When I was a kid I spent a lot of time on planes flying from country to country and a fair amount of time looking at the sky from the ground, fascinated with the space program which was taking us to the moon and beyond. I never looked to the skies with fear or terror, but only saw it as a blank canvas for amazing possibilities.
One of the things I saw in those skies were lots of straight white lines, sometimes in pairs, usually very high up, which my father identified as contrails. He had been a navy flyer in World War II and had seen plenty of them up close and personal He explained that they are lines of frozen water vapor formed when the hot and humid exhaust from a plane’s engines encounters colder air high in the atmosphere and turns to ice crystals, essentially producing artificial clouds behind the plane.
That seemed like a pretty reasonable explanation for many years, but imagine my surprise to be informed that these trails of cloud were not, in fact, mere frozen water vapor, but were actually ‘chemtrails‘; not trails of condensation, but trails of chemicals nefariously released into our atmosphere by the government or by evil corporations or even by aliens for all sorts of arcane purposes, from testing biological weapons on the civilian population to reprogramming our perceptions with psychoactive chemicals to causing mass sterilization as part of a UN depopulation program.
The basic origin of the chemtrails conspiracy theory seems to be nothing more than people looking up in the sky and seeing contrails and speculating insanely with no actual basis in fact. It’s a particularly bewildering theory because we’ve had a factual, scientific and verifiable explanation for contrails for generations. To look beyond that explanation requires the kind of paranoid mindset that looks at commonplace things and manufactures nightmares out of nothing. It’s Agent Mulder announcing “I want to believe” and then finding what he wants to believe in whether it exists or not. The classic self-fulfilling prophecy with nothing real behind it.
The idea that contrails were actually something more nefarious is based on several bits of mistaken evidence. First, that contrails seem to last far longer than anyone would expect and that they are increasing in number. Second, that they sometimes form seemingly complex or regular patterns or display strange colors. Third, that some airplanes have mysterious tanks and apparatus in their wings. Couple these observations with a belief that the government is generally up to no good and you get such popular explanations for ‘chemtrails’ as that they are methods of dispersing chemicals over the entire surface of the country to drug the population for any purpose from mass inoculation to mind control, that they are some sort of weather modification program to either cause or prevent global warming, and that they are some method of communicating with aliens or terraforming the earth to be more compatible with alien lifeforms.
The behavior of contrails has been pretty thoroughly researched. They are generally found very high in the atmosphere where conditions can be extremely stable and where very low temperatures make it unlikely for ice crystals to melt quickly. Because they are ice crystals at high altitude they can produce a rainbow-like effect which would cause them to change color or appear sparkly when caught by the sun at the right angle. The increasing number of contrails is solely the result of . . .
- Corpse Media PsyOp Attempts to Normalize Chemtrails as “Contrails” (chemtrailsplanet.net)
- Shocker: Disinfo Science Project – Contrail Watching for Kids (davidicke.com)
- Chemtrail? Contrail? But What Is the Odd Black Line in the Sky Over Honeymoon Island in Florida? (strangesounds.org)