The Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction:

"Owning the Weather" for Military Use

by Michel Chossudovsky 

The URL of the complete article including tables and diagrams is:

"Environmental warfare is defined as the intentional modification or manipulation of the natural ecology, such as climate and weather, earth systems such as the ionosphere, magnetosphere, tectonic plate system, and/or the triggering of seismic events (earthquakes) to cause intentional physical, economic, and psycho-social, and physical destruction to an intended target geophysical or population location, as part of strategic or tactical war." -(Eco News)

What are the underlying causes of extreme weather instability, which has ravaged every major region of the World in the course of the last few years?

Hurricanes and tropical storms have ravaged the Caribbean. Central Asia and the Middle East are afflicted by drought. West Africa is facing the biggest swarm of locusts in more than a decade. Four destructive hurricanes and a tropical rain storm Alex, Ivan, Frances, Charley and Jeanne have occurred in a sequence, within a short period of time. Unprecedented in hurricane history in the Caribbean, the island of Grenada was completely devastated: 37 people died and roughly two-thirds of the island's 100,000 inhabitants have been left homeless; in Haiti, more than two thousand people have died and tens of thousands are homeless. The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida have also been devastated. In the US, the damage in several Southern states including Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and the Carolinas is the highest in US history.

A study released in July 2003, by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) places the blame, without further examination, at the feet of global warming:

"These record extreme events [high temperatures, low temperatures and high rainfall amounts and droughts] all go into calculating the monthly and annual averages which, for temperatures, have been gradually increasing over the past 100 years," the WMO said in its statement (CNN, July 3, 2003, )

While global warming is undoubtedly an important factor, it does not fully account for these extreme and unusual weather patterns.

Weather Warfare

The significant expansion in America's weather warfare arsenal, which is a priority of the Department of Defense is not a matter for debate or discussion. While, environmentalists blame the Bush administration for not having signed the Kyoto protocol, the issue of "weather warfare", namely the manipulation of weather patterns for military use is never mentioned.

The US Air Force has the capability of manipulating climate either for testing purposes or for outright military-intelligence use. These capabilities extend to the triggering of floods, hurricanes, droughts and earthquakes. In recent years, large amounts of money have been allocated by the US Department of Defense to further developing and perfecting these capabilities.

Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally... 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. (US Air Force, emphasis added. Air University of the US Air Force, AF 2025 Final Report, emphasis added)

While there is no firm evidence that the US Air Force weather warfare facilities have been deliberately applied to modify weather patterns, one would expect that if these capabilities are being developed for military use, they would at least be the object of routine testing, much in the same way as the testing of new conventional and strategic weapons systems.

Needless to say, the subject matter is a scientific taboo. The possibility of climatic or environmental manipulations as part of a military and intelligence agenda, while tacitly acknowledged, is never considered as relevant. Military analysts are mute on the subject. Meteorologists are not investigating the matter, and environmentalists are strung on global warming and the Kyoto protocol.

Ironically, the Pentagon, while recognizing its ability to modify the World's climate for military use, has joined the global warming consensus. In a major study (pdf) , the Pentagon has analyzed in detail the implications of various global warming scenarios.

The Pentagon document constitutes a convenient cover-up. Not a word is mentioned about its main weather warfare program: The High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) based in Gokona, Alaska --jointly managed by the US Air Force and the US Navy.

Alex, Ivan, Frances, Charley and Jeanne (August-September 2004): Four destructive hurricanes and a tropical rain storm occur in a sequence, within a short period of time. Unprecedented in hurricane history in the Caribbean, the island of Grenada is completely devastated: 37 people died and roughly two-thirds of the island's 100,000 inhabitants have been left homeless, in Haiti, more than two thousand people have died and tens of thousands have been made homeless. The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas have also been devastated.

There are several mainstream explanations on weather and climate change, none of which fully explains, within their respective terms of reference, the highly unusual and erratic weather occurrences, not to mention the human toll and devastation, which have led to the destabilization of entire agricultural and eco-systems. Needless to say these explanations never address the issue of climate manipulation for military use.

