Below is an exchange of letters between myself
and James Crabtree, the Managing Editor of Environment News Service,
which carried the original articles written by William Thomas
which reawakened the contrail controversy, which had lain dormant
since it's rejection by the public in 1997-1998. It appears that
even though ENS has disassociated itself from William Thomas,
and have since learned of the false ideas they lent credibility
to, they will not issue a retraction.
Message #1 sent by Jay Reynolds to James Crabtree and others on 12/28/99:
To: Sunny Lewis, Editor -in Chief, Environment
News Service (editor@ENS-NEWS.COM)
James Crabtree- (ENS)firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danelle Hall email@example.com
David Skillman firstname.lastname@example.org
Madeline Mooney, Director of Communications Lycos, Inc. email@example.com
Ted Philip, Chief Finanical Officer Lycos, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org
Michele Perry, Marketing Communications Manager Lycos, Inc. email@example.com
Robert J. Davis, President and Chief Executive Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeffrey Crown, Vice President of Business Development email@example.com
Mark Simmer, Vice President of Online Mediamsimmer@lycos.com
Jan Robert Horsfall, Vice President of Marketing for Lycos firstname.lastname@example.org
David Peterson, Vice President of Advertising Salesdpeterson@lycos.com
Tom Guilfoile, Vice President of Finance & Administration email@example.com
David L. Andre, Vice President of Communications firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert O. Frasca, Vice President of product management email@example.com
Curtis A. Holsclaw, FAA Emissions Division firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Eichhorn, California Air Quality Management Division TEichhorn@aqmd.gov
Dr. Patrick Minnis, NASA Langley Research Center email@example.com
Hermann Mannstein, German Institute for Atmospheric Physics Hermann.Mannstein@dlr.de
Steve Milloy, Junkscience.com Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon E. Dougherty, Reporter/Columnist WorldNetDaily.com email@example.com
Dr. Claire Gilbert, Editor, Blazing Tattles firstname.lastname@example.org
John Stossel, ABC News, JohnStossel@ABCNEWS.com
Dear Ms Lewis,
This is my second request to you, as Editor-in Chief of Environment News Service(ENS), for a retraction of claims made by ENS beginning January 8th of 1999, that:
- In an ENS article entitled "Contrails
Mystify, Sicken Americans" 1/8/99 (ENS) "Contrails spread
by fleets of jet aircraft in elaborate cross-hatched patterns
sparking speculation and making people sick across the United States."
[note: This article appears on ENS reporter William
Thomas' personal website entitled "Contrails: Poison
From the Sky"
- In an ENS article entitled "Sky Samples
Analyzed", 4/22/99(ENS) "As unmarked tanker-type aircraft
continue spraying sky-obscuring chemtrails over regions of the
U.S. and Canada, this writer and American journalist Erminia Cassani have obtained laboratory tests of fully-documented samples of aerial fallout." and
"Currently used as a JP-8 jet fuel additive, EDB was banned by the EPA in the late 1970s as a known carcinogen capable of causing severe upper respiratory reactions at repeated low-level exposures."
[note: The ENS reporter, Thomas, continues to withhold from public scrutiny these alleged sample results gathered under ENS auspices, and was quoted by the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper(6/20/99, pg E1) as saying, "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."]
In the year that has elapsed since these articles
were published on ENS, your reporter has displayed on his website
the claim that very expensive vitamin supplements he sells "has
allowed me to so far ward off flu, colds and chemtrail exposures."
Thomas now tells his readers they suffer from "chemtrail
The items mentioned above are but a few of
the claims made by Thomas, others have included the claim on the
Art Bell radio talk show that rabies, hepatitis,
Epsein-Barr virus, pneumonia and lupus were diagnosed as a result of contrails.
Perhaps most disturbing was Thomas' comment
made on a public list service- "I know some angry former
Navy carrier jocks who want to take a Lear jet and bounce one
of those bandits."
This above threat by Thomas has sparked other
similar comments such as:"How long till some defense-minded
survivalist shoots down one of these illegal, unmarked, poison
spreading planes. Then maybe it will get more attention !!!!"
Among the thousands of people who read and
believe the ENS articles and ENS reporter Thomas' claims, one
recounts his personal experience: "I have lost everything
due to my obsession with "contrails". My wife has kicked
after 8 Yrs. of marriage. I've heard them at night and seen them by day. My wife thinks I am crazy, yet I know what I see. My eyes just don't lie. I've been watching these planes lay their lines in the sky. I discerned from a flight from Miami to Boston that at 10,000 ft. a cloud layer, they were causin."
