photo of Peter McIndoe

Peter McIndoe

Birds Aren't Real

Peter McIndoe is a performance artist, filmmaker, and founder of the “Birds Aren’t Real” movement - a satirical conspiracy theory which posits that birds don’t exist and are really drone replicas installed by the U.S. government to spy on Americans. For his first 18 years, Peter grew up in a deeply conservative and religious community in rural Arkansas. After dropping out of college in 2018, he spent 4 years in-character with journalists and the world, using conspiracy theorist cosplay by way of Andy Kaufman to rally a community around the absurdity. A real parody movement grew around this character, with hundreds of people mobilizing in real life to protest the “bird drone agenda” and embodying the character along with Peter. The movement has amassed millions of followers on social media, and hundreds of official chapters have popped up at colleges all across the nation. When Peter finally came out of character in December of 2021, it was covered on the front page of the New York Times.

Currently, Peter lives his public life both in and out of the act. Since coming out of character he’s been featured as the subject of a VICE documentary, and has appeared on shows such as Howard Stern discussing the intent of the project. The satire is still alive and well though, as Peter remains in-character on local news interviews and on social media. He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

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