Black Programs, Space Drones & the Unveiling of U.S. Military Offensives in Weather as a Weapon.
keith harmon snow
AUTHOR’s UPDATE—25 September 2006:
Reader’s are encouraged to hold this writing in sharp contradistinction, but not contradiction, to the new Hollywood film, Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth; there are, indeed, some inconvenient truths at work here (Al Gore is merely seeking to be President);
There are today bills before the US Congress—U.S. House Bill 2995 and U.S. Senate Bill 517—that will facilitate the “coming out” of Pentagon weather warfare technologies and operations.
Out of the Blue:
Black Programs, Space Drones & the Unveiling of U.S. Military Offensives in Weather as a Weapon.
The Fog Watch (Propaganda)!
Who Will Stop the Rain?
How to Wreck the Environment -- Devastation as Policy
We Take the Brain – Prelude to Stealth Deception & Death
Stealth, Deception & Death – Unmanned Aerospace Vehicles
ERAST Environmental Research Aircraft Sensors and Technology (Program)
EW Electronic Warfare
HAARP High frequency Active Aural Research Program
MIUGS Micro-Internetted Unattended Ground Sensors
SERDP Strategic Environment Research & Development Program
SHEBA Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (Project)
SIGINT Signals Intelligence
TUAV Tactical Unmanned Aerial vehicle
UAV Unmanned Aerospace (or Aerial) Vehicle
UCAV Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle
UHF Ultra High Frequency
Picture a South American cartel of the mid-2090s. It maintains hundreds of fighter planes, thwarting attacks by launching a dozen Russian- and Chinese-made aircraft for every one of ours. Our sole advantage comes from a piece of military intelligence: Cartel pilots won”t fly in harsh weather. But this doesn”t mean waiting around for the skies to turn - because by then, thunderstorms will be made to order...
First we launch uninhabited aerospace vehicles (UAVs), which, through advanced cloud-generation technology, disseminate cirrus clouds to block enemy surveillance. Next we seed any one of the daily rain showers passing through the region, intensifying it precisely over the target. Then we snuff out our blinded enemy. 1 Sound like a sci-fi thriller?
The above excerpt from the recent techno-yuppie cult magazine WIRED is designed to do just that – hence the projection of global insecurity into the distant 2090s and the ubiquitous specter of fear inculcated by reference to hoards of Chinese and Russian warplanes. In reality, however, it’s a waking nightmare: U.S. military offensives in weather warfare have already arrived.
Indeed, they have been here all along. Adherents of weather warfare prefer to call it “environmental modification” – or ENMOD. The corporate media has reported almost nothing about these aerospace and defense programs, or the technologies involved. Thus do I open the discussion of the ENMOD arena by deconstructing recent “news” stories purportedly offering balanced coverage of an otherwise unreported story.
First note that the Internet abounds with conspiracy theories of all stripes about weather warfare, environmental modification and climatic mayhem. Numerous postings declare the climate instabilities we are already seeing to be the work of the antichrist or the New World Order – indeed in some cases they are one and the same -- and some of these web sites describe people legitimately concerned and vocal about climatic change as the agents of a “left-wing conspiracy” with a “communist agenda” ever “hostile to free enterprise.”
Buried beneath the volumes of imaginative but wholly fictitious conspiracies that gain wide circulation however, are the many legitimate secret programs orchestrated behind the darkness and denial of the military-industrial complex over the past five decades. Call these conspiracies if you like. The heart of this story – weather as a weapon – is certainly not one of them and, depending on how you look at it, this is certainly one of them. No matter the past, there is clearly something happening now.
Back to the future, we can say for certain that anyone who projects hypothetical scenarios as far in to the future as “the mid- 2090s” – as in the above article -- has not the least grasp of reality. The earth’s natural resources are disappearing. We are seeing gross ecological damage and profound industrial and nuclear pollution. Overpopulation in both industrialized and under-developed economies has already exceeded the limits of sustainability. Global climatic mayhem is here, and it is happening now. On top of all this is the permanent state of war perpetuated by multinational corporations and their agents in western governments. That is the point of this writing, it sets out to articulate this insanity, and, simultaneously, to properly situate the insanity of the organizations, corporations, agencies and individuals responsible for perpetuating the old, new global commodities of despair, terrorism and death.
1. The Fog Watch (Propaganda): 2 Throughout April, 2002, Amherst College (MA) radio (WAMH) ran a series of public service announcements (PSAs) sponsored by a Christian church organization declaring the existence of weather modification technologies, and advocating that listeners contact the U.S. government to demand that these technologies be deployed to moderate the extreme weather and drought we are seeing. According to these PSAs, the government use of these existing technologies to mitigate hostile weather “is a fundamental right” of every U.S. citizen.3
On February 17, 2002, ABC News ran a very brief “news” clip titled “Weather As A Weapon?” The inquisitive title infers that this is some not-yet-certain possibility, contributing to the democratic ideal that supposes weather warfare might be something we – the public – ought to at least be thinking about, and possibly debating. ABC would never have run the story without some greater purpose than simply “to keep the public informed.” That is the expected role of ABC, in the “democratic” and “free” press that ABC purports to be part of.4
If not to serve as a news vehicle for genuine public service and education, as suggested, what then is the true purpose of the ABC news brief? This introduction focuses on the ABC article first, precisely because the purpose of this article (and others like it) is to help pave the way for public acceptance of military objectives by shaping the public mind a priori.
