Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Swallowing the Camel has moved!


Swallowing the Camel has moved to swallowingthecamel.wordpress.com (as you can see, Hans the Not-so-flying-pig is no longer here). Please join us! 




Thanks to the generous help of Schwarherz of the Heathen Ramblings blog, the archives are being moved over to the new site. For the time being, the old blog will remain frozen.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Chemtrails III.5: Aerial Spraying Operations, Past and Present


Now that we've covered anti-radar chaff, let's look at other military and civilian operations that involve aerial spraying. Parallels have been drawn between every one of these practices and chemtrails.




Biological and chemical warfare

Cold War era U.S. and British experiments that involved aerial spraying of "surrogate biological agents" are discussed below ("Biowarfare Simulation Tests"). Here, we'll look only at instances of actual chemical and biological warfare agents being sprayed from aircraft over enemy nations.

WWI

This was, of course, the first air war. Blimps were used to a limited degree in this and earlier conflicts, mostly for reconnaissance and bombing, but now every nation involved was equipped with powerful planes that could reach astonishing new heights (you may recall that the very first contrail sighting was made during this war).
Surprisingly, although chemical warfare was employed by several nations (the French started it off), there was no aerial spraying of chemical weapons during WWI. Chemical weapon tanks and spray systems suitable for mounting on planes had not been developed yet, so more complicated methods of delivery were employed. The blistering agent sulfur mustard (mustard gas), for instance, was deployed mostly via canisters and artillery shells. Mustard gas wasn't dropped from planes (in bombs) until 1924.

By the way, here's an interesting fact: Mustard gas was originally named LOST, after the first four letters of the surnames of the German scientists who devised a large-scale production method in 1916, Wilhelm Lommell and Wilhelm Steinkopf.




In Germany, chemist Fritz Haber was the man behind the chemical curtain. He led the teams that developed chlorine gas and other deadly poisons, as well as innovative gas masks with absorbent filters to protect German troops.
Unlike the average chemical warfare engineer, who is divorced from the terrible fruits of his labours, Haber didn't hide away in his lab. He took a very active role in chemical attacks, even personally supervising the first successful deployment of chlorine gas at the Second Battle of Ypres on April 22, 1915. Some of the French and Canadian soldiers huddled in the trenches could only stare in fascination as the greenish-white cloud of gas drifted closer and closer, until it hit them. Then their lungs burned and they had to gasp for every breath. Some died within minutes, while others fled in terror. Haber was pleased with his work; the attack had been far more successful than anyone anticipated.
Some have attributed the suicide of his wife Clara, one week later, to this success. 
 
The year after the war ended, Haber received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the  Haber-Bosch process, which revolutionized the production of nitrogen-based explosives and fertilizers.
In fact, a whole Rappaccini's garden of useful-yet-poisonous chemical compounds bloomed in the years after WWI, thanks to wartime chemical warfare research.

The French introduced the deadly gas phosgene in 1916. The Germans responded with chloropicrin, an insecticide. Generally, though, there was a reluctance on all sides to open up the Pandora's box of chemical agents, partly because the Hague Convention of 1899 forbade the use of poisonous gases in combat. This reluctance is evidenced by the British use of "balloon dope", a strong-smelling sealant, in fake chemical warfare releases known as "stinks". The idea was to disorient, preoccupy and intimidate the enemy without actually gassing them to death. To the same end, the Germans cultivated sneezing and vomiting agents like "Blue Cross" (diphenylchlorarsine).

Biological weapons were not as advanced as the chemical agents at this time. Then as now, they were deemed a risky, last-resort kind of weapon because they could have unintended results. You can't control a germ the same way you aim a bomb or a bullet, and trench diseases were enough of a problem already. When germs are weaponized for combat, the goal is often to debilitate the enemy rather than kill them. War injuries are more bothersome than fatalities, tying up more resources for longer periods of time. But even nonlethal germ warfare has its risks, particularly retaliation with more dangerous agents. No biological agents were deployed against troops in WWI.
The Germans allegedly did, however, spread a disease called Glanders among enemy horses and pack animals.

Research After WWI 

Between world wars, in 1921, the French War Ministry established the world's first large-scale, peacetime biological and chemical weapons program, and Stalin began what would someday become the world's most extensive and secretive bio-chem program. Its vast, terrifying scope would not be fully known until the mid-1990s.
In Canada, bioweapon and biodefense research secretly began in the late '30s. Prior to WWII, a team of military defense researchers led by Frederick Banting (another Nobel Prize winner) conducted a series of experiments to test the efficacy of aerial germ warfare. In October 1940 they sprayed sawdust from a low-flying plane to see how it would disperse, and were soon given the go-ahead to mass produce germ weapons, including anthrax, on Quebec's Grosse Ile. In 1941, joint Canadian-British open-air testing of bio-chem weapons began in Suffield, a sparsely populated stretch of prairie near Medicine Hat, Alberta. The Brits were delighted to have so much open space for experimentation. They began with metallic cadmium mixed with the strongest explosive available, RDX, producing toxic fumes capable of causing fibrosis of the lungs.

In 1943, Porton Down, the UK's bio-chem research facility, became the first to claim an effective bioweapon. Over the previous year, researchers had conducted a series of successful anthrax-bombing experiments at Scotland's Gruinard Island (where bomb tests were also conducted), using sheep as test subjects. The tiny island became so toxic, it had to be vacated for the next forty years.
The U.S. got a slower start, but soon caught up. In 1943, a bio-chem weapons research and development facility called Camp Detrick (later renamed Fort Detrick) was established in Maryland, with businessman George Merck as its first director.


WWII

The poison gas attacks of WWI were horrific enough to scare WWII combatants away from aerial chemical warfare. And although the head of the U.S.'s new biowarfare division, Theodore Rosebury, decided airplanes would be the "most useful means for the dissemination of infective agents," they were far from knowing precisely how to produce weaponized germs on a huge scale and disperse them without compromising their potency (the Gruinard tests, though successful, were considered too small-scale).  (1, 29)
As in WWI, fear of retaliation in kind was a strong deterrent against first use of bioweaponry. The anthrax bombs were ready to go - Camp Detrick produced the first 5000 of them in May of 1944 - but no one wanted to unleash them.
As far as gases went, all combatants stockpiled the old standbys from WWI (phosgene, mustard gas, etc.) along with the blistering agent Lewisite. The only new poison gas (and the first completely odorless one) to be developed was Compound Z or Compound 1120, accidentally discovered by Canadian researchers. While heralded behind closed doors as a remarkable advance, Z was not deployed at all.  (3)

The fear of chemical warfare was strong, and the hazards really hit home in the Bari raid of 1943, when 81 officers were killed by a release of their own mustard gas.
The poster below, issued around 1943, used cartoons and goofy rhymes to familiarize soldiers and civilians with the tell-tale odors and symptoms of the major weaponized gases. (source)


The fear didn't prevent all sides from dropping and spraying toxic things from the air during WWII, however.
The Allies used toxic pesticides - notably DDT - to de-louse their own soldiers and kill off mosquitoes (see "Crop Dusting", below). 
Japan's infamous biological and chemical warfare unit allegedly dropped packages of plague-infested fleas over Chinese cities and sprayed germs (plague, typhus, smallpox) over Chinese reservoirs.
The only other known acts of biowarfare in WWII were Germany's sabotage of the drainage systems in Rome (they first confiscated all the anti-malarial medications in the region, knowing the mosquito population would skyrocket) and the OSS's non-fatal food poisoning of Hjalmar Schacht, Hitler's pre-war financial wizard. Schacht turned out to be a very poor choice of target. Not only had he been shunted aside by the Nazis before the war even began, but he was part of Operation Valkyrie, the secret Nazi plot to kill Hitler. (4)

Zyklon B

In 1919, Nobel laureate Fritz Haber became the head of a new chemical-company consortium, the German Limited Company for Pest Control, or Degesch.
In the early '20s, a group of Degesch chemists modified a cyanide-based pesticide called Zyklon A ("Cyclone A"), first synthesized by Ferdinand Flury, to create the more potent Zyklon B. This team was made up of Walter Heerdt, Bruno Tesch, and Gerhard Peters. For two decades, Zyklon A and B were used mainly to fumigate grain, though they could also be used as de-lousing agents and rat poison. In the U.S., Zyklon B was used as a de-lousing agent on Mexican immigrants.


Unfortunately, some of the developers of Zyklon A and B later became dedicated Nazis. Flury was elevated to the position of Surgeon General during the Third Reich. And when Nazi scientists decided to use Zyklon B in the gas chambers of the death camps, it was supplied first by Degesch, then by Stabenow & Tesch, the pest control company established by Bruno Tesch in 1924.
In 1946, Tesch and a fellow executive were put to death by the British for their role in the Holocaust. Three years later, Degesch exec Gerhard Peters was sentenced to five years in prison by a Frankfurt court for his role. The only scientist in this group who had any damn sense at all was the inventor of record, Walter Heerdt; he fled Germany in the early '30s, returning later to testify against former colleagues at Nuremberg.

