U.S. HAARP program can alter weather and disrupt communications
Thunder shook the sky and lightning strobed across jagged peaks as Jeane Manning walked toward the College of the Canyon in Colorado Springs. Schlock filmmaker Ed Wood would have loved the corny atmospheric effects, but to Manning the display seemed an appropriate prelude to a 1986 convocation of maverick engineers obsessed by a mysterious inventor’s unfinished work.
The British Columbia journalist was interested in “free” energy. Manning thought that innovative hydrogen technologies, cold fusion, and magnetic motors might end the serious problems of chronic pollution caused by fuel-burning. She knew that Nikola Tesla once shared her dream of transmitting free energy through Earth. The turn-of-the-century electrical engineer and inventor of the alternating-current system that now powers human society hoped to “light up the skies” with a “magnifying transmitter”—and might have done so if financier J.P. Morgan had not withdrawn his support.
What Manning was not prepared for that night was how close Tesla’s vision was to becoming reality. In the Armstrong Auditorium, she watched in amazement as a man sitting atop a giant Tesla coil onstage sent blue sparks arcing from his fingertips. A much bigger device, he claimed, could be used for “particle beam weaponry”.
Manning later learned that the U.S. air force—at the Wright-Patterson air base in Dayton, Ohio—was pursuing Tesla technology for military applications. But it was an article on Tesla in the March 1988 issue of Omni magazine that tipped her off about the construction of a Tesla-inspired transmitter in Alaska. From a site located about halfway between Anchorage and Fairbanks, at a place called Gakona, a series of experiments dubbed the High Altitude Auroral Research Project was designed to beam millions of watts of energy into Earth’s highly charged ionosphere. HAARP’s inventor, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist named Bernard Eastlund, was excited about the possibilities. “You can virtually lift part of the atmosphere,” Eastlund told Omni. “You can make it move, do things to it.”
Manning didn’t like the sound of this. Neither did Omni. “Because the upper atmosphere is extremely sensitive to small changes in its composition,” the magazine warned, “merely testing an Eastlund device could cause irreversible damage.” A month later, an article in Physics and Society by Richard Williams increased her concern. Williams, a Harvard-trained physicist working at Princeton University, dubbed the experiments “irresponsible acts of global vandalism”. In his article, Williams warned that HAARP “might become a serious threat to the Earth’s atmosphere. With experiments on this scale, irreparable damage could be done in a short time.” Williams was particularly worried that using HAARP to alter the temperature of the ionosphere could interfere with the chemical reactions that produce the ozone protecting Earth from ultraviolet radiation.
Manning was interested in free energy, not death rays, but as a reporter for the Kelowna Daily News, she decided to check it out. A source she refused to divulge sent her a stack of documentation including two Eastlund patents for HAARP (a third patent was deemed classified). Manning next called Clare Zickuhr in Alaska. The former Atlantic Richfield Company accountant had blown the whistle on his company’s project, then formed No HAARP, an ad hoc group opposed to the project under development by the energy giant and the U.S. military. Zickuhr sent Manning military specifications relating to HAARP. “The wording was so similar to the Eastlund patents,” she said, “my intuition said ”˜This is bad news.’ ”
Manning’s secret source continued to feed her official documentation—and urged her to pursue the HAARP story. “I didn’t feel it was my job to do that,” Manning recalled. “I specialized in free energy.” She did, however, talk with a reporter from the Anchorage Daily News who was frustrated because his editor wouldn’t even look at a story that questioned the activities of ARCO, one of the state’s big employers. Manning asked her own managing editor to contact one of the Thomson newspaper chain’s “big guns” in Ottawa about looking into ARCO’s activities, but nothing came of her request.
In 1994, HAARP earned the top slot on the U.S. Project Censored’s list of the 10 most underreported news stories of the year. By then, Manning had moved to Vancouver, co-authored two books on new energy—The Granite Man and the Butterfly and Suppressed Inventions—and collected a mountainous stack of HAARP documents. The latest addition was an article by an Alaskan researcher and medical doctor in the Fall 1994 issue of Nexus magazine. Nick Begich claimed that the project could generate magnetic fields strong enough to lead salmon and caribou astray, disturb the weather, and disrupt communications over much of the planet. Other HAARP hazards, Begich warned, could be even more dire.
