If you follow along with the latest conspiracy theories, the odds are good that you’ve probably heard of the HAARP conspiracy.
HAARP is an abbreviation for “High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program”, and is essentially a program that began in 1990 with the goal of studying the fundamental physical principles that govern the area of the earth’s atmosphere known as the “ionosphere”.
In advancing the world’s knowledge of the earth’s ionosphere, there will be greater potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technologies for radio communications and surveillance purposes.
HAARP is being co-funded by the U.S. Air Force, the Navy, the University of Alaska, and the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, and is being managed at the HAARP Research Station, located near Gakona, Alaska.
A Basic Overview of the HAARP Conspiracy
HAARP has been the target of conspiracy theorists in recent years, with various people voicing concerns about the project’s commitment to hidden motives and covert capabilities.
In an article published in Skeptic Magazine in 2010, author David Naiditch described HAARP as being an attractive target for conspiracy theorists because, "its purpose seems deeply mysterious to the scientifically uninformed." (1)
In an article published by HAARP, referencing researchers John Heckscher, Ralph Scott and Guy McConnell as primary contacts, the authors’ detail how HAARP technology could potentially be used to disable electrical power grids and disrupt communication signals.
Referencing the value of ionospheric research, an article titled "What is HAARP?", published on the Florida International University website, stated:
"Ionospheric disturbances at high latitudes also can act to induce large currents in electric power grids: these are thought to cause power outages. Understanding of these and other phenomena is important to maintain reliable communication and power services." (2)
Is HAARP a Weather Control Weapon?
One issue HAARP conspiracy theorists question is the possibility of HAARP using weather control as a weapon.
However, to slightly modify skeptic David Naiditch’s words, the more "scientifically informed" may argue that HAARP and its technology has little influence over the weather, and that the sun’s own electromagnetic effects on the ionosphere are far more powerful than anything HAARP can release.
On the official HAARP website, one of the most frequently asked questions is, "Is HAARP capable of affecting the weather?"
The response is always very simple, "The HAARP facility will not affect the weather."
The writers at Haarp.alaska.edu then go on to describe how the transmitted energy in the frequency ranges used by HAARP is not absorbed by the two levels of the atmosphere that produce the earth’s weather.
It is the sun’s radiation, interacting with the earth’s atmosphere, that creates and continuously replenished the ionosphere.
So powerful is the radiation from the sun that if the ionospheric storms created by the sun don’t affect the weather, then, to quote the HAARP website, "there is no chance that HAARP can do so either."
An Odd Comment by William Cohen in 1997
Despite suggestions from conspiracy theorists that claim HAARP can affect the environment, those claims are not substantiated with any solid scientific evidence.
Those claims are in fact, debunked by our most powerful and inexhaustible source of energy - the one energy with enough heating and cooling effects to truly drive the Earth's weather system – the sun.
However, the idea that communication and power systems can be impacted by high-level electromagnetic weapons, such as the technology used by HAARP, is significantly more plausible.
At a news briefing in 1997, the Secretary of Defence, William S. Cohen, made a statement to the media where he outright admitted that there are environmentally-altering technological threats in existence. (3)
Cohen's comment at that briefing has provided fuel to the conspiracy theorists’ claims that technologies like HAARP could be manipulating the weather or exploiting communications.
William S. Cohen’s words, spoken in 1997, are published in news briefing transcripts on the U.S. Department of Defense website, and include the statement:
"Others are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves."
Additional Slips Revealing the Existence of Environmental Manipulation Research
Two years later, a report from the EU Committee on Foreign Affairs, Security and Defence Policy stated:
"Despite the existing conventions, military research is going on environmental manipulation as a weapon, as demonstrated for example by the Alaska-based HAARP system."
As you can see, the EU Committee on Foreign Affairs, Security and Defence Policy used the Alaska-based HAARP system as an example of environmental manipulation, because there are, in fact, several other related facilities, where such weather manipulation could be conducted if it was truly under development – EISCAT in Norway, HIPAS at Fairbanks, Alaska, SIHF in Russia and AOL in Puerto Rico.
The other interesting point that can be taken from William S. Cohen’s statement in 1997, and the EU Committee on Foreign Affairs, Security and Defence Policy’s speech, is that it is not only wacky conspiracy theorists that are questioning whether HAARP could be the cause of environmental catastrophes - such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes.
However, as HAARP states, "we cannot deny that the sun’s effects on the ionosphere are much more powerful that anything man can create".
However, HAARP does have a tendency to downplay what they do, and researchers there insist that the HAARP facility is no different than the other ionospheric heaters in operation like the one in Russia, Puerto Rico and Norway.
Mankind having the ability to manipulate the weather and cause hurricanes, volcanoes and other natural disasters may be a slightly far-fetched idea - the breeding ground for conspiracy theorists to engage their overactive imaginations.
U.S military documents clearly state that HAARP aims to learn how to "exploit the iomosphere for Department of Defense purposes."
In addition, given the very public statement made by Cohen at the 1997 news briefing regarding the very real threat of such technologies, it is not at all surprising that people suspect there may be more to HAARP and related facilities than what the public is being told.