Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Thursday, September 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Fog 52° Fog
News >  Spokane

Councilman Fagan urges Spokane residents to make up their own minds on chemtrails

UPDATED: Tue., July 18, 2017, 4:59 p.m.

A day after voting against an environmental policy he called fueled by alarmists, City Councilman Mike Fagan said Tuesday he wasn’t sure whether hazardous chemicals were being released by aircraft into the stratosphere.

“By virtue of the fact that it is being openly discussed in certain circles, I think there may be some merit to it,” Fagan said Tuesday.

The council’s lone consistently conservative voice, who has drawn criticism in the past for skepticism of vaccination science, clarified comments he made before Monday night’s vote in an interview Tuesday. In the statement Monday night, Fagan indicated some adherence to a theory that has been deemed conspiratorial by academics and explained by scientific agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, as a byproduct of jet engine combustion.

“Could it be, that the U.S. government, as well as multinational corporations, engage in SRM, or solar radiation management,” Fagan said before his vote. “We already heard a little bit, you know, about, what are we spraying in the sky?”

Fagan said Tuesday he was referring specifically to processes, like the one China employed prior to the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, to attempt to control the weather through the release of chemicals. Cottage industries have popped up in the United States claiming to alter the climate through similar processes to guarantee a dry wedding day, though their effectiveness has been doubted by climate scientists. But Fagan would also not dismiss the possibility some chemicals are being released secretly, though he said he had “no reason to believe any of this emanates from” Fairchild Air Force Base.

“What I would like to do is issue a challenge to the citizens out there, if they see an airplane in high atmosphere, watch the airplane’s activities for a while,” Fagan said. “You’re going to see a trail come out of that airplane, that dissipates and enlarges itself, floating back down to the ground. Then what happens?”

The Environmental Protection Agency, in a fact sheet that has been re-released multiple times since 2000 as so-called “chemtrail” sightings have proliferated on the internet, says the streaks in the sky are caused by natural condensation of water vapor and sulfur emitted during the jet engine combustion process.

Bob Tobin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Spokane, called the emission “essentially a cloud” that is no more harmful than the emission of a car’s combustion engine, just several miles up in the atmosphere.

“If you were right up there sucking on the exhaust port of the jet, that would probably affect you,” Tobin said.

The EPA reports on its website the agency “is not aware of any deliberate actions to release chemical or biological agents into the atmosphere.” Tobin said even if there was a concerted effort to release a chemical in the stratosphere, those spreading it would have to deal with shifting layers in the atmosphere to ensure it reached the ground in an exact location.

“There’s all kinds of layers in there, it’s like an onion,” Tobin said. “You’d have to be a pretty good mathematician to make that happen.”

Fagan said he was suspicious of what he called the government’s “denial narrative,” likening it to the official response to the rumored extraterrestrial contact that occurred in 1947 in Roswell, New Mexico.

“I kind of think that the chemtrail issue is in the same category, if you will,” he said. “Whether or not it’s happening, it’s really interesting that the narrative is always denial, denial, denial.”

Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.

You have been successfully subscribed!
There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email webteam@spokesman.com