Extremely low frequency

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Invisible waves coming out of a radio antenna -- it's Witchcraft!
Some dare call it


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Extremely low frequency (ELF) waves are radio waves with frequencies from 3 Hz to 3 kHz. Because they easily propagate through fluids such as the ocean, they've been used for submarine communications.[1] They're also a favorite target of cranks and conspiracy theorists who claim they're being used for all sorts of nasty things like mind control. Since the Schumann Resonance lies within the ELF frequency range, weather control is also attributed to ELF.[note 1] And, since HAARP is capable of creating ELF waves in the Earth's ionosphere, it's usually blamed for everything from bad hair days to earthquakes.[2]


[edit] Tesla nonsense

Many ELF conspiracies centre around fantasies about Nikola Tesla, since he popularised the concept in his attempts to create wireless energy by pumping large amounts of ELF into the ionosphere. Tesla's ideas turned out to be impractical, but his status as a crank martyr has led some to postulate that his fabled devices have been secretly employed by evil government conspiracies to control the minds of citizens.[3]

[edit] Mind control hysteria

Cranks proclaim (rather loudly) that ELF can control minds because the "alpha waves" of the brain cycle are within the ELF range. But if you seek a reality-based explanation for exactly how ELF generators could use this fact to control thoughts, they have no answer, just lots of technobabble that any first year physics student would find loaded with fundamental errors and misrepresentations.[4]

According to very paranoid thinkers, the grand Project Blue Beam conspiracy -- whose objective is supposedly the total subjugation of mankind -- somehow uses UHF, LF, VLF, and ELF (and maybe AM and FM too) to produce voices in your head that make you obey the NWO.[5]

ELF conspiracy proponents often cite U.S. Patents with scary-sounding (to them) titles like "BODY WORN ACTIVE AND PASSIVE TRACKING DEVICE" and "FENCELESS ANIMAL CONTROL SYSTEM USING GPS" as proof that ELF has been weaponized as a tool to subdue the population.[6] However even a cursory read of the patents cited shows that none of them operates in the ELF range of frequencies.

So-called targeted Individuals also blame ELF for a host of imagined problems including violent behavior, cramps, seizures, voices, and induced dreams, which they claim are somehow simultaneously caused by microwaves.[7]

[edit] Practical limitations

Antennas that will transmit ELF are so huge as to be impractical. The size of a radio antenna must be some physical fraction of the radio frequency's "wave length". For example, let's say the wavelength of a two-way radio used in a modern day police car operates on 600MHz. The size of a wavelength at 600 MHz is 0.5 meters (or a little over 19 inches). So a half-size (9 or so inches) antenna [note 2] will work quite well.[8] But a single wavelength in the ELF frequency range (for example 75 hertz) is 2,500 miles long. To generate ELF waves would require an antenna many hundreds of miles in length.[1] So if someone on Facebook tells you your local cell phone towers are generating ELF waves, you can confidently call bullshit.

[edit] Sources of ELF

[edit] The Navy

From 1989 to 2004, the US Navy used two 14 mile long antennas connected by 165 miles of cable, to communicate with submarines using ELF. The Soviet Navy developed a similar system.[9] However the resulting emissions were surprisingly weak. It took very sensitive gear and sophisticated antennas for submarines to receive these radio signals. Hence, no human was in danger of harmful radiation unless they were literally humping the transmitting antenna wire.[note 3]

[edit] HAARP

The Navy needed to communicate with their subs using ELF, but the huge antennas required were costly and impractical. To solve this problem, they theorized that HAARP could create a "virtual ELF antenna" way up in the ionosphere.[10] It did this by heating a specific spot in the lower ionosphere with a powerful beam of shortwave radio signals. The signals were cleverly modulated at an ELF frequency, resulting in modulation of the natural auroral electrojet current, which in turn radiated at an ELF frequency.[11] The ELF waves generated by HAARP were still weak enough that submarines would need some sensitive equipment to detect them. So unless a person was actually floating around in the ionosphere — at 100 km (more than 62 miles high) — at the specific spot HAARP was heating, they were in no danger. [12]

[edit] Power lines

Because the AC current carried by electric power lines (aka "mains") alternates at 60 Hz and the lines themselves can be hundreds of miles long, they can function as efficient radiators of ELF. The magnetic fields directly underneath power lines are constantly measured, and they average about 20 µT (microTesla) in strength. However 20 µT is no where near strong enough to cause adverse health effects. In 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a study that concluded there are no substantive health issues related to ELF electric fields at levels generally encountered by members of the public.[13] (Of course, cranks have a whole separate conspiracy theory about the WHO.)

[edit] Lightning

Lightning strikes generate substantial ELF waves that can be measured all the way around the world. Needless to say, this has been going on since the dawn of time, and nobody seems too worried about it.[14]

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. According to cranks, ELF creates "blocks" in the ionosphere to control weather fronts and cause droughts and floods.
  2. Or, more typically, a quarter-size (or 1/4 wave) is used. Which is why most two-way radios you see have stubby little antennas.
  3. You'd probably kill yourself first trying to climb up to the wire.

[edit] References

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