HAARP Project

The Day the Caribou Walked Backwards

Who's Playing Hell With HAARP?
by Wayne Mishler
An MT Investigative Report

Source: Monitoring Times Magazine

October 1996

There's always been something a little spooky about radio waves - a phenomena we can't see, which we control just enough to make use of, and upon which so much of modern society depends. Combine these waves with other elements such as aurora and ionosphere- which we can't see, either, but we're fairly sure are essential for life on this planet, add words like heating and bombarding, and you have all that's needed for a humdinger of a Halloween story.

In this MT investigative report, Wayne Mishler sets out to counter the witch hunts with an objective look at the High frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP).

The Pentagon's controversial HAARP project has drawn fire from television broadcasters, writers, publishers and concerned citizens. Some say it could wipe out worldwide radio communications and disrupt the ionosphere to the point of destroying aircraft and missals in-flight. It has been called a star wars weapon in the making, a devious military plot to control minds and dominate the world, vandalism in the sky, and the beginning of the end of the Earth. In some cases the tension has approached panic stages.

What is this monster? is it really capable of doing these sinister things? To learn the truth, MT launched into an investigative research project. We talked to people who actually work with HAARP, The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program. We gathered comments and information from people who live near the project. We searched the internet for different viewpoints and facts that we could verify. We talked with the United Nations and international science communities. We approached the story with an open mind and asked hard questions. In this article we share with you what we learned. Our findings may surprise you.

For years to come, Alaskans will be telling their grandchildren about the day the caribou walked backwards in Glennallen, a small town 147 miles northeast of Anchorage. A resident telephoned that strange story to the Anchorage Daily News, and identified the cause. It was, of course, that newfangled HAARP transmitter the government had built down the road at Gakona. They'd heard it was capable of mind control. Here was proof: moon walking caribou.

There was, however, a flaw in their theory. "It hadn't fired. It wasn't operating. To make those [kinds of] conclusions [at that time] was wrong," admitted one of the HAARP project's strongest critics, Alaskan resident Nick Begich, son of the former U.S. Rep. Nick Begich, and co-author of a critical book entitled Angels Don't Play This HAARP.

Wrong or not, that premature report of dancing caribou typifies the public's reaction to the HAARP project. "Some people are very frightened," the Anchorage Daily News reported. And no wonder. Anyone who hasn't been in a coma or cave the past year has undoubtedly heard or seen at least some of the hyped press coverage leveled at the HAARP project. Critics warn that it will irreparably damage the Earth's magnetic field and possible destroy the ionosphere, leaving Earthlings to wriggle and fry with no protection from the Sun. The stories sell books and boost television ratings, and there's no question that writers and reporters have exploited the obvious opportunity.

The Anchorage Daily News, which sits on the doorstep of the HAARP facility and takes phone calls from fearful residents, expresses concern over "the danger of confusing people" about the capabilities of this controversial facility.

The Truth about HAARP

HAARP is a government-coined acronym for High frequency Active Auroral Research Program. It is essentially a system of high frequency (HF) transmitters and directional antennas known as the Ionospheric Research Instrument (IRI). It is located on a government-owned 33-acre clearing in a black spruce forest near Gakona, about 160 miles east of Anchorage. The Gakona site was chosen primarily because of its location in the auroral zone where ionospheric fluctuations are prevalent and most conducive to scientific experiments. The most visible part of the IRI is its huge antenna array which sits on a gravel pad 1000 feet wide and 1200 feet long. When completed, the array will include 180 antenna towers, each 72 feet high. The towers are mounted at the intersection of gridlines 80 feet apart. At the top of each tower are two dipole antennas. One of the dipoles is adjusted to operate in the 2.8 to 7 MHz range; the other in the 7 to 10 MHz range.

The two dipoles are mounted horizontally like a large "X" at the top of each tower. Only one of the dipoles on each tower can be in operation at any given time, depending on the output frequency. A metal screen stretches between the towers 15 feet off the ground, forming a continuous reflector for the antennas, During transmissions, the screen "catches" downward-directed RF energy and re-directs it upward. This intensifies the beam and helps to protect people and animals on the ground from intense RF fields when the transmitters are in operation.

On the ground beneath the antenna array are 30 transmitter shelters. Each shelter houses 12 diesel-powered transmitters which can be switched to drive either the low-band or high-band dipoles. Each transmitter is capable of generating 10,000 Watts of RF power. Collectively as a system they can send 3.6 million Watts of raw RF output to the antennas. The transmitters can be adjusted in amplitude and phase to focus the RF signal into a narrow upward beam with about 30 decibels of gain. This produces an effective radiated power of about 3.6 billion Watts.