As an MD and independent researcher specializing in electro-medicine, Begich knew that weak electric currents can help regenerate bones and effect other cures, but he was also worried about the harmful effects of high-energy electromagnetic fields emitted by power lines, radars, and other devices. His article warned that HAARP could soon be subjecting his fellow Alaskans, Yukoners, and their northern British Columbian neighbours to unpredictable effects from the highest levels of electromagnetic radiation ever transmitted on Earth.
Manning called Begich to thank him for writing the Nexus article, and he asked her to keep in touch. When Begich came through Seattle in September 1994, Manning met him at SeaTac airport. Each of them was carrying a stack of documents. Back issues of Geophysical Quarterly, technical memoranda, HAARP-related patents, conference proceedings, interview transcripts, and correspondence would soon grow to a stack more than a metre high. “It might as well be a book,” Manning recalled telling Begich. “Would you like to collaborate?”
In early 1995, Begich took time off work and they spread their HAARP-related files across six metres of carpet in his Anchorage study. The resulting book has become a dog-eared bible for the anti-HAARP movement, a definitive text that unveils a project almost as secretive and potentially risky as the first atomic bomb. With almost 25,000 copies sold of two printings since its 1995 release, Angels Don’t Play This HAARP has sold from Germany to the Kootenays, is being translated into Greek, and is due for release in Japan in August—and it’s the biggest-selling Alaska-published book in that state’s history.
Commercial radio stations commonly broadcast in all directions at 50,000 watts; no one can predict exactly what will happen as scheduled HAARP tests begin radiating two, four, or 10 billion watts of power. But previous electromagnetic experiments in the ionosphere have been accompanied by a displaced jet stream and erratic weather often enough for some people to rule out coincidence. Some critics caution that HAARP’s powerfully focused beam could burn a hole in Earth’s electromagnetic shielding. As every Trekkie knows, if that force field ruptures, solar radiation will come pouring into Spaceship Earth, zapping all life-forms pinned in its roving glare.
Manning didn’t think this risk was worth taking just so “the big boys could play with their big toys”. Without the ionosphere’s electrical shielding, her research told her, our sun would fry us with gamma radiation, X rays, and shorter wavelengths of ultraviolet light. “We think that the holes in the ozone layer letting in some UV rays is bad,” Manning told the Straight. “Wait’ll we’ve got cosmic rays coming through at killing wavelengths.”
All these outcomes hinge on the ionosphere, an electrically active region of the upper atmosphere extending from about 55 to 900 kilometres out from Earth. Unlike the atmosphere around us, which carries no electrical charge, the ionosphere flows with the fluctuations of charged particles bombarding Earth from countless suns.
The stripping of electrons from the atoms in these cosmic rays turns the atoms into positively charged ions, which remain in the ionosphere. The pared electrons continue inbound along Earth’s magnetic-field lines, funnelling toward the magnetic poles in tornadolike spouts called the electrojet. Our planetary dynamo—which resembles a north/south bar magnet spinning within an “ion-o-sphere”—becomes visible when solar flares flood polar regions with high-energy particles and the sky lights up with the eerie, shape-shifting curtains of an auroral display.
Although her degree is in sociology, Manning was getting a clear picture of a few people messing with a huge, dynamic system. “Someone is going to be experimenting on the planet’s ionosphere,” she said of her thoughts at the time, “and everyone is blithely unaware.” Even the official U.S. air force “HAARP Fact Sheet”, issued in November 1993 by the Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Air Force Geophysical Laboratory, admitted that “ionospheric disturbances at high latitudes also can act to induce large currents in electric power grids.” As HAARP sent intense pulses of energy sweeping through the ionosphere, Manning envisioned regional power grids becoming overloaded, blacking out cities like Anchorage and Fairbanks. She worried that if bigger transmitters and more antennae were added to this modular facility, communities in B.C. would come into range of HAARP’s possible effects.
There were other, demonstrable, dangers. Significantly, the first professional group to publicly protest HAARP was that of Alaskan pilots. The fliers feared that HAARP would interfere with electronic navigation aids and communications, leaving them blind and mute over remote and rugged terrain. Even worse, HAARP might override electronic control systems, causing jetliners to dive into the ground. After a series of crashes linked to electrical interference, the U.S. air force launched a three-year Joint Electromagnetic Interference Investigation in 1991. Official JEMI findings showed that “radio waves at certain frequencies can bring down an aircraft by putting it into an uncommanded turn or dive, or by turning off its fuel supply.”