Zyklon B  is still used as a pesticide in the Czech Republic, which is rather disturbing - the Nazis first tested it on Roma children from Brno.

The study of Zyklon B, DDT, Agent Orange, and other pesticides that turned out to be extremely toxic for humans can tell us much about chemtrail theories, especially the depopulation theory. Note that when Zyklon B became a tool of mass murder, it was not simply dumped from airplanes over the camps.

After WWII

From the end of WWII straight through Vietnam, several nations (including the U.S. and Canada) simulated chemical and biological attacks by spraying "surrogate biological agents" from boats, planes and vans, trying to figure out how far and fast a disease like anthrax could spread. These experiments are covered below ("Biowarfare Simulation Tests").

The weaponization and stockpiling of germs and chemicals moved at frantic pace throughout the Cold War, with the USSR and the U.S. amassing astonishing amounts of the organophosphorus nerve agents like VX, bacteria, toxins and viruses. Canada, Britain, and the U.S. were signatories of the Geneva Protocol of 1925, which barred the use of bio-chem weapons, but it wasn't actually ratified in the U.S. until the '70s. And there was no prohibition against defense research.

In the '50s, the U.S. biological warfare lab at Fort Detrick diligently built up a germ warfare arsenal. Led by a very young microbiologist named William Patrick, researchers cultured and tested and weaponized a range of bacteria, viruses, toxins and rickettsia that could be used to incapacitate, if not kill, large numbers of men. Anthrax, botulinum toxin, Q Fever and tularemia ("rabbit fever") were considered the best options. They were non-contagious and not necessarily deadly (if treated right away), yet they could take soldiers out of commission for weeks or months. At the same time, however, the researchers worked on such lethal, highly contagious viruses as smallpox and plague.
In addition to extensive animal testing, Ft. Detrick conducted live-virus experiments on Seventh-Day Adventists (conscientious objectors), infecting them with Q Fever, then treating them with antibiotics when symptoms appeared. In addition to Q Fever, about 50 varieties of virus and rickettsia were deemed suitable for biowarfare. Thereafter, gallons of Q Fever and a few other viruses were produced at the Pine Bluff Arsenal.

At least one live-virus test of aerially sprayed Q Fever was conducted over Utah's Dugway Proving Ground in the '50s. A spray tank with nozzles was affixed to an F-100 Super Sabre , the fastest jet in the world at that time, and a slurry containing the virus was sprayed over the desert. No human subjects were used in this test, but three soldiers manning roadways during the experiment contracted Q Fever, and so did the pilot, proving the virus was still effective when sprayed from the air. In fact, it traveled over 50 miles to infect the soldiers.

The Korean War and Cuba

China and Korea alleged the U.S. used biowarfare against them during the Korean conflict, and an international team assembled by the World Peace Council, led by British biochemist Joseph Needham, concluded that biological agents had been deployed dozens of times in North Korea by the U.S. military. The U.S. vehemently denied, and still denies, that this occurred even once, and the Air Force's dismissive and even hostile attitude toward bioweapons during this period seems to indicate that they were still considered unreliable. They were thought to be untested, tricky to use, and ethically questionable. There were also concerns that germ warfare agents couldn't be contained, and would backfire on any force that employed them. Yet the conclusions of the Needham report stuck like glue.
Ephemeral, hard-to-prove allegations of biowarfare would surface again in the '80s, against the Soviet Union.

In the early '60s, Pentagon officials collaborated with Ft. Detrick on a secret plan to douse Cuba with biological agents in the event of conflict, cheekily referred to as "the Marshall Plan". The germs would not be fatal to most Cubans, but were expected to kill many of the elderly and sick.
Around the same time, General Mills developed the line-source disseminator, an aerial spray device that could continuously disperse chemical/biological agents from planes (if you're surprised that a company known for its breakfast cereals was elbow-deep in defense projects, check out Project Pigeon). The preferred method of germ dispersal, however, was packing hundreds of tiny "bomblets" full of viruses or bacteria into missiles, then dropping the missiles from the highest altitude possible to spread the bomblets over a broad area.
The "Marshall Plan" was never put into action, and despite years of dreaming up outlandish ways to kill or humiliate Castro, the U.S. never deployed bio-chem agents against Cuba.

Vietnam 

If WWII was largely a war against disease-carrying bugs, Vietnam was largely a war against plants. The thick jungle foliage of North Vietnam provided perfect cover for the Viet Cong, enabling invisible troop movements and sneak attacks. This led to the introduction of one of the most notorious chemical warfare agents of our times, Agent Orange.
Technically, Agent Orange was not a weapon intended to kill people. But its side effects were horrific. For six years (1965-1971), this potent mixture of defoliants (among many others) was sprayed in massive quantities over Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia as part of the U.S. military Operations Trail Dust and Ranch Hand. This was not the first large-scale use of herbicide in war (in the the '50s, the British Army sprayed herbicides in Malaysia to kill off the crops of Communist rebels), but it would be the deadliest.
"Agent Orange" has become shorthand for any toxic substance, and some chemtrail researchers aren't afraid to draw a parallel between it and whatever they believe is contained in today's jet contrails.

"Should you and I be concerned? Yes, very concerned as the long term effects of chemtrails are no different than crop dusting...and Agent Orange." - presscore.ca

Experimental spraying of some of the "rainbow herbicides" (not including Agent Orange, which was introduced in 1965) began in 1959. The goals were to kill off food crops, driving rural dwellers into the cities of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), and to destroy vegetation that provided cover for the Viet Cong. The plan was highly successful on both fronts. Roughly 500 million acres of forest were heavily damaged or destroyed, and the population of South Vietnam swelled from 2.8 million people in 1958 to 8 million in 1971.
To disperse the herbicides, C-123 planes were outfitted with specially designed spray tanks that could hold up to 1,000 gallons of liquid. In under 5 minutes, each plane could spray a swath of land 80 meters wide and 10 miles long, and the average spraying sortie consisted of 3-5 planes. (6)
Nearly 20 million gallons of "rainbow herbicides" were sprayed over the course of at least 6,542 missions. Helicopters were also used in spray operations. (7)

The South Vietnamese had been told of the spraying in advance, and were assured the herbicides were not harmful to humans, animals or the soil.  (8)
But the defoliants had disastrous effects that outlasted the war. The average concentration of the herbicides was 13 times higher than the USDA-recommended application rate for domestic use. And a very dangerous compound lurked within one of those rainbow herbicides.

Why was Agent Orange so toxic? 

Agent Orange was made up of equal parts 2,4,5-Trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D).
2,4,5-T had been widely used as an agricultural defoliant since the '40s. At first, producers and consumers were blissfully unaware that the manufacturing process contaminated 2,4,5-T with an extraordinarily toxic byproduct, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). TCDD is usually referred to as dioxin (technically, though, it's one of several dioxin-like compounds). It is one of the most dangerous chemicals ever synthesized, capable of causing all the same adverse effects as dioxin.
If produced with rigorous temperature control, 2,4,5-T can contain only about .005 parts per million (ppm) of TCDD. But in the early days of 2,4,5-T production, before anyone grasped how toxic TCDD was and how much of it was being created, quality control was uneven. As much as 60 ppm of TCDD.could end up in a single batch. (9)

Two industrial accidents served as a dark warning that something in 2,4,5-T was extremely dangerous. The first occurred in 1949, at a factory in Nitro, West Virginia. An explosion caused dozens of workers to break out in pustules, a condition characteristic of dioxin poisoning now known as chloracne. Former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushenko bears the scars of chloracne after his 2004 TCDD poisoning.
But at the time of the Nitro explosion, no one knew precisely what caused the skin condition, and no one was curious enough to get to the bottom of it. One physician, Raymond Suskind, did monitor the affected men for the next several years, and reported an array of physical ailments that turned out to be common effects of TCDD. In the '80s, this same doctor falsified a series of 2,4,5-T studies at the behest of Monsanto, which was facing lawsuits from Vietnam vets and other people exposed to dioxin-contaminated Monsanto products. (8)
The second serious 2,4,5-T accident happened in 1953, in a Germany factory. A leak exposed numerous factory workers to pesticide fumes, and most of them broke out in pustules and suffered serious health problems. Researcher Karl-Heinz Schulz identified the toxic agent as TCDD, and published his results in 1957. This laid the groundwork for an understanding of chloracne and the other health effects of TCDD. Unfortunately, chemical manufacturers ignored Schulz's findings. Production of 2,4,5-T continued without a hitch.

Did they know how dangerous Agent Orange was? 