The ABC article describes the potential advantages of weather modification: seeding clouds, creating rain or tornadoes over hostiles forces, burning through fog to expose enemy aircraft:
Consider what might happen on some battlefield of the future where the U.S. military could gain a tactical advantage by changing the weather. There are several ways they might try to do that. One way would be to create rain that turns battlefields into mud baths in order to immobilize enemy troops and enemies. Another is by triggering lightning storms over airfields to keep hostile aircraft on the ground. Yet another possibility would be to burn through a heavy fog by firing lasers to give U.S. fighter pilots a better view of enemy targets. An Air Force research paper called “Owning the Weather in 2025” predicts that weather modification could reshape battlefields. 5 Weather warfare, of course, is set in some amorphous future battlespace. There is ABC’s first deception. ABC draws attention to the Air Force document Owning the Weather in 2025. This is an unclassified document, accessible to the public, and this USAFdocument suggests that ENMOD research and development is all mere theory and speculation, indeed, science fiction.
Owning the Weather in 2025 appears on its face to reveal significant details about the nature of U.S. national security and defense capabilities. However, in the age of international terrorism, with the U.S. military and its multinational corporations and their media minions whipping up a frenzy about terrorists of all stripes, about anthrax scares and world trade massacres -- and with rapid information access and electronic exchange making such reports Internet available to the hoards of uncivilized information-seeking barbarians feared by the Pentagon -- we can be sure that this document shows us only what we are intended to see.
Owning the Weather in 2025 serves the greater purpose of exposing only what is efficacious to the military, to the intelligence apparatus, to the companies they are in league with, and to the compromised policymakers seeking public support – by any means -- for the military programs they are paid to peddle. That is ABC’s second deception: steering the news-consuming public toward an inversion of reality, a public relations document, officially sanctioned, released and posted by the military. ABC does not question the origins of this document, or why it has suddenly come into vogue.
ABC confirms that weather warfare is, at the very least, under development: in its closing paragraph, the article noted that substantial ongoing investments in research and development of ENMOD technologies have continued.
In the U.S. and in many other countries, the private sector continues to work on weather modification technology — work that could also be used on the battlefield. And as this research continues on, for example, cloud seeding techniques that produce heavy rain to help farmers in time of drought or laser technology that could clear heavy fog for passenger jets, the military is watching.6 To say that the military is “watching” is to lie outright. There is ABC’s third deception: as I will imminently show, the military has funded and sponsored these weather warfare technologies for over fifty years. ABC’s fourth deception is the suggestion that the private sector and the government defense sector are independent, that one does not wash the hands, or wipe the ass, of the other. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The fifth deception by ABC News is the suggestion that these life and earth destroying technologies – pursued with a scientific hubris that is psychotic and obscene -- will also serve peaceful uses. Indeed, given the industrial acceleration of climatic mayhem we can be sure that the public will be clamoring for these weather modification technologies -- to mitigate the domestic and regional cataclysms of climate instabilities. The further suggestion is that the transition of these technologies from commercial to military uses is an afterthought, rather than their raison d”etre. That is ABC’s sixth deception.
Naturally – or, rather, quite unnaturally -- weather modification tools will revive gardens of sunflowers and fields of wheat stricken by drought, and they will guide passenger jets full of innocent people (!) to safety. By implication, these weather modification technologies are essential to a functioning human society, they will never be used unjustly, and they are as [ostensibly] benign as atoms for peace [civilian nuclear weapons]. Such arguments about the ENMOD arena will increasingly proliferate, with great media fanfare, serving the intended purpose of manipulating the public mind, as information about ENMOD technologies is slowly and strategically transitioned out of the [classified] closet.
Indeed, the public has already paid billions of dollars to develop these technologies – a fact that ABC does not share -- so we might as well see them put to good use. Hiding the proliferation of public subsidies for weather warfare, or failing to question or investigate the DOD budget, at the very least, is ABC’s seventh deception.
The main purpose of the ABC article – and the WAMH public service announcement – is to introduce a new subject heretofore forbidden by the military and, its extension, the corporate media. These articles signal the beginnings of a propaganda campaign to habituate citizens to a happy, un-dissenting coexistence with weather warfare technology. That is ABC’s eighth deception.
The deeper purpose of the ABC “news” clip – the ninth deception -- is to garner support from U.S. citizens to withdraw from – to denounce, evade or trample on – an international treaty prohibiting ENMOD research and environmental warfare, signed by the U.S. in the 1970s. Thus does the bold and colorful subtitle, and the paragraph that follows, elucidate the central theme of the ABC article: “AGREEMENT BARS WEATHER MANIPULATION.”
But there is a problem turning theory into fact. Using weather as a weapon is a clear violation of international agreements. In 1977, the United Nations passed, and the U.S. signed, a resolution that prohibits changing the weather for hostile purposes on the grounds that too many civilians could be harmed. So the U.S. military, which once seeded clouds in Vietnam to produce heavy rains along the Ho Chi Minh trail, can now only concentrate on better weather forecasting. “We want to anticipate and exploit the weather, not modify it,” says U.S. Air Force Director of Weather Brig. Gen. Fred Lewis.
There may be a “problem turning theory into fact,” but there is certainly no problem turning fact into propaganda: some ENMOD technologies have been tested and, as reported elsewhere, used in battle already. It has been reported for example that weather warfare technologies cleared the skies to enable NATO carpet-bombing of Serbia – causing unprecedented, widespread, long-lasting droughts.7 So there is ABC’s tenth deception.