A cold Alaska wind was blowing snow in their faces when Manning and Begich approached the HAARP site in February 1995. “It wasn’t very scary,” Manning recalled. “A very large building stood between the road and the antenna farm. There wasn’t much to see.” Even from the top of a nearby water tower, the remote installation didn’t look like a Tesla-style “death-ray” machine. It was hardly worth a photograph. Just two small buildings and dozens of radio antennae plunked down in the Alaska wilderness. To further the deceptive decor, HAARP’s managers later removed the “National Security” warning signs from the chain-link fence surrounding the site.
But visitors today shouldn’t stand too close. Remotely controlled Phase 1 tests are already sporadically radiating one billion watts (one gigawatt) of closely focused power. And this is just the warm-up. Sometime in 1997, Phase 2 tests will heat a small region of the upper atmosphere with four billion watts of highly concentrated power. Even the scientists in charge of the project don’t know what will happen next, but they hope that a 48-kilometre-wide plume of superheated atmospheric particles will bulge outward into space like the skin of a poked balloon.
With high-speed computers and newly developed software pulsing powerful radio waves, HAARP’s antennae will be fired sequentially to steer this ionospheric bulge as if it were a lens. The U.S. air force hopes to use it to fry incoming warheads from any enemy suicidal enough to fire ballistic missiles that can be tracked back to their cities of origin. It also looks forward to using HAARP to peer deep underground, while the project’s U.S. navy partner wants to employ its technology to talk to its submarines.
HAARP’s commercial patent claims the ability to achieve “total disruption of communications over a large portion of the earth”. Other offensive capabilities noted in the patent include “altering the upper atmosphere wind patterns using plumes of atmospheric particles as a lens or focusing device” to disturb weather thousands of miles away.
If this is starting to read like an X-Files script, the military brass—and their scientific advisers—are convinced that Bernard Eastlund’s device can alter the ionosphere in “useful” ways. When a skeptical U.S. patent examiner told Eastlund in 1985 that his “ionospheric heater” sounded like science fiction, the MIT physicist simply replied that the technology was already available. “These things are all on the backs of very stable technologies,” Eastlund told the Straight. “When you get past the gee-whiz, there’s a lot of real science there.”
The calculations and drawings Eastlund presented at the patent office included references to Nikola Tesla. But HAARP is the culmination of four decades of ionospheric tinkering, using more and more powerful transmitters to create instabilities in order “to see what will happen”, as one engineer told Manning at the Colorado conference.
The Soviet Union and the United States have been interested in the ionosphere since the 1950s, when it was discovered that high-power radio transmissions change the temperature and density of electrons there. The U.S. military’s Project Starfish experimented with multiple atomic detonations in the ionosphere in 1962-63, and clouds of copper needles and chemicals released from rockets and space shuttles have mapped and perturbed this dynamic zone.
Transmitting one gigawatt of power or less, seven smaller ionospheric “heaters” belonging to the U.S., the former U.S.S.R., and Germany have caused avalanches of energy to cascade through Earth’s atmosphere in the recent past. But these earlier ionospheric heaters aimed energy straight up in an expanding cone; their effective radiated power dissipated rapidly.
HAARP, however, directs its energy in an inverted cone. By focusing the beam on a very small area of the ionosphere, there is, in effect, an enormous increase in power over the affected area. As the six-page “HAARP Fact Sheet” explains, no other heater has “the combination of frequency capability and beam steering agility required to perform the experiments planned for HAARP”.
U.S. Patent No. 4,686,605 was issued on August 11, 1987. The first of three HAARP patents awarded to Eastlund describes his Method and Apparatus for Altering a Region of the Earth’s Atmosphere, Ionosphere and/or Magnetosphere. “The name of the game is, can you accelerate electrons?” Eastlund told the Straight. “That was what my patents were on, and that was one of the purposes stated in the original HAARP document.”
By the time Eastlund’s first patent was issued, he had worked for three years as a consultant, helping ARCO set up its applied-technologies division. When the giant energy transnational wanted to know what to do with 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas it had discovered on Alaska’s North Slope, Eastlund recommended burning it on-site to power his ionospheric heater.