From approximately 1951 to 1974, prisoners at Pennsylvania's Holmesburg State Prison were used as guinea pigs in research experiments commissioned by the Army, Dow Chemical Company, and Johnson & Johnson. The prisoners were volunteers, but they were not apprised of all the risks associated with the chemical agents that were being tested on their skin.
In studies conducted in the early '60s, Dr. Albert Kligman injected TCDD into 70 of the prisoners on behalf of Dow. Dow was one of the seven companies producing Agent Orange, and wanted to know why some factory workers were developing chloracne. All 70 of the prisoners developed severe chloracne lesions, which were left untreated for seven months.

Dr. James Clary, who helped develop the special spray tanks for Agent Orange dispersal, claims he and other scientists working on the project were aware that Agent Orange contained elevated levels of dioxin. Because the military required such high volumes of the stuff for Agent Orange, 2,4,5-T was being produced at breakneck pace, with slapdash temperature control - hence, more TCDD. Seven companies had military contracts to produce Agent Orange, and there is evidence that at least some of the executives knew it contained TCDD.  (8)
But the end users were not necessarily aware of this. Not even the commander of naval forces, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, knew what was in Agent Orange. When he found out, following the death of his son, he became a strident advocate for full disclosure and aid to vets affected by TCDD.  

As in Reservoir Dogs, the naming of the rainbow herbicides was arbitrary and gave no indication of what they were capable of doing. Agent Pink (which I'm sure no one wanted to use) also contained TCDD, and the Army began spraying it a full three years before Agent Orange was added to the rainbow (in 1965). So Pink is certainly responsible for some of the havoc attributed to Orange.
Up to 3 million Vietnamese citizens (not including unborn children, many of them stillborn) and thousands of military servicemen were affected by Agent Orange alone. The TCDD in Agents Orange and Pink caused a range of severe birth defects, cancers and skin diseases. (6)

To the credit of the international community, opposition to the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam was swift and strong when the State Department revealed the existence of the spraying program in March of 1966. Resolutions were immediately introduced to the UN, charging that the U.S. military was violating the Geneva Protocol. In 1969, Nixon declared the U.S. would never use chem-bio agents offensively. And this was before a 1970 paper put an end to the use of 2,4,5-T in the U.S.  By the mid-'70s, 2,4,5-T had been banned in most parts of the world.
In 1975, President Ford declared the U.S. would never again engage in herbicidal warfare (defoliants are now prohibited in combat under the Chemical Weapons Convention).
Numerous studies on the effects of TCDD and Agent Orange have since been conducted. You'd think this would have put an end to TCDD contamination, but sloppy production continued in chemical plants all over the world, and more accidents occurred. There was the Seveso catastrophe in Italy in 1976, the Yu-cheng accident in Taiwan in 1979, the Sturgeon (Missouri) chlorophenol spill of 1979, and the dioxin chicken scare in Belgium in 1999.

One of the places where 2,4,5-T was produced for Agent Orange was a facility in Verona, Missouri, owned by a subsidiary of the Northeastern Pharmaceutical and Chemical Company. Wastewater and contaminated clay in the vicinity contained levels of TCDD some 2,000 times higher than the dioxin content in Agent Orange. (8)
In the early '70s, a company called ICP (no, seriously) was hired to remove this toxic sludge.* ICP, in turn, contracted with waste hauler Russell Bliss in the small community of Times Beach, Missouri, to actually get rid of the stuff. Unaware of just how toxic the waste was, Bliss blended it with oil and mud and sprayed it on roads and barn floors to keep down dust. He even sprayed the mixture on his own property.
So many residents and horses were sickened that a decade later, after an EPA investigation, the government purchased the entire town of Times Beach and destroyed it.

sign posted near Times Beach, MO, after it was doused with TCDD-contaminated waste for 10 years

Other aerial spraying in Vietnam

The U.S. attempted to flood parts of the Ho Chi Minh Trail via cloud-seeding, a program called Operation Popeye. It was largely unsuccessful. We'll examine this and other weather modification efforts in another post.
The Pentagon had floated the idea of spraying anthrax over the trail, but decided against the use of germ warfare. There were fears that the disease would spread along the trail, possibly sickening and killing people and livestock in three countries. 
In 1968, over 1000 sheep were killed in Skull Valley, Utah, when a plane from Dugway Proving Ground accidentally released a large amount of the nerve agent VX. VX was not used during Vietnam (or any other war), but in the early '90s it fell into the hands of a murderous Japanese cult.

Since Vietnam: No aerial spraying, and no biowarfare

Since Vietnam, the only documented, large-scale deployment of chemical weapons has been Iraq's use of mustard gas against Iranian troops and Kurdish people during the Iran-Iraq war (1981–1988), and this didn't involve direct aerial spraying. In the Halabja massacre of March 16, 1988 (now classified as an act of genocide), more than 10,000 Kurds were affected or killed by mustard gas deployed by bombs dropped from Iraqi Mirage and MiG planes.
The only other notable use of a chemical agent occurred during the 2002 Nord-Ost hostage crisis in Moscow, when Russian Spetsnaz forces pumped an unknown gas into the ventilation system of the theatre in an attempt to knock out the Chechen terrorists and extricate the hostages. To this day, we don't know what they used (fentanyl is the likeliest suspect). Hostages and captors alike died from overdoses of the gas. 

In the '80s, the Soviet Union was accused of using mycotoxins in support of Communist armies in Cambodia and Laos, and later using them against Afghanistan. Several people in remote villages reported being sickened or burned by a "yellow rain" that came from helicopters. However, the allegations were never confirmed. Two researchers identified yellow dust collected by soldiers as ordinary bee pollen, while others reported finding no mycotoxins in plant samples.

BZ 

At the end of the Adrian Lyne film Jacob's Ladder, a postscript tells us that BZ, a powerful glycolate agent that can produce hallucinatory effects and extreme confusion, was tested on U.S. soldiers during Vietnam. While I wouldn't recommend believing everything you read in a movie, this is actually true. BZ was administered to an unknown number of soldier guinea pigs during the Edgewood Arsenal experiments.
Also, a Pentagon study known as Project Tall Timber was designed to test the effectiveness of the M138 bomblet filled with BZ in a tropical forest environment similar to Vietnam (Hawaii's Waiakea Forest Reserve). In the spring and summer of 1966, the bomblets were statically ignited (not sprayed from aircraft).

The only suspected uses of glycolate agents in combat occurred in Mozambique in 1992, when government forces accused South African troops of using BZ on them, in 1995 when the Serbs used BZ or a similar agent in the Srebrenica massacre, and in 1998, when there were allegations that members of the Bosnian Army used BZ and/or other incapacitating agents against two Sarajevo suburbs, Ilidza and Nedarici.
None of these alleged incidents have been confirmed.

Bioterrorism

If the Soviet mycotoxin allegations are false, then biological weapons have not been used in wartime since the Japanese attacks of WWII. But as we have seen, research and massive stockpiling were conducted throughout the Cold War and beyond. South Africa's Project Coast is a particularly chilling example. Though none of its horrific schemes were ever put into action, at least one of its alleged participants, Dr. Larry C. Ford, poisoned two women and collected over 200 vials of dangerous bacteria and toxins (including salmonella, cholera and botulinum toxin) in his California home, for some unknown purpose. He committed suicide in 2000, while under investigation for the attempted murder of his business partner (he opted for a bullet instead of poison, the coward). 

State-sponsored programs may have refrained from biowarfare since WWI and chemical assaults since the Iran-Iraq war, but an array of germs have been stockpiled and used as weapons by terrorists and religious cultists throughout that time.

- In 1946, members of a group known as Dahm Y'Israel Nokeam ("Avenging Israel's Blood") infiltrated the bakery that supplied bread to the Stalag 13 prison camp near Nuremberg, where several thousand SS troops were imprisoned, and coated 3000 loaves of bread with an arsenic mixture that sickened at least 1900 prisoners.
- In 1972, two teenage white supremacists in Chicago were arrested for plotting to poison the city's water supply with Salmonella typhi, which causes typhoid fever. (11)
- The Rajneeshees poisoned food with salmonella in at least ten restaurants in Oregon in the early '80s, in an attempt to complete their takeover of a municipal government. Investigators discovered a fairly sophisticated bio lab hidden on the Rajneeshees' ranch, where nurse Diane Onang experimented with several pathogens, including ones that cause dysentery, tularemia and typhus. She even attempted to weaponize AIDS.  (4)
- Aum Shinrikyo is known for its sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway, but scientists belonging to the cult also weaponized anthrax and botulinum toxin. Fortunately, the several biological attacks they launched in Tokyo failed. The only known attack with the nerve agent VX was committed against Ryuho Ohkawa, an Aum opponenet, in 1994 (he survived).
- In December 1999, during the Russian assault on Grozny, Chechen rebels blew up two chlorine tanks in the city. No Russian soldiers were affected
- It's interesting that the largest intentional mass poisoning in history, employing potassium chloral hydrate, potassium chloride and cyanide to kill over 900 people, was also carried out by a religious cult - the People's Temple of Jonestown. The camp "doctor" (actually a former intern), Larry Schacht, initially experimented with culturing botulinum toxin, staphylococci, and a fungus that could mimic meningitis symptoms as a means of killing everyone, but the work proved too challenging for him. He settled on cyanide, and ordered an amount capable of killing 1800 people from a chemical company in California.  (12)

Chem-Bio Warfare and Chemtrails

One of the most popular theories about chemtrails is that they are part of a vast depopulation scheme (in fact, as we'll see in the next post, chemtrails started as a depopulation theory). By peppering us with chemicals or metal oxides and/or obscuring sunlight for long periods of time, this theory goes, someone out there hopes to sicken and kill us in order to have all the world's resources to themselves.