Ionospheric heaters around the world have been probing the ionosphere since the 1950's. But HAARP is different because it has the capability of steering its RF beam, operating on more frequencies, and using a greater array of scientific instruments to measure the results of its experiments.

The beam can be steered or aimed at specific regions of the ionosphere - the layered portion of the atmosphere that stretches from about 35 to 500 miles above the Earth. The ionosphere is created by solar winds striking the Earth's outer atmosphere. The ionosphere is in a constant state of change, dependent on solar activity. When conditions are right, the layers of the ionosphere can reflect (or propagate) radio signals back to Earth, making possible world-wide radio communications. The layers also absorb some of the signals. How deeply a signal can penetrate into the ionosphere depends on a number of factors, including frequency of the signal. In other words, different layers of the ionosphere can be excited by varying the frequency of the radio signal.

An RF beam is essentially electromagnetic energy. When an RF beam strikes the ionosphere, some of the signal is reflected back to Earth, some penetrates the ionosphere and is lost is space, and the rest is absorbed. The energy in the beam that is absorbed changes to heat in the gaseous molecules of the ionosphere. In this sense, a strong radio signal can be an ionospheric heater. The more powerful the signal, the greater the heating effect. Scientists theorize that targeted portions of the ionosphere can be raised in altitude be increasing the temperature of the ionic molecules.

HAARP is fundamentally an ionospheric heater with a steerable beam. In operation it will attempt to excite targeted portions of the ionosphere so that scientists can measure the results with test instruments. One of the test instruments is a radar device that will measure densities of affected electrons, temperatures of affected electrons and ions, and Doppler velocities in the stimulated region, and compare them with those in the unstimulated portions of the ionosphere. The HAARP facility includes a huge inventory of other sophisticated test instruments, including ELF (extremely low frequency) and VLF (very low frequency) receivers.

Scientists will attempt to use the IRI to generate ELF signals by heating the ionosphere. Research at other facilities indicates that this is possible. These low frequencies are actually byproducts of the ionospheric heating process. The ELF signals are created in the HF-excited regions of the ionosphere at an altitude of about 80 km, and radiate toward Ear. Theoretically, they could be modulated to carry intelligence. Potential uses include improved communications with submarines, and geophysical exploration.

To date, HAARP's transmitters have operated in tests at power levels far below their capability. Currently the transmitters are silent. No doubt they will be fired up periodically in additional tests. But the facility is not scheduled to go into full operation until sometime in the year 2002.

The need for ionospheric research

The ability to understand, predict, and perhaps even enhance ionospheric propagation could have profound effects on world-wide communications. The ionosphere's ability to reflect, distort and absorb radio signals certainly affects the quality of civilian and military communications, navigation, surveillance, and remote sensing systems. Long-range HF radio signals usually "hop" many times from ground to ionosphere to ground in their journey around the world. In the process, they are subject to amplitude fading. This is caused by interference between signals that take different paths from transmitter to receiver. The effects of the ionosphere are not limited to HF radio. Satellite links must also pass through the ionosphere en route to and from the Earth. Because of their typically higher frequencies, satellite links are especially susceptible to absorption in the ionosphere.

Because space-based civilian and military systems must transmit through the ionospheric shield, their quality of performance depends on monitoring and using to best advantage ionospheric conditions. But, scientists want to go beyond passive monitoring and forecasting. They want to find out whether "controlled modification" of specific portions of the ionosphere can enhance the performance of these systems. Results from tests by other ionospheric heaters around the world have suggested that the ionosphere can be controlled. However, the only way to find out if ionospheric heating can be used to improve communications is to conduct scientific experiments on a small scale and monitor the results.

HAARP experiments are intended to stimulated and control plasma processes in tiny localized regions in the ionosphere, measure the results, and use this data to improve the planning of space-based systems in the future.

The military connection

To be sure, the U. S. military has more than a passive interest in the outcome of HAARP, which could have a vital impact on U. S. national security. The HAARP site is owned by the U. S. Department of Defense, and operated under the auspices of the Pentagon jointly by the Air Force Phillips Laboratory and the Navy's Office of Research. One area of military interest centers on improving the performance of existing communications, surveillance, and navigation systems. But there are other unexplored possibilities that military officials expect to emerge from HAARP research. These include new technologies to detect underground objects, communicate to great depths in the sea and Earth, and generate infrared and optical emissions. With this power at its fingertips, the world would not have to guess whether or not offending nations were hoarding underground nuclear weapons. Military officials could use ionospheric technology to look deep inside the Earth or its oceans to see for themselves.

