HAARP ionospheric research program set to continue


July 24, 2013

HAARP operational site on the edge of Denali State Park northeast of Anchorage, Alaska (Photo: HAARP)

HAARP operational site on the edge of Denali State Park northeast of Anchorage, Alaska (Photo: HAARP)

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Reports that the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) had been shut down permanently were apparently a bit premature. According to HAARP program manager James Keeney, the facility is only temporarily off the air while operating contractors are changed. So why does anyone care? Despite being associated with various natural disasters over the past two decades by the conspiracy fringe, HAARP is in reality a facility for studying the ionosphere. Let's take a look at the goings on at HAARP – past, present, and future.

HAARP was established in 1993 by the US Air Force, the US Navy, DARPA, and the University of Alaska. Located outside of Gakona, Alaska, the facility houses a high frequency (HF) transmitter together with a phased-array antenna to focus and direct the radiated RF power. The transmitter is roughly as powerful as the largest military radars, generating up to 3.6 MW of RF power in the 2.8 to 10 MHz band. HAARP is restricted to operations only at specified frequencies in this band.

Power isn't everything

The power isn't what makes HAARP different. Rather, the credit for that goes to HAARP's phased array antenna. Consisting of 180 individual dipole antennas placed in a field roughly 13 hectares (33 acres) in size, this antenna array acts as a highly directional antenna, with a beamwidth of about five degrees. By the time the RF energy reaches the ionosphere (say, at an altitude of 200 km /124 mi just for this example), the size of the radiated spot is about 18 km (11 mi) in diameter, and the power density is roughly 14 mW/sq m. As the ionosphere is opaque in HAARP's frequency band, it absorbs nearly all of the incident power.

A tricky point, the misunderstanding of which has led to various HAARP conspiracy theories, is the difference between radiated power and effective radiated power. HAARP's radiated power, the amount of actual RF power it can emit, is 3.6 MW. However, because HAARP's antenna focuses the radiated power on a small portion of the ionosphere, the power density on that spot is much larger than would result if HAARP's antenna were non-directional so that its RF power were directed uniformly in all directions.

A fictional "effective radiated power" can be calculated, which is the power that would have to be sent through a non-directional antenna to provide HAARP's power density to the entire sky. This value is about 5.8 GW. The value is much larger than HAARP's actual RF power, as only 0.06 percent of the sky is illuminated by HAARP's antenna. But the effective radiated power appears in many conspiracy theories simply as a scary large number.

How big is the actual power density in HAARP's ionospheric spot? The total irradiance of the Sun's electromagnetic radiation (everything from x-rays to extremely low frequency (ELF) radio signals) is 1,360 W/sq m, measured by satellite outside the bulk of the Earth's atmosphere. HAARP's power density is about 0.001 percent of the Sun's irradiance – a nearly negligible quantity. Further, while local heating of the ionosphere is caused by HAARP (indeed, that is HAARP's purpose), the overall effect is rather like focusing the Sun's light using a magnifying glass – impressive if one is an ant, but not very significant on larger size scales.

HAARP is designed to test the response of a patch of the ionosphere at varying altitudes to the application of a few mW/sq m excitation in the high frequency (HF) radio band. One known effect is the generation of extremely low frequency (ELF) radio waves through modulated heating. By turning the HAARP array off and on (or more simply, by wiggling the focal point around in a repetitive pattern, a procedure known as geometric modulation), the local ionospheric temperature rises and falls, changing the conductivity in that portion of the ionosphere at whatever frequency corresponds to the pattern. The frequencies are typically in the vicinity of a few to a few hundred Hertz.

HAARP is located where large natural electrical currents flow through the atmosphere. This auroral electrojet flows from the position of the Sun at noon to the position of the Sun at midnight in the north and south polar regions of the ionosphere. The flowing currents circle the poles, rather than passing over them, and may be thought of as sheets of current with a typical current density of 1-2 amperes per meter.

Given HAARP's spot size of about 18 km, the heated region has passing through it a current of about 30 kA, depending on geomagnetic conditions. When the ionospheric conductivity changes from HAARP's transmissions, the current in and around the spot also changes its distribution. That makes the region near the spot an antenna that radiates ELF radio waves from the ionosphere. HAARP is not, however, an efficient source of ELF radiation – starting with 3.6 MW, the yield of ELF radio waves is less then 10 W.

What can you do with 10 W of ELF radio waves? Well, a typical ELF submarine communication system uses several megawatts of ELF RF power with a frequency of 70-90 Hz. This is directed into the surface of the Earth at points separated by about 50 km (31 mi) in order to use a large area of the Earth's crust as a transmitting antenna. Despite the huge power and massive antennas, the actual transmitted power of such a system is only a few watts. So one reason for HAARP's development was to prototype a (relatively) small ELF transmitter.

Magnetospheric wave injection

Another phenomenon studied by HAARP is called magnetospheric wave injection. While most of the ELF waves generated in the ionosphere by HAARP are directed down toward the Earth's surface, a small fraction leaks into the surrounding magnetosphere. In the inner magnetosphere, wave interactions are dominated by the Earth's static magnetic field.

Most study has been directed to a whistler-mode instability. Imagine you have a PA system with the volume turned up just short of the point when spontaneous feedback will occur. If you whisper into the microphone, you will hear your amplified whisper. However, immediately on speaking loudly into the microphone, your voice will be drowned out by feedback at the characteristic frequency of the PA system. The potential power output of the PA was always available, but requires a small push to tilt the system into runaway feedback. This behavior is rather like that of a whistler-mode instability.

Non-linear magnetospheric amplification of such waves can be caused by resonant interactions with energetic electrons. This being a non-linear interaction, one of the signatures is a change of the frequency of oscillation. The one-hop (Alaska to the South Pacific) and two-hop waves (back to Alaska) detected at the surface both show non-linear smearing of the wave frequency as well as amplification from the whistler-mode instability. It appears that the magnitude of the amplification has not been firmly established, but it is not enormous.

