Chapter Three

Nick Begich can't be categorized by his long ponytail and youthful appearance; he started his first business in 1974 at the age of 16 and has worked in mining, construction, real estate and, more recently, a mid-level managerial job in the Anchorage School District.

Service in Alaskan politics and labor union organizing brought him public service awards, a couple of appointments to the Alaska Council for Economic Education and two terms as president of the Alaska Federation of Teachers (AFT). But it was his longtime interest in science that earned Begich the informal title of "evolving eclectic".

His life took another turn when he happened to be thumbing through the April 1994 issue of an Australian magazine that Patrick Flanagan suggested he check out, when the name of Nick's hometown newspaper caught his eye. "Odd that Nexus would print an item from the Anchorage Daily News," he commented to his wife Shelah.

The contents of the news brief startled them - the federal government was about to introduce some weird technology right in their backyard, figuratively speaking. Nick copied the reference and headed to the Anchorage municipal library to search out the original story, a November 20, 1994 letter to Anchorage Daily News from Eric Nashlund. It told about a military-funded project called HAARP High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program - intended to "perturb" the ionosphere for Department of Defense experiments.

Nashlund's letter said:

"Some startling revelations came to light while researching the background of a military-sponsored project starting construction in Gakona... HAARP will be used to understand, stimulate and control ionospheric processes that might alter the performance of communications and surveillance systems, according to a HAARP fact sheet. The HAARP environmental impact statement claims negligible ionospheric impact, with no impact to climate, weather or ozone layer.

"An ARCO company has the bid for construction of HAARP: ARCO Power Technologies Inc. APTI holds a patent (# 4,686,605, "Method and Apparatus for Altering a Region in the Earth's Atmosphere, Ionosphere, and/or Magnetosphere", inventor: Bernard J. Eastlund; assignee: APTI Inc., Los Angeles) which matches closely the HAARP proposal dealing with transmitting extremely large amounts of radio-frequency energy into the ionosphere. It is evident that HAARP will at least test, if not fully implement, the patent capabilities.

"Patent #4,686,605 claims it has the following uses: ' disruption of communications over a very large portion of the Earth...disrupting not only land-based communications, but also airborne communications and sea communications (both surface and subsurface)... missile or aircraft destruction, deflection or confusion... weather modification... by altering solar absorption... ozone, nitrogen etc. concentrations could be artificially increased..."

Whether or not APTI was using that particular patent for HAARP, Begich questioned the wisdom of the whole effort,

"If this technology works, is it in humanity's interest for a secretive bureaucracy to control something which could stop all electronic communications or change the planet's weather patterns?"

The library had the patent on microfiche. Its abstract (summary) read:

"A method and apparatus for altering at least one selected region which normally exists above the earth's surface. The region is excited by electron cyclotron resonance heating to thereby increase its charged particle density. In one embodiment, circularly-polarized electromagnetic radiation is transmitted upward in a direction substantially parallel to and along a field line which extends through the region of plasma to be altered.


The radiation is transmitted at a frequency which excites electron cyclotron resonance to heat and accelerate the charged particles. This increase in energy can cause ionization of neutral particles which are then absorbed as part of the region, thereby increasing the charged particle density of the region."

When Begich examined the patent's section titled "prior art", he was surprised to see references to articles about Nikola Tesla. Eastlund's drawings did appear similar to patents issued to Nikola Tesla in the late 19th and early 20th century!

Tesla's name had been associated with wild schemes, and Begich wanted to find out why would-be planetary engineers were still quoting the deceased inventor. Begich knew that Tesla was credited with startling an earthquake, generating "balls of electromagnetic energy" and other wonders. Toward the end of his life Tesla had claimed to hold the keys to creating a shield in the upper atmosphere that would destroy any incoming aircraft.

A cold chill ran through Begich after he read the articles cited. The first was the New York Times of December 8, 1915:

"Nikola Tesla, the inventor, has filed patent applications on the essential parts of a machine, possibilities which test a layman's imagination and promise a parallel of Thor's shooting thunderbolts from the sky to punish those who had angered the gods...Suffice it to say that the invention will go through space with a speed of 300 miles a second, a manless ship without propelling engine or wings sent, by electricity to any desired point on the globe on its errand of destruction, if destruction its manipulator wishes to effect.

It is not a time, said Dr. Tesla yesterday, 'to go into the details of this thing. It is founded upon a principle that means great things in peace; it can be used for great things in war. But I repeat, this is no time to talk of such things.

'It is perfectly practicable to transmit electrical energy without wires and produce destructive effects at a distance. I have already constructed a wireless transmitter which makes this possible, and have described it in my technical publications, among which I refer to my patent number 1,119,732 recently granted.


