Since the topic of the week is conspiracy theories, here's one that I've had re-iterated at me a few times. Supposedly these white stripes after airplanes is created by airplanes releasing biological or chemical agents on a global scale for various purposes.


One site claims that this is causing many forms of radiation to rain down in some areas:

Ionization of these sprayed particles also causes many forms of radiation to rain down upon the as yet unsuspecting populace of the world, as well as lensing programs to dehydrate land and dry up water sources. The first lie of the NWO animals is that a shield is needed because the atmosphere has been depleted -- it is too bad that THEY themselves can now deplete the atmosphere at any time and thus CREATE THAT NEED.

From one site:

This whole chemtrail issue is related to the plan for decreasing the world population to around 450-500 million -- and starting with the US first.

Another one gives out three hypotheses:

Weather Modification

Humans have had the ability to physically affect the weather since learning how to seed clouds in 1946, or possibly 1880. The popular conception of weather manipulation is limited to cloud seeding, but the possibility that the extents of our abilities may have progressed in the meantime is definitely plausible. The fact that the military is very interested in weather control is no secret and many propose that the Chemtrail Phenomena is a part of this. If true, what is the goal of the weather modification and what negative effects could it have on the environment? NASA is currently conducting several programs that are studying the effects of contrails on weather and the effects do not appear to be beneficial.

Population Control

The use of chemical and biological agents by a government against it's own people is, unfortunately, a historical fact. Even unintentional accidents can occur. But, some people suggest that Chemtrails could actually be part of a program to reduce the population and many feel Chemtrails have caused them to become ill and perhaps they are right. If the Chemtrails contain biological agents then people already weakened by other factors may have even died as a result of the additional strain on their systems, but could such a diabolical purpose be the ultimate goal? History has taught that even the most unconscionable schemes can be made into reality by men filled with fear and hate, and with such weapons in the hands of government we must remain vigilant until answers are forthcoming.

Inoculation Program

Chemical and biological weapons have been used for centuries but have recently entered the world stage as a primary threat. Biological agents have the ability to spread and multiply in casualties. These bioweapons are easy to produce and difficult, but possible, to defend against. The recent actions of the military to require anthrax vaccines for all service personnel show that this matter is of high importance. Some propose that the government may be quietly releasing bioagents to vaccinate citizens via the air. This could account for reported illnesses since a vaccine sometimes makes a person sick. Municipal water supplies might not be universal enough and could be easily sampled and tested, but everyone breathes the air. And the federal government rules the air.

Is there any verifiable evidence that there is an ongoing effort to spread chemical or biological agents in the sky for any reason (good or bad) which produce these chemtrails?

Related Question: Do contrails last long enough to explain chemtrails?


While it is of course almost impossible to debunk a conspiracy theory (there is always a counter-rebuttal if you don't mind how improbable you get) here are a few points that would clearly indicate the ridiculousness of the idea.

  1. Contrails predate the jet age. High-flying aircraft of both sides in WW2 left them; if they were truly sprays of mind-control agents then we have to believe that the New World Order was so powerful it could force both sides to share their mind control drugs. (See the book Bomber by Len Deighton).
  2. Contrails are only left by aircraft above a certain height, and by ALL aircraft above that height, in a given area. Conspiracists are asking us to believe that ALL aircraft in the area - private, airliner, military, whatever - have all been equipped with these sprays, yet they are only activated above a certain height.
  3. High flying aircraft are examined regularly by qualified mechanics. Conspiracists ask us to believe that none of the thousands of mechanics doing this have ever found the tanks of mind-control drugs that are injected into the engines. (The drugs can't be in the fuel tanks, because the contrails don't happen at low altitude)
  4. Contrails only exist in specific weather conditions, which are relatively well known. Conspiracists ask us to believe the the NWOs need for mind-control sprays happens to coincide exactly with these weather conditions.
  5. Wingtip vortices are not related to engines. Gliders have been known to produce contrails, including but not limited to the Space Shuttle, which does its whole descent with power off.
  6. Conspiracists ask us to believe that a group of powerful masterminds capable of organizing at this level, and who have been doing so for fifty years, still hasn't come up with a mind-control spray that doesn't leave a white cloud.

This site provides a huge amount of information on contrails, and specifically debunks many of the conspiracy allegations.

| improve this answer | |
  • Wingtip vortices don't last very long at all - in fact, they're never visible at high altitude either, because they require fairly humid air to form. It doesn't take much to see that contrials only come from the engines of aircraft. It's quite noticeable to the naked eye. – Ernie Mar 13 '12 at 20:47
  • 2
    contrails can in fact form (at least in theory) at any altitude. They depend on temperature and air pressure (granted, in the real world that means a certain altitude range below which they're not going to happen under normal conditions) – jwenting Mar 14 '12 at 6:24
  • 16
    My answer was only intended to apply to the real world. – DJClayworth Mar 14 '12 at 13:15
  • 3
    I don't think the conspiracy theorists claim that all contrails are chemtrails; just the ones that they feel are unusually long-lived. As such, your point 2) doesn't work: all planes leave contrails but only the s00per-s3krit militurry ones leave chemtrails. 3) The alleged additives allegedly turn contrails into chemtrails so it would be fine in the fuel: at low altitudes, the stuff just gets sprayed and nothing happens; at high altitudes, the stuff has the observed effects. [continues.] – David Richerby Apr 17 '14 at 7:30
  • 1
    [continued] 4. This one is actually nonsense, in two different ways. First, it's possible that they spray all the time but the visible trails are an unwanted side-effect that only form when the weather is right (or, from their perspective, wrong); second, even if the trail were somehow important to the process and they only sprayed on days when visible trails would form, that could be enough spraying to have whatever effect they want. Of course, the whole chemtrail thing is garbage but this particular point is a very weak argument against them. – David Richerby Apr 17 '14 at 7:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .