Chapter Five

Countless suns in other galaxies spray cosmic rays in all directions continuously. Closer to home, our own sun radiates gamma rays, X-rays and shorter wavelengths of ultraviolet light. When they hit the outer layers of earth's atmosphere, these cosmic rays are absorbed by atoms, but in the process electrons are knocked off the atoms. Thus there is a constant flux (flow) of electrons at this altitude, and the atoms are changed to positively charged ions.


This process gave the ionosphere its name. Although ionization happens at heights as high above the earth as 1,000 kilometers and as low as 50, the positively charged ions and negative electrons are most dense at altitudes of 80 to 400 kilometers. In non-metric terms, the ionosphere begins at an altitude of about 30 miles and goes up to about 300 miles or more.

This natural electrically charged shield around the earth filters harmful wavelengths of solar radiation, protecting the surface of Earth from significant bombardment.53

Blown toward Earth on the solar wind, electrically charged particles follow Earth's magnetic field lines. Along such paths of least resistance, high energy particles funnel toward the magnetic poles of Earth, squeeze into a pole-ward current called the electrojet, and are dumped toward the earth. Sometimes the electrojet dwindles, but at other times a solar flare floods the system with high energy particles and the sky lights up into the dancing, shifting curtains of an auroral display. At the south pole it is called the aurora australis, and the northern lights is the aurora borealis.

For eons the electrojet has flowed in the form of a direct current into the polar regions of Earth. Who would want to change the electrojet?


In a way it began with a few puzzled radio listeners. In 1933 a man in Eindhoven, Holland tried to listen to a radio station in Beromunster, Switzerland. Suddenly he was hearing two stations. The powerful Radio Luxembourg was not supposed to tune in at this frequency; it broadcast at a frequency far apart on the dial, but here it was superimposed on the Swiss station.

53 Robert W. Christopherson, Geosystems. Macmilian NY 1992.

The Luxembourg Effect, as it was later called, did not remain a mystery long. The Dutch scientist named Tellegen figured out that the cross modulation of the radio signals was a wave interaction caused by nonlinear characteristics of the ionosphere.54 What this means to non-scientists is that reactions of the ionosphere are unpredictable.

Then other scientists also realized that high power radio waves changed the temperature and density of electrons in the ionosphere and that other radio signals passing through the "modified" region were influenced. They experimented with wave interaction for thirty years and eventually were certain that directing high power waves into the ionosphere produced instabilities.


Their tool was a transmitter array of antennae - called an ionospheric heater. (Press releases now refer to it as an Ionospheric Research Instrument, but this book will call a heater a heater.) For the most part, ionospheric heaters were operated by universities and research institutes. Stanford Research Institute (SRI) International developed much of the high frequency transmitting programs with money from the Defense Nuclear Agency.55


The newest, multi-purpose, tool being built for HAARP, however, is directed from Phillips Air Force Base.


Anthony Ferraro, Ph.D., is a professor of electrical engineering at Penn State university, a school that was a pioneer in experimenting with this knowledge. In 1966, electrical engineers built a 500 kilowatt (kw) ionospheric heater at a site near the campus, with an effective radiated power of 14 megawatts. Ferraro developed a technique of beaming power with two transmitters at the same time, as a way of probing.


A high-power transmitter would heat a region of the lower ionosphere while a weaker transmitter was pulsing. Thus the experimenters could study the wave interaction.56 Penn State has been paid to do ionospheric modification research continuously for 30 years.

Although they had a heater before Alaska or Norway, the university had to give up operating theirs after the neighbors complained. Firefighters in northeastern Canada, for example, had high frequency radios on board their airplanes. Although Penn State's ionospheric heater was not on the same frequency, it was so strong that the airplane radios would "kind of blank out", recalls Ferraro.

