Manu Ginobili’s Santa Monica Silver Surfer

CASE CLOSED:  It was Red Bull Air Force!

Update:  Here’s the google earth file

I was forwarded an interesting video on TMZ a few days ago:

It shows Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs as he observes some kind of UFO in the sky behind him.  At first it looks like the short sunlit contrail of a plane.  But then it seems to be moving much too fast, even changing direction.

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Los Angeles Missile Contrail Explained in Pictures

[Update] Download the Google Earth files used to make some of the images below, and judge for yourself (or show your friends).  There’s a video to show you how.

CBS News chopper, filming the sunset on Nov 8th, 2010, catches this video of what looks like a missile, although moving suspiciously slowly. I’d estimate this is around 5:16PM, the sun is below the horizon.  Low clouds are in shadow.

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Contrails are Usually Horizontal

I think the one thing that prevented most people from seeing the supposed “missile” trail as what it was (a jet contrail, almost certainly from flight UPS902 from Hawaii), was the illusion that it looked like it was going straight up. Compare one photo of the 902 trail with a typical Space Shuttle Launch

You can see how the casual viewer might get confused

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Debunked: What In The World Are They Spraying?

Update: If you are looking for a debunking of Why In The World Are They Spraying, first check out this post, as the second film really depends on the first being true, then have a look at the various errors in Why In The World Are They Spraying, detailed here:


The documentary film “What in the World are They Spraying“, by Michael J. Murphy, attempts to promote the Chemtrail Conspiracy Theory (which states that long lasting contrails are actually the result of secret government spray operations), and proposes a possible explanation: that the trails are part of a geoengineering project involving injecting large amounts of aluminum into the atmosphere to block the suns rays.

Multiple parallel trails over Mt Shasta, California. Taken in 1989, ten years before the chemtrail operations were supposed to have begun.

The basic premise of the film is:

  • Normal Contrails fade away quickly
  • Scientists have talked about geoengineering using aluminum sprayed from planes
  • Since 1999, trails have been observed to persist for a long time
  • Tests in various locations at ground level have found different levels of aluminum
  • Monsanto has genetically engineered  aluminum resistent crops
  • The government denies any spraying or geoengineering is going on
  • THEREFORE:  The trails are aluminum being sprayed as part of a secret government geoengineering project.

Normal contrails can persist and spread

That reasoning is somewhat suspect even if you accept all the points. But where it really falls down is that it’s based on a false assumption – that “normal” contrails quickly fade away.   In reality, normal contrails can persist for hours, and spread out to cover the sky.  Whether they do this or not is entirely dependent on the atmospheric conditions that the plane is flying through, so it depends on the weather, and on the altitude of the plane. This is something that has been observed since 1921. Just look at any book on the weather, like this one from 1981:

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Fake, Hoax, Chemtrail Videos

Most of the supposed “chemtrail” videos out there are simply videos of persistent contrails that the video maker somehow has decided are part of a giant world-wide conspiracy involving spraying something for some purpose.

But some videos are actually deliberate hoaxes, either by pranksters poking fun at the chemtrail community, or by people looking to promote the theory for one reason or another.

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Contrails and Chemtrails: The IFAQ

Most of the traffic to this site comes via Google and other search engines. It’s interesting to look at what people typed in to that ended up here. Quite often it’s just a few words like “chemtrail aircraft pictures” or “contrails engine”, but sometimes it’s a question. I see them ask their questions and end up here, but I’m not sure if they find the right answer.

So I present the “Infrequently Asked Questions” (exactly as typed into Google).  I’ll update this from time to time when I see a new question.

Why does a contrail vanish?
Contrails are made of ice crystals from water in the exhaust and the surrounding air. They vanish because the ice turns back into water vapor. If will vanish faster if the air is dry and/or relatively warm. They can stay for a long time though.

Contrails, which are ice particles vs chemtrails?
Some people say the longer lasting trails are “chemtrails”, but there’s no evidence to support this, as some trails have always lasted a long time.

How long lasting trails are created?
Exactly the same as the short trails. They just last longer because of the weather at that altitude (which is often unrelated to the weather on the ground).  When it’s cold and humid at 30,000 feet, then contrails at 30,000 feet will last longer.

How long have chemtrails being going on for?
The chemtrail story was first told around 1997.

