Background on the HAARP Project - Global Policy Forum - Social and Economic Policy

Background on the HAARP Project
By Rosalie Bertell
Earthpulse Press
November 5, 1996

Military interest in space became intense during and after World War II because of the introduction of rocket science, the companion to nuclear technology. The early versions include the buzz bomb and guided missiles. They were thought of as potential carriers of both nuclear and conventional bombs. Rocket technology and nuclear weapon technology developed simultaneously between 1945 and 1963. During this time of intensive atmospheric nuclear testing, explosions at various levels above and below the surface of the earth were tried. Some of the now familiar descriptions of the earth's protective atmosphere, such as the existence of the Van Allen belts, were based on information gained through stratospheric and ionospheric experimentation.

Project Starfish (1962)

On 9 July 1962, the US began a further series of experiments with the ionosphere. From their description: "one kiloton device, at a height of 60 km and one megaton and one multi-megaton, at several hundred kilometres height" (K.H.A., 29 June 1962). These tests seriously disturbed the lower Van Allen Belt, substantially altering its shape and intensity. "In this experiment the inner Van Allen Belt will be practically destroyed for a period of time; particles from the Belt will be transported to the atmosphere. It is anticipated that the earth's magnetic field will be disturbed over long distances for several hours, preventing radio communication. The explosion in the inner radiation belt will create an artificial dome of polar light that will be visible from Los Angeles."(K.H.A. 11 May 1962). A Fijian Sailor, present at this nuclear explosion told me that the whole sky was on fire and he thought it would be the end of the world. This was the experiment which called forth the strong protest of the Queen's Astronomer, Sir Martin Ryle in the UK.

"The ionosphere (according to the understanding at that time) that part of the atmosphere between 65 and 80 km and 280-320 km height, will be disrupted by mechanical forces caused by the pressure wave following the explosion. At the same time, large quantities of ionizing radiation will be released, further ionizing the gaseous components of the atmosphere at this height. This ionization effect is strengthened by the radiation from the fission products...... The lower Van Allen Belt, consisting of charged particles that move along the geomagnetic field lines ... will similarly be disrupted. As a result of the explosion, this field will be locally destroyed, while countless new electrons will be introduced into the lower belt." (K.H.A. 11 May 1962)

"On 19 July.... NASA announced that as a consequence of the high altitude nuclear test of July 9, a new radiation belt had been formed, stretching from a height of about 400 km to 1600 km; it can be seen as a temporary extension of the lower Van Allen Belt." (K.H.A. 5 August 1962)

As explained in the Encyclopaedia Britannica: "... Starfish made a much wider belt (than Project Argus) that extends from low altitude out past L=3 (i.e. three earth radiuses or about 13,000 km above the surface of the earth)" Later in 1962, the USSR undertook similar planetary experiments, creating three new radiation belts between 7,000 and 13,000 km above the earth. According to the Encyclopaedia, the electron fluxes in the lower Van Allen Belt have changed markedly since the 1962 high-altitude nuclear explosions by the US and USSR, never returning to their former state. According to American scientists, it could take many hundreds of years for the Van Allen Belts to restabilise at their normal levels. (Research done by: Nigel Harle, Borderland Archives, Cortenbachstraat 32, 6136 CH Sittard, Netherlands.)

Saturn V Rocket (1975)

Due to a malfunction, the Saturn V Rocket burned unusually high in the atmosphere, above 300 km. This burn produced "a large ionospheric hole" (Mendillo, M. Et al., Science 187,343, 1975). The disturbance reduced the total electron content more than 60% over an area 1,000 km in radius, and lasted for several hours. It prevented all telecommunications over a large area of the Atlantic Ocean. The phenomenon was apparently caused by a reaction between the exhaust gases and ionospheric oxygen ions. The reaction emitted a 6300 A airglow. Between 1975 and 1981 NASA and the US Military began to design ways to test this new phenomena through deliberate experimentation with the ionosphere.

Desert Storm (1991)

According to Defence News, April 13 - 19, 1992, the US deployed an electromagnetic pulse weapon (EMP) in Desert Storm, designed to mimic the flash of electricity from a nuclear bomb. The Sandia National Laboratory had built a 23,000 square metre laboratory on the Kirkland Air Force Base, 1989, to house the Hermes III electron beam generator capable of producing 20 Trillion Watt pulses lasting 20 billionths to 25 billionths of a second. This X-ray simulator is called a Particle Beam Fusion Accelerator. A stream of electrons hitting a metal plate can produce a pulsed X-ray or gamma ray. Hermes II had produced electron beams since 1974. Thes devises were apparently tested during the Gulf War, although detailed information on them is sparce.