A subtheory that could be called the biowarfare theory of chemtrails surfaced in 2003, with the claims of chemtrail researcher Clifford Carnicom. Carnicom claimed he received the news from another researcher, who heard it from a military source. Carnicom's unnamed source said the polymer fibers supposedly present in jet contrails have freeze-dried bacteria or viruses attached to them, along with metals (barium, aluminum) to absorb sunlight. The heated metals keep the pathogens alive during dispersal.
Spraying germ-dusted polymers from 40,000 feet in the air would be an unnecessarily complicated, highly inefficient way to spread germs. Any of the other methods examined in this post would make more sense - yet there's no evidence that any of them are currently being used for biological attack.
As we'll see in another post, this is only one of many reports and theories about chemtrails that Carnicom has put forward.

A handful of tests conducted at the request of private citizens by small, independent labs indicate that various pathogens, medicines and chemicals have been found in ground and water samples, but there is insufficient proof that any of the material came from contrails. Ground-based pollution, poor sample collection techniques, sample contamination, and lab contamination are likelier explanations.
The depopulation theory of chemtrails will be examined more closely in a later post.

Since WWI, our fears of large-scale chemical or biological attack have led us down some very dark paths. The damage wrought by our own paranoia has perhaps outstripped anything a mere germ or nerve agent could ever do.


Fuel dumping 

Fuel dumping is occasionally mistaken for chemtrail spraying, as any large amount of liquid coming out of a plane can appear suspicious. Photos of fuel dumps have been presented as "smoking gun" chemtrail evidence, and some chemtrail-watchers maintain (without any evidence) that fake fuel dumping masks chemtrail-spraying operations.


Pilots dump excess jet fuel in order to meet the weight requirements for safe landing. Fuel is usually dumped at high altitude so it will dissipate in the air, exiting from special ports on the wings.  One useful way to distinguish fuel dumping from wingtip contrails is to note the distance between the plume and the plane. Remember, contrails appear a short distance behind the plane, because it takes some time for the ice crystals to form. Dumped fuel, on the other hand, comes directly from the fuel-dumping ports. There will be no distance between the plume and the plane. Online, you're going to find a lot of confusing information about this. The fuel-dumping Navy E-6A TACAMO in the photo above, for instance, is often identified as a chemtrail plane, and emails posted on a Rense.com page convincingly insist this particular plane has no room for extra fuel nor a fuel dumping system. Those plumes must be chemtrails! You have to scroll nearly halfway down the page before you reach a comment from a former TACAMO pilot who sets the matter straight: There are fuel dump chutes on the E-6A, and they are located exactly where you see them in the photo. Even if the E-6A was a chemtrail plane, it should be noted there are only about 16 of them in existence.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements for fuel dumping stipulate that fuel must be dumped at a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet, and that a dumping aircraft must be at least five miles away from other aircraft. 
Air traffic controllers are instructed to direct planes dumping fuel away from populated areas and large bodies of water as often as possible. The same guidelines apply to military aircraft, and most air bases  permit fuel dumping only in designated areas.
Obviously, fuel dumps contain more chemicals than jet exhaust or contrails do (the ingredients of jet fuel and jet exhaust are laid out in the first post of this series), and some of the fuel undoubtedly reaches water, vegetation and soil. The good news is that because fuel dump systems are costly and the newer jets don't actually require them, many aircraft are not equipped with them.


This is not to say that the FAA regulations are always followed, or that fuel dumps haven't caused serious problems, especially in residential areas close to large airports. For example, in 1998, a World Airways flight dumped 13,000 gallons of jet fuel over Glen Burnie, Maryland, prior to an emergency landing at Baltimore/Washington International Airport, dousing a mother and son in fumes that reportedly caused skin irritation and headaches. The incident spurred state representatives to sponsor legislation that would have required Baltimore/Washington International to monitor and disclose all fuel dumping incidents. The airport opposed the bill as "unworkable", and it was ultimately shot down. 
In Canada, there have been 577 recorded instances of fuel dumping since 1993.


Cloud seeding and hail mitigation

We'll be getting into a lot more detail about cloud seeding in a post about weather modification, but it's important to mention it here because it is a somewhat controversial (yet very common) use of aerial spraying that is frequently mentioned among chemtrail-watchers.

Cloud seeding doesn't create new clouds. When successful, it turns existing clouds into rainclouds using silver iodide, dry ice, or liquid propane. Silver iodide is the most commonly used substance. Put very simply, cloud seeding is the introduction of particles that can serve as nuclei for ice crystal formation. Under the right conditions, the cloud will precipitate (rain or snow).
For clouds to be successfully "seeded" with silver iodide, they must contain supercooled liquid water (below 0 Celsius). Under the right conditions, the silver iodide's crystalline, ice-like structure will trigger the nucleation of ice crystals.
Dry ice or propane, on the other hand, cool the air so that ice crystals can nucleate from vapour, even without any existing droplets or particles.

The same basic method is used for hail mitigation, which aims to reduce the size of hailstones that form in a cloud (as its name makes clear, the process can rarely eliminate hail entirely). This is done primarily to prevent crop damage. 

Cloud seeding can be done with ground-based generators or projectiles (rockets, anti-aircraft guns, etc.), but the cloud seeding done over drought-ridden areas is almost always accomplished with silver iodide flares dropped from small, low-flying planes.

There is conflicting evidence as to just how effective cloud seeding can be. The American Meteorological Society is only vaguely supportive of the practice, noting the many drawbacks and uncertainties of weather modification and encouraging further research. An eight-year experiment in Oklahoma and Texas, conducted over a 5,000-square-mile area, showed that cloud seeding increased rainfall, the length of storms and the area in which rain fell. But in 2003, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences declared research had not yet produced evidence that weather modification can create "verifiable, repeatable changes in rainfall, hail fall, and snowfall". A 2010 Israeli study offered disappointing results.
Those who deem cloud seeding effective worry that forcing precipitation in one area may deprive another area of rainfall. Cloud seeding operations have even been accused of causing droughts, and numerous lawsuits have been filed against cloud-seeders by outraged farmers over the years. 

In spite of the doubts, there are state-funded cloud seeding programs in 11 drought-prone U.S. states and one Canadian province (Alberta). Typically, private companies are contracted to do the work.  (13)
A few countries, like Niger and Russia, have sporadic national programs carried out by their air forces (the Russian one has been almost comically unsuccessful). The Inter State Committee Against Drought in the Sahel sponsors cloud seeding in several West African nations. China, which has extensive cloud-seeding programs, famously boasted that scientists in Beijing's Weather Modification Office staved off rain during the 2008 summer Olympics by strategically launching 1,104 rockets containing silver iodide from 21 sites in the city. It seemed to work, but the results of their cloud-seeding programs are still being debated. 
Because it's an expensive process with no guarantee of success, few individual business operations hire cloud seeders. The notable exceptions are large ski resorts, which have paid cloud seeders to increase snowfall on their slopes.

A widely-circulated video (below) features a secretly recorded "chemtrail pilot" describing "silver iodide weather manipulation". The tone of the video makes it all sound very sinister, but the pilot is openly discussing methods that have been in use since the '50s. Note that the cameraman presents zero evidence that anything other than ordinary cloud seeding or hail mitigation is being conducted by the company.


 Cloud seeding to increase precipitation, hail mitigation and fog suppression are the only weather modification services that can be offered at present, because that's all we know how to do. Contrary to bizarre stories about HAARP-created hurricanes, and an overly enthusiastic military "study" released in 1996, we don't possess the means of artificially controlling entire weather systems, steering thunderstorms and whipping up tornadoes and whatnot.

Part of the problem with cloud seeding is that we literally don't know clouds at all. Precisely how and why clouds form and behave is still a matter of intensive study, with cloud physicists still conducting research into why lightning develops in some stormclouds but not others and how cosmic rays may affect cloud nucleation (just last year, CERN published results from a study called Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets, or CLOUD).


Firefighting

Aerial firefighting drills and even actual firefighting are sometimes mistaken for chemtrail spraying, despite the extremely low altitudes of the planes.

The first firefighting planes were modified WWII bombers, and most firefighting planes still use the same gravity drop system; tanks are fitted with doors that open to discharge their contents. This type of system requires aircraft to fly at extremely low altitudes (around 200 feet), which takes highly skilled pilots.