In contradistinction to the suggestions by ABC News, we are not talking about merely seeding a few clouds. Here are the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth deceptions: ABC News hides the scale, magnitude and lethal capabilities of ENMOD weaponry – technologies that may already be operational, but are certainly under development.
The United States is party to an arms control treaty known as the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD Treaty), ratified in 1978.8 We do not know why the U.S. signed this treaty in 1977, but we can be at least 95 % certain that the Nixon/Ford administrations did not do so out of concern that “too many civilians could be harmed,” as reported in this ABC article. There is ABC’s fourteenth deception: ABC dutifully peddles the myth that the U.S. defense and intelligence apparatus is concerned about public health and welfare.
In the wake of the 1970s U.S. Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearings on covert actions (known as the Church Committee hearings), the broad spectrum of political assassinations, bloody coups, secret operations and technology developments deemed essential to the U.S. national security apparatus were driven underground in highly classified programs.9 Similarly, under a wave of devastating exposures about un-democratic US intelligence activities, and the Church Committee hearings, the U.S. DOD and the intelligence apparatus recognized that their secret programs and covert operations could only prevail given major but cosmetic changes promoting the “appearance” of termination, for one example, or promoting the independence of private sector laboratories and corporations, for another. Hence “front” companies were established, and, like numerous corporations already active in the various arenas, they were funded and tasked with maintaining the otherwise illegal, forbidden or secret programs and/or operations and/or activities. Just as the assassinations, coups and covert operations never stopped, the programs to develop weather warfare continued. This thesis is developed in details to follow.
Undoubtedly, the U.S. signed the 1977 ENMOD Treaty – in part -- for cosmetic purposes, and to further the disingenuous U.S. government posturing that pretends to care about truth, liberty, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness, at home and abroad. It is all smoke and mirrors. In fact, the United States resisted the ENMOD treaty to the bitter end, and refused to sign unless major provisions were deleted, or watered down, at the very least. (Such U.S. establishment behavior is commonplace today.) ABC’s fifteenth deception, then, comes in failing to investigate, or even mildly question, the disingenuous behavior of U.S. officials.
ABC quotes Air Force Director of Weather Brig. Gen. Fred Lewis. Choosing this person as the sole authority allowed to speak on the U.S. military’s weather warfare capabilities is ABC’s sixteenth deception. Brigadier Generals are credible enough, and this one utters some truth, and ABC does not question this truth. “We want to anticipate and exploit the weather, not modify it,” says U.S. Air Force Director of Weather Brig. Gen. Fred Lewis.
It is a curious statement, in the context it is in, because it is defensive at its core. It is a direct lie. Significant evidence suggests that somewhere in the national security apparatus – DOD (Department of Defense), DOE (Department of Energy), NSA (National Security Agency), CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) or deeper – there are ongoing, intensive programs in ENMOD (read: weather warfare) technologies.
And then there are all the corporate programs “fronting” for the military.
Indeed, the highly invisible U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) – a phantom agency born in the 1950s, declassified in 1992 – enmeshed with the National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency -- might be the culprit: the NRO plans, builds and operates America’s spy satellites, and they specialize in intelligence-gathering and information warfare. A DOD agency, the NRO is staffed by DOD and CIA personnel; it is funded through the National Reconnaissance Program, part of the National Foreign Intelligence Program.10 As I will show, the entire subject of weather warfare revolves around “plausible deniability” and the capacity of elite decision makers to “plausibly deny” that such technologies exist (just as assassinations were not committed, coups were not fomented, massacres were not perpetrated, “disappeared” people were not disappeared). Because proof of secret operations is highly classified, hence invisible, the unverifiable accusations are answered with plausible denials and we are left to depend on the basic goodness and integrity of leaders -- whom are otherwise insane, and routinely lie through their teeth, while looking you straight in the eye.
The statement by Brig. General Fred Lewis is contradicted, in its most simple form, by the obvious fact that all branches of the U.S. military and security apparatus rely on sophisticated SIGINT (SIGnals INTelligence), COMINT (COMmunications INTelligence), EW (Electronic Warfare), C4ISR/T (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance / Tracking) technologies whose entire mission and purpose can be, and often has been, compromised, neutralized or entirely defeated by hostile (but natural) weather conditions in the battlespace environment.11
Question: Would the defense establishment ignore technologies with the potential to decisively defeat the “no-win” military compromises and losses due to an unpredictable and cranky old mother nature? Answer: They would not. The statement by Brig. General Fred Lewis is further contradicted by the obvious military thrusts to develop capabilities that maximize stealth and, simultaneously, minimize risk to U.S. troops, and the propensity, again, well documented, to use clandestine operations premised, again, on “plausible denial.” In light of these major policy and field objectives, the existence of an entire spectrum or portfolio of ENMOD technologies is both plausible and certain. Said differently, it is irrational and unlikely and naïve and unreasonable to suppose the absence of these technologies given the grossly offensive actions that have been consistently demonstrated by the U.S. military, scientific and intelligence establishment over the past five decades.
Owning the Weather in 2025, advertised by ABC News, confirms the offensive interests the U.S. Air Force has in “owning and controlling” weather -- as a weapon. Numerous citations and references from the report itself reveal that military analysts and scientists have been working on weather modification issues in some capacities. (Projected ENMOD capabilities from the report are delineated in Table One.)
