By William Thomas
journalist, author, videographer
Reposted with Permission

  SEATTLE, Washington, 
   February 22, 1999 (ENS) - Someone is finally doing something about the 
   weather. As water authorities around a parched globe rush to contract 
   weather modification specialists to replenish depleted reservoirs for 
   irrigation, drinking water and hydroelectric generation, weather 
   modification has become a growth business. 

   In the United States, at least 29 states have licensed weather 
   modification programs. Weather Modification Inc. of Fargo, North 
   Dakota has been working with the Kings River Conservation District 
   (KRCD) in California's Central San Joaquin Valley since 1954. 
   Responsible for one of the world's richest agricultural regions, the 
   KRCD water management agency has consistently contracted for cloud 
   seeding above the crucial Pine Flat Reservoir. 
   According to Weather Modification Inc. (WMI), "The program's objective 
   is to increase precipitation efficiency of clouds and storm systems 
   crossing the watershed." WMI says that artificially-induced rainfall 
   in the Kings River Conservation District replenishes groundwater 
   depleted by heavy use, allowing uninterrupted hydroelectric power 
   Employing techniques little changed since Dr. Vincent Schaefer 
   undertook the first weather modification experiments for General 
   Electric in 1946, cloud seeding companies use aircraft or ground 
   generators to release silver iodide particles into clouds when 
   temperature and moisture are ripe for rain. Attracting clumps of 
   moisture, the silver iodide particles trigger formation of ice 
   crystals which then fall as additional rain or snow. 
   TRC North American Weather Consultants has conducted more than 200 
   weather modification projects to augment normal snow or rainfall since 
   1950. Using radar and aircraft sensors to track atmospheric changes, 
   TRC works to refill reservoirs and generate snow for ski resorts. The 
   weather modification company also drops dry ice to dissipate fog over 
   busy airports. 
   Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, TRC claims that precipitation increases 
   from its weather modification programs range from 10 to 15 percent 
   over normal rainfall in the wintertime northern hemisphere areas to as 
   much as 25 percent in tropical regions. A partial listing of the 
   company's cloud seeding operations conducted through 1994 includes 
   repeated application of silver iodide to rainclouds over Utah, 
   California, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Texas, Georgia, Oregon, 
   Washington state, Iowa and British Columbia. Similar projects have 
   enhanced municipal water supplies in Greece, Guatemala, Taiwan, Abu 
   Dhabi, Jamaica and Mexico. 
   An 18 member U.S. Weather Modification Advisory Board established in 
   April, 1977 has sought in vain to introduce a national weather 
   modification policy. The board's efforts have been hampered by 
   continuing uncertainties in weather prediction and weather's 
   trans-border aspects which have already sparked lawsuits from 
   litigants claiming to be harmed by floods resulting from weather 
   Besides the unpredictability of its effects, cloud seeding's biggest 
   drawback is that it requires clouds containing enough moisture for 
   silver iodide crystals to tip near-saturation into rain or snow. 
   Draining energy from budding hurricanes and hailstorms, or creating 
   rain from a clear blue sky are the twin grails of more ambitious 
   weather wizards. 
   Internationally recognized weather modification expert Thomas 
   Henderson founded Atmospherics, Inc. in 1960. En route to Thailand 
   from his Fresno, California headquarters to attend the World 
   Meteorological Organization's International Weather Modification 
   Conference, Henderson told ENS, "Within the weather modification ranks 
   interest has always existed regarding discovery and development of 
   potentially improved seeding materials." 
   According to testimony before a House subcommittee on Science and 
   Technology in October, 1977 more than 60 countries were enagaged in 
   active weather modification at that time. A discussion paper released 
   at this early hearing called for "introducing perturbation energies to 
   redirect the atmosphere's 'natural' energies" using infusions of 
   chemical and electromagnetic energy. 
   Two decades later, a U.S. Air Force research study, "Weather as a 
   Force Multiplier" outlines how powerful "ionospheric heaters" and 
   clouds generated by chemical condensation trails - contrails - spread 
   behind airborne tankers could allow U.S. aerospace forces to "own the 
   weather" by the year 2025. Military researchers are already attempting 
   to influence the weather "by adding small amounts of energy at just 
   the right time and space," the report stated. 

