Skeptic: Examining Extraordinary Claims and Promoting Science Skeptic: Examining Extraordinary Claims and Promoting Science

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Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 | ISSN 1556-5696

eSkeptic: the email newsletter of the Skeptics Society

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Skepticality

Alexis Gambis
Imagine Science

Imagine you’ve just completed your PhD in molecular biology and genetics. Would enrolling at NYU film school be your next logical career step? Unlikely as it may sound, that’s exactly what Alexis Gambis, creator of the Imagine Science Film Festival decided to do.

This week on Skepticality, Swoopy talks with Alexis about the surprising and yet natural collaboration between scientists who dedicate their lives to studying the world we live in, and filmmakers — who have the power to interpret and share this knowledge with a broader audience than ever before.

This week also includes the debut of a new segment: “This Week in Skeptic History,” hosted by notable skeptical activist Tim Farley (creator of the WhatsTheHarm.net).

MonsterTalk

Steven Novella
Getting into the
Spirit of Things

Things get spooky this week on MonsterTalk, as the hosts venture into the science of ghosts.

What does neuroscience have to say about the possibility of consciousness or mind existing outside the body — or continuing on after the body has died? This episode’s guest is neurologist Dr. Steven Novella (veteran of on-site ghost investigations, and host of the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast), who shares his insights on brains, minds, and specters from beyond the grave.


In this week’s eSkeptic, David Naiditch looks at why Alaska’s High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is such an attractive target for conspiracy theorists.

David Naiditch received a B.A. in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles and an M.A. in philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a software engineer and has written two books on the Ada programming language. David enjoys teaching, writing science and philosophy articles, playing the guitar and harmonica, sculpting, painting, and studying architecture.


Is Baked Alaska Half-Baked?

by David Naiditch

The High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), located near Gakona, Alaska, began in 1990. It consists of a high-power transmitter used to temporarily excite a limited area of the ionosphere, and a sophisticated suite of instruments used to observe the physical processes that occur in the excited region. When complete, 180 72-foot antennas will be distributed over about 33 acres, with a total transmitter power of about 3,600 kilowatts.

Background

HAARP has become a favorite target for conspiracy theorists and doomsayers. They have blamed HAARP for triggering catastrophes of biblical proportions, such as massive floods, devastating droughts, powerful hurricanes, tornadoes and thunderstorms, and devastating earthquakes in Afghanistan and the Philippines aimed to “shake up” Muslim terrorists.

HAARP has also been blamed for major power outages in the western United States, the downing of TWA flight 800, and mysterious diseases such as the Gulf War Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Some claim HAARP is a mind control device that spurred the shootings at Columbine High School and elsewhere. (Devices are even being sold to block HAARP’s mind-altering emissions.) HAARP has also been described as an impenetrable missile defense shield, a death ray capable of rendering the Earth uninhabitable, a machine that can interfere with the migratory paths of wild animals, a diabolical tool wielded by the forces of the Antichrist, a worldwide communications jammer, an apparatus that can cause the Earth to spin out of control, and a system linked to UFO activity.

Why is HAARP such an attractive target for conspiracy theorists? HAARP is a gigantic, high-energy, Pentagon-funded gizmo located in the remote Alaskan wilderness that plays around with the Earth’s ionosphere, but whose purpose seems deeply mysterious to the scientifically uninformed. HAARP also involves physics resembling the alleged revolutionary work of a poster child of conspiracy theorists, Nikola Tesla, and is allegedly linked to physicist Dr. Bernard J. Eastlund’s weird patent (#4,686,605) involving the use of Tesla technology for altering the Earth’s energy fields.

item of interest…
The “Conspiracy” issue

Includes: The Great Political Correctness Conspiracy Hoax; We the People? On Money, Politics, and Who Really Runs America; Louis Farrakhan and the Paranoid Style in African-American Politics; The End of the World & the New World Order: Black Helicopters, Hong Kong Gurkhas, Global Conspiracies, and The Mark of the Beast, and more…
ORDER the issue

The two main HAARP conspiracy and doomsday books are, Angels Don’t Play this HAARP: Advances in Tesla Technology by Dr. Nick Begich and Jeane Manning, and HAARP: The Ultimate Weapon of the Conspiracy by Jerry E. Smith, the former Executive Director of the National UFO Museum. In addition, numerous websites can be easily located that describe all the alleged dire effects of HAARP.

Perhaps the best defense of HAARP is posted on the official HAARP website, especially on the page entitled “Some Frequently Asked Questions about HAARP”. The site provides detailed descriptions of HAARP, its purpose, and its impact on the environment. According to this website, HAARP is a research facility whose goal is to “further advance our knowledge of the physical and electrical properties of the Earth’s ionosphere which can affect our military and civilian communication and navigation systems.” The ionosphere extends from 35 to 500 miles above the Earth’s surface. It contains charged particles, called ions, and electrons that can destroy, reflect, and absorb radio signals. The behavior of these particles impacts communications, navigation, surveillance, and remote sensing systems. By better understanding Earth’s ionosphere, the reliability and performance of these systems can be improved.

