Stormy Weather -
The Government's Top-Secret
Efforts To Control Mother Nature
By Bob Fitrakis and Fritz Chess

With the grounding of virtually all civilian air flights in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the bizarre speculation about what's happening in North American air space heightened. Columbus Alive received numerous citizen reports concerning airplanes "spraying" or leaving behind mysterious "chemtrails" or "contrail grids" in the sky. Some feared we were under biochemical attack while others postulated we were being inoculated against anthrax or some other biochemical hazard.
During a flight to Phoenix in early October, a Columbus Alive reporter noted that air traffic was like a nest of hornets over southwest Ohio and Indiana, with jets spraying everywhere. One plane appeared to be a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, a refueling plane.
What's the difference between a "chemtrail" and a normal contrail (or vapor trail), the wisps of condensation you expect to see in a jet's wake? Typically contrails can only form at temperatures below negative-76 degrees Fahrenheit and at humidity levels of 70 percent or more at high altitudes, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meteorologist Thomas Schlattes. Even in most ideal conditions, a jet contrail lasts no more than 30 minutes.
So what are the big, bilious trails that seem to hang indefinitely and slowly feather out and appear to turn into cirrus clouds? Or the contrails seemingly purposely splayed over cities in geometrically precise grid patterns? These are "chemtrails," and the mystery of their source and purpose has been fueling increasing speculation among government skeptics and on watchdog websites like, and
For the past decade, the official government response to inquiries about the jet contrails appearing across the continent is to attribute the phenomenon to increased commercial air traffic. In 1997, the Christian Science Monitor reported the government's claim that the jet contrails were actually causing clouds to form.
Yet, in the month after the attack on the World Trade Center, there was very little commercial airline traffic and virtually no private civilian air flights. Still, white jets billowing lingering plumes frequently appeared in the skies over Columbus. An Alive reporter, using high-quality binoculars, could see that some of the white planes had orange markings. In addition to Stratotankers, KC-10 Extenders, another refueling plane, appeared to be used for spraying.
There's nothing new about these sightings. It may seem to be the stuff of X-Files-style paranoia or grist for conspiracy theorists (and skeptics like Jay Reynolds, writing at, have made thorough attempts to debunk the theories). But as chemtrail sightings become more common, mainstream scientists (and the mainstream press) are taking note. One scientist familiar with chemtrail experiments even agreed to speak with Columbus Alive (though he refused to allow his name to be used), saying that public disclosure of the experiments is inevitable and maybe imminent. The Canadian Ottawa Citizen reported a "fervor over chemtrails" on May 16: "What one sees here reflects sightings across North America." The Citizen noted, "West Quebec Post publisher Fred Ryan reports that his readers have been photographing and comparing them [pictures of chemtrails], and such manifestations are listed on the web."
"Ground fallout [from the chemtrails] analyzed in the United States contained carcinogens and bacteria. Coincidentally in the past decade, most jet fuel was re-engineered to reduce fire hazards by adding a long-banned pesticide, which was reportedly also found in gel samples from chemtrails. Also found were toxic micro-fibers, much finer than asbestos," the Citizen wrote.
Chemtrail sightings have been reported in 14 NATO nations. Investigative reporter William Thomas notes that "Croatian chemtrails began the day after that country joined NATO."
Which begs one simple question: Why?
Explanations range from chemtrails' use in military communications applications to scientific experiments designed to control the weather, thwarting global warming or relieving droughts.
A scientist working at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, who insisted on anonymity, told Columbus Alive that two different secret projects have been conducted. One involved cloud creation experiments to lessen the effect of global warming. The other involved radiation reflection off clouds in conjunction with the military's High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Alaska.
The scientist claims that the two most common substances being sprayed into chemtrails are aluminum oxide and barium stearate. When you see planes flying back and forth marking parallel lines, X-patterns and grids in a clear sky, that's aluminum oxide, according to the scientist. The goal is to create an artificial sunscreen to reflect solar radiation back into space to alleviate global warming.
In some cases, barium may be sprayed in a similar manner for the purpose of "high-tech 3-D radar imaging. The barium can be used for a 'wire' to shoot an electromagnetic beam through to take 3-D images of the ground far over the horizon," according to the scientist.
Thomas, writing in the November-December 2001 issue of NEXUS New Times magazine, essentially confirmed this assessment of the activities at the Dayton air base. "The barium spread in exercises conducted out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base acts as an electrolyte, enhancing conductivity of radar and radio waves," Thomas reported. "Wright-Pat has also long been deeply engaged in HAARP's electromagnetic warfare program."
Ken Caldeira, a scientist at Lawrence Livermore Labs and one of the country's leading experts on weather modification, conducted the original computer modeling for the use of aluminum oxide to fight global warming. He told Columbus Alive, "We originally did this study to show that this program [using massive spraying for weather modification] shouldn't be done," due to negative health effects. Caldeira said there are persistent rumors that the Bush administration will announce geo-engineering weather modification projects this spring. Caldeira sees this as "political suicide."
Patenting Mother Nature
The amount of information available on weather modification and defense applications surrounding the HAARP project proves that chemtrails aren't so secret after all. Public documents have trickled out of government offices and committees for the last 50 years. And the most valuable cache of data about weather-control efforts is freely available from a very reliable source: the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Throughout the Cold War, both the United States and the Soviet Union actively investigated the military use of weather modification. In 1958, Captain Howard T. Orville served as the White House's chief advisor on weather modification. He publicly admitted that the military was studying "ways to manipulate the charges of the earth and sky and so affect the weather through electronic beams to ionize and de-ionize the atmosphere."