How planes create acid rain
Acid rain is caused mostly by ground based industrial pollution of ammonia, carbon, nitrogen and sulfur. Very little comes from planes. Planes could create acid rain by deliberately spraying large amount of sulfur to affect the climate, but there’s no evidence that anyone have ever done this.  In fact the creation of acid rain is a very big reason why they will not.

Why don’t we see many contrails anymore?
The amount of air traffic has not changed much in the last 2-3 years.  So if you’ve suddenly stopped seeing contrails then it’s probably because it’s summer, and the conditions for contrail formation don’t exist that frequently in summer.  Particularly in places like southern California, which have hot dry summers.  I’ve seen far fewer contrails now it’s June.

Why do military jets leave a contrails?
For the same reason commercial and private jets leave contrails: water in the exhaust freezes to create trails of ice clouds.  Military jets might create different contrails depending on the circumstances, as they have different engines (particularly fighter jets).

Do all planes make chemtrails?
All planes can make contrails, but only if they fly high enough to encounter cold enough air.  In very cold places like Alaska, even cars can make contrails. The trails that people suspect of being “chemtrails” are probably just contrails.

Can contrails stay in the air?
Yes.  Contrails are physically almost identical to clouds, so they act like clouds.  They are usually a bit denser than clouds, so can stay around longer if conditions are right.

What jets can you see contrails from?
Any jet flying through cold enough and moist enough air will produce contrails. In more marginal conditions then it depends on the “contrail factor” of the engine.  If it’s warm or dry enough then no jets will be able to leave a contrail.

What is bill hr 2977 about?
It’s about the weaponization of space.  It bans “space based” weapons, and list several, including “chemtrails” (which is pretty odd, as “chemtrails” are not space based, unless you consider flying in a passenger jet to be space travel).  It was written by some UFO enthusiasts.

Is there barium in gasoline?
There are trace amounts of many metals, including barium, that found in crude oil and its products. Beyond this – not unless added via fuel additives, and those found on Google were old, and related to diesel. You might get some barium in the exhaust from barium additives in the engine lubricants, such as Barium Hydroxide Octahydrate.

Why would two planes fly next to each other?
The most likely explanation is that they just look like they are next to each other, but really one is a thousand feet or more above the other.  However they might be planes on a photo shoot or military planes practicing maneuvers.

Do contrails cause climate change
Yes. Although the amount and nature of this is still uncertain.  It’s also a different kind of climate change to CO2 emissions, because if we stopped flying then the contrail climate change would also stop immediately.  If we stop emitting CO2, then it would still take decades for it to have an effect.

Black line in sky in front of plane?
That is a volumetric shadow.  Only visible when the contrail is lined up with the sun relative to the observer, so the observer is inside the shadow.

Do contrails create pollution?
No.  Contrails are just ice clouds made from the water in plane engine exhausts.  However some people consider this to be visual pollution.  Plane engine exhaust is pollution just like car and truck exhaust is, however a plane creates the same amount of pollution wether it leaves a contrail or not.

Why do regular planes leave a trail?
All planes leave trails if the conditions are right at the altitude they are flying.   If you see one plane leaving a trail, and another not, then they are probably at slightly different altitudes.  It only takes a few hundred feet.

Can a contrail form at any height?
Yes.  However in most of the world the answer is no, as it’s too warm at the lower altitudes.  Typically contrails form above 25,000 feet (five miles up), in temperatures of -40F or colder.  In very cold places like Alaska they can form at ground level.

How long after chemtrails is it safe to go outside
There’s no real evidence that “chemtrails” are anything other than persistent contrails.  However if an aerosol was being sprayed then remember  that aerosols basically hang in the air, falling at 1 foot per second they would take at least eight hours to reach the ground, and by that time would have spread over an area of thousands of square miles, lingering in the air for days.  So essentially the answer would be: never.

are the elite ptb still chemspraying the popualce of the world?
No. At least if they are then they are doing it without leaving any evidence, which would be rather impressive with the millions of people that would need to be involved in covering it up.

How can you tell the difference of a plane dumping fuel or leaving contrails?
Most planes dump fuel from the wingtips.  It also usually happens  at a lower altitude.  The resultant plume is much hazier than a contrail, and evaporates quickly.

How long will it take the droplet to fall 2000 m if it goes 1 cm every second?
1 meter is 100 cm. So 2000 meters is 200,000 cm. At 1 cm per second it would take 200,000 seconds, which is 55 hours, or just over two days.  Wolfram Alpha is useful for things like this.