The quotations that follow are all taken from the HAARP website.

Is HAARP a secret project?

Although many conspiracy theorists claim that HAARP is a top secret project, the official HAARP website states, “The HAARP program is completely unclassified. There are no classified documents pertaining to HAARP.” Indeed, why would a secret project provide so much public information on a website? Furthermore, HAARP is staffed by researchers from many different industries, and many universities, including UCLA, MIT, the University of Alaska, Stanford University, the University of Massachusetts, Clemson University, Penn State University, Dartmouth University, the University of Tulsa, the University of Maryland, and Cornell University. Such publicized wide participation is hardly a sign of a clandestine project. In addition, photographs of the HAARP facility are readily available and show no barriers or security fences, guards, surveillance equipment, or other indications of a secret operation. There are even occasional public tours of the facility.

Can HAARP be used for military purposes?

Although the Air Force and Navy jointly manage HAARP, officials claim HAARP is not designed for military purposes, but is a research facility whose specifications were developed by a consortium of (previously mentioned) universities.

The HAARP website does say that interest in ionospheric research includes “the unexplored potential of technological innovations which suggest applications such as detecting underground objects, communicating to great depths in the sea or earth…” This statement has led to reasonable speculation that HAARP-like technology is or may be used to communicate with deeply submerged submarines or to detect hidden underground military installations.

High-Frequency antenna array from the north east corner (photo from haarp.alaska.edu)

Are HAARP’s emissions a health risk?

According to the HAARP website, “HAARP complies completely with all existing safety standards for electromagnetic radiation at all locations on or off the site,” and an “Environmental Impact Study was conducted during 1992–93 in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).” Furthermore, HAARP’s emissions, even at the closest public access to the site, are claimed to be lower than emissions existing in many urban environments.

The HAARP website also addresses the concern that HAARP emits extremely low frequency (ELF) radiation that could produce health problems and affect our mental functions. While HAARP does not transmit signals in the ELF range, it is possible to generate a small but useful ELF signal through ionospheric heating. According to HAARP officials, this ELF signal “will be more than eleven million times weaker (smaller) than the Earth’s background field and about one million times weaker (smaller) than the level where researchers have reported biological effects in the literature.” The field is so weak that it may only be detected with sophisticated instruments.

Could HAARP impact the weather?

According to the HAARP website, “The HAARP facility will not affect the weather. Transmitted energy in the frequency ranges that will be used by HAARP is subject to negligible absorption in either the troposphere or the stratosphere — the two levels of the atmosphere that produce the earth’s weather.” HAARP’s transmissions do interact with the near-vacuum region of the ionosphere. However, the “downward coupling from the ionosphere to the stratosphere/troposphere is extremely weak, and no association between natural ionospheric variability and surface weather and climate has been found, even at the extraordinarily high levels of ionospheric turbulence that the Sun can produce during a geomagnetic storm. If the ionospheric storms caused by the Sun itself don’t affect the surface weather, there is no chance that HAARP can do so either.”

How long do the effects of ionospheric heating last?

The HAARP website says, “Since the ionosphere is, inherently, a turbulent medium that is being both ‘stirred up’ and renewed by the sun, artificially induced effects are quickly obliterated. Depending on the height within the ionosphere where the effect is originally produced, these effects are no longer detectable after times ranging from less than a second to 10 minutes.” Once again, local changes to the ionosphere resulting from HAARP are many orders of magnitude less than those global changes caused by variations in the Sun’s energy output. According to the HAARP Environmental Impact Statement, there are no significant impacts to the ionosphere, and therefore, no mitigation measures are required.

item of interest…
50 Conspiracies and Why People Believe Them

In this lecture, John Whalen (an investigative journalist and author of the bestselling book, 50 Greatest Conspiracies) guides you through the dizzy labyrinths of conspiracy theories, where fact and fiction flirt, court, marry, and bear very strange offspring: CIA, Watergate, JFK, UFOs, KKK, AIDS, LSD, FEMA…. Whalen also discusses why people believe in conspiracy theories, and the psychology of what conspiracy theories offer in terms of explaining how the world works.
ORDER the lecture on CD

Can HAARP create a hole in the ionosphere?

According to the HAARP website, “No. Any effects produced by HAARP are miniscule compared with the natural day-night variations that occur in the ionosphere. Several ionospheric layers completely disappear naturally over a whole hemisphere during the evening hours. HAARP can’t come close to producing this effect, even in the limited region directly over the site.”

What effect will HAARP have on the Earth’s magnetic field?

