in creationism. And this is a thing when you talk to people who don't, and you talk to people who understand that like the universe is expanding, the Big Bang is a thing, evolution happened, almost half the country doesn't accept that despite all the evidence. So this Birds Aren't Real thing? Could be millions of believers. We don't fuckin' know. I hope not. I hope it's all satire and taken that way.

SOURCE [41:09] Older Survey (2004) showing 46% of Americans were Young Earth Creationists - https://ncse.ngo/creationists-how-many-who-and-where

SOURCE [41:09] Fuck loads of American's are Creationist - https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/how-many-creationists-are-there-in-america/

MAKO: If there are a ton and ton of believers, they don't seem to be all that great at organizing, we're not seeing large hubs of it but we'll cover more of that later.

*Guitar riff*

[41:40] SPONSOR

MAKO: Sqeaky, can you look at-

SQEAKY: Shh. Duck.

MAKO: Why are hiding behind a couch?

SQEAKY, quietly: There's a dangerous government spy robot in the house.

MAKO: You mean your cellphone.

SQEAKY, quietly: No, no, stop poking your head up!

MAKO: What are those? Three seashells?

SQEAKY, quietly: Yeah. The gun is locked away on the other side of the CIA drone. Here, throw them as a distraction, I'm gonna charge it.

MAKO: Uh...

SQEAKY, quietly: Three, two, one. Go!

MAKO: Sqeaky! Serpentine!

SQEAKY, off in the distance: I have you now! Into the woodchipper!

*engine noises*

MAKO: I guess Sqeaky will need a new computer. Again. When he gets back, I will have to tell him about abkkustomz.com and how to save ten percent by using code "evidence".

SPONSOR [42:18] Use code “evidence” to get 10% off a new gaming computer - https://www.abkkustomz.com/

SQEAKY, exhausted: Okay, I destroyed the government drone.

MAKO: I'm pretty sure that was just your computer. If it were an armed drone, you'd be toast. How was I supposed to use the seashells by the way?

SQEAKY: Nah, nah, it was your computer. I swapped 'em last night so the CIA wouldn't tamper with mine. Now you need to go to abkkustomz.com to get a new computer. abkkustomz.com.

MAKO: Gettin' real sick of your shit.

SQEAKY: Hey. The CIA man. I didn't do it.

*Guitar riff*


MAKO: So one of the first things I asked myself was okay, if this was a movement that began back in the seventies, then what evidence is there that it actually did like- 'cause they don't provide any evidence of this they just make the claim on the website.


MAKO: So the first thing I did was look up the registration of the domain name birdsarentreal.com. That domain was registered on March 27th, 2017. I looked up the Birds Aren't Real Twitter, not that Twitter existed back in the 70s of course but you would imagine that a Twitter account for a movement that's been around this long whose primary motivation is outreach and informing as many people as possible would be early adopters of Twitter, instead the Twitter account was created in August of 2017.

SOURCE [43:11] WhoIs BirdsArentReal - https://www.whois.com/whois/birdsarentreal.com

SOURCE [43:34] BirdsArentReal Twitter - https://twitter.com/BirdsArentReal

SQEAKY: Yeah I'd expect the creation of social media accounts to be closer to when the social media platform started becoming popular.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Like every political candidate picks like the top 10 or whatever social media sites either when their campaign is made or when the site becomes big.

MAKO: So then I decided to go over to Google Trends and typed in the phrase "Birds Aren't Real".


MAKO: And I looked at both the United States and worldwide.

SOURCE [43:46] Google Trends for “Birds Aren’t Real” in the US - https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today%205-y&geo=US&q=Birds%20arent%20real

SOURCE [43:48] Google Trends for “Birds Aren’t Real” worldwide - https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today%205-y&q=Birds%20arent%20real

SQEAKY: Alright. Are these charts going to be something that would be useful for our YouTube listeners to see? I could probably get those put into the video.

MAKO: Maybe, probably.

SQEAKY: Yeah sure I'll talk to our graphics guy and have him put them in the video.

MAKO: Mhm. So unfortunately we can not prove every single use of the phrase "Birds Aren't Real" is related to the conspiracy theory. There might be some weird other context that people are using this phrase... But I think we can say with confidence that like if this was a big movement and it existed for a long time then most of them would probably be related to the conspiracy theory and we'd probably see that going back pretty far but no. The phrase "Birds Aren't Real" didn't really begin to trend in any meaningful way until August of 2018 and then again in October of 2018.

SQEAKY: Yeah I'm seeing these charts, uh I set it so that Google would show it to me from 2004, which is all of their data, to present. It's a flat line that's functionally zero, it looks like there is a couple Google searches before that, like the guy that has set up the domain name or whatever in 2017-

MAKO: Something like that.

SQEAKY: -did some Google searches for it and then it takes off when he starts marketing it.

MAKO: There's some pretty aggressive highs and lows after the initial awareness and the single largest spike when I looked at it was from the second week of January 2022, so pretty recent.

SQEAKY: Yeah, so, it does look like it's taking off right now specifically.

MAKO: Yup.

SQEAKY: That's great, we're not- We're adding a thing, aren't we?

MAKO: Little bit.

SQEAKY: That's the thing: How do you discuss these things if you're not- We only discuss dysevidentia-related topics, right?