Why was contrail forecasting important to the Air Force in the 1950s but not in the 1980s?
It was and still is important.  The reason has always been because of stealth – a plane might dodge the radar, but if it leaves a long contrail then it’s hard to hide.  Perhaps in the 1950s there was more of a focus on spy planes, and now they have either been largely replaced by satellites, or they have figured out how to avoid contrail producing regions of the atmosphere.

Can contrails blow accross the sky in a straight line?
Yes.  Air moves as large circulating masses.  If you look at a weather map, in  any given 50 mile wide region the air is moving pretty much in the same direction.  So a contrail will move like that.  It will distort eventually, depending on atmospheric conditions.

Why can you hear some planes but not others?
Different sized planes can be at very different altitudes bu look the same.  A plane at 30,000 feet that is twice the size of one at 15,000 feet will look like it’s the same, but will be further away, so quieter.  But a more dramatic difference is between planes that are climbing at 90% of  full power, and those that are descending, at maybe 5% of full power.  The descending plane will be vastly quieter than the climbing plane.  This also applies to planes at cruising altitude when they make relatively small altitude adjustments.

Do people actually believe in chemtrails?
Some people are probably trolling, or promoting the theory for some reason like selling their books or medical products.  However many people do seem to genuinely believe that the theory is supported by the evidence.  I think this site shows that it is not.  The believers tend to also believe a varied range of other conspiracy theories.

Why do orbs seem to follow contrails?
“Orbs” are things in the sky that appear round from a great distance, or in a photo or video (often they are individual bokeh highlights).   They are things like plastic bags, balloons, planes, birds, clouds, or even specks of dust in a bright light.  They don’t actually follow contrails, it’s just that you were looking at the contrail, and you saw orbs. They are everywhere in the sky if you look long enough.

Who came up with the theory of chemtrails?
The theory grew online around 1997 out of concerns regarding pollution from jet fuel additives.  It’s not clear if one person started it, but some of the early names mentioned are Larry Wayne Harris, Richard Finke, John Grace, and Bill Brumbaugh.  It has been greatly propmted by William Thomas, Art Bell and Jeff Rense.

Is chemtrails responsible for acid rain?
If planes were spraying something like sulphur, then that would create acid rain.  But there’s no evidence that they are.  The human causes of acid rain are things like power stations, factories and transportation (including normal jet exhaust)

Do commercial airlines seed clouds on the west coast
Not in the usual sense of making low rain clouds rain more.  But contrails are clouds, and the ones that persist are essentially”seeded” by the engine exhaust. But contrails are ice clouds, and don’t produce rain.  They do sometimes make the sky overcast.

Normal atmospheric barium levels?
Via the EPA: The primary source of barium in the atmosphere is industrial emissions. Barium concentrations ranging from 0.0002 ug/m3 to 0.028 ug/m3 (mean of 0.012 ug/m3) have been detected in urban areas of North America (ATSDR, 1992). Barium is naturally occurring in most surface waters and in public drinking water supplies. Barium content in U.S. drinking water supplies ranges from 1 to 20 ug/L; in some areas barium concentrations as high as 10,000 ug/L have been detected (WHO, 1990). Barium is ubiquitous in soils, with concentration ranging from 15 to 3000 ppm.

Of course you’ve got to watch your units there.  Also note that the measurement of barium in the atmosphere is in micrograms per cubic meter OF AIR. The concentration of barium in airborne dust is an entirely different measurement, which is where Arizona Skywatch went so badly wrong.

How long does it take an airplane to reach 30,000 ft
At an average climb rate of 1800 feet/minute, it would take about 16 minutes.  But it can vary a lot based on the plane, the load, and what the pilot wants.  An SR-71 could do it in less than three minutes if pushed. Larger commercial jets can take up to 30 minutes or more.   Not all planes even go up to 30,000 feet, especially for short flights.

Does NASA claim that contrails cannot form in the stratosphere
No. Nasa says:

Contrails usually form in the upper portion of the troposphere and in the lower stratosphere where jet aircraft normally fly, generally between about 8 and 12 km altitude (~26,000 to 39,000 feet). They can also form closer to the ground when the air is very cold and has enough moisture.

