What are Chemtrails?

14/10/2010 23:18

Chemtrails are long and line-shaped cloud formations artificially created by flying aircrafts which are NOT formed by condensation of water vapor in the aircraft's exhausts. While in fact the typical white trails left by traditional airplanes flying at high altitude last only a few minutes and are formed by condensation of water vapor in the aircraft's exhausts (contrails), chemtrails are supposedly filled with chemical substances employed specifically for supposed atmospheric and weather modification, biological testing or other classified purposes.


Chemtrails are therefore an unproven theory as well as a movement of independent investigative researchers trying to understand whether unusual cloud-like trail formations being documented across world skies are indeed a systematic, high-altitude dumping of unknown substances for some classified missions or simple white contrails generated by normal airliners.

Conspiracy theories around chemtrails want these cloud-like trails criss-crossing the skies be part of a secret testing system to counter the effects of global warming. Others have written about the possibility that chemtrails could be instead wireless military devices to provide greater support for communications networks and radar systems.


All of those suggesting ambiguous and possibly dangerous consequences of such chemtrails maintain that these trails have an appearance and quality different from those of normal water-based contrails. Indeed when looking at the large visual documentation available, chemtrails seem not to be consistent with the well-known properties of traditional contrails.

On the news front, the first to report with some impact about chemtrails was American journalist William Thomas, who in 1997, reported about trails released by aircraft which looked much different from the normal contrails. Mr. Thomas research gave birth to a series of conspiracy theories whose unifying factor is based on the belief that some kind of chemical or biological agent is being secretly released by aircrafts in the skies for either weather modification, biological testing or military purposes.

While right now we have no definite proof on whether governments like the American one have a direct involvement in this operations, many of the "chemtrails conspiracists" argue that the weather modification track has indeed some interesting facts to it. In particular the strong desire to be able to modify weather conditions via unconventional methods was clearly in the minds of US legislators who approved and enacted the Weather Modification Research & Technology Act in 2005.

The chemtrails phenomenon is not localized only in the US. Many witnesses around the world keep on documenting and reporting chemtrails with pictures, medical reports and suits to local municipalities but with little, or I should say, inexistent coverage from the mainstream media.

This is particularly worrisome as, increasingly, chemtrails reports from different parts of the globe include cases of illness and other unpleasant mental and bodily symptoms from civilians living in areas below the sprayed area.

Here is the most interesting data I was able to collect on the topic, while remaining objective, and searching both for "conspiracists views" as well as for more conservative ones.


When did it start?

The first researches about chemtrails were conducted by William Thomas, a professional working journalist who first reported on chemtrails for the Environment News Service in the winter of 1997 and since then, thousands of websites have appeared claiming various theories and agendas behind a phenomenon witnessed in the skies over 14 nations.

Thomas noted that chemtrail samples were analyzed and revealed that they contained many deadly and toxic pathogens including Mycoplasma Fermetens Incognitus (the same bioengineered pathogen that Dr Garth Nicholson of the Institute of Molecular Medicine had discovered in about 45% of the veterans who came down with Gulf War Illness).

Thomas found that Mycoplasma, however, was only one pathogen among a group of highly toxic substances analyzed from the chemtrail residues. Williams also released a downloadable documentary on chemtrails explaining his theory in details.

Thomas' study of chemtrails took place some years before the US Congress approved the Weather Modification Research & Technology Act in 2005 in which the American government stated its purpose to promote artificial interventions to modify weather conditions.

Pro-chemtrail theories


Other than the studies that were conducted by William Thomas, many interested individuals have also made various speculations on chemtrails; some of them elaborated the following theories to support the conspiracy suspicions that underpin chemtrails:






  1. Atmospheric and weather modification

    The greater majority of conspiracy theorists believe that chemtrails are used to change the chemical composition of the atmosphere in order to alter the weather conditions of certain countries. Even though these theorists believe that this procedure might not necessarily be based on negative intentions, they are concerned about the fact that this procedure is perpetrated without the consent of the population.

  2. Biological warfare

    Some theorists think that chemtrails are part of an experiment to create biological warfare. However, it is not clear why such experiment should be conducted on innocent civilians and how could the promoters themselves survive those experiments (unless they have been vaccinated or they are somehow immune to them).

  3. Mind control or occult purposes

    Since some civilians have reported suffering from strong headaches and experiencing symptoms of mental imbalances, some theorists (mostly anonymous) alleged that chemtrails are nothing else but chemical elements that alter mind abilities.

  4. System to counter the effects of global warming

    Motivated by the statement of Nobel Prize winner Paul Crutzen, who suggested injecting chemical elements in the atmosphere to fight the so called Greenhouse effect (of which I will speak in the next paragraphs), certain theorists believe that chemtrails are chemical agents that are supposed to positively impact the atmosphere and reduce global warming.

  5. Create a cheap wireless communications network for the military

    Some independent researchers also theorized the possibility that chemtrails are part of an experiment aimed at building a wireless communication network for the military that would be completely based on chemical agents dispersed in the atmosphere.

  6. Experiments conducted by aliens

    Some theorists also believe that in reality, the dispersion of chemtrails might be the consequence of experiments conducted by aliens on earth. This is because some witnesses claim that they have seen UFOs appearing in the sky right after the dispersion of chemtrails.

