Silver-level article


From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The poor people who took this photo must've inhaled a century's worth of chemtrails. Thank Goat for the NWO's secret life extension technologies!
Some dare call it
Icon conspiracy.svg
What THEY don't want
you to know!
Sheeple wakers
To be actively confused with perfectly mundane and harmless contrails,Wikipedia as this conspiracy theory is based entirely upon said confusion.
According to several paranoid conspiracy theorists, chemtrails look like contrails but they are intentionally created by unknown people to poison us with unknown chemicals for some unknown reason.
The Sceptic's Dictionary[1]

Chemtrails (derived from "chemical trails"),[note 1] according to various kooks, are a currently ongoing mass aerial dispersal of unknown chemicals by The Powers That Be, for some vague but definitely nefarious purpose. This is one of the youngest among the more "established" conspiracy theories, having been first discussed at least as early as 1996,[2] and is sadly still going strong — despite the complete lack of knowledge of basic meteorology, of evidence, of compelling motive, or indeed of basic plausibility.

Such conspiracy movement has been stimulated in recent times by the growing presence of condensation trails from commercial and military jet planes. However, this is easily explained by the growing number of flights, and also by the fact that jet engines are increasingly more efficient over the years, which translates directly in cooler exhaust gas, and thus in more frequent contrail formation (see an explanation of it in the body of the text). See e.g. "Influence of propulsion efficiency on contrail formation"[3] for a comparison of new and old aircraft performance on this respect.

Proponents of the theory, often notably insane people such as Alan Watt,[4] Alex Jones,[5] Chuck Norris,[6] and David Icke,[7] support the idea that aerial chemical spraying is part of a massive, secret geoengineering effort to combat climate change with its temporary cooling effects. Some of the toxic compounds claimed as being released into the atmosphere are aluminum oxide (Al2O3) and barium salts, according to the allegations made against White House Science Czar John P. Holdren.Wikipedia[8]

That said, governments have been known to go batshit insane in the past. The Ministry Of Defence once spewed zinc cadmium sulphide (ZnCdS) over vast swaths of the population of the UK, between 1953 and 1964.[9] These tests were to assess Britain's vulnerability if the Russians decided to engage in biological warfare.[10] In 1950, the U.S. Navy sprayed Serratia marcescens and Bacillus globigii bacteria over the San Fransisco Bay area during Operation Sea Spray.[11]


Regular engine exhaust condensation Death from above!

Aircraft fuel is composed primarily of hydrocarbons, which generate carbon dioxide and water vapour as their main combustion by-products. Contrails are formed when these hot exhaust gases mix with rarefied cool air. In a process similar to cloud formation, the water condenses around soot (particulate exhaust) and freezes quickly, forming a white haze of microscopic ice crystals[note 2] which is essentially an elongated cirrus cloud. But like automotive exhaust, jet exhaust is not entirely harmless. Over ten thousand deaths per year have been attributed to emissions from aviation,[12] and contrails are responsible for 57 percent of the aviation industry's climate impact.[13][14]

Since contrails generally form several hundred feet behind the aircraft, passengers on commercial airliners typically do not see contrails forming, giving weight to the claim that "chemtrails" only come from special military aircraft. Commercial planes also, of course, don't have windows that face the rear. This feature of contrails can often be seen in photos of purported chemtrails. However, the fact that there is a gap between the aircraft and the formation of the contrail is completely inconsistent with the idea that the planes are pumping out particulate matter and chemicals into the air, as one would expect to see the trail form immediately behind the aircraft. For instance, in the picture to the left, there is an obvious gap of 0.015625 seconds between the aircraft and alleged chemical plume (550mph = 807fps = 12ft/0.015625s]).[note 3]

Note that contrails are different than the grayish "vapor trails" sometimes seen when flying low with flaps extended. These are formed of liquid water from the rapid decompression and cooling of air above the wings.

On days when cirrus cloud formation is occurring, there is more moisture in the upper atmosphere, and consequently, contrails may linger longer before evaporating. Since cirrus clouds often precede a general overcast or haze, the casual observer could easily assume that the contrails have caused the overcast, or become the overcast. The persistence of contrails varies with weather conditions: sometimes they dissipate almost immediately, but often they will persist for hours, with crossing trails sometimes forming gridlike patterns that stretch from horizon to horizon, which is no surprise considering the widespread use of airwaysWikipedia (especially near airports) as a necessary and everyday component of the overall flight planWikipedia used by any and all commercial passenger planes. The "chemtrails" label is usually applied to these longer contrails, with their very persistence put forward as "evidence" that they cannot be normal contrails — a logic reminiscent of disproving climate change with a freshly made snowball.[15]

Contrails have been photographed for many decades, and there are many WWII photographs available on the internet showing aircraft, such as B-17 bombers, with contrails.[16] (Maybe they used B-17s for crop dusting! ONOZ!!)

Chemtrail history and culture[edit]

Smeared contrails from London City Airport.
They're spraying us like bugs again today.
—A common complaint

Chemtrail theories were first brought to prominence in the 1990s by paranormal pusher and talk radio host Art Bell. Aided by the internet, it is now a worldwide phenomenon and chemtrail watchers all over the globe exchange photographs and videos of their favorite contrails on forums and YouTube.