Volcano Clears the Skies of Contrails

Volcano ash cloud clears the skies of contrails and "chemtrails"

The cloud of volcanic ash from Eyjafjallajökull has prompted the most significant air-traffic shutdown in European history.  This will provide a unique opportunity to study the effects of a contrail-less sky.  But we must be careful how quickly we draw conclusions from the immediate data.

Take the two images above,  the first, dated April 10th 2010, before the volcano erupted, shows a large amount of contrails, and lots of cirrus clouds, many of which are probably contrail induced cirrus.  That was taken before the volcano erupted.  The second image, dated April 17th, shows no contrails at all.  The simple conclusion here is that removing air traffic made for vastly clearer skies over the UK.

Cause and effect?  Sure, there were no high altitude flights on the 17th, so no contrails. But contrails are not the only variable in the two photos.  There’s a lot of cloud cover on the 17th that’s entirely unrelated to the volcano.  The questions to ask are:  what would April 10th look like without the high altitude flights, and what would April 17th look like with normal air traffic.

Now I was somewhat selective with the photos I chose above.  April 10th had by far the most contrails, and April 17th was the clearest day during the shutdown.  Let’s pick another two days with the same traffic/no-traffic variable:

Here we’ve still got a before and after comparison, April 8th had normal air traffic, and April 18th had no air traffic.  But here the images are much more similar in terms of the cloud cover, and very few contrails are visible on the April 8th image.

The key point here is that you can’t take any one image, and hold it up as representative of what is going on every day.  The normal day to day variances are far greater in effect than the variance caused by the absence of air traffic.

That said, of course the April 10th image would have looked very different had there been no air traffic.  Contrails do often have a significant effect on cloud cover.  But how different would the April 8th image have looked without air traffic?  And what would the April 18th image have looked like with air traffic?

Why do some planes leave long trails, but others don’t?

Some planes in the sky leave trails that persist and spread, and other planes, in the same sky, leave short-lived trails, or no trails at all.

These trails are actually called contrails, short for “condensation trails”.  They are not smoke from the engines, they are formed when the water in jet exhaust (and there’s quite a lot of it, like car exhaust on a cold day) mixes with wet cold air, and condenses and freezes into ice crystals.  Contrails are actually a type of cirrus cloud.  When the air is wet and cold enough the trails can stay around for a long time, and sometimes spread out.

This difference between trails that fade away, and trails that spread, is often used as evidence of the “chemtrail” theory, which states that the longer lasting trails (or some of them) are being deliberately manipulated for some reason.  So you see helpful images like this.

But this is wrong. Contrails can fade away, and contrails can persist and spread. It depends on the air they are formed in.

Now there are two main reasons why some planes leave trails and some nearby planes do not.  The less common reason, is that different planes have different engines.  Some engines will leave a contrail in air where another engine will not.  Here, for example are an Airbus A340 (maiden flight: 1991) on the left, leaving contrails, and a Boeing 707 (maiden flight: 1957) not leaving contrails. Both are flying at 33,000 feet (part of a German test to study contrail formation), but the exhaust of the newer engines of the A340 is at a lower temperature, and so makes contrails in a wider range of conditions*.

You can also get a similar effect with engines at different power settings, especially if it affects the exhaust temperature. This can occasionally be seen with high altitude refueling, when the plane being refueled cuts the throttle to near idle in order to separate from the tanker.

Contrails in a refueling situation turn on/off

But here’s the main reason why you see trails on some planes but not on others, and I’ll emphasize it, because although it’s simple, it’s also easy to miss.

The planes are at different altitudes.

Yes, it’s really that simple.  The reason that one plane makes contrails, or makes contrails that persist, and the other plane does not, is that they are in different regions of air.   For simplicity, let’s refer to these regions of air as wet air and dry air, although the differences are a bit more complex.
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Why Planes Make Vapor Trails

Popular Science, March 1943. Page 55.

While this applies to 1943 planes, it should also be noted that the exact same mechanisms are responsible for contrails from modern jet aircraft. Jet engines burn fuel that is essentially the same kind of chemical as used by old prop planes. They produce lots of water vapor, and a contrail can result if the weather (at the plane’s altitude) is right. If the weather aloft is humid, then the contrail can persist for several hours.

Chemtrails: The Best Evidence

The Chemtrail theory proposes that some of the persistent white trails we see in the sky behind airplanes are not actually normal contrails, but are either modified contrails, or some kind of different trail entirely. The theory states that the trails contain chemicals that do something, and that there is a huge secret operation to create these trails that has been going on since at least 1999.