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: How is a real journalist supposed to cover this? We've taken the mission upon ourselves to talk about things that are obviously wrong and repeatedly call them obviously wrong. But if CNN needs to talk about Birds Aren't Real, oh help me God, then basic journalistic integrity says they have to talk about both sides. Like Andersoon Cooper will be a little bit snide, but he'll still give the Birds Aren't Real guys a chance to make their case and then he'll give them two or three minutes to talk or whatever and then he'll ask some hard questions and then expect the listener to make their own decisions but if his hard questions aren't incisive enough, about half the people will miss the fucking point and the Birds Aren't Real guys just need to make an emotional appeal like 'Of course birds aren't real, what are you work for the government?' And just oh well he's accused the other guy of working for the government. No Andersoon Cooper doesn't work for the government but that destroys his credibility in the eyes of the conspiracy theorists, just accusing him. Ugh. So annoying. And there's no thirty second segment of our show you can clip out- I hope there isn't a thirty second segment of our show.

MAKO: I'm sure there is.

SQEAKY: That will make a strong case for Birds Aren't Real because I hope we're saying how shitty they are enough.

*Sqeaky sighs twice*

MAKO: Where there's a will there's a way.

SQEAKY: You could just edit thirty seconds out every two seconds.

MAKO: Oh that'd make it super easy.

SQEAKY: Oh yeah it would. I edit your things to make you sound dumb all the time.

MAKO: How's that going for you?

SQEAKY: Hard, actually.

MAKO: Goddamn right.

SQEAKY: Okay, okay. Now all the evidence is showing that just some guy made this in 2017.

MAKO: Yup.

SQEAKY: All the evidence shows that.

MAKO: All of it. And well you also pulled up a source about the history of the website?

SQEAKY: Oh yeah I just pulled up- I added the Wayback Machine 'cause we were talking about it right now and it starts at 2017 and the first page for it, it's a black and white page says "It's a movement" and it has the same history and bullshit, but the next one has the store in it, like one year later has the store in it.

SOURCE [46:58] Wayback for the domain - http://web.archive.org/web/*/https://birdsarentreal.com/

MAKO: Yup. So this was started in 2017. That's... the TLDR here. It was not started in the 70s, it was started in 2017.

SQEAKY: Their story changed significantly. The Wayback Machine from day one just has a different set of facts.

MAKO: Neat.

SQEAKY: So they're just misrepresenting the truth but again this happens when you look at any conspiracy theory or religion.

MAKO: Yeah they undergo some refinement in order to capture the attention of more and different people.

SQEAKY: Oh god let me read an excerpt.

MAKO: Sure!

SQEAKY: Uh people who are quotemining, this is the moment: "From the span of 1960 to 2001, the United States government sent out thousands of highly trained, covert, bird assassins."

MAKO: Oh wow!

SQEAKY: That's very different than anything you just said.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: Yeah there's nothing about JFK, nothing about Neil Ford, nothing about Area 51. So their story is just changing, a lot.

MAKO: Yep.


MAKO: Yup. So from there, like having established that basic details of this are not true even setting aside the absurdity of the claims, just some of the basic premise of the movement itself is not true. I then started to ask myself well okay, if this is something that's so obviously satire and I know that someone, statistically, is bound to believe it, who believes it?


MAKO: How many of them are there?

SQEAKY: Ooh ooh ooh! I did a thing!

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: I went to the conspiracy subreddit and asked them and they told me to act like an adult. They fuckin' didn't like it at all. None of them believed it. Then I proceeded to have several real arguments about Ivermectin with them.

MAKO: That seems a little off topic.

SQEAKY: Yeah. I mean the conspiracy subreddit seems to be all anti-COVID safety measures at the moment and of the eighteen comments, I made three or four of them and only one vaguely seemed to not be mocking me so yeah, I would have to gauge it at something on the order of ninety percent of the conspiracy subreddit actively rejects this conspiracy theory.

MAKO: Neat. That's something, that's some good news there.

SQEAKY: That only leaves millions of Americans.

MAKO: Yeah...

SQEAKY: The conspiracy subreddit's huge. And I mean lurkers not just people subbed.

MAKO: There is something to be said about sampling a portion of the population and having that scale to larger quantities.

SQEAKY: It also might not be true, it might be that are conspiracies entirely astroturfed full of, I don't know, somebody that just only wants to hurt COVID stuff or discredit Bigfoot watchers or something, I don't know.

MAKO: Could be, I guess.

SQEAKY: Or could just be a subsection, right maybe if we found a conspiracy Tumblr or a conspiracy Facebook group maybe they'd eat it up, maybe they'd be all about Birds Aren't Real.

MAKO: So Birds Aren't Real also has its own subreddit.

SOURCE [49:42] Birds Aren't Real subreddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/BirdsArentReal

SQEAKY: Aw fuck of course you're going to say this.

MAKO: Yep. Now if you just go to the Birds Aren't Real subreddit and sort by hot then it has a lot of the jokes that you'd probably expect for something that is, quite honestly, blatantly satirical as it is but that's no fun for what I'm doing. So I did the thing that brings all the fun on Reddit and I went into the upper left corner and I told it to sort by controversial.

SOURCE [50:07] Is the “Birds Aren’t Real” subreddit sarcastic? - https://www.reddit.com/r/BirdsArentReal/controversial/?sort=controversial

SQEAKY: What happened when you sorted by controversial?

MAKO: Now there's a lot of posts that have absolutely no comments when you sort by controversial. I specifically looked at a lot of the posts were asking if the subreddit was satirical or genuine. A lot of them. And I grabbed the first two of these that were on that list that had like I think fifteen or more comments 'cause a lot of the posts have little to no comments at all.

SOURCE [50:30] For example one controversial discussion - https://www.reddit.com/r/BirdsArentReal/comments/qe2xci/guys_pls_tell_me_this_sub_is_satire_i_am_gonna/

SOURCE [50:30] Another controversial discussion - https://www.reddit.com/r/BirdsArentReal/comments/khs1as/this_sub_is_sarcastic_right/

SQEAKY: Oh my god. This has zero upvotes.

MAKO: Yup.