ARCO bought the idea—and the patent—then turfed Eastlund in 1987. “I had been sort of ushered out four weeks before the first patent issue,” the inventor recalled—probably, he said, because he was not interested in pursuing offensive uses for HAARP. Edward Teller, the father of the hydrogen bomb, was also, according to Eastlund, a strong supporter of then-president Ronald Reagan’s space-based defence system called Star Wars. “Teller came to visit them one weekend,” Eastlund recalled, “and in about two weeks, I was a goner.”
Eastlund, however, remains proud of his accomplishment. “It was really quite something to see it actually start to be built. I’m the inventor, and they can’t take that away from me.” But he quickly added: “Any uses of this all belong to ARCO.”
ARCO’s enthusiasm for HAARP was matched by the U.S. military. In February 1990, a “Plans and Activities” report jointly issued by the U.S. Air Force Geophysics Laboratory and the Office of Naval Research heralded the “exciting and challenging aspect of ionospheric enhancement”. Though the air force refers to HAARP as “pure research”, this restricted-circulation document declared, with emphasis, that the program will go “beyond basic research to controlling ionospheric processes”.
Calling this “a revolutionary concept”, the paper’s sponsors hoped that HAARP would spark “new ionospheric processes and phenomena” that could be exploited by the U.S. military. These uses, the report explained, included long-range, over-the-horizon surveillance of radio traffic and the detection of cruise missiles by “significantly altering” regions of the ionosphere at a range of 1,600 kilometres or more. “What is clear,” the study noted, “is that at one gigawatt and above effective radiated power...a variety of instability processes are triggered” in the ionosphere.
To put it another way: the electrons hitting your TV screen are moving at 25,000 electron-volts. At current Phase 1 settings, HAARP is moving electrons in the ionosphere at one million to three million electron-volts—fast enough to make the air glow. If pulsed correctly, these HAARP-excited electrons will begin resonating with the ionosphere’s own electrical energy. Just as a swing will move through an ever-greater arc between regular pushes, so too can a targeted patch of ionosphere be made to oscillate with timed impulses from HAARP until these joined energies create a cascade of escalating effects.
The problem is that amplifying energy in the highly energetic ionosphere is unpredictable; the swing could twist out of control. The U.S. military’s 1990 report eagerly anticipates how “plasma processes will ”˜runaway’ until the next limiting process is reached.”
Hubris on this scale has not been seen since the Manhattan Project’s top scientists warned that the world’s first aboveground nuclear reaction could ignite the entire atmosphere in a runaway chain reaction. In 1945 they detonated the device near Alamogordo, New Mexico, anyway. Now U.S. military scientists are willing to take similar risks with HAARP.
Though there is compelling evidence that previous ionospheric experiments have gone awry, HAARP is being hurried ahead. Despite congressional cancellation of Reagan’s Star Wars program in 1995, funding continues to find its way into so-called compartmentalized projects like HAARP. Begich notes that $30 million was spent on HAARP’s initial antenna array. Another $30 million was used to upgrade Alaska’s Poker Flats rocket range to map magnetic-field lines, and $25 million was spent on a massive Cray computer to correlate HAARP data at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.
The Ottawa-based Planetary Association for Clean Energy claims that Phase 1 testing of HAARP at one gigawatt effective radiated power has been under way since “initial tuning” began on December 14, 1994. Eschewing Eastlund’s natural-gas scheme, HAARP’s military/corporate backers plan to shift from on-site generators to the local power grid. By the summer of 1996, Alaskan utility lines will supply enough power for the next phase of testing to begin.
But there’s a glitch. Begich reports that an expanded, $175-million antenna array capable of focusing Phase 2’s four gigawatts of radiated power has yet to be funded. Instead, as Begich explained to the Straight, $15 million has been included in the 1996 U.S. defence budget to demonstrate underground scanning using HAARP.
The Earth Tomography Mission has become the “proof of concept” linchpin of the Alaska program. Its premise is simple. Once HAARP has heated a patch of the ionosphere, the resulting plasma “mirror” can be tilted to reflect energy—beamed from a second transmitter—deep into Earth. A smaller ionospheric heater called HIPAS has been relocated from Colorado to Alaska specifically for this task.
Seismologists routinely set off explosive charges to map oil and mineral deposits, in a procedure much like a CAT scan. Long waves from the HAARP-HIPAS duo will pass through Earth’s mantle with almost no resistance, allowing technicians to virtually “X-ray” up to eight kilometres underground in search of hidden bunkers and missile silos. At the same time, according to Earth Island Journal editor Gar Smith and former ARCO accountant Clare Zickuhr in the Fall 1994 edition of that publication, HAARP will also “scan” most living organisms in the Northern Hemisphere that find themselves under its penetrating beam.
