HIGH ON THE SKY
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.
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
THE PATH TO A GIGA PROJECT
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
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
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
PENN STATE PIONEERED HEATERS
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
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.
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
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
"...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
An article from a Penn State publication says,
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
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
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.
Office of Naval Research chose their team to build and demonstrate
the powerful ionospheric heater near Gakona, Alaska.
will be further expanded to its final world class performance
capability in 1996."58
HAARP: SECRET DUETS AND TRIOS?
Ionospheric heaters are a very specialized area of research.
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
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.
A HISTORY OF MAD SCIENCE
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
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
DESTROYING A RADIATION BELT
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.
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
According to the New York Times, the two physicists
"It might be amusing to end the IGY by destroying some of the
radiation field first discovered during the IGY."
COPPER-WIRING THE SKY
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
62 Nigel Harle of Holland, "Vandalizing the Van Allen Belts", winter
1988-89, Earth Island Journal p.11.
researcher, Leigh Richmond Donahue63 tracked events during the
postwar years and through 1977 alongside a physics genius, her late
husband Walter Richmond.
"...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
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."