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Chemtrail conspiracy theory


ChemTrail The chemtrail conspiracy theory holds that some condensation trails (contrails) are actually toxic chemicals or biological agents deliberately sprayed at high altitude for a purpose undisclosed to the general public.

Versions of the conspiracy theory circulating on the internet and on some radio talk shows theorize that this activity is directed by government officials, and federal agencies have received thousands of complaints from people who have demanded an explanation. The existence of chemtrails has been repeatedly denied by federal agencies and scientists.

The Air Force has stated that the theory is a hoax which "has been investigated and refuted by many established and accredited universities, scientific organizations, and major media publications".


The term chemtrail does not refer to common forms of aerial spraying such as crop dusting, cloud seeding or aerial firefighting. The term specifically refers to aerial trails allegedly caused by the systematic high-altitude release of chemical substances not found in ordinary contrails, resulting in the appearance of supposedly uncharacteristic sky tracks. Believers of this theory speculate that the purpose of the chemical release may be global dimming, population control, or weather control and claim that these trails are causing respiratory illnesses and other health problems.

Overview

The chemtrail conspiracy theory began to circulate in 1996 when the United States Air Force (USAF) was accused of releasing unknown substances from aircraft which were creating unusual contrails. The Air Force says the hoax was fueled in part by authors citing an Air University strategy paper entitled Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025 to allege the Air Force was currently conducting a secret government program to modify the weather. The paper was presented in response to a military directive to anticipate future developments and strategies for maintaining the United States' military dominance in the year 2025 and identified as "fictional representations of future situations/scenarios". The Air Force denies it is actually conducting such experiments or that such experiments are planned, and points to the refutations presented by accredited universities, scientific organizations and major news organizations as further evidence that chemtrails do not exist.

Various versions of the chemtrail conspiracy theory have circulated through internet websites and radio programs. In some of the accounts, the chemicals are described as barium and aluminum salts, polymer fibers, thorium, or silicon carbide. In other accounts it is alleged the skies are being seeded with electrical conductive materials as part of a massive electromagnetic superweapons program based around the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP). The reasons given by those who believe in the conspiracy vary widely, spanning from military weapons testing, chemical population control, to global warming mitigation measures. Federal agencies and scientists have consistently denied that chemtrails exist, insisting the sky tracks are simple contrails. As the chemtrail conspiracy theory spread, federal officials were flooded with angry calls and letters. A multi-agency response to dispel the rumors was published in a 2000 fact sheet by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a step many chemtrail believers have interpeted as further evidence of the existence of a government cover-up.



Proponents of the chemtrail theory say that contrails, the normal water vapor emitted from jet engines, dissipate quickly, while chemtrails linger for up to half a day, often morphing into a cirrus cloud-like canopy, creating an overcast sky. They say the chemtrails are toxic.

Contrails vs chemtrails

Proponents of the chemtrail theories differentiate chemtrails from contrails by describing them as streams that sometimes persist in the sky for hours, and which sometimes trace criss-crossing, grid-like patterns, or parallel stripes which eventually blend to form large clouds. Another feature that proponents say distinguishes a chemtrail from a contrail is the presence of visible color prisms in the streams, unusual concentrations of sky tracks in a single area, or lingering tracks left by unmarked or military airplanes flying in atypical altitudes or locations.

Government agencies and other experts on contrail or atmospheric phenomena deny the existence of chemtrails, insisting that the characteristics attributed to them are simply features of contrails responding differently in diverse conditions in terms of the sunlight, temperature, horizontal and vertical wind shear, and humidity levels present at the aircraft's altitude. These experts respond that what appears as patterns such as grids formed by contrails result from increased air traffic traveling through the gridlike United States National Airspace System's north-south and east-west oriented flight lanes, and that it is difficult for observers to judge the differences in altitudes between these contrails from the ground. The jointly published fact sheet produced by NASA, the EPA, the FAA, and NOAA in 2000 in response to alarms over chemtrails details the science of contrail formation, and outlines both the known and potential impacts contrails have on temperature and climate. The USAF produced a fact sheet as well that described these contrail phenomena as observed and analyzed since at least 1953. It also rebutted chemtrails' theories more directly by characterizing the theories as a hoax and denying the existence of any chemtrails.

Patrick Minnis, an atmospheric scientist with NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, is quoted in USA Today as saying that logic is not exactly a real selling point for most chemtrail proponents: "If you try to pin these people down and refute things, it's, 'Well, you're just part of the conspiracy', he said."

In 2001, United States Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced legislation that would have permanently prohibited the basing of weapons in space, and he listed chemtrails as one of a number of exotic weapons that would be banned. Proponents have asserted that because explicit reference to chemtrails was entered by Congressman Kucinich into the congressional record, this constitutes official government acknowledgement of their existence. But that bill received an unfavorable evaluation from the United States Department of Defense and died in committee, with no mention of chemtrails appearing in the text of any of the three subsequent failed attempts by Kucinich to enact a Space Preservation Act.



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