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Disinformation, and the Origins of the Geoengineering Resistance Movement


Twenty years ago, in 1998, the managing editor of the Environmental News Service (ENS), Jim Crabtree, asked reporter William “Will” Thomas to investigate widespread rumors that U.S. military jets were conducting mysterious spraying operations in various parts of the United States. He sent Thomas a video tape made by a rural Washington resident named William Wallace. The tape showed contrails that weren’t behaving like normal contrails.

Thomas proved initially skeptical, but after several minutes of watching the video with a friend, he remarked: “’Something’s wrong…the same big planes are flying back-and-forth across the same patch of sky. Airliners don’t do that. Holding patterns are racetrack-shaped, never in parallel rows. Besides’,” Thomas added, “’the spacing we’re seeing violates FAA regulations for commercial airliner separation’.” The contrails were too close together. [1]

That wasn’t all. “Instead of dissipating like normal contrails, these cross-hatched plumes began to widen and spread across the sky. As we watched [the video] over the next half-hour, the strange trails blended together, turning a ‘blue sky’ day into a milky murky overcast” day.

Confessing that he was “baffled” by what he saw, Thomas took on the new ENS assignment. [2]

A veteran, award-winning reporter and trained fighter pilot, Thomas had written for ENS from the Gulf War zone in the early-to-mid-1990s, and was intimately familiar with the grim details of environmental warfare. He’d published two books on the health effects of the First Gulf War. He soon found out that in 1998, people all across North America were complaining that mysterious overhead spraying operations were making them sick, especially if they remained outdoors. These persistent reports came from many places: California, Las Vegas, eastern Oklahoma, rural Washington, northern Ontario (Canada), Tennessee, Mississippi, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

Following initial leads from Wallace that found him leapfrogging from one informant to another, Thomas spent the next several months conducting hundreds of interviews. He then submitted two reports to ENS, published on January 8 and 12, 1999. [3, 4] Since its founding in 1990, ENS had become widely respected for its worldwide coverage of environmental news stories.

Neither of Thomas’ first two contrail articles used the word “chemtrails.” That term, as we have seen, was invented and first used in fall 1990 by the US Air Force Academy on the cover of its introductory “Chemistry 131” textbook for freshmen. [5]


Thomas began his stories by quoting on-the-ground eyewitnesses who also had suffered from mysterious, lingering illnesses. “After plants began dying around his mountain cabin,” his first informant, Bill Wallace of rural Washington, told Thomas, he “’got real sick for about three weeks…My eyes watered. Fluid came out of my nose. I could hardly raise my arm up above my head to comb my hair’…” [6] Later his dogs died.

Wallace appeared on his local “Channel 2 television news with his claim that odd-acting contrails were making him and his wife sick.” Shortly after his TV appearance, “’two jets buzzed me and left a contrail’ over their yard…Two days later, after returning to Channel 2 with this new complaint, a small airplane flew over the Wallace’s remote homestead…[and] emitted a chemtrail from its tail. The plane passed directly over their house, shutting off its valve after it exited their property….’After that,’ Wallace relates, ‘we started getting really sick….[they were] tellin’ me to shut up.’” [7]

Wallace put Thomas in touch with Gregg Hanford, a Bakersfield, California-based dentist, who described seeing contrails forming “X’s, overlapping W’s and the Roman numeral XII…[and] four aircraft spraying in circles to form a perfect bull’s-eye.” Using high-grade binoculars, Hanford reported seeing what “’looked like a 737’ painted all-white on top with an ‘orangish-red’ underbody…Another 727-like aircraft was painted “’all-white with a black stripe up the middle of fuselage’… None of the planes [otherwise] carried identifying markings.” [8]

These sorts of person-to-person reports make up the substance of Thomas’ January 8, 1999 article “Contrails Mystify, Sicken Americans.”

Four days later, his January 12, 1999 article bore an even more provocative title: “Mystery Contrails May Be Modifying the Weather.” Thomas reported that a former Raytheon Missile Systems technician named Tommy Farmer had observed multiple incidents of spraying [in Tennessee], and claimed he had “positively identified” the jets doing most of the spraying as Boeing KC-135s and KC-10s (normally used as military mid-air refueling tankers). Farmer said the planes were typically painted “solid white or solid black,” but not otherwise identified.

“After repeatedly observing aircraft spraying particulates ‘in front of and into cloud systems’, Farmer was ‘fairly certain the contrail phenomena is one part of a military weather modifications system.’” Note that the reporter, Will Thomas, did not claim this, but reported only the claims or observations of someone technically trained, an ex-Raytheon “engineering-technician.” Farmer further claimed that “because the chemical contrails allow much more moisture to form inside cloud systems, severe localized storms result from the aerosolized seeding while surrounding areas that have surrendered their moisture to the storm cells experience drought.” [9]

Thomas’ January 1999 ENS stories went viral, attracting a rush of worldwide attention from thousands of people who had seen and believed they had suffered from these strange aerial phenomena. In January, he appeared on the Art Bell show twice, and again in February, and then several more times over the ensuing months and years, becoming one of Art Bell’s most popular guests, according to a Time magazine feature on the radio show host. [10] During those “Coast-to-Coast” appearances, Thomas used the USAF Academy’s textbook term “chemtrails” before national audiences.