"We developed cooperative techniques; we would shut down whenever they wanted us to, but it became so difficult that we just had to give up. Heaters went to remote areas like Puerto Rico."57

The first large ionospheric heater in the United States was built at Plattesville, Colorado, in the 1960's. In 1983 the transmitter and antenna array were moved from Colorado to a site 40 km east of Fairbanks, Alaska. The Perm State research team was among those who won contracts from the Navy to conduct experiments using the High Power Auroral Stimulation (HIPAS) facility there.

54 Ray J. Lunnen, Jr. and Anthony J. Ferraro, "High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program", Pennsylvania State in house publication.

55 National Telecommunications and information Administration memo, "NTIA Preliminary Assessment of Air Force Ionospheric Research Instrument", Oct, 1, 1993.

56 Interview with John D. Matthews, electrical engineering department, Penn State,

57 Jeane Manning's May, 1995, interview with Tony Ferraro.

"The initial idea, not connected with my work, was to create an artificial northern Lights," said Tony Ferraro. "There was not sufficient power to do that."

Why make an artificial aurora borealis? He replied that the plasma physicists wanted to control the northern lights to learn more about the physics which created them. Ferraro instead came in and used the facility to modulate the electrojet.

"These currents can be modulated by high power transmitters so that they could be made to act as little antennas."

Ferraro explained that in their natural state the ionospheric currents are direct current (DC), as is the electricity from a battery.

"By modulating that atmospheric region from these high power transmitters we can convert (the electrojet current), in a small volume, into alternating currents. Alternating current flowing in a wire is an antenna. Now, these are not flowing in wires; they're flowing in space. But it's the same principle. We can create a little antenna."

The experimenters wanted to generate Very Low Frequency (VLF) and Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) electromagnetic waves from that antenna in the upper sky, because VLF and ELF waves can travel almost around the world with very little loss.


They generated the waves,

"...but not strong enough to be of practical interest... That led to the Navy and Air Force funding an even larger ionospheric modifier - HAARP."

HAARP is not only meant for generating the low frequencies that would occur with a strong electrojet, Ferraro said. "It has a wide, diverse utilization."

The operators sitting at HAARPs instrument control/monitoring console indeed have a versatile tool at their fingertips. It includes a waveform generator capable of sending a wide variety of modulated signals to the antenna array. Then the operators can whip the narrow beam of radio frequency (RF) energy around in the sky at will.


An article from a Penn State publication says,

"array control permits slewing the beam to arbitrary locations within the overhead 30 degree cone within ten microseconds."

Visual displays tell the operators how the experiment is progressing, and local and remote sensors - incoherent scatter radar, riometers and ionsounders and other esoteric sounding apparatus - monitor the ionosphere.

The Penn State publication article adds that after the major parts of HAARP are evaluated in the field,

"a comprehensive series of tests will be completed as a demonstration of the IRI (Ionospheric Research Instrument) capability to the user community. The goals of HAARP are ambitious, nevertheless, state of the art capability will allow us to realize this powerful scientific research instrument which will probe the Alaskan sky."

Long before HAARP was conceived, the former Soviet Union built more powerful (one gigawatt at Zelenogradskaya near Moscow) heaters than the west, and involved more scientists in ionosphere changing experiments than the West. More recently, Max Planck Institute in Germany built a heater at Tromso, Norway. In 1991 the Europeans caught up to the Russians by beaming one gigawatt of effective radiated power from Tromso.

The language in some documents hints that an element of mine is bigger than yours competition goaded the Americans to build a facility that would be three times more powerful than anything the Russians or the Germans have. Here we must make it clear that an ionospheric heater isn't judged by height. It may look like a five or ten acre field of fifty-foot high crosses (technically called crossed dipoles) in a square arrangement. The larger the area covered by antennae, the more powerful.

Although they are without an ionospheric heater, Penn State still has a respectably sized department involved in ionospheric modification - "about ten faculty and maybe 20 grad students".


Formerly called the ionospheric research lab, it has become Communications and Space Sciences.

"It used to be very large, and very interdisciplinary with math, chemistry and physics people in it. Now it's primarily electrical engineering," Ferraro said.