Since the early '70s, The U.S. Forest Service has used military aircraft from the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard (in addition to aircraft owned by private companies under contract) to help fight wildfires. For this, a small number of C-130H planes have been modified to carry tanks known as Modular Airborne FireFighting Systems (MAFFS).


Aerial firefighting uses different combinations of water and the following flame retardant chemicals:
  • Ammonium-based retardants with water-thickening agents added (either clay or a guar gum derivative).
  • Fire-retardant gels. These are thick slurries made up of superabsorbent polymers that absorb hundreds of times their weight in water, creating millions of tiny water droplets surrounded by  a polymer shell. These "bubblets" form a thermal shield over surfaces. 
  • Firefighting foam (similar to fire-retardant gels, except the bubbles contain air instead of water)
Fire retardants typically contain preservatives, wetting agents, and rust inhibitors, and are often coloured with red ferric oxide to mark where they have been dispersed. 

Aside from the ferric oxide, metals are not used in firefighting, so this would not account for elevated amounts of aluminum or other metal oxides supposedly being found in environmental samples.


Everblue: The Great Evergreen Conspiracy



The photo above (original source unknown), and a lot of photos and videos just like it, regularly appear online as a "chemtrail plane in action": 
You may notice that in a lot of these photos and videos, "Evergreen" is emblazoned on the side of the plane. So what are these sinister Evergreen planes that spray plumes of poison upon us from such low altitudes?
Actually, it's just one plane. It's the Boeing 747-100 Supertanker, modified by Evergreen Aviation specifically to fight fires. Evergreen has been contracted to aerially fight fires for 60 years, so it stands to reason they would want to develop bigger, better firefighting aircraft. Their other firefighting aircraft are mostly helicopters.
The Evergreen Supertanker is the largest firefighting aircraft in the world. It can hold over 20,000 gallons of flame retardant, and can fly slightly higher than the average firefighting aircraft - up to 600 feet. It was used for the first time in 2009, fighting fires in Spain and California

Currently, the U.S. Forest Service is not employing the Evergreen Supertanker for its firefighting efforts, as discussed in an Evergreen Aviation statement issued last month.  Forest Service regulations limit the agency to tankers that hold a maximum of 500 gallons. The expense of maintaining the Supertanker and keeping it on standby can't be met with call-when-needed contracts like those offered by the Forest Service, so Evergreen takes only exclusive-use contracts. The Supertanker is not a military aircraft, and Evergreen is a private corporation that has both military and civilian contracts.

Among many chemtrail researchers, Evergreen Aviation is something very different. It's a a CIA front, and instead of having one Supertanker, it has an entire secret fleet of them - a cleverly disguised death squadron. Here are some examples:
A post at Aircrap.org declares that Evergreen Air is a CIA front company for U.S. chemtrail operations, based out of Pinal Airpark (formerly Marana Army Airfield) near Tucson and McMinville, Oregon. The entire article is cut and pasted from a 2011 "article" by one Joan Biakov, "Evergreen Aviation Admits to Chemtrail Contracts with USAF". The title is massively misleading, because the article itself says nada about USAF-Evergreen contracts. Zero evidence to support the CIA claim is provided. Biakov thinks tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes can be artificially created and controlled with ground- and space-based lasers, making me wonder why she's concerned about airplanes in the first place. Why am I starting to get the feeling this Evergreen conspiracy theory is a little thin on facts? 
When I spoke to the woman who filmed the "chemtrail planes" video, she explained that she became suspicious of Evergreen because the company denies its presence at Pinal Airpark, posts armed guards, and will not allow private planes to land at Pinal (a public facility). These would all be excellent grounds for suspicion and concern. But I learned that Evergreen Aviation does not deny its presence at Pinal (in fact, they have a website devoted entirely to their operation), and that routine military training exercises are sometimes conducted there (which could account for temporary closures and extra security). 

Let's see what Intel Hub has to say. Here's a 2011 article titled "Former Secret Chemtrail Facility Revealed, Evergreen Air". Also a misleading title; the only facilities mentioned are the two openly occupied by Evergreen. 
But wait, they have a chemtrail whistleblower! Back in  2010, Intel Hub reporter Shepard Ambellas interviewed a man who said he had worked at Evergreen's Arizona installation in the early '90s. He helped outfit 727 and 747-C planes with liquid discharge tanks and aerosol spray devices. He also spotted mysterious triangular aircraft and fully-functional WWII bombers in the hangars. 

--- sarcasm break ----

I'm sure this guy is legit. He showed Ambellas some documentation to back up his claims (Ambellas doesn't provide any of it to us, but that's OK. I don't need to see it to know it's authentic). He won't reveal his name or even give a pseudonym, so you know he's a real whistleblower. Every good whistleblower realizes that when you possess sensitive information that could get you killed, the safest and wisest thing to do is to keep your identity a secret while exposing that information. The bad guys won't dare go after you if you expose them anonymously! I mean, your death would look way too suspicious! The cops and reporters would be all over that! 

Also, I think it makes a lot of sense that the Supertanker was unveiled with massive amounts of publicity and continues to be heavily promoted, while the nearly identical tankers developed 30 years ago were deployed without a peep. When you have a unique, costly product with lots of overhead expenses, it's always a good idea to keep it hidden from 99% of your potential customers for a few decades. 

--- end of sarcasm break ---


Okay, so let me see if I can get this conspiracy theory straight. Evergreen planes, including the Supertanker and possibly a hidden fleet of Supertankers, are engaged in a secret chemtrail-spraying program that somehow involves agencies of the government. Let's say the CIA is one those agencies. The whole "firefighting" thing is just a cover for Evergreen's real raison d'etre: Spraying metallic and/or chemical stuff on us from ridiculously low altitudes, for some nefarious purpose(s).
But the U.S. Forestry Service, a powerful federal agency, refuses to employ the Supertanker for its ostensible purpose, which would help make the firefighting cover story look believable? And the CIA can't find a way to override that decision? How does this make sense? 


There's only one part of the Evergreen conspiracy theory that's solid. Evergreen does (or at least did) have CIA ties. According to a series of articles published in the Oregonian in 1988, Evergreen’s founder, Delford Smith, admitted to "one agreement under which his companies provide occasional jobs and cover to foreign nationals the CIA wants taken out of other countries or brought into the United States."
Other evidence cited in support of a CIA-Evergreen link is weak. A would-be terrorist by the name of Russell Defreitas told authorities he wanted to blow up the fuel tanks at JFK International Airport because he had seen missiles destined for shipment to Israel via Evergreen International when he worked there, years earlier.
Also, Pinal Airpark was the base of operations for known CIA front companies (Intermountain Aviation, Air America) during Vietnam, and as previously noted, some military training still goes on there. 

The Supertanker probably came under suspicion for two other reasons: It sprays stuff, and Evergreen states on its own website that it's looking into non-firefighting applications such as oil spill containment (spraying oil dispersants), chemical decontamination and weather modification
What they mean by weather modification is, of course, cloud seeding and hail mitigation. Those are the only types of airplane-related weather modification we have. But as we've already seen in the ridiculous "chemtrail pilot" video above, chemtrail-watchers assume there could be some other, secret form of weather modification happening. 

What all of the Evergreen conspiracy people fail to grasp is that there is one Evergreen Supertanker. ONE. It can't be spraying an entire state, much less the entire Western world. And judging by last month's plea to the public, Evergreen isn't making enough money from one Supertanker to justify the creation of any more. There isn't a Supertanker fleet, and there isn't going to be one anytime soon. 




Non-Agricultural Pesticide Spraying (Vector Control)


A pesticide is any substance intended to kill pests: small animals, insects, weeds, bacteria, fungi, etc. When pesticide is used on a large scale to destroy disease vectors like rats, mosquitoes or lice, the process is known as vector control.


Military forces have long sprayed pesticides in theatres of operation where disease-carrying insects pose a threat to ground troops. This began in WWII, with the use of DDT to kill off typhus-bearing lice and Anopheles mosquitoes (the 450 species that transmit Plasmodium, the micro-organism that causes malaria). The spraying was only part of the Allies' anti-malaria campaign, though. Soldiers were also encouraged to keep their bodies well-covered at all times and sleep beneath mosquito-proof netting.

 Dr. Seuss created Ann, the killer mosquito, as part of the army's anti-malaria campaign.

Domestically, air forces often spray over hurricane-affected areas to reduce the mosquito population and prevent the spread of disease.
USAF pesticide spraying is usually carried out by the 910th Airlift Wing. The unit has six Modular Aerial Spray Systems (MASS), with four aircraft modified to carry them. Each MASS can hold 2,000 gallons of liquid and can spray 232 gallons per minute, dispensing 3-15 gallons per acre. It's one of the only units equipped for the task (the 757th Airlift Squadron has four C-130H2 aircraft modified to accept MASS units, which were used for pesticide spraying in the wake of Katrina, but these planes aren't available for aerial spraying on a full-time basis).