With transmitters of this kind we are enabled to project electrical energy in any amount to any distance and apply it for innumerable purposes, both in war and peace, through the universal adoption of this system, ideal conditions for the maintenance of law and order will be realized, for then the energy necessary to the enforcement of right and justice will be normally productive, yet potential, and in any moment available, for attack and defense.


The power transmitted need not be necessarily destructive, for, if distance is made to depend upon it, its withdrawal or supply will bring about the same results as those now accomplished by force of arms'

Begich noticed the next article referred to in the patent also ran in the New York Times, on September 22, 1940 and read:

"Nikola Tesla, one of the truly great inventors, who celebrated his eightyŚ ourth birthday on July 10, tells the writer that he stands ready to divulge to the United States government the secret of his 'teleforce', with which, he said, airplane motors would be melted at a distance of 250 miles, so that an invisible Chinese Wall of Defense would be built around the country..."

"This 'teleforce', he said, is based upon an entirely new principle of physics that 'no one has ever dreamed about', different from the principle embodied in his inventions relating to the transmission of electrical power from a distance, for which he has received a number of basic patents. This new type of force, Mr. Tesla said, would operate through a beam one one hundred-millionth of a square centimeter in diameter, and could be generated from a special plant that would cost no more than $2,000,000 and would take only about three months to construct."

"The beam, he states, involves four new inventions, two of which already have been tested. One of these is a method and apparatus for producing rays 'and other manifestations of energy' in free air, eliminating the necessity for a high vacuum; a second is a method and process for producing 'very great electrical force'; the third is a method for amplifying this force and the fourth is a new method for producing 'a tremendous electrical repelling force'. This would be the projector, or gun, of the system. The voltage for propelling the beam to its objective, according to the inventor, will attain a potential of 50,000,000 volts."

"With this enormous voltage, he said, microscopic electrical particles of matter will be catapulted on their mission of defensive destruction. He has been working on this invention, he added, for many years and has recently made a number of improvements in it."

There was a third reference, apparently written by Tesla, that Begich could not obtain. Tesla's ideas in these articles raised more questions in Begich's mind about the version of a "law and order" likely to rise from any military organization controlling such technology. He believed that if this technology were to be implemented anywhere, it should be done so openly and honestly, and only when it can be safe and worthwhile for improving the human condition. The idea of unleashing such power into the planet's ionosphere disturbed him deeply.

Begich made telephone calls, did more reading and heard the reaction of a few independent scientists to the military-funded project in the sky. Their request to the military could be stated bluntly as:

"Back off, Charlie; this is our planet too."

There was another aspect that concerned him besides HAARP's possible effect on weather or on emergency communications in the Alaskan bush. Over the years he had seen impressive studies saying that even low power levels of pulsed radio frequency beaming could affect human physiology, minds and moods. He decided to find out more, much more, from reputable sources. It would be foolish to hit the alarm button about HAARP without being certain.

One concern was clearly speculative. One of the HAARP documents33 stated that,

"Ionospheric disturbances have been detected and ascribed to earthquakes such as the Alaska earthquake on March 28, 1964."

He wondered if the reverse might be true if deliberate ionospheric disturbances could in turn resonate with the materials in the earth and trigger an earthquake.

The earthquake question was only one of the questions nagging at the independent researchers. Begich did not know it at the time, but the research would focus his energies in a way that would attract additional similar minded people. Eventually their directed energies would "perturb" something bigger than themselves. Perhaps his life had led up to this.

Nick Begich, Jr. was raised in a political family where "making a difference" was a way of life. His father, Nick Begich, Sr., served as a state senator and later a representative in the United States Congress, and his mother Pegge was politically active in Alaska for more than 30 years.

After the disappearance of the airplane carrying his father and U.S. House Majority Leader Hale Boggs in 1972 when Nick Jr. was a teenager, his life changed irrevocably. However, the theme instilled by his parents was one of service and persistence. He and his five siblings between themselves also chalked up a lifetime of political experience.

But an equally strong thread in Nick's life was an interest in science. His early investigations led to an invitation to the 1978 International Biorhythm Research Association conference in Atlanta, as a youthful science "outsider" among fifty senior scientists from around the world.

33 National Telecommunications and Information Administration Preliminary Assessment of Air Force Ionospheric Research Instrument, Stage 2, Oct. 1,1993.

Most were in the life sciences. The youth presented a simple paper about the idea that his country's researchers over-specialized and that multidisciplinary teams were the way to breakthroughs in science. His associations from this early experience led to a lasting interest in electrophysiology and life sciences. The studies became his creative outlet while he worked at mundane administrative jobs.