Ionospheric and magnetospheric structures and effects are the subject of ongoing study at HAARP, with a number of experiments being scheduled for later this year. Hints of interesting behavior have emerged, such as the possibility of generating ELF radio waves at times when the auroral electrojet has very little current, suggesting that interesting physics is yet to be discovered and understood.

Mind control and earthquakes

Getting back to the conspiracy theories for a moment, these come in a plethora of bizarre and unfounded varieties. To name just a few, HAARP is accused of triggering earthquakes by lifting the ionosphere over a tectonically active region, then letting it fall so that the pressure wave will trigger the earthquake. There are two problems with this. First, HAARP is pretty well limited to heating the ionosphere directly over its physical location. Second, a falling object can at best deliver the energy that went into lifting it. As we know that energy was delivered via a 3.6 MW RF beam, it seems incredibly unlikely that an earthquake could be triggered by turning off HAARP.

Mind control is also supposed to be within HAARP's capabilities. This would be accomplished by altering the 7.8 Hz Schumann resonance, which is the Earth's lowest frequency electromagnetic resonance. After stating as fact a totally evidence-free relationship between life itself and the Schumann resonance, one conspiracy theorist says that "1,700 billion watts" will apparently drive HAARP's mind-altering effect. That is a rather remarkable claim, as HAARP's maximum power is about one-five-hundred-thousandth of that amount. And don't forget the claim that HAARP caused Hurricane Sandy, triggered massive tornado activity, and brought down the Twin Towers on 9/11. Personally, I don't intend to lose much sleep over the dark side of HAARP.

According to HAARP program manager James Keeney, the "Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is expected on site as a client to finish up some research in fall 2013 and winter 2014." The temporary shutdown was described as being due to "a contractor regime change." The Alaska Native corporation Ahtna, Incorporated is reportedly in talks to take over the facility administration contract from Marsh Creek, LLC. I am sure that the new operators will continue to keep us in touch with what really happens at HAARP.

Sources: American Radio Relay League, The Alaska Dispatch, and Magnetospheric Wave Injection by Modulated HF Heating of the Auroral Electrojet (PDF)

About the Author
Brian Dodson From an early age Brian wanted to become a scientist. He did, earning a Ph.D. in physics and embarking on an R&D career which has recently broken the 40th anniversary. What he didn't expect was that along the way he would become a patent agent, a rocket scientist, a gourmet cook, a biotech entrepreneur, an opera tenor and a science writer. All articles by Brian Dodson

@ sleat (continued) "Absolutely agree---clearly be shown. " Sure you must warn them, but about the degree of your success I am doubtful. Now, if we compare these facts going on upon planet, by the huge planet itself are very tiny, but the consequences are still dangerous, if not a catastrophe though, I fully agree with you on this point.

"I did say that it appeared---get a surprised look. " That was only a preface to a growing debate, also I don't give all the time to gizmag only, you know the businesses of a hard life.

"But again, my main point is that the power levels---albeit not focused in one spot. " Here, I can only give you an hint.........."the flash point of hydrogen gas is only 80 micro jouls"

"Of course, by all means,---readers here can. " Now, I am not doing any research upon HAARP or aurora, it was a mere coincidence that my eyes caught this article and I spew stupidity (as farw3673 quoted about, though I enjoyed that comment). Ofcourse I am gonna do that if time will allow me to contact the concerned authorities.

"No, it was the trigger comment---from any possible unintended consequence. " So what, there is chance that somebody might read from concerned authorities, after all gizmag is a popular website..............again the same hydrogen gas hint is valid here, and I think to sacrifice a trivial research program is not a big deal specially when the stake is so big, the palnet itself.

"On this point, It's worth noting that the HAARP--- various programs." I shall only say..."good riddence"

"Because of this, amateur radio (HAM) enthusiasts---you should probably write a letter or two! Again, I sure will do, but if due to any unforeseen reason, I couldn't do at least I fulfilled my duty upto some extent by commenting here.

"You mention that the main cause---how that narrative helps your point." I am not connecting mars to earth exactly like twin planets, mention of mars is just to give an idea how things could go wrong, may be there by thermodynamics, here by HAARP, this universe is so strange and so diverse that you can't generalize a conclusion by mere one set of data.

"Then you jump into the ozone layer--------------------------so how is it relevant to your assertion? Ok, now you are talking! See, if you look upon all the energies being bombarded upon our planet, if were allowed to pass the nature's protection, no biology or botany would be able to sustain here. Now, what HAARP is doing is to focus a particular area of ionosphere, beyond that lie those crucial safety spheres. We can assume that some of the sun's radiation dying down there, but not decayed. So, HAARP is only man made attempt which is trying to fill that safety gap, since no other phenomenon from billions of years seem to cross those safety barriers. This could create a channel between arrested sun energies and ozone layer, that in turn might alter the chemistry of not only ozone layer but may be of atmosphere too in general (hypothesis). How it would happen, that needs reserach and hence to accept or reject the hypothesis.

"The RM "delicate ozone layer" hypothesis---where I could read about it?" I am not a bit interested in the business aspect of the debate, I just mentioned it to show you how hypotheses are important and should be considered with care. I could sacrifice all my life hard earned money just to breath healthy air in a safer planet with a hope to earn it again. As I mentioned, it occured to me as soon as I read this article, you can say like an hunch or something, but I think I have explained it upto a reasonable degree.

"If you succeed---the inputs, and the final outcomes?" Again, I am not interested in worldly fame or wealth, my only accoplishment would be a safer planet for me and the rest of the generation of humanity today and next to come, may peace and prosperity prevail on earth...............amen!

Liaquat Ali

Thank-you for filling us in on what HAARP is and what it doesn't do.


Yep thanks for the info... the science is interesting, though limited in usefulness.

So what does HAARP really do. (The new contractors will sign thousands of pages of confidentiality agreements with severe penalties, so they won't tell us.)