The sotto voce term ‘chemtrails’ was suddenly converted into a word that roared.

In retrospect, Thomas’s ENS reports and appearances on a nationally syndicated radio show with 15,000,000 listeners gave birth to the anti-geoengineering or chemtrails-protest movement in North America. ‘Movement’ is somewhat of a misnomer, as it suggests a coherent effort organized around specific mutually-agreed-on goals that unify diversely inspired-and-led interests. I prefer to use the more passive but still formidable term “resistance.”

The anti-geoengineering movement, or resistance, remains as ghettoized now as it was 19 years ago, in 1999. Unsurprisingly. Disinformation plays a vital role in harnessing the threat of an organized movement capable of challenging the established order of conducting business, whether commercial or military, legal or illegal, overt or covert—as in the case of military geoengineering. Disinformation actors are rife around and inside the anti-chemtrail/anti-geoengineering cyber neighborhoods of the vast free-information Internet. Wittingly and often unwittingly (in particular, scientists and environmentalists) they stir “conspiracy theory” pots wherever and whenever they can, to make sure the various voices struggling to expose the criminality of powerful actors remain delegitimated. Ghettoized. Marginalized.


Out Of The Shadows


Within months of the 1999 publication of Thomas’ ENS contrails reports, someone named Jay Reynolds surfaced to take ENS publisher Sunny Lewis to task. She ignored (he claimed) his first October 5 email, and so he was returning on December 28, 1999, three months later, to reprimand her: “You are responsible for maintaining the credibility of your news service.” He demanded “a retraction of claims [sic]” made by Will Thomas in his two January 1999 ENS articles.

Reynolds went on to scold: “In the year since you first carried this story, it has become apparent that: – No alleged ‘spraying’ is occurring, that contrails seen are the effect of normal air traffic, and that no medical test or material analysis exists to support the idea that contrails are anything but simple water vapor.” [11]

Without bothering to acknowledge ENS and Thomas used the term ‘mystery contrail’, not ‘chemtrail’, Reynolds further informed the ENS publisher that the “allegations of ‘chemtrails’ has been refuted by the USAF.”


The Air Force? Refuting “chemtrails”? No better proof of innocence than the word of the perpetrator?


After insisting his own website’s “extensive documentation” disproved the existence of chemtrails, Reynolds next revealed the real source of his grievance: the “contrails controversy…received its first ‘credibility’ by ENS’ involvement” (emphasis added). And Thomas had “reawakened the contrail controversy, which had lain dormant since its rejection by the public in 1997-1998,” according to Reynolds’ preamble to his posted email exchange with ENS.

“The public” referred to by Reynolds must have been both miniscule and technical or specialized, as in 1997 there was no widespread, notable public furor over chemtrails. No “public” yet existed to “reject” the idea of chemtrails, though the term may well have been alive and kicking in circles inside and surrounding the military.

Curiously, Reynolds’ email to Sunny Lewis cc’d no less than 22 persons, fully half of whom were top executives at Lycos, Inc., a web search engine and web portal “spun out of Carnegie Mellon University” in 1995. Lycos was funded by venture capital from CMGi, a billion-dollar Massachusetts-based tech company that “played a major part in laying down the foundation for what is the internet today.” [12] According to Wikipedia, Lycos “became the most visited online destination in the world in 1999,” the same year Thomas’ mystery contrails articles appeared. [13]

Since Thomas’ ENS articles are archived on Lycos (see online links for references 3 & 4 below), it would seem that Mr. Reynolds was blitzkrieging the young online media business’s executives to put the heat on Sunny Lewis and Jim Crabtree: ‘Heel, or you’ll lose your web portal.’

Reynolds concluded his 1999 email by telling publisher Sunny Lewis that he would like “to be able to say that ENS now regrets and retracts the articles on chemtrails” and that ENS “apologizes to their readership, asks to be forgiven for not more carefully vetting submissions, and dissociates itself from the actions [sic] of William Thomas.” In other words, do not report what ordinary people are complaining about, for they have nothing to complain about, and should be ignored.

In addition to eleven Lycos executives, Reynolds copied several figures from other media outlets: two individuals at (Environmental News Network), Steve Malloy of, Jon Doherty, a columnist for (email address, the editor of Blazing Tattles Newsletter, and John Stossel at ABC News. Dr. Patrick Minnis of NASA Langley Research Center (later a legendary chemtrails denier), and two other government officials, as well as a man named Hermann Mannstein at a place identified as “German Institute for Atmospheric Physics” were also copied.

Though he never revealed what powers had granted him the authority to reprimand and dictate the terms of the young news service’s surrender of its First Amendment rights, Mr. Reynolds nonetheless appeared to have diverse connections in high places.

On that same December 28, 1999 day, ENS Managing Editor Jim Crabtree, the first person on Reynolds’ cc list, replied to Reynolds, advising: “We have dissociated our news service from Will Thomas and will immediately ask that he remove anything relating to ENS from his website.” However, Crabtree quickly added: “Please understand that this is not a reaction to anything you have written, but rather to other circumstances between Mr. Thomas and our company.”