I personally don’t believe in this theory. I’m an avid cloud watcher, and a private pilot (only single engine VFR), and the photos and videos of supposed “chemtrails” all look like contrails to me. So I’ve been discussing this on this site, and quite often proponents of the theory come on to join the discussion.

Unfortunately this frequently devolved into me (or other commenters) saying “show me the evidence”, and the chemtrail theorists saying “there’s lots of evidence”. Then no evidence gets presented, or if it does it’s something I addressed months ago.

The problem here for the theorists is that there seems to be no one place that simply lists all this evidence that they claim is out there. Without this central evidence repository, they just bring up the random bits of supposed evidence in a haphazard and counterproductive manner.

So I’ve decided to help, and on this page to arrange as well presented, organized and honest a representation of the best evidence for “chemtrails” that I can muster.

What I’ll do is take each claim, such as “the government has admitted it”, or “persistent trails have been observed in conditions that should not support them”, and I’ll find the five (or so) best examples of evidence for that particular claim. I’ll leave it up as a work in progress – anyone can challenge a particular piece of evidence, and anyone can suggest a new piece in the comments section.

If the evidence is something I’ve looked at before, then I’ll just add a link to the relevant article. If not, then I might add a comment, or maybe write a new article.

I’ll start out with less than five pieces of evidence, to allow suggestions to be quickly added. Also feel free to suggest new categories. My hope is that eventually this will grow to be a definitive collection of the best evidence for the chemtrail theory.

I apologize for the incomplete nature of this list. I hope to refine it as time goes by. Please feel very free to speak up with any suggestions, which should make it into the list within a few hours.

Persistent Trails were not observed before 1998 (date varies)
(Note:  not all theorists agree with this, some simply state things are different)

1. California Skywatch / Rosaline Peterson – Notes on Discovery Show Transcript, page 8, claims a review of outdoor photos says contrails changed in the late 1980s.

2. Many individual accounts of recollecting contrails not persisting.  Details vary.

3. Ideally I’d like a science book or pre 1990 book that says how long contrails last.  Lots of books say they last for hours.  Any counter evidence?



Persistent trails have been observed in conditions that would not support persistent contrails (Specifically RH <70% and/or temperature >-40F)

1. Chemtrail Central’s Trail Research Report

2. Chemtrails captured on NWS Doppler Weather Data

3. Holmestead – How to detect unusual trails



Trails appear in grid patterns

1. William Thomas

2. Educate-Yourself




Unidentified Spray Planes have been photographed

1. I await candidates. First check here and here.





People Get sick after Chemtrail Spraying

1. William Thomas “Emergency Rooms Jammed

2. I think there’s a KTLA video about this, some mountain community?




Chemical Analysis has shown the presence of unexpected chemicals in rain water.

1. KSLA Barium contrails.

2. Arizona Skywatch – Phoenix Air Particulates.

3. Clifford Carnicom – Barium, etc. Confirmed in rainwater.

4. What in the World are they Spraying


The government has admitted spraying/bioweapon testing/geoengineering/weather modification.

1. Welsbach patent

2. British bioweapon tests

3. Owning the Weather in 2025

4. AP: Obama looks at climate engineering (Alex Jones likes this story)

5. Kucinich and HR 2977.

People don’t remember persistent contrails

1. There’s several individual claims of this, but also several claims to the contrary. Awaiting some kind of study, or even a poll. But I’ll post pretty much any link you think is good evidence of this.





The sky is a different color now

1. See above.





There are open plans to spray aerosols into the atmosphere to mitigate global warming.






The government are doing similar things, and have done before, so why not this?


2. I’m a little reluctant to include this category, but since it’s brought up, I might as well.

3. Fake Moon Landings (yeah yeah, it belittles your cause, I’ll remove it if you think so, speak up, either way).



I am very willing to add, remove, reorder, or edit the above, based on any suggestions in the comments section below.

Identifying a Curved Contrail

I took this photo this morning:

It’s an interesting contrail as most trails you see are straight lines, planes generally fly directly from one place to another. This plane was flying in a south east direction. After making this left turn it made a right turn to continue roughly in the same direction as before.

