Photo from: Arkansas Game & Fish Commission
BEEBE, Ark. (CNN) -- Testing begins Monday on thousands of dead birds and fish which met bizarre fates in Arkansas over the New Year's weekend. Scientists have already offered up reasons for the deadly discoveries. But that's not stopping some from drawing their own conclusions.
100,000 drum fish washed up along the Arkansas River last weekend. Scientist say disease is likely to blame. On their own, dead fish might not raise too many eyebrows. But 100 miles away in Beebe, Ark. there is another animal mystery.
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Just before the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, thousands of birds started falling from the sky. "I thought it was out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie," said Milton McCullar, the Beebe Street Department Supervisor. "I thought the mayor was messing with me when he called me. He got me up at four o'clock in the morning, saying we had birds falling out of the sky."
On roads, roofs, and lawns, up to 5,000 blackirds fell within a one mile area. Most were dead.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says this phenomenon is not as unusual as it might seem. The like;ly culprit is a lightning strike or high-altitude hail. It may even have been caused by fireworks.
Investigators say there is no connection between the dead fish and the dead birds.
No matter what the explanation for these odd events, some in Arkansas say 2011 is off to an ominous start. "Last year we started it with floods," said Beebe Mayor Mike Robertson. "This year, with birds."