Studies of the ionosphere are necessary to unlock the underlying principles necessary for developing and perfecting such complex and far-reaching technologies. There is an old military axiom that says, in essence, that superiority goes to "whoever gets there fastest with the mostest." If the ionosphere does hold secrets to enhance military operations, the nation that unlocks them first could have a global military advantage. The basic mission of the U. S. Navy and Air Force is to ensure freedom of movement and commerce on the sea and in the air for everyone. The ability to prevent domination of the ionosphere by any individual nation or group of nations is obviously essential to that mission.

The government claims that HAARP is "a major Arctic facility for upper atmospheric and solar-terrestrial research." Officials overseeing the project deny that the facility is designed for military operations. On the surface there is no question that at this point it is a research facility intended to answer scientific questions about the ionosphere's relationships to the Earth and Sun. Nor is there any question that much of the research could be used for developing important new civilian and military technologies.

HAARP's effects on shortwave listening

There may be cases where propagation could be affected by the IRI. For example, if an SWL in the U.S. is monitoring a radio broadcast originating overseas with a signal path over Alaska, and the IRI is operating at the time, it is possible that propagation of the broadcast could be interrupted. Certainly the IRI transmissions will be heard on HF transmitters. They will probably be short bursts of pure CW or possibly modulated CW. "There will be a wide variety of experiments, each one demanding a different duty cycle, modulation type," says HAARP engineer Ed Kennedy. "A lot of ionospheric research is conducted with CW-only type transmissions. This would appear to be only a carrier signal with no modulation to someone tuning through the band."

But there may be times when HAARP produces some interesting listening. "HAARP has been suggested as an element of a disaster communications network in Alaska. Under these conditions, there might be voice modulation. But there are no experiments planned with voice," Kennedy explains.

The HAARP antenna array is essentially a directional high-gain antenna. As with any antenna of this type, there will be a primary lobe accompanied by side lobes of lesser strength. These side lobes could strike the ionosphere at angles that would allow them to be reflected rather than absorbed by the ionosphere. In such a case, the side lobes could be propagated like ordinary HF radio transmissions. If so, they could be detected around the world.

"Since the predominate transmission direction is straight up, the area where we might expect {radio] interference is in Alaska," says Kennedy. "We measured signal strengths [while testing] the program. Using computer controlled spectrum analyzers, we found few occasions when the signal caused interference. The Alaskan ionosphere is very bad [for radio propagation] as most Alaskan hams will testify."

The HAARP program maintains a special telephone line (907) 822-5497 dedicated to receiving calls of suspected radio frequency interference (RFI). When the IRI is in operation, this telephone number rings in the control room and a person will answer it. When the facility is shut down, the phone is connected to an answering machine with an announcement that no testing is being conducted. We called this number in preparing this article and reached the answering machine.

A committee with local and national representatives has been formed to review RFI complaints. The first meeting was held last year in Glennallen. There are representatives from the local community, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, ALASCOM (telephone service), Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., American Radio Relay League, Coast Guard, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Fish and Game Department, HAARP environmental liaison officer and operations staff, the National Park Service, Naval Research Laboratory, and Alaska Military Command.

In addition to reviewing RFI complaints, these representatives and others will oversee the future operations of the HAARP facility within their respective fields of expertise. But critics say this is not enough.

The HAARP controversy

The controversy surrounding HAARP stems primarily from its otential for altering and exploiting the ionosphere for military purposes. The controversy was undoubtedly intensified during the autumn of 1995 by the publishings of Begich's book and a Popular Science magazine article entitled Mystery in Alaska. Both portrayed HAARP as a dangerous experiment with a devious military agenda. The highly critical article appeared in the September 1995 edition of Popular Science. It portrayed HAARP as having a "secret agenda" with exotic military goals. It explains in vivid detail how the facility would achieve these goals, alluding to the Eastlund papers (described below). The article predicts that HAARP will be able to turn the ionosphere into a system of virtual mirrors and lenses capable of reflecting its powerful beam back toward Earth, and even concentrating its power like a magnifying glass focuses sun rays. But we found nothing secret about HAARP. The project is not classified. Its planning, construction, and operational theory are matters of public record. The facility is open to public inspection.

Angels Don't Play This HAARP, was co-authored by Begich and Jeanne Manning of Vancouver, British Columbia. The book warns that HAARP is intended to "massively disturb" parts of the atmosphere. The transmissions, Begich says, could create an electromagnetic pulse similar to that of a nuclear explosion which could destroy unprotected communications equipment around the world. He accuses the military of trying to create a new surveillance technology. Both authors say independent scientists have told them that HAARP, by deliberately altering the ionosphere, could affect people's moods and mental functions because the frequencies are the same as human brain waves. Begich and many other critics say that HAARP is currently conducting experiments.

