It is believed by some that contrails, or a trail of condensed water from an aircraft at high altitude, are chemtrails that contain chemicals made to harm humans. These chemicals are supposedly put in these jets by the government for various goals such as for profit solar radiation management, weather modification, mind control, human population control, and biological warfare, that is they are causing respiratory and other health problems. This all began in the 1990s when investigative journalists started to describe implied plots by the government to inject poisons into the atmosphere by the trails of jet planes. This belief is still believed by many today but the Air Force and many other scientific agencies have responded to these various information sites with information on why they are incorrect. Information concerning this extraordinary belief is online and YouTube. This extraordinary belief is important to look at because many individuals believe that the government has a secret plan to harm their citizens.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. The evidence backing up the claim that there is a large secret program that the government is poisoning people from aircraft is very weak, as most are just photos of the sky and not hard evidence. It’s said that chemtrails look just like normal contrails, but are thicker, extend across the sky, and laid down in patters, like X’s, grids, or parallel lines. They do not dissipate quickly, instead they open into formations that look like fake cirrus-type clouds that last for hours. Witnesses have photographed military and unmarked jets who leave these long-lasting trails. The chemicals that are being released are said to be unknown, because only a few planes in the world can analyze them and they are expensive. Chemtrailers have said they have tested the soil that these chemtrails have fallen on and have found chemicals. A panel of 77 atmospheric chemists and geochemists have responded to these claims to give their findings. The patterns found in these contrails are from multiple aircrafts flying in different directions of each other intersecting their trails. Contrails can last anywhere from a second to several hours as it depends on atmospheric conditions at the altitude the plane is flying. There are no scientific findings of chemicals in these trails, and for the soil tests scientists say that whoever collected the samples they did not do so properly.
People who believe in this conspiracy think that the government has their own agenda and should be to blame for many health issues in America. Ultimately these people are misinformed. When scientists try to disprove their beliefs, their explanation is ultimately considered just a part of the ‘cover up.’ The evidence that is presented for chemtrails do not have any strong evidence that explains it. The belief of chemical spraying would mean that thousands of people would be sworn to secrecy, like pilots, delivery men, aircraft maintainers, ect., and that not one person would have leaked the truth.
Believers in this theory come from all around the United States and all levels of education. There is a chemtrial group on Facebook with about 114,000 members. Many of these people are outcasts, and having this social group of similar people backing up their beliefs they feel more accepted. These believers feel a sense of belonging in their group but also have a sense of being different as only a small population believes this. A reason people believe in chemtrails is they want to blame bad things happening to them, like sicknesses, on a higher power because they are controlling them.
Ockham’s Razor, or when choosing a possible explanation for a phenomenon the simplest one is usually the best, can help fight this theory. As water vapor condensing in high-altitude, very cold air is simpler than the idea that the government is secretly spraying people with chemicals for their own personal benefit. Closed groups of like-minded people one of the big reasons why conspiracy theories solidify online. When closed off groups are supporting each other by sharing their ideas who believe the same things often further confirms what they believe. There’s confirmation biases where people can get caught up in only believing that chemtrails are real and anything against it is fake or covering up the truth. These people also have a distrust to authority as the government are the people who are running chemtrails.