Owning The Weather in 2025 is but one chapter of the much larger report Air Force 2025, but ABC News did not report on that, nor did they explore the obvious evidence of the military’s comprehensive embracement of ENMOD technologies. That is ABC’s seventeenth deception. Air Force 2025is a significant document. It outlines diverse technologies and strategies that the Air Force feels it must adopt to prevent the Air Force from ushering in its own extinction by 2025. The following excerpts from the Air Force 2025 shed some light on the intentions of the Air Force, and call into question the credibility of the statement -- “We want to anticipate and exploit the weather, not modify it” – by Air Force Director of Weather Brig. Gen. Fred Lewis:
2025 is a study designed to comply with a directive from the chief of staff of the Air Force to examine the concepts, capabilities, and technologies the United States will require to remain the dominant air and space force in the future. 12 In 2025, uninhabited aerospace vehicles (UAV) are routinely used for weather modification operations… Prior to the attack, which is coordinated with forecasted weather conditions, the UAVs begin cloud generation and seeding operations. UAVs disperse a cirrus shield to deny enemy visual and infrared surveillance. It [weather modification] would also include specific intervention tools and technologies, some of which already exist and others which must be developed. Some of these proposed tools are described in the following chapter titled Concept of Operations. The total weather-modification process would be a real-time loop of continuous, appropriate, measured interventions, and feedback capable of producing desired weather behavior. If precipitation enhancement techniques are successfully developed and the right natural conditions also exist, we must also be able to disperse carbon dust into the desired location… Numerous dispersal techniques have already been studied, but the most convenient, safe, and cost-effective method discussed is the use of afterburner-type jet engines to generate carbon particles while flying through the targeted air. If this UAV technology were combined with stealth and carbon dust technologies, the result could be a UAV aircraft invisible to radar while en route to the targeted area, which could spontaneously create carbon dust in any location. Recent army research lab experiments have demonstrated the feasibility of generating fog.13 It is important to note that many techniques to modify the upper atmosphere have been successfully demonstrated experimentally. Ground-based modification techniques employed [by the former Soviet Union] include vertical HF heating, oblique HF heating, microwave heating, and magnetospheric modification. Significant military applications of such operations include low frequency (LF) communication production, HF ducted communications, and creation of an artificial ionosphere. Moreover, developing countries also recognize the benefit of ionospheric modification: in the early 1980s, Brazil conducted an experiment to modify the ionosphere by chemical injection. First note that this latter paragraph admits that both the U.S.S.R. and Brazil – the latter as recent as the 1980s – have performed ENMOD experiments on the earth’s ionosphere. This curious admission raises at least two questions to ponder prior to exploring the true U.S. involvement in the ENMOD arena:  Would the U.S. DOD stand idly by and twiddle their missiles while other nations develop potentially revolutionary lethal technologies that might be then used against the U.S.? And : Were not the U.S.S.R. and Brazil’s ENMOD experiments in contravention of the International ENMOD treaty of 1977?
Air Force 2025, in theory, is a roadmap to the future. It closes with a passionate and glowingly patriotic section outlining the coming extinction of the Air Force, and, indeed, the entire United States itself, if critical technologies, environments, personnel and capabilities outlined in Air Force 2025 are not exploited absolutely. According to this summary, every freedom-loving American -- by default -- should enthusiastically and unquestioningly support the USAFagenda.
Of course, without any further qualification or investigation by ABC News, and fed by ABC only the simplest of ideas to ensure that they are digested by the public, the casual reader is unable to separate the truth from the lie. ABC’s eighteenth deception comes in allowing the lie to pass. Neither does ABC News balance the newly enshrined truth with any alternative views, or counter quotes, or dissenting opinions -- as if dissenters and their rationales did not exist at all. ABC has not reported on the proliferation of, or the dissenting scientific views on, or the risks of, these technologies – military or civilian. That is ABC News’ nineteenth deception.
Air Force 2025
“Operational Capabilities Matrix”
DEGRADE ENEMY FORCES
ENHANCE FRIENDLY FORCES
- Flood Lines of Communication
- Maintain/Improve LOC
- Reduce PGM/Recce Effectiveness
- Maintain Visibility
- Decrease Comfort Level/Morale
- Maintain Comfort Level/Morale
- Deny Operations
- Choose Battlespace Environment
- Deny Fresh Water
- Improve Communication Reliability
-- Induce Drought
- Intercept Enemy Transmissions
- Revitalize Space Assets
- Disrupt Communications/Radar
Fog and Cloud Generation
- Disable/Destroy Space Assets
- Increase Concealment
Fog and Cloud Removal
Fog and Cloud Removal
- Deny Concealment
- Maintain Airfield Operations
- Increase Vulnerability to PGM/Recce
- Enhance PGM Effectiveness
Detect Hostile Weather Activities
Defend against Enemy Capabilities
The ABC News “news” clip -- sympathetic to a military establishment ostensibly plagued by budget cuts and federal oversights and shackled by international legal treaties -- helps further the misinformation that the military, “which once seeded clouds in Vietnam to produce heavy rains along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, can now only concentrate on better weather forecasting.” There is ABC’s twentieth deception – the unfortunate U.S. military, its hands tied, “can now only concentrate on better weather forecasting.” Here we find a common media ploy: to help generate sympathy for a military and intelligence apparatus ostensibly shackled by its own government and people – in sharp contradistinction to egregious, brutal, comprehensive U.S. military force and violence wielded with secrecy and impunity, around the globe, with a budget that is obscene.