On the municipal level, many cities have pest control programs to prevent the spread of West Nile virus, combat local tree pests, or lessen the nuisance factor of certain bugs. The work is sometimes contracted out to the lowest bidder, and/or conducted jointly with area universities.
For example, the city of Winnipeg's Insect Control program sprays insecticide ("fogs") in many public areas during years when the mosquito population is expected to be high, in addition to larviciding operations focused on the region's primary vector species, Culex tarsalis and Culex restuans. They currently use permethrin and malathion for fogging, which is done not by aircraft, but by truck-mounted aerosol sprayers. They also have spraying programs aimed at three elm-destroying pests, the Spiny Elm caterpillar, cankerworms and Elm Bark Beetles.
The program provides 8-hour advance warning of all fogging operations to the public via their website, and gives the names of all pesticides used.

Aerial insecticide spraying has fallen out of favour when it comes to vector control, because it can kill off non-targeted bugs and annoy the hell out of granola-eaters like myself. It must be done at very low altitudes (about 100 feet) to be effective, requiring skilled pilots and considerable expense. Largely for these reasons, public health workers that are fighting malaria in Africa, where the disease kills an estimated 3000 children every day, prefer the time-honored method of spraying the interiors of individual homes. This practice faces harsh resistance from organic cotton farmers who worry their product will be decertified if tainted by the slightest amount of insecticide, however, so NGOs dedicated to ending malaria in Africa (Roll Back Malaria, Malaria No More, etc.) tout mosquito netting treated with chrysanthemum-derived pyrethroid insecticides as the most effective method of stopping the disease. Unfortunately, a 2003 study found that an average of 55% of African households given treated bed nets actually used them over sleeping children. This amounts to roughly 20 million children - an impressive number, but far from enough to make an impact.  (14)

The major problem with any long-term spraying or netting program is that insects will eventually develop resistance to the insecticides. This is what happened during the World Health Organization's mosquito eradication campaign in the '60s, as discussed in the DDT section below.


Crop dusting

Crop dusting is the aerial spraying of insecticides and herbicides over crops for the purpose of killing off certain insects and weeds. Fertilizers and seed can also be aerially sprayed, a practice sometimes referred to as "topdressing". Crop dusting has been done regularly all over the world since the 1920s.
The first aerial pesticide spraying experiment was conducted over an Ohio field on August 3, 1921 - interestingly, by the same Lt. Macready whose La Pere plane left the first known persistent contrail over Ohio's McCook Field that same year. The USAF was exploring a broad range of uses for aircraft in those days, and pesticide spraying had potential military applications. Disease had ravaged the trenches of WWI.

DDT

During WWII, a synthetic pesticide known as DDT was used to de-louse soldiers (lice carry typhus), and as vector control against malaria-spreading mosquitoes. This was the first use of airplane-mounted spray devices during wartime.
The chemical had been sitting on the shelf, so to speak, for over a century before a Swiss researcher discovered its powerful insecticidal properties. Allied planes were rigged with specially designed tanks to spray the "new" pesticide in mosquito-infested regions.

DDT proved so effective against pests that it was introduced as an agricultural and household insecticide back home after the war. It was hailed by many as the answer to malaria, one of the world's oldest and most stubborn diseases. Beginning in 1946, 250 tons of DDT were sprayed on Sardinia, reducing its malaria rates from 75,000 to 9 in just 5 years.  (14)
The fledgling World Health Organization launched a global mosquito eradication campaign with DDT a few years later (excluding Africa, where malaria was - and is - most difficult to defeat). This effort consisted of spraying the interiors of individual dwellings twice a year, using 2 grams per square foot of DDT. Malaria rates plummeted. The campaign was so successful that in the early '50s the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine published a series of lectures with the triumphant title Man's Mastery of Malaria.
Then problems developed. Chicken deaths and ephemeral suspicions turned rural villagers against DDT spraying, Ghandi voiced opposition the program on religious grounds (the intentional killing of living creatures), and - worst of all - mosquitoes and other pests were developing resistance to DDT. By 1962, the London School of Hygiene was fretting about this. At the same time, concerns about the toxicity of DDT were growing.

the cover of a 1947 DDT handbook issued by the USDA


Even in the early '50s, some scientists considered DDT too toxic for general use. There was little federal regulation of pesticide production at that time, so chemicals could be put on the market with minimal testing and very little quality control. The problems with DDT are manifold. The big problem is, it's a persistent organic pollutant that bioaccumulates, remaining in the food chain until animals near the top (mostly birds) sicken and die. Concerns about its effects spawned one of the most influential and enduring works of environmental literature, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962). The book was not just about DDT, but all the synthetic chemical pesticides.
At the time Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, there were two classes of insecticides in wide use: Chlorinated hydrocarbons (DDT, chlordane, endrin, etc.) and organic phosphates (parathion, malathion, etc.). Surprisingly, Carson identified endrin as the deadliest of all. It seems DDT became the focus of public concern not because it was the most toxic insecticide, but because it was the most popular one. By this time, over 30,000 tonnes were being sprayed annually. Entire nations relied on it as a vector control to halt the spread of malaria, typhus and dengue fever. Many African countries and large parts of India still use it to prevent malaria, coating the interiors of homes and businesses.
Nonetheless, WHO halted its mosquito eradication program in 1969, and no comparable effort has been undertaken since. 

In 1971 and '72, in response to public pressure, the EPA held DDT review hearings that lasted for seven months, resulting in the insecticide being banned for most uses.

Why was DDT being used in Africa and India even as Westerners campaigned fiercely against it? Because it worked. When DDT was sprayed, malaria went away. When the spraying stopped, malaria swept through the land like a scythe.

It is seen as the lesser of two evils. Would you rather die of malaria now, or live a much longer life that may end by DDT-related health defects?
This devil's bargain is still hotly debated among scientists, public health officials, and think tanks, with barbed comments flying in every direction. Roger Bate of the American Enterprise Institute and Africa Fighting Malaria promotes DDT use. So does the Hudson Institute.  (14)
WHO plans to phase out DDT use within the next decade.

Believers in the depopulation conspiracy theory have a divided opinion of DDT, too. Some view it as part of a flat-out chemical assault on humanity, banned only because a few brave souls fought doggedly against the establishment. Others think DDT is a boon to mankind, and was banned by those who want us to die from malaria or bubonic plague. Marjorie Mazel Hecht, in a 1997 edition of the LaRouche organizations's Executive Intelligence Review, declared, "DDT is the 'mother' of environmental hoaxes." In Hecht's opinion, the EPA had already proven it to be safe after seven months of hearings, then administrator William Ruckelshaus banned it solely because it had saved millions of lives.

Spraying Today

There continue to be major concerns about the toxicity of the chemicals used in crop dusting. For instance, the safety of Roundup, the world's most popular brand of herbicide, has been called into question (8), and the neonicotinoid pesticides are strong suspects in mass bee deaths (colony collapse disorder). But there is really no way that crop dusting could be honestly mistaken for "chemtrail spraying". It involves small planes rather than jets, and is done at extremely low altitudes by skilled pilots (we've all seen North by Northwest, right?). No metals are involved (metal-based insecticides were phased out years ago). If you tried to alter the weather or cool the climate or kill vast numbers of people by spraying selected crops with pesticides at low altitude, you would fail.


Oil Dispersal 

When you spill a lot of crude oil (I mean a lot of oil), there a limited number of ways in which you can clean it up. That's why every time there's a massive oil spill or leak, crackpots leap out of their basement labs to share their ideas about staunching the flow with giant vacuum cleaners or giant mattress pads.

One of the slightly saner methods of dealing with marine oil disasters is the use of chemical oil dispersants, which are commonly sprayed from low-flying aircraft. As mentioned earlier, the 910th Airlift Wing of the USAF Reserve has an Aerial Spray Squadron equipped with six Modular Aerial Spray Systems (MASS) and four C-130H planes modified to use them. Each MASS has a 2,000 gallon capacity and can spray up to 232 gallons of liquid per minute. We'll be seeing the MASS again in a post about chemtrail whistleblowers. 

The use of dispersants is controversial, and there are serious concerns about the health effects of the dispersant Corexit, used after both the Exxon Valdez and Gulf oil spills. But as with firefighting and crop dusting, aerial oil dispersal just doesn't fit neatly into any possible chemtrail scenario. We're talking about low-flying, easily recognizable aircraft performing a highly specific task. This can't account for "strange" contrails, barium in the water, or anything else connected to the chemtrail phenomenon.


Ionospheric experiments using aerosols

Ionospheric research plays a huge role in chemtrail theories, and we'll be getting into a lot more detail about it in later posts dealing with HAARP and weather modification. For now, we'll just lightly touch on the subject, even though the experiments mentioned here don't involve airplanes.