According to the HAARP website, HAARP’s transmitter “becomes useless during a geomagnetic storm. During these common solar induced events, the natural variations reach a level that is more than 10,000 times stronger than any variation that HAARP could produce… The Earth’s static magnetic field, in turn, is more than 1,000 times stronger than the variations that occur during a magnetic storm and more than 10,000,000 times stronger than the variations that HAARP could produce.”


Follow Daniel Loxton on twitter, facebook, and skepticblog.

NEW ON SKEPTICBLOG.ORG
“The Standard Pablum” — Science and Atheism

In Daniel Loxton’s recently-released evolution book for kids, a couple paragraphs on the question of religion have sparked some important discussion in the atheist blogosphere. In this week’s Skepticblog, Loxton addresses his position on the relationship between skepticism and atheism.

READ the post

FOLLOW DANIEL LOXTON ON TWITTERFACEBOOKSKEPTICBLOG
59 Comments »

59 Comments

  1. J. Gravelle says:

    If it weren’t for HAARP, you wouldn’t have written this article. That’s proof-positive it controls you, and–

    Dammit, I was compelled to reply. You’ve apparently trapped me in your little web too, HAARP.

    Verrrrry clever…

    -jjg

  2. D. Wier says:

    Is it true that there are other HARRP projects, perhaps as many as 11, operated by other countries around the world?

    BTW, enjoyed the article by David Brin “Dangers of First Contact” in the latest Skeptic Magazine.

  3. Bill says:

    Interesting. It seems all the research you have done was taken right off the HAARP website. How very skeptical of you. I suppose you believe everything the government says, I mean, they never lie, do they?
    By printing this weak article who’s obvious purpose is to gain support for the project you are showing that SKEPTIC magazine and E-SKEPTIC are not skeptical at all but merely shills fronting scientific research at any cost. Very disappointing. I am now skeptical of you.

    • Don says:

      I was also a little disappointed with that. BUT merely bad mouthing the government line adds nothing to the conversation unless you have evidence to disagree with.

      • Bill says:

        I wouldn’t say my comments were badmouthing the government. They were stating the obvious in a sarcastic manner. If they added nothing to the conversation why did you reply? This is not a scientific paper, I am not required to state evidence. I feel I brought up valid points. If you want evidence do the research yourself or you can just believe what the article states.

      • Pedro says:

        “According to the HAARP website” “According to the HAARP website””According to the HAARP website””According to the HAARP website”

        I’m sorry, but I thought that skeptic.com was skeptic with both sides.

      • atomica says:

        I too am disappointed with this article. I expect that when turning to a website that states that it promotes science & critical thinking that it will deliver on its promise and will at least:
        -consider that most of their readers will equally have consulted the corporate websites (ie: HAARP’s) and have read the basic news coverage available
        -supply some form of grounded scientific evidence to support or discredit the question being posed

        rather than state the obvious.

        Hopefully another write-up will be provided in the future.

    • Jameson W says:

      I could not have said it better! Durk-a-dur Im a skeptic at dat der Skeptic Magerzine derka derk.

  4. David says:

    “It contains charged particles, called ions, and electrons that can destroy, reflect, and absorb radio signals.”

    You can’t “destroy” a radio signal. You can, as stated, absorb it (and produce heat), reflect it, or even distort it (alter its phase, amplitude, maybe even frequency), but you can’t destroy it. You can’t “destroy” energy. Even if we are talking about the information contained in these signals, it doesn’t really get “destroyed” but altered in a way that makes it unusable.

    David.

    • John says:

      You can’t destroy energy, but you can destroy a radio signal. Signals are discrete patterns, which can easily be destroyed, as anyone attempting to speak at a heavy metal concert can easily attest. Interference with radio signals tends to overwhelm the signals, rendering them unintelligible–or “destroyed” for all intents and purposes.

  5. Donald Clarkson says:

    My greatest scepticism is reserved for websites – especially ‘official’ ones.

    HAARP is an experiment (we hope). By definition therefore its effects are unknown. Assurances (official or otherwise) are worthless.

    Believe me, I know of which I speak. Or do I?

  6. Don says:

    I’m not sure if Donald Clarkson is speaking tonue-in-cheek, but HAARP itself is not an experiment. Its technology and its effect on the ionosphere are well understood. But it does CONDUCT experiments in carefully controlled conditions.

  7. Lewis says:

    Has anyone addressed how much of that RF finds it’s way back to the earth,s surface? I presume the transmitting antenna can be configured to be directional. The RF quite likely does several skips after the initial bounce from ionosphere back to earth & I wonder what it sounds like, if modulated.

  8. J.L. Adkins says:

    This article failed to provide an adequate amount of evidence. Why should I read an article that is a simple regurgitation of a web-site I can easily access myself? I expect more from the Skeptic society. Besides the number of logical fallacies this article presents, its conclusions were the product of laziness. If I had a student turn in a paper with the only source listed as the ‘official’ web-site, they would receive a poor grade indeed. David Naiditch and the Skeptic Society receives a F for wasting my time.