SQEAKY: So not even a bunch of downvotes, it wasn't like bombed, Reddit will let you go in the negatives pretty deep.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: But this has forty-seven comments and score stayed at zero. And this other one, "This sub is sarcastic". Thirty-one comments, zero score.

MAKO: And there's quite a few people that tried to assert that the subreddit is real. Now of course that doesn't prove that these people are actual bird truthers, they could just be committed to the joke and a lot of them likely are, but again when you have someone else that's not picking up the clues that comes along, they're going to see this as legitimizing.

SQEAKY: "I don't know how to break it to you. I think you are at the stage where you know deep down that birds aren't real, but you can't yet face it. Take courage my friend, I once felt like you. Accept the truth into your heart and you'll feel wonderful." From a user Turbulent-Fun-3123.

MAKO: Quite literally asking the person to think emotionally to convince them of a conspiracy theory.

SQEAKY: KangTheMighty says, "This sub is not satire. Birds are the spawn of government satanic science. Please remain vigilant and do your own research." Three praying hands emojis. "How do I know u aren't the spawn of the government". "God told me"

MAKO: Yup.

SQEAKY: This could be an argument about Ivermectin.

MAKO: Yup.

SQEAKY: This could be an argument about masks.

MAKO: Yup.

SQEAKY: This could be an argument about flat earth.

MAKO: Yup.

SQEAKY: This could be an argument about Jesus.

MAKO: Yup. Lots of emotional appeals and religious references, hallmarks of conspiracy theories.

SQEAKY: Holy ficking shut. "Wake up! What’s so satirical about the government propaganda machine deceiving millions of Americans? It’s so obvious!! You are just being brainwashed into thinking we are some kind of joke." Okay, I'm not going to read the rest of this it's more of the same conspiratorial ravings.

MAKO: So yeah-

SQEAKY: Ah! One guy said "relax its satire". Minus twenty-nine down- Minus twenty-nine points, he's been downvoted twenty-nine times.

MAKO: Yup.

SQEAKY: Thirty. You start at one actually.

MAKO: Well unless he downvoted himself, which you technically can do.

SQEAKY: Yeah that'll take away your upvote and give you a downvote.

MAKO: Yup.

SQEAKY: Okay. That's still y'know doesn't change it significantly. Oh god and even the people claiming it's satire get it wrong. I think it's satire, yeah. Mocking the people that know the pandemic and fake and trying to tell others.

MAKO: Yeah not quite.

SQEAKY: That's wrong on so many levels 'cause this predates the pandemic but this guy thinks the pandemic is fake so he thinks Birds Aren't Real is satirizing his side? God this is why I think this kind of satire is so harmful 'cause this guy thinks the satire is real to support his other conspiracy theory. So it's like if you put a bunch of nonsense out there people are gonna get the wrong message. You can't know what message people will get so try to maximize your clarity. If you're making fiction, label it fiction. It's fine, fiction's great. But nobody's running around believing Harry Potter is real... besides Christians burning books in Tennessee right now but they aren't going to get the message anyway, they were burning D&D books twenty years ago. And burning Elvis records twenty years before that.

MAKO: So I also looked up the person who spawned the movement, Peter McIndoe. And I might have mispronounced that and I apologize if I did.

SQEAKY: What does Peter McIndoe say?

MAKO: So for a while he kept on saying that yes, the movement is real and a lot of official capacities. And there were a couple slipups here and there talking about how he created a Facebook page for it and for the purposes of it being satirical and usually when he was like in front of a camera or actually being recorded or actually being interviewed, he was staying in character and asserting that the movement was real. And at one point he said in an interview... I think this one was with Newsweek, but he said "I think if it were a parody movement, that might be a point it was trying to make or maybe allowing people to cope with these types of presences in our society in a way where you can come together and laugh about the absurdity of a post-truth era because it is a horrifying thing. The thing is, we're not that though."

SOURCE [53:46] Leader of Viral 'Birds Aren't Real' Movement Swears He's Not Joking - https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/leader-of-viral-birds-aren-t-real-movement-swears-he-s-not-joking/ar-BB1eGVUb

*Sqeaky sighs*

MAKO: So he gives what is quite honestly- I mean if we're to believe a bunch of other things and we are to accept this as satire, he gives the actual reason for creating a satirical conspiracy theory and then just straight asserts it's not true.

SQEAKY: That's a shit reason though. Presuming that Peter McIndoe knows this isn't satire, this is bullshit 'cause this has a real chance of being the next-

MAKO: Yeah this is adding fuel to the fire. It is...

SQEAKY: Yeah this is making-

MAKO: ...a stupid thing to do.

SQEAKY: Yeah this is making the problem worse, this is what happened with flat earth. In the 90s, the Flat Earth Society came together to make a group of people mocking the concept of flat earth and just joking around about it and that gave enough fuel to that fire that yeah, we now have this current flat earth situation where there are millions of Americans that now believe the world is flat and a lot of them do so for anti-semetic reasons. It's fueling racism and getting real people hurt and depriving a lot of people of the basic understanding of geography.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Less obviously harmful but it's not helping anything and it's gonna get people- it actually has gotten a few people killed.

*Sqeaky sighs*

MAKO: That interview was from March of last year. December of last year he did another interview with the New York Times, and they interviewed more than just him, they got multiple organizers from the movement and pretty much all of them said flatly that yes, this is indeed satire and it is intended to fight lunacy to lunacy.

SOURCE [55:43] Birds Aren’t Real, or Are They? Inside a Gen Z Conspiracy Theory - https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/09/technology/birds-arent-real-gen-z-misinformation.html

SQEAKY: Why would that work?

MAKO: It wouldn't.


MAKO: It wouldn't.

SQEAKY: Thank you for trying at least.

