- SEATTLE, Washington, January 8, 1999 (ENS) - Contrails spread by fleets
of jet aircraft in elaborate cross-hatched patterns are sparking speculation
and making people sick across the United States.
- Washington state resident William Wallace
became ill with severe diarrhea and fatigue after watching several multi-engine
jets spend New Year's day laying cloud lines in an east to west grid pattern.
A neighbor working outside came down with similar symptoms. But their wives,
who remained indoors, suffered no ill effects from the inexplicable maneuvers
which observers liken to high-altitude "crop-dusting" by unidentifed
- Series of aircraft contrails in a high
traffic region over the northern Gulf of Mexico 1992 (Images courtesy NASA)
Condensation trails, called contrails, are generated at altitudes high
enough for water droplets to freeze in a matter of seconds and not quickly
evaporate - typically where the temperatures are below -38 degrees Celcius.
- Contrails can form through the addition
of water vapor to the air from the jet engine exhaust. Even tiny nuclei
- released in the exhaust fumes may be
sufficient to generate ice crystals, and hence, condensation trails.
- Wallace wonders if ethylene dibromide,
a highly toxic component of JP-8 jet fuel, is making people sick. Similar
incidents over Las Vegas last year prompted a US Air Force spokesman to
explain that the military aircraft were "dumping fuel" before
- But the strange spray patterns are being
reported repeatedly over towns in Tennessee, Connecticut, New Hampshire,
New York, Nevada, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Washington state
- Wallace has been watching formations
of high-flying jets weave grid-like contrails above his home since last
summer. Each time, "We get a taste in our mouth," he reports.
He and his wife Ann get "kind of tired and sick," having "no
energy to do anything."
- After plants began dying around his mountain
cabin, "I got real sick for about three weeks," Wallace relates.
"My eyes watered. Fluid came out of my nose. I could hardly move my
arm up above my head to comb my hair for about a week."
- Wallace and his wife are not alone in
their plight. In March, 1996, Dr. Greg Hanford bought an expensive camera
and binoculars to keep an eye on jets spraying white bands above his Bakersfield,
California home. Hanford has counted 40 or 60 jets on some "spray
- "Everybody seems to be getting sick
from it," Hanford told ENS. "Hackin' and coughin' when you really
get nailed with this stuff." The dentist, many of his patients and
two receptionists have repeatedly contracted severe respiratory infections.
Hanford's illness lingered for five months despite courses of four different
- "It's really weird," Hanford
says. "You think two jets are going to hit each other - and then they
make an X." The dentist says he has sometimes seen "furry globular
balls" spread downwind in a long feather from the high-flying aircraft.
- Unlike normal contrails, which dissipate
soon after a lone jet's passage, video taken by Wallace and Hanford show
eerily silent silver jets streaming fat contrails from their wingtips in
multiple, criss-cross patterns. But instead of dissipating like normal
contrails, these white jet-trails coalesce into broad cloud-bands that
gradually occlude crystal clear skies.
- "Passenger jets don't make contrails
that stay and become clouds," Wallace observes.
- Government officials deny that anything
unusual is taking place. When Hanford called the local airport, tower personnel
told him there was nothing going on." The jets were "just commercial"
undergoing "international flight training."
- But a skeptical Hanford responded, "Is
the FAA going to allow two jets to come at each other?"
- images taken April
- 20, 1994 by a NOAA
- satellite, reveal a
- number of contrails
- over Oklahoma and
- X'es, overlapping W's
- and the Roman
- numeral XII are among
- the patterns flown by
- the mystery aircraft. Last June, Hanford
watched four aircraft spraying in circles to form a perfect bulls-eye.
Through his Swaroski binoculars, Hanford could see what "looked like
a 737" painted all-white on top with an "orangish-red" underbody
and red engine cowlings. Another 727-like aircraft was painted "all-white
with a black stripe up the middle of fuselage." None of the planes
carried identifying markings.
- Pat Edgar has been watching the jets
spraying over eastern Oklahoma since a sunny day in October, 1977 when
as many as 30 contrails gradually occluded the sky. "They look like
they're playing tic-tac-toe up there," he says. "You know darn
well it's not passenger planes."
- Edgar says he has watched "cobwebbing
stuff coming down" from the zigzagging jets flying "all day long,
line after line, back-and-forth, like furrows in a farm field."
- Edgar adds that "There is a lot
of Lupus in the area now. A lot of women have come down with it."
- Edgar's father-in-law, a former judge,
and three or four other close friends were hit hard in their immune systems.
Symptoms include swollen hands and legs, night fever and shortness of breath.
- Contrails spread out over time. (Photo
by Ronald Holle, U. of Illinois Cloud Catalog)
- Retired Oklahoma state judge Bill Ed
Rogers now runs out of breath after walking 20 feet to the bathroom. Climbing
stairs, he says, "is directly out of the question."
- Rogers, does not attribute his strange
malady to the mystery jets. But neither he nor his doctors can explain
- difficulty, which began shortly after
spraying began in November, 1997, and is getting worse. The 57 year old
former judge says he thought he was experiencing congenital heart failure
when he was admitted into the Mayo clinic last January. But after being
diagnosed with severe inflamation in his right lung, a team of top surgeons
were unable to pump an unidentified "jello-like" fluid from his
- Edgar, Wallace, Hanford and other eye-witnesses
are uneasy over the ongoing aerial "experiments and the secrecy surrounding
them. "They're gettin' ready, practicing," Edgar believes, for
some kind of mass population cull.
- Before Edgar sold his restaurant, customers
came in complaining of airplanes "flyin' around all night" over
a remote area of Oklahoma. In the morning, they could see "stuff comin'
out of their wings." Edgar says he knows four-dozen witnesses who
have "come down violently ill, coughin' up blood for two weeks - or
[with] real bad nosebleeds." As far as he's concerned, "it had
to be something in that doggone plane that was spillin' out in the middle
of the night."
- Edgar joins witnesses across the U.S.
who worry that whoever is behind the mystery spraying just has to "come
up with something a little stronger later on. It's just a guess,"
he says. "But it sure seems weird. They have a mission. They go back
and forth all day. Hey man I'm talkin' hundreds of contrails in a day!