I'm sure a lot of that is still classified, or have they started offering guided tours??, nect tell us what pine gap "really" does. (Sure everyone knows what we have been told it does....)


No offense Brian but I think there were a few things left out about the capabilities of HAARP and the science involved with transferring magnetic energy through resonance and the affects it can have.

I am not going to expand into a scientific argument but I will say that if it weren't able to do anything in the last 20 years do you thing the DOD would be signing a new contract to keep running it or would they drop it and leave it to NASA. Most advanced nations (Russia, USA, Australia, Germany, China, & Japan) seem to have built or are building similar stations run by their defense departments as well (strictly for research purposes only of course). I would also like to add that I am glad the USA has it because I live in the USA and HAARP (much like nuclear weapons) works as a deterrent against certain types of attacks. It also appears HAARP is not the only such system the USA has (look into that if you'd like.)

If you want to know the true potential of such devices read what Tesla developed and said about them. Of course that's probably just a giant waste of time because that guy was just a joke right, what did he ever do. Him, Einstein, Edison, Schumann and others of that time didn't know anything because they lived in the dark ages before modern technology.

Matt Fletcher

Yes, there are good reasons for HARP to be close to the origin of the earth's lines of flux. Of course, research there is a little more varied than the publicly available "news" would indicate. Its not hard to imagine electromagnetic and gravity-based research and their derivatives, such as delivery systems and both communication and radar shields. We can only hope that advances in knowledge and development of real world applications are for the benefit, rather than demise, of the planet.


That was an interesting article though it could have been better if there was more layman's terms and simpler explanations. As Einstein said you don't understand something till you can explain it to your grandma (not fellow engineer who already comprehends it).

How about next you do chemotrails.

Ben O'Brien

My worst fear is that, it might somehow trigger the amplification of the energy radiated from the sun, through the ionosphere into the ozone layer like a chain reaction, which in turn might cause depletion or annihilation of the ozone layer, hence turning the planet into a junior Mars. So please exercise extreme caution while conducting such type of experiments for the sake of humanity.

Liaquat Ali

Interesting that you did not dig any deeper than the propaganda on their website. The original proposal for the HAARP project stated that the purpose was to control the weather for warfare. Since there are now 18 of these facilities around the world, pay attention to the giant storms, tornados that are over a mile wide, and snowstorms that appear like clockwork every Tuesday to Thursday on the same path since 2009. Weather has never been this regular, and tornados and hurricanes have never been this large and destructive. Take a look at the website: You can also read all the patents to control the weather since the 1950's on this site. Time to wake up and do your research.

J. LightFeather

Thanks Ben for the Einstein quote...

You don't understand something till you can explain it to your grandma

Just wondering Mr. Dodson...

Did you go to the HAARP site to verify all the material that you are so sure of?? Or did you simply take the word of what the operators told you??


It's still unclear after reading the article, is military interest in this research only for communication purposes? What's wrong with using satellites? I hope that they are being responsible when it comes to borderline geo-engineering like this, but military institutions tend to be blind to the long term consequences of their actions.


depletion or annihilation of the ozone layer, hence turning the planet into a junior Mars.

You're confusing the ozone layer with the Van Allen Belts.

And maybe have watched "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea" once too often.

Ron Johnson

Tornadoes and rain don't stop the advancement of tanks and bullets. Can't disrupt all comms. Maybe upset GPS a bit.

Like Liaquat Ali stated, its fun to play with RF, just don't destroy the atmosphere.

Save the Earth. Its the only planet with chocolate !!


To all the conspiracy theorists trolls just waiting for an article such as this to pounce on with your dribble, just stop it already. Especially you Liaquat Ali. Really, "make our planet like Mars" with a few Megawatts of power! First off, the Sun bombards us with nearly that much power per square mile AT THE SURFACE. Mars does not have a molten core and therefore no magnetosphere containing and protecting the atmosphere from solar winds which are BILLIONS of times stronger than what this system could deliver. IF you don't even have a basic understanding of science, engineer, RF, and physics just do yourself a favor by not sounding ignorant. Just go listen to Jessie Ventura's and Alex Jones' entertainment conspiracy drivel for people just so desperate to make sense of things they don't understand and/or dislike. If you combined all the RF energy in the world it wouldn't be able to cause the effects you describe as the HAARP system being capable of. Every router, repeater, TV station and radar wouldn't be able to cause an earthquake, create a storm, or anything of the sort. I can hear it now from angry typing conspiracy troll "BUT THEY'VE PROVEN THEY CAN CAUSE IT TO RAIN", yes with crystalline structures released in an aerosol that simply attracts moisture already present in the atmosphere. "BUT Schumann PROVED YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE MINDS AND THIS HUGE ARRAY OBVIOUSLY PROVES THIS IS A MIND CONTROL WEAPON". Grow up and again, understand physics before you spew stupidity. Even if this array was intended for mind control, you would not be able to control the spot beam enough to target areas let alone individual people. At these frequencies and with fluctuations in the ionsphere which you would need to use to bounce off and hit a target, it would just cover indiscriminately.

People just get worked up because they don't understand what they can't see, touch, feel or makes them uncomfortable. Well guess what, a magic man speaks from your radio using magic invisible energy so go back to listening to Alex Jones already who wants nothing more than a country of people who don't take science seriously enough to listen to him and keep collecting a nice fat paycheck. The more absurd the story he makes, the more you eat it up.


Ron! with due respect, that is a hypothesis and it is not wise to neglect a hypothesis in order to be on the safer side. Just for the sake of argument, if it is not tested and later comes out to be true, then it will be too late to argue rather than to search for oxygen cylinders and masks.

