"If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun." - Katharine Hepburn
Question #83487 posted on 08/13/2015 3:08 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

There are swarms of bright masses swirling in the sky above downtown Provo RIGHT NOW (11:00 pm Saturday night, August 8). We watched them for at least twenty minutes. At first we thought they were birds, but birds don't migrate at night. And these were bright. And they just kept coming in storms and masses. Then we realized that they looked self-lit. They're shimmering and flying much faster than the wind, so that rules out tiny fire lanterns. Board writers, WHAT ARE THESE THINGS?!?!!

-I tried to get footage, but they don't show up on my camera screen.

A:

Dear birdman,

10:40 PM You spot mysterious flying objects over downtown Gotham.
11:00 PM 20 minutes of observation have passed. You decide they are not birds, but can't come to a conclusion amongst yourself.
11:05 PM A higher authority is invoked and you come to us for answers.
11:27 PM I return home from a Board meeting where "meeting"=waffles and loudly speaking of dating frustrations (translation provided by Auto Surf)
11:29 PM I read your question. I put my shoes back on, grab my keys, and head back out the door.
11:31 PM I jump into the Ferozmobile and head to downtown Gotham, peering curiously at the skies as I go. Nothing but stars.
11:38 PM I arrive at 100 N. 100 West and head up to the highest level of the parking garage found there.
11:40 PM Nothing...nothing... there! Strange, apparently self-lit objects appear overhead and quickly disappear into the darkened skies. What was that?
11:44 PM The things pass overhead again.
11:46 PM Man in black appears on the nearby India Palace roof, spark appears. Could this be connected to the mystery?
11:48 PM Man in black begins to smoke and use smartphone to forget his sad existence
11:52 PM Local cretinous human observed at a distance, wolf-whistling at passing females. Pathetic.
11:55 PM The objects appear again at a distance. I realize the horrible truth. Pigeons. Have I been lured into a trap in retribution for my destruction of the Evil Pigeon Overlord? It's no use worrying about it, so I climb to a standing position on top of a pillar as to gain a better vantage point.
11:56 P
M If there is to be an Ardilla-Pigeon Lord rematch, I can only assume it will take place at midnight. Let them come.
11:56 PM  I see a couple approaching the parking garage. The woman points at me.
11:57 PM The couple appears on deck, and I am perched menacingly above their minivan. "Uh, I'm just watching for birds... At night." "Oh yeah," they reply, "those are rollers." A kind of pigeon, apparently. The woman points behind me and the horrid beasts appear one last time, then disappear into the night.
12:00 PM No climactic battle takes place. Instead, the man I have just met three minutes prior shows me videos about pigeons. We chat for a bit. There are many, many varieties of pigeons. The variety we have seen flying around us travels in a sizable flock, and their bright white plumage is dramatically lit from below by the bright skyward lights of the temple. It turns out people raise many different varieties of homing pigeons which they will then use in pigeon races, releasing them many miles from home and waiting for them to return using their innate homing ability. This can be hundreds of miles away, or maybe somewhere else in Utah Valley. The birds are likely trying to get their bearings and will head off once they know where to go. The man also suggests they might be out because they were released at a wedding and are only just making their way back.
12:05 PM  Satisfied with our conclusions, I thank the couple for their help and depart the scene of the crime.
12:13 PM Back to the Batcave. I start to write this answer.

Here's more information about homing pigeons. If you're not convinced yet that pigeons come in many different shapes and colors, please check out the BYU library's copy of Extraordinary Pigeons by Stephen Green-Arymytage. It is bizarre, truly bizarre. And really cool.

Hope that satisfies your curiosity,

--Ardilla Feroz