Chemtrails were mentioned in US House Bill HR2977,[17] October 2, 2001, which banned various types of weapons in space. The reference to chemtrails was eventually removed, but the original inclusion is cited as evidence that they are a real phenomenon. Given that the original bill was introduced by Dennis Kucinich, it perhaps reveals more about Kucinich than about whether chemtrails are real.

The chemtrail conspiracy is most popular among those familiar with the New World Order and those who claim that the spray is designed to pacify populations, either by making them sick, or some sort of mind control. Like many other pseudoscientific terms, earnest use of the word "chemtrails" immediately identifies the person using it as a crank, and is enough to harm credibility and provoke ridicule among those of a more rationalist disposition.

The plot itself[edit]

xkcd has uncovered the root of the problem.

The purpose of the supposed chemtrail campaign is admittedly unknown, but speculation includes:

The alleged composition of chemtrails varies from one wingnut to another. According to the website of chemtrail "expert" Clifford Carnicom, they may contain barium, calcium, magnesium, titanium, metallic salts, and microscopic fibers.[21] Another site claims they are composed of "an oil based substance of unknown content" and "unknown biological components".[22]

The alleged effects of chemtrails are incredibly varied. A claim of increase in respiratory diseases is common. Weather alteration is often mentioned. In chemtrail site forums, nearly every unexplained headache or car-windshield spot is attributed to chemtrails. Morgellons has been attributed to chemtrails by some cranks who don't understand that even if planes were dropping stuff into the atmosphere at 30,000 feet, it would be scientifically impossible for it to land on a person's arm at ground level 5 minutes after the plane passes overhead.

It is known that barium (supposedly included in chemtrails) has the ability to prevent activation of certain T-cells in vitro, although this process is reversible and not a proven in vivo effect of barium exposure.[23] This has been made to fit into a wider secret plan to weaken the immune systems of the chemtrail targets.[24]


Some people believe that it's not the known phenomenon of warm jet-engine exhausts mixing with cold air that forms condensation trails, but rather, chemicals intentionally being sprayed onto people by the government. No problem, let's just test this theory. Aaand… OOPS! You can't test this theory, at least not without a helicopter and a way to scoop up a sample of a contrail to test it against a control group. Go back to the start — and by the start, I mean kindergarden!
—Maddox, How to tell if you believe in bullshit[25]

Photo evidence[edit]

Some photographic evidence of chemtrails supposedly exists, and is often touted around forums dedicated to the conspiracy. There are numerous photos that show what appears to be ominous looking tanks of "stuff" inside a commercial jet airliner.[26][27] However, leaving Paranoiaville and landing in Realityland, the images are of flight testing equipment. Tanks of water are used to simulate the weight of passengers (without using real people, seats, overhead bins, carpeting, etc. which would all have to be designed (what colors? Seat spacing? Passenger sizes?), specified, purchased, stored, installed, later disposed of…) and the fluidity and pumping equipment allows the weight distribution to be altered — because sometimes, as it has been known to happen, everybody on one side of the airplane slowly ventures to the other side to eventually see some amazing sight in the clouds or on the ground far below. This situation (as harmless as it may appear) can cause a devastating and sometimes deadly situation for the pilot. Successfully navigating with this specially designed training aircraft will soon be a requirement for all passenger aircraft pilots, as this phenomenon of large masses of very slow moving passengers is increasing exponentially in occurrence.[28] Other photographic "evidence" is just what it looks like; normal contrails of exhaust gases and condensed water vapor. More dramatic trails can be generated by injecting water into jet engines to create a more "smoky" exhaust either during take-off or for testing purposes.

Black ray[edit]

A black ray contrail — simply a volumetric shadow that happens to be aligned.

In the event that an aircraft is flying directly away from the setting or rising Sun, the contrail may cause a spectacular crepuscular ray, known in chemtrail jargon as the "black ray", after its sinister appearance. This has little to do with the chemicals sprayed into the contrail and everything to do with how the shadows work. A contrail can block out a significant amount of the Sun, and this casts a shadow, which is what is usually interpreted by conspiracy nuts as a chemical change.

There are three main types of shadow that can occur due to contrails — and mostly they look a little odd because people aren't quite used to working with shadows in three dimensions.[29] The first is self-shadowing, which is simply the effect of the contrail cloud having volume, so it develops a shadowed edge. This is particularly noticeable when the contrail is struck at certain low angles by the sun, or the atmospheric conditions are right to give the contrail a large, voluminous appearance. Parallel shadows give the illusion that a second, darker contrail is accompanying the brighter main one — but this is just the effect of the contrail casting a shadow onto a lower-lying and thin layer of cloud.[30][31] This isn't helped by the distances involved playing tricks with depth perception, but it isn't anything special and it is observed whenever high clouds cast shadows onto thin layers of cloud or haze, sometimes producing multiple shadows when conditions are right.[32]

Most black-ray contrails are due to volumetric shadows, so called because the shadow isn't cast on an object but through the atmosphere, slightly darkening the natural haze there.[29] All shadows are volumetric in this manner, but when the observer is positioned to see it edge-on, the effect is to visibly darken the atmosphere. When aligned just right, this shadow can look like a darkened continuation of the contrail itself, and moving even slightly can reveal the "black ray" to be a simple illusion. With this in mind, all photos of "black rays" become quite apparent.[note 6]

Germany admits to it![edit]

At least one YouTube video[33] claims to show a German news agency lifting the lid on military planes generating chemtrails and spraying barium into the atmosphere, according to the English subtitles. The actual German audio tells a rather different story: it's not about weather manipulation and chemicals, but about chaff (radar counter-measures) deployed from fighter planes during military exercises that were falsely registered as rain clouds on meteorological radars.

