Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Chemtrails Conspiracy a Hoax

Who would have thought it? The chemtrails conspiracy - the idea that the condensation trails left by airplanes in the upper atmosphere consist of nefarious chemicals sprayed into the atmosphere to facilitate either (A) weather manipulation, (B) large-scale mine control, or (C) both A and B - has been revealed as a hoax.

I know, the answer to "who would have thought it" is "anyone who knows anything about chemistry and physics, plus anyone else with reasonable critical thinking skills." Still, there are a lot of people out there who apparently fall into neither group who are quite upset with the hoaxer, a British man named Chris Bovey.

The growth of this particular form of mass misinformation, and conspiracy theories in general, has expanded along with the growth of the Internet. That’s what makes a certain social experiment by a fellow from the U.K. so interesting. From VICE:

"On October 1, Chris Bovey—a 41-year-old from Devon, England—thought he’d troll the chemtrails camp. During a flight from Buenos Aires to the UK, his plane had to make an emergency landing in São Paulo and dumped excess fuel to lighten the load. Since he had a window seat, Chris decided to film all the liquid being sprayed out of the wing next to him.

Touching down, he uploaded the video with a caption that suggested it could be evidence of chemtrails, hoping to mess with a couple of friends who he knew might fall for it. The video now has 1.1 million views, nearly 20,000 shares, and dozens of comments telling viewers to 'wake the F up,' or accusing naysayers of being 'stupid paid shills.'"

Adding fuel to the fire, Bovey then made up a story about how he’d been detained at Heathrow Airport and was interrogated by authorities who confiscated his cellphone. Soon after, the conspiracy site NeonNettle.com ran his story as evidence for chemtrails.

The old rule holds true now more than ever. If you see something on the Internet, check it out before you accept it as fact. Then check it again to make sure. The sheer ease with which information can be made up and disseminated online means that there's a whole lot of nonsense floating around out there.

While I realize that the same could be said for Bovey's current claims, keep in mind that many chemtrail enthusiasts also think that shape-shifting lizard people secretly control the world. There's also the inconvenient fact that we don't currently possess chemicals that can control peoples' minds or manipulate the weather in any predictable fashion.

Maybe the idea is that the lizard people made them.

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Nerd said...

That DUDE has been revealed as a hoaxer, however the conspiracy theory predates him; therefore it could not have originated with his hoax. Also, even if it did originate with his hoax, would not mean that there are no actual "chemtrails."

"Chemtrails" are differentiated from regular "contrails," as I understand it. Actual chemtrails are used for over-the-horizon radar and military communication, according to the conspiracy theory of which I am aware, although there was also supposed have been a public school textbook some years ago that had a chapter on chemtrails stating that the government was spraying them to "shield the atmosphere" and "protect us from global warming," iirc. I'll see if I can find that.

Here's the old "Owning the Weather" page from Air Force dot Mil:


Ok the supposed name of this science text book was "Centrepoint Science 1 textbook."

I will note that in CONTACT WITH SPACE, Wilhelm Reich describes similar phenomena, as far as Air Force jets making cross hatch patterns in the sky. Reich says, iirc, that they were doing this to test the stagnation of the atmosphere. He also describes "spider web" fibrous material falling from the sky in the wake of UFO phenomena, which is very similar to what people nowadays describe in the wake of ostensible chemtrail phenomena.

Scott Stenwick said...

I am not disputing that there have been some experiments done where where the military sprayed chemicals into the air. I've read accounts of some of those. Back around 1980 I was really interested in weather control and read up on all the research to date. At that point they had the cloud seeding research mostly worked out and the government was trying to see how to go further.

The big problem, though, turned out to be chaos theory. The weather is a system that is continually in an unstable state, which is why the term "butterfly effect" was originally coined - even influences as small as the flapping of a butterfly's wings could propagate through the system and cause huge changes.

But the thing is, according to the conspiracy theory it's not that chemicals are sometimes sprayed into the atmosphere for specific experiments - that's a real thing - but that passenger aircraft routinely spray chemicals as they fly as part of some large-scale organized operation. There's no evidence that any such thing goes on. Usually contrails are just contrails.

The trails Reich saw and the material he saw from the sky could have been silver nitrate or some other compound that the Air Force was trying out as a cloud seeding agent. I know that research was going on in the 1950's and 1960's.

Scott Stenwick said...

Also, I did my own search on that textbook and what was actually in it. What it's talking about is the possibility that chemicals could be released into the upper atmosphere for geoengineering. There's a big debate going on right now among climate scientists over whether or not we should do that to deal with climate change, and what the possible side effects might be.

Nothing in the textbook says that it's actually going on. It almost certainly is not happening on any large scale involving passenger airplanes, though it's not impossible that it could be done at some point in the future depending on how well we can work out the potential risks.

Nerd said...

Yeah, I think there's something to the idea of people spraying stuff in the atmosphere, but people go way crazy with the conspiracy theories.

Scott Stenwick said...

Cloud seeding in particular is currently practiced all over the world, although there's still a fair amount of debate as to how effective it is. Since it involves spraying chemical agents into the upper atmosphere, I imagine it probably contributes to some of the conspiracy talk.