The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), a joint military research project supervised by the University of Alaska that focuses on using the ionosphere as a possible wireless communications medium, is coming to a close over the next several months. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), DARPA director Arati Prabhakar, and U.S. Air Force deputy assistant director David Walker discuss HAARP’s successes, and the need to move past it, during this U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing (and it’s one of the more interesting U.S. Senate subcommittee hearings you’ll watch):
This is terrible news for people who think it was something other than a research program. As the HAARP Wikipedia page delicately puts it:
HAARP is a target of conspiracy theorists, who claim that it is capable of modifying weather, disabling satellites and exerting mind control over people, and that it is being used as a weapon against terrorists. Such theorists have blamed the program for causing earthquakes, droughts, storms and floods, diseases such as Gulf War Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800, and the 2003 destruction of the space shuttle Columbia. Commentators and scientists say that proponents of these theories are “uninformed,” as most theories put forward fall well outside the abilities of the facility and often outside the scope of natural science.
You might think that the U.S. government would be reluctant to shut down a facility that can control our minds and wreak doom on anyone at will, but hey, nobody thought they’d consider eliminating Saturday mail delivery either.
You can read up on some recent HAARP data here, courtesy of Stanford’s VLF Group. As you can see, it’s not quite the cutting-edge piece of scientific equipment that it was when it was built in 1993—but scientists are continuing to make as much use of it as they can, and will no doubt continue to do so until its last day of operation.