  9. Dennis says:

    Why bother with this article, why not a link to the HAARP website?

  10. Isaac says:

    This article has done nothing but quote the official website

  11. Brian says:

    I think many of you have missed the point of the article. The transparency of the program itself combined with inclusiveness of major university science programs and an unclassified status would make the orders of magnitude for a conspiracy virtually impossible. Where are the whistle blowers?

    Thank you David for showing us how easy it is to debunk conspiracies like this one.

    Great article.

    • Michael says:

      Brian, I don’t think this article debunks anything. I don’t think that this is a very good and informative article. It can do the job of a pamphlet, but not more than that.
      That said, I myself, don’t believe, that HAARP is any different from much more powerful research stations of this kind located in Western Europe and Russia.
      I think that it is a bad taste, to say the least, to use a single source of information. I find it wasteful to dedicate so much of this article to restating, what already appears on the official site. I believe, that majority of skeptics are familiar with the imaginary world of HAARP-scared fanatics, and have visited the official site of HAARP facility. Therefore, what is the reason to write so much about it, repeating something, that the majority of readers probably know already? If there’s anything new on the subject, may be even some new thoughts, then it would be beneficial to have an article describing that.
      I hope to read an article on HAARP which sheds some more light on why people can’t stop writing conspiracy theories about HAARP, and why they can’t leave Tesla alone, especially those of his claims, that have never been proven, that are often attributed to HAARP.

    • Fly1965 says:

      Brian, I think you miss the point. If a person is suspicious of the government, nothing David Naiditch, you or I say to the contrary will change their opinion. These folks aren’t looking for a logical, scientific explanation; rather, they’re only reading the article for reinforcement of their beliefs. A great example is the conspiracy theory that we have never been to the Moon. They say the shadows are all wrong, and the footprints are fishy, and the flag is blowing, and etc … And nothing you tell such a person will change their mind. Even if you gathered up every living astronaut and paraded them in front of these people for interviews, most would politely ask questions, nod respectfully, and act genuinely satisfied. Once the interviews were over, they’d emphatically swear the government had choreographed all the answers to hide the conspiracy! Of course, what do I know? I spent 20 years in the USAF, so maybe I’m just part of the cover up. :)

  12. Shane says:

    Would just like to point something out…Any good ‘sceptic’ would not consider the haarp project as it is a cover. The real Navy operated project is kilometres north. Haarp is harmless as the website and guided tours would tell you. And so everyone, knows this northern project is very very dangerous, in the hands of RAYTHEON and the US navy has filed patents to use it as a weapon. Read about the radiation poisoning the eskimos got in Alaska when they first shot a hole in the ionosphere. Also there are a lot more bases. Like Norway and here inAustralia for example. Some reliable sources would say the recent thailand tsunami and chile/haiti etc. earthquakes was caused by HAARP’s brothers however i don’t think it is important. Perhaps they do intend to use the projects for good i.e a re-establishment of the ionosphere after the near projected breakdown. we’ll see. p.s. This website is written by very unskeptical people.

  13. tony says:

    Interestingly enough the word haarp means War in arabic

  14. Judy says:

    If there wasn’t some intriguing war application of some sort, there wouldn’t have been this kind of money available for it. There is obviously more to HAARP than just atmospheric research and better radio communication. Just what, I don’t know, but to just quote HAARP’s website would be like quoting the last administration which said there were tons of WMDs in Iraq and we have to go to war. Skeptical minds should know better. Should have just put up a link to the HAARP website with that kind of reporting. Skeptics should be skeptical by looking at MANY sides of an issue, not just one. Tsk, tsk. Now I’m skeptical of the skeptics.

  15. Pepper says:

    According to the HAARP website… According to the HAARP website…According to the HAARP website…

    This whole thing is basically cut and pasted from the HAARP website. A 7th grader doing a book report could have written something more analytical and thoughtful.

  16. billy says:

    In a world going wrong, with all hope gone.
    Where will you turn my friend?
    Like the prophets of old, wrote and foretold this is the end.
    Come see where the only place of protections will be.

    http://www.yahweh.com

    Remember the true Hebrew Messiah said we would be fools if we do not believe all the the prophets have spoken. Luke 24:25.

    B.D.

  17. Mike says:

    3000 to 4000 dead birds found dead. Probable cause of death, blunt force trauma. Couple of days later, one state over, up to 500 dead birds found, possible cause, blunt force trauma. Who knows in isolated areas, how many more have died from blunt force trauma, which have yet to be found. UFO sightings, invisible force fields, are the birds slamming into an invisible force field, did you see the movie “Signs”. Hey, I’m just saying.

