A chemtrail, according to a popular conspiracy theory, is a trail of chemicals left by an airplane at a high altitude for a very long distance. The chemicals are said to either come from the engine or from special nozzles on the plane. The supposed purpose of the chemicals is usually said to be weather control, usually either to cause or to prevent global warming, or less commonly, population control by spreading chemicals that are harmful to the human reproductive system. In most versions of the conspiracy theory the chemical is barium or a barium compound, but in other versions it is aluminum oxide, or a mixture of barium compounds and aluminum oxide.
A more recent version of the conspiracy theory says that chemtrails are being spread by companies that make genetically-modified (GMO) crops. The chemtrails supposedly contain herbicides that will only kill normal (organic) crops and will not affect the genetically-modified crops. Most scientists and workers in the aviation industry say that chemtrails are not real, and that the streaks left by planes are not chemtrails, but only a form of condensation called contrails. Several photographs on the Internet are claimed to show the inside of chemtrail planes. In reality, these are photographs of pre-production test planes and firefighting planes.
Most versions of the conspiracy theory claim that a special modified plane, supposedly owned and operated by the government, is necessary to create a chemtrail, but other versions claim that nearly all planes are chemtrail planes, or that the chemtrail chemicals are added to all jet fuel and that no modification to the plane is necessary (or that all planes are designed to spray chemtrails). Chemtrails are not to be confused with the legitimate spraying of chemicals over short distances at a low altitude, such as aerial firefighting or crop-dusting.
False evidence of chemtrails[change | edit source]
Photographs of ballast barrels installed in an aircraft for testing purposes have been claimed to show chemtrail planes. The real purpose of the barrels is to simulate the weight of passengers or cargo. The barrels are filled with water, and the water can be pumped from barrel-to-barrel to test different weight distributions while the aircraft is in flight.
References[change | edit source]
- "What are chemtrails, and should you be scared of them?". howstuffworks.com. 2013. http://www.howstuffworks.com/transport/flight/modern/what-are-chemtrails.htm. Retrieved 6 June 2013.