Liaquat Ali

farw3673! no offense, first of all I am not a conspiracy theorist rather a planet lover. I am also aware of my low understanding of science and technology, but that can not limit me to play my role whenever I have my reservations. My understanding is that, ionosphere reflects radio waves of a particular bandwidth, hence confirming interaction with radio waves. Now, come to different spheres of earth, first starting from ground up to 14 km is troposphere, then 4 km of tropopause, then 32 km of stratosphere and stratopause and at the upper edge of the stratosphere lies the ozone layer. Then above it lies a 40 km of mesosphere with following mesopause then a 310 km thick ionosphere then thermosphere and magnetosphere. Now, if you create a gigantic array of antennae which stimulate the radio waves to the ionosphere, there is a chance of reflecting back of those radio waves to the earth crossing the ozone layer, which, with nominal amount of RF does not pose any threat, but with a gigantic array like HAARP's, we just can guess and hope for the better. Furthermore, if solar energy somehow modulated with that RF, how it will affect the ozone layer, we just don't know yet, again hope for the better, but please be prepared for worst too. That is my only concern, I hope you don't mind.

Liaquat Ali

Do people believe official statements still?

Charles Frith

@Liaquat Ali

With all due respect, I dare you to find a single living human who doesn't love the Earth, inasmuch as it sustains everyone's lives and livelihoods.

You write: " which, with nominal amount of RF does not pose any threat, but with a gigantic array like HAARP's, we just can guess and hope for the better."

No, with more wattage, there is simply more wattage. Just because >1MW seems like "a lot" to you, doesn't mean it defies normal physical laws. You're not living in a sci-fi movie where the renegade scientist just spitballs the answer and throws calculation to the wind, turning all his knobs to "11". There's no guesswork...HAARP was designed and built by engineers specifically for its purpose. They didn't just guess and hope for the best.

And...the antennas aren't perfect. No antenna is. You feed in 5MW and get a fraction of that as usable radiated power in the direction you want, and the rest splatters around and is wasted. If you don't believe it, try sending a video signal by RF from a model plane. There are losses. Big losses!

Also, as to wattage, many people, including me, use devices that control and output > 1 MW every day. Actually, more like 4MW. All on one tiny handle! 1MW of power will not even get a jumbo jet off the ground, or move just one moderately sized freight train, or a decent sized boat.

And no, HAARP's array is not by any means the biggest one. The biggest conjugate arrays are responsible for looking for re-entry vehicles and near-earth objects, and consist of separate stations spread across vast distances.

"Gigantic Array" - Well, the HAARP array is 400x400 meters. It would comfortably fit into many shopping malls, and be swallowed up by all but the smallest airports.

"Furthermore, if solar energy somehow modulated with that RF,"

Yeah, RF doesn't interact with light in normal mediums. They are different frequencies of exactly the same thing. And a good thing, too! If it did, very little of today's technology would work.

The amount of incoming solar (light) radiation is unaffected by the Van Allen Belts. The belts are there because of incoming particle radiation from the sun, the light from the sun could totally stop and the VAB would remain.

When there is a CME, the belts themselves can generate MILLIONS OF GIGAWATTS of RF power! And they've been doing it for the life of the solar system. So what?

"how it will affect the ozone layer, we just don't know yet, again hope for the better, but please be prepared for worst too."

The ozone layer exists because of very shortwave UV (space UV) interacting with atomic oxygen molecules at the top of the atmosphere. It's density is absolutely un-affected by RF or normal light, sun or otherwise, other than the effects normal light has on any gas molecules, i.e. it heats them, and a good thing, too, or we'd all freeze.

The ozone layer has very little physical interaction with both the Van Allen belts, normal visible light, and radio waves, from either earth or anywhere else.

I think maybe you're confusing the VAB with the ozone layer, yes?

You are making the point, very well, that it's easy to become worried about the relationships between specific technologies and specific aspects of the environment when you don't fully understand either.

So, take it from me, Liaquat Ali, there are PLENTY of really horrific technologies-gone-wrong to worry about, but your HAARP-generated-eco-disaster-earth-becomes-second-mars catastrophe isn't one of them.

You're quite welcome to keep worrying about HAARP, but maybe you should instead worry about GM crops and pesticides killing honeybees, and various bioweapons labs enhancing the Spanish Flu and Ebola viruses. Those things are very real, and very bad.



"So what does HAARP really do. (The new contractors will sign thousands of pages of confidentiality agreements with severe penalties, so they won't tell us.)"

I don't think the new contractors will do that, because very little, if any, of the HAARP research is classified. Not only WILL they tell us, they HAVE told us! Almost anything you'd like to know about HAARP, as far as research and technical details, is publicly available. See the PDFs at the end of the article for starters, or just do some digging. You'll be drowning in technical PDFs in no-time!

"Oh, but that's just an elaborate 'cover story' I hear you say".

That's pretty diabolically brilliant! To build a nefarious mind-and-weather-control station in plain sight, in remote Alaska whose ENTIRE ~20 year operation, design, research details, and specification is open and published, and which has no armed guards or electric fences around it. Dr Evil would be jealous.

Here's something to think on. When the space shuttle was active, frequently there'd be "black" missions where the ENTIRE CREW was sworn to secrecy, and the entire mission-related comms and schedule was encrypted and top secret. By contrast, the physics postgrads at the University of AK don't have, or need high-security clearances to go work at HAARP.

The place is not substantially defended, or even secured. You can go right up to it. Twenty angry Alex Jones's with pickup trucks, a shotgun or two, and fire axes could completely wreck the joint, and there wouldn't be much to stop them. Ex AT&T "Long Lines" microwave installations are WAY better secured than HAARP. Especially the ones that are still in use by the Federal Government.

So the biggest threat to the operation of the thing, as far as living things go, is probably wildlife, just as it is with many amateur radio installations!

And the antenna-array and feedline matrix itself is fairly garden-variety RF stuff, that anybody with a budget could build themselves. The control circuitry and software are the interesting part, and a fair amount of it is documented in academic works.

As far as budget, I doubt you could even buy a flight (pair) of F-22s with the ENTIRE HAARP research budget dating all the way back to inception.