  18. Torchlyght says:

    You know, it is amazing how the powers that be continue to sucker the public. If you research the wickedness of the USA government, there is no way possible that one would not think or believe that the Government would use something of this magnitude for a means of controlling and profiteering. This is the USA MO or should I say the corporate controlled government MO. Please America wake up!!!!! It is amazing how they use “conspiracy” everyday to put criminals and a lot of times innocent people in jail. However, when conspiracy is used and applied by people against the wicked and evil policies of the Corp-Government, everyone is crazy. So now, when anyone says or exposes the wickedness that is going on, it is not believed, that’s exactly the way they want it. The Corp-Government continue on doing what they do unabated. People Pleeeeeease!!!!! – stop being so arrogant and take your head out of your butttt and see what is going on. I guess with the gas prices going up and expected to be between 4-5 dollars by the end of the year; that too, doesn’t have anything to do with the greed and wickedness of Corp-Government either. I bet you are one of the ones that say, “will people need to stop using so much this or that”. Maaaan, this is so sad.

  19. Chris says:

    Re: Judy– The US government spends tons of money to better communicate with it’s troops. They are trying to find ways to communicate with places underwater and underground. Where signals are directional instead of in waves that go all over and can be intercepted. That’s big for the military, to keep their communications secret, but nothing new. GPS? that research comes from projects like this.

    Re:Pepper– I agree, if I wanted the official story, I’d go to the HAARP website, I expected different info here, I was definitely let down.

    Re:Mike– I’m more worring about polar reversal than HAARP with the bird issue. Watch Core or 2012. Scary stuff.

    Re:Torchlyght– I know there is alot more going on behind the scenes in our military and government than alot of people know about, and there’s tons of it that is not good news. But if anyone TRUELY open minded an skeptical, would look at both sides of something with FACTS, not gut instinct. With just my limited knowledge of physics and the earth I’m sure that what HAARP is doing (which seems powerful) is not enough to cause any effects. Literally not a drop in the bucket. After doing my own math, which you are all free to do, or find help with if you cannot, there is no way a human made facility has the strength or power to effect the ionosphere in a significant way. Please do not just choose to believe I’m lying because you want to believe in a conspiracy, but CHECK first, the ionosphere is bombarded by the sun often and with great severity. Our technology is no where close to being able to produce that kind of energy. We probably couldn’t do it with all the resources on the planet. It’s just not possible with our current level of metals and energy production. Anyone who believes we can rival the production of the sun needs to rethink things a little.

    I was interested in checking out HAARP because it can produce ELF, which can cause magnetic field disturbances, in the earth. The ELF that’s produced with HAARP is not done by the machine but in the atmosphere, so it’s not dangerous there.

    Birds are very susceptible to changes in magnetic fields, so the massive bird die off got me looking for things that can cause that.

    BTW, no one holds open houses in research facilities with any type of shady stuff going on. No one. There are tons of places doing shady things, and we all know it. There are places doing things in secret, but there are places doing things that the public has knowledge of, and still no entry.

    None of the HAARP stuff is classified, so we would have heard from a concerned college student after working there if something sinister was going on. MIT students aren’t exactly easily intimidated from talking. I’m not worried about things their doing on purpose, but more what they may be doing that they didn’t realize was causing problems. After checking I’m convinced HAARP is relatively harmless.

    • Randy says:

      your just like alot of folks they do not belive our goverment would do us any wrong wake up and smell the roses you must be dumb as hell

      • J3 says:

        Says the guy who can’t spell or form a sentence, and who does not even attempt to refute any of Chris’ points. Critical thinker indeed.

  20. Angie says:

    i wondered about the GWEN system myself…

  21. Lillith says:

    Wow, where have the days gone where conspiracy theories were simple? Why not blame area 51 or the silent black helicopters?

  22. Angie says:

    Certain EMFs can alter perceptions in humans. Clinical research has shown that feelings of foreboding/dread and the sensation of unseen nearby entities can be induced. This said, IMHO the comment Chris made about the possibility of birds being affected by ELF is something to consider. Certainly there are plenty of conspiracy theories available. Rather, I would wonder if wildlife and perhaps humans might be affected by what we may have thought at one time was safe EM exposure.

    • Evan says:

      Could you cite some of that research?

      • Angie says:

        I had initially seen a televised program on experimentation with EM on university students, and also adults subjected to EM in a quiet, darkened room. Unfortunately it was some time ago and I cannot remember the programs or stations. I did find an abstract in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease:
        http://journals.lww.com/jonmd/Abstract/2002/08000/Experimental_Facilitation_of_the_Sensed_Presence_.6.aspx

        If you search on Google Scholar you may find more on this.

        • Evan says:

          Persinger’s work is not clinical research and it’s dubious as to whether or not the effects are due to EM at all:

          Granqvist, P; Fredrikson, M; Unge, P; Hagenfeldt, A; Valind, S; Larhammar, D; Larsson, M (2005). Sensed presence and mystical experiences are predicted by suggestibility, not by the application of transcranial weak complex magnetic fields. Neuroscience Letters 379 (1): 1–6.

