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Contrails Over The Northeastern US - March 12, 2001

Contrails over the Northeastern US -
March 12, 2001
By Jay Reynolds

This report reviews a recent story carried by several sources but begun by Tiffany Brendt and William Thomas which appears at the website of William Thomas titled

William Thomas, one of the most egregious promoters of "chemtrails", has a long history of exaggeration, obfuscation, and has made many unsupported and false claims over the past three years which have caused him to be "disassociated" by Environment News Service, to be discredited among many "chemtrail" believers, and not even mentioned by mainstream media covering the story.

My report begins by establishing a time line for the events, describing some of the people involved, and discussing what is known about normal air traffic in the area in question.
Alleged "chemtrail" photos from the area are presented and compared to normal contrail photos from the area by a professional meteorologist. Alleged "chemtrail" planes photographed from the area are compared to known types of aircraft.

The second part of this report is an actual survey of normal commercial air traffic over the exact same area, at the same time period and day of the week using commercially available "Flight Explorer" software, which allows access to FAA Air Traffic Control data other than military aircraft.


Sondra Tiffany Brendt(formerly Luttrell)of Parsonsfield, Maine, heard about "chemtrails"
from Philip Marie(Jr.&Sr.) of Conway, NH, around two years ago. On the morning of March 12, 2001, she and a friend, Lou Aubuchont, observed numerous contrails over their home, which were being formed at high altitude in a northeast to southwesterly direction. Between 12 noon and 1 pm, at least 30 trails were observed. Parsonsfield is about 30 miles WNW of Portland, ME.

According to Brendt, she contacted the air traffic control tower at the Portland Jetport, where the ATC manager told her that nine jets had arrived/departed the Jetport. The Portland tower controls arriving and departing aircraft, but not the high altitude enroute traffic, which are controlled from the Boston Center (based in Nashua, NH). The Portland tower Air Traffic Control manager told Brendt that on their radar they normally filter out flights over 10,000 ft., because they only control that airspace.

This set of 3 images from the GOES-8 satellite shows the progression of a frontal system which entered the northeastern US on 3/11/2001, preceded by cirrus cloudiness, and fully involved the area by 3/13/2001.

<=March 11, 2001


March 12, 2001



<=March 13,





Here are two images from the MODIS imager on the Terra satellite that
passed over Maine at 11:15 am EDT on March 12, 2001.

The IR picture below shows a few high clouds over Maine, a bright white
(cold, high cloud) oval area in southern Maine, and a triangular shaped
cloud in south central Maine. There appear to be a few spreading contrails
over Vermont and NY.


The BTD image above is a brightness temperature difference method used
to help detect contrails. It uses two different infrared wavelengths. You
can see that the contrails in Vermont and NY are more evident. That triangular
cloud is probably a spreading contrail. Those stripes over Nova Scotia are
just wave clouds. The high thin cirrus extending from Canada into northern NY and
through most of Vermont contains the Vermont contrails and one or two others
in southern Canada. There may also be one in eastern NH and next to the oval in
Maine. The large thin cirrus cloud is the one that you see moving over
Maine in the GOES imagery. Viewers from below would probably see those
embedded contrails.

The image below is from the GOES-8 satellite taken on March 12 at 15:15 UTC(1:15 PM EDT) , and appears to show several contrails over the Parsonsfield, ME area. Click here for the uncropped image.


Brendt contacted William Thomas on March 16th and sent this message.


According to Brendt, she conducted an interview with an "Air Traffic Control Manager",
who remains anonymous. Her anonymous source said, when asked why he was told to reroute air traffic, "We had to bring in a couple in lower." and "I was told that there was a military exercise in the area."

In another taped segment, Brendt's anonymous source, when asked "Was radar degraded or enhanced on March 12th?" replied, "Somewhat degraded, yes." "Yes, there was what you would call a haze."

When asked, "Was this a weather modification experiment?", Brendt's anonymous source
said, "That approximates what I was subsequently told."

On April 3rd, William Thomas sent out this news release.

Within hours of posting Thomas' news release, added this disclaimer:
"(NOTE - We do not necessarily think this story explains anything more than what it purports: that military operations of some type were carried out at a certain altitude on several occasions which allegedly necessitated the re-routing of some incoming civilian air traffic in the Northeast. There are dozens of potential military operations which might account for the need to clear airspace. There are apparent typos and inconsistencies in the text of this 'news release' such as: "While air traffic controllers normally ignore air traffic above 10,000 feet, the..." Certainly, this is an inaccurate statement because air traffic controllers DO NOT 'normally ignore air traffic above 10,000 feet'.)

On April 4th, William Thomas posted this message to his website.

On April 4th, Brendt appeared on the radio program "Sightings",
with host Jeff Rense, but minus William Thomas.

[note: click on this audio file marked April 4, and use the realaudio play feature to seek the audio to the interview which begins 59 minutes into the program.]

A transcript of the audio link above, consisting of an interview between Jeff Rense and Tiffany Brendt, and excerpts of the interview with an anonymous person claiming to be an Air Traffic Control Manager can be found here.