I realised this would make a quite distinctive track on FlightAware, so I went inside to have a look and found this:

You can see it’s an Air Mexico 737, flight AMX665, from San Francisco (KSFO) to Mexico City (MMMX), flying at 37,000 feet and 437 knots.
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Contrail Season in Los Angeles

For a contrail enthusiast, I picked the wrong place to live. We hardly ever get persistent contrails here in the summer, but things have been picking up a bit as we go into fall, and today we had this:

A very nice triple set of contrails of three planes that, within about 10-15 minutes of each other flew north along the same flight path.  This was taken today, October 26th, 2009, at around 11:20AM in Santa Monica, California, looking east.

It’s actually a 180 degree panoramic shot, the trails are NOT curved, they were straight, and are just distorted because of the nature of the photo (it’s stitched together from about 10 individual images).  It looks a lot stranger in this photo than it did in real-life.

There’s a couple of interesting things about this photo.  Firstly the middle trail peters out on the right of the photo (the south).  This is probably to do with the jet changing altitude.

Secondly there’s a trail in the bottom right corner that crosses the other two at right angles.  This was from a jet that was flying in a westerly direction, probably towards Hawaii.

Note the large amount of Cirrus clouds,  that usually indicates a change in the weather due to a new weather system bringing in a moisture laden front at high altitude.  It’s often a precursor to rain.   Indeed the weather is set to change.  Today in Santa Monica, the high was 83F, tomorrow it drops suddenly to 63F.  Quite a dramatic change

Contrail season in Los Angeles is also the start of the local “Chemtrail” season, where people see these trails, and figure it’s part of some secret government spraying program – not realizing it’s only the weather.

Chemtrail Plausibility Study

(The following was written as a comment by “boenoid”, but I thought it was interesting enough to deserve its own post. I (Uncinus) have added the assembly line image)

For what it is worth, I am a Boeing engineer with 20 years of experience in the aerospace industry.

* There are no special tanks anywhere on our airplanes to hold chemicals to be sprayed out.
* There are no spray nozzles on the airplanes either, unless you count the emergency fuel dump nozzles on the widebody jets.
* This can be readily ascertained by simply looking through an airplane before the interior wall panels are installed. Here is a list of all the tanks which are on a jetliner:
** Fuel, potable water, waste water, engine fire suppressant (Halon + other stuff), cargo fire suppressant (just Halon), hydraulic reservoirs. On the new airplanes you will also see tank-like devices which generate nitrogen to inert the fuel tanks.
* Further, there is no room for such stuff to get installed. You would have to carry TONS of liquid to make spray trails independent of the exhaust condensation, and the only liquid we carry tons of is Jet-A fuel.
* In Everett Washington, the Seattle flight museum has a restoration center where you can go see dismantled airplanes being readied for display in the museum. The work is done almost entirely by volunteers. I assume other flight museums have similar workshops. If you can find one where you live, go to the restoration center and see the planes up close. There’s no where to hide a sprayer system where it wouldn’t be seen by maintenance crews.

* The Boeing final assembly plant is open for tours by the public, and VIPs from all over the world can get close-up tours. The airplanes are built in a staggered sequence, so that two airplanes side-by-side are usually being made for two different airlines.
Boeing 777 Assembly line at Everett
* The majority of Boeing’s production is sold overseas. In fact, the company is the nation’s largest exporter.
* Thus, if a domestic airplane was modified for “chemtrail production” in the factory, it would be as easy as pie for a foreign VIP to walk over and say, “What are these fancy tanks and sprayers on the American plane which aren’t on my airplane?”
* If any airplane WAS modified for chemtrail to add chemtrail sprayers, the thousands of Boeing employees would have to know. I don’t work in Fuels, and I can identify every tank and tube in the wing area.
* If thousands of Boeing employees knew, then so would thousands of supplier employees who go through our factories, thousands of airlines employees who go through our factories, and all the FAA and NTSB and DOT people as well. Also, our airplanes and factories are inspected by the Aviation Authorities of foreign countries (like EASA from Europe) and they would also need to be in on the conspiracy.
* There would simply be too many people involved to prevent this from leaking out. If the chem trail sprayers were being added in the factory, the secret would be out.

