Contrail theory causes unrest

15_contrails9254CRISSCROSSING TRAILS  — Vapor trails from the high flying jets spread out over the vast blue skies of Montana. Many believe these are aluminum filings that will cause a change in weather patterns over the years. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler

By Melissa Barringer

I-O Intern

Streaks lay across the sky as remnants from airplane exhaust.  Contrails tail behind planes and leave behind white plumes of condensed ice crystals that disperse in the stratosphere.

Contrails are produced at altitudes high enough for water droplets to freeze in a matter of seconds before they evaporate.

They form through the injection of water vapor into the atmosphere by exhaust fumes from a jet engine.

But, can the left behind wakes of condensation actually be something more?

Speculations on the government are entering the rumor mill about what seems to be a different kind of contrail that does not dissipate in the air, but lingers and spreads across the sky.  Conspiracy theorists call them chemtrails.  Pictures of chemtrails show streams of hazy residue crisscrossing the sky creating a pattern of contrails refusing to dissipate.


Solar expert Dane Wigington says, “Before five years ago our skies were typically blue.  Now you see it’s covered with lines and haze.”


Reports of these trails say they occur every day around the world and leave hazy residues hiding the blue sky.  Theorists say the cause is from a government geo-engineering project which focuses on the manipulation of the climate in an attempt to prevent global warming.

Observer Louis Miller says, “You can easily tell just a regular jet stream. It’s very short and it goes away very soon.” Miller says that the difference in a chemtrail is they streak across the sky and get larger. One concern Miller has is, “Pretty soon it will just be a haze with no blue sky.”

Studies of geo-engineering have been in the works by the U.S government over recent years.  The National Center for Atmospheric Research has been researching strategies to prevent further damages from green house gases.  Scientists have been trying to figure out how to manipulate clouds to reflect the rays as well as how to release sulfates into the stratosphere.  The use of sulfate aerosols to seed clouds in the sky has been a possible cure they have been looking into.

A downside to this project chemtrail believers say is the chemicals that get put in the stratosphere not only create a smoggy appearance in the sky but come down with rainfall.  Aluminum and bromine come down onto the soils and water supplies having an effect on plant life and people’s health.

Chemtrail debunkers claim there has not been a change in plane contrails over the years. Weather conditions play a large role in the reaction of the fuel exhaust allotting the amount of time it takes for the ice crystals to melt.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), contrails can stay longer in the upper atmosphere when humidity levels are high.

An EPA contrail factsheet states, “The level of humidity reached depends on the amount of water present in the surrounding air, the temperature of the surrounding air, and the amount of water and heat emitted in the exhaust.” Some contrails can last for hours and can expand by taking in water from the atmosphere as well as spread depending on the turbulence.

The biggest chemtrail opposition lies behind one question: Why?  People who oppose the allegations say it would not be in the best interest of the government to make people sick because they would have nothing to gain. Theorists believe the answer may lie behind a population control strategy.

Whether these trails are chemically enhanced or have a logical explanation one thing is for sure, the idea has got people talking.

With as much evidence proving these chemtrails to be true there is just as much or more justifying the reasoning behind why people are mistaking contrails for something more. Until there is a definite answer it is safe to say the chemtrail myth is here to stay.

Editor’s note: Melissa Barringer is a graduate of CHS and attends Whitmore College in Washington as a Communications Major. I-O Editor Buck Traxler contributed to this article.