Here is a step-by-step instruction how to fabricate your very own "proof" of chemtrails, much like the above video:

  1. Pick a somewhat sensationalist news item about the use of chaffWikipedia by the German military from a German TV station known for broadcasting low-budget movies and softcore porn.Wikipedia Don't worry, most people won't know that this isn't actually reliable news reporting in the first place.
  2. Add English subtitles, conveniently replacing all occurrences of "chaff" (German "Düppel") with "chemtrail", relying on the fact that the majority of your audience won't know that the German word for "chemtrail" is, well, "chemtrail".[note 7] (If they knew, they might just notice that the word doesn't occur at all in the clip.) Make it appear as if the report is about actual "clouds" of chemicals, rather than false positives showing up only on radar screens.
  3. Add some subtle mistranslations that make it appear as if there is some form of evil intent behind all of this. Why talk about unintended distortions in radar images, when adding a slight twist will allow you to accuse the military of actively counterfeiting them?
  4. Replace more words in your subtitles; for example, write climate instead of the more boring and mundane weather radar. Remember: your audience doesn't understand German, so you're free to sell them anything you want and someone is bound to make a connection to HAARP. Just make it marginally fit the video image.
  5. Upload on Youtube, hyping it as a "Mainstream Media Exposé!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111ONEONEONE"
  6. ???
  7. Profit.

Airpilots admit it![edit]

At least one YouTube video[34] claims that two aircraft pilots exposed chemtrails. However, these pilots admitted it was fake in order to see if Chemtrail idiots would fall for it.[35] They did, obviously.[citation NOT needed]

Doppler Radar[edit]

Apparently, according to some conspiracy theorists, Doppler radarsWikipedia are evidence of chemtrails.[36] However, that's not what Doppler radars are designed for. They're designed to detect precipitation.[37]

UN 2013 Report[edit]

It's been claimed a 2013 report from the UN is linked to Chemtrails.[38]


Some chemtrail conspiracy theorists, such as Watt and Jones, claim that contrails are actually part of a covert geoengineering scheme either to offset global warming by introducing a substance, generally aluminum oxide, into the atmosphere (this has been discussed with some level of seriousness by geo-engineers).[39] Some cranks have gone so far as to protest geo-engineering conferences.[40]

Hurricane Sandy[edit]

It has been claimed that HAARP caused Hurricane Sandy and was "caught on satellite and radar". Guess who said it?[41]

The lack of sense this conspiracy makes[edit]

Alien Orbs makes Black Trails Evil Humans + Reptilian Aliens = Poisoned Chemtrails Sky
Actual title of a chemtrail disclosure video (in which the math clearly checks out)[42]

The very existence of the Grand Conspiracy required to administer chemtrails may be challenged on the basis of the difficulty of maintaining such a conspiracy for so long. Aerial spraying from high-altitude would be an extremely inefficient and inexact mode of delivering chemicals to ground-based targets.

Pesticides, for example, are often sprayed on crops from airplanes flying at 30 feet. Wide-area mosquito spraying may be done from an altitude of 150 feet. Chemtrails are supposedly deposited at 30,000 feet or higher, where winds would likely disperse them unpredictably and the compounds would probably break down before reaching the ground.

If there was a clandestine campaign to randomly expose all echelons of society to foreign chemicals, it would be simpler and more effective to put them in the water supply (see water fluoridation), or the food supply — or, if inhalation was necessary, to release them from ground-based vehicles.[note 8]

Note also that if governments used just military planes and not airliners, it would be a waste of resources for so little — if anything — in return, as they'd have to use a lot of them. Using airliners has the problems of why none of the many passengers, pilots, and especially technicians who maintain and fuel them notice or care about anything weird going on, and how both the chemicals and the system used to spray them lead to extra weight, something of concern for airlines because of their obsession with fuel prices, as well as for aircraft manufacturers, as they'd have had to incorporate that extra weight in their designs. And yet another flaw with this conspiracy is why there are no screw-ups of the style of the spraying systems turning on by accident when a plane is taking off.[note 9]

In addition, said Grand Conspiracy would require that all of the world's governments, including the supposedly hostile nations that [insert your favorite government overlords here] would have to be in cahoots with, would be agreeing to spray the chemtrails over their own populace, since there are very few national airspaces that do not have at least some aircraft flying to, from, within, or over them.[note 10] Considering the amount of ongoing research on trace components of the atmosphere, the Grand Conspiracy would also have to be suppressing scientific documentation of anomalous chemical presences in the stratosphere, everywhere in the world, without anybody noticing or any authors anywhere crying foul.[note 11]

But wait! How many international flights go over water where there are no nations, or over the poles where no humans live? Clearly these chemtrails are then responsible for ozone depletion/withdrawal of ice shelves/reduction of polar bear populations/desalination of the world's oceans/whatever you want to suggest they are, and anyone who dares to ask just why they'd go out of their way to deliberately wound the planet in this way is obviously a shill!

