Conspiracy theorists have long speculated that the defunct HAARP project is secretly being used in warfare, but a 12-year-old document and a speech from the 1990s suggest the US military have at least considered the idea.
The High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is a cutting edge transmitter facility used to study the properties and behaviour of the ionosphere, located in Alaska.
Its military-funded construction was completed in 2007, but just seven years later the programme was shut down and ownership of HAARP and its capabilities were transferred to the University of Alaska.
For years conspiracy theorists have speculated that the US government is using HAARP to control the weather, an allegation that’s been repeatedly denied by officials and scientists.
The recent flare-up in tensions between the US and Iran reignited interest in the theory, with some speculating that should full-scale war break out HAARP would be used by American troops to defeat Iran.
A spate of earthquakes near Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant only fuelled the theories.
In 2017 the Iranian Deputy Interior Minister for Security and Law Enforcement, Mohammad Hossein Zolfaqari, was forced to issue a public statement denying a connection between the region’s repeated earthquakes and HAARP.
American magazine National Review reports that in a speech in 1997, the US Secretary of Defence William Cohen made an oblique reference to military technology that could cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
“…some scientists in their laboratories trying to devise certain types of pathogens that would be ethnic specific so that they could just eliminate certain ethnic groups and races; and others are designing some sort of engineering, some sort of insects that can destroy specific crops,” he said.
“Others are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves.”
National Review speculates he may have been referring to a HAARP prototype, but casts doubt on whether members of the Trump administration could quiet about possessing earthquake weapons.
A 12-year-old document also contains evidence that the US military planned to invest in “weather modification” technology in the interest of national security.
Air Force 2025, a 3,300-page report featuring contributions from technologists, futurists, science fiction writers, scientists, historians, active military officers and retired Air Force generals, was published in 2008.
It predicts the most pressing dangers facing the US in the decades to come, and devises potential defence strategies to combat them.
One such proposal was the creation of a “Spacebased High-Energy Laser System” – a hugely powerful chemical laser with the ability to hit targets on the ground, in the air and in space.
“At lower power settings, it could disable enemy optics, perform passive sensing missions, actively illuminate a target with a laser, or even modify the weather,” an article analysing the report reads. “Between fifteen and twenty such satellites could provide global coverage.”
In an excerpt from the report itself published by Global Research, experts seem convinced that militarised weather manipulation is not a far-fetched fantasy but only a matter of time.
“Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally,” it reads.
“It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog, and storms on earth or to modify space weather, … and the production of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of technologies which can provide substantial increase in US, or degraded capability in an adversary, to achieve global awareness, reach, and power.”
It’s unlikely that Iran’s earthquakes were caused by HAARP or that the programme will be used in future attacks, but there’s ample evidence its potential capabilities once formed a key part of the US defence strategy.