Crabtree reminded Reynolds that he “certainly had every opportunity” since mid-January “to reply with facts that could add to or augment subsequent stories on the contrail issue,” but obviously did not do so. He invited Reynolds to “put together an event-based story on this issue…Any story we publish must stand up to the facts available and be free of bias, opinion or commentary,” suggesting that Thomas’ original “event based” stories were factual as far as they went, and free of bias and commentary.

Crabtree added that it “appears, just from the extensive list of addressees attached to this email, that you are attempting to foment controversy rather than, professionally and diligently, bring facts to the forefront.” He pointed out some of Reynolds’ cc addresses are “erroneous,” and suggested that Reynolds himself was “careless with fact-checking.” [14]

Requests For Information Go Nowhere


 Under pressure from his Connecticut constituents, Senator Joe Lieberman wrote Carol Browner, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, on March 5, 1999, asking for an explanation for the unusual aerial spraying reported by his state’s residents. “My constituents are [also] specifically concerned about reports of toxic spraying over populated areas in 41 states.” [15] According to William Thomas, “no reply from the EPA was ever forwarded” or shared with the citizens on whose behalf Senator Lieberman had written. [16]


At the time Senator Lieberman wrote EPA’s Carol Browner on behalf of his Connecticut constituents in early March 1999, the residents of the small town of Espanola in northern Ontario, Canada, were being subjected to what became months of spraying by military tanker jets flying in formation overhead. “Residents over a 50-mile radius started complaining to the provincial Ministry of the Environment of severe headaches, chronic joint pain, dizziness, extreme fatigue, acute asthma attacks and feverless flu-like symptoms.” [17]

The planes were photo-identified as US tanker jets by resident Ben McNenly: “One evening I was photographing the trails when I felt a fine particulate pelting my face and hands. It stung my skin so badly that I had to run inside.” [18]

According to Micky Absil, the freelance reporter investigating the Espanola story, lab tests on post-spray rainwater samples found aluminum levels “seven times government safe levels…high enough, according to the lab, to kill fish.” A May 16, 2001 news article in the Ottawa Citizen reported that “ground fallout analyzed” by a US laboratory “contained carcinogens and bacteria.” The tests also revealed “toxic micro-fibers, much finer than asbestos.” [19]


More than 500 Espanola residents, most of whom were native peoples, petitioned Parliament in November 1999 for assurance that any laws which permitted such activity would be repealed, and that in no event would the aerosol spraying be carried out without the advisement and consent of the citizenry involved. Eventually the Espanola petitioners were told by the Ministry of Defense that Canada’s military was not involved. Although the jets overhead had been photo-identified as USAF tanker jets, the USAF also denied flying over Espanola. [20]


Clifford Carnicom had been observing aerial spraying over Santa Fe, New Mexico, since moving there in 1998. He was dismayed to discover what was going on overhead. Prior to 1998, Carnicom had worked for 15 years as a technical researcher and software developer for the Department of Defense (DoD) in support of weapons modeling systems, and as a specialized surveyor for the Bureau of Land Management. He “completed intensive graduate-level studies in mathematics, statistics, computer science, and geodesy under the auspices of the Department of Defense,” and he had held a “Top Secret” security clearance. [21]

Not a babe in the woods.

By June 1999, Carnicom had begun to post very interesting photographs of the “contrails” over Santa Fe. [22] These “contrails” often formed under conditions of 30 percent humidity, scientifically a virtual impossibility (though it must be admitted chemtrail/contrail disinformation web sites are deployed like rabid Pac-Men to explain how such impossibilities can not only happen, but happen routinely, in defiance of the laws of meteorological science).

During 1999 and the ensuing years, Carnicom’s science-based web site was visited by a veritable who’s who of the military industrial complex, 126 corporate and military entities in all, including large pharmaceutical, agricultural, and health care companies. A short list of “repeat” visitors includes the following: Lockheed Martin, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Raytheon, Boeing, the FAA’s Western Pacific Region, NASA’s Langley Research Center, the  EPA, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Dayton, OH), Merck, Monsanto, Allied Signal Corp, US Army Medical Department, the Mayo Clinic, US Naval Surface Warfare Center (Crane, IN), US Senate, Kaiser Permanente, US Naval Research Laboratory, US Langley Air Force Base, Andrews Air Force Base, US Air Force HQ, the Pentagon, Office of the Secretary of Defense (William S Cohen), US Joint Forces Command, US DoD Network Information Center, and Naval Air Warfare Center–Aircraft Division. [23]

Apparently Carnicom’s slow, steady unveiling of evidence for mysterious malfeasance overhead was creating a rumble in the netherworld.

In mid-January 2000, EPA Administrator Carol Browner received a letter from Clifford Carnicom. He asked her for information about “fibers falling from the sky.” On February 22, 2000, the director of EPA’s Assessment and Standards Division, Chester J France, replied to Carnicom in Carol Browner’s stead: “We are not aware of any program to disperse fibrous material…from jet or any other types of aircraft. What we can do is briefly explain how jet engine exhaust occasionally forms contrails.” [24]

Note carefully the use of the proviso “occasionally.”