MAKO: Peter himself says that he is now breaking character in order to allow the movement to grow. So just acknowledging that he was a character and he was sticking to it this whole time every other time he said that it was real. And of course someone who is researching this movement- air quote researching-

SQEAKY: Yeah, a believer, a believer of this movement.

MAKO: If they just missed this one interview, look at all the rest, they'd be like well this guy keeps saying that it's real, therefore it is real.

SQEAKY: Or even if they do catch this one, conspiracy movements drop leaders all the time 'cause people are attached to the ideas or the community or-

MAKO: They'd say Peter has been compromised by the government.

SQEAKY: Yeah. Or yeah, exactly. I was literally going to say that. If the government has the ability to make millions or billions of spy drones, they have the ability to get to Peter McIndoe.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Okay so some sources, we've got the link to three things on Reddit and then I link to my specific conversation where people are mocking me for being so dumb, and we have MSN and New York Times for these interviews with Peter where he flipped. Okay.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: The end answer is we don't have- In terms of who believes it, we don't have hard numbers-


SQEAKY: -it looks like a non-zero amount of people but not most conspiracy theorists.

MAKO: There doesn't seem to be enough for a meaningful amount of organization among the actual believers.

SQEAKY: Which might not mean anything. If there's, y'know, a couple Telegram groups or something, we wouldn't know.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Could be a Telegram group with ten thousand people, we just wouldn't know. Or similar, I don't know if Telegram specifically lets you have them that big, but yeah, okay.

*Guitar riff*

MAKO: I don't actually mean that. God.

SQEAKY: I'm gonna edit out the "not".

*Sqeaky laughs*

MAKO: Anywho.

*Guitar riff*


SQEAKY: What was next on your docket of-

MAKO: So I started asking myself well okay, how much actual truth to this idea, not so much a lot of the specific claims because a lot of the specific claims were ridiculous enough that I laughed and moved on but otherwise I could pick them apart and you did pick apart a number of them.

SQEAKY: Oh yeah they're just enraging. So I had to. You pushed that button, man.


SQEAKY: That button made this podcast. And you pushed it again, and again, and again.

*Sqeaky tries to hold it all in*

MAKO: It's okay, it's okay, it's okay. But I wanted to explore- Like okay if I were to actually believe this while simultaneously understanding how the world works-

SQEAKY, laughing: That's a hard one.

MAKO: -where do those two circles overlap in that Venn diagram? Like what is something that is true about the claims here from the high level? So the first thing I do was I start googling bird drone surveillance. That actually uh got me much better results than I thought I was going to get.

SQEAKY: Bird drone surveillance. You googled this. You're doing your own research! Good stuff.

MAKO: Yeah. And one of the- Sorry.

SQEAKY: We conveyed so much of that joke with ours and like with our facial expressions, that's not research. That's not actually research. Just, I mean it is learning, maybe educating yourself, you're not innovating new stuff, that's not- Educate me, Mako.

MAKO: So one of the top links that I found was from The Drone Bird Company.

SOURCE [59:15] The Drone Bird Company - https://www.thedronebird.com/


MAKO: The Drone Bird Company.

SQEAKY: Okay let me see this source, I have to click this.

MAKO: They are a Dutch tech company, they make drones in the likeness of birds and they cite recreational, professional, law enforcement and military purposes for their drones.

SQEAKY: They cite law enforcement purposes.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: That looks like a goddamn bird. It looks... It looks rigid, it looks like it's made of plastic, but it looks like a goddamn bird.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: That's- That's a freakin' seagull.

MAKO: Yep. It is the- The seagull is the design they have featured throughout their entire website --or most of their website-- but they have different models of birds that you can order and you can custom make it to look like to a particular species. These drones are rigid like you said, so if you ever see a seagull that is curiously gaining altitude without flapping its wings, it might be one of these drones.

SQEAKY: It could also just be hovering over a corn field. That's a thing real birds do is updrafts. Evaporations-

MAKO: Seagulls, corn field...

SQEAKY: We have seagulls in Nebraska, they're just flying rats, we don't have a lot but I've seen-

MAKO: Flying rats...

SQEAKY: They're flying rats! They eat whatever random garbage and corn's random garbage. Not gonna pretend our state exports anything of value. Well this podcast but-

MAKO: Moving on. But-

*Sqeaky laughs*

MAKO: We're just leavin' that one.

*Mako sighs*

MAKO: But yeah, yeah. These drones are designed to be minimally intrusive both to humans that might be observing them but also to local wildlife so they do everything in their power to look like the real thing and make as little artificial noise as possible. So these things are remarkably quiet, they can also carry payloads, small payloads-

SQEAKY: Pooploads?

MAKO: You could simulate bird poop in their-

SQEAKY: Do they sell that or is that a thing you have to add?

MAKO: You have to add that yourself, to the best of my knowledge they do not sell artificial bird poop to put into your drone.

SQEAKY: 'Cause I mean skip the tracking device, there's just some people I want birds to shit on.

MAKO: Well this company could help you get there.

SQEAKY: How much does one of these cost? Holy shit.

MAKO: I haven't looked.

SQEAKY: Okay, okay. It's a Dutch company?

MAKO: Yep, it's a Dutch company.

SQEAKY: It's a company out of The Netherlands, so I'd have to order this from Europe if I wanted one of these.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: They sell bird control as well? They sell bird...

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: They sell bird-killing bird drones?

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: They sell a falcon that kills other birds?

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: How does that work?

MAKO: Very carefully. But apparently these drones are capable of being remote controlled, they can be autonomous, you can give them preset paths, you can have custom things built into them... Yeah, they can be customized for all sorts of different things, both innocuous and sinister.