(Message 232 of 607)
Who can tell the effect this has on unstable
people already close to the edge of sanity, an example: "
In South Philly, around Oregon Ave. and 20th (I think 20th).
MANY people out at the Toys-R-Us there. Kites cruising at less than 500 feet, making banking passes over the area of the city. A film was drifting across the moon, and the speed that the texture of it went by made me think the
film was very low. I could see the rainbows around the moon...all red and yellow, but maybe at night one doesn't see the rest of the colors..... They cruise around,
banking over the city, as many as seven in the sky at once, although normal number at any given moment is 2 - 3. We believe they are KC-10 or VC-9s, so they are the same fusalage as a DC-9 or -10. Not small planes. Very very quiet, and many have the refeuling bank of lights under the fusalage just under the nose to the wings."
Ms. Lewis, as editor-in chief of ENS, you are responsible for maintaining the credibility of your news service.
In the year since you first carried this story, it has become apparent that:
- No alleged "spraying" is occurring,
that contrails seen are the effect of normal air traffic, and
that no medical test or material analysis exists to support the
that contrails are anything other than simple water vapor.
-ENS reporter William Thomas has a financial conflict of interest in selling "protection" from a nonexistent "chemtrail scare" he is promoting.
-The possibility exists that the reports carried
by ENS will eventually lead to a tragic event of terrorism against
a commercial airplane perpetrated as a direct
result of the fear and panic generated by the ENS reports and subsequent actions by ENS reporter William Thomas.
- The allegation of "chemtrails"
has been refuted by the USAF
- The allegations of "chemtrails" were found to be "unsubstantiated conjecture" by the Congressional Research Service's Report to Congress on Contrails 6/1/99.
- The allegations of "chemtrails"
were also found baseless by the US EPA, the New Mexico Environment
Dept., the NM Attorney General, the Ohio State EPA, the CA AQMD,
and even Greenpeace.
-All professional pilots, meteorologists, and experts on contrails that I have contacted say the photos shown are normal contrails.
Ms. Lewis, on 10/5/99, I first directed you
to view the contents of my website
and communicate whether or not you would issue a retraction of the articles referred to above.
My website provided extensive documentation
for you showing that the attributes of contrails described in
the ENS articles as "not normal" are in fact known to
be normal. These facts, which directly contradict the allegations
by ENS, are verifiable and confirmable, whereas those in the ENS
articles are provably false speculation and heresay.
Even after referring you to these facts, I got no response from you or from William Thomas.
I will be renewing the website on 1/1/2000 to include a historical account of the contrails controversy, which predates your involvement by two years, but which received it's first "credibility" by ENS' involvement.
I will also be including the earliest promoters of the contrail scare which include various racists[Joel Burton of Posse Comitatus.org], a confessed felon now on probation for mail fraud[Larry Wayne Harris], a talk radio host who boasts of getting the heaven's gate cult to commit suicide[Chuck Shram], and a fellow who believes the earth is a hollow inhabited sphere[Chuck Warren].
I would like to be able to say that ENS now regrets and retracts the articles on chemtrails they had published, apologizes to their readership, asks to be forgiven for not more carefully vetting submissions, and disassociates itself from the actions of William Thomas.
I await your response.
Reply from James Crabtree on 12/28/99:
Thanks for the thoughtful letter.
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.
Our stories were written based on all the knowledge
we had available at the
time. As soon as the first article was written you certainly had every
opportunity to reply with facts that could add to or augment subsequent
stories on the contrail issue.
If you can put together an event based story
on this issue we would
certainly consider publishing your contribution. Any story we publish must
stand up to the facts available and be free of bias, opinion or commentary.
It appears, just from the extensive list of
addressees attached to this
email, that you are attempting to foment controversy rather than,
professionally and diligently, bring facts to the forefront. The multitude
of erroneous addresses in your message header suggests that you are careless
with fact checking. Perhaps you should reconsider your rather aggressive,
public denunciations since you are obviously prone to factual lapses
We look forward to any fact-based article you
may be able to provide that
would allow the public to make a more informed decision on the contrails
Environment News Service (ENS)
"We Cover the Earth for You"