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Thu Oct 8, 1998 -- Homing pigeons, as the name suggests, are supposed to find their way home. But more than 2,000 of the creatures have disappeared this week -- simply gone AWOL -- and no one can explain it. The birds lost their way during two homing-pigeon races held Monday in the mid-Atlantic region. Out of 1,800 birds competing in a 200-mile race from New Market, Va., to Allentown, PA., about 1,500 have vanished. And in a 150-mile race from western Pennsylvania to suburban Philadelphia, 700 of 900 pigeons are missing. Most of the pigeons should have been back in their lofts within a few hours. Although it's not unusual to lose a few birds during a race -- a hungry hawk, for example, might snag a few racers -- this week's loss is extraordinary, organizers of the two events say. It's hard to come up with an answer, pigeon-race enthusiasts say, because no one knows for certain how homing pigeons do what they do.
The prevalent theory is that the pigeons have a sensor in their brains that "steer" them as they go, but something went terribly wrong last fall for that many to "short-circuit." A friend and I kept track of this story to see if they would ever be found, but to this date we have never heard/read anything about it, although we did read of increased magnetic activity in the earth.
Is this phenomena that uncommon in the animal world today? It seems that the instances of whales beaching themselves for no apparent reason are becoming more and more frequent. Are their natural navigational sensors being harmed by this new HAARP technology also? "Harmless" excess energy from power lines have been shown to affect insects. They demonstrate strange behavior while under power lines because their antennae pick up some of the frequencies:
"...I've seen night time moths flying around and feeding in the daytime when they're under power lines. I've also seen them under power lines feeding until they swell up and burst..."