Calamities blamed on HAARP by conspiracy theorists include the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2010 Chile earthquake and tsunami, and the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami.
In the second edition of Doom Tech, we are looking at the HAARP research facility situated in Alaska, USA. Conspiracy theorists have linked the HAARP project to earthquakes and tsunamis all over the globe.
Calamities blamed on HAARP by conspiracy theorists include the Haiti earthquake which struck on 12 January 2010. The Magnitude-7 earthquake killed over 3 lakh people. The Japan earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 have also been linked to HAARP. The Magnitude-9 quake killed over 18,000 people.
The Chile earthquake and tsunami of February 2010 were also caused by HAARP, according to some accounts. The 8.8-magnitude temblor caused over 500 deaths. A massive landslide in Philippines in 2006 has also been linked to HAARP. It had killed more than a thousand people.
These conspiracy theories are not limited to some sections of the internet. Even some world leaders have openly propagated these claims.
In 2010, then President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said recent floods in Pakistan had been caused by HAARP project’s electromagnetic waves. He also accused European nations of draining rainclouds before they could reach Iran, causing water shortages in the Asian country.
In the same year, then President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez said a tectonic weapon being tested by America had caused the deadly Haiti earthquake. Chavez claimed that it was just a test-run before America uses the weapon on Iran.
Despite such loud proclamations, conspiracy theorists don’t explain how some antennae in the US could cause quakes thousands of kilometres away. Instead, they claim that the details are closely guarded by the American government.
So, what exactly is the HAARP project? HAARP is an acronym for High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program. Its objective is to study the highest portions of Earth’s atmosphere.
HAARP sends high-frequency radio waves to the ionosphere. These radio waves heat electrons at altitudes above 60 km. Then, scientists study the resulting perturbations in the ionosphere. The aim is to improve communication, and navigation systems.
HAARP was managed by the US Air Force, and Navy from 1990 to 2014. In 2015, the facility was handed over to University of Alaska Fairbanks.
While HAARP has not responded specifically to earthquake claims, it has responded to weather manipulation theories. HAARP scientists have stated that the facility cannot control weather. Earth’s weather is produced in the troposphere and stratosphere. HAARP’s radio waves don’t interact with these lower layers of the atmosphere. Scientists have said that if ionospheric storms caused by the Sun can’t affect Earth’s weather, then HAARP definitely cannot.
But this does not mean that artificial earthquakes are impossible. There are at least two ways that humans can cause earthquakes.
The first is fracking or hydraulic fracturing which is used to extract oil and natural gas. Wastewater produced by fracking is pumped into deep, underground wells, and this can cause temblors.
The second way to create a quake is through nuclear explosions. Quakes caused by nuclear blasts are much smaller than the explosion, and not all blasts cause quakes. The range of these is a few tens of kilometres, as per the USGS.
A fabled earthquake machine has also been linked to the enigmatic inventor Nikola Tesla. Some accounts say that in the 1980s, Tesla built a steam-powered oscillator which was designed to vibrate at various frequencies.
The machine reportedly caused violent vibrations in a New York building, causing panic among people in the area who thought it was an earthquake. Tesla wanted to use the machine to transmit electricity via vibrations in the ground.
The genius inventor believed that a powerful-enough machine could even cause earthquakes. However, the idea didn’t progress beyond the prototype stage.
Although conspiracy theorists obsess over HAARP, it is not the only project of its kind. There is the Ionospheric Research Facility at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Then there is the defunct Ionospheric Research Station in Kharkiv, Ukraine. There is also an Ionospheric Heating & Short-wave Radar Facility in Tromso, Norway.
With social media’s reach continuing to grow, and scientific projects becoming more and more complex, authorities need to improve their communication so that conspiracy theories don’t go from being internet conversations to ignitors of mass panic.