Director France proceeded to then explain at some length how contrails form. He was wasting his breath. His reader knew the subject at least as well as he did, having developed his own model for tracking contrails, and having posted it under the title “Contrail Physics.” [25]

In the April 2001 Issue of The Idaho Observer, an intrepid early investigator of the chemtrail conundrum, Amy Worthington, who was following Carnicom’s work, wrote: “For over two years Congress has been deluged with public complaints about chemtrails and the illness that invariably accompanies heavy spray campaigns.” Politicians “invariably report that NOAA, the Air Force and the Department of Health and Human Services deny knowledge and responsibility for the unusual aerosol activity.” [26]


A letter from a Santa Fe resident addressed to New Mexico’s Senator Jeff Bingaman elicited a good example of what Worthington called “canned recitations”: “I recently contacted the Air Force,” Senator Bingaman wrote in reply to his constituent on October 20, 1999.  “According to the Air Force, what you and others may have observed are aircraft contrails, a normal consequence of aircraft engine exhaust condensing water vapor into a visible cloud.” [27]

The consistency of the official explanations pouring forth from government officials and politicians at this time is notable. It is especially notable for the lack of concern and respect it shows for the plight of citizens and voters, who in a society that holds itself to be democratic, must be well-informed or default their sovereignty—and with it, the claim to live in a democracy.

Contrails, we the people were told, are all that people see, or can see,as no other elements but H2O—water vapor turned to visible ice crystals — exist to be observed coming from jets, military or commercial. This official dictum is “scientific,” hence cannot be questioned. This attitude is of course contrary to the real spirit of science, which involves constant doubt, or skepticism, and requires ceaseless proofs pro and contra in order for knowledge to progress openly in a free, unmilitarized open market—a ‘market’ that has slowly but steadily diminished since the 1940s, like a snake slithering into very dark caverns. [28]


“Such official prevarication,” Amy Worthington explained, “only leads to public frustration and mistrust.” [29] Thus arose the present impasse between on-the-ground observers, many of whom attest to becoming ill as a result of heavy or prolonged spraying, and virtually all of officialdom, both civilian—including university experts and environmental “activists”—and military.

Concerned citizens faced, and still face, a seamless, unbreachable wall, across which no meaningful communication can occur between officialdom (those “who know”) and ignorant, deplorable citizens who merely observe and suffer.

Meantime an immense dragon, unremarked upon, holds both sides in its thrall: The National Security State. Wrapped in a blanket of sanctified secrecy.

Reynolds Strikes Again And Thomas Deepens His Investigation


By the time Will Thomas was invited to give a talk on July 9, 1999 at Santa Fe’s James Little Theater, his role as a reporter had already changed into reporter-with-a-mission. The New Mexican’s feature about Thomas referred to his January ENS stories under the banner, “Assignment led journalist/activist into ‘chemtrail’ obsession.” Curiously, The New Mexican’s reporter not only interviewed his subject, William Thomas, but one other informant, Jay Reynolds, described by the reporter laconically as “an Arkansas engineer.” [30]

Reynolds seized this opportunity to debunk the idea such thing as a chemtrail existed, and to simultaneously insinuate that Thomas was making money off remedies for chemtrail sickness—a huckster preying on the clueless. In response to this charge, Thomas is quoted saying, “I’ve lost money offering this service” to people suffering from the effects of heavy spraying.

Separated from ENS sometime during 1999, Thomas continued to publish stories about military spraying, often using his own websites as an outlet. One story followed up on a Vancouver Courier report that Victoria International Airport’s Manager for Planning and Environment, Terry Stewart, was repeatedly phoned to explain “the lingering Xs, circles, and grid-like plumes over the British Columbia capitol” in early December 2000. [31] Stewart was quoted saying someone at CFB Comox, Canada’s largest radar air-traffic-tracking station, told him the explanation for the strange overhead traffic was a “joint Canada-U.S. military operation.” [32]

In fact, Stewart had left word on his insistent caller’s phone machine on December 8, a message that was later heard by 15 million inconvenient radio listeners: “…it’s a military exercise; U.S. and Canadian air force exercise that’s goin’ on. They wouldn’t give me any specifics on it…Very odd.” [33] When Thomas later followed up on the Vancouver Courier story and called a Comox base information officer, he was curtly told, “No such joint operation exists.” [34]

The half-suppressed explanation for the goings on above Victoria, BC, was clarified three months later when an Air Traffic Control manager “responsible for air traffic over the northeastern seaboard” was called to explain similar sightings over western Maine, 2,500 miles to the east of Victoria. S T “Tiffany” Brendt, a radio reporter, made the connection and then contacted Will Thomas.