If you're really interested in cracking open the HAARP "conspiracy", enrol in a postgrad physics program at a uni that is affiliated with HAARP, and apply for a chance to go and work the array yourself. It's really cool science!

Virtually all the work and research being done there is recorded, logged, and publicly available, without even submitting the most basic of FOIA requests. Have a look!

Here's a modest challenge. Find any significant aspect of HAARP that is actually classified, and not obtainable by either buying publications or submitting an FOIA. Just one!


@ sleat Of course everybody loves the planet but the point here is that, no body raise a voice when somebody tries to fiddle with the norms of nature, I fully agree with you, even the Bidouns and Nomads love the planet too much, but that doesn't mean that you would not allow them to improve their technology of tents, sheep herding, hunting or whatever you think of, so how could I dare organization like HAARP not to go ahead with their research work. However, I reserve my free speech right to comment whenever I see something which seems to me abnormal, at least up to my understanding level. You said it quite right that antennas propagate whatever input RF is fed to them and that they alone are useless, I agree again fully, but when we talk about antennas, we assume that RF input is there, it would be a waste of time and words to include tiniest details which are well understood. I have designed and used antennas myself, and the log periodic was my favorite one including yagi arrays. I think you did not see my first and second comment, otherwise you would find your queries answered already. I mentioned in first comment the word "trigger", which is used whenever to describe some lower forms of energies are amplified into higher forms, examples are detonation triggers, spark plug trigger of an auto mobile, chain reaction trigger of nuclear reaction etc etc. Now, I did not say, it directly may harm the ozone layer, but by the reflection of RF which might some how get modulated by the restricted energies outside the outer spheres of earth at the trigger of some unknown phenomenon like sun storm, aurora, interacting with back-reflection of lightning jolts. Since, all RF's are entering earth are not stimulated but restricted to enter the atmosphere by the nature's bundled protection, which might get sabotaged by some human mistake just like HAARP's one. And last but not least, in my second comment (which I assume got unnoticed from your kind perusal), I admitted that it's an hypothesis which may be false and may be true, but to be on safer side should not be neglected, which is a universal safety rule no body can deny. Now, I shall present following few facts to emphasize my point, I hope you will read them carefully and shall give your precious opinion:

It is believed that Mars was once like Earth with a thicker atmosphere and Mars once had surface water.Mars is most like Earth than any other planet in the solar system. The characteristics that make Mars most like Earth are the seasons, the length of day, and the tilt of the planets' axes. The characteristics that make Mars most unlike Earth are the temperatures, the atmosphere, the ozone layer, and the gravitational field.Hopefully, this will help us to realize the importance of managing and conserving natural resources on Earth.Mars lost its magnetosphere 4 billion years ago, so the solar wind interacts directly with the Martian ionosphere, keeping the atmosphere thinner than it would otherwise be by stripping away atoms from the outer layer. Therefore, Mars has practically no atmosphere at all it was blown away by solar winds along time ago when it lost its magnetic field (which keeps us safe).

The role of sunlight in ozone depletion is the reason why the Antarctic ozone depletion is greatest during spring. During winter, even though PSCs are at their most abundant, there is no light over the pole to drive chemical reactions. During the spring, however, the sun comes out, providing energy to drive photochemical reactions and melt the polar stratospheric clouds, releasing considerable ClO, which drives the hole mechanism. Further warming temperatures near the end of spring break up the vortex around mid-December. As warm, ozone and NO 2-rich air flows in from lower latitudes, the PSCs are destroyed, the enhanced ozone depletion process shuts down, and the ozone hole closes.Most of the ozone that is destroyed is in the lower stratosphere, in contrast to the much smaller ozone depletion through homogeneous gas phase reactions, which occurs primarily in the upper stratosphere.

The Rowland–Molina hypothesis was strongly disputed by representatives of the aerosol and halocarbon industries. The Chair of the Board of DuPont was quoted as saying that ozone depletion theory is "a science fiction tale ... a load of rubbish ... utter nonsense".Robert Abplanalp, the President of Precision Valve Corporation (and inventor of the first practical aerosol spray can valve), wrote to the Chancellor of UC Irvine to complain about Rowland's public statements. Nevertheless, within three years most of the basic assumptions made by Rowland and Molina were confirmed by laboratory measurements and by direct observation in the stratosphere.

I shall conclude here with the final comment, that nature's subtle and obscure protection mercies upon mankind should not be fiddled even with having greater knowledge, since today's greater knowledge might render and felt tomorrow a child's stupidity.

Liaquat Ali

@Liaquat Ali

"I shall conclude here with the final comment, that nature's subtle and obscure protection mercies upon mankind should not be fiddled even with having greater knowledge, since today's greater knowledge might render and felt tomorrow a child's stupidity."

Absolutely agree! I also never said that cautious assessments shouldn't be made of the impact of scientific research. Cautious assessments should definitely be made. Today, I can happily direct that statement at the GM food industry, the bioweapons industry, the psychiatric drug industry, coal-seam gas, and many others. Each of these carries a bucketload of unintended consequences which can clearly be shown.

I did say that it appeared by your comments before that you weren't understanding, or perhaps weren't explaining the interrelationships and associated dangers that you were warning about. Tell an atmospheric physicist that you can EFFECTIVELY modify the ozone layer with RF by some as-yet-misunderstood chain reaction and you'll at least get a surprised look.

But again, my main point is that the power levels in use by Auroral research programs all over the world are tiny compared with the amount of broadband RF released, both under the ionosphere, and as recently shown INTO the ionosphere by even moderate thunderstorms. And by most reckoning, thunderstorms have been occurring on Earth for the past several billion years. Not only that, if you add up all the wattage being generated by the RF coming from the earth, it's much bigger than the HAARP energy budget, albeit not focused in one spot.

"However, I reserve my free speech right to comment whenever I see something which seems to me abnormal, at least up to my understanding level."