   Located in Gakon, Alaska, an experimental U.S. Navy and Air Force 
   ionospheric heater known as the High-Frequency Active Auroral Research 
   Program (HAARP) has been projecting tightly-focused beams of intense 
   radio-frequency energy into the atmosphere for the past several years. 
   Bernard Eastlund, the inventor and original patent-holder for HAARP, 
   notes NATO interest in modifying the weather for military advantage. 
   In May, 1990 a NATO paper, "Modification of Tropospheric Propagation 
   Conditions" detailed how the atmosphere could be modified to absorb 
   electromagnetic radiation by spraying polymers behind high-flying 
   Absorbing microwaves transmitted by HAARP and other atmospheric 
   heaters linked from Puerto Rico, Germany and Russia, these artificial 
   mirrors could heat the air, inducing changes in the weather. 
   U.S. Patent 4253190 describes how a mirror made of "polyester resin" 
   could be held aloft by the pressure exerted by electromagnetic 
   radiation from a transmitter like HAARP. 
   A Ph.D. polymer researcher who wishes to remain anonymous told this 
   reporter that if HAARP's frequency output is matched to Earth's 
   magnetic field, its tightly-beamed energy could be imparted to 
   molecules "artificially introduced into this region." This highly 
   reactive state could then "promote polymerization and the formation of 
   new compounds," he explained. 
   According to Eastlund, two U.S. companies make polymer products with 
   microwave-absorbing properties. Heat generation need to modify the 
   weather can be fostered by adding magnetic iron oxide powder to 
   polymers exuded by high-flying aircraft. Radio-frequency-absorbing 
   polymers such as Phillips Ryton F-5 PPS are sensitive in the 1-50 MHz 
   regime, Eastlund pointed out. HAARP transmits between two and 10 MHz. 
   Former Raytheon missile engineer Tommy Farmer has been collecting 
   samples from the strangely lingering contrails covering U.S. skies for 
   the past two years. "The chemist I had originally engaged to analyze 
   the material, during microscopic exam, had noticed yellow orange orbs 
   impregnated into the filaments of the material," Farmer told ENS. 
   Looking for living pathogens, the researchers discounted the 
   non-organic material. "In retrospect," Farmer muses, "I must wonder if 
   the orange yellow orbs might be an oxidizing ferrous alloy as 
   described in Dr. Eastlund's commentary." 
   While admitting that an atmospheric mirror could be made from existing 
   polymers, weather expert Henderson told ENS, "I'm not too sure a 
   required very large mirror could be held aloft by strongly focused RF 
   energy. Right now the amount of heat required to alter the weather far 
   exceeds any realistic system I can imagine." 
   HAARP's U.S. Air Force and Navy sponsors claim that their transmitter 
   will eventually be able to produce 3.6 million watts of radio 
   frequency power. But on page 185 of an October, 1991 "Technical 
   Memorandum 195" outlining projected HAARP tests, there is a call by 
   the ionospheric effects division of the U.S. Air Force Phillips 
   Laboratory for HAARP to reach a peak power output of 100 billion 
   watts. Commercial radio stations commonly broadcast at 50,000 watts. 

   A bigger objection to HAARPs ability to hurt the weather comes from 
   the Ph.D. polymer researcher interviewed above, who points out that 
   jet tankers normally cruise at 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) altitude. "I 
   don't know if it is possible to create this [artificially heated] 
   region so close to the ground. None of the patents I have looked at 
   are claiming anything less than 50 kilometers (31 miles). Furthermore, 
   at the 10 kilometer height, it is hard to see how HAARP would have 
   anything to do with effects seen in the lower 48 states." 
   Whatever the reasons, this winter has produced some of the wackiest 
   weather ever seen over the United States. Usually a hot weather 
   phenomenon, dozens of wintertime tornadoes have struck Arkansas, 
   Tennessee, Louisiana and Alabama this year. On February 11-12, 
   temperatures in Chicago, Dayton, Charleston, Indianapolis and other 
   cities ricocheted between the low seventies and the twenties, with 
   overnight snow falling in some of those cities basking in sunlight 
   during the day. 
   While temperature records are normally broken by no more than a tenth 
   of a degree, the World Meteorological Organization reports global 
   temperatures up more than 0.6 degrees Celsius since the end of the 
   last century. 
   As Pacific hurricanes packing 220 mile-per-hour winds introduce a new 
   Category 6 into storm lexicons, tropical mahi mahi and marlin are 
   being caught off the coast of Washington state. 
   Department of Energy researchers Alan Schroeder and David Bassett note 
   that 15 weather-related disasters in the U.S. since 1992 have cost $70 
   billion in damages and several hundred deaths from floods, heat waves, 
   hurricanes, blizzards and hail storms. 
   With HAARP shut down for February and not scheduled for reactivation 
   until March, 1999, the race is on to modify climate being brought to a 
   boil by carbon emissions generated by burning fossil fuels, methane 
   releases from melting permafrost and record levels of heat-trapping 
   cloud cover. Despite exotic technologies and squadrons of 
   cloud-seeding aircraft, the people doing the most to change the 
   weather may be us. 
   © [20]Environment News Service (ENS) 1999. All Rights Reserved. 

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