SQEAKY: This is like really amazing okay but yeah these don't flap, these don't land on power lines, these don't do a lot of things.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: They just- They're fixed-wing aircrafts... I can't even say that, here's one that flaps.

MAKO: They do have some newer models that flap, yes. But most of their drones from what I was able to gleam do not.

SQEAKY: Okay yeah I don't think we're clearly conveying how much like birds these look. I'm gonna make sure the video guy gets some of the pictures on this webpage and puts them up to be displayed. This is kind of impressive.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: Yeah these are very... They're very plausible. Right like looking at it up close I can see like seemlines and stuff but-

MAKO: At a distance at the normal operating altitude, you're not gonna see that.

SQEAKY: Fuck even twenty feet away you're not gonna see it. Right, a birdwatcher with binoculars at 200 feet is not gonna to see this. Well okay a birdwatcher would have a training to know.

MAKO: Maybe, yeah.

SQEAKY: But like me at 200 feet with binoculars...

MAKO: They probably wouldn't see the lines but they would see some of the irregular shapes because it's not a natural shape to the drones in certain places.

SQEAKY: Yeah where is the propeller or whatever?

MAKO: It's in the back.

SQEAKY: Okay so it does have a propeller it's just hard to see because it's spinning?

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Okay. Okay, okay. Okay, yeah. Okay.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: It's really convincing though 'cause like the front half looks really good but if it has a quiet nice and slow propeller and if you get into some wind drafts yeah, it'd be easy, it'd be easy to miss this. And are the eyes actually the cameras?

MAKO: I don't know.

SQEAKY: 'Cause I don't see cameras or- Alright, whatever, moving on. Sorry you've befuddled me with the plausibility of this. It's amazing.

MAKO: Yep. Okay so another source that I found when I was doing my searches since you seem bothered by my use of the word research.

SQEAKY: I'm bothered by anti vaxxers claiming that this is research. 'Cause you're looking up how fake a thing is, you're debunking or I guess you could say you're researching but you're trying to actually get at the truth, and most anti vaxxers are like 'Nuh uh Ivermectin cures COVID look at this thing I googled while shitting' like the distinction here is you give a shit about the truth and they give a shit to their toilet while on Facebook.

MAKO: Yep. Anyway, so I found a CNET article that talked about how China is using high-tech bird drones to watch over its citizens.

SOURCE [1:03:55] China launches high-tech bird drones to watch over its citizens - https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/china-launches-high-tech-bird-drones-to-watch-over-its-citizens/

SQEAKY: Do they have seagulls over there too or did they make their own?

MAKO: They made their own. These drones flap.

SQEAKY: Oh wow, look at that. That's a pigeon-looking thing.

MAKO: Yup.

SQEAKY: That is way less convincing but I suspect at 200 feet you wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway.

MAKO: So this is a project that is codenamed Dove. It has produced birdlike drones that produces flapping wings to over thirty Chinese military and government agencies and these drones are being operated in at least five provinces.

SQEAKY: How many provinces does China have?

MAKO: I do not have that number.

SQEAKY: I'm just looking for some scale there, give me a sec.

MAKO: Yep.

*Sqeaky types*

SQEAKY: Oh goodness. China has twenty-three provinces and five autonomous zones.

SOURCE [1:04:33] Map of China - https://www.chinadiscovery.com/china-maps/china-provincial-map.html

MAKO: Okay. I did follow the link that-


MAKO: -the CNET article is based on. It goes to another website that is... I don't know. Evaluating the quality of that source is something that is a little bit odd. CNET is generally trustworthy and the other article did specifically mention the Uyghur autonomous zone as a place where a lot of these drones are being deployed.

SQEAKY: Okay that makes sense because China claims to own Taiwan and Taiwan is like 'no, you don't own us' and they would claim it as an autonomous zone so like yeah, that makes sense that China is categorizing it this way to ever-slowly and ever-unstoppingly claim more and more credibility over owning everything. Okay.

MAKO: The someone high level in this project, I don't know exactly how high level, they said that the program is not currently operating at a large scale at the time of the publication which was back in 2018. This is kind of an old article.

SQEAKY: Now to be fair, they have to claim that.

MAKO: Sure. But they did outright say in the future, it could operate at a large scale. So yeah, it's probably operating at a large scale.

SQEAKY: That was four years ago.

MAKO: Yup.


MAKO: And another article that I found, there are roboticists at Northeastern University and they are trying to engineer drones that imitate the flight mechanisms of other actual life. They are trying to make birds, bads, and dragonflies that have rapidly beating wings to match exactly what happens in nature.

SOURCE [1:06:02] Forget props and fixed wings. New bio-inspired drones mimic birds, bats and bugs - https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/forget-props-fixed-wings-new-bio-inspired-drones-mimic-birds-ncna1033061

SQEAKY: Well that's pretty cool. So they're going for little hovering things instead of the slow flapping things. Because you can get like a build your own ornithopter kit for like a couple hundred bucks you get this wooden Balsa frame and some thin plastic or some foam and you can get them powered by a rubber band nice and cheap or you can get 'em remote controlled with drone motors and shit. The trick is to make them useful for surveillance, you need more than hobbyist level batteries and really nice cameras and powerful transmitters but a hummingbird drone or a mosquito drone would have extra advantages clearly, okay.

MAKO: Yeah. Uh, so these that the reasons that they cite for having these kinds of drones is surveillance of course, they can remain undetected and better blend in to the natural environment because they look more and behave more naturally but they also argue that these kinds of drones are safer. The drones that they're producing, if they hit a human they bounce of and generally the drone and the human are unharmed.

SQEAKY: Oh you mean compared to quadcopter drones.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: Yeah okay I get it. A quadcopter if it hits you if the blades are metal you're fucked, if the blades are plastic the drone is fucked. Okay. I mean you'd still probably get hurt but okay. If it's carbon fiber you're both fucked. That hurts. I've been sliced by a carbon fiber blade and it sucked.