Some cranks have gone even further, suggesting that it's not regular planes, but gigantic remote controlled planes (which look like true airliners, including being painted with real airlines' livery) which are the ones being used for chemtrailing. Now, while it's true there are big RC model of airliners as Boeing 747s,[43] those people ignore the existence of sites such as Flightradar24 that allow tracking of civilian flights in real time as well as the big differences between a scale model and a full-sized one (namely autonomy, speed, flight level, payload capacity, and flight behaviour), and of course that a whole lot of them would be needed, meaning much larger possibilities of something going wrong (crashes and the like) and everything being discovered.

All evidence presented by the conspiracy theorists focuses on pictures of the sky. It is all perfectly consistent with contrails. No other evidence such as detection of chemicals or pictures of actual chemical spraying planes or documentation detailing the government's plan has ever been forthcoming. Notably absent are potentially convincing evidence such as spectrographic analyses — after all, the contents of an aircraft's trail can't be hidden from a spectrograph. Or, for that matter, air sampling, which became so refined during the Cold War that scientists could not only pick up the residual traces of a nuclear test thousands of miles downwind, but analyse them finely enough to reconstruct the design of the device tested. If these exquisitely sensitive technologies cannot detect the enormous amounts of "chemicals" supposedly being released into the atmosphere via "chemtrails", then those who believe in those chemicals need not only far better evidence that they exist than they have ever offered, but also a credible explanation for why they're undetectable.

Well… Discovery Channel performed an analysis on chemtrails, and hasn't seen evidence of strange gases.[44] Strange is bolded because in the video referenced, there's a heavy quote-mine, so that the uploader can rant about how bad nitrogen dioxideWikipedia (who refuses to mention that we'd smell the gas if it came anywhere near the surface), nitric acidWikipedia (again, anywhere near the surface, things would be eaten away), carbon dioxide (we breathed in before airplanes), and carbon monoxide (meanwhile, chemtrailers have no issues with cars) are.

Vinegar Warriors[edit]

So, the plan is to get rid of chemicals in the atmosphere by pumping more chemicals (CH3COOH) into the atmosphere!

There are an intrepid group of people who have discovered the secret to removing chemtrails: vinegar. There are numerous groups dedicated to it, and despite the obvious stupidity of it all, they seem to believe it. The trick is as follows; simply evaporate a certain amount of vinegar each day in order to disperse clouds and chemtrails and to clear the skies. Depending on how crazy the person proposing this can be, the volumes range from a few litres per day (mixed with extra water) to simply spraying it into the air from a bottle. Yes, that's right, people believe that clouds and chemicals at 20,000 ft can be dispersed and neutralised by spraying a couple of millilitres of dilute acetic acid in their back yard (presumably the patches of dead grass you can see in the videos these people produce[45] are just a coincidence). For those who can't quite afford the increase in energy bills associated with boiling 5+ litres of water a day for no reason, other advice includes simply tipping it onto asphalt to let it evaporate naturally. Complaints from neighbours about the smell aren't usually mentioned.

For that matter, even a modicum of chemical knowledge, and a simple experiment in distillation, will reveal that what is released into the atmosphere by evaporating vinegar is overwhelmingly, er, water. Vinegar is 95% water and 5% acetic acid to begin with, and the water is substantially more volatile than acetic acid. The acetic acid that is evaporated is considerably heavier than air, so it settles out rapidly and close to its source, and unless you're planning on lying next to a bottle of vinegar all day, keep it away from your lungs. If anything, by humidifying the atmosphere, evaporating vinegar promotes (infinitesimally) the formation of chemcontrails.

There's relatively little to refute when it comes to this. Not least the complete lack of evidence that chemtrails are real, but even if they were real, there's no chance that spraying a minute amount of a fairly cheap weak acid is going to disperse chemicals over a range of dozens of cubic miles. Proponents do present evidence that their actions do work: the "chemtrails" eventually dissipate over time, about 10-30 minutes after spraying or evaporating the vinegar. You know, exactly the same way they do when you don't spray the vinegar. Then again, these are people who think spraying a minute amount of acetic acid and water into the air will break up a cloud a few miles away — so don't expect them to understand the concept of a controlled experiment.

Viral image[edit]


The photo on the right, as if even needing to be debunked, is an alleged "legitimate photo of a cockpit control panel taken secretly aboard a commercial airliner" which went viral in 2016.[46] It was originally taken inside an Embraer E145. The supposed "Chemtrail" switch is in fact labeled "Sterile Light" in the plane's manual.[47] This image actually originated from by the user Ajax as a joke.