          That being said, transcranial magnetic stimulation has been shown to influence certain cognitive abilities, but it’s a big leap to infer that because a stationary solenoid applied over the scalp continuously for relatively long periods of time have small inductive effects, that HAARP could be used for population control. If we’re being exposed at all, it would be over moving subjects and over the entire brain rather than the targeted cortical areas of TMS studies. If there were any effect at all it would be completely unpredictable and therefore useless. I don’t know about the animal stuff, species that actually have EM sense organs might be different.

  23. James Luko says:

    The fact that defense agencies are involved would indicate that it’s more than pure research. Past Defense Secretaries have also commented on the need for such technology as far as it can interfere with enemy communications and its possible influence on weather. Just because the facility is open does not mean that there is not a rich amount of data and experiments to further defense technology.

  24. Susan says:

    I have some questions? Why is the DOD/Pentagon heading this HAARP project? If it’s open to the public, with tours, why is it that a Governor can’t get in? Why is the area highly secured with military with so many colleges involved? Why are there other “copycat” projects going on in other countries? Where are the whistle blowers? Dead…..like others who didn’t make it to the point of telling the truth? If our tax dollars pay for this project how come we don’t get a free pass to tour it? Alaska is a great place to put it for those in the lower 48 isn’t it? Why not the midwest where the government secretly made the 1st nuke? Website schmebsite, anyone can put whatever they want on a website, especially involving the government. If you believe that what the TV, newspapers, magazines, internet, & any media in general is truthful, then you are brain damaged. They tell us what “they” want us to hear and really believe that we are too stupid and fragile to handle anything real and truthful. We are lied to everyday by the government on all levels and the media in all forms pass it on, including Skeptic magazine. It’s all about making money. Wussies. I guess many of us will be saying, I told you so, when things get worse, while we are taking our last breath while the greedy powerful ego’s think they can hide from God because they destroyed our home…EARTH. Hope your power and money keeps you warm, feeds and waters you and your children while you think your safe. NOT.

  25. BoboTheElf says:

    Nonsense, Susan. If it weren’t for the evolution of “government” we’d still be grubbing for clams and making coconut bra’s and worshiping bright lights in the sky.
    The law of action and reaction explain why the H.A.A.R.P. array is smashed down into a smear of metal residue that then slid over into Quebec and Boston. That’s the result of the opposite and equal force of moving a trillion plus metric tons of the planets crust in 13 seconds. The crash on wall street follows later when the reflectivity waves rebound off of fluorescent replacement tubes in suburbia. Yet, nobody seems to be concerned about this very resonance attracting the Mind Parasites… nobody except us elves! Damn you silly humans!

  26. Indigenous says:

    I can tell you that death is not real. War is for the foolish. I can leave my body. I am able to see all that goes on in the physical plane. My body is dead by medical terms. No breath, no heart beat and no electric energy. I can do this for minutes to hours. Then I return to my body. Those that believe in Jesus, I can tell you he is real. What did he tell me. Love is the most powerful energy in the universe. So what must we do. Love one another and end all war. As death is not real for energy is never destroyed. The energy of love contains all life in all its forms. To be human is love’s great creation, don’t let your love every leave you. Peace ~Indigenous

    • Evan says:

      The same thing happened to me, but Jesus told me that death is real and that he wasn’t. Why would he do that?

  27. Dave says:

    As for the idea that there must be something sinister because the military is involved, the internet was created by ARPA, the predecessor of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is one of the organizations behind HAARP. If HAARP must be a weapon because DARPA is funding it, does that mean the internet must be a weapon, too?

    As to why the Air Force, Navy, and DARPA would be interested in better radio communications, radio has REVOLUTIONIZED warfare. It’s enormously important to them. But HAARP also has some potential to allow mapping of underground structures, tunnels, bunkers, etc., so that’s something else they would be interested in.

    As for Susan’s crazy claim that the whistle blowers are all dead, name names. Who are you talking about? What dead whistle blowers? The simple explanation for where are all the whistle blowers is that there aren’t any whistle blowers, because there isn’t anything to blow the whistle about.

    Besides, what do you care? Don’t you believe the world is going to end next year, anyway?

  28. Ruby Quincunx says:

    The comments here are an object lesson in bad thinking. The point of the article clearly seems to be bringing a body of information to an audience who might not have encountered it before. By directing its readers’ attention to the information already freely available on the HAARP web site, it accomplishes its goal. Criticising it for failing to be a research paper–or worse, a phony ‘exposé’ of the sort dear to the hearts of the credulous, only from a ‘skeptical’ point of view–is beside the point. Do HAARP paranoiacs actually have evidence contradicting the HAARP program’s claim that ionospheric manipulation cannot affect the weather, for the reasons stated? That it is not possible to create a long-lived hole in the ionosphere? That the amount of energy in question is orders of magnitude smaller than that absorbed by the ionosphere every day from natural sources?

