“The Pigeon King is a country parable for our times, reminding us that what takes flight, always comes home to roost.“
When Arlan Galbraith created his company, Pigeon King International, he boasted some fifty years as a top breeder; he was a prominent member of the Canadian Racing Pigeon Union, the Canadian National Tippler Union, the National Birmingham Roller Club, and even the charter President of the Saugeen Valley Fur and Feathers Fanciers Association. When he announced he’d even bred his own distinct prize winning line of racers, Strathclyde Genetics, few of his friends doubted his downy coronation. But around 2001, Galbraith began approaching local farmers and neighbours asking them to invest in a piece of the royal action.
Claiming to have access to lucrative pigeon racing markets in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East, the Pigeon King began to sign ten-year contracts with guaranteed profits for buyers of his breeding pairs, promising to personally buy back all of the chicks. Over the next seven years, Pigeon King International became a massive empire, worth tens of millions of dollars, with farmers investing from both sides of the border, mortgaging century farms, and hatching hundreds of thousands of birds, only to collapse in a bankruptcy filing of epic proportions. Finally convicted of fraud in a Waterloo Court, Arlan Galbraith was sentenced to seven years for his preposterous Pigeon Ponzi scheme.
The Pigeon King is a country parable for our times, reminding us that what takes flight, always comes home to roost.
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