Climatic Manipulation by the US Military: The HAARP Program

The High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) based in Gokona, Alaska, has been in existence since 1992. It is part of a new generation of sophisticated weaponry under the US Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). Operated by the Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate, HAARP constitutes a system of powerful antennas capable of creating "controlled local modifications of the ionosphere" [upper layer of the atmosphere]:

"[HAARP will be used] to induce a small, localized change in ionospheric temperature so that resulting physical reactions can be studied by other instruments located either at or close to the HAARP site". (HAARP website)

Nicholas Begich --actively involved in the public campaign against HAARP-- describes HAARP as:

"A super-powerful radiowave-beaming technology that lifts areas of the ionosphere by focusing a beam and heating those areas. Electromagnetic waves then bounce back onto earth and penetrate everything -- living and dead." (for further details see Michel Chossudovsky, )

World renowned scientist Dr. Rosalie Bertell depicts HAARP as "a gigantic heater that can cause major disruptions in the ionosphere, creating not just holes, but long incisions in the protective layer that keeps deadly radiation from bombarding the planet." (quoted in Chossudovsky, op cit.)

According to Richard Williams, a physicist and consultant to the David Sarnoff laboratory in Princeton

HAARP constitutes "an irresponsible act of global vandalism." He and others fear a secret second stage where HAARP would "beam much more energy into the ionosphere. That could produce a severe disruption of the upper atmosphere at one location that may produce effects that spread rapidly around the Earth for years." (Quoted in Scott Gilbert, Environmental Warfare and US Foreign Policy: The Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction, )

HAARP has been presented to public opinion as a program of scientific and academic research. US military documents seem to suggest, however, that HAARP's main objective is to "exploit the ionosphere for Department of Defense purposes." (quoted in Chossudovsky, op cit).

Without explicitly referring to the HAARP program, a US Air Force study points to the use of "induced ionospheric modifications" as a means of altering weather patterns as well as disrupting enemy communications and radar. (Ibid)

HAARP also has the ability of triggering blackouts and disrupting the electricity power system of entire regions.

An analysis of statements emanating from the US Air Force points to the unthinkable: the covert manipulation of weather patterns, communications systems and electric power as a weapon of global warfare, enabling the US to disrupt and dominate entire regions of the World.

Weather Warfare: A Corporate Bonanza

HAARP has been operational since the early 1990s. Its system of antennas at Gakona, Alaska, was initially based on a technology patented by Advanced Power Technologies Inc. (APTI), a subsidiary of Atlantic Ritchfield Corporation (ARCO). The first phase of the HAARP Ionospheric Research Instrument (IRI) was completed by APTI. The IRI system of antennas was first installed in 1992 by a subsidiary of British Aerospace Systems (BAES) using the APTI patent. The antennas beam into the outer-atmosphere using a set of wireless high frequency transmitters.

In 1994, ARCO sold its APTI subsidiary, including the patents and the second phase construction contract to E-Systems, a secretive high tech military outfit with links to the CIA ( ).

E-Systems specializes in the production of electronic warfare equipment, navigation and reconnaissance machinery, including "highly sophisticated spying devices":

"[E-Systems] is one of the biggest intelligence contractors in the world, doing work for the CIA, defense intelligence organizations, and others. US$1.8 billion of their annual sales are to these organizations, with $800 million for black projects-projects so secret that even the United States Congress isn't told how the money is being spent.( )

"The company has outfitted such military projects as the Doomsday Plan (the system that allows the President to manage a nuclear war) and Operation Desert Storm." (Princeton Review, )

With the purchase of APTI, E-Systems acquired the strategic weather warfare technology and patent rights, including Bernard J. Eastlund's US Patent No: 4,686,605 entitled "Method and Apparatus for Altering a Region in the Earth's Atmosphere, Ionosphere and/or Magnetosphere".

It is worth mentioning that the Eastlund /APTI patents were based on the research of Yugoslav scientist Nicola Tesla (many of whose ideas were stolen by US corporations). (See Scott Gilbert, Environmental Warfare and US Foreign Policy: The Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction, )

Eastlund described this deadly technology as capable of:

"causing…total disruption of communications over a very large portion of the Earth…missile or aircraft destruction, deflection or confusion… weather modification…" ( ),

Not surprisingly, the patent had previously been sealed under a government secrecy order.

Barely a year following the E-Systems purchase of APTI's weather warfare technology, E-Systems was bought out by Raytheon, the fourth largest US military contractor. Through this money-spinning acquisition, Raytheon became the largest "defense electronics" firm in the World.

Meanwhile, ARCO which had sold APTI to E-Systems, had itself been acquired by the BP-AMOCO oil consortium, thereby integrating the largest oil company in the World (BP).

Raytheon through its E-Systems subsidiary now owns the patents used to develop the HAARP weather warfare facility at Gakona Alaska. Raytheon is also involved in other areas of weather research for military use, including the activities of its subsidiary in Antarctica, Raytheon Polar Services.