Together, Brendt and Thomas covered the story. “On Nov. 20, 1999, Brendt was admitted to a hospital with a gushing nosebleed and pains in her chest after inadvertently photographing dozens of chemtrails over Parsonsfield,” a small town in western Maine where Brendt lived with her partner, Lou Aubuchont. [35] A former US Navy Intelligence courier, Aubuchont had seen many military jets in action. He’d been “observing thicker ‘trails extending from horizon to horizon’” since late 1997. [36]

But it wasn’t until March 12, 2001, that the story of the Maine couple’s observations and experiences finally took shape. They awoke on that morning and for 45 minutes watched 30 jets lay down “billowing white banners” that stretched across the sky without disappearing. Brendt called and alerted her boss, Richard Dean, the assistant news director at WMWV in North Conway, New Hampshire, and then tried to get hold of an air traffic controller. She finally got through to the man “responsible for air traffic over the northeastern seaboard.” [37]

The Air Traffic Control (ATC) manager told Brendt her sighting was “unusual,” and that his radar showed only “nine commercial jets during the same 45-minute span.” From Parsonsfield “she should have been able to see only one” of those nine planes. But 30? Off the record, he confided “he had been ordered ‘by higher civil authority’ to re-route inbound European airliners away from a ‘military exercise’ in the area.” The controller added: “I just do my job.” He did not ask for reasons or particulars. [38]

“’It looked like an invasion,’” Aubuchant recalled. WMWV’s Richard Dean called Brendt back to report he and other staffers went outside and “counted 370 trails in skies usually devoid of aerial activity.” [39] In a later interview, the Air Traffic Controller “repeated his earlier statements on tape. Similar military activities were ongoing in other regions,” and on his “’scopes he could track the tankers flying north into Canadian airspace.” The informant, who claimed he’d never heard of the term ‘chemtrails’, was dubbed “Deep Sky” by Brendt and Thomas because he didn’t want his name revealed, despite being tape-recorded on three separate occasions (and much later, a fourth).

The ATC manager reported that “ATC radars were being ‘degraded’ by tanker-released particles showing up as a ‘haze’ on their screens,” suggestive of aluminum aerosols. [40]

Clearly ‘Deep Sky’ was himself disturbed by what he was witnessing, even as he obeyed commands to redirect commercial aircraft beneath the military jets. In a fourth taped interview with S T “Tiffany” Brendt in late February 2002, the FAA official stated that “Air Traffic Controllers at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, all three major airports in New York, Los Angeles LAX, San Francisco, Atlanta, Cleveland, San Diego, Washington DC’s Dulles and Jacksonville, Florida were being ordered to route airliners beneath formations of Air Force tanker planes spraying something that regularly clouds their screens.” ‘Deep Sky’ confirmed that all his colleagues at these and other airports were being told to “to bring [commercial] traffic lower because of experiments that may degrade their radars.” [41]

“Controllers know from their professional training that these chemicals fall to the ground. Without exception they expressed their concern to Deep Sky about possible risks to human health…’They want to know what the heck is in there…One of them said, ‘Aluminum or barium, that’s not something you want to be breathing’,” Brendt reported. [42]

Barium and Aluminum


In late 2000, Amy Worthington wrote an article that built on a series of Clifford Carnicom reports providing evidence “that our atmosphere is now saturated with barium compounds…The presence of metallic alkaline salts in rainfall samples collected nationwide indicates that the atmospheric pH is being rapidly modified—most likely by barium.” [43]

Her article pointed out that barium “can create cloud formations at extremely low humidity, when natural clouds cannot form.” In effect, barium is a dehumidifier or desiccating (drying) agent. “A recent report from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base confirms that the Air Force has been spraying barium titanate across the United States,” Worthington reported, “to facilitate advanced radar systems.” [44]

A year later a story appeared that supported Worthington’s report that barium was being used to enhance radar communication. A Columbus, Ohio-based political science professor and journalist named Bob Fitrakis co-wrote a story for Columbus Alive entitled “Stormy Weather–The Government’s Top-Secret Efforts to Control Mother Nature.” [45] Returning home from Phoenix, a Columbus Alive reporter noticed air traffic over southwest Ohio and Indiana “was like a nest of hornets” with one plane in action that “appeared to be a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker.” The incident and others like it were on people’s minds in Columbus.

Their interest piqued, Fitrakis and his colleague asked, “what’s the difference between a ‘chemtrail’ and a normal contrail” that “you expect to see in a jet’s wake?” Their answer came from a government official: “Typically contrails can only form at temperatures below negative -76 degrees Fahrenheit and at humidity levels of 70 percent or more at high altitudes, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meteorologist Thomas Schlattes. Even in most ideal conditions, a [normal] jet contrail lasts no more than 30 minutes.” [46] That would indicate that jets flying below about 30,000 feet in conditions of low humidity were unlikely sources of contrails.

A scientist at nearby Wright-Patterson AFB was willing to be interviewed, though he would not permit his real name to be used. “[This] scientist familiar with chemtrail experiments” believed “public disclosure of the experiments is inevitable and maybe imminent.” The reporters were familiar with Will Thomas’ work, and they knew that “sightings have been reported in 14 NATO nations”—and in Croatia “the day after that nation joined NATO.” They asked, “Why?”

They reported the explanations of the Wright-Patterson scientist.

“…[T]wo different secret [research] projects have been conducted. One involved cloud creation experiments to lessen the effect of global warming. The other involved radiation reflection of the clouds in conjunction with the military’s High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Alaska.” HAARP was the world’s largest electromagnetic pump or ionospheric “heater,” capable of moving the jet stream. [47] According to the Wright-Patterson scientist the “two most common substances being sprayed into chemtrails are aluminum oxide and barium stearate.” The scientist then explained the military purpose for using each.