MAKO: So all together these tree links, we see efforts of people trying to make more and more realistic drones that are more convincingly like their natural counterparts. We have companies that are monetizing... not quite going so far as being one hundred percent realistic but realistic enough and have actual customers and contracts for using these drones and we have a country that is deploying this kind of technology in a widespread.

SQEAKY: So are people saying that this is a reverse conspiracy theory? That people have put out this that maybe Peter McIndoe is a CIA/FBI/ATF whatever operative, some three-letter agency, he's made this conspiracy theory to discredit the idea that the government's using these on a mass scale and maybe the government's using them on a mass scale but it's way less impressive?

MAKO: I don't think so.

SQEAKY: Yeah that- It's pretty ridiculous still but the physics is there it's clearly possible to build something the size and shape of something that flies 'cause birds exist after all.

MAKO: But I don't know, I've not gotten that impression from anything that I've read. But you did have another source related to...

SQEAKY: Oh, yeah. One of the guys in the conspiracy theorist conversation linked to a YouTube video that's like 'Look, powerline induction, you can charge from it' I'm like oh, I guess that makes sense, I suppose powerlines would make a magnetic field and they showed how you could clamp a thing onto a powerline and you could make an ad hoc transformer onto an AC powerline and they were powering real cameras. They started off by showing this wirepod that they were selling to police and military groups, this thing already exists and they claim to be selling it, and you clamp it on to a powerline, you either go up there with a cherry picker and ya put it on, it siphons power off, and then you wirelessly get your video and they had a ten propeller quadcopter, a five arm- quadcopter. They had a ten propeller drone, five arms, two propellers on each, and they showed a mounting mechanism where the plan was to fly the drone up to the powerline, clamp the camera to the powerline, and then fly away. And at the end they had some really bad CG that showed a fucking bird-looking thing flying off a powerline.

SOURCE [1:08:24] One person on r/Conspiracy provided this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqbIhZO7SJc

MAKO: Yeah with a little camera dome where the head is supposed to be.

SQEAKY: Yeah it had like the security camera that you see at the bank and the fast food places in the bad parts of town or whatever, that was its head and y'know at a large enough distance it looks like a bird, right?

MAKO: Yeah it could absolutely bird-shaped from a distance.

SQEAKY: Yeah you could just miss it. But they had some mockups, I think they had a real mockup I don't remember, maybe it was CG and I just missed it but you could clamp a thing to a powerline and prop it up at an angle so it looks like a bird sitting there, that doesn't even take hard tech, right, I could 3D print something that looks like a bird, paint it so it looks like a bird, put some copper in there 'cause I've wound a couple of motors in engineering classes, I know how to make an inductive charger, put that in the feet, the feet of this camera thing, put a camera in there a little Raspberry Pi for WiFi and for a couple hundred bucks I could assemble a thing that looks like a bird, put it on a powerline that powers the Raspberry Pi from the powerline, I can do that. And these guys gave me the idea. That was the part I was missing. Now is the government doing this at a large scale? Um, there's no evidence for that.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: It's not even the most useful way 'cause if you're the government and you suspect someone you just get a search warrant and you monitor their communications. You subpoena Google and get all their Google Drive contents. You subpoena Apple, you get the contents of their iPhone. You know exactly where they are, when they are, you don't need a nationwide spanning.

MAKO: Yeah it's just not an economical way to do it in a world with cell phones or smartphones more accurately where- especially where the government has access to them.

SQEAKY: Even with cell phones, old school cell phone networks, the old analog ones, they used uh some client-side encryption to distinguish between people in a given cell, where each chip had like an ID in it and it would decrypt a signal off- yeah. It was possible to pretty easily listen in to other people's analog conversations and in the digital world pre-encryption it wasn't terribly hard. But now with everything being encrypted it's a little bit hard. You have to like subpoena Verizon or AT&T for the right keys to listen in to the stuff between the cell tower. But still, if you're a government that's a subpoena away, that's a legal action, right that's not new physics it's still really cheap. Yeah.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Not that listening to phone calls is the ideal way anymore, you want to get their social media stuff 'cause that's where this all is.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Okay. That's a really dystopian way to look at this. This isn't real because there are easier ways to spy on people. Is that the takeaway of this episode?

MAKO: Uh, yes. Well okay if you're talking about mass surveillance than the existing infrastructure involving cell phones is a more economical approach because we just have more infrastructure there and debatably it's going to get you more information but bird surveillance is going to be a thing going forward but it's going to be targeted.

SQEAKY: Yeah. Yeah, like I said I could build a drone for two hundred bucks. If the government can do it at economies of scales it's still going to cost a hundred bucks a drone, they're not going to make a billion of them that's a tr- that's 10,000,000,000,000 dollars.

MAKO: Doing a mass bird genocide is ridiculous. It makes no sense, it serves no purpose-

SQEAKY: Hey, hey, hey. That guy's car is not getting shat on anymore.

*Mako sighs*

*Sqeaky chuckles*

MAKO: You are technically correct.

SQEAKY: What should I do? Buy a five dollar ticket to the car wash or kill all the birds?

MAKO: Look. He wanted to never pay five dollars for that shit again.

SQEAKY: Yeah, okay. Alright.

MAKO: So kill all the birds.

SQEAKY: I totally get investing a day's worth of effort to save ninety seconds. I'm a software developer, I do that all the time. There is a threshold, right. I do not go up and get the salt shaker. I build a tiny robot that brings the salt shaker to me over a two week project, right. I do not genocide billions of birds to save myself five dollars every three or four months.