The ionosphere is the multi-layered zone of electrons and electrically charged atoms and molecules (ions) that surrounds our planet. If the atmosphere was a parfait (everybody likes parfait), the ionsphere would be like the whipped cream topping, mixing with both the chocolate shavings (the exosphere) and the top layer (the thermosphere), where the air is so thin that free electrons can bounce around for short periods of time before being captured by positive ions. The negative free electrons and the positive ions are attracted to each other by the electromagnetic energy from the sun's ultraviolet radiation, but are too energetic to remain in an electrically neutral molecule, creating a plasma. The plasma in these ionized portions of the atmosphere is the ionosphere, which extends from a height of about 30 miles above the earth's surface to more than 360 miles. This is where auroras are made.

Northern Lights over Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (source)

The ionosphere has mirror-like effects, making it an excellent reflector of radio waves. Countless military and civilian operations rely on it for their communications systems, groups as diverse as the U.S. Navy and the BBC. Much of the ionospheric research mentioned here is done, in large part, because of concerns that such communications will be disrupted or even shut down entirely by solar activity or "enemy" technology, but scientists are deeply interested in the chemical composition and behaviour of the ionosphere. 

Studying the ionosphere is problematic. Its lower levels are below the orbital altitudes needed for satellites, yet far too high up for balloons or aircraft. Nonetheless, ground-based tests utilizing sounding equipment (ionosondes) and satellites began in the early '60s.
Then, in the mid-'60s, scientists hit upon the idea of using rockets to shoot barium into the ionosphere, creating "clouds" of barium particles that would be ionized by the sun's ultraviolet light, then become trapped by Earth's magnetic field, making magnetic field lines briefly visible to ground- or air-based observers. These "clouds" are essentially artificial auroras.
In later experiments, barium clouds were released from satellites. Lithium and aluminum have also been  used. These aerosol (particle) injections have been observed to stimulate a number of changes in the plasma of the ionosphere, contributing greatly to our knowledge of how the upper atmosphere works and responds.

Not all the post-'60s ionospheric experiments have involved particle injection, though. Radio research - much of it "passive", in scientific parlance - is now the primary source of information about the ionosphere. The Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, made famous by the movie Contact, was originally set up to study the ionosphere. Now it's one of many incoherent scatter radars used in ionosphere research, along with coherent scatter radars like the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network.
HAARP, the shadowy behemoth at the heart of so many chemtrail theories, uses high-frequency radio waves (up to 3.6 megawatts, roughly three times more than a typical broadcast radio transmitter) to accelerate the electrons in the ionosphere, creating artificial auroras and even bullseye patterns.

But we're only dealing with aerosol tests at the moment, so here are some of the ionospheric plasma injection experiments that involved barium or other substances:
  • In June 1976, a barium plasma injection experiment was performed at the ERDA test facility on Kauai (ERDA was absorbed into the U.S. Department of Energy the following year, so that's probably why you've never heard of it).
  • In 1989, barium injection experiments were conducted with the CRIT-II rocket to investigate the critical ionization velocity theory first proposed in the '40s. 
  • The Active Plasma Experiment (APEX), conducted throughout the '90s, was a joint project involving several countries. The APEX and MAGION-3 satellites were launched into orbit in 1991. In January 1999, U.S. researchers launched a sounding rocket from the Poker Flats Research Range into the ionosphere. Aluminum was used in this experiment.
  • In the Combined Release and Radiation Effects satellite (CRRES) experiments of 1991, NASA and Air Force researchers released barium and lithium vapours from the satellite over Brazil, creating balls of blue-green light in the sky. The CRRES satellite was launched in 1990. The project was intended to provide information about the magnetosphere and magnetic disturbances in space (which can affect power transmission and satellite communications).
  • The Coqui experiments: In the spring and summer of 1992 and again in early 1998, NASA (in conjunction with the Arecibo Observatory) launched Nike-Tomahawk, Black Brant, IX and VC sounding rockets into the ionosphere from Puerto Rico to create artificial disturbances in the ionosphere, studying its reactions. Instead of barium, the project used trimethylaluminium (TMA). The Coqui launches were declared a success by NASA, although the chemical payloads of the rockets were never recovered and there was strident opposition to the experiments from locals who worried about the environmental and health effects of TMA.
Today, many chemtrail researchers perusing research papers on these barium experiments see the words "barium" and "cloud" and  conclude that contrails and/or some of the clouds we see in the sky could actually be man-made barium clouds. I have found excerpts from this 1980 paper on numerous chemtrail websites. But barium particles released into the lower levels of the atmosphere (the troposphere or stratosphere) are not going to behave the same way as particles released into the ionosphere.

Confusion is understandable. The plasma physicists who deeply understand this stuff could probably fit into a shower stall.


Biowarfare Simulation Tests

In the '50s, fears of Soviet biological and chemical warfare ran high in the West, and several nations decided to conduct simulated biological/chemical "attacks" to find out just how far a pathogen released into the open air or water could spread. Canada, the UK, the U.S., and several Scandinavian countries conducted such tests. In the U.S., these experiments included:

- The release of pathogens into the Ft. Detrick ventilation system
- Project 112 (1962-1973), officially denied until CBS News exposed it in 2000
- Project SHAD (a 112 subproject)

What we're going to examine here are the aerial spraying tests. Zinc cadmium sulfide was chosen for the trials because it fluoresces under light, making it easy for researchers to track its dispersal. Also, the particles used were similar in size to inhalable anthrax, considered to be the Soviet biowarfare agent of choice.
In 1953, in Fort Detrick's Project Saint Jo, cadmium was released over Winnipeg, St. Louis, Minneapolis, the Monocacy River Valley, and Leesburg. Testing continued over Minnesota, Texas and Florida throughout the '50s. The first three cities were selected because they were close in size to Moscow, Kiev and Leningrad, respectively.  (4)
The Army's Operation LAC, conducted in '57 and '58, was the largest-scale testing ever undertaken by the Chemical Corps, extending across much of the nation east of the Rockies. LAC used a modified  C-119 "Flying Boxcar" borrowed from the Air Force to release zinc cadmium sulfide particles. A typical flight would cover 400 miles and release about 5,000 pounds of particles, which were found up to 12,000 miles away from the flight line. One of these spraying operations occurred directly over my hometown.

That same year, joint military/CIA tests involving airborne S. marcescens and B. globigii bacteria were conducted in New York City and San Francisco (sprayed from ships and vans). Stanford University doctors were baffled by a sudden outbreak of S. Marcescens, which resulted in one death.  (4)

Britain's secret biological warfare experiments, conducted by Porton Down scientists from 1940-1979, were nearly identical. Most of the experiments used germ-like substitutes. In the aerial spraying tests conducted between 1953 and 1964, only four personnel were directly involved in dispersing the zinc cadmium sulfide particles, using a  Venturi aerosol generator mounted on a Valetta plane. Salisbury was the first test site. Cadmium was sprayed 40 miles away from the city, continuing for 100 miles with a pound of suspension sprayed per mile.  (15)
In 1963, trials off the coast of Dorset sprayed E. coli and B. globigii from a ship called the Icewhale, using agricultural sprayers. After the Icewhale experiments, air experiments were conducted using a modified cameral bomber to hold up to 1000 gallons of bacteria suspension. In 1967, E. coli and B. globigii were sprayed over RAF Tarant in Dorset. In '68 and '71, several joint USAF/Ministry of Defense. Detection Demonstration trials were conducted over Lyme and Weymouth Bay. These seem to have been the final tests involving aerial spraying; the subsequent Dice trails (conducted 1971-1975) employed a modified Land Rover to spray S. marcescens, an anthrax simulant and phenol. (16)
Fluorescent particles were also sprayed from modified vans in Cardington, Bedfordshire and in Norwich, Norfolk.

The "Fluorescent Particle Trials" raised tremendous public outcry when they came to light in the '90s. There is concern about the long-term health effects of cadmium exposure. Residents in sprayed areas had not been informed of what was going on, and no toxicological tests had been run immediately after the trials. Cadmium is a toxic metal known to cause respiratory problems. All the workers involved with the spraying wore full protective gear.  (15)
In 1997, the U.S. National Research Council's Subcommittee on Zinc Cadmium Sulfide published a Toxicological Assessment of the Army's ZCS Dispersion Tests. The conclusion was that no adverse health effects had occurred.
Two years later, in the UK, a National Academy of Medical Sciences inquiry led by Dr. Peter Lachmann concluded the tests were not harmful, as industrial emissions release far more cadmium into the air than the vans and planes did. Though the Ministry of Defense cooperated with this official inquiry, Lachmann was not even told about the Dice trials.  (15)
A 2006 Imperial College study originally found that throat cancer rates were unusually high in Norfolk, but the study was later readjusted. The conclusion is now that cancer rates were not unusually high. This is disputed by some Norfolk families in which esophageal cancer.is frighteningly common, (16)
Another review of the trials, conducted by Brian Spratt, found possible health risks only to severely ill people, but Spratt was concerned that Porton Down used four batches of bacterial suspension that had "substantial levels" of contamination. He concluded that the use of zinc cadmium sulfide was "not very sensible". (15)


The Washington Windshield Pitting "Epidemic"

This incident apparently didn't involve any aerial spraying, but I'd like to briefly examine it here to note the strong parallels between chemtrails and the odd rumours and theories that mushroomed out of the "windshield pitting" panic of 1954.