"The military insists that all of this is safe," Begich says, "but we have shown the risks through careful research involving hundreds of source documents. [Our book] contains over 350 footnotes detailing the source of each significant fact. Questions have arisen in the research. Could these manmade disturbances trigger destructive weather? What will it do to our health? To salmon or other species which rely on the naturally-occurring geomagnetic fields for direction?

The questions stir emotions and sell books. But on close scrutiny the veil of criticism becomes thin and you see that the criticism of HAARP is based more on fantasy than reality. This is because Begich, Manning and others compare HAARP to a 1980's plan by an ARCO physicist, Bernard Eastlund, to build a transmitter similar to, but many times larger and more powerful than the HAARP facility. This transmitter was never built. It exists only on paper.

The Eastlund proposal

Like HAARP, Eastlund's transmitters would have been located in Alaska, and would have functioned as an ionospheric heater. But the Eastlund project would have been more than 30,000 times larger than HAARP with power to distort the upper atmosphere through brute force. His transmitter and antenna site would have covered 1600 square miles (more than a million acres.) "You can [with my plan] lift part of the upper atmosphere," Eastlund said. "You can make it move, do things with it." Eastlund described how he could "surgically" distort the ionosphere to disrupt global communications. He told how he could generate enough turbulence in the ionosphere to destroy middles in flight. By lifting and moving regions of the ionosphere, Eastlund theorized that he could redirect the jet stream to alter global weather patterns, incinerate airborne pollution, and repair the ozone layer. Eastlund patented the processes that he envisioned for his Frankenstein-like creation. The patent for altering the Earth's atmosphere reportedly was sealed in secrecy by the government. The device supposedly could have generated one watt of heat per cubic centimeter in the ionosphere, more than a million times the power that had ever been beamed skyward before. Critics feared the effects that this could have on the Earth and its inhabitants. Excerpts from the patent underscored their concern. For example, according to the patent, Eastlund's technology theoretically could:

Control weather by altering upper atmosphere wind patterns. Change molecular compositions of specific regions of the Earth's atmosphere, increasing levels of desired elements, such as ozone. Beam electrical power directly from a power plant in the Alaska gas fields to consumers without using power lines - wireless power transmission. Confuse aircraft and missile guidance systems. Destroy high altitude missiles in flight. Knock out "enemy" radio communications without affecting "friendly" communications. Create electromagnetic pulses capable of destroying sensitive electronic equipment, similar to those produced by nuclear explosions. Because of similarities between Eastlund's plan and the HAARP facility, critics put them in the same category. They warn that HAARP is the first of many steps the government will take toward building Eastlund's device. Many accuse the government of lying about the startup date of HAARP and about the power level at which it will be operated. Some say the facility is in full operation and that its power levels are much greater than the government will admit. We checked. At this writing, the only people at the HAARP site was a caretaker and a few technicians working on the antennas. The transmitters were not operating.

HAARP is small part of worldwide study

Critics warn that HAARP is the largest device of its kind, operating with inadequate external oversight, and therefore a threat to mankind. But we've learned that in the grand scheme of things HAARP is a relatively small element of a worldwide effort to probe and study the Earth's outer atmosphere. There are a number of facilities similar to HAARP operating unnoticed around the world. According to a U. S. government report, at least one of these facilities, operated by the International Radio Observatory in Sweden, is many times more powerful than HAARP will be when in full operation in the year 2002. The Swedish facility, according to the report, transmits 10 megawatts with an antenna gain of almost 35 decibels. This would produce an ERP of nearly 32 billion watts. This facility reportedly has been operating with little attention in the press. Such high RF power levels stagger man's imagination. But in comparison with the Sun, which creates and regulates the ionosphere, they are minuscule. HAARP engineers maintain that any source of energy large enough to destroy or permanently damage the ionosphere would have to be greater than the sun itself.

International Space Law

The United Nations regulates through international space law what any member nation or group of member nations can do in space. This law is based on five treaties and four sets of principals to which members have agreed. The UN's interest in peaceful use of space was first expressed in 1957, soon after the launching of Russia's Sputnik-1. This interest has grown steadily with the development of space technology. The focal point of UN action is the General Assembly's Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, set up in 1959.

In 1966, the Committee and the General Assembly negotiated the Outer Space Treaty, which went into effect in 1968 and has been ratified by 91 countries. The basic principles contained in this Treaty were later elaborated by the Committee in five other legal instruments: the astronaut rescue agreement (1967), the liability convention (1971), the registration (of launched objects) convention (1974), and the Moon agreement (1979). The Committee has also negotiated direct broadcasting principles (1982), remote sensing principles (1986), and principles on the use of nuclear power sources (1993).