With this background, he could sort through the HAARP technical documents and see implications of its type of ionospheric interference. As he saw it, the government had understated the risks. As had fellow Alaskan Clare Zickuhr and others, he sent "piles of files" out to friends around the world, and information flooded back.

In the summer of 1994, Begich wrote an article about HAARP for Nexus magazine, to get the story out. He mentioned the Eastland patent, but acknowledged that it was controversial,

"The United States military denies that the HAARP project has anything to do with these patents. However, a careful review of the government documents leading to the contract with APTI leads one to the conclusion that... the military is deliberately attempting to mislead."

"While it is true that the device being built will not produce the full effects described in the patents, it is a necessary step in proving the effectiveness of the technology, in advance of a larger antenna array..."

"...patent number 4,686,605, issued August 11, one of three related patents by the same inventor, one of which was locked up under a Navy National Security Order in the late 1980's."

In his Nexus article, Begich said that the Eastlund patents go beyond the applications dreamed of by Tesla. The Eastlund patent said that scientists in the previous few years had been trying to learn about the belts of trapped electrons and ions above the earth, in order to control and use the phenomena for beneficial uses;

"For example, in the late 1950's and early 1960s, both the United States and the USSR detonated a series of nuclear generate large numbers of charged particles at various altitudes..."34

"This can cause confusion of or interference with, or even complete disruption of, guidance systems employed by even the most sophisticated of airplanes and missiles. "35

'The ability to employ and transmit over very wide areas of the earth...electromagnetic waves of varying frequencies...provides a unique ability to interfere at will with all modes of communication, land sea and/or air, at the same time."36


"...this invention provides the ability to put unprecedented amounts of power in the Earth's atmosphere at strategic locations and to maintain the power injection level, particularly if random pulsing is employed, in a manner far more precise and better controlled than heretofore accomplished by the prior art, particularly by the detonation of nuclear devices., ."37

"...what is used to disrupt another's communications can be employed by one knowledgeable of this invention as a communication network at the same time. In addition, once one's own communication network is established, the far-reaching effects of this invention could be employed to pick up communications signals of others for intelligence purposes... "38

34 united States patent number 4,686,605, issued August 11,1987.

35 Ibid.

36 Ibid.

37 united States patent number 4,686,605, issued August 11, 1987.
38 Ibid.

Eastlund spelled out other possible developments of his super-heater in the sky:

"...missile or aircraft destruction, deflection or confusion could result, particularly when relativistic particles are employed."

"Also, large regions of the atmosphere could be lifted to an unexpectedly high altitude so that missiles encounter unexpected...drag forces with resultant destruction or deflection..."39

"Weather modification is possible by, for example, altering upper atmosphere wind patterns by constructing one or more plumes of atmospheric particles which will act as a lens or focusing device. "40

"Also...molecular modification of the atmosphere can take place so that positive environmental effects can be achieved. Besides actually changing the molecular composition of an atmospheric region, a particular molecule or molecules can be chosen for increased presence. For example, ozone, nitrogen etc. concentrations in the atmosphere could be artificially increased. Similarly, environmental enhancement could be achieved by causing the breakup of various chemical entities such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, and the like..."41

Begich pointed out to Nexus readers that the HAARP device being built at that time was not big enough to test ail of Easthmd's ideas. But it certainly looked like the military was interested in his patents. Begich had experience with "procurement" - the bureaucratic term for getting government contracts - and had once worked in the heart of Texas' defense contractor country.


The facts of this case jumped out at him.

On November 3, 1993, the U.S. Air Force announced that the prime contractor on the first phase of the HAARP project was ARCO Power Technologies Inc. (APTI).


At the time the project was put out for bids, APTI was a subsidiary of Atlantic Richfield Oil Company (ARCO) and owned the patent rights to Eastlund's ionosphere-altering schemes, Begich looked up APT1 in the Dun & Bradstreet directory of corporations42 and learned that APTI had a president in Los Angeles and a staff of 25 employees in Washington DC, with sales of only $5 million a year.

39 Ibid.

40 Ibid.

41 Ibid.

How did a small subsidiary get the military contract for such a large project?


According to the record, it won the right to build the project through exemptions in the military procurement process. The HAARP contract with APTI was more than five times larger than APTIs annual sales. As Begich saw it, the only way a virtually-unknown company in the military contracting arena could get such a contract is if they had proprietary information needed by the project.