Ajax: View attachment 28533
jtrain609: That is a fantastic photoshop job!
Ajax: not sure if sarcasm, but ill[sic] take the compliment regardless
jwp_145: Not really. Font isn't even close. Detracts from the believability.

SOrry,[sic] I'm a designer so those things tend to stand out to me.
RDoug: I noticed the same thing straight away — The "M", "E", and "T" were totally off from other labels in the photograph.
Ajax: It was maybe a 10 minute job, had I cared more I probably could have made it better. I put it up on FB and a few people bit, so I figured it was good enough for that purpose. :)
RDoug: Pretty much anyone who wants to believe this nonsense is going to lap this right up. People see what the[sic] want to see.

The font of the "Chemtrail" text is Verdana, which is freely available and different from the other font shown in the rest of the text. As for the labels being off, this labeled image should show what's wrong:

This photo illustrates the off-perspective of the "Chemtrail" text.

If the text were supposedly viewed upright, the "Chemtrail" text would tilt to the right. In other words, the text is inconsistent with the other text in the image, thus showing a red flag of photo manipulation.

Things that scare Chemtrail proponents[edit]

Silver iodide generator on a Cessna 210
Or it could be social engineering. How many people became gay due to this experiment?

Some processes that most resemble the idea of chemtrails includes crop dusting, cloud seeding, and sky writing.

Cloud seeding[edit]

One of the real-life process most closely comparable to the idea of chemtrails is probably cloud seeding,Wikipedia the attempt to influence the weather by spreading fine particles (usually silver iodideWikipedia or dry iceWikipedia) high above ground to serve as precipitation nuclei (i.e. to turn atmospheric moisture into rain). This is usually done either to cause rain to fall on a desirable location, or to stop rain or hail from falling on an undesirable location. Cloud seeding operations use specially modified aircraft, usually relatively small, not the commercial airliners that are featured in most chemtrail claims. Occasionally, pictures of aircraft equipped with cloud seeding equipment are presented on chemtrail websites as "proof".

Conspiracy theorists decided to start spreading around the rumor that cloud seeding was actually spraying of chemtrails.[48][49]

Not only that, but apparently… Pilots admit it.[50] And of course, Chemtrail idiots repost the same video over and over[51] saying I SECRETLY RECORD A CHEMTRAIL PILOT! THEY'RE SPRAYING SILVER IODIDE. IT IS TOXIC![52] there are many, MANY reposts of this video:[51][50] usually with a false explanation of what silver iodide is.[note 12]

Crop dusting[edit]

Another process that has the idea of plane dispersing chemicals is the aerial applicationWikipedia of crop care products such as fertilizers and herbicides on crop fields. Like cloud seeding, this is usually done by purpose-built or specially modified small aircraft, with the major difference that they only fly at low altitudes to make sure that the stuff lands in the right place.

Sky writing and other aerial smoke displays[edit]


Smoke generated for use in sky writing and acrobatic aerial displays typically consists of a low viscosity oil atomized and sprayed at high pressure over an airplane's hot exhaust or from specialized dispensers, resulting in a persistent smoke trail that can be formed into writing and displays by the pilot. The oil smoke's quick diffusion along with the relative paucity of sky writing and aerial acrobatic displays means that neither could possibly contribute to any of the ills typically attributed to the chemtrail conspiracy.

In New York, a plane wrote "Last Chance" in the sky.[57] Chemtrailers say this was the pilot sending a message of some sort, but this has been explained as a message related to the financial downturn of the late 2000s.[58]

To this day, there are videos on Youtube with ridiculous titles like "Chemtrail Pilot Mocks me with his sky writing".[59] However, this is assuming Chemtrails exists. Normal contrails can last long enough to create messages in the sky too. This has been demonstrated over Washington state by a rather precocious F/A-18 pilot.[60]

Discussion tropes[edit]

  • People who disbelieve in chemtrails "with so much overwhelming evidence" are sheeple.
  • The "overwhelming evidence" will be skimpy indeed.
  • "In the 1970s contrails lasted only a few minutes" (this is incorrect).
  • Links to YouTube videos where the uploader removes rebuttals against the cranks, followed by photoshopped videos of "chemtrail vents" on commercial airplanes.
  • NaturalNews claims that chemtrails, unlike contrails, "linger for hours or whole days." Furthermore, while contrails "are very white and somewhat thinly textured," chemtrails "tend to be thicker and wider than contrails, and their white plumes can be tainted with slight discolorations."[61] Both claims are incorrect. According to another source with similar claims, contrails will go away after a few seconds while chemtrails do not.[62]

Fighting the good fight[edit]

Oh my God! Even the pilots want the nightmare to end!
Indeed, yes they do.

Formerly noted among chemtrail promoters was Rosalie Bertell (1929-2012), an environmental health scientist noted for her work in the field of ionizing radiation.[63] She later went off the rails of environmental health warnings and trainwrecked into Trutherism and chemtrail conspiracy theory promotion.[64][65] Unfortunately, she passed away before she could come to her senses.[66]

Websites devoted to raising awareness of chemtrails have failed to ignite the indignation of the masses to the extent that the chemtrails have stopped. So (in typical Grand Conspiracy fashion) the chemtrail believers claim that the powers that be, rather than revealing their evil purpose by overtly suppressing this knowledge, are covertly suppressing it by recruiting their agents in science and the media to ridicule it as bizarre, kooky, and unbelievable.

