Copyright 2000 by Veritas News Service

by Jay Reynolds
VNS Central Bureau Chief

One Year Later - "Those Mysterious Lines in the Sky" - are Still Flying

(VNS)- On March 1st, 1999, Veritas News Service published my article "Those Mysterious Lines in the Sky" which described the origin, claims, and facts surrounding the contrails/chemtrails controversy at the time. That article was included in the Congressional Research Service's Report on Contrails which found the claims that persistent contrails were covert "spraying" of harmful substances to be "unsubstantiated conjecture".

This article will describe events that have transpired through 1999 to date, and begins by reiterating the conclusion from last March, which read:
"Contrail formation mechanisms are ordinary and contrails themselves are increasing in number as a result of increased air traffic. Reports of persistent contrails are within what is known to be naturally possible. Contrail studies are underway which will increase our knowledge of their causes, frequency, and effects. High altitude contrails are not consistent with effective dispersal of chemical or biological agents. No known toxic or harmful components have been proven to be in JP-8+100 fuel. Ethylene dibromide is not a viable chemical warfare agent when delivered through jet engine combustion. No medical reports, material analysis, or documentable and confirmable evidence has been presented which supports the hypothesis that chemical or biological agents are currently being delivered or can be associated with jet contrails. There is a threat to Americans from germ and chemical warfare, and vigilance should be maintained. Speculation and rumor without factual and specific information can only dull that vigilance. Those with factual information have a moral obligation to publicize those facts, but those who "cry wolf" are not acting in the best interest of this nation."

For those interested in the bottom line, or short on time today, the situation one year later remains the same, all the above conclusions still stand undiminished and unchanged after one year. For those interested in the rest of the story, including the actual "contrails" virus that I have identified, read on.

Normal contrails in history
Last year's article began with a discussion of normal contrails and the conditions in which they form and can persist in the sky. Those being processes governed by the laws of known physics, nothing new can be said. Regarding the historical knowledge of contrails and their persistence, investigation has yielded new information. Historical photographic evidence dating back sixty years has been displayed, and testimony from B-17 Bomber crew members confirms that even before the age of jet aircraft,

"We often said that we created weather over Europe. They would persist for many hours, maybe days. " - Willard Reese- 457th Bomb Group".


Scientific Research Continues
Scientific research on contrails and their effect on the atmosphere culminated this past year in the release of the UN inspired Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report on aviation. The contribution of current and projected future aviation contrails to a forcing of earth's atmosphere towards warming can be summed up in these quotes: "The computed global mean radiative forcing by line-shaped contrails is 0.02 Watts/sq. Meter in 1992 and 0.1 Watts/sq.Meter in 2050. At northern mid-latitudes, the zonal mean forcing is five times larger than the global mean. The uncertainties in the analysis suggest that the values may be smaller or larger by a factor of 4."

The Claims
The claims made by those who believe they are being ‘sprayed' have increased dramatically through the year since my original article. These speculations expand and contract in popularity according to the latest rumor, especially when vigorously promoted or tangentially connected to a current event. During the course of 1999, media focus on potential bioterrorism led to speculation, notably by "The Spotlight" newspaper that contrails observed were actually either an emergency response or a preventative inoculation as response or prophylactic for a biological attack. <>

Similarly, as the end of the year approached, fear of Y2K induced civil disturbance initiated many to speculate that a mind altering substance was being ‘sprayed' to induce lethargy or otherwise control the population. This last idea was promoted by "Al Cuppett" who is billed as being a former member of the US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff. One of the more manic claims has begun coming from people who believe that alien reptilian beings who are able to take on human form(including Britain's Queen Elizabeth)are taking over the world. Their idea is that contrails are for eliminating the human population to make room for "reptilians".

By late spring of 1999, the promoters of the claims decided that the word contrail was not what they needed to instill fear and exert control in the people they wanted to convince were being poisoned. The term "chemtrail" eventually stuck, which is quite ironic since most of the promoters have dropped the idea that a chemical is being dispersed. The problem with claims to a chemical being "discovered" is that people would demand that any such claim be supported by actual analysis.

