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paranoid theory of the week :: are natural disasters being caused by advanced weapons?

you don't know haarp
when it comes to things that most people acknowledge they can't control, the weather and natural disasters have to be near the top of the list. yes, there are natural disasters like hurricane katrina in 2005, which were made far worse than they might have been from government ineptitude and inaction; yes, there is certainly a consensus that humans have an effect on climate change, which in turns effects the weather and natural disasters on a large scale; but most of us are pretty certain that there aren't any individuals who can just fire up a generator and cause a catastrophic earthquake. most of us.

in fact, there's a fair sized community who think that there are people who absolutely can do just that and that they want to use their powers for evil. [although, really, i can't think of how you could use the power to cause a massive landslide for good. i mean, even if you killed hitler 2.0, chances are you'd take thousands of innocent people, which might arguably make you the next hitler and defeat your supposedly noble purpose.] so this week's paranoid theory investigates: might these people be onto something? or is this strictly for the tinfoil hat set?

the theory ::

world governments, in particular the american government, have developed the technology to control the weather and to cause "natural" disasters, as well as some diseases and they are using it in soem pretty high profile ways.

the origin ::

have you heard of a rain dance? the plague of locusts? the hammer of thor? humans have clung to the belief that they had some measure of control of the weather since the dawn of time, and those who felt left out have been suspicious of those who seemed to have luck on their side.

more recently, a lot of attention has been directed towards the american project known as haarp: the high-frequency active aurora research project. started in 1993 and based in alaska, the research project's stated goal was to investigate the possibility that poking the earth's ionosphere with a laser pole could allow us to figure out when the sun was going to get all dyspeptic and belch in our general direction, because sun belches [or "solar flares" if you want to be all hoity-toity] have a tendency to disrupt our communications systems and cause a sort of instability our brains are programmed to fear.

although haarp was shut down in 2014, largely because no one wanted to bother to refit the facilities in order to meet standards imposed by the clean air act, rumours continue to swirl about its "real" purpose and how "shut down" it really is.

the believers ::

lots of them. venezuelan president hugo chavez linked it to the devastating 2013 earthquake in haïti. despite the fact that the money for the project was earmarked by alaska senator ted hughes [the guy who once described the internet as a series of tubes] in order to bring home the research bacon, the alaska state legislature wasn't sold on the story of what the project was doing and held their own hearings about it. former minnesota governor jesse ventura theorised that the project was actually a front for research into both weather and mind control [and was denied entry to the facility when he showed up to try to prove his point]. and award-winning physicist bernard eastlund claimed that haarp used technology he developed that was capable of modulating weather. nick begich jr., the son of a former united states congressman and the brother of a united states senator and a scientist himself, wrote a book, angels don't play this haarp, which is pretty much the bible of haarp-ist conspiracy.

[it also has some quasi-believers in both the european parliament and the russian military, who believe that researchers hadn't done sufficient research to assure them that untold evil wouldn't rain down in the wake of giving the atmosphere a giant laser enema. even the cbc and the history channel have done documentaries about the project that raise some questions.]

one of those believers is a little more interesting than the others, by the way, and i'll bet you can figure out which one it is.

the bad guys ::

the united states government- democrats and republicans. the military-industrial complex, in particular a massive defense contractor called raytheon, which has gradually gobbled up all the patents supposedly associated with the haarp project, and brought thousands of its own to the table. raytheon's motto is "customer success is our mission", which sounds like the usual load of corporate hooey, until you think a little harder about what it means to have a manufacturer of weapons and military infrastructure focused entirely on their customers' "success".

the evidence ::

remember how i said that one of "the believers" was a little more interesting than the others? did you guess it was the physicist, bernard eastlund?

dr. eastlund died in 2007, but his passion for physics burned strong until the end of his life. he claimed, in an npr panel discussion about building weapons for weather control, that three of his patents had been used in the development of haarp. no one in the government has verified or denied this, so we'll have to just call it "plausible" at the moment.

a little more unsettling is the final patent that he filed, shortly before his death, which contains a passage [viewable on his wikipedia page] that specifically mentions both weather modification and haarp.

while eastlund never came out and said that haarp was conducting research into weather control, or that the technology to do so had been developed, the presence of that patent is a pretty powerful indicator that there's something to the haarp rumours.

some have analysed haarp's activity in the times surrounding specific natural events [like hurricane katrina and the 2008 chinese earthquake] in an attempt to link haarp's activity to those events, but [as the author of the linked comparison readily admits], the density of the physics involved makes it impossible for the average person to work out if a correlation is possible.

there is documented proof that governments have previously attempted to build weapons that unleashed the awesome power of the earth and the elements upon their foes, so it's not like the theory itself is out to lunch.

the question of why a government would want to do this might even be answered in a u.s. department of defense press release from 2000 that emphasized their aim of "full spectrum dominance" in the military arena. and natural disasters have, sadly, been excellent financial opportunities for american contractors. those are two powerful sources of incentive.

but the fact is that the trail of crumbs doesn't lead anywhere. the cookie at the end is missing. the "full spectrum dominance" mission statement probably came off the table the second the two towers went down the following year, and eventually replaced with "we're not sure why anyone thought this was a good idea and we'd like to not get killed today".

the correlation between haarp activity and hurricanes or earthquakes isn't much more persuasive than my theory that i caused hurricane katrina by purchasing a map at the wrong time. it's very tempting to mistake coincidence with causality, but dangerous. there are lots of times when things appear to be related and are. and there are lots where they appear to be related and aren't.

even eastlund's patents, definitely the strongest argument in this conspiracy's arsenal, don't prove that the technology was developed, much less used, only that it was most likely investigated. not. the. same. thing. at all.

since it's been linked to all sorts of events, it's hard to avoid the feeling that haarp's "attacks" are perplexingly random. sometimes horrible things do happen to american enemies, but often, they're just disasters that befall some of the poorest areas of the world, like the earthquake in haïti or the tsunami in banda aceh, indonesia. in fact, such disasters can have the effect of destabilizing areas of the world that no one really wants destabilized [as began to happen in indonesia in the wake of the tsunami]. sure, you can argue that the military contractors are benefiting, but national governments [who still control the research] are incurring massive costs at the same time.

the likelihood :: 2/10

is the government looking into developing weather control technology? i'd be surprised if they weren't, at least to some extent. half the u.s. is in a severe drought.

has this technology been investigated as a potential weapon? sure, i'll bite. technology doesn't seem to be of much interest to anyone unless it can be used to prolong life or end life [with the creation of boners being a close third], so it's likely that the government tries to figure out how to use their research to do both.

however, that's a llloooooooooonnnnnngggg way off saying that the technology exists and that it's being used.

the conspiracy seems to become the victim of having reached too far: by blaming haarp or related technologies for earthquakes in china and iran, tornadoes in the united states, tsunamis in southeast asia and more, it's hard to imagine that there is a cohesive plan behind all of it.

the greater problem, of course, is that the vast majority of us can't even talk about this, because even the most basic science of a project like haarp is already over our heads. we could hear anything about this science and, as long as it sounded kind of plausible, we'd be fooled.

this falls into the "grains of truth" category of theory. there are a couple of things that should probably raise eyebrows, but there's not likely anything else. 

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