Skeptical opinions


Skeptics, including the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, assert that contrails normally show a wide variation in appearance and that the descriptions and photographs of "chemtrails" are perfectly consistent with those of ordinary contrails. They also propose various objections to the idea of chemtrails which I report here:

  • Depending on what the alleged purpose of the chemtrail spraying would be, spray released above 30,000 feet is likely to be highly unpredictably dispersed due to high-altitude winds.
  • How do aircraft accused of depositing "chemtrails" manage to pass inspection without the deception being discovered?
  • Assuming drugging the population is the purpose, the people behind the conspiracy would breathe the same air the population breathes, so any harm inflicted on the population would also be inflicted on those in charge of the conspiracy, unless they were made immune through vaccinations.
  • Official and governmental bodies have consistently denied the existence of such spraying


The International Space Station reported seeing "trails" all the time, except when airplanes are not flying, as it happened in the days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Here is the report from September 14th, 2001:

"Three days after suicide airplane hijackers toppled the World Trade Center in New York and slammed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., the station crew noted an obvious absence of airborne jetliners from their perch 240 miles (384 kilometers) above Earth. 'I’ll tell you one thing that’s really strange: Normally when we go over the U.S., the sky is like a spider web of contrails,' U.S. astronaut and outpost commander Frank Culbertson told flight controllers at NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston. 'And now the sky is just about completely empty. There are no contrails in the sky,' he added. 'It’s very, very weird. I hadn’t thought of that perspective,' fellow astronaut Cady Coleman replied."

Source: Station Crew Notes Absence of American Air Traffic in Wake of Terrorist Attacks

Chemtrails in the media and scientific publications

An article published on March 7th, 2001 by Traci Watson in USA Today (which has been updated some weeks ago) described the "chemtrail" phenomenon. The author quoted Patrick Minnis of NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, who said "If you try to pin these people down and refute things you're just part of the conspiracy ... Logic is not exactly a real selling point for most of them.'' Watson also wrote that "The cloud-forming contrails that conspiracy theorists find so ominous are 'perfectly natural and the odd grid and parallel-line patterns are easily explained as contrails blown together by the wind, scientists say.

In the past few years also major media networks have been enticed by the phenomenon of chemtrails. The American NBC has been the first to release a video documentary entitled “Toxic Sky?”, entirely dedicated to chemtrails. You can also watch it here:

However, the most important media event related to chemtrails that has happened up to now is the Discovery Channel special documentary on “Chemical Contrails” aired in the US on February 22nd, 2007. The show extensively covered the topic of chemtrails, featuring a conversation with original chemtrail investigator Thomas Williams, as well as many other chemtrail researchers and debunkers.

An interest in air pollution has also been expressed by scientific magazines such as the Chemical & Engineering News, which published an interview with Nobel Prize winner Paul Crutzen. The subject of the interview was the Greenhouse effect and the possible ways to fix it. Professor Crutzen declared: “The world might need to radically combat global warming by deliberately injecting a small volcanic eruption's worth of planet-cooling sulfur into the stratosphere.” at a global warming conference at the Porter School for Environmental Studies in Tel Aviv.

Nonetheless, the idea of using sulfur to combat global warming raised many controversies, since most scientists agree that this will further cause more floods, desertification, heatwaves and rising sea levels. Some critics and environmental groups declared that Crutzen’s idea should at least be taken into consideration, and that the phenomenon of chemtrails might be the consequence of an experiment that draws back to this theory.

Similar phenomena

The evidence that the chemtrails theory is a hoax has been sometimes supported by reporting on similar phenomena that have already taken place.

As an example, NASA has admitted discharging trimethylaluminum (TMA) into the air above the Atlantic Ocean, as part of a 2003 project to study the ionosphere, creating linear man-made clouds which glowed in the night sky before dispersing.

Also, fertilizers and pesticides are sprayed over large fields from low flying aircrafts. In the Vietnam War, the defoliant Agent Orange was sprayed in order to remove the leaves from the trees.

Furthermore, in the War on Drugs, as part of Plan Colombia, the United States has been spraying the herbicide Roundup over Colombian coca fields.


William Thomas research, which started 10 years ago, brought to the attention of many the issue of airborne cloud trails created and deployed over large human populated areas which were not apparently officialized missions from any government or authority.

To this day we have little in the way to understand who is responsible for these activities and for what purposes they are being conducted.

The goal of this article was only to provide some initial research material and references to help a greater number of people to analyze, further research and help shed extra light on what chemtrails really are.

As the number of visual reports and news on this story increases, it is my duty as a reporter to investigate the issue and to try to bring to light as much factual and objective information as I can.

Who can do the most though in helping everyone understand more whether chemtrails are a complete hoax or whether there is good reason to worry about them is YOU. With your own ability to further research, check, and look up in the skies you can help a great deal everyone else find out how serious or ridiculous this phenomenon really is.

My invitation is not to have a prejudice, whether pro or con against this topic. Go out to the number of links I have offered you above and check with a skeptical eye the info and reports available. Check different sources. Traditional and not. Ask the BBC. Search Google. Check the blogs. Get informed anywhere and anyway you can.

Feel free to share your informed discoveries, facts and references in the Comments area at the end of this article. The only way we can find out more, is by asking more questions and by sharing all of our discoveries.


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