The trail circled back to the Eastlund patents, Begich quoted the May-June 1994 issue of Microwave News, in which Eastlund described a "full, global shield" of accelerated electrons created with radio frequency (RF) transmitters. The HAARP project "obviously looks like a first step inwards this", Eastlund told the editor. However, he noted that the uses he described would need a significantly more powerful device with a much larger antenna than the HAARP array.

While the Eastlund controversy continued, Begich wrote that a February 1990 paper from the Navy and Air Force43 made it clear that the project goal is to learn how to manipulate the ionosphere on a more grand scale than the then Soviet Union could do with its similar facilities. HAARP would be the largest ionospheric heater in the world, located in a latitude most conducive to putting Eastlund's invention into practice. Looking at the northern lights, as the aurora is called in Alaska, was not the point of HAARP.


Begich quoted from the U.S. Air Force "Record of Decision, High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), Final Environmental Impact Statement" of October 18, 1993:

"The data obtained from the proposed research would be used to analyze basic ionospheric properties and to assess the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for communications and surveillance systems... A potential DoD (Dept. of Defense) application of the research is to provide communications to submerged submarines. These and many other research applications are expected to greatly enhance present DoD technology."

"The Air Force and Navy proposes to build and operate the most versatile and capable ionospheric research facility in the world. The government intends to utilize the unused Over-the-Horizon Backscatter (radar) site near Gakona, Alaska, for this program... Research requirements stipulated that the selected site must fall in the range of latitudes between 61 and 65 degrees, either north or south. Sitting constraints included that the site must be: on US soil, on DoD land to the maximum extent practical..."

The response to the Nexus article showed that more people were interested in HAARP than the Alaskan researchers had originally expected, Begich noticed that many of the independent researchers were afraid to identify themselves and "take on the government".

42 America's Corporate Families 1993 ,1, p. 156.

43 "Joint Services Program Plans and Activities", February 1990.

One group of individuals whom Begich - appreciating their wish to be anonymous - began to refer to as "the guys in the bush" sent him volumes of files that they saw as relating to HAARP, Books, papers, news clippings and Internet items arrived each week, as well as occasional government records. He paid less attention to the Internet items, unless they mentioned books or articles or patents he could check out firsthand. One day a box arrived at the Begich family home, containing about eighteen inches of new files.

About this time, Sir Anton Jayasuriya of the Open International University of Complementary Medicines invited Begich to present a paper at the World Congress on Alternative Medicines and to receive a doctorate degree in traditional medicine. The honor was totally unexpected, and he packed for travel. As it turned out, circumstances did not allow him to travel to Sri Lanka, so he planned a trip to Finland instead. In Finland he would at last see his old friend (from the 1978 conference and from correspondence) Dr. Reijo Makela, in order to talk about promoting Makela's scientific discoveries in electrophysiology.

Meanwhile one of the HAARP researchers in Canada had written to thank him for the Nexus article. Jeane Manning was a writer who had just completed a manuscript, The Coming Energy Revolution. She suggested they collaborate on an article for an American publication. Begich replied by telephoning her in Vancouver. They learned that each had too much pressing information in their files to compress into an article. It had to be a book.

On his stopover at the Seattle airport before flying to Finland, Begich met with Manning for a few hours and found they shared similar values. They decided to try long-distance book authoring.

While he was in Finland, the only unsettling event was that HAARP-related files which he had forwarded to Reijo Makela had mysteriously disappeared from Reijo's office. The two men discussed the project anyway, and concluded that HAARP was an affront to good sense and a threat to safety. This conclusion was based on Makela's advanced understanding of the effects of radio waves upon people.

Back in Anchorage, in early 1995 the Begiches sent an airline ticket to Jeane Manning, and their nine year old son moved into his sisters' bedroom for two weeks when she arrived. Nick took time off from work and they spread HAARP-related files for twenty feet across the carpet in his study, while typing on his computer and a borrowed notebook computer.


Shelah joined them for a visit to NO HAARP activist Clare Zickuhr and his wife, and they also drove hours into the "bush" country to speak with other activists. The most revealing interviews, however, took place over the telephone lines. While in Alaska, Jeane phoned Houston, Texas, and interviewed a man who has apparently been elbowed out of the inner circle of gigawatt-heater project planners.


Was it because he talked too much to the media?

"Scientists build toys. This is a neat big toy."44

Dr. Bernard Eastlund,

talking about HAARP.

"Tests of this kind could cause irreversible damage."45

Dr. Richard Williams


44 Dr. Bernard Eastlund Feb,20,1995 interview with Jeane Manning.

45 Dr. Richard Williams, "Atmospheric Threat",Physicsand Society, Apr.1988.


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