"Owning the Weather": Towards the Expanded Final Stage

The HAARP antenna array and transmitters were slated to be built in several distinct phases

Developmental Prototype (DP) (See )
Filled DP (FDP),
Limited IRI (LIRI)
Full size or final IRI (FIRI). (See

During the Clinton administration, the "Filled Developmental Prototype" (FDP), namely a system composed of an array of 48 active antenna elements with connected wireless transmitters, was installed and completed at the HAARP facility in 1994. (See Figure 1 below) Under the initial Developmental Prototype (DP), only 18 of the 48 transmitters were connected.

Bernard Eastlund in a 1997 interview described this antenna array in its Filled DP stage as the "the largest ionospheric heater ever built".

In other words, this system of 48 antennas, while fully operational, was not according to Eastlund, powerful enough (in 1997) "to bring the ideas in his patents to fruition":

. "But they're getting up there", he said. "This is a very powerful device. Especially if they go to the expanded stage." (quoted in Scott Gilbert, op cit, see also )

This 'final expanded stage' envisioned by Eastlund, which will provide maximum capability to manipulate the World's weather patterns, has now been reached.

Under the Bush administration, the main partner of Raytheon (which owns the patents) in the construction and development stage of the HAARP antenna array, is British Aerospace Systems (BAES), which had been involved in the initial installation of the antenna array in the early 1990s.

The multimillion dollar contract was granted by The Office of Naval Research to BAES in 2003, through its US subsidiary BAE Systems Advanced Technologies Inc. The contract was signed barely two months before the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq.

Using Raytheon's technology, BAES was to develop the HAARP Ionospheric Research Instrument (IRI) to its maximum capabilities of "Full size or final IRI (FIRI)".

In April 2003, BAE Systems Advanced Technologies outsourced the production and installation of the antennas to Phazar Corp ( ), a company specializing in advanced wireless antennas for military use. (Phazar owns Antenna Products Corporation of Mineral Wells, Texas ). Phazar was entrusted with producing and installing 132 crossed dipole antennas items for the HAARP facility. ( )

A year later, in April 2004, the final phase in the expansion of the HAARP facility was launched. (Dept of Defense, 19 April 2004). This phase consisted in equipping all the 180 antennas with high frequency transmitters. BAE Systems was awarded another lucrative contract, this time for $35 million.

In July 2004, Phazar had delivered and installed the 132 crossed dipole antennas including the antenna support structures and ground screen items at the HAARP facility, bringing the number of antennas from 48 under the FDP stage to 180. (see Table 2).

Meanwhile, BAE Systems had contracted with Jersey based defense electronics firm DRS Technologies, Inc in an $11.5 million outsourcing arrangement, the production and installation of the high-frequency (HF) radio transmitters for the HAARP antenna array. (See and Business Wire, 15 June 2004). DRS specializes in a variety of leading edge products for the U.S. military and intelligence agencies. ( ).

Under its contract with BAE Systems Information and Electronic Warfare Systems in Washington, D.C., DRS is to manufacture and install "more than 60 Model D616G 10-Kilowatt Dual Transmitters" to be used with the HAARP system of antennas. (It is unclear from the company statements whether all the 180 antennas will be equipped with a transmitter, bringing the system up to full IRI capabilities).

Deliveries and installation are to be completed by July 2006. While HAARP is described as a "research project", the production of the transmitters was entrusted to DRS' C41 "Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) Group"

Testing of HAARP Equipment (2003- 2004)

It is worth noting that the expansion of the antenna array (e.g. during 2003-2004) required, as part of the contracts reached with BAE Systems and its various subcontractors, the routine testing of the installed weather warfare equipment. An intermediate stage Limited IRI (LIRI), could be in operation by 2004, following the completion of the 180 antenna array under the Phazar contract and pending the final delivery of the remaining HF radio transmitters.

In this regard, a report published by the Russian parliament (Duma) in 2002, suggests that the US Military had plans to test its weather modification techniques at its Alaska facility, as well as at two other sites:

"The committees reported that the USA is planning to test three facilities of this kind. One of them is located on the military testing ground in Alaska and its full-scale tests are to begin in early 2003. The second one is in Greenland and the third one in Norway.

"When these facilities are launched into space from Norway, Alaska and Greenland, a closed contour will be created with a truly fantastic integral potential for influencing the near-Earth medium," the State Duma said.