“When you see planes flying back and forth marking parallel lines, X-patterns and grids in a clear sky, that’s aluminum oxide,” and its purpose is “to create an artificial sunscreen to reflect radiation back into space” and cool the planet. [48] Barium’s purpose is different, at least in some cases, though “it may be sprayed in a similar manner.” Its purpose is for “high-tech 3-D radar imaging. The barium can be used for a ‘wire’ to shoot an electromagnetic beam through to take 3-D images of the ground far over the horizon.” [49]

One year earlier, Worthington had written that the “University of Alaska has propelled barium into space in order to study the earth’s magnetic field lines.” [50] She pointed out that barium is toxic to humans and other life forms. When sprayed, it gives rise to the sort of symptoms complained of across North America after incidents of heavy spraying overhead: Breathing difficulties, heart rhythm alterations, increased blood pressure, stomach irritation, and muscle weakness, among others. [51]

In direct contradiction to the purpose of combating global warming cited by many as a rationale for geoengineering, be it hypothetical or actual, when “barium reacts with water to form barium hydroxide, as it would in the moist atmosphere, it liberates much heat. This could explain why, on heavy spray days in warm weather, people complain about the abnormal, almost microwave-type heat they feel.” [52]

A Politician’s Last Stand


On October 2, 2001 Representative Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland, Ohio, introduced HR 2977, still in the Congressional Record. [53] Known as the Space Preservation Act of 2001, it sought a “permanent ban on basing of weapons in space.” In Section 7 “Definitions,” 2(B), under “exotic weapons” is listed “(ii) chemtrails.” Bob Fitrakis asked Kucinich “why he would introduce a bill banning so-called chemtrails when the U.S. government routinely denies” their existence “and the U.S. Air Force has routinely called chemtrail sightings “a hoax”? [54]

Kucinich, then chairman of the House Armed Services Oversight Committee and later a two-time presidential candidate, replied to Fitrakis: “The truth is there’s an entire program in the Department of Defense, ‘Vision for 2020,’ that’s developing these weapons’.” [55] (Kucinich, while in Santa Cruz, California, during his first presidential campaign, was reportedly asked point blank by someone in the audience, “Are chemtrails real?” He answered: “Yes.”)

The post-WW II history of spraying chemicals on one’s own citizens is the subject of a future installment, but experiments have been conducted without the consent of citizens by the US Armed Forces for many decades, many fully documented. [56] “As recently as July 2000,” Fitrakis wrote, “an Air Force press release bragged, ‘Fifteen service members from military installations in Germany and England were at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, 8-12 May, learning how to use chemicals to destroy the enemy’,” and these airmen and soldiers “‘learned…the entire process of applying pesticides by air.’” [57]


On March 16, 2002, the Akron Beacon Journal reported that HR 2977 “had been rewritten…and that the references to chemtrails and the other types of [‘exotic’] weapons were quietly eliminated.” Fitrakis reported on March 28, 2002 that “Sources close to Kucinich’s new bill, [now] HR 3616, which has been endorsed by some 254 community groups throughout the nation, say the term ‘chemtrail’ was dropped because Kucinich…couldn’t get the Union of Concerned Scientists or the Federation of American Scientists to sign on.” [58]

According to Fitrakis, the “Pentagon would now have you believe that the mass sightings of chemtrails all over North America are collective hallucinations.”

The Wall stood firm.

Thomas Again Breaches the Wall, and Reynolds Is Invited to Respond


Thomas’ banishment from mainstream media did not last. In 2002, he compiled his (and other reporters’) stories about the new contrails, woven into a single narrative under the title “Chemtrails: Covert Climate Control?” It was published by an Australian magazine, Nexus, in the magazine’s Oct/Nov 2002 issue. [59] The Nexus story may have caught the interest of editor and co-founder of Earth Island Journal, Gar Smith. He invited Thomas to write a story similar to the Nexus one. Smith spent so much time “in the fact-checking process on Will’s piece that, years later, I incorrectly believed that I had actually written an exposé on chemtrails.” [60]

“Stolen Skies: The Chemtrail Mystery” appeared in the Summer 2002 issue of Earth Island Journal. [61] It was the last issue Smith edited for the journal as he took a scheduled leave of absence. In his stead, Chris Clarke was invited to take over the editorship. According to Clarke, Thomas’ article “was simply the last example of [Smith’s]…penchant for pseudoscience” and since the “next issue was my first as Editor-in-Chief…I sought out an effective writer who knew the issue well. I found Jay Reynolds with a short search.” [62] Clarke believes he “learned of Reynolds due to a forwarded email from Gar. Googled him and found he could write well.” [63]

Clarke invited Reynolds to write a piece that was entitled “The Other Side of ‘Chemtrails’,” published under the journal’s commentary rubric, “Voices,” in the ensuing Winter 2003 issue. [64] In a personal email to me, Clarke cited the journal’s less than robust record “on covering the scientific end of environmental issues,” which problem he had been discussing with the journal’s directors for several years. “If I hadn’t found Jay or someone else to write the piece I would have written something myself.” [65]

Reynolds’ piece rehashed clichés: “The chemtrails idea is a hoax [USAF] and an urban legend” unsupported by “tangible evidence.” He repeated the usual tale that long-lasting contrails have been around for decades (“probably as early as the Spanish Civil War”) and consisted of nothing more than frozen water vapor. He averred finally that as “a result of the ‘chemtrails’ hoax much needless anxiety has been created.”

