Is there a massive government conspiracy developing in the skies over New Zealand?
A small group of Kiwi's think there is. Occasionally in the sky above us we'll spot a trail of thin white cloud coming from the back of an aircraft. Overseas these white vapour trails criss-cross the skies leaving a blue dome sky covered in long white scars.
Here in New Zealand, with limited air traffic and limited high altitude traffic, we only see these trails from time to time.
But while many of us assume these trails of clouds are simply condensation created by the super heated jet engines one particular WeatherWatch.co.nz reader disagrees - and strongly.
Clare Swinney runs the web site http://chemtrailsnorthnz.wordpress.com/ and she has dedicated a huge amount of time to educate people on what she believes these trails really are - not harmless jet trails, but instead Chemtrails - aerosols sprayed from an aircraft.
"They can look like condensation trails and are often mistaken for these, however they exhibit different properties, including that they can sometimes be seen lingering for hours in the sky and often appear in long straight lines, in parallel, and in areas which are not on commercial flight paths".
Clare says according to "respected aerosols researcher", Clifford Carnicom, who has been studying them since 1999, evidence indicates that they have 7 applications, which are:
1. Environmental modification and control;
5. Planetary and global modification;
6. Development of a surveillance system and
7. Use of material to detect exotic propulsion systems.
So I ask Clare - do you believe the New Zealand government is secretly creating chemical trails?
"One can find mention of chemtrails in New Zealand back in the December 2000 issue of Investigate Magazine, and see many photos of them polluting the New Zealand skies on the Internet. A man who lives in the Wellington region sent me a CD with over 300 photos of chemtrails.
"They are a reality. Yet people in our government are unwilling to address this issue, even though their families and their local environment will presumably be affected by them also. For example, in a reply to a recent request for information, the Minister of Health, Tony Ryall stated in a letter dated the 24th of March that he was advised there is no credible, published, scientific evidence that any such programmes exist".
I decided to dig a little deeper, asking Clare why the government would feel the need to keep it a secret?
"If our government representatives are unable to discuss what people around New Zealand can photograph occurring, it would suggest that these operations are not being conducted in the publics best interests. When I started to see chemtrails appearing in Whangarei earlier this year, I looked into what they are used for and read on Carnicoms and an award-winning weatherman, Scott Stevens website, that they are being used in weather modification operations to induce drought. Is it a coincidence that there is a drought in Northland and all this aerosol spraying activity occurring?" asks Clare.
"As well as the chemtrails, we have seen and photographed other evidence of weather modification technology being used in Whangarei, including pink and green-looking cloud material. According to Stevens, these colours are a result of the metallic compounds used in the aerosols. I have seen rain clouds that looked as if they had holes made in their bases.
"Stevens states on his website that these holes reduce the likelihood that it will rain. We have also seen many cloud formations that have distinct wave patterns in them and have photographed what looks like an oval strike and cloud filling in an area along a straight line, amongst other unnatural occurrences".
Next I got in touch with NIWA - New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmopheric research, to see if they knew anything about it.
Michele Hollis, Communications Manager at NIWA responded simply with "No, we are not doing any research on the topic of chemtrails".
I showed MetService weather ambassador Bob McDavitt photo's of the trails. His response: "They look like ordinary vapour trails to me and that anyone thinking about any impact should take the scientific approach... Gather meaningful data, look for trends, then design an experiment to test their hypothesis, before jumping to
Clare responded. "No, they are not normal jet trails. They exhibit quite different properties. Stay and watch one. [In March] we watched for about half-an-hour to see what happened to two aerosol trails [that had recently appeared] and saw the originally thin trails, puff out and develop into cloud-like material, which began sinking into a huge bank of aerosol material underneath them. They must have the technology to move large amounts of the aerosol material in the sky, and transport it to where they want it to go. The technology they have is way beyond what many people can imagine. It appears that they are doing a lot of the spraying out of view, which calls into question why they want to hide this operation from the public.".
I asked Clare what her training was in this area and related education.
"As the government denies it is occurring, it is difficult to get training in this field, unless you work for them. However, I am particular about who I acquire information from. I use well-respected sources in their fields, and I have an M.Sc. (Hons)"
Finally, I had to ask - are you a conspiracy theorist?
"The label is applied to those who question the government's version of events in any matter, which is very convenient for the government. There is an abundance of evidence regarding aerosol operations and weather modification technology available to those who are willing to consider it. A good place to start is the Northland New Zealand Chemtrails Watch website, Weatherwars.Info, Carnicom.com, Earthpulse.com and the sky."
As a weather analyst who works closely with the media, NIWA and MetService it sounds utterly unreal that the government of New Zealand would secretly carry out such dramatic events to control our weather - especially keeping it secret from us. Considering the Labour party was running the country for much of the 2000s with the help of the Greens I find it even harder to accept considering their heavy pro-environment stance.
Also, most cloud seeding that has been carried out in the past has happened at relatively low altitude levels - and it more often than not fails. Around the world, cloud seeding as never been kept secret by those who try it, that I'm aware of.
Lastly, while the drought in Northland is terrible for those involved in it, it's certainly not a national emergency that warrants the government taking such radical action as secret aerial spraying from jet aircraft.
Where do these planes get their chemical cargo from? I can't imagine there's a spot at Auckland Airport that no one notices a giant 767 pulling up to be filled with a secret chemical. Likewise at our airbases, the locals would quickly see something unusual and report it to the media.
Clare is absolutely entitled to her opinion and I find her emails most interesting to read.
Have a look at the facts and you decide - does Clare have a legitimate point here? Or is her head in the clouds?