Since awareness-raising efforts have so far proven ineffective, the pseudoscientific practice of cloudbusting using orgone energy has now been brought to bear on the problem of chemtrails.[67]

The best way to promote the cause, of course, is to invoke the admirable hundreds of professional pilots who are forced to release these chemicals into our atmosphere under threat of death. Or not.

Our sylph allies[edit]

Cloudbusting warriors at the (in)famous have been pleased to learn that they do not fight the evil government chemtrails alone. They have allies in the clouds! These nebulous allies, the sylphs,[68] help eat up the poisonous "chemsoup", especially when boosted by orgone energy sent up from cloudbusters.[note 13] You also can observe a sylph in action.[69] Please note exactly how distinguishable the majestic sylph is from, say, a normal wispy cloud (see Pareidolia).


See also[edit]

In a nutshell[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Which are not to be confused with contrailsWikipedia ("condensation trails") — the long, thin clouds of condensation left behind by flying aircraft, usually caused by the hot airplane engines flying in comparatively cold air. The adherents of the chemtrail conspiracy, however, argue that precisely these otherwise innocent looking contrails are in fact "chemtrails" — which are, in turn, the subject of this article.
  2. The word "contrail" is short for "condensation trail". This is something of a misnomer. Condensation is the process of going from vapor to liquid. In a contrail, instead of condensing, the water vapor freezes into ice. It should really be called a "freeze trail".
  3. See images below for examples of crop dusters and acrobatic planes, possibly the closest things that reality has to chemtrails. These do not feature a gap as jets do.
  4. This stands out from the rest of the list by… not really being sinister at all. Unfortunately, it's almost as unrealistic as the rest of them — "almost" because plane-based weather modificationWikipedia technology does exist, but it's not capable of magically neutralizing climate change. (As previously mentioned, real weather-control planes wouldn't have a gap between the plane and the "chemtrail".)
  5. Note that Monsanto doesn't even exist anymore, having been bought out by Bayer in June 2018.
  6. In this particular example, it's possible to see the volumetric shadow extend along the length of the contrail, slightly above it. From another angle, the effect would be to see the shadow grow larger and more apparent.
  7. No kidding. See the "Chemtrail" article in the German language branch of Wikipedia.
  8. Have you seen the smoke suspiciously billowing out of cars!? That's a lot more easily inhaled by humans than plane contrails could ever be!
  9. Or, on a sadder note, when an airliner has an accident and its remains are scattered over a wide area, why there are no traces of the deposits with the… stuff used for chemtrailing, or the latter itself.
  10. Admittedly, this is not a huge leap for the conspiracy theory crowd to make, which further exemplifies their delusions.
  11. Other cranks say that Big Pharma is behind this, as people will have to buy their medicines to cure the effects of chemtrails. Never mind how especially nonsensical that idea is in countries with universal/public healthcare. (Not that American conservative cranks would ever entertain that as being feasible, despite all the evidence that it works wonderfully, because muh free markets/communist plots.)
  12. The Office of Environment, Health and Safety, UC Berkeley, rates silver iodide as a Class C, non soluble, inorganic, hazardous chemical that pollutes water and soil. It has been found to be highly toxic to fish, livestock, and humans. Numerous medical articles demonstrate that humans absorb silver iodide through the lungs, nose, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. Mild toxicity can cause GI irritation, renal and pulmonary lesions, and mild argyria (blue or black discoloration of the skin). Severe toxicity can result in hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, shock, enlarged heart, severe argyria, and death by respiratory depression.
    Moreover, a key manufacturer of silver iodide for weather modification, Deepwater Chemicals, warns of potential health effects of silver iodide in their Material Safety Data Sheet as follows:[53]

    Chronic Exposure/Target Organs: Chronic ingestion of iodides may produce "iodism", which may be manifested by skin rash, running nose, headache and irritation of the mucous membranes. Weakness, anemia, loss of weight and general depression may also occur. Chronic inhalation or ingestion may cause argyria characterized by blue-gray discoloration of the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Chronic skin contact may cause permanent discoloration of the skin.