* So what if the chemtrail sprayers were being added by an aftermarket shop?
* You’re back to the same problem. It takes hundreds of people to design, build, and install a major modification on a jetliner, and the mod shops are just as open as Boeing is. You wouldn’t be able to keep the secret.
* Further, most airlines have their planes maintained by outside suppliers, who would have to be in on the conspiracy. Those who do their own maintenance do the work in open bays that again would make it easy to view the modification.
* And you have the same problem that you need to get thousands of maintenance people, suppliers, and certification authorities in on the conspiracy. It would have leaked by now. All it takes is one guy with a cell phone camera, and the world would know.

* So what if they somehow managed to do all this stuff anyway? Now you have to realize that somebody, somewhere, has to be pumping TONS of chemtrail chemicals into these mysterious hidden tanks on the airplanes. You would need a fill valve, and a distribution system, and special trucks carrying the chemicals disguised as fuel trucks. That would take thousands more people to be in on the conspiracy.
* One giveaway would be two fuel trucks pulling up to the same jetliner – one with the fuel and one with the chemicals. Remember, we’re talking about tons of liquid here.
* It just doesn’t work – you would need independent chemical fill ports, and somebody, somewhere, would notice.
* And while we’re talking about it, remember that every jetliner pilot has to check the weight of the plane and calculate a talk off runway length and other factors. The charts are the same for every jetliner of a given type, but if there really were chemtrail sprayers, then the charts for those airplanes would have to be different to account for the tons of chemicals that might be on the airplane.

* So, I really don’t think there is any way to hide the sprayers on jetliners. Too many people would have to know, and it would be too easy to detect by passerby.

* So, what if the chemtrail chemicals are in the jet fuel? This wouldn’t require ANY visible modifications to the airplanes, and far fewer people would have to know about the conspiracy.
* This would be harder to refute, BUT, you would have to discard the “on and off” contrails as being caused by pilots turning sprayers on and off. All the fuel on the plane came from the same fuel trucks and the same fuel tanks, so the supposed chemtrail would have to be continuous from takeoff until landing. I think that would have been noticed by now.

* So to my mind, that pretty much eliminates the possibility of using jetliners to create chemtrails.
* Which means you have to be using military jets, and thousands of them, flying unnoticed back and forth on normal commercial routes. So now you have to have all the air traffic controllers in on the conspiracy as well.
* And the planes will again need special tanks for the chemicals, and special fill ports, and special sprayers, and special tanker trucks filling the chemical tanks on the planes, special non-military suppliers delivering the stuff, and you’re right back to the same issue of needing to keep thousands of people from talking.

Bottom line:
You would need a special delivery system on the airplanes.
You would need a special fill system.
You would need independent tanker trucks.
You would need a separate supply chain.
You would need thousands and thousands of people to hold their tongues, and never have even ONE person leave any incriminating evidence in a safe deposit box to be discovered after their deaths.

It ain’t happening.

History Channel, That’s Impossible, Weather Warfare & Chemtrails

Well, it looks like the cat is out the bag. The secret government has slipped up and allowed the release of a History Channel special that spills the beans on the whole Chemtrail program!

Several clips from this show are available on youtube:

The unfortunate thing about the show is that, regarding “chemtrails” it’s all theory and zero facts. Far from “validating” any chemtrail theory, the show simply repeats the theory.   What’s more it’s basically just a platform for William Thomas to repeat the same nonsense he’s been spouting for the last ten years, totally ignoring both science and common sense. For Example:

Thomas: I think most of us in North America have been wondering about these plumes criss-crossing the sky in grid patterns, rows, and the now-familiar X’s, and many of us have wondered what these trails are.

Well, actually no – most people don’t wonder what these plumes are. And for those that do, we know EXACTLY what they are. They are contrails. This has been explained time and time again, with vast amounts of scientific and historical evidence behind the explanation. What evidence does Thomas give? None. Zero. Zip. Nada.
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AC-130 Flares and Chaff

Not a contrail, but a nice image:


A U.S. Air Force AC-130 Gunship aircraft executes an evasive maneuver and drops chaff and flares during a firepower demonstration at the Nevada Test and Training Range in Nevada on Sept. 14, 2007.

I don’t know if you can actually see the chaff. I suspect that’s all just smoke from the flares. I suspect that when they are released simultaneously then it’s as a countermeasure for incoming missiles, and so will be very short-lived, a few seconds at most.

I’ve never actually seen a photo of modern chaff being dispensed. Is such at thing even possible to photograph? I’d be grateful if someone could point me at a photo of chaff.