For their twenty-first deception, ABC News has casually introduced the idea that, well, by the way, weather warfare has been used before, in Vietnam. This occurred under a top secret national security pilot program called Project Popeye, and it was just one of many covert and overt ENMOD programs pursued in the 1960s and 1970s by the United States.14 However, the U.S. ENMOD operations in Vietnam are totally unappreciated, and unheard of, primarily because they have been little reported – if reported at all -- by the corporate U.S. media. The CIA, FBI and other “national security” institutions regularly utilize this same propaganda ruse to deflect attention from secret operations, torture and state-legitimized terrorism. The method is simple: begin circulating previously unreported facts to lay the groundwork for public acceptance, and then, if and when challenged, shrug the information off as “old news” that is “common public knowledge.” In any event -- we are always assured -- the institution in question (CIA) has long since reformed.15 To close this deconstruction of the ABC News article, and assess as accurately as possible the state of the art in weather weaponry, consider that in the interest of deploying weather warfare capabilities – under the same Nixon/Ford administration which signed the ENMOD treaty in 1977 -- unspecified substances were introduced into the troposphere over enemy territory during the Vietnam era, in order to render enemy radars inoperable. The results of those efforts were never made public.16 “What is the possibility of developing this capability [enhancing or suppressing precipitation] and applying it to tactical operations by 2025?” asks the Air Force 2025 document.
“Closer than you might think,” the document answers.
It is a very auspicious admission.
2. Who Will Stop the Rain? There is a long and well-detailed history of efforts to control and modify the weather. The U.S. government’s first ENMOD efforts occurred from 1890 to 1892, with a $10,000 research budget allocated to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).17 As early as the late 1940s Dr. Wilhelm Reich was developing weather modification techniques at his Orgonon Research Center in Rangeley, Maine. Reich openly shared his findings with the U.S. Department of Defense, but while Reich apparently believed that the enemy of his enemy, Nazi Germany, was his friend, he was unaware that he was being targeted as a subversive for his pioneering futuristic work in numerous fields, weather modification included. (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration imprisoned Reich in 1954 for a minor interstate transportation infraction committed by an employee: Reich died in federal prison in 1957.)
Under the U.S. DOD Project Cirrus, on October 13, 1947 pioneering ENMOD scientist Dr. Irving Langmuir of General Electric Research Labs, Schenectady, NY, seeded a hurricane by dropping some 200 pounds of dry ice into it from above. The hurricane abruptly changed course, for whatever reason. Seeding of natural clouds with silver iodide was first tried on December 21, 1948, by GE Schenectady Labs researcher Bernard Vonnegut.18 GE’s Dr. Irving Langmuir was soon testing a commercial cloud seeder in Honduras, in cooperation with the highly repressive United Fruit Company.19 United Fruit was a Rockefeller enterprise with close ties to the CIA, and Honduras was one of its Banana Republics.20 Setting the precedent for coming military efforts to downplay ENMOD successes, hide promising results, and deny information about ENMOD programs to the newly manufactured Red Menace of the cold warrior imagination, the U.S. government, with the help of GE lawyers, downplayed Dr. Langmuir’s findings. His Project Cirrus report was initially classified, to his consternation, and when the report was finally released to the scientific community, it contained a highly skeptical assessment by a panel of “experts,” hand-picked by the DOD, who suggested that Langmuir’s experiments were inconclusive, at best, that his science did not meet acceptable standards.21 While publicly downplaying any conclusive evidence of ENMOD capabilities, however, the U.S. government embarked on a massive program of research and development. The liberal government funding, coupled with the explosion of ideas and research proposals, led to competing government agencies and overlapping programs.
The U.S. Navy and Air Force conducted numerous and systematic cloud seeding experiments from 1948 to 1950 and these demonstrated the initial promise of the ENMOD arena.22 From 1951-1953 they conducted the Artificial Cloud Nucleation Project (AEN), a large-scale project in southwestern Washington. By the early 1950s, some 10% of the entire land area of the U.S. was under commercial cloud-seeding operations, with some $3-5 million being expended annually. Public utilities like Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and the Southern California Edison Co. maintained extensive programs throughout the 1950s and 1960s.23
By 1952 the White House had a special adviser on weather modification. President Eisenhower created the U.S. Advisory Committee on Weather Control in 1953. Captain Howard T. Orville (USN, Ret.) was appointed chairman of what became known as “The Orville Committee.” Orville had been on the steering committee of (Dr. Irving Langmuir’s) Project Cirrus, and his appointment was de facto confirmation of the success of Project Cirrus.24
As early as 1953, Herbert Appleman of the U.S. Air Weather Service noted that contrails – condensation trails -- formed by water vapor and other gaseous exhausts exiting the tailpipe of a jet engine can lead to cloud formation which may persist and spread out. Silver iodide generators mounted on airplanes took cloud seeding to new heights; unique but similar seeding results were attained after researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) used carbon (black) dust dispersed by planes. The carbon black dust method, dispersed by jet after-burners, is the same one suggested as one of the future tactical weapons of the future ENMOD arena. Recall, as noted in one of the AirForce 2025 excerpts included above:
Numerous dispersal techniques have already been studied, but the most convenient, safe, and cost-effective method discussed is the use of afterburner-type jet engines to generate carbon particles while flying through the targeted air. If this UAV technology were combined with stealth and carbon dust technologies, the result could be a UAV aircraft invisible to radar while en route to the targeted area, which could spontaneously create carbon dust in any location. Commercial crop-duster pilots had previously been hired to seed with carbon black dust for the Air Force -- in the 1950s.25 The Air Force has not failed to notice that the ‘solar absorption potential” of carbon black dust makes it an expeditious choice “to enhance rainfall on the mesoscale [atmospheric], generate cirrus clouds, and enhance cumulonimbus (thunderstorm) clouds in otherwise dry areas.”26 In 1953 and 1954, scientists at New York University seeded nineteen cyclones.27 In 1957 the President’s Advisory Committee on Weather Control explicitly recognized the military potential of weather modification, warning in their report that it could become a more important weapon than the atom bomb.28 In 1958 the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) was conducting cloud dissipation experiments in Georgia. Cloud seeding became a routine operation for United Air Lines (UAL) planes in the 1960s.29 In 1959, the U.S. Congress established the Interdepartmental Committee for Atmospheric Sciences, a centralized command for ENMOD programs.