The Earth Tomography Mission is considered by the military to be so vital to U.S. security that Begich believes that HAARP’s full antenna array will be funded later this year. “After the Earth Tomography Mission is proven,” he added, “close to $200 million” will be appropriated by Congress for the Phase 2 transmitter upgrade in 1997.
HAARP’s U.S. navy partner wants to use the HAARP-HIPAS combo to bounce extremely low frequency (ELF) signals to deeply submerged submarines running more than 19,000 kilometres away. An earlier navy plan to send messages through Earth would have seen 9,600 kilometres of antennae buried near Clam Lake, Wisconsin. “Project Sanguine” would have irradiated almost half of the state with high-power ELF radiation.
“But Senate protest mounted,” according to authors Cyril Smith and Simon Best in their book Electromagnetic Man, and the Clam Lake plan was scuttled after navy scientists found that a single day’s high-power ELF exposure altered the blood chemistry in nine of 10 technicians working on a test transmitter. Besides exhibiting heart irregularities, the technicians had trouble doing simple addition. Instead of completing Sanguine, the navy had to be content with the much smaller Project Seafarer, whose antenna farm subsequently mowed a 90-kilometre-long swath through Michigan’s Escanaba River State Forest.
In 1979, when the U.S. air force activated a radar emitting one-thousandth of HAARP’s energy on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, health effects were also cited. Within two years, according to the Massachusetts public health department, women living in the four towns closest to the “Pave Paws” transmitter began dying of leukemia at a rate 23 percent higher than that of other Massachusetts women. They also died of liver, bladder, and kidney cancers at a rate 69 percent higher than the state average.
Begich said ELF waves reflected back to Earth from the HAARP tomography mission will cover a “footprint” of several thousand square miles. He is in agreement with Robert Becker—a medical doctor and researcher of the health effects of electromagnetic radiation—that the mission’s penetrating frequencies will resonate at the same number of cycles per second as human brain waves. As these brain waves become “entrained”, or locked in step, with transmissions of between 20 and 30 hertz, Begich warned, “HAARP could be significantly damaging to biological life.” At these frequencies, he added, “you’re agitating people.”
The air force insists that HAARP’s electromagnetic emissions will cause no “bio-effects”. Eastlund mostly concurs. “Some of the things that are talked about... As a scientist, I’m not sure there’s any foundation to them—like mind control and things like that,” he said from his Texas home. What about weather modification? “I had looked at using this intense beam, which can be angled, to do some experiments in terms of guiding the jet stream, moving it from one spot to another,” Eastlund admitted. “I presume it is possible, which might lend credence to these other things.”
In the mid ’70s, Soviet engineers tried to coordinate radio impulses and manipulate the ionosphere to warp the high-altitude jet stream. Their objective was to reverse a 36-year cooling trend that resulted in a series of disastrous crop failures. Soon after Soviet engineers switched on seven big transmitters near a place called Chernobyl, the jet stream kinked dramatically. Robert Becker, in his book CrossCurrents, and Cyril Smith and Simon Best, in Electromagnetic Man, describe how—with the jet stream’s weather-forming winds bent into an unfamiliar configuration—Alaskans basked in unseasonable winter warmth. Snow fell for the first time in Miami and the Bahamas, and winter turned out to be remarkably mild across the USSR.
“The Soviet experiment got out of control,” Dr. Andrew Michrowski recalled in the Vancouver Sun on April 19, 1990. The Tesla expert who worked for Canada’s Secretary of State then explained: “They created these giant changes in Earth’s magnetic field, but then they could not dissipate the standing waves.”
According to U.S. air force Lt.-Col. Tom E. Bearden, the project ended disastrously in 1981 when a runaway resonance effect blew up the Soviets’ ELF transmitter at Gomel, near Chernobyl.
Eastlund is less sure that rearranging the ionosphere could cause a calamity. “You can certainly do things that will change the ionosphere,” he said. “Then it becomes the burden of proof to see if it has deleterious effects on the ground. And some people speculate that it does. But [the ionosphere] is a pretty low-energy-density environment.”