Of course, by all means, if you can provide a compelling narrative of the possible mechanism of global catastrophe due to Auroral research alone, not only is it your right to speak up, but even your duty as a human being! By all means go and warn people who can do something to stop it, I don't think any of the readers here can.

"And last but not least, in my second comment (which I assume got unnoticed from your kind perusal), I admitted that it's an hypothesis which may be false and may be true, but to be on safer side should not be neglected, which is a universal safety rule no body can deny."

No, it was the trigger comment, and later explanation to farw3673 that really got my attention. Correct me if I mis-read, but you're asserting that inducing RF (secondary modulation by plasma heating) might trigger an as-yet-unknown chain reaction between the sun, the earth, and the ozone layer. And you're then asking this group of gizmag readers to exercise caution?

If you really believe this catastrophic mechanism has any likelihood of occurrence at all, wouldn't you be writing to the heads of research at all the Auroral Research establishments worldwide with the explanation, instead of telling us about it?

If they then wrote back and politely stated that "yes, we've thought about that, and we're not worried" would you be satisfied, or not?

That brings up a further point, that it's possible to completely paralyse what might be valuable research in the interest of complete safety from any possible unintended consequence.

On this point, It's worth noting that the HAARP program has gone dark for the moment. Even the diesel power units no longer pass environmental impact regulations (in the interest of safety). The budget is gone, and various academic institutions are quite upset about the interruption to their various programs.

Because of this, amateur radio (HAM) enthusiasts in AK are actually looking at creating their own antenna arrays for auroral research, privately funded, essentially a hobbyist enterprise. Considering how private concerns originating with hobbyists in the 90's have now conquered space, I wouldn't be surprised if amateurs succeeded in building something even larger than HAARP up in the frozen north. If your theory is valid, it would seem this needs to be legislated against worldwide, so if you're really serious, you should probably write a letter or two!

You mention that the main cause of the lack of atmosphere on mars is likely due to the fact that it has no magnetosphere. This, in turn, is very probably because the molten core materials cooled and stopped flowing, thus shutting down the internal electromagnetic interactions which produce magnetic poles in planets. Not a chain-reaction as such, induced by Martian HAARP experimenters or otherwise, but simply thermodynamics, and time, at work, would be my guess. So I don't see how that narrative helps your point.

Then you jump into the ozone layer, which, worth mentioning, wouldn't exist at all without the crucial space UV component of the sun's continuous radiation on the upper atmosphere. Worth noting here, that the ozone generation mechanism doesn't rely on the Earth having a magnetic field, or van-allen-belts. Yes, interactions of sunlight with earth-based materials can also destroy the ozone layer, but that, happily, has been in equilibrium for eons, mankind notwithstanding.

"During the spring, however, the sun comes out, providing energy to drive photochemical reactions and melt the polar stratospheric clouds, releasing considerable ClO, which drives the hole mechanism."

Can you elaborate? What is "ClO"; google has nothing for me here, can you help? Are we talking about ozone destruction by chlorine? A slow reaction, compared to the rate it gets generated, thankfully.

"As warm, ozone and NO2-rich air flows in from lower latitudes, the PSCs are destroyed, the enhanced ozone depletion process shuts down, and the ozone hole closes."

OK, you're describing an atmospheric-and-space weather ozone cycle that's gone on for eons. Nothing that could be called a "chain reaction" or "trigger" and nothing related to an interaction which would effectively remove the majority of earth's atmosphere, so how is it relevant to your assertion?

The RM "delicate ozone layer" hypothesis went directly against strong business interests, and until it was proven, and CFCs were largely but not completely banned, business was slow to respond. So, here's an example where a dangerous effect was proven with good science, and business was coerced to close one market (CFCs) and open another (alternatives).

By contrast, there is virtually no big-business interest in HAARP. No money. If there were, the lights would be on in the little poorly-heated demountables with all the computers and circuitry in them, and the diesels would be humming away right now, happily blasting away at the upper atmosphere with HF RF.

If there was coin to be made, Branson, Musk, Brin, Page, et al would have their hands in.

But by all means, please take the time to inform those who can make a difference in ensuring that HAARP and other sites like it don't destroy the planet by a mechanism that it seems only you have thusfar envisaged, and which, sadly, I can't yet understand.

Hopefully your theory is completely unique, or is the mechanism you describe (and which I have to say I am ignorant of) documented elsewhere, where I could read about it?

If you succeed, I daresay you could proudly claim you had single-handedly averted a very unique global catastrophe, and would earn the undying respect of virtually every informed human being on the earth, and in the future.

In closing, can you articulate in any detail how your hypothesis actually works, maybe with a diagram of the chain reaction you envisage, the inputs, and the final outcomes?


Interesting article but if HAARP technology then why are the EU concerned about and for years? "The European Parliament:

having regard to the hearing on HAARP and Non-lethal Weapons held by the Foreign Affairs Subcommitee on Security and Disarmament in Brussels on 5 February 1998,"


"T. whereas, despite the existing conventions, military research is ongoing on environmental manipulation as a weapon, as demonstrated for example by the Alaska-based HAARP system,"


"Legal aspects of military activities -

Calls on the European Union to seek to have the new 'non-lethal' weapons technology and the development of new arms strategies also covered and regulated by international conventions;

Considers HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Project) by virtue of its far-reaching impact on the environment to be a global concern and calls for its legal, ecological and ethical implications to be examined by an international independent body before any further research and testing; regrets the repeated refusal of the United States Administration to send anyone in person to give evidence to the public hearing or any subsequent meeting held by its competent committee into the environmental and public risks connected with the high Frequency Active Auroral Research Project (HAARP) programme currently being funded in Alaska;

Requests the Scientific and Technological Options Assessment (STOA) Panel to agree to examine the scientific and technical evidence provided in all existing research findings on HAARP to assess the exact nature and degree of risk that HAARP poses both to the local and global environment and to public health generally;

Calls on the Commission, in collaboration with the governments of Sweden, Finland, Norway and the Russian Federation, to examine the environmental and public health implications of the HAARP programme for Arctic Europe and to report back to Parliament with its findings;"



"Interesting article but if HAARP technology then why are the EU concerned about and for years?"