Professor Gordon J.F. MacDonald, serving on the President's Science Advisory Committee in 1966, frequently published papers on the military use of weather modification. In the book Unless Peace Comes, MacDonald titled a chapter "How To Wreck The Environment." He described the military applications of weather modification including climate change, melting the polar ice caps, techniques for depleting the ozone layer over the enemy, engineering earthquakes, manipulating ocean waves and using the earth's energy fields for brain wave manipulation.
"The key to geophysical warfare is the identification of environmental instabilities to which the addition of a small amount of energy would release vastly greater amounts of energy," MacDonald commented.
In the early 1970s, the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on Oceans and International Environment held investigative hearings on the military's research into weather and climate modification. The committee's findings were shocking at the time, including detailed plans for creating tidal waves through the coordinated use of nuclear weapons.
A 1977 United Nations treaty, The Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of the Environmental Modification Techniques, prohibited "the use of techniques that would have widespread, long-lasting or severe effects through deliberate manipulation of natural processes and cause such phenomena as earthquakes, tidal waves and changes in climate and weather patterns."
The revival of the Cold War during the Reagan years produced a slew of new inventions in the area of weather modification. Presumably to cool off the earth, an August 1982 patent, number 4347284, outlined plans to produce a "White covered sheet material capable of reflecting ultraviolet rays" from the sun.
Numerous other patents attempted to perfect "aerial spraying of liquids," like patent number 4412654, registered in November 1983: "A laminar microjet atomizer and method of aerial spraying involved the use of a streamlined body having a slot in the trailing edge thereof to afford a quiescent zone within the [airplane] wing and into which liquid for spraying is introduced."
Not to be outdone, a patent was filed in July 1986 detailing a "Liquid propane generator for cloud-seeding apparatus." The abstract reads: "Apparatus is provided for release of liquid propane from the holding chamber of a cloud-seeding rocket." A new and improved "liquid atomizing apparatus for aerial spraying" was patented in August 1990. "The generator is driven from a power take-off from the engine of the spraying aircraft, a drive assembly includes a device for controlling the speed of the generator relative to speed of the engine," reads patent number 4948050.
The breakup of the Soviet Union in the 1990s ushered in brave new opportunities in weather modification. The New York Times reported on September 24, 1992, that a Russian company was openly selling electronic equipment to manipulate the weather in a specific area. The Times noted that certain Russian farmers used the weather-control technology to alter the climate for better crop yields.
A little over a month later, the Wall Street Journal reported that Russian company Elate Intelligence Technologies Inc. was selling weather-control equipment using the slogan "Weather made to order." The Journal quoted Igor Pirogoff as saying that Hurricane Andrew, which did an estimated $17 billion in damage, could have been turned "into a wimpy little squall" by his company.
South Africa's Water Resource Commission admitted to being involved in the actual testing of "hygroscopic seeding particles from a seeding flare" in an October 1994 patent: "In a confidential technical trial which was conducted on a small isolated cloud formation above the Nelspriut area in the Transvaal province of the Republic of South Africa, two flares were ignited electrically from inside the aircraftto produce rain."
Russia's open selling of former Soviet military weather modification devices often made for interesting news stories. "Malaysia to battle smog with cyclones" is a headline in the November 13, 1997, Wall Street Journal. "The plan calls for the use of new Russian technology to create cyclones-the giant storms also known as typhoons and hurricanes-to cause torrential rains washing the smoke out of the air," the Journal reported.
By 1997, the great global reinsurance firms-the companies that insure the insurers, like the Swiss Reinsurance Company and Lloyd's of London-were complaining publicly of global warming and the added risk of climate-related insurance losses. Beating the drum in the U.S. for weather-modification technology to combat global warming was none other than the father of the H-bomb, Edward Teller. His public interest in the issue coincided with the December 1997 Kyoto Conference on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions.
In April this year, the New York Times described Teller as director emeritus of the Livermore Weapons Laboratory and "an ardent advocate of the Reagan administration's Star Wars anti-missile plan and, more recently, has promoted the idea of manipulating the earth's atmosphere to counteract global warming."
The U.S. Air Force admitted to CNN in July that it had broken up a storm over the Atlantic using products made by a company called Dyn-O-Mat. The company's website,, lists "environmental absorbent products" such as Dyn-O-Drought and Dyn-O-Storm.
As recently as November 13, another patent was filed outlining a "method of modifying weather." The abstract reads: "The polymer is dispersed into the cloud and the wind of the storm agitates the mixture causing the polymer to absorb the rain. This reaction forms a gelatinous substance which precipitate to the surface below. Thus, diminishing the cloud's ability to rain."
Sunbury resident Dan King remembers a stormy day in July when he was driving on a newly resurfaced section of I-71 and "the rainwater looked like dish soap water on the highway. I thought it was just from the resurfacing," he said, "but when I got out in the country I saw the same thing. Piles of suds at the side of the road."
The scientist who works at Wright-Patterson told Alive that barium stearate is basically a soap bonded to a metal and could have produced the soapy rain.
It's impossible to know which chemicals are being sprayed or for what reason since, according to the government, chemtrails don't exist. But, increasingly, government skeptics and other watchdogs are demanding to know if chemtrail spraying poses any health risks.
In his NEXUS New Times article, William Thomas wrote, "Chemtrails can cause drought by soaking up all available moisture, and drooping chemical curtains fall through vast colonies of UV-mutated bacteria, viruses and fungi living in the upper atmosphere. Could these malevolent micro-organisms be piggy-backing on the plumes?"
Thomas suggests that the spraying following September 11 has nothing to do with a deliberate biological attack or the inoculation of the American public. Rather, it's simply an ongoing attempt by humans to fool with Mother Nature.
First published December 6, 2001 Copyright © 2001 Columbus Alive, Inc. All rights reserved.

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