The Outer Space Treaty itself provides that space exploration will be carried out for the benefit of all countries. It seeks to maintain space as the province of all mankind, free for exploration and use by all nations and not subject to national appropriation. This would seem to preclude the U.S. or any other member nation from controlling or manipulating the ionosphere to the detriment of the world.

One of the Committee's special interests has been remote sensing of the Earth. This could be extrapolated to include any attempts to "X-ray" the Earth with ELF radio waves, which is one outcry from HAARP critics. ELF waves generated by HAARP in the ionoshpere will penetrate the Earth and its inhabitants. Critics fear this will interfere with human brain waves and possibly damage the Earth. But this type of activity is regulated by international law.

The first UN conference on the exploration and use of space, held in Vienna in 1968, called for increased international cooperation. A new program was created in 1970 to help member nations develop space technology. Additional programs were developed during the 1970s addressing telecommunications, weather forecasting, disaster warning and relief, environmental monitoring, and remote sensing for agriculture, forestry, geology, cartography, oceanography, and other uses.

The UN Office for Outer Space Affairs follows scientific and technical developments relating to space technology. It collects and provides technical information. It also advises member nations on matters of space development.

For anyone interested in space law, there are several books and collections of reports available from two different sources. One of the sources is Editions Frontiers, B.P.33,91 192 Gif sur Yvette Cedex, telephone (331) 69 28 51 35, fax (33 1) 69 28 86 59. The other source is Kaigai Publications Ltd, Tokyo International, P.O. Box 5020, Tokyo 100-31 Japan, fax 03 3292 4278. The titles available include Space Debris and the Corpus luris Spatialis, International Space Law in the Making, The United Nations Space Treaties Analysed, and The Protection of Astronomical and Geophysical Sites.

International studies of Sun and Earth

A common link between HAARP and international studies is that they are concerned with the Sun's impact on the Earth's atmosphere and environment. Ionspheric heaters such as HAARP probe and study the ionosphere from Earth. Others scrutinize solar phenomena from outer space. One such study is being conducted from a relatively new solar space observatory, called Soho, a joint project of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Soho is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA. The spacecraft was built in Europe and equipped with instruments by scientists on both sides of the Atlantic. NASA launched Soho on December 2, 1995, and provides ground support from an operations center near Washington. Soho arrived at its vantage point - 1.5 million kilometers above Earth - in February of this year. It was formally commissioned on April 16. The international space community expects many years of service from it.

Scientists from several experimental teams are using Soho to explore the Sun's from its innards to its outer atmosphere (corona), where temperatures are measured in millions of degrees. Images obtained via Soho's visible light coronagraph LASCO (a telescope used to observe the Sun's corona) show the Sun releasing billions of tons of gas into the solar system. Such events disturb the whole system and can affect the Earth's own environment.

The Sun's flames are literally lapping at the Earth's doorstep. this generates a space wind of icons, electrons, and protons which reach Earth at speeds of 1.5 to 3 million kilometers per hour. The only protection that stands between us and this onslaught is the Earth's magnetosphere - a distant magnetic, ionized extension of our atmosphere which slows and deflects the stream of particles emitted by the sun.

"By the end of the [Soho] mission we shall know the Sun far better than we do now," says Roger Bonnet, ESA director of science. "And we shall be able to comment with much more confidence on important but puzzling aspects of solar behavior that affect our lives on the Earth, whether in short-lived magnetic storms or long-lasting changes of climate."

Another project, called the Cluster, would have given international scientists specific data about the Sun's interaction with the Earth's outer atmosphere, if the experiment had not perished in the failed launch of Ariane - 501 in June 1996. A cluster of four special satellites would have taken readings from different vantage points in space to give scientists a three-dimensional view of the phenomena that occur where the solar wind strikes the near-Earth environment.

Cluster would have gathered information about the magnetic storms, electric currents, and particle accelerations that take place in the space surrounding Earth. These phenomena are believed to play a role in the aurora in the polar regions, power outages (brown-outs), breakdowns in telecommunications systems, satellite malfunctions, and possibly even changes in Earth's climates.

There is little doubt that the world's study of the stormy relationship between the Sun and Earth will continue on a cooperative basis. Ionospheric heaters, including HAARP, will contribute to that information base. In the process, science will be advanced and new technologies developed. That's life. Critics are not likely to slow the process. Like it or not, some of these technologies will probably be put to military use. Whether that is good or bad for the Free World depends on whose military puts puts them to use first.

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