    Under the guidelines of the Clean Water Act by the EPA, silver iodide is considered a hazardous substance, a priority pollutant, and as a toxic pollutant. Some industries have learned this all too well… According to the PGCD [Texas Panhandle Groundwater Contamination District], "Every year, two viable samples of rainwater must be sent to a laboratory for analysis and in return forwarded to TNRCC [Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission] to ensure that the water is not contaminating the area."[54] This is faulty sampling and testing over a seven county area. If PGCD can not control where the seeded clouds dumps water, how can they take only two rain samples per year to test for silver concentrates of the clouds they seeded? At least it is an admission that silver toxicity is an issue. Such misleading statements based on faulty data are not uncommon to the PGCD. In 2001, rainfall amounts were grossly over inflated in multiple rain gauges. Such overstatements are to prop up the benefits of their program while denying the adverse effects.
    To effectively monitor the levels of silver toxicity, at the very minimum, water samples should be taken on a monthly basis from every dam, creek, stock tank, and other water capture places in the respective district while cloud seeding is being conducted. Also, soil samples should taken. According to the Colorado National Park Service and the Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable, the result of cloud seeding with silver iodide and run off have adverse effects on the water, soil, and flora and fauna. "Elevated silver concentrations in biota occur in the vicinities of sewage outfalls, electroplating plants, mine waste sites, and silver iodide-seeded areas."[55] In fact, in the 1980s the CDC had hoped that silver toxicity would be reduced nationally based on a reduction of cloud seeding activity. "Fallout from cloud seeding with silver iodide is not always confined to local precipitation; silver residuals have been detected several hundred kilometers down wind of seeding events."[54]
    "Anthropogenic sources associated with the elevated concentrations of silver in nonliving materials include smelting, hazardous waste sites, cloud seeding with silver iodide, metal mining, sewage outfalls, and especially the photoprocessing industry."[56]

  13. In other news, there are still people who believe in orgone energy and cloudbusters. You just can't keep a good pseudoscience down. Unfortunately.


