TULSA, OK—Claiming with certainty that government agents were behind the unexplained deaths of several thousand redwing blackbirds in Arkansas this month, a mallard duck voiced suspicions Tuesday that the CIA has conducted a decades-long covert operation to decimate the nation's bird population.
The duck spoke on condition of anonymity, telling reporters he or members of his flock could face reprisal for exposing the truth about what he called a "secret war" against avian wildlife.
"Five thousand birds drop dead out of the sky, and no one has any explanation whatsoever," said the duck, nervously waddling back and forth. "The mainstream media tells us it's an isolated event caused by atmospheric conditions or fireworks, but that doesn't add up. How could it, when there are powerful interests with high-level connections you and I can't even imagine issuing direct orders to murder birds?"
The duck asserted that the recent incident was only the latest in a series of similar CIA experiments, but was particularly damning because numerous eyewitnesses spotted mysterious military jets flying overhead minutes before the birds suddenly plummeted to the earth. He also cited unconfirmed reports that officials in hazmat suits arrived at the scene within the hour to examine the corpses.
According to the mallard, the CIA has spent "at least 50 years" secretly testing lethal devices on birds, including an ultra-low- frequency electromagnetic weapon capable of instantly eliminating entire flocks of geese, crows, or pigeons, silently and without detection.
"These guys are using radiological and microwave equipment to monitor our skies, and meanwhile you got the scientists deliberately infecting orioles with all these fatal diseases," the duck told reporters before bobbing his head underwater, resurfacing, and shaking his feathers out. "We're talking about a massive conspiracy to intimidate and control every last bird in the country."
"Just follow the money and you'll see it's all about controlling water access," he continued. "The elites have a plan, and our nesting grounds are in the way. It's as simple as that."
The mallard explained that he first became alarmed when he read several Audubon analyses revealing that egg populations of both common and rare birds in the United States had significantly declined between 1989 and 2010, but that he grew deeply disturbed when he found that Interior Department data didn't match up—a "dead giveaway" of a cover-up.
Though he was able to access government records through the Freedom of Information Act, the duck said further attempts to investigate were derailed when federal officials did not respond to his attempts to contact them. The duck also reportedly tried to speak with fish and game wardens, but was chased away every time.
"I've got to be careful what I say, of course—this whole pond could be bugged," said the duck, using his bill to frantically smooth back his downy coat. "But here's something you can print: Dr. Lee Randall. Top-rate ornithologist. Has a few theories not very popular with the establishment. Forty years old, he's in good shape, and we're supposed to believe he dropped dead of a heart attack while playing racquetball? I guess these people think ducks will just swallow anything they throw at us."
When asked about the mallard's theory, CIA director Leon Panetta said he doesn't take the utterly implausible arguments of one obviously unstable, talking duck seriously.