John D. Matthews is a physicist who finds himself in the electrical engineering department at Penn State because of consolidation of departments. His specialty is the area of the ionosphere down at about the 100 kilometer altitude. During a phone interview he noted that the main radar (for high frequency ionospheric heating experiments) at Arecibo, Puerto Rico, can significantly heat the lower ionosphere as well as the upper. The heating is a Tesult of a high power "diagnostic" instrument. Arecibo is currently getting a major upgrade.

Most of the heating is done at around 200 kilometers altitude - called the Lower F region of the ionosphere - because it is easier to heat that higher region to the maximum.

Penn State got in on the ground floor with HAARP. In 1991 several departments at the university - the Applied Research Laboratory, Computer Engineering and Engineering Electronic Design Services - combined resources to go after a desirable contract. They were among the winners. Penn State, APTI and Raytheon Corporation were each given contracts to study how to design the HAARP facility. Afterward, APTI invited Penn State to join it, along with SRI International and Ahtna Inc., an Alaskan corporation, as a team.


The Office of Naval Research chose their team to build and demonstrate the powerful ionospheric heater near Gakona, Alaska.

"The capability will be further expanded to its final world class performance capability in 1996."58


Ionospheric heaters are a very specialized area of research.

"There are two groups in the Soviet Union, several people in Europe and maybe ten people in the states. That's about it," said Sacha Koustov, a Canadian/Russian ionospheric scientist at the University of Saskatchewan.

Like most of the atmospheric scientists interviewed, he was not familiar with the HAARP literature. 58 Hay J. Lunnen, Jr. and Anthony J. Ferraro, "High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program", Pennsylvania State in house publication.

The only way there could be amplification of the electromagnetic waves once they reach the ionosphere, in his opinion, would be with a special experiment using two transmitters beaming onto the same spot. The interactions of the radio waves can cause amplifications, said Koustov. Such highly energetic reactions can even create so-called gravity waves, he said. That is getting into an area of advanced science which is beyond the scope of this book.

Co-author of Angels Don't Play This HAARP Dr. Nick Begich discovered recently that HAARP planners intend to fire up more than one ionospheric heater at a time and operate them in concert. This test is to be conducted between September 11, 1995 and September 22, 1995 using HIPAS and HAARP at low power settings.


What will happen even at these low levels of power is unknown and unclear.


Begich's home state of Alaska has met ambitious scientists in the past. One may have had more academic credentials, clout and charm than common sense. Dr. Edward Teller, known as the "Father of the H-bomb", traveled to Alaska in 1958 with a proposal to blast a chunk of that state's coastline off the map. As spokesman for the nuclear establishment, he wanted to prove that nuclear explosions were a tool for geographical engineering. Teller was widely quoted as telling Alaskans "If your mountain isn't in the right place, drop us a card."

Teller's colleagues at Lawrence Radiation Laboratory came up with Project Chariot as part of Project Plowshare. Their plan was to explode six thermonuclear bombs underground at Cape Thompson, Alaska, to dig a harbor.

Uncritical technophiles almost bought the plan.

The Firecracker Boys, by Dan O'Neill reveals common threads that run through the history of proposals for questionable megaprojects. For one, the promoter sold it as an economic development opportunity - jobs for the people. That pitch convinced legislators, business groups and the media. Another supporter, as with HAARP, was the University of Alaska administration. Again, the appeal was the prospect of money and jobs for the state's residents.

O'Neill points out that during the planning stage the scientists ignored the Inupiat people who lived nearest to the site of the proposed nuclear bomb blasts - 30 miles from Ground Zero.


A review of The Firecracker Boys said,

"O'Neill still marvels at the determination of the Eskimos who saw through the government's empty promises and outright lies."59

In the end they didn't blast that hole in the coast. Between the native peoples' stubborn opposition, and three heroic scientists who stood up and said it was a bad idea, it didn't happen.

59 Marilee Enge, "Blowing the Lid off a Nuclear Tale", Anchorage Daily News, Dec.25, 1994.

As if to set an example of what happens to academics who speak out with independent views, the three brave scientists who opposed Project Chariot lost their jobs at the university and were blackballed from academia elsewhere. One had to leave the country to find work.


