Experts speak out after claims HAARP caused last weekend's auroras: 'Total and utter nonsense'

vt-author-image

By Nasima Khatun

Article saved!Article saved!

Experts have spoken out after claims that HAARP was the cause of last weekend's auroras.

Now, I'm sure you all remember seeing the beautiful sights last weekend after the Northern and Southern Lights gave audiences all around the world a stunning celestial spectacle.

And even if you didn't get to see them live, all you had to do was log on to social media and see the beauty that you missed out on.

However - as with any major event these days - a bizarre conspiracy theory has emerged suggesting that HAARP caused all the auroras last weekend.

Credit: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu/Getty

For those of you who might not be aware, HAARP stands for High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program and is considered the world’s most capable high-power, high-frequency (HF) transmitter for the study of the ionosphere.

According to its official website, due to the capabilities of the beams displayed by the transmitter, "a sophisticated phased array... can take many shapes and can be scanned over a wide angular range and multiple beams can be formed."

So it's no wonder why some social media users are convinced that it had a role to play during the major celestial event.

Credit: Michael Seamans/Getty

Citing an article by PopSci, one user who goes by the name "Concerned Citizen" on X tweeted an excerpt that stated that faux auroras can be made thanks to the advancement in technology utilized by HAARP.

"Did you know Aurora Borealis can be man made using HAARP?" he asked in the caption.


Others seemingly agreed, with one user commenting under the post with: "I was going to post such on the local FB page but didn’t want to come across as a mad man. Most people just want to go along to get along. Let them believe purple is natural and has nothing to do with the aluminum nanoparticle layer now encircling the earth."

However, others hit back against the rumor.

An engineer responded back to the tweet writing: "While is possible for HARRP to create an LIMITED Aurora DIRECTLY OVER ITS FACILITY. The Aurora seen in the northern hemisphere this weekend is from a large CME coming from the sun."

They also included a link to a statement by the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks which stated by being able to create artificial versions of the aurora, researchers are able to better study how the natural ones work.

Over on Facebook, a similar rumor also gained traction after a user shared a Facebook post that stated: “Solar flares don't exist because the Sun isn't a ball of fire in space that throws off violent bursts of energy.


“The Sun is just a light. The 'geomagnetic storms’ are caused by HAARP. Stop falling for the nonsense," it added.

The post was shared over 800 times in less than a week.

Speaking directly of the post, Scott McIntosh, the deputy director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, told USA TODAY that it was "total and utter nonsense."

The flares in space can cause the sun to shoot bursts of billions of tons of plasma along with charged particles in what are known as coronal mass ejections, which when they reach the Earth, they interact with its atmosphere and create auroras.

Credit: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu/Getty

Bryan Brasher, a project manager at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center described the phenomenon as a "cannon."

"Think of a cannon. When the cannon shoots off, there’s a great flash. That's the solar flare," he said as per the outlet. "The flash goes out 360 degrees in all directions."

And to really quash the circulating conspiracy theory, HAARP director Jessica Matthews has issued a statement, per USA Today, saying: "The HAARP scientific experiments were in no way linked to the solar storm or high auroral activity seen around the globe."

PolitiFact has also debunked the claim.

So, there you have it, the dazzling curtains of light you saw last weekend were not HAARP, but the product of geomagnetic storms stemming from the strongest solar storm in over two decades!

Fancy yourself a gamer? Think you can top our leaderboard? Then check out the new VT Games - From thrilling puzzles to classic card games, there's something new to play every day!
Featured Image Credit: Ahmet Fevzi Arican/Anadolu/Getty

Experts speak out after claims HAARP caused last weekend's auroras: 'Total and utter nonsense'

vt-author-image

By Nasima Khatun

Article saved!Article saved!

Experts have spoken out after claims that HAARP was the cause of last weekend's auroras.

Now, I'm sure you all remember seeing the beautiful sights last weekend after the Northern and Southern Lights gave audiences all around the world a stunning celestial spectacle.

And even if you didn't get to see them live, all you had to do was log on to social media and see the beauty that you missed out on.

However - as with any major event these days - a bizarre conspiracy theory has emerged suggesting that HAARP caused all the auroras last weekend.

Credit: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu/Getty

For those of you who might not be aware, HAARP stands for High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program and is considered the world’s most capable high-power, high-frequency (HF) transmitter for the study of the ionosphere.

According to its official website, due to the capabilities of the beams displayed by the transmitter, "a sophisticated phased array... can take many shapes and can be scanned over a wide angular range and multiple beams can be formed."

So it's no wonder why some social media users are convinced that it had a role to play during the major celestial event.

Credit: Michael Seamans/Getty

Citing an article by PopSci, one user who goes by the name "Concerned Citizen" on X tweeted an excerpt that stated that faux auroras can be made thanks to the advancement in technology utilized by HAARP.

"Did you know Aurora Borealis can be man made using HAARP?" he asked in the caption.


Others seemingly agreed, with one user commenting under the post with: "I was going to post such on the local FB page but didn’t want to come across as a mad man. Most people just want to go along to get along. Let them believe purple is natural and has nothing to do with the aluminum nanoparticle layer now encircling the earth."

However, others hit back against the rumor.

An engineer responded back to the tweet writing: "While is possible for HARRP to create an LIMITED Aurora DIRECTLY OVER ITS FACILITY. The Aurora seen in the northern hemisphere this weekend is from a large CME coming from the sun."

They also included a link to a statement by the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks which stated by being able to create artificial versions of the aurora, researchers are able to better study how the natural ones work.

Over on Facebook, a similar rumor also gained traction after a user shared a Facebook post that stated: “Solar flares don't exist because the Sun isn't a ball of fire in space that throws off violent bursts of energy.


“The Sun is just a light. The 'geomagnetic storms’ are caused by HAARP. Stop falling for the nonsense," it added.

The post was shared over 800 times in less than a week.

Speaking directly of the post, Scott McIntosh, the deputy director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, told USA TODAY that it was "total and utter nonsense."

The flares in space can cause the sun to shoot bursts of billions of tons of plasma along with charged particles in what are known as coronal mass ejections, which when they reach the Earth, they interact with its atmosphere and create auroras.

Credit: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu/Getty

Bryan Brasher, a project manager at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center described the phenomenon as a "cannon."

"Think of a cannon. When the cannon shoots off, there’s a great flash. That's the solar flare," he said as per the outlet. "The flash goes out 360 degrees in all directions."

And to really quash the circulating conspiracy theory, HAARP director Jessica Matthews has issued a statement, per USA Today, saying: "The HAARP scientific experiments were in no way linked to the solar storm or high auroral activity seen around the globe."

PolitiFact has also debunked the claim.

So, there you have it, the dazzling curtains of light you saw last weekend were not HAARP, but the product of geomagnetic storms stemming from the strongest solar storm in over two decades!

Fancy yourself a gamer? Think you can top our leaderboard? Then check out the new VT Games - From thrilling puzzles to classic card games, there's something new to play every day!
Featured Image Credit: Ahmet Fevzi Arican/Anadolu/Getty