In late March of that year, car owners in the town of Bellingham, Washington, reported an unusually high number of pits, scratches and cracks in their windshields.
Kids with BB guns became the first suspects, but as reports of windshield damage began to spring up in Mount Vernon, Sedro Woolley, and even Fidalgo Island over the following days, more exotic theories developed. Many suspected some airborne chemical, like a corrosive emission from industry (there were reports of a black, sooty residue in connection with pitted windshields, widely believed to be carbon). Others thought a passing meteor had blasted their cars with space-pebbles. Some thought that a million watt radio transmitter installed by the Navy at Jim Creek was causing oscillations in glass. The Navy Commander in charge of Jim Creek, George Warren, pointed out that a windshield would have to be several miles wide to match the frequency of the transmitter, and that no pitting was being found at Jim Creek. Many feared  the damage came from radioactive fallout from either Soviet or U.S. military tests. Many thought sand flea eggs embedded in the glass were responsible. Others blamed cosmic rays or a shift in the earth's magnetic field.
The BB theory was dismissed by most Washingtonians after Marines at the Whidbey Island Naval Station noticed damage to windshields at the high-security facility. Whidbey Island Sheriff Tom Clark speculated that radioactivity from recent H-bomb tests in the South Pacific was responsible, so Geiger counters were run over windshields and people who had touched the pit marks. None were radioactive. Still, Sheriff Clark was convinced that “no human agency” could have created the dimples in the glass.  (18)

This was not a small-town phenomenon. On March 23, 1954, reports of the Bellingham mystery had appeared in Seattle newspapers, and over the next 21 days, reports of damaged windshields crept steadily closer to Seattle. Spokane, Tacoma, Olympia and Seattle suburbs soon had rashes of reports. Motorists began stopping police cars to report damage. Auto dealerships and parking garages complained of massive pitting.
Then the reports spread even farther afield, with thousands of pitted windshields spotted throughout Stark County, Ohio, in the first half of April. Police officers there tried to simulate the damage by peppering glass with various projectiles, but never got to the bottom of the mystery.
The Automobile Club of Washington offered a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any windshield-damaging culprits.

Washington Governor Arthur B. Langlie called for a scientific investigation, so a committee of University of Washington scientists was formed to examine the problem. It was headed by chemist John Manley, and included professors from the physics and meteorology departments, in addition to Dr. Ross Kusian, head of the university's Environmental Research Lab. Kusion's lab set up an electrostatic precipitator on a campus rooftop. The device bombarded glass with particles drawn out of the air to determine if airborne pollutants could be causing all the pitting. Pellets collected by a resident of the Leavenhurst district of Seattle were analyzed by Dr. G.E. Goodspeed, and found to be neither radioactive nor meteoric. Rather, they were of glasslike tecktite composition. The scientists even examined cars parked on campus, noting that older cars seemed more prone to windshield damage. (Duh.)
Carbon was quickly eliminated as a suspect, because particles large enough to ding windshield glass would also have an effect on many other, softer materials, including automotive paint and human flesh - yet no such damage was being reported.  Aside from a few isolated reports of damage to house windows, this was strictly a windshield-related phenomenon.
Enterprising residents conducted their own tests. Robert H. Scott of Mountlake Terrace placed sheets of glass on his lawn overnight to see if they developed the same kind of pits as his windshield. He reported that they did, but didn't render his glass samples for scientific analysis. Similar anecdotal results popped up in news stories, without corroboration. Meanwhile, the paper and fabric covers that people were placing over their cars sustained no damage or mysterious marks.

On April 14, the pits struck Seattle. This was not unheard-of; in 1952, there had been a spate of reports about vehicles on the city's Harbor Island having chipped paint and windshields. This earlier cluster of windshield damage was dissimilar to the windshield-pitting, though, and the scale was far larger this time.
The epidemic peaked dramatically the following day. Throughout April 15, Seattle law enforcement offices were inundated with complaints of windshield pitting. City police fielded 242 phone calls from residents, reporting pitting in over 3,000 windshields, according to a 1958 study by Nahum Medalia of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Otto Larsen of the University of Washington. One police survey of 1600 cars in a Seattle parking lot revealed that 653 of them had windshield damage.  (19)
Seattle Mayor Allan Pomeroy promptly fired off a telegraph to the White House, requesting that Eisenhower launch a federal scientific investigation into Washington's dinged windshields.
This was the same day that 30 police officers in the western part of Washington convened and issued a declaration that the pitting was being caused by "some form of ash". Just how they reached this conclusion was entirely unclear, as ash would certainly not account for the "bubbling" that Olympia Police Chief Roy Kelly claimed to have witnessed happening on his own windshield. Two Seattle sheriff's deputies also claimed to have watched pits form in the windshield of a pie truck right before their eyes that afternoon.

Sergeant Max Allison of the Seattle police crime lab took this opportunity to declare the "epidemic" to be 5% windshield damage caused by vandals, and 95% public hysteria. He pointed out that while windshield damage was certainly common, it was not new or different. The survey of 1600 Seattle cars had indicated that 97% of the vehicle owners with damaged windshields knew precisely how they had been damaged, and the causes were not in any way unusual or mysterious.  (18)
This may have put an end to the panic. The number of reports plummeted overnight, and by the end of the month the epidemic was at an end. The scientific investigations, having found little more than normal windshield damage and some coal dust, were quietly wrapped up. But the incident would provide rich fodder for further scientific research, particularly among sociologists interested in outbreaks of mass delusion.

Newspaper stories undoubtedly caused "pitting" sightings to increase and the panic to spread, just as local TV news segments and Internet videos are alerting people to "chemtrails" today. Although windshield pitting is incredibly common - take your new car out on the freeway and tell me it isn't - it was only when the media called attention to it that people actually scrutinized their windshields and noticed minor damage they had previously overlooked or ignored.
Military technology, little-understood by the general population, was blamed, just as the baffling HAARP project is linked to chemtrails today. Nowadays we realize that a radio transmitter cannot ding your windshield, but at the time it seemed as likely a possibility to some Seattleites as sand fleas or graphite pellets.
Cosmic rays, too, were little-understood at the time, hence made a handy scapegoat. As journalist Jim Faber later commented, "“I’m pretty sure that the general schmos, that is, the more pitiful public, was ready to explain the windshield pits as thousands of tiny UFOs dropped from high altitudes by communists to dishearten us."

An article at Hooniverse.com asks of the Great Seattle Windshield Pitting Epidemic, "Could it happen again?"
Sorry, car guys. It's already happening again.

"Arrest that flea."



* And that's where Faygo comes from.

Sources:

1. Biological Weapons by Jeanne Guillemin (Columbia University Press, 2005)
2. Historical Dictionary of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Warfare by Benjamin C. Garrett and John Hart (Scarecrow Press, 2007)
3. Deadly Allies: Canada's Secret War by John Bryden (McClelland & Stewart, 1989)
4. Germs by Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg, William Broad (Simon & Schuster, 2001).  
Note: This book should be approached with caution, as Judith Miller is not exactly known for her journalistic acumen. But it does contain some solid historical information corroborated by other sources.
5. Hitler's Scientists by John Cornwell (Viking, 2003)
6. Wikipedia entry for Agent Orange. Accessed July 23, 2012.
7. Wikipedia entry for Operation Ranch Hand.  Accessed July 23, 2012.
8. The World According to Monsanto by Marie-Monique Robin  (New Press, 2010)
9. Wikipedia entry for 2,4,5-T. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
10.  The Last Gasp: The 14.Rise and Fall of the American Gas Chamber by Scott Christianson (University of California Press, 2010)
11. Bioterrorism and Biocrimes: The Illicit Use of Biological Agents Since 1900 by W. Seth Carus (Fredonia Books, 2002)
12. A Thousand Lives by Julia Scheeres (Free Press, 2011)
13. Wikipedia entry for Cloud Seeding. Accessed July 29, 2012. 
14. The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years by Sonia Shah (Pidador, 2011)
15. ITV West program Top Secrets Revealed (originally broadcast in 2004)
16. BBC TV program Inside Out, "Clouds of Secrecy" (originally broadcast November 6, 2006)
17. "Millions Were in Germ Tests" by Antony Barnett. The Guardian, April 21, 2002.
18. "Windshild pitting incidents in Washington reach fever pitch on April 15, 1954" @ History Link
19. Windshield Pitting Epidemic articles posted @ Classified Humanity