Oct 10, 2015 I Paul Seaburn

China Hits Deadly Typhoon Mujigae With Missile

For what is believed to be the first time ever, China has fired a tactical missile at an extremely strong typhoon. Is this a new way to collect data on deadly storms or another attempt by the Chinese government at weather manipulation? Did the missile alter the strength of the storm?

Typhoon Mujigae made landfall in China’s Guangdong Province on October 4th with reported wind speeds of up to 217 km per hour (135 miles per hour) and quickly became a Category 4 storm. As of this writing, 20 people have died as a result of the storm that also caused $3.66 billion in damages, making it the most powerful typhoon to ever hit this area. Did something other than nature make this storm so strong?

According to the Hong Kong news source Wen Wei Po, on October 3rd, as the typhoon was nearing landfall, the Chinese military launched a 1-ton SY400 ground-to-ground tactical missile from Hainan Island into the eye of the storm. This was called a scientific mission to drop radiosonde sensor payloads into the typhoon to record and transmit back meteorological data.

sy 400 drawing 570x317
An illustration of how the missile would drop payloads into the typhoon

Was this first-ever (to our knowledge) launch of a missile into a typhoon really just to record data ... or was there another purpose? China has been known to use missiles for weather manipulation before. In 2008, it launched 1,104 cloud seeding missiles in a seemingly successful attempt to prevent rain from falling on the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

While it hasn’t used missiles, from 1962 to 1983 the U.S. Government ran Project Stormfury in an attempt to reduce the strength of hurricanes by flying planes into the eye, seeding it with silver oxide and hoping it would freeze. It didn’t work and Cuban President Fidel Castro called it an attempt by the U.S. to weaponize hurricanes. Was it?

typhoon 570x380
Is it a good idea to try to control or weaponize storms?

Did China try to stop or slow down Typhoon Mujigae with an SY400 missile? It seems like the typhoon gained strength instead. Was it an attempt to weaponize the typhoon? Perhaps we should ask Fidel Castro for an opinion.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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