HAARPing mad – an assessment of the HAARP conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists.



A High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program whose facility is located in Alaska has became the object of several conspiracy theories, however these conspiracy theories demonstrate fallacies in the acknowledgement of physics, biology and geology and are based purely on speculation and conjecture with no evidence in support of it. 


HAARP (or High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program), established in 1993, is an unclassified ionospheric research program funded by the University of Alaska, U.S Navy, U.S Air Force, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (commonly abbreviated as DARPA) and built by BAE Advanced Technologies. Its purpose is for the evaluation and analysis of the ionosphere and for the potential of developing radio communications and surveillance technology that utilizes ionospheric properties.

For reasons unknown – perhaps due to its elusive-seeming nature, the facility and program has became the subject of conspiracy theories – all of which are no more significantly plausible than the other.


The more prominant conspiracy theories regarding the program is the intentional control of the weather by the government – truth be told, the program is not dominantly funded by the government and is jointly funded by the University of Alaska, U.S Navy, U.S Air Force, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. HAARP is a research facility, which projects weak radiowaves in the 2.8–10 MHz region at 3.6 MW into the ionosphere in efforts to study it via analysing localized heating and re-bounding. The ionosphere is abundant in ions (atomic species which possess an inbalance of electrons relative to the quantity of protons, resulting in either a positive or negative overall charge) which resonate and heat with the frequencies used – hence the name. 3.6 MW is extremely weak in terms of strength when considering the object of such research – some modern commercial radio towers put out a wattage of up to 500,000 watts – but with a much higher frequency, such as 2 GHz (or 2000 megahertz) – with no negative effects on the atmosphere, localized or otherwise. Additionally, energy is lost as radiowaves travel – 3.6 MW of power does not exactly enter the ionosphere in one piece without first losing a considerable amount of energy. The ionosphere in itself does not play a significant role in meteorological events – rather the troposphere, with a depth of 17 km (11 mi) in the middle latitudes, does – which possesses much different properties in comparison to the ionosphere, a region of the upper atmosphere, existing at altitudes of approximately 85 km (53 mi) to 600 km (370 mi).

Assuming that such localized effects could result in significant alterations in weather patterns is absurd – especially considering the methods utilized and the corresponding responses from certain reigons of the atmosphere.


One of the less plausable, but still abundant theories is that the radiowaves emitted from the facility are secretly used for a malicious purpose – to control the psyche of the unsuspecting population. Conspiracy theorists mention that the frequencies of the emitted radiowaves correspond to the frequencies of the human brain – approximately 2.8-10 MHz. This could not be any more false. The human human brain works at frequencies of 0.5 – 100 Hz – one MHz (megahertz) represents 1,000,000 (one million) hertz. The point of HAARP having the capacity to control minds is moot – a conventional CPU typically functions with frequencies of up to 4.5 GHz, with no apparent problems despite closer range for the same reasons described.


The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program has been blamed for the 2010 Haiti earthquake – an earthquake that hit with a catastrophic magnitude of 7.0 resulting in 316,000 fatalities and labled as the second deadliest earthquake of all time. The issue with this supposition is that Haiti does not lie on merely one fault line, but two. The Haitian portion of the island of Hispaniola sits sandwiched between two fault lines on the divide between the North American tectonic plate and the Caribbean plate. It was previously assumed that an earthquake of such magnitude would strike the area, but were not sure as to when.

Supposedly, reflected radiowaves from the HAARP facility can trigger resonance within tectonic plates. While it is true that radiowaves are indeed reflected to some extent from the ionosphere – radiowaves meet with resistance and lose their energy to a great extent from their 170-1200 km travel. It is also important to note that the Earth is frequently bombarded with radiowaves of a much stronger magnitude from stellar entities – the facility frequently utilizes its emitters at night, to prevent such radiowaves from being cancelled out by the radiowaves emitted from our sun. Earthquakes can occur at convergent boundaries when a tectonic plate moves under another tectonic plate and sinks into the mantle as both plates converge. Areas in which this occurs in are known as subduction zones. The primary cause, however, is by rupture of geological faults.


Though I cannot for certain state as to why or how such conspiracy theories focus on an individual facility and others similar, I can for certain say that this provides a decent example of how groups of individuals can share both logical fallacies and psuedoscience and assume it is of the truth, without citing any sources for their suppositions.


  1. http://www.popsci.com/military-aviation-space/article/2008-06/militarys-mystery-machine
  2. http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2013/nrl-scientists-produce-densest-artificial-ionospheric-plasma-clouds-using-haarp
  3. http://www-star.stanford.edu/~vlf/publications/2008-03.pdf
  4. http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/prpeis.html [seek archived]
  5. http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/factSheet.html [seek archived]
  6. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8536561.stm
  7. http://en.mercopress.com/2010/01/15/haiti-sits-on-two-seismic-fault-lines-and-a-major-disaster-was-expected
  8. http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2004/SamanthaCharles.shtml


Article written by Miles B. Please credit both the author’s and the domain’s name in references. 



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