Officials Say Raining Arkansas Blackbirds Were Targets of a Crime

Blackbirds raining from the sky for the second New Year running over the town of Beebe, Ark. was more likely a criminal rather than a supernatural phenomenon.

The authorities in the small US town said Sunday the 200 or so dead birds littering the streets -- exactly a year after 4,000 plummeted to the ground sparking a media frenzy and apocalyptic prophesies -- were targeted.

In a statement, Genny Porter from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said, "We know that there was evidence of fireworks set off in the middle of the roost, and it wasn't a coincidence."

Most scientists eventually agreed the thousands of deaths last New Year were caused when the birds were spooked by fireworks and flew into buildings, trees and each other.

Police in Beebe rushed through an emergency ban on fireworks in a bid to avoid a repeat of those bizarre events, but that did not prevent the first birds beginning to fall to the ground around 7:00pm Saturday night.

Officials say this time around criminal charges are possible if the suspects are found.