Project Corona is an exemplary model of a secret program that persisted in total blackout for decades. Born in 1956 under CIA Clandestine Services chief Richard Bissell (CIA director from1965),30 Project Corona, the first major U.S. satellite reconnaissance program, involving scores of satellite launches, was not declassified until 1992. Corona was a CIA/DOD collaboration involving top brass under the highest national security classifications.
Under Project Skyfire in 1960 and 1961 the US Army pursued lighting suppression through experiments where millions of tiny metallic needles were released to ‘seed” clouds. (These bits of foil are actually tiny dipoles whose ends are oppositely charged.) The dispersal of electronic chaff is today a major element in airborne missile evasion countermeasures, where the electronic tracking devices on an inbound missile are “fooled” by the chaff “decoy” materials launched by the pilot under attack. The U.S. Army Atmospheric Sciences Laboratory at Fort Monmouth, N.J., explored the potential of using chaff to pull the teeth of a thunderstorm.31 Project Skyfire scientists launched rockets to “trigger” lightning discharges.
Project WhiteTop seeded clouds in Missouri throughout the 1960s.
Aimed at steering and/or modifying tropical hurricanes, the U.S. DOD’s Project Stormfury (1961-1983) undertook “massive seeding” operations, using state-of-the-art airborne radars, during hurricanes Ester (1961) and Beulah (1963). Refinement and coordination of RADAR and computing technologies brought increasing use of remote sensing to the ENMOD arena and from the early 1960s onward, the field, and the research and development successes, expanded exponentially. Stormfury deployed eight Navy jets, with multiple radars, and three weather Bureau planes. Stormfury scientists delivered seeding agents with rockets and with variations of the LW-83 high silver iodide pyrotechnic flare developed by the Naval Weapons Center, China Lake, CA.32
In the summer of 1964, HydroQuebec used silver iodide generators to try to raise the levels of its reservoirs: it rained for three weeks, leading scientists to comment that, “the success of the operation exceeded the wildest dreams of the cloud-seeding force.” 33 In 1966, scientists from the USAF Cambridge Research Labs developed a “cloudbuster” – the same name assigned to an apparatus developed by Wilhelm Reich at Orgonon (ME) over 15 years earlier – which seeded clouds by plane with CO2. In 1966, Project Hailswath involved 14 research groups in hail suppression; meanwhile the U.S. DOD research on dissipation of cold fog had moved into operational use by the Army and Air Force.34
In 1966 the Federal Government spent about $7.3 million in ENMOD projects with eight agencies (NSF; FAA; NASA; Departments of Commerce, Defense, Interior, and Agriculture). The efforts encompassed: precipitation modification; hail suppression; fog and cloud dissipation; lighting modification; severe storm modification, and “other.” The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) has been a key player in both openly funded and more secretive ENMOD related research.
Major research efforts in tornado modification; hurricane steering and cyclone manipulation were sponsored by the Office of Naval Research.35 In sections below we will see that ONR and NASA are two of the many agencies that today fund major ENMOD research efforts, ostensibly, again, for civilian purposes – meaning research into atmospheric modeling for weather prediction, not modification or control. It might, then, be propitious to ask at this point if we are to believe that some gap occurred, where decades of major ENMOD efforts of these and other agencies were abandoned or curtailed after the U.S. signed the ENMOD treaty in 1977.
Total expenditures for ENMOD operations reached some $9 million in the fiscal year 1967 budget – this for the quantifiable, publicly visible, non-black programs alone.
The secretive right-wing RAND Corporation think-tank secured numerous major initiatives in ENMOD development throughout the 1960s, all commissioned and supported by the U.S. government. The National Science Foundation in 1962 commissioned the RAND Corporation with a major study in weather modification; RAND won another major contract in 1964.36 RAND’s Project Air Force (PAF) has been an exclusive Air Force/RAND partnership for 57 years. Originally known as Project RAND (an acronym for research and development), PAF was established in 1946. RAND’s ‘special status facilitates stable USAF support over an extended period of years as well as in-the-family access by the research staff to relevant Air Force information and management personnel.” Indeed, RAND is very much the deep inside.