When O'Neill researched his book, he told a newspaper reporter later,

"there were still a lot of people on campus who were very sensitive about the topic, who didn't talk about it for years, decades."60


Milestones in the history of arrogant science also include the three space explosions of the U.S. military's Project Argus in 1958. Each shot spewed atomic particles into Earth's magnetic field where they were trapped and spiraled back and forth at high speeds.

"In essence," said the New York Times, "the Argus experiments produced artificial belts comparable to the natural Van Allen radiation belt (regions of high-energy charged particles around the earth at between 2,000 and 12,000 miles altitudes). Thus, after each shot a curtain of radiation - that is, of extremely high speed particles - spread around the world."61

In the opinion of the authors, psychiatrists should be invited into think-tanks where decisions are made to "modify" one of Earth's protective layers. Shortly after Dr. James A. Van Allen discovered the two radiation belts around Earth in the International Geophysical Year (1GY) of 1958, two physicists at the University of Minnesota proposed that a hydrogen bomb be exploded inside that radiation belt.


According to the New York Times, the two physicists wrote,

"It might be amusing to end the IGY by destroying some of the radiation field first discovered during the IGY."



The folksy saying, "what goes around, comes around", applies to what experimenters inject into a lower altitude jet stream as well as into the Van Allen belt. In the early 1960"s someone in the U.S. military apparently decided that the ionosphere had to be replaced because it was unpredictable (dynamic, lively - it danced with the ebb and flow of charged particles). They decreed that it had to be controlled. In their mindset, were telecommunications more important than the integrity of Earth's natural electric circuit?

The planetary-scale engineers tried to replace a ten by forty kilometer section of the ionosphere with a "telecommunications shield" of 350,000 copper needles tossed into orbit.62

The U.S. military did not know what the outcome would be in the early 1960s when they planned an assault on earth's magnetic field with copper needles (each 2-4 cm long). They planned to increase the size of the needle dump in space "if the project proves successful".


Apparently it was a bust; it was hushed up and kept out of the mass media.

60 Marilee Enge, "Blowing the Lid off a Nuclear Tale", Anchorage Daily News, Dec. 25,1994.
61 Walter Sullivan, "Blast May Erase Radiation Belt," New York Times Apr. 30,1962.
62 Nigel Harle of Holland, "Vandalizing the Van Allen Belts", winter 1988-89, Earth Island Journal p.11.

Another independent researcher, Leigh Richmond Donahue63 tracked events during the postwar years and through 1977 alongside a physics genius, her late husband Walter Richmond.


She writes,

"...when the military sent up a band of tiny copper wires into the ionosphere to orbit the planet so as to 'reflect radio waves and make reception clearer' we had the 8.5 Alaska earthquake, and Chile lost a good deal of its coast. That band of copper wires interfered with the planetary magnetic field."

Any ecological insensitivity of engineers in the US has been more than matched by their peers in other countries. Often the scientists in North America just had bigger allowances to spend and therefore could cause more damage. The former Soviet Union was reportedly getting ready to change the climate before the 1970's. That country's director of hydrometeorological work described proposals to make Russia a more comfortable place to live - at least until the ecological backlash that could have hit afterward. Proposals included removal of the Arctic ice pack, damming of the Bering Strait and rerouting Siberian rivers.64

If ordinary common sense people were invited into military think-tanks to vote on such projects, what would they say to the big boys with the big toys?

63 Private communication with Leigh Richmond Donahue of the Centric Foundation, Maggie Valley, North Carolina.

64 Lowell Ponte, The Cooling. Prentice-Hall Inc, NJ 1976.

"The military is going to give the ionosphere a big kick and see what happens."

Clare Zickuhr,

formerly of Anchorage, Alaska, founder of NO HAARP.

They're like boys playing with a sharp stick, finding a sleeping bear and poking it in the butt to see what's going to happen."

Barbara Zickuhr

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