High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program HAARP (1993)

The HAARP Program is jointly managed by the US Air Force and the US Navy, and is based in Gakona, Alaska. It is designed to "understand, simulate and control ionospheric processes that might alter the performance of communication and surveillance systems". The HAARP system intends to beam 3.6 Gigawatts of effective radiated power of high frequency radio energy into the ionosphere in order to:

- generate extremely low frequency (ELF) waves for communicating with submerged submarines,

- conduct geophysical probes to identify and characterize natural ionospheric processes so that techniques can be developed to mitigate or control them,

-generate ionospheric lenses to focus large amounts of high frequency (HF) energy, thus providing a means of triggering ionospheric processes that potentially could be exploited for Department of Defence purposes,

-electron acceleration for infrared (IR) and other optical emissions which could be used to control radio wave propagation properties,

-generate geomagnetic field aligned ionization to control the reflection\scattering properties of radio waves,

-use oblique heating to produce effects on radio wave propagation, thus broadening the potential military applications of ionospheric enhancement technology.

Poker Flat Rocket Launch (1968 to Present)

The Pocker Flat Research Range is located about 50 km North of Fairbanks, Alaska, and it was established in 1968. It is operated by the Geophysical Institute with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, under NASA contract. About 250 major rocket launches have taken place from this site, and in 1994, a 16 metre long rocket was launched to help NASA "understand chemical reactions in the atmosphere associated with global climate change". Similar experiments, but using Chemical Release Modules (CRM) have been launched from Churchill, Manitoba. In 1980, Brian Whelan's "Project Waterhole", disrupted an aurora borealis, bringing it to a temporary halt. In February 1983, the chemical released into the ionosphere caused an aurora borealis over Churchill. In March 1989, two Black Brant X's and two Nike Orions rockets were launched over Canada, releasing barium at high altitudes and creating artificial clouds. These Churchill artificial clouds were observed from as far away as Los Alamos, New Mexico.

The US Navy has also been carrying on High Power Auroral Stimulation (HIPAS) research in Alaska. Through a series of wires and a 15 metre antenna, they have beamed high intensity signals into the upper atmosphere, generating a controlled disturbance in the ionosphere. As early as 1992, the Navy talked of creating 10 kilometre long antennas in the sky to generate extremely low frequency (ELF) waves needed for communicating with submarines.

Another purpose of these experiments is to study the Aurora Borealis, called by some an outdoor plasma lab for studying the principles of fusion. Shuttle flights are now able to generate auroras with an electron beam. On November 10, 1991, and aurora borealis appeared in the Texas sky for the first time ever recorded, and it was seen by people as far away as Ohio and Utah, Nebraska and Missouri. The sky was "Christmas colours", and various scientists were quick to blame it on solar activity. However, when pressed most would admit that the ionosphere must have been weakened at the time, so that the electrically charged particle hitting the earth's atmosphere created the highly visible light called airglow. These charged particles are normally pulled northwards by the earths magnetic forces, to the magnetic north pole. The Northern Lights, as the aurora borealis is called, normally occurs in the vortex at the pole where the energetic particles, directed by the magnetic force lines, are directed.


It would be rash to assume that HAARP is an isolated experiment which would not be expanded. It is related to fifty years of intensive and increasingly destructive programs to understand and control the upper atmosphere. It would be rash not to associate HAARP with the space laboratory construction which is separately being planned by the United States. HAARP is an integral part of a long history of space research and development of a deliberate military nature.

The military implications of combining these projects is alarming. Basic to this project is control of communications, both disruption and reliability in hostile environments. The power wielded by such control is obvious. The ability of the HAARP / Spacelab/ rocket combination to deliver very large amount of energy, comparable to a nuclear bomb, anywhere on earth via laser and particle beams, are frightening. The project is likely to be "sold" to the public as a space shield against incoming weapons, or , for the more gullible, a devise for repairing the ozone layer.

Further References:

C.L. Herzenberg, Physics and Society, April 1994.

R. Williams, Physics and Society, April 1988.

B. Eastlund, Microwave News, May/June 1994.

W. Kofman and C. Lathuillere, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol 14, No. 11, pp 1158-1161, November 1987 (Includes French experiments at EISCAT).

G. Metz and F.W. Perkins. "Ionospheric Modification Theory: Past Present and Future", Radio Science, Vol.9, No. 11, pp 885-888, November 1974.

Background on the HAARP Project - Global Policy Forum - Social and Economic Policy


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