Maybe because they didn't have one as good as the one in AK at the time?

If they're as concerned, "and for years" as you imply, why haven't they also mentioned these?



Sura Ionospheric Heating Facility

Worth noting here, the Russian one is ~50 times more powerful than the others.

Why no EU mention or proposed legislation on limiting this one, or the others? It's nearly identical otherwise, virtually the same technology! And can definitely be used to modulate auroras to talk to Russian subs, and into underground antennas as well!

And so, after the resolutions you mention calling for action, were any investigations convened by the EU? What were the results?

Could this be the only short-sighted over-bureaucratic mistake the EU has ever made? (Let's just ignore current EU monetary policy, members leaving, others refusing to join, just for the sake of discussion)

I also notice that they provide no actual evidence of the device's use or modes of operation as any kind of weapon. I'd actually really enjoy seeing any compelling, scientifically rigorous evidence that it could directly be used as a weapon, either for something like mind-control, or weather modification. Have we seen have any info that contains actual numbers, equations, and theory of operation?

We already know that it can be used effectively to send signals around the world by VLF, using virtual antennas the size of the entire Auroral Electrojet plasma trail, so the signal can be demodulated instantly anywhere on the planet or under the ocean, or even underground, but that's not a weapon by itself. Very useful, but not a weapon.

Also worth noting, that with its rather limited budget throughout history (less than the cost of 2 front-line US fighter planes, apparently) that virtually ANY other country could build the same apparatus if they desired. The money that Germany pays in energy subsidies quarterly could easily buy several state-of-the-art ionospheric heaters.

And, why no mention of the device(s) which MUST exist in the Antarctic? Who owns and controls those? Australia? Brazil? Argentina? Russia?

Honestly, if one could control minds or weather for only a few million a year, and a few thousand gallons of diesel fuel, wouldn't Google or Microsoft be investing?

And finally, if the thing was as important as you imply, would the US government simply reply to the EU's proposal "OK guys, fair call. You're right, we'll turn it off and promise never to do it again..." Has the US ever done anything like that, and given the obvious answer, what was the point of the EU's discussion of it?


@ Liaquat Ali The size of the array has very little to do with what you mention. The lower the frequency used, the larger the antenna needed for emission and receiving efficiencies at the antenna. Furthermore, an array is used for better directionality (focusing) or for steering through phasing of the feeds. Sure, it is possible to focus the output of the HAARP system to a relatively small area (hundreds of feet), but that is still far too little to cause the effects you are worried about. Planet killing needs a more energy than a thousand atomic bombs and you think a diesel powered facility is going to pump out enough energy to have any sort of influence, even if operating full blast for decades? A typical thunderstorm outputs power equivalent to 600,000 - 10,000,000 kila-watts. That's up to 10 Gigawatts. Yes, this is not directed at the ionsphere, but it easily equates how much energy there is in nature and you worry yourself about energies that will have no impact. I really think a big part of global alarmist can even do simple mathematical reasoning, or any reasoning at all. Just react emotionally to their cause.

@sleat Yea smart people.



Good point you make about the necessity of size for that array of crossed dipoles. Good you mentioned it. Basically the scientific mission of any ionospheric heating instrument depends on it being able to radiate a) useful frequencies for the plasma target (antenna size) and b) steer and focus the beam with phased-array technology (the dimensions of the overall matrix)

Basically, to be an ionosphere heater, it HAS to look like that. A dish would also work (EISCAT and Arecibo) but it's not quite as flexible as far as excitation modes.

One really interesting aspect of the array is its ability to generate X-mode waves, which have some fun properties.

Glow-discharge-mode extreme-skywriting graffiti on the ionosphere, visible only with gen 2+ starlight scopes = fun! World's biggest CRT evva!

I guess I'll need to read up more on plasma and atmospheric physics before I begin to understand Liaquat Ali's assertions. He mentions amplification, which implies that the sun-earth-ionosphere stack (and energy therein) might be played like a kind of transistor-into-resonant-circuit, maybe using HAARP as a kind of base or gate driver signal. But he doesn't seem to want to elaborate. Sigh.

In order for a transistor to work of course, there needs to be an energy potential across the two sides for the gate/base to..uh, gate. Not really amplifying anything, just switching. Considering that absolutely enormous currents are already flowing both inside and outside the earth (which is how HAARP can modulate effectively) I'm not sure where the additional energy potential that Liaquat Ali is claiming will be "amplified" is going to come from. The earth/ionosphere/magnetosphere stack already absorbs as much energy (from the sun) as it can. Now, if all that lovely, protective current could very suddenly be switched OFF in a picosecond...muhahahaaaaa! Great catastrophe and mayhem would ensue.

Worth noting that the name Liaquat Ali is the equivalent of calling yourself George Washington in English, only for a different country and culture which anyone can google for more info.

Hopefully like dear old George, he cannot tell a lie. Are you there, Liaquat Ali?

"I really think a big part of global alarmist can even do simple mathematical reasoning, or any reasoning at all."

Be careful! There is up to a million amperes flowing right over your head, and at least another million underneath you! And 1.75 x 10^17 watts of deadly earth destroying heat, light, and UV radiation racing towards your puny planet every second!