Later on April 4th, Brendt and Thomas appeared on The Art Bell program together, and played a more lengthy version of the audiotape interview with the "ATC Manager":
[Click this link for windows media player audio of the interview, which begins 30 minutes into the show]

Currently, William Thomas carries this article on his website, and has presented no confirmable or documented evidence supporting his and Brendt's claims, and the alleged "Air Traffic Control Manager" remains anonymous. William Thomas' typical pattern, which has been repeated time and time again, is to make claims for which he never presents documented or verifiable evidence. He has, at various times over the past two years, claimed the following:

-That JP-8 jet fuel contains ethylene dibromide

-That "chemtrails" contain bacteria and molds

-That "chemtrails"can cause HEPATITIS A, RABIES, and EPSTEIN BARR VIRUS

In each case above, no evidence has ever been produced, no "lab reports" as claimed, no medical reports, no substance or material analysis. After deluging his followers with these horror stories William Thomas does offer hope, he pitches vitamins after asking,
"Are chemtrails getting you down?"

There is a possibility that military weather experiments have taken place.
At this time, a reasonable person should not place too much faith in William Thomas' sources, especially one that is anonymous, based on his past performance.

I have spoken with Tiffany Brendt by telephone, and she sounds convinced, but did admit that Thomas' report contains a factual error. He states,

"The FAA official decided to come forward after his wife was stricken with
what doctors diagnosed as Sudden Adult Onset Asthma following the March
12 aerial onslaught. She has no history of allergy. Their children also suffered
asthmatic reactions, including an infant son who was rushed to hospital with a
gushing nose bleed.

During a telephone call with Tiffany Brendt on April 29th, 2001, Brendt told me the alleged illness predated her sightings of March 12th.

Review of Normal Air Traffic Patterns in the Area


Contrail photograph taken by Dave Thurlow at Mount Washington Observatory, Conway, New Hampshire, the same town where WMWV Asst. News Director Richard Dean reported observing 370 "chemtrails" on March 12th.


Meteorologist Dave Thurlow of the Mt. Washington Observatory
says this about "chemtrails":

"I think it's a joke, I mean really at first I thought it was some kind of parody of doomsayers. But now, I think they mean it."
(click here for a real audio interview with Dave Thurlow)

On April 17th, 2001, Susan Ross-Parent, Director of Listener Services at the Mount
Washington Observatory, asked to comment on the Brendt/Thomas report stated:
"Right now we're going to stand with our broadcast (see link above)."

In the Rense interview transcript, Brendt makes this statement:

" No, not where we are, we’re not under a major flight path."

During a telephone call with Tiffany Brendt on April 29th, 2001, she admitted to me that she had never seen an aeronautical chart of her area.


The above Flight Explorer display of Maine and New Hampshire
shows Airways and Special Use Areas(Yellow)


Note that a large Military Operations Area is known to exist in western Maine, another in northern New Hampshire, and two special use areas off the coast of Maine.

Here are the FAA regulations for use of these areas.

Here is a USAF fact sheet on the subject.



Map shows typical "Great Circle" routing for transatlantic flights.

The North Atlantic Corridor is the most heavily traveled air
corridor in the world, with over 600 flights/day to and from Europe
and North America. To facilitate organized Atlantic crossing,
the International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO) has
established a North Atlantic Track(NAT) system of organized
flight corridors, which are changed each day to avoid storms and
jet stream winds. Due to these changing courses, planes may
deviate significantly in their point of arrival/departure over
US airspace from day to day.

The image below shows worldwide emissions from aircraft of NOx , a pollutant formed by all types of hydrocarbon combustion when nitrogen is combined with oxygen. The POLINAT study image #1 shows this pollution. Vertically integrated NOx emissions from aircraft including military according to the DLR2 data set (see Schmitt et al., DLR-Mitt. 97-04). Global emissions: 0.56 Tg(N) yr-1.

Review of Photographic Evidence of Alleged "Chemtrails" in the Area.


The above image, from was made by Philip I. Marie, Sr. of Conway, New Hampshire, location of WMWV radio where Brendt works. According to Brendt, Marie and his son introduced her to the "chemtrails" idea. Marie states:

"This is over an area where jets NEVER fly!(until now)"

The background image above, showing normal contrails, is from of a well-known Virgin Atlantic Airlines 747 (cn-22791) "G-VIBE". The left inset image was taken by Philip Marie over Conway, NH, in 1999, who says, "it was a chemplane as nothing else ever flies over central NH", however, the shape and paint scheme match typical Virgin Atlantic livery colors of red engines and tail as shown in the right inset image. The Flight Explorer study which follows shows this airline operates flights over the area, and one is shown passing over the Parsonsfield area on Monday, April 16th.

Calculating the distance at which a contrail could be seen

For all practical purposes, the distance that a contrail from an airplane flying 30,000 ft can be viewed is the maximum visibility allowed by atmospheric conditions. For example, the formula which can be used to calculate the actual distance D, as shown in the image at left, is:

A = the contrail
h = altitude of the contrail ~6 miles(31,200ft)
r = 4000 miles(radius of the earth)
then d = (the square root of) (6X6)+ 2(4000)(6)
d= distance that a contrail would be visible
d=219 miles
It is thus shown that such a contrail would easily be visible for at least 50 miles, depending on the visibility and the height of the observer above the ground.

These calculations are the same as sailors use to find the distance to the horizon. William Thomas, who claims to be an experienced sailor, certainly knows this basis for terrestrial navigation.


Continue on to Flight Explorer Study of Air Traffic Over Parsonsfield, Maine on a Monday Between 12
Noon and 1 PM

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