    HAARP seems to be one of the more transparent of military-funded research projects–how many secret projects have had Environmental Impact Studies conducted?–but paranoiacs can read something sinister into anything. Incidentally, the Internet, the very same one being used here by conspiracists, was created by DARPA & a consortium of universities, just like HAARP & a million other manifestly non-weapon projects. But because military-funded, it must surely be some sort of weapon, right?

    In any event, what I don’t get about HAARP paranoia is that, even granting everything that is insinuated about its potential as a weapon is true, so what? The doomsday device is already here, people. Does anybody recall thermonuclear weapons, nuclear winter? All the energy devoted to futile armchair ‘investigation’ & ‘protest’ against chimerical weapons could instead be devoted to the moldering anti-nukes movement. Wouldn’t persons & groups dedicated to maintaining the status quo really welcome all this squandered outrage; aren’t conspiracists the real dupes? Isn’t it possible that all these conspiracy theories are really psy-ops conducted by the government to suppress real opposition by the people? There’s a conspiracy theory for you.

    To Juvenal’s prescription for a docile populace we might add one item for modern times: bread, circuses, & red herrings.

  29. Ruby Quincunx says:

    Ha, I see Dave brought up the same point about the Internet weapon just before me.

  30. Z-Man says:

    This article’s pathetic. Some of my friends showed me some conspiracy stuff and I wanted to look at both sides of the argument to make an informed opinion. As a skeptic, I’m skeptical about the government and conspiracy theories alike (the bulk of the former being corrupt power-hungry liars and the bulk of the latter being unfounded paranoia and scare-mongering)

    The thing is, conspiracies DO happen and until proven they remain conspiracy THEORIES. To use the official website as the only source in your article is like using quotes from Richard Nixon to disprove the Watergate Scandal.

    Ruby, you say the article is “directing its readers’ attention to the information already freely available” but why?? If you google HAARP, one of the first links that appears is the official website. It’s easier to find than this article. Any idiot can find and read the information FIRST-HAND instead of wasting their time on this drivvle and I don’t know why the writer wasted his time writing it. He could have saved himself a lot of effort by just pasting the link to the website.

    For those looking for counter-arguments to the conspiracy theorists’ claims, this article offers nothing. To the conspiracy-minded, it will only bolster their paranoia.

  31. Z-Man says:

    PS: The fact that many universities are involved doesn’t refute the claims of conspiracy theorists. From the documentation that survived, we know MK ULTRA involved many universities and organisations that were unaware of what they were involved in or what their research was being used for. In fact, they will NEVER know the full extent of what they were involved in, since most of the evidence was destroyed.

  32. jonathan says:

    I surprised that nobody has mentioned the most glaring and obvious use of the HAARP project yet: the demolecularization of buildings 1,2 on September 11, 2001. (Everyone knows that controlled demolition was responsible for the demise of building 7 and not some death ray) The shear lack of material at ground zero coupled with the fact that the seven underground stories beneath buildings 1 and 2 didn’t collapse at all, (where are the pancakes?) can only be explained by a high energy, directed weapon and manipulations of various fields as with the Hutchinson Effect. As for this article-it did little to foster my critical thinking abilities on this topic. It didn’t provide any sources for me to check out other than those at the official website. It is a disappointment and is not indicative of adequate research or the scientific inquiry that I would expect from you guys.

  33. jonathan says:

    I meant to say, “I am surprised…” not “I am…”

  34. wes11b10 says:

    Jesse Ventura was not visiting this facility as “Governor Jesse Ventura” but as the host of televison show. The HAARP facility is no more secure than a self-storage business. On Ventura’s show that featured HAARP, he flew in a helicopter to within a half-mile of the facility. Try doing that over CIA Langley and see what happens to you (hint – AH-64s and/or F-16s arrive in minutes to escort you from the area or riddle you with depleted uranium and HE) – why is the airspace not restricted? Also, the ionosphere is not exactly a perfect reflector. Imagine a broken concave mirror over your head 100′ in diameter in which the broken mirror pieces continually change, move or disappear entirely. Now, shine a flashlight up and attempt to focus a correspondingly bright spot across the room (hint again – you can’t do it). How exactly are they focusing the beamwidth to target specific areas of the earth or someone’s brain? Don’t know? Yeah, me neither – I have not yet figured out how to bend the laws of physics (but when I do, all of you had better watch out, waa-ha-ha!!! :P)

  35. ashley says:

    if you actually watched the documentaries you mentioned in this article, perhaps you’d be haarping to a different tune … as someone who collects pro audio gear from the soviet era, I can tell you that Tesla mics sound and are far better than mics that sell in America for thousands of dollars. Tesla did cause blackouts with magnetic and ionospheric experiments that caused a stir (See the free full documentary: Tesla Master of Lightning)

    I disagree with your claim that there are only two or so documentaries based on SCIENCE that warn of the dangers of HAARP.