MAKO: Well maybe you're doing it wrong.

SQEAKY: Damn I hadn't considered that.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: ...one, go!

MAKO: Sqeaky, serpentine!

*Sqeaky laughs*

SQEAKY, laughing: What the fuck is that a reference to? I didn't- What is serpentine!? What is serpen-

*Sqeaky Hits Microphone*

MAKO, laughing: Why did that get you? Oh my gosh Sqeaky.

SQEAKY, laughing: I have no clue what it means man it's so out of left field. If I were charging a government drone and you just say serpentine...

*Guitar riff*

[1:13:39] WHY DO WE CARE?

SQEAKY: I did want to point out one other thing 'cause before we started my biggest concern with this because you spearheaded this episode and chose the topic and did a ton of research and looking into this, I wanted some comparisons... I didn't expect it to be so obvious and easy to bring up at the moment but I wanted some comparisons of other things people really believe impacting and hurting people in a very real way. So right now in Ohio, there's a thing called Erin's Law. It's being opposed by the Center for Christian Virtue. Erin's Law came about- and this is gonna be a little tragic so if you're upset by some sexual things for a few minutes. A first grader was molested by a gym teacher. The whole state of Ohio didn't like that.

SOURCE [1:14:09] Erin’s law getting opposition - https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2022/02/21/erins-law-ohio-lawmakers-clash-conservative-group-over-bill/9314264002/

SOURCE [1:14:09] Center for Christian Virtue is fucking stupid - https://www.votervoice.net/iframes/CCV/Campaigns/89637/Respond

MAKO: As you would expect, yeah.

SQEAKY: That's good, that's good, but you know sometimes when we're talking about groups of Christians sometimes they rally together and defend the Catholic church molesting kids, that's a real thing and that happened. Well the whole state kind of agreed to make a law, a Democrat and a Republican state legislator, they came together to co-sponsor a bill, it's gonna teach the kids to recognize if they're being abused or being the target of abuse in kindergarten right 'cause this happened to a first grader, you need to arm the kid with some knowledge, it's like 'hey, somebody tries to touch you in your no-no place, go get an adult.'

MAKO: Alternatively, you could literally arm the kindergartener and call them a kinderguardian.

SQEAKY: We now need to link to the Sasha Baron Cohen sketch about that, it's amazing. But no this isn't a Texas bill, it doesn't give children guns. So it teaches the kids to recognize when they're being abused, what's okay and what isn't, provides councelors that can evaluates the kids' complaints and then gives the kids a reliabel way to report that to the councelors and provides procedures and things for adults to follow when there is an allegation of sexual abuse. Republicans and Democrats both liked it and it passed the Ohio State Legislature eighty-six to eight.

PARODY SOURCE [1:15:00] Sacha Baron Cohen tricks gun rights activist into being stupid on camera - https://www.gq.com/story/sacha-baron-cohen-kinderguardians-who-is-america

MAKO: Fuck those eight people.

SQEAKY: They were all Republicans.

MAKO: Why am I not surprised?

SQEAKY: Judging by the news reports I read around this, I didn't go in and get answers for each one of them but it looked like they kind of generally opposed it on grounds of this is gonna cost money, the government should never spend money fuck that. Not that that's great but plenty of other Republicans were saying shit like 'Who could oppose this? It helps the children.' And normally I'm against using that as a rallying cry but this literally protects the children and that's it.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: That's all this does. And it seems like an inexpensive cost effective way to do it. So of course this was opposed by a non-profit organization called the Center for Christian Virtue. They are generally against this because they think it's sex education and they think it should be an abstinence-only type education that kids can opt out of. And Center for Christian Virtue feels this way because they're very anti-abortion, they're very that one fundamentalist Christian way about talking about procreation and sex and they think that even educating a kid on how to not be raped is too much sex so they have a series of demands where they want parents to be able to opt out which would make this more expensive and why the hell do you want your parent to opt out- not want your kid to know how to report this? That's just fucking horrible.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: So there's no evidence-based way, no evidence-based reason you want your kid to opt out of this, that's fucking stupid.

MAKO: But this has already passed like what- why are they making demands for something that's already passed.

SQEAKY: There's actually a source I put in here, ohiohouse.gov, you can see where in the legal process of Ohio it is. It has to like- the law has to be written, some shit has to happen, the legislatures have to vote on it then it goes to the governor to be signed. Governor hasn't signed it yet.

SOURCE [1:16:52] Actual bill on state site - https://ohiohouse.gov/legislation/134/hb105

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: So it's one of those things where there's a legislature and an executive thing and if they can convince the governor to not sign it or they can make some other action 'cause I guess there's a bicameral legislature, they have a house and a senate just like-

MAKO: The federal government.

SQEAKY: -the real congress. Yeah it's Ohio I don't give a shit about that. They're just like Nebraska, nobody cares. It's not like they made all of our astronauts or anything.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: Do we have to provide a Wiki link showing how many astronauts came from Ohio.

MAKO: I guess.

SQEAKY: Every state has a dozen important things.

MAKO: Do they?

SQEAKY: I take it back. Every state except Nebraska.

MAKO: Oh my god. No- I- Okay. I'm not going to get into a pissing contest I'm just gonna say I'm pretty sure there are worse states than Nebraska.

SQEAKY: I'm just from Nebraska so it's the state I get to dump on.

MAKO: Okay fine.

SQEAKY: I do it with love. No I don't.

MAKO: No you don't, you do not.

SQEAKY: I do it with mirth.