Belief, false belief, drove anxious thousands into crowded emergency rooms, hallucinating, convinced something real was happening to them. Were there no “conspiracy theory,” these thousands could relax and settle back into normal lives. Reynolds again slurred Thomas, this time indirectly, by referring to “profiteers” who “have established a thriving cottage industry from the sale of books, tapes, and dubious medical products” to protect naïve people from “supposed harm.” [66]

We see from this mini-saga that a split mentality existed inside a highly respected environmental organization, a split that it seems reasonable to presume persisted elsewhere among once radical national environmental organizations. The persistent internal concern over science has deep roots in the origins of the modern environmental movement, which stretch back more than a half century ago, to marine biologist Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Carson’s seminal book launched the modern environmental movement. A decade after her book was published, the first resounding victory of the new environmental movement inspired by Carson was the 1972 US ban on DDT, won preeminently by a coalition of scientists and lawyers. [67]

But no one on the “science” side in the contemporary environmental movement, 30 years after the DDT ban, was investigating or assessing the evidence that contrails and chemtrails might be two different things, and if they were, the finding might be hugely consequential for a host of environmental problems, including global warming. Consequential, even, for the future of life here on our very own planet.


“Science” had become a group-consensual enterprise, operating within boundaries set forth by its large-scale military-industrial funders. Chemtrails, as a matter for investigation, lay well outside those boundaries. The science of chemtrails was, and is, proscribed subject matter—except, of course, inside the covert military-industrial complex itself, out of public sight.

What was actually occurring in the skies above did have an evidential trail to explore, even if it only ended up with a resolution to join with others in the official chorus and sing “there is no such thing as a chemtrail.” No scientist, no environmentalist, bothered to actually check extant photographic evidence; the plentiful rainwater test evidence; the growing testimonial evidence (from experienced persons inside the aerospace industry, including pilots, mechanics [68] and managers [69]); the testimony of declassified and unclassified Armed Forces and other governmental documents; or perform fundamental scientific forensic tests necessary to discover the real identity of the “what-goes-up, must-come-down” chemical aerosols millions of human beings were seeing and feeling the effects of for the first time in their lives.

That fundamental scientific research would have to wait more than a decade to be finally undertaken.

It is the subject of our next installment.

If the anti-geoengineering resistance movement has a future, it lies in recovering the morally inspired collaboration between scientists, lawyers, and ordinary citizens that catalyzed a once fearless environmental movement.


A movement capable of entering the field of battle against Goliath.



 [1] William Thomas Chemtrails Confirmed 2010. Essence Publications, Chapter 1, “Look Up!”


[2] Ibid.


[3] William Thomas “Contrails Mystify, Sicken Americans,” ENS, Jan 08, 1999. Accessed Sep 06, 2018.


[4] William Thomas “Mystery Contrails May Be Modifying Weather,” ENS, Jan 12, 1999. Archived at Accessed Sep 18, 2018.


[5] Ian Baldwin “Origins of the ‘Climate Change’ Threat to National Security and the Geoengineering Response,”The Vermont Independent, June 13, 2017. Accessed Sep 06, 2018.


[6] Thomas “Contrails Mystify, Sicken….”

[7] Chemtrails Confirmed 2010, Ch 1.

[8] “Contrails Mystify, Sicken….”

[9] “Mystery Contrails May Be Modifying…”

[10] Chemtrails Confirmed 2010, Ch 3, “Pandemic.”


[11] Jay Reynolds “William Thomas ‘dissociated’ from Environmental News Service…,” email dated 12/28/99 to Sunny Lewis.  Accessed Sep 06, 2018.


[12] Keith Cline “Could CMGi Have Been the Google of Boston?” VentureFizz, Oct 10, 2016. Accessed Sep 06, 2018.


[13] Wikipedia “Lycos,” Accessed Sep 06, 2018.


[14] Jay Reynolds, Op. Cit.


[15] Jon Nowinski “Congressional Response to Contrails.” Senator Joe Liberman letter to EPA Administrator Carol Browner, dated March 05, 1999. Accessed Sep 06, 2018.


[16] William Thomas Chemtrails Confirmed (Carson City, Nevada: Bridger House Publishers, 2004), 95.


[17] Micky Absil “Mystery in the Sky—Chemtrails over Ontario,” Complete HealthOntario Magazine, Fall/Winter 2002. Accessed on Sep 07, 2018.


[18] Ibid.


[19] Ottawa Citizen, quoted by Absil. Ibid.


[20] William Thomas “Spray Tankers Tracked by Radar, Lab Tests Raise Concerns,” The Holmestead, Jan 28, 3003. Accessed Sep 19, 2018.


[21] The Carnicom Institute “We Do Scientific Research,” undated. Accessed Sep 13, 2018.


[22] Clifford Carnicom “More Santa Fe Aerosol Photographs,” dated variously in 1999. Accessed Sep 07, 2018.


