Impressively straight-faced…until now.

He even looks like a prankster.

The people behind the silly “birds aren’t real” have always been very serious about their cause, and I’ve been impressed at how straight-faced they’ve been, but the facade cracked open on 60 Minutes, and they confessed that it’s all a pretense, but a pretense with a serious meaning.

With that, he finally broke character, and we met the real Peter McIndoe.

Sharyn Alfonsi: You’re the person that I’ve been hearing about but haven’t seen.

Peter McIndoe: Okay, great. Well, wonderful to meet you.

Sharyn Alfonsi: Yeah, nice to meet you too.

Mcindoe, the 24 -year-old college dropout behind Birds Aren’t Real, is fortunately, nothing like the megaphone carrying character under the cowboy hat.

He told us it’s all a parody, and it’s spread to billboards, bumper stickers and popped up at halftime during the NCAA men’s basketball national championship game last month.

Sharyn Alfonsi: What’s the purpose of all of this?

Peter McIndoe: So it’s taking this concept of misinformation and almost building a little safe space to come together within it and laugh at it, rather than be scared by it. And accept the lunacy of it all and be a bird truther for a moment in time when everything’s so crazy.

Peter McIndoe: The vision was creating something that reflected the absurdity through the eyes of the most confused archetype…

McIndoe at rally: People, when they make fun of me, don’t realize people also made fun of the founding fathers, you know, before they stormed the British gates and took over…

The humor is meant to be apolitical. McIndoe’s co-conspirators: Claire Chronis, Cameron Kasky and Connor Gaydos, say it’s become an outlet for a generation that’s been surrounded by conspiracy theories.

Connor Gaydos: It’s an opportunity for I think our generation to laugh, to make fun, to kind of be like, look, here’s like a laundry list of things that haven’t come true.

Cameron Kasky: You’ve been lying to us so we’re gonna lie to you back, and we’re gonna do it in a way that really is funny.

Wait, you’re telling me they’ve just been mocking and laughing at my generation all this time?

Good. Keep that in mind next time you see a Trump rally on TV. The kids are laughing at those clowns.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    Next stop: Math Truther (arabic numerals are a mooslim plot).
    Kangaroo Truther (have you ever seen a kangaroo close up?).
    Eskimo Truther.

  2. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin is very real.
    The mark of a quality cheese shop is to have multiple penguin-shaped holes punched through its walls — she doesn’t bother with doors and is always in a hurry — 1-penguin, 2-pengiun,…, rather like 1-star, 2-star,… only requiring somewhat more cleaning-up after the whole award presentation.
    She operates the Massive Orbital Cheese Vault (commonly spelt MOON due to poor styluspenguinship (shouldn’t have hurried when craving that clay tablet)).

  3. says

    Of course birds are real.
    Well, except for Starlings.
    I was sitting in my backyard, must have been 20 years ago, watching a flock of starlings in the nearby trees. I remember getting a very strong reconnaissance vibe from them–the main group, perched in one tree, sending a few scouts over to another tree, where they would make little beepy muttering noises at each other…then another group to a different tree…
    And the recordings they play to sound like other birds–not quite enough volume to be convincing. Clearly they were little robots. I also heard one do a car alarm once.
    The starlings want you to believe it was just a prank.

  4. muttpupdad says

    If they wanted to be more impressive, they would have been wearing lab coats during their rallies.

  5. says

    I watched the story on 60 Minutes last night, and, even though you’d think that this would be exactly the sort of thing I’d find hilarious and useful, somehow…I didn’t.

  6. Silentbob says

    I’d love to believe TERFs telling us trans people aren’t real were just winding us up all along, but since in that case the average age is well over 50 I think I’m shit outta luck.

  7. PaulBC says

    It’s hard for me to believe that all birds are fake, but I have believed for years that they invent and popularize new, non-existent animals every few years. I never heard of a meerkat until the early 90s, and suddenly they’re everywhere, even in Disney movies. Naked mole rats and tree-climbing goats also appeared out of nowhere. This may also be evidence that we’re living in a simulation. It is at least as believable as chemtrails or the faking of the moon landing.

  8. KG says

    Of course birds aren’t real! As we all know, (a) birds are dinosaurs, and (b) the dinosaurs were wiped out by a meteorite 65 million years ago.

  9. wzrd1 says

    Funny that you just caught on, he was making the rounds last year being interviewed and explaining.

    @KG, I have fun with those who are dogmatic about the asteroid impact killing off all of the dinosaurs and nearly everything else. Not a one could explain how a high oven temperature globally killed off the dinosaurs, but the frogs and birds survived such parching heat.
    Especially given the latest modeling still shows only continent wide destruction of what’s now North America. The continents were on the move, ocean currents were being diverted, continental masses disconnected for hundreds of thousands to millions of years introduced new species and diseases to one another, a probable large igneous province was building itself, that’s a hell of a lot of change for large creatures to survive!
    A stressor akin to our situation if fire suddenly didn’t work. Most energy generation, gone. Metal smelting, gone. Internal combustion engines, gone… 65 million years after. few clues would be around to show that we existed.

  10. says

    Poe’s law comes true again. I’ve always wondered where they got the idea, from “Blade Runner”? Birds were a good choice (rather than, for example, “the moon is flat!”), since it’s unlikely thousands of ammosexuals would go out and start blasting. Or if they did, it’s into the air.

  11. says

    I’d find this funnier if there weren’t so many loons eager to parrot such rubbish in all seriousness, and plenty of well-heeled interest-groups financing and amplifying all the insanity.

    I’m reminded of a quote from Kurt Vonnegut’s fictional Nazi propagandist: “I had tried to be merely ridiculous, but that is hard to do when people are so unwilling to laugh, so incapable of thought, so eager to believe and snarl and hate. So many people wanted to believe me.”

  12. Akira MacKenzie says

    I wish I was optimistic to think that this would work, but all of my optimism was ground out of my being around the same time as the last of my self-esteem.

  13. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    birgerjohansson #1

    I’ve both seen a kangaroo close up, and talked with “Eskimo” folk. Though at least one of the later prefered to be called Inuit.*

    Please don’t give them ideas! I’d really like to avoid targeted harassment, cheers.

    *Not sure about the others. I know some northern First Nations folk don’t use Inuit because that term comes from a nation/language that they’re not a part of.

  14. StevoR says

    @ ^ Jim Balter : What makes you say that and what is your basis for disagreeing there? Do you have any actual arguments against what #12 wzrd1 wrote or just assertion of insult?

    What are your relevant qualifications if any here?

  15. rrhain says

    Except that no, there are people who actually believe this. While there are the “satirists,” there are also the true believers.