While grilling a steak in his backyard during the interview, Eastlund used a cooking analogy to illustrate HAARP’s anticipated surface power level of one watt per square centimetre. “You wouldn’t be too worried about that, would you?” he asked. “You’ve got that in your microwave oven. You cook your turkey with it.”
But who wants to be the turkey being microwaved?
There is no question that HAARP’s energy waves “pluck” all living cells in range of their beams, whipping brain and body molecules back and forth from 20 to 30 times per second. Researchers in Finland, Poland, Russia, and the U.S. have seen how such stresses can tear up DNA blueprints at the instant of cell division—“particularly during pregnancy, early brain growth and old age”, as Becker wrote in his book CrossCurrents. “Lower power is sometimes worse than high power,” he added.
Although the strength of electromagnetic waves falls off rapidly with distance from their source, U.S. studies show that in frequencies like HAARP’s, even a small increase in electromagnetic radiation can cause human health problems. Manning finds little comfort in the siting of the Alaska transmitter away from cities. “We are concerned with what bounces back from the ionosphere,” she said.
Department of Defense consultant Robert Windsow warned in the Earth Island Journal that temperature inversions or clear, damp nights could send HAARP’s high-energy beams streaming back to Earth with “up to 10-fold increase in field intensity”.
Nobody knows what HAARP’s human-health effects will be. Not yet, anyway. And no biologists have been assigned to the project. Manning was not reassured to find that HAARP’s “Final Environmental Impact Statement” was prepared not by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency but by the U.S. air force and its seagoing partners. The October 1993 study scrutinized five local gravel sources to be used for cement for the HAARP site. Some birds and fish would be disturbed by gravel removal, decided James Boatright, deputy assistant secretary of the air force (installations). But activating HAARP at power levels 10 times higher than any transmitted on Earth will cause “no significant impacts to birds”, “aquatics”, or “the atmosphere”, Boatright believes.
HAARP’s inventor agrees. Sort of. “What is up there now is not, in my opinion, big enough to be concerned about,” Eastlund said. “It has to be used judiciously, but it’s not the kind of power level that can do the stuff that’s in my patents yet. But they’re getting up there. This is a very powerful device. Especially if they go to the expanded stage.”
The air force is not advertising its Phase 3 timetable. But on page 185 of what HAARP project manager John Hecksur termed, during an interview on CBC TV’s Undercurrents, its “nonexistent” October 1991 Technical Memorandum No. 195, 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 gigawatts.
At 10 gigawatts, Eastlund claims that his ionospheric heater will form an “artificial magnetic field” of a strength about tenfold greater than the field strength naturally occurring between the ground-based antennae and an altitude of 50 kilometres. At 100 billion watts effective radiated power, all environmental bets are off.
Bemused by blood and bone, we forget that we are electric beings. The brains and central nervous systems of all living creatures interact with their surroundings through measurable electronic frequencies. Besides enabling our brains to respond to these printed words, our bodies act as sensitive antennae picking up electromagnetic emissions from such everyday devices as TV sets, power lines, microwave ovens, electric blankets, and cel phones.
But HAARP is no hair dryer. Originating between the Anchorage and Fairbanks airports, just 220 kilometres from the Canadian border, its high-energy transmissions makes the issue of its effect on the radios and electronic navigation and control systems of passing aircraft a serious one. And the official “HAARP Fact Sheet” admits that “interference with television, AM and FM radio, ham radios, cellular phone and/or satellite dishes possibly may be anticipated.”
This does not make Gordon Crandall III happy about HAARP. After studying its planned operations schedule of 140 days per year over 20 years, the head of the U.S. Commerce Department’s systems-review branch wrote a report critical of the transmitter. Dated October 1993, the paper noted that HAARP will interfere with the radio communications many Alaskans depend on instead of telephones. “Radiation hazards to aircraft crew and passengers and migratory waterfowl are [also] expected from such high-power transmitters,” Crandall added.
As Gar Smith and Clare Zickuhr pointed out in their Earth Island Journal article, HAARP’s increasingly powerful transmissions are already radiating through the heart of the Pacific Flyway. Migrating birds, as well as caribou and whales, might be severely disoriented, they warn.