Recently declassified documents, for example, show that RAND helped guide the infant U.S. space satellite programs into their intelligence maturity.37 A search of publicly available RAND publications from their own web site archive turns up only three documents on ENMOD, each from 1969 or 1970, on fog suppression, rainmaking in Israel, and weather modification. The abstract for the latter publication states:
A discussion emphasizing the importance of understanding the atmospheric environment in depth is a prime requisite for weather modification. Largely by the impetus of Langmuir’s research on the use of ice crystals in precipitation studies, the public has shown interest in “rainmaking” and cloud seeding activities during the past two decades. In the early 1960s two major research documents pointed the way to the use of computers for numerically modeling the atmosphere. With the space age, essentially simultaneous observation of atmospheric parameters has been possible on a global level. More important, perhaps, is that these studies point out the danger that exists in attempts to modify large-scale weather phenomena without sufficient understanding of the possible results. 38 But while RAND generated wads of research on satellite technology interests and weather modification, much of this remains highly classified. Bibliographies from existing books on weather modification programs in the 1960s and 1970s list hundreds of reports, papers and books on ENMOD related research: one bibliography lists numerous RAND studies, which RAND’s own on-line library does not today call up. Is this an accident of electronic filing? Why did RAND both seemingly stop its involvement in ENMOD research and, apparently, relegate some of its own early studies to the oblivion of inaccessibility?
The answer may lie in the greater questions: Did all ENMOD research and development come to dead stop in acquiescence to the U.S. having signed the 1977 ENMOD treaty – as military spokesman and the media would have us believe? Or has ENMOD research proceeded in secret, off the public record, and/or by corporations that front for the military-intelligence matrix?
As ENMOD operations proliferated in the 1960s and 1970s, the government and its army of ENMOD researchers faced major emerging public policy issues. Increasing ENMOD operations led to more and more questions and concerns by the public, and, in some cases, interstate legal challenges to the U.S. or state governments.
As one report noted:
Experience has shown that although most attempts to modify the weather go unnoticed, the coincidence of an abnormal weather event, such as a flood or prolonged period of rainfall, with an attempt at weather modification tends to raise a public outcry against such activity. Lengthy scientific explanations of the lack of association between the two events prove to be of no avail. Much remains to be done to determine how people perceive the weather, what their attitudes are toward weather modification, and what role information appears to play in conditioning such attitudes. 39 The report’s attention to “conditioning such attitudes” is an unveiled reference to the need for persuasive propaganda or, in more contemporary language, perception management. The hubris of the scientific community and policy establishment shines here, in admission of the basic institutional premise that “we know best what the public needs” and, therefore, we just need to figure out what conditioning is required, and then “we can tell them.”
At the same time, the policy establishment, in its own ranks, continued to formulate more stringent questions about ENMOD oversight and control: officials questioned whether decisions about modifying major storms should be undertaken by operating agencies, or whether they belonged in the hands of the Executive Branch, under the control of the President and his executive advisors. But the growing sociological, legal and oversight issues notwithstanding, the ENMOD establishment continued to openly press its aggressive scientific agenda. (The extent to which additional programs proceeded in secret is, obviously, unknown.)
In 1967 the U.S. Senate passed the “Magnusson Bill” (S373) authorizing the Secretary of Commerce to accelerate programs of applied research, development and experimentation in weather and climate modification. The bill allocated $12 million, $30 million and $40 million over the next three years.40 They projected expenditures of some $149 million annually by 1970. By FY 1973 there were over 700 degreed scientists and engineers in the U.S. whose major occupation was weather modification.41 Project Stormfury in 1969 seeded hurricane Debbie five times on August 18th and 20th, and the results “were so encouraging that a greatly expanded research program was planned.” The project involved NOAA, USAF, USN, U.S. Army and the Department of Commerce. Hurricane Ginger was seeded in 1971.42 Other major tropical storms were also targeted, and programs waited for opportunities for ENMOD experiments on hurricanes, but, not ironically, mother nature did not immediately cooperate in providing candidate storms.
Radio controlled “drones” (remotely piloted vehicles) were already being tested for their potential to penetrate severe storms and other high turbulence areas.43 Satellites were designed for weather modification experiments where “their operational use is of the utmost value in modification efforts when in stationary orbit.” Satellites were deployed to describe the “mesoscale in relation to global weather by observing cloud activity and motions.” Satellites sounded throughout the atmosphere’s depth using infrared and microwave remote sounding [sensing] techniques.44 Wrote one researcher, echoing the opportunities enabled by rapid advances in state-of-the-art instrumentation and understanding in the 1970s:
As the technologies develop and achieve the range and resolution required for our efforts in weather modification, remote sensing techniques should place our research on a whole new frontier. 45
Indeed, four or five key areas or “turnkey” technologies were identified for the realization of military ENMOD capabilities, and major funding and research attention was subsequently focused on them. The development of pivotal “turnkey” technologies – which continue to dictate the state-of-the-art in ENMOD capacity – revolved around advances in:
algorithms, data analyses, simulation and modeling tools;
The advent of solid-state electronic devices led to miniaturization of systems and components, and the exponential advances in computer technologies. While radars and remote sensing technologies themselves came of age, the platforms that enabled their manned and unmanned deployment – especially in remote environments like deep space, severe storms and deep ocean – matured rapidly and were both covertly and overtly transitioned into operational use.
Supercomputers like the Cray evolved generation after generation until their capacity provided for phenomenal rates of data collection and assessment, while advanced languages, algorithms and modeling programs were refined -- not specifically, but certainly available and adapted -- for ENMOD applications. Multiple and improved tests led to verification of computer models, while the advanced technologies and platforms predicted and confirmed ever more accurate conditions of state: severe storms models proliferated, and they were fine tuned and modified to better and more accurately predict and characterize weather events like tornadoes, hurricanes and cyclones.