SQEAKY: Okay. Anyway, but there's a couple other complaints these people have and it all revolves around their religious convictions and I mean that makes sense, calling it the Center for Christian Virtue but they come from a point of view of the sanctity of life, God's creation, and they have a couple different threads of logic, a couple different complaints, but it all comes down to we believe our book is more important than the wellbeing of this child. So even things that a lot of people think are real, if we can't vet them in evidence and vet them in the real world, can make real harm. This was a cost-effective thing that everybody else in the state pretty much agreed is a good thing, right. Getting- In 2018, in the middle of Trump's presidency when they did the vote for this, eighty-six to eight? I have to presume there were a hundred legislatures there. That's eighty-six percent of them agreed?

MAKO: That's kinda nuts.

SQEAKY: Yeah. But it's- A good chunk of them are Republicans. Getting Republicans and Democrats to agree? What the fuck! I have to agree this bill was a good thing. They had a real problem, they're trying to address it, it's not horribly wasteful. What happens when the next silly conspiracy theory takes off and people start voting on that, people start making decisions on that, right. If somebody actually believes that birds aren't real is a thing and they think that all of the birds have been made extinct and they think that there's a giant country-spanning spy program, they would feel justified to respond with terrorism. Right if I thought that was somebody was killing all the birds and I was like a birdwatcher or something, like y'know deeply emotionally invested in birds, I could see that happening or if I'm a privacy advocate, if I'm a fourth amendment like lover, right I could start doing ridiculous things. It could just range from doing little stuff like shooting any birds I see. I like the real birds, not these fake ones. Could go all the way up to bomb things.

MAKO: Supposed factories for these mechanical birds.

SQEAKY: Yeah, and since those factories don't exist any intel you get is bad so the people believing this, they're gonna have bad mechanisms to evaulate the intel and they're going to bomb things. This would be like the Nashville bombing on Christmas in 2020. A guy thought that AT&T had the ballots for the election, and he was just deeply confused about it and thought that AT&T was somehow related to this and he bombed an AT&T building. Now he was codged enough to not want to hurt people, he thought that the workers weren't in on the conspiracy so he waited until Christmas when most people would be out of the building-

MAKO: At least there was that.

SQEAKY: -and I don't think he killed a lot of people but he blew up a building and he blew up an RV full of explosives. And this wasn't in the news a ton because a lot of people didn't die but this guy took actions and if he was right, if AT&T really was secretly manipulating the votes and he thought he could interfere with that and reveal some conspiracy, that would have been a just and right action, not that I'm gonna advocate violence for most of these things 'cause that's not a good step you don't usually have all the information and like this guy he was wrong, there was no conspiracy, there were no ballots there, it wasn't part of the election. And he could have gotten a lot of people killed, he could have killed hundreds of people with his bomb. But if somebody thought birds weren't real, what could be done, what could someone do in the name of trying to get rid of state... a complete country-spanning spy network.

MAKO: I suppose it plans on how many people are of the same mindset. I think that would... That would contribute heavily to the amount of resources that could be gathered to any kind of countereffort but I mean exactly these things can happen like a building could be bombed, people could be killed.

SQEAKY: Yeah, yeah.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Well I wanted to try and end these episodes on something light, I figured birds weren't real was a nice light one.

MAKO: Yeah most of the episode was light.

SQEAKY: Is there anything else specifically ridiculous that you can point to? Any little factoid or something you saw that's just amazing?

MAKO: Well when... I did see one article that was talking about other satirical conspiracy theories like the notion that Finland isn't real.

SQEAKY: I mean statistically they're not.

*Mako sighs*

*Sqeaky laughs*

SQEAKY: That's what it was talking about, right?

MAKO: Sure.

SQEAKY: Okay. Okay. But Finland not being real, is that just 'cause statistically their population is small enough that you can round them off in a lot of things that doesn't affect...

MAKO: I think that is a rationalization for some people, sure. Different people have come up with different rationzlations. Really, the quote on quote conspiracy theory is just the notion that Finland doesn't actually exist

SQEAKY: So what do they tell people in Sweden and Norway about Russia? What sits in that gap?

MAKO: Uh...

SQEAKY: More Russia? More Sweden?

MAKO: Yeah, there is no gap, what are you talking about?

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: You implied there was a list? Or is that it.

MAKO: There's a lot of things where blah doesn't actually exist.

*Sqeaky laughs*

MAKO: Quite honestly there's apparently a town in Germany, I don't remember the name of it but a bunch of people try to assert that that town doesn't exist and it actually got widespread enough in Germany that Merkel made a comment on it.

*Sqeaky laughs*

SQEAKY: That's uh... That's amazingly dumb. Okay.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Okay. Well, if there's nothing else I guess that's a good place to wrap it up?

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Okay. So thanks for listening.

MAKO: Thanks for listening.

*Guitar riff*

MAKO: Gettin' real sick of your shit.

SQEAKY: Hey. The CIA, man. I didn't do it.

*Sqeaky laughs*

SQEAKY, laughing: I really left you speechless!

MAKO: You just admitted to swapping the fucking computer!

*Guitar riff*

MAKO: Thanks to Qeldaar for video and graphics work and thanks to AlphaWolf294 for transcription.

SQEAKY: Thanks to all of our Patreon supporters. Our supporters at the Evidence Investigator level or higher include Jarrod, DuktTape, Qeldaar, Steven Larabee and Kaiju Halena.

MAKO: Thanks for listening and don't forget to like, subscribe, leave a review, or tell a friend.

SQEAKY: If you aren't sure where to do that you can read the show notes or transcripts online at dysevidentia.com, you can support us financially at patreon.com/dysevidentia, you can chat with us on your subreddit, you can tweet at us @dysevidentia, you can chat with us on our Discord server or watch the YouTube video, links in the show notes and you can email us at contect@dysevidentia.com.

MAKO: Copyright 2022, BlackTopp Studios, Inc. Intro music was Slow by Pit X. Used with permission.

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