@ farw3673 I mentioned gigantic array in the sense of its effect which it would be causing upon ionosphere and not in the sense of its physical dimension. There is no need to elaborate here antenna theory which is as clear as day light for the whole electromagnetic spectrum from very low frequencies upto micro waves that is from giant dipoles upto wave guides. The point here is not the planet killing, rather planet safety from a hypothetical danger for which I too pray should prove to be a false one, but I am not like a pigeon who closes his or her eyes as soon as sees the cat and thinks that all danger is gone, no my dear I am not like you. I see and analyze things rationally upon solid scientific facts. Regarding mathematics, for your kind perusal, the hydrogen gas is abundant in universe in general and in our planet in particular. Let's see how much energy is required to explode hydrogen gas, the flash point of which is 20 micro jouls only :

20 microjoul=1.895634e-008 BTU=1.248291e 014 electron volt=200 erg=5.555556e-018 gigawatt- hour=7.450123e-012 horsepower-hour=4.776918e-006 calorie

Liaquat Ali

@Liaquat Ali

It appears that instead of explaining how your idea works in scientifically accepted terms, along with some underlying theory and experiments to test it, you'd prefer to go on providing examples of various potential energies which can be "triggered" to release their potentials, and possibly waste text enumerating all the possible ways to express that quantity of energy or power. You maintain that you've already explained it "upto a reasonable degree". If you had, more people than just yourself would, by definition, understand it, yes?

I get that you make an analogy of sunlight being "trapped" outside the "protective layers" in a way such that it can accumulate to levels that some kind of "chain reaction" would have planet-devastating results. But, in nature, that seldom happens. Waves break on beaches. Lightning strikes. Rain, and trees fall harmlessly in the forest. Nature abhors a vacuum, and it also abhors a surfeit of energy. The universe itself wouldn't function as we know it if energy didn't continuously leak away according to physical laws, rather than being accumulated to such an extent that it destroys the very environment that allowed it to be trapped in the first place.

Note that I call your brainchild an idea (or perhaps an imaginative nightmare catastrophe scenario) because I doubt it qualifies as a scientific hypothesis yet. In order to be a valid hypothesis, it must be falsifiable. If it is falsifiable, that logically means it is testable, in such a way that the test could return either positive, or negative. And to be testable, the test, and its underlying theory, must be describable and repeatable by third-parties. So far your hunch satisfies none of this criteria.

"if were allowed to pass the nature's protection, no biology or botany would be able to sustain here."

If you're talking about UV, I'd have to strongly disagree. The existence of the ozone layer has been accepted to be due to the generation of oxygen by earth creatures billions of years ago, which then became reconfigured as ozone when it was exposed to photochemical processes in the upper atmosphere, and to a much lesser extent by things like lightning. Before the ozone layer existed, fish would certainly be viable, as would algae, and virtually any earthbound plant which was not sensitive to strong UV.

In other words, the only reason the ozone layer exists was BECAUSE life arose on the earth WITHOUT the ozone layer!

If you're referring to unchecked (by the magnetic field) particle bombardment from the sun, and the associated ionizing radiations, such as alpha and gamma rays that are released from the solar particles hitting physical matter, I'd also argue that many life-forms can exist under ionizing radiation bombardment, as long as it's not overly severe. Certainly anything that lives in water can!

But this line of reasoning is moot, as by most assessments, the earth has always had a magnetic field, and will for some time yet.

The only things that seem really sensitive to hard UV and unchecked ionizing radiation appear to be higher animals, like us.

"but I think I have explained it upto a reasonable degree."

If your explanation was reasonable, i.e. that man-made localized ionospheric heating can somehow (no further exaplanation here) trigger an as-yet-poorly-understood chain-reaction feeding on energy which is "trapped" above the protective layers of the upper atmosphere, which will then irrevocably destroy either:

a) The atmosphere itself b) The earth's magnetic field, and later, the atmosphere, i.e. mars c) The ozone layer itself

Then, no, my friend, you have not explained it "upto a reasonable degree".

Please devise an experiment, and a narrative to go with it, which will return conclusive positive or negative results, and which tests the observable and measurable (to mankind) elements of your idea, and then we can say you are doing science, and the results can be taken seriously. Before you do that, what you are doing has more of a resemblance to religion than science.

My guess is that you'd respond sadly that you have neither the free time nor the scientific background to devise such an explanation/experiment. But if you're planning on writing some letters of warning to people who can stop ionospheric heating on a global scale, I'd say with all respect that you had better have a solid explanation for the mechanism of that warning. And if you don't or can't act in that regard, you'll probably have to live with the impending doom of your catastrophic HAARP idea hanging over you. Businesses of a hard life, indeed!

The example/analogy of the fact that things such as hydrogen can be easily ignited, releasing energy, is not a good one in this context. Anybody even remotely associated with atmospheric science is already well aware of this, and would have been since their first science course!

Firstly, hydrogen by itself won't ignite at all. It has to be mixed with oxygen, or some other reactant where energy would be released by chemical reaction, or exposed to un-earthly heats and pressures to make it fuse into helium, and again, that reaction goes away as soon as the heat and pressure subside.

And secondly there is virtually zero available (to reactions) hydrogen on the earth. Virtually 100% of it is combined with oxygen in the oceans and atmosphere. If any did exist, it would soon be combined with oxygen, so it's very unlikely to naturally build up a sizable quantity in nature. So there's no massive catastrophic store of energy to be tapped into or accidentally triggered via the world's accumulated store of bound hydrogen.

So, if you're asserting than the sun's energy can somehow accumulate like an enormous capacitor or battery in measurable (and HAARP triggerable) ways in the earth/atmosphere/ionosphere stack which do not end up dissipating naturally according to the laws of electricity and thermodynamics, but require the meddling of mankind to unleash, then please explain the mechanism of this accumulation.

And no, the mechanism is not "that large releases of potential energy only require tiny triggers". This like saying that the sky is blue. It doesn't validate your hunch about HAARP.


the earth itself generates ELF waves prior to (a week prior to) seismic events. The exact mechanism is unknown but it's thought to be a piezo-electric effect associated with the squeezing of mantle rock. The Greeks actively monitor (for) this emission around the seismically-active Aegean Plate. "Messing" with this (the source) of these geo-emissions could conceivably yield some unexpected results. Here's a good page on all this and how to build your own geo-RF monitor (click on the gaussmaster radio-button).

Chester Agnew
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