Because the earth’s atmosphere and climate (and, hence, severe weather events) revolves around wind and ocean currents, turbulence, condensation, energy budgets and heat transfer, the entire system, and its hemispheric and regional microclimates, are dictated by non-linear processes. That is where an understanding of chaos theory becomes critical. Computers have provided significant insight into chaos theory -- they are essential to modeling of non-linear processes -- and one of the fundamental requirements for understanding non-linear behavior revolves around a complete and accurate assessment of the initial conditions of the equations of state (pressure, temperature, moisture content, wind speed vector), and the boundary conditions within and between states. Radars were used to determine which parts of clouds should be seeded, and to assess the results of the seeding itself.
Critical as well, was the capacity to analyze and compare modified versus unmodified weather systems. (Enter the University of Massachusetts MIRSL labs, and the military’s attention to the ostensibly “benign” but otherwise critical determinants of data collection, state-of-the-art radars, and remote sensing technologies – all to be discussed in detail below.) “Models have provided virtually priceless criteria for launching and evaluating seeding missions.” 46
By the late 1970s it became obvious to some researchers that ENMOD operations might one day determine the atmospheric conditions over entire hemispheres and that these, in turn, through feedback mechanisms and “teleconnections” of the global climate system – would influence and dictate weather patterns elsewhere. Attention shifted to understanding the global energy budgets, and a major focus fell on the “triggers” of instability found in specific cloud systems. Satellites were focused on understanding simultaneous “hot towers” around the globe – a task that could now be systematically accomplished through remote sensing from space-based microwave and millimeter-wave radar platforms.
These “hot-towers” were the cumulus clouds, the “cylinders of the global heat engine,” and a “crucial part of the global heat pump:”
Other teleconnections between local triggers and hemispheric circulation adjustments are becoming subjects of serious investigation. Results of full-scale experimentation [hurricane research] to date warrant some optimism that a storm-sized system may be markedly changed by means of cumulus modification. Another promising but untried area lies in the “explosive” deepening of middle latitude oceanic cyclones. An important factor in the deepening process appears to be sea-air heat-flux, coupled with increasingly tall cumulus connection. [Cumulus clouds] raise and covert energy at a rate nearly one million times that of all human power consumption in the world… their rapid deepening can trigger a major readjustment in wind pattern around a whole hemisphere. Extended time and space effects of cloud modification need not be confined to rainfall, but could affect radiation budgets, energy budgets, momentum transports, boundary layer processes, severe weather manifestations, wind circulation patterns, and etc. If the seedability in some potential deepening situations were to prove adequate, the explosive development of the storm could possibly be induced artificially. But why would anyone wish to consider such an experiment? The reason is that the explosive deepening of marine cyclones, particularly in the Gulf of Alaska, has been found to trigger major changes in the entire wind circulation pattern over the whole northern hemisphere. Massive modification of equatorial cumuli might one day change the weather over middle America.47
About the same time that attention was drawn to developing the enabling technologies noted above, the National Academy of Sciences identified four problem areas for sustained ENMOD research and investments:
Modification of clouds and storm systems
Modification of large-scale weather and climate
Modification of local and regional climates
Inadvertent modification of the atmosphere
By this time however (circa 1971) the U.S. government viewed ENMOD research as having transitioned from the “basic research” stage to the “operational” stage. Experiments were occurring – or had occurred -- in 22 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Iran, Israel, Kenya, Italy, France, South Africa, Congo and the U.S.S.R. Airborne seeding programs were undertaken to combat drought in the Philippine Islands, Okinawa, Africa and Texas.48 Fog clearing was a standard operation at airports; hailstorm abatement was successful in several parts of the world; forest fire control was being carried out operationally in Alaska; watershed seeding was widely practiced; lake storm snow redistribution was under extensive investigation.49
From 1971-1976 the Desert Research Institute at the University of Nevada ran the National Hail Research Experiment.
Project Stormfury continued. In 1974 the U.S. DOD dictated that Stormfury researchers conduct “more field experiments on tropical cyclones at every opportunity.” 50 In 1976, U.S. government officials outlined 50 experimental projects and 20 actual pilot programs costing upwards of $100 million over the next eight years.51 It was an explosive subject, up the 1970s but, after 1977, ENMOD interest seemed to disappear almost overnight. In other words, after decades of intense research and development, after billions of dollars of investment, after major institutions and governmental bodies were created and charged with oversight of ENMOD and its many peripheral issues, and after the entire reorganization of the U.S. Government to channel and guide and map out the future of this new and promising military and civilian “technology” – said to be more important than the atom bomb -- everything stopped.
Or did it?
It was as if a huge curtain fell over the subject as all research, all institutional interests, huge salaries and thousands of jobs – vanished. And the mass media stopped reporting anything and everything as if struck by plague. That – sudden and total silence -- is perhaps the most telling and suspicious indication of the secrecy and denial that the ENMOD arena was shackled with. Today, 2003, it is almost as if it never happened.
If man can modify the weather, he will obviously modify it for military purposes. It is no coincidence that the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Signal Corps have been deeply involved in weather modification research and development. Weather is a weapon, and the general who has control over the weather is in control of an opponent less well armed… The idea of clobbering an enemy with a blizzard, or starving him with an artificial drought still sounds like science fiction. But so did talk of atom bombs before 1945. 52 So wrote author Daniel S. Halacy Jr., in his book, The Weather Changers, published in 1968.