Claims of Lab Analysis Still Remain Undocumented
In fact, the main promoter of "chemtrails" has left the ideas of chemicals behind and settled on a biological claim. On April 22, 1999, Environment News Service published an article "Sky Samples Analyzed", by William Thomas, which claimed that various bacteria and fungi had been found in a sample of "aerial fallout" at an undisclosed location one year previously. Thomas claimed the substances had been scraped from house siding and had been analyzed and cultured at an unnamed laboratory. All the organisms claimed to have been found are normal
environmental inhabitants and their presence on the contaminated surface of a house is not unusual. In the eleven months since the article's publication, no actual analysis has been released. In an interview by the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper(6/20/99, pg. E1),Thomas said,

"My colleague and I will release the name of our lab and detailed analysis as soon as we find a publisher willing to pay us for many months of research and reimburse those lab tests."

Contrail Photos Proliferate
The main promoter of the ‘chemtrail' idea, William Thomas, bases his speculation on the claim that persistent contrails are not normal. Paradoxically, in a very early E-mail missive from Thomas, entitled "Chemtrails Bulletin #3", on April 22, 1999, he made this statement,

"Four years ago I wrote one of the first articles (published in Eco Decision magazine) describing how atmosphere-altering contrails in high-traffic routes such as the Atlantic corridor between the USA and Europe can occasionally persist for hours, forming cirrus-type clouds that drift over a large area."

The same article also said,

"Yet, photographs and videotapes deluging my office clearly show unmarked, all-white KC-135 tanker aircraft laying thick billowing ‘trails over American communities at altitudes below 9,000 feet - where short-lived, ice-crystal "con"densation trails cannot form."

In the ensuing 11 months, Thomas has never displayed any photos depicting what he claims to have.

ENS "disassociates" Itself From William Thomas
On 12/28/99, Environment News Service managing editor James Crabtree wrote me saying,
"We have disassociated our news service from Will Thomas and will immediately
ask that he remove anything relating to ENS from his website. Please understand that this is not a reaction to anything you have written, but rather to other circumstances between Mr. Thomas and our company."

Currently, Thomas is promoting an 80 page booklet on his claims, which is advertised for $24.95, and he is also soliciting $10,000 for a sampling program that will take air samples by airplane. <>

"Nationwide Protests" Held

Three "nationwide" protests have been held by "chemtrail" activists which were very ambitious but very insignificant. One call of the protesters was for the resignation of President Clinton over the issue of "chemtrails", of which they were certain he was aware. The first protest in New York City on 11/20/99 was led by "chemtrails activist" Andrew Amirault and was attended by six people. The second protest in NYC was held on 12/11/99 and three people showed up. The third "nationwide protest was held on 1/22/2000, and was only attended by Andrew Amirault. The fourth protest was held in Boston on 2/12/2000, and was attended by Andrew Amirault and a "flock of crows". Protests were also held in Aspen, CO, and Oklahoma City, but less than a dozen people combined attended.

New Mexico Investigates
The most active ‘chemtrail' activist through this past winter has been Clifford Carnicom of Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has set up an automatic system at his website which allows a reader to send form letters to the President, Sec. Of Defense, Attorney General, EPA, and FAA, with 2270 letters being sent so far. He asked his State Attorney General for a criminal investigation of contrails, which was done in a very professional manner, but concluded that what was being seen was normal contrails.

Carnicom's most recent work is about samples he claims were sent to him from California and Oregon during November and December of 1999. He does display photos of the material which appears to be similar to other reports known to be spiderwebs, which sometimes fall from the sky as masses of spiders are migrating on air currents. The material is white in color, and is described as being both adhesive and elastic. Carnicom compares 100X microscopic photos of this material with other fibers and spiderwebs on his website.

On a realaudio statement at his website, he discusses how he tried unsuccessfully to interest Worldnetdaily, an internet news service, in writing a story. In the statement, Carnicom says,

"I then informed the reporter that at this time certain lab results had come in, but that it could be easily proven that the lab conclusions were false, and that that portion of the story would not be discussed unless the paper indicated a willingness to investigate my claim to a sufficient depth."

As in past claims, no actual lab analysis has been displayed at the Carnicom website. Carnicom has attempted to portray the material as other than spider web material by all means other than an actual material analysis, but makes incorrect assumptions about the properties and size of normal spider web material. It would be a simple and inexpensive matter to have such material analyzed by a reputable laboratory and display the results. Carnicom's statement above leads me to conclude that he is attempting to avoid showing an actual lab analysis which would not support his claim.
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Media and Military Response
During 1999, some media coverage was received on the contrails issue, and response was made by the US Air Force. On 9/12/99, AP carried a short story about the controversy including this quote,

"The Air Force doesn't do anything that emits anything other than a normal contrail, which is vapor,"

said Margaret Gidding, a U.S. Air Force spokeswoman at the Pentagon.

