Do You Still Believe This Lie is True?!?
How much of what you hear, how much of what you think you know is true. We’ve been told so many lies for so long that it’s sometimes difficult to unearth the truth. Matter of fact, we live in a culture that glorifies and popularizes lies as it suppresses truth. Lies are kind of the in thing. It’s said that a lie can make it’s way around the world before truth has time to get it’s pants on.
Here’s an example…if you ask somebody what they believe is an outstanding and known behavioral characteristic of a lemming. They would probably tell you something similar to this dictionary definiton. “a person who unthinkingly joins a mass movement, especially a headlong rush to destruction.”
Many people still believe that every so often, Lemmings will just jump off cliffs in a crazy rush toward mass suicide. You’ve heard…don’t be a Lemming. In other words don’t just blindly follow a course without considering the consequence. And you gotta admit, this is wise counsel. Mencious, an ancient philospher said, “to act without clear understanding…..
…such is the behavior of the multitude…”
And that’s true…for the most part people turn their minds off and let others do their thinking for them. But to link that kind of behavior to the Lemming is just a lie.
Lemmings do not commit mass suicide. It’s a myth, but it’s remarkable how many people believe it.
Wildlife biologist Thomas McDonough says, “It’s a complete urban legend, I think it blew out of proportion based on a Disney documentary in the ’50s, and that brought it to the mainstream.”
Lemmings are a kind of short tailed vole, a mouse-like rodent that favors tundra and open grasslands. Three kinds are found in Alaska, including the collared lemming, the only rodent that turns white in winter.
And so begins the lemming segment in Walt Disney’s 1958 PROGRAM called “White Wilderness,” part of the studio’s “True Life Adventure” series. SO, of course, like politicians, they throw FALSEHOOD into their TRUE life adventure series. “White Wilderness” featured this segment on lemmings, detailing their strange compulsion to commit mass suicide.
According to a 1983 investigation by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation producer Brian Vallee, the lemming scenes were faked. The lemmings that supposedly committing mass suicide by leaping into the ocean were actually thrown off a cliff by the Disney filmmakers. The epic “lemming migration” was staged using careful editing, tight camera angles and dozens of lemmings supposedly jumping off a cliff.
“White Wilderness” was filmed in Alberta, Canada, a landlocked province, and not on location in lemmings’ natural habitat. There are about 20 lemming species found in the circumpolar north – but evidently not in that area of Alberta. So the Disney people bought lemmings from Inuit children a couple provinces away in Manitoba and staged the whole sequence.
In the lemming segment, the little rodents assemble for a mass migration, scamper across the tundra and ford a tiny stream as narrator Winston Hibbler explains that, “A kind of compulsion seizes each tiny rodent and, carried along by an unreasoning hysteria, each falls into step for a march that will take them to a strange destiny.”
That “destiny” is to jump into the ocean. As they approach the “sea,” (actually a river – brought to you by more tight cropping) Hibbler continues, “They’ve become victims of an obsession — a one-track thought: Move on! Move on!”
The “pack of lemmings” reaches the final precipice. “This is the last chance to turn back,” Hibbler states. “Yet over they go, casting themselves out bodily into space.”
Lemmings are seen flying into the water. The final shot shows the sea awash with dying lemmings.
And it’s amazing how many people don’t think of camera angles and timing. If you just stop to consider the positioning of the guy behind the camera and the subject he’s filming, you know it’s all staged.
In the sequence of the film…here the camera is below where the lemmings are supposedly about to jump.
Then they pan out over the cliff from above
back to below the cliff
Then to a shot from the water
Then above the cliff from the perspective of the suicidal lemmings
Back to below the cliff
above the cliff
and in the water again. Nothing strange there folks…nothing strange…don’t question us…we’re the film makers. Believe us…they were committing suicide.
No doubt, some scenes in nature documentaries are staged. In Sir David Attenborough’s recent documentary, “The Life of Birds,” the close-up footage of a flying swan allows us to see in sharp detail the amazing action of a bird in flight. But faking an entirely mythical event is something else.
It’s likely that Disney conflated and confused dispersal with migration and embellished a kernel of truth in order to attract viewers attention.
Lemming populations fluctuate enormously based on predators, food, climate and other factors. Under ideal conditions, in a single year a population of voles can increase by a factor of ten. When they’ve exhausted the local food supply, they disperse, as do moose, beaver and many other animals. When times are lean…they will even resort to cannibalism, but never mass suicide.
The Hoaxed lemming Disney story should teach us a lesson…never believe everything you hear. Sit back, give it some thought and question everything. There is something that has committed and continues to commit mass suicide in our world today… critical thinking, appears to have jumped of the jagged rocks of our illusory world long ago.
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