So might salmon. University of Alaska geophysical researcher Larry Gedney believes that magnetite found in the brains of all living organisms acts as a biological compass, guiding salmon and other pelagic creatures home along Earth’s magnetic-field lines. In a letter asking the Environmental Protection Agency to halt the project, Alaskan activist Jim Roderick noted that “the fisheries that exist in proximity to the HAARP Project are the most productive in the State of Alaska.”
Migrating animals might also have to contend with bad weather spawned by HAARP. Eastlund, however, is not convinced that unintended storms will be a by-product of such experimentation. “When it gets up there and does things,” he said, speaking of the directed energy beam, “the atmosphere’s way down below it and it’s not clear what effects those can have on the atmosphere.”
It is clear, however, that a strong electrical coupling exists between the ionosphere and the lower atmosphere. As Dynamic Systems’ Charles Yost told an international aerospace conference in 1992: “If the ionosphere is greatly disturbed, the atmosphere below is subsequently disturbed.” And author and MD Robert Becker has demonstrated how harmonic resonance from high-energy transmissions causes charged particles to stream into the atmosphere, forming rain clouds. Begich reminds British Columbians: “Change Alaska weather, and you know where it’s going.”
Is this all legal? The Environmental Modification Convention, ratified by the U.S. in 1979, prohibits military use of environment-modifying technology. “In Alaska, many of us are not happy with the prospect of ARCO altering the Earth’s neutral atmospheric properties,” Inupiat elder Charles Elok Edwardsen Jr. wrote to President Bill Clinton. “We do not want to be anyone’s testing grounds as the Bikini Islands have been.” Mindful of the Bikini Islanders with their nuclear legacy, the Inupiat community fears the effect of an invisible military weapon.
Why has Manning devoted so much energy to exposing HAARP? “Because I’ve heard this attitude of scientists that if we can do it, let’s try it and see what happens,” she said. “And now they’re dealing with a system that’s so vital to life on this planet...” Manning paused. “I just don’t trust these guys. Their own documents brag about the fact that they don’t know what will happen when they push it, as they put it, beyond the next level of effects in the ionosphere.”
Now, at least, the issue is beginning to garner significant public attention. In September 1995, Popular Science brought considerable attention to the HAARP story. Broadcasters have since come aboard with a rush: CBC TV’s Undercurrents, the Fox network’s Sightings, and BBC television’s Horizons aired HAARP segments in January and February, and Begich reports that more than 3,000 hours of syndicated-radio airtime have been devoted to HAARP since the release of his and Manning’s book. “Opposition is building steadily,” Begich observed. “Going into the project, I didn’t believe we’d stop it at all. They were too far into it to pull back. Now I’m not too sure.”
For Begich, widespread resistance to HAARP is “an opportunity to change the paradigm” and redirect intellectual and material resources into life-enhancing technologies. Along with Manning and activist Jim Roderick, he is helping to spearhead a worldwide electronic protest through faxes, phone calls, and the Internet.
In November 1995, Begich described HAARP at a conference on alternative medicines in Sri Lanka. Delegates from 67 developing nations were astonished and angered by what they saw as an example of reckless disregard for the environment. Three months later, Begich persuaded Alaska’s governor to read Angels Don’t Play This HAARP. Begich has also begun meeting with lawyers from Alaskan environmental lobbies to plan legal strategies aimed at blocking further HAARP transmissions.
In March 1996, 3,000 people from around the world gathered at the Environmental Law College in Eugene, Oregon, to hear Manning talk about HAARP. Speaking from her Vancouver home a few weeks after having addressed concerned physicists in Utah, Manning expressed the hope the experiment could be stopped. “It’s so arrogant of them to play with our ionosphere so irresponsibly.”
That hope was bolstered on April 2 this year when the Alaska state legislature’s committee on state affairs met for a two-hour hearing on HAARP. While air-force press officers took the opportunity to attack Manning and Begich, physicists Richard Williams and Patrick Flanagan verbally dismantled HAARP.
Begich was jubilant. He told Manning that he was sure more hearings will be held. The researcher is also hopeful that a legislative watchdog committee comprising concerned citizens and scientists will be struck to oversee HAARP. If that happens, Begich wants a biologist on that committee. Manning is optimistic that credible scientists from the U.S., Europe, and Mexico will soon step forward to publicly voice their opposition to HAARP. “It’s really important that Canadians contact their political representatives and have them speak out,” Manning said.
If an enlightened public can switch HAARP off, the U.S. air force’s wild blue yonder might turn out to be not so wild after all.