The USA plans to carry out large-scale scientific experiments under the HAARP program, and not controlled by the global community, will create weapons capable of breaking radio communication lines and equipment installed on spaceships and rockets, provoke serious accidents in electricity networks and in oil and gas pipelines and have a negative impact on the mental health of people populating entire regions, the deputies said. (Interfax News Agency, original Russian, BBC Monitoring, 8 August 2002, emphasis added)

Whether this report by the Russian Duma on testing "starting in early 2003" is correct or not, the US administration must be confronted nationally and internationally, at the political and diplomatic levels, at the UN and the US Congress, by the international scientific community, by environmentalists and the antiwar movement. The future of humanity is threatened by the use of weather modification techniques.

Moreover, to wage an effective campaign, it is essential that corroborating scientific investigation of the unusual weather occurrences observed in recent years (and particularly since early 2003) be undertaken. This investigation should be far-reaching, collecting relevant data, correlating specific weather occurrences to recorded antenna activity at the Alaska site as well as at the two other sites, etc.

The Full Size Ionospheric Research Instrument FIRI stage, described as "a maximum size of 180 antenna elements, arranged in 15 columns by 12 rows" is scheduled to be completed by mid-2006 (assuming the installation of the remaining dual transmitters), at which time the HAARP program will have reached its maximum FIRI capacity, meaning the ability to selectively modify, for military use, weather patterns anywhere in the World.

"The IRI is currently [June 2004] composed of 48 antenna elements and has a power capacity of 960,000 watts. When installed, the additional 132 transmitters will give HAARP a 3.6 mega-watt capacity [see Table 2 below]. The HAARP build-out is jointly funded by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). (Business Wire, 10 June 2004)

This advanced stage of full capacity (FIRI) corresponds to what the US Air Force has called "Owning the Weather":

US aerospace forces [will] 'own the weather' by capitalizing on emerging technologies and focusing development of those technologies to war-fighting applications... From enhancing friendly operations or disrupting those of the enemy via small-scale tailoring of natural weather patterns to complete dominance of global communications and counterspace control, weather-modification offers the war fighter a wide-range of possible options to defeat or coerce an adversary... In the United States, weather-modification will likely become a part of national security policy with both domestic and international applications. Our government will pursue such a policy, depending on its interests, at various levels.(US Air Force, emphasis added. Air University of the US Air Force, AF 2025 Final Report, )

Weather Warfare against "Rogue States"

The unusual climatic occurrences in the US and Western Europe have been extensively documented.

However, what the news media has failed to underscore is that a number of unusual and dramatic climatic changes have occurred in recent years in countries which are identified as possible targets under the US Administration's pre-emptive war doctrine.

Weather patterns in North Korea, for instance, have been marked since the mid-1990s by a succession of droughts, followed by floods. The result has been the destruction of an entire agricultural system. In Cuba, the pattern is very similar to that observed in North Korea. (see Table 3)

In Iraq, Iran and Syria, a devastating drought occurred in 1999. In Afghanistan, four years of drought in the years preceding the US led invasion in 2001, have led to the destruction of the peasant economy, leading to widespread famine.

While there is no proof that these weather occurrences are the result of climatic warfare, Phillips Geophysics Lab, which is a partner in the HAARP project provides a course for military personnel at the Hanscom Air Force Base in Maryland, on "Weather Modification Techniques". The course outline explicitly contemplates the triggering of storms, hurricanes, etc. for military use. (See his slide show at open PowerPoint presentation at )

Weather manipulation is the pre-emptive weapon par excellence. It can be directed against enemy countries or even "friendly nations", without their knowledge. Weather warfare constitutes a covert form of pre-emptive war. The manipulation of climate can be used to destabilize an enemy's economy, ecosystem and agriculture (e.g. North Korea or Cuba). Needless to say it can trigger havoc in financial and commodity markets and can potentially be used as an instrument of "insider trade" for financial gain. It has the ability of destabilizing a country's institutions. Concurrently, the disruption in agriculture creates a greater dependency on food aid and imported grain staples from the US and other Western countries.

The Bush administration has stated that it reserves the right to attack these countries preemptively, with a view to ensuring the security of the American homeland.

Washington --as part of its nuclear posture review-- has threatened several countries including China and Russia with pre-emptive nuclear strikes. One would assume that the same targeting of rogue states exists with regard to the use of weather modification techniques".

While there is no evidence of the use of weather warfare against rogue states, the policy guidelines on "weather intervention techniques" have already been established and the technology is fully operational.


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