On 9/14/99, the Sudbury Times(Canada), carried a story about complaints of low-flying aircraft, and quoted this USAF response,

"If there are problems being caused by low-flying aircraft, "It's not the air force" causing them, said Lt. Col. Stevie Shapiro of the USAF press office in Washington D.C."

Finally, the USAF Propulsion Directorate responded with an official press release which states,

"In response to questions about the contents of jet fuels, JP-8 fuel does not and never has contained ethylene dibromide. No jet fuel used by the military or commercial aircraft contains ethylene dibromide." The press release concludes, "Contrails are safe, contrary to misinformation on the internet and other sources. The creation of contrails may give the illusion an aircraft is spraying something, however, this is just an illusion. Contrails are created from the normal emissions of jet engines at higher altitudes which condense water vapor into a visible cloud. The emissions from jet engines are basically the same as from car or diesel engines. These emissions do not contain ethylene dibromide (EDB), since EDB is not a component of JP-8, or jet fuel. The contrails are water vapor. They do not pose a hazard."

Flight Tracking Software Becomes Available
During the summer of 1999, a new tool became available that portends the end of all speculation about the identity of commercial air traffic. Previously only available at high cost to corporate clients, Air Traffic Control data became available to ordinary subscribers over the internet at a reasonable cost. The subscribers of Flight Explorer gain access to a visual display of the whole US airspace and can see and track flights from takeoff to landing, continuously updated every few minutes with altitude, speed, heading, and identification numbers. This tool makes it possible to see an airplane leaving a contrail overhead and completely identify it, learn where it came from and where it is going. When the concept was introduced to those watching contrails, it was rejected because it did not track military flights. Unfortunately, or perhaps purposely, they did not see the usefulness of being able to identify whether or not a plane was a normal commercial plane and thus learning what conditions promote contrails in normal planes, and being able to test the claim that what they were seeing was not military flights.

Not until 1/23/2000 did a proponent of ‘chemtrails' finally release results of his experience using flight tracking software. Michael McDonnough of Greenville, TX, said,

"I was watching on Flight Explorer and seeing when the next planes on the screen would pass over my area. When I was sure that these 2 flights had passed overhead I went out to see if there were any trails as a result. These 2 persistent contrails were in the air. There is no doubt that these contrails were formed from commercial air traffic, AAL 1356 (American Airlines Flight 1356) and NWA 1241 (North West Airlines Flight 1241)." McDonnough also said, ""Presently my research indicates to me at least that the Chemtrails make up about 10% of the reported sightings, and the other 90% are in fact persistent contrails formed by ordinary commercial air traffic."

European Environmental Concerns

During 1999, several people in Europe became concerned about the effect contrails have on their activities. Holger Pedersen, a Danish astronomer, has created a website which discusses how normal contrails affect his observations. He has created an extensive slide show which loads automatically through multiple photos, and has a large file of links related to contrails. Robert Van Waning of Holland, has seaside vacation cottages close to heavily traveled air routes and is concerned about the general environmental effects and loss of sunshine. These concerns are the only ones based on reality, these people find the idea of ‘spraying' to be false.


As previously stated one year ago, reports of persistent contrails are within what is known to be normal. No photographs, medical diagnosis or lab analysis has been presented which supports the idea that contrails seen are anything other than normal.

There is a virus going around, however. Much as a computer virus copies the behavior of an organic virus, this virus is contagious, can mutate into myriad forms, and can infect those with weakened immune systems. This virus is transmitted orally and through the written word, from person to person and group to group, and it can even be transmitted electronically through radio and internet.

Those most afflicted are the gullible, the ignorant, or the foolish who
carry the rumors and speculations to others without regard for the
consequences of their actions, which mimics transmission of an
STD between consenting but careless people.

The protection for this very real contrail virus is a strong dose of common sense, and regular application of factual information thereafter. Nevertheless, even without treatment, time will eventually heal this virus, except in the most thoroughly entrenched cases. As time goes on, perhaps for years in some people, and persistent contrails continue to be seen year after year, all the theories developed years before will become more and more ludicrous. It is certain that those susceptible will become infected by yet another of these virii, if they do not acquire common sense and take the time to check what others tell them.


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