  1. chemtrails (contrails) The Skeptic's Dictionary.
  2. Weather Eye: contrail conspiracy: According to some theories, contrails that persist in the sky are chemical agents secretly sprayed into the sky by government agencies by Paul Simons (September 27 2013, 1:01am The Times.
  3. Influence of propulsion efficiency on contrail formation Ulrich Schumann (2000) Aerosp. Sci. Technol. 4:391–401.
  4. M.A.R.S. Attack — Something wicked this way comes. Military Aircraft Raising Sh-- Cutting Through the Matrix with Alan Watt
  5. Information For Chemtrail Skeptics (September 19, 2012) InfoWars.
  6. Sky criminals WND - Sky Criminals by Chuck Norris
  7. Chemtrails: A Planetary Catastrophe Created by Geo-engineering by David Icke (24 October 2013 GMT).
  8. Colossal GeoEngineering in Plain Sight (November 13, 2011) InfoWars.
  9. Millions were in germ war tests: Much of Britain was exposed to bacteria sprayed in secret trials by Antony Barnett (Sunday 21 April 2002 05.23 EDT) The Guardian.
  10. Zinc Cadmium Sulphide Dispersion Trials: Report by the Academy of Medical Sciences to the Chief Scientific Adviser, Ministry of Defence on the Zinc Cadmium Sulphide dispersion trials undertaken in the United Kingdom between 1953 and 1964. December 1999. The Academy of Medical Sciences (UK)
  11. In 1950, the U.S. Released a Bioweapon in San Francisco., July, 2015.
  12. Mason Inman. "Plane Exhaust Kills More People Than Plane Crashes". National Geographic News, 2010-10-10. Accessed 2017-08-19.
  13. Jacopo Prisco. "Contrails are a problem for aviation – but there could be an easy solution". CNN, 2023-01-12. Accessed 2023-01-15.
  14. The contribution of global aviation to anthropogenic climate forcing for 2000 to 2018 by D. S. Lee (2021) Atmospheric Environment 244:117834. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2020.117834.
  15. Jim Inhofe Brings A Snowball To The Senate Floor To Prove Climate Change Is A ‘Hoax’ by Kate Sheppard (02/26/2015 05:23 pm ET | Updated Feb 27, 2015) The Huffington Post.
  16. Which type of planes produce contrails? fighters? supersonic? or passenger planes?
  17. Text of H.R. 2977 (October 2, 2001) U. S. House of Representatives
  18. CBS News video: Local news report claims the government is controlling weather using airplanes by Cyriaque Lamar (2/15/11 5:16pm) io9.
  19. Covid, naturally.
  20. Join Jeffrey Smith and Tom Newmark for the Truth about GMOs California Tour in Southern California August 17-25th! (2012) Institute for Responsible Technology. Anti-GMO activist Jeffrey Smith was a guest speaker at the 2012 Consciousness Beyond Chemtrails Conference.
  21. [1] by Clifford E. Carnicom (Apr 02 2002; Edited Apr 07 2002) Carnicom Institute.
  22. What Are the Differences Between Chemtrails and Contrails? by Michael & Stephanie Relfe
  23. Functional heterogeneity in the process of T lymphocyte activation; barium blocks several modes of T cell activation, but spares a functionally unique subset of PHA-activable T cells by L. T. Peçanha & G. A. Dos Reis (1989) Clin. Exp. Immunol. 76(2):311–316. All modes of T-cell activation, except PHA-induced mitogenesis, were blocked in a reversible and dose-related manner by Ba2+.
  24. Barium, Chemtrails & Immunosuppression, Bob Lee,
  25. How to tell if you believe in bullshit by Maddox (Feb 12, 2016) YouTube.
  26. "Chemtrail" Aircraft Photos Contrail Science.
  27. Debunked: Chemtrail Plane Interior (Ballast Barrels) by Mick West (Jul 20, 2012) Metabunk.
  28. — 787 Dreamliner testing
  29. 29.0 29.1 Contrail science — Contrails, Dark Lines, Black Beams, & “Chemtrails”
  30. Atmospheric Optics - Contrail Shadows
  31. Space Weather Archive — Tricky Shadows
  32. Triple cloud shadow
  33. Chemtrail Proof — German Military Exposed., Epiphany 7 Productions, uploaded December 17, 2007
  34. HAARP Chemtrail Whistleblower Pilot Exposes Video Truth Evidence by Libby Lagadi (Sep 18, 2011) YouTube.
  35. Fake, Hoax, Chemtrail Videos
  36. Scientific analysis of chemtrails on doppler radar rules out contrails by GoodpixelProductions (Jun 26, 2013) YouTube.
  37. See the Wikipedia article on Doppler radar.
  38. Chemtrails connected to UN 2013 Report? 'Earth is in the midst of a Mass Extinction of Life' by EX0MATRlXTV (Mar 7, 2013) YouTube.
  39. US scientists launch world's biggest solar geoengineering study: Research programme will send aerosol injections into the earth’s upper atmosphere to study the risks and benefits of a future solar tech-fix for climate change by Arthur Neslen (24 Mar 2017 08.39 EDT; Last modified on Fri 21 Dec 2018 10.15 EST) The Guardian.
  40. Smattering of Activists Protest Geoengineering, 'Chemtrails' by Eli Kintisch (February 20, 2010 6:37 PM) Science (archived from February 24, 2010).
  41. HAARP Engineering 'FRANKENSTORM' Hurricane Sandy — CAUGHT on SATELLITE and RADAR!!! by RevMichelleHopkinsMann (Oct 27, 2012) YouTube.
  42. Alien Orbs makes Black Trails * Evil Humans + Reptilian Aliens = Poisoned Chemtrails Sky by Conspiratruth (May 7, 2015) YouTube.
  43. Flying high! Stunning remote control plane that is an EXACT replica of a Virgin 747 by Zoe Szathmary (01:16 EDT, 24 December 2015 | Updated: 04:37 EDT, 24 December 2015) The Daily Mail.
  44. Chemtrails Analyzed With Land Based Spectrometer by islandonlinenews (Jul 11, 2010) YouTube.
  45. Ron Paul Supporters Spray Vinegar at the Sky to "Kill" Chemtrails!
  46. Chemtrail Switch is Not by psuedon (Dec 13 2015) imgur.
  47. Embraer E145 Cockpit Panels
  48. Woodley Chemtrails 25 March 2012 — The Illuminati Version by ReinhardvonHolst (Mar 25, 2012) YouTube.
  49. WTF?! CLOUDS SEEDING! CHEMTRAILS 26.11.2013 part 1 by Oldřich Vencl (Nov 26, 2013) YouTube.
  50. 50.0 50.1 Google search of "silver iodide chemtrails"
  51. 51.0 51.1 Google search of "I Secretly Record A Chemtrail Pilot!"
  53. 107.04 Silver Iodide Deepwater Chemicals
  54. 54.0 54.1 Cloud seeding doesn't work by Johnny Micou (January 05, 2003) Amarillo Globe-News.
  55. Silver Hazards to Fish, Wildlife, and Invertebrates: A Synoptic Review by R. Eisler (1996). Contaminant Hazard Reviews Report 32 ; Biological Report 32. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, National Biological Service.
  56. Concise International Chemical Assessment Document 44. Silver and Silver Compounds: Environmental Aspects by P. D. Howe & S. Dobson (2002). IPCS INCHEM.
  57. Chemtrail Pilot Clearly Mocks Us With His Skywriting by ChaotinChrissi (Sep 23, 2011) YouTube.
  58. Explanation Behind 'Last Chance' Message in New York Sky Is Bizarre by Jill Baughman (October 10, 2011 at 2:09 PM) Cafe Mom.
  59. CHEMTRAIL PILOT WRITES "LAST CHANCE" WITH HIS JET… by TRUTH TV (May 14, 2013) YouTube (archived from June 15, 2014).
  60. Penis in the sky: US navy pilots grounded over 'obscene' stunt: Navy not amused after electronic warfare plane created sky writings in the shape of male genitals over Washington state (17 Nov 2017 20.19 EST) The Guardian.
  61. Denying chemtrails is dangerous for your health by Paul Fassa (March 17, 2012) Natural News.
  62. The ultimate proof of Chemtrails by overunitydotcom (Apr 24, 2010) YouTube.
  63. "Anti-Nuclear Nun" Rosalie Bertell Dies at 83 (Jun 21, 2012) Democracy Now!
  64. Chemtrails Rosalie Bertell (
  65. Sr. Rosalie Bertell, PhD warns about chemtrails(2 videos) (April 20, 2010) 9/11 Truth Australia.
  66. Remembering Rosalie Bertell by Ilya Sandra Perlingieri (June 15, 2012) Global Research.
  67. Orgoneblasters
  68. Sylphs (archived from November 12, 2019).
  69. Sylph In Action (31 July 2008) (archived from September 14, 2018).
  70. "Cloud Formation from Supercharged Plane" (July 1921) Monthly Weather Review