There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.
If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2019.
| Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.|
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with !
Essay:Confessions of a Pilot
Coming to Face the Facts
I, like any denizen of the internet, have come across the cornucopia of crazy conspiracy theories, from the plausible to the ridiculous, to the type that are so nonsensical that one can’t be sure they’re not a parody of the ridiculous. One of these, which I’d classified as the second category (clearly ridiculous, but obviously not a parody as people seriously believe it), was that of chemtrails. In short, “They” are spraying chemicals from commercial airliners (which typically cruise around 35,000 feet above sea level) for various nefarious purposes, ranging from mind control to mass-sterilization.
I chalked this up to being ridiculous because, to put it simply, it never really made sense to me. First, what chemicals would be sprayed, and how they’d be at all good at being distributed across populations when delivered over six miles above the populations they’re supposed to be affecting. Second: what these chemicals are supposed to be doing; the sterilization thing is obviously not working. And third: just how big is the conspiracy. Are all airliners in on it? The pilots? If so, how has it been kept so secret for so long?
After I got my private pilot’s licence, I began to have doubts. I learned more about planes, and realized that the conspiracy not only doesn’t have to be that big, but it actually is happening. Not only that, but I now can say with some certainty which chemicals are being used!
Chemtrails are, as the name suggests, trails of chemicals, in this case specifically those left by high-altitude aircraft. Some chemtrails may linger for hours, while others seem to vanish within minutes. However, even those that visually disappear to not actually disappear; it’s just that the majority of chemicals released are colorless and odorless, but no less dangerous.
The primary component of chemtrails is hydric acid, which, like the other ingredients I’ll talk about, has the worrying ability to dissolve completely in water. Hydric acid is special in that it’s what is visible in the contrail, as it’s triple point—the temperature and pressure at which it can exist as a solid, liquid, and a gas—is close to normal atmospheric temperature and pressure. In its solid form, hydric acid is reflective, which is why chemtrails appear white.
Hydric acid has odd properties, and was used extensively by the Nazis, who mostly studied how long it took people to die when exposed to lethal amounts of it. It’s corrosive, to the point of being able to dissolve rocks, and is a greenhouse gas, though you won’t often hear it talked about because it’s effects are deemed minor and inconsequential.
Another major component is carbonic anhydride. Carbonic anhydride is acidic and corrosive when dissolved in water. It’s deadly to humans (when present, it prevents the lungs from absorbing oxygen), and when placed in seawater it has been shown to bleach choral and even dissolve the shells many marine creatures produce to protect themselves.
Finally, I’d not be doing my job without mentioning that carbonyl, a highly toxic chemical, is also present in chemtrails. Like the others, it’s colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Remember: just because you can’t see it, smell it, or taste it, doesn’t make it any less dangerous!
Here, I can only enter the realm of speculation, based on the aforementioned three deadly ingredients of this toxic soup. Because carbonic anhydride and carbonyl are both deadly, with the former being heavier than air (and thus tends to sink to the ground), one possibility could be a mass extermination campaign. However, the primary ingredient seems to imply ulterior motives.
My theory is that chemtrails are a form of chemical geoengineering. After September 11, 2001, when all air traffic across the US was grounded, studies showed that the lack of chemtrails actually changed the weather patterns from what, until then, had been considered natural! It’s probably not a coincidence that airplanes release the cocktail when at high altitudes, where hydric acid becomes reflective (though even when not reflective, it’s still a potent greenhouse gas!).
So I hope you learned something from this whole thing. Hopefully soon the public at large will be educated enough about these things to be able to make informed decisions about the quality of our air.