A Very Unusual Contrail


Okay, it’s not actually a contrail.   But it’s a related phenomenon – a plume of hot humid air is rising from a volcano, and where it hits the cold upper air, the water vapor it contains condenses out.  Possibly into ice, but it’s hard to tell.

The brown clouds are volcanic ash.   The white round cloud is condensed water.

Here’s a wider shot:


You can see the plume must be very high.  See it has cast a shadow on the cloud layer, which has been pushed away from the volcano by the rising air.

Here’s the original image from NASA

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Modern Contrail Confusion

This photo is from January 29th 2009, at approximately 3-4PM over Corvallis, Oregon.


It shows a contrail from a plane that has made a 540 degree turn (one and half full turns) to fly back the way it came.  This photo was probably taken an hour after the plane made the turn, judging by the amount of spread.

This provoked some interest in the local press:

What’s that up in the sky?

Jet trail has mid-valley looking up, imaginations soaring
A misguided passenger airliner?
A military jet on maneuvers?
A visitor from another planet who decided not to stick around?

They even got a quote from a local authority:

But another viewer noted, “I got a shot of this unusual trail also. I’m an aircraft mechanic and that does not seem like a condensation trail to me.”

(Not sure why an aircraft mechanic would be an expert on contrails, but there you go).

The next day, things were resolved:

Contrail could be from Boeing jet
By Steve Lathrop
For the gazette-Times
Test flight tracked as far south as mid-valley shows the meandering path of a flight [BOE504 – a Boeing 737-800 test aircraft] from Boeing Field in Seattle that apparently came as far south as the mid-valley Thursday and then returned. The site says the plane departed at 11:40 a.m. and landed at 2:59 p.m. The loop-the-loop contrail was photographed over Albany around 2:30. At its southern tip over the mid-valley, the flight path shown on the site appears to circle in just the shape the contrails were seen.

Several readers sent in photos.

This contrail is very similar to the one I described (and tracked with FlightAware) in Voodoo Contrails, but what’s interesting here is the similarity of the story to stories in “contrail confusion is nothing new“, where, back in the 1950s, people were having the exact same reactions to contrails, and newspapers were writing the same stories:

Back in the 1950s, of course, contrails were less common.  Now it takes a rather unusual contrail to spark the public’s imagination.     However, in some places, contrails are still relativly uncommon, so still get mistaken for UFOs, such as these in Hawaii, 2007:

Ground Level Contrails

Contrails form when the water in engine exhaust mixes with cold moist air and freezes. Normally you see this at 30,000 feet with jet engine exhaust. But in some parts of the world, these conditions can be found at ground level. Here’s a car leaving a contrail in Whitehorse, Canada.


(Photo by Yukon White Light, original here)

Over time these contrails can spread out to form a haze that covers the area.

Ice Fog and winter driving

From a distance this ice fog (Seen here in Fairbanks, Alaska) can look just a like layer of cloud or mist:


Here the individual car contrails quickly merge into a single sheet due to their small size and large number.  A jumbo jet obviously creates a much bigger contrail, something more like the building in the middle of the above photo.   That’s why you get the more distinct white lines in the sky.  And of course, at around 30,000 feet, it’s much more likely to be 40 below than it is at ground level – except for Alaska in the winter.

At the South Pole, they regularly have contrails at ground level:


Here’s an article from 1957 describing how these ground level contrails can persist and spread – just like contrails at high altitude:

[Update 2010-4-26]

See also:

Which discusses several photos from this photographer:


Taken in Russia, where there are many places the temperature drops below -40 degrees. Note this is a helicopter, not normally something you’d see leaving a contrail as they don’t go high enough. But when contrail conditions go all the way to the ground, then pretty much anything can leave a contrail


Here’s an account from the South Pole:

Life Magazine Contrail Photos

[UPDATE: Some of these photos are now available again with a “personal non-commercial use” licence via Google.

The following images were all found on the Life Magazine web site. Originally they linked to the page on Life where the photo could be ordered, but Life has since re-organized the site, and many photos are no longer available. The small version of each photo is embedded directly from, and originally went to page where you could order the photo. It still works for some of the older photos (like the WWII photos with the Jeep).

1988 – A vapour trail crosses the sky above the Suleymaniye Mosque and the Yeni Cami or New Mosque in Istanbul

1970 – Vapour trails across the sky

1970 – Vapour trails across a pink sky at sunset

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