[23] Clifford Carnicom, “Visitors to,” undated. Accessed Sep 10, 2018.


[24] Clifford Carnicom “EPA Refuses to Identify Sample,” letters dated June 28, 2000 and February 22, 2000 addressed to Clifford Carnicom. Accessed Sep 10, 2018.


[25] Clifford Carnicom “Contrail Physics,” Carnicom Institute, Sep 17, 2000. Accessed Sep 07, 2018.

[26] Amy Worthington “Chemtrail Crisis,” The Idaho Observer, April 2001. Accessed Sep 13, 2018.


[27] Clifford Carnicom “Senator Bingaman Offers Assurance,” October 20, 1999 letter addressed to Santa Fe resident. Accessed Sep 07,2018.


[28] Ian Baldwin “The Sorcerer’s Apprentices at Play at the Dawn of the Geoengineering Age,” Vermont Independent, May 3, 2017. Accessed Sep 18, 2018.


[29] Worthington, Op. Cit.


[30] Steve Terrell “Assignment led journalist/activist into ‘chemtrail’ obsession,” The New Mexican, June 20, 1999. Accessed Sep 12, 2018.


[31] William Thomas “Geoengineering ‘Chemtrails’ Best Evidence,” William Thomas Online, 2009. Accessed Sep 19, 2018.


[32] Will Thomas “Air Traffic Controllers Concerned Over Chemtrails,”, Mar 04, 2002. Accessed on Sep 12, 2018.


[33] William Thomas “Geoengineering ‘Chemtrails’ Best Evidence.” See also, William Thomas, Chemtrails Confirmed 2010, Ch 9 “Breakthrough.”


[34] Ibid.


[35] S T Brendt & William Thomas “Chemtrails–FAA Official Confirms Ongoing East Coast ‘Military Operation’,”Lifeboat News Service, April 3, 2001. Accessed Sep 19, 2018.


[36] Will Thomas “Chemtrails–US Military Continues to Spray Chemical-Laden Skytrails,” Accessed Sep 19, 2018.


[37] Ibid.


[38] Ibid.


[39] Ibid.


[40] Ibid.


[41] William Thomas “Air Traffic Controllers Concerned Over Chemtrails.”

[42] Ibid.


[43] Amy Worthington “Evidence: Chemtrails Include Hazardous Barium Compounds,” The Idaho Observer, November 2000. Accessed Sep 19, 2018.


[44] Ibid.


[45] Bob Fitrakis & Fritz Chess “Stormy Weather–The Government’s Top-Secret Efforts to Control Mother Nature,” Columbus Alive, Dec 22, 2001. Accessed Sep 19, 2018.


[46] Ibid.


[47] Nick Begich & Jeane Manning Angels Don’t Play This HAARP (Anchorage, Alaska: Earthpulse Press, 1995).


[48] The idea of a sunscreen for planet Earth was put on the geoengineering map by Edward Teller in 1997. See Ian Baldwin, “Beyond Global Climate Talks,” Vermont Independent, Apr 24, 2017. Accessed Sep 19, 2018.


[49] Fitrakis & Chess, Op. Cit.


[50] Worthington, “Evidence.”

[51] Ibid.


[52] Ibid.


[53] Dennis Kucinich “Space Preservation Act of 2001,” H.R. 2977, 107thCongress. Accessed Sep 19, 2018.


[54] Bob Fitrakis “Chemtrails Outlaw,” Columbus Alive, Jan 24, 2002. Accessed Sep 19, 2018.


[55] Ibid.


[56] Leonard Cole Clouds of Secrecy: The Army’s Germ Warfare Tests OverPopulated Areas (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1988).


[57] Fitrakis “Chemtrails Outlaw.”

[58] Bob Fitrakis “Into Thin Air,” Columbus Alive, Mar 28, 2002. Accessed Sep 19, 2018.


[59] William Thomas “Chemtrails–US Military Continues to Spray Chemical-Laden Skytrails,” is extracted from Nexus Magazine, Vol 8, No 6 (Oct-Nov 2001).


[60] Email from Gar Smith to Ian Baldwin, September 14, 2018.


[61] William Thomas “Stolen Skies: The Chemtrail Mystery,” Earth Island Journal, Vol 17, Issue 2, Summer 2002.


[62] Email from Chris Clarke to Ian Baldwin, September 14, 2018.

[63] Email from Chris Clarke to Ian Baldwin, September 17, 2018.

[64] Jay Reynolds “The Other Side of ‘Chemtrails’,” Earth Island Journal, Winter 2003.


[65] Email from Chris Clarke to Ian Baldwin, September 14, 2018.

[66] Jay Reynolds “The Other Side of ‘Chemtrails’.”

[67] Environmental Defense Fund “DDT wars and the birth of EDF: An Interview with founding trustee Charles Wurster,” Special Report, Summer 2015. Accessed Sep 18, 2018.


[68] Anonymous “A Mechanic’s Statement,” Carnicom Institute, May 19, 2000. Accessed Sep 19, 2018.


[69] Anonymous “An Airline Manager’s Statement,” Carnicom Institute, May 22, 2000. Accessed Sep 19, 2018.

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