    The best documentary I have seen on the subject is available free on Youtube and is called “The Missing Secrets Of Nikola Tesla”. Looking up “Ionospheric Warfare” or hundreds of YouTube accounts of strange “HAARP clouds” and other sky formations across the world are far too common to be coincidence.

    Tesla stopped work on HAARP in the 1940s. Later in life, he sought eastern philosophies for guidance and claimed if he had to choose a religion, it would be Buddhism for it was closest in explaining what he saw. It is often claimed that Tesla delibertely stopped working on HAARP because he knew the dangers. However, the US government funded this project in full. The freedom of information act has nw released de-classified documents documenting the deception.

    There are far more documentaries (and professionals. scientists, army, navy, military and government officials VERY knowledgeable on the subject). I agree with other commenters that this post is rubbish and doe not cite any scientific sources beyond the official website — the one website being questioned in the first place.

    This review is garbage and does not deserve a footnote in Wikipedia.

  36. Jim Speiser says:

    A simple question: Does the HAARP facility have a Public Information Officer? A simple email correspondence might settle a lot. Why don’t the denizens of this thread construct a series of questions that might be asked, and the editors of SKEPTIC compile them and send them to the PIO? Sure, if it’s really an evil government project to destroy the atmosphere or kill flocks of birds, there will be evasiveness in the answers…but that in itself may say a lot, and pique the interest of those of us who remain skeptical. Worth a try?

  37. jimmy joo says:

    K seriously I just read these posts and I understand beliefs are a very powerful thing, the government could possibly make false statements that may be claimed true, the goverrnment makes these arguments on these projecs simply tsway the beliefs of the status quo and also to ensue fear in those that believe, mind control? I think not. These statements made in comments make sense but do not provide enough valid information. I think that this facility is completely harmless. The only military apllications to it are used against our enemies and others but not us soo stop making outrageous assumpptions and go find out for yourself.

    • jimmy joo says:

      Seriosuly we all want to know but never will soo its all in your mind untill the day something happens!

      • Visitor says:

        So you say that people will “never know”, but then you seem to imply that they will know something when “something happens”? A bit of a contradictory statement.

  38. samraan says:

    just to give u people an idea for discussion that is it this HAARP technology which has resulted in the death of 126 soldiers in Siachen, Pakistan. Since avalanche does not occur in April in this area rather in June and July, Battalion Headquarter was directly hit by an avalanche, which was supposed to be made in a secure place.

    • Visitor says:

      Well, natural occurrences aren’t always completely predictable, you know. Just because an avalanche happened when it wasn’t expected doesn’t mean that it MUST have been caused by HAARP.

  39. Setstraight says:

    Oh thank you I feel so much better now!
    I been set straight, hopefully the birds in Alaska with the deformed beaks will do the like when they read this comforting article.`

  40. Nick Baggaley says:

    Well, look at all the conspiracy theorists coming out of the woodwork!

    As many here seem to be criticizing the civilian science of HAARP (or lack thereof), I thought I’d share these two papers I dug up. Both were conducted by researchers primarily of Stamford’s Space, Telecommunications and Radioscience (STAR) laboratory, and both (surprise, surprise) support the uses of the program stated by the article and official website:

    Paper 1, from 2004, deals with using the IRI array to heat the ionosphere, inducing RF signals observable from a ship halfway around the world. As the article states, this sort of research could be used to develop advanced long-range communications. As for Paper 2 (2008), this one deals with creating a “steerable” VLF/ELF beam through use of the ionosphere as a waveguide. As these frequencies penetrate ground fairly readily, this could conceivably be used to detect underground caverns or facilities.

    [1]. http://www-star.stanford.edu/~vlf/publications/2004-06.pdf
    [2]. http://www-star.stanford.edu/~vlf/publications/2008-03.pdf

  41. Warren, replying to NB says:

    So, Nick – you dig up two papers from one university’s research and expect that to qualify as reason to believe…what, exactly? That research universities claiming to do research at HAARP actually do some research with the amazing technology within? Great investigation on your part, I must say. Really stuck some shit under our noses and made us smell the errors we’ve made.

    More concerning is your tacit acceptance of a government-subsidized machine that can produce ground-penetrating frequencies fairly easily…

  42. Thedman says:

    You did a lot of quoting of the haarp website…but really, haarp is connected with the American navy, and it’s quite possible there are military uses for haarp that their website wishes not to divulge.
    You basically didn’t debunk anything but rather just repeated what was printed on the haarp website.
    The world is not black and white, neither is politics and science…things aren’t always as simple as websites written by the American government would have us believe.

    That being said it is entirely possible haarp is completely benign. The point is we really don’t know.

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