Debunked: AnonSec's NASA Hack, Global Hawk Hijack, Evidence of Chemtrails [Public Domain Data]

Mick West

Staff member
The hacking group AnonSec recently posted a text file, accompanied by a large data dump, in which they claim to have hacked NASA servers while looking for evidence of "chemtrails". Here's how they put it:

This text file (a pruned version of which is attached to this post) and data release has been used by many groups that promote the "chemtrails" theory as "proof" that chemtrails are real, and that there's some kind of secret geoengineering program going on.

Here's the facts behind these claims.
  • Anonsec does appear to have at some point gained access to some data on a NASA Server
  • The data appears to be not secret, just public domain data (including the list of employees)
  • The data dump is just GPS tracks and videos of NASA research flights. Public domain missions.
  • NASA does have several programs studying Aerosols and there effects on the weather, but those are studies of pollution, engine emissions, and natural aerosols like dust.
  • NASA does use a Global Hawk Drone, but there's nothing secret about it.
  • NASA denies that AnonSec controlled a Drone, and beyond AnonSec's claim, there's no evidence they did.
  • Someone at AnonSec really believes in the chemtrail theory, but misunderstands the science of contrails.
The official response from NASA:
The "Data Dump" file released by AnonSec is a 250GB file. It would take me several days to download, so I'm unable to verify its exact contents. However going by AnonSec's own description it is simply flight logs and videos of Global Hawk research flights. This is data that is available over the web in literally seconds.

With a few minutes more (getting a free account at EarthData, which only requires a working email address) you can access the raw files on their server

Once you've signed up, you can access the raw files via a web file browser.

These are the same IWG1 files described by AnonSec, and these are what they used to generate some images of the flights of the Global Hawk. There's plenty of data in there for a variety of NASA missions that have interesting looking flight paths. It's all public domain. Here's some I downloaded in about ten minutes.


So what are these strange flights? AnonSec presents a list in their text file in a way that makes it seem high-tech
> cat NASA_Missions.txt
ACE	 - Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystem Mission; learn about clouds from space, satellites
	~ RADEX - Radar Definition Experiment; McChord AFB; ER-2
ARISE   - Arctic Radiation - IceBridge Sea&Ice Experiment; Eielson AFB, C-130
ATTREX  - Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment; DFRC; 4 NASA GlobalHawks
DC3	 - Deep Convection Clouds & Chemistry; NCAR; NSF/NCAR Gulfstream-V (GV) aircraft
HS3	 - Hurricane and Severe Storms Sentinel; NWFF; GlobalHawk
OIB	 - Operation Ice Bridge;NCAR Research Aviation Facility; P-3B & DC-8
PODEX   - Polarimeter Definition Experiment;Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility; ER-2
NEXRAD  - Next Generation Weather Radar; 160 Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D)
SEAC4RS - Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys; ER-2 & DC-8 & C-20A (G-III) - Armstrong;

But these are all just NASA missions, public domain (like all NASA mission), and they each have a web page explaining what they do, and various sites and data portals that allow you to access the data from those missions.

Take, for example, the most "chemtrail" sounding of the programs AnonSec list, the ATTREX mission. It's just a science mission to study water vapor in the stratosphere to help us better forecast the weather. Here's its web page, with lots of photos of the drone it uses (they use drones as 24 hour long flights are not practical with human pilots):

Here's a video explaining what the ATTREX mission is about:

He's one of several data portals that let you get mission data:

So what have AnonSec revealed to the world? They have revealed that NASA conducts missions that involved planes or drones flying around. That's it. Nothing that isn't already on NASA's web site.

So what's the big deal? Well it seems like someone in AnonSec is a hardcore believer in the chemtrail theory. From the text file:

This is the fundamental misunderstanding that underlays the entire chemtrail theory. It's the misunderstanding that I first wrote about in 2007, and continue to write about today, nearly ten year later. It's just wrong. Contrails can persist and spread and every book on the weather going back to the 1940s agrees with this.

For example: 1957: Cloud Study: A pictorial Guide, page 79

Yet AnonSec is laboring under this misconception that contrails cannot persist and spread, and hence they have also fallen for a lot of the the other "Chemtrail" misconceptions, in fact a large portion of the text file is basically going through all the commonly given "evidence" for chemtrails - largely things that were debunked many years ago (on Metabunk, or This is interweaved with discussions of hacking, and descriptions of the various NASA programs, in a way that might make the casual reader think they are related. But there's no connection here. There's basically the public domain NASA programs, and then there's a bunch of chemtrail speculation that has been bouncing around the internet for years. Putting them in the same text file and adding some (public domain) flight tracks does not create a connection.

The list of NASA employees seems at first to be a serious data breach, however the list is available for public searching at the NASA Enterprise Directory. You can get all the employes by simply restring your searches to narrow ranges (like, last name=A). No hacking required. Just more public data.

Finally there's the claim that Anonsec uploaded a flight plan for a drone to try to crash it. There's really no evidence this actually happened. Obviously a drone never crashed. NASA says they have no evidence that such a thing happened.

But either way, this is a very good answer to the question of "what's the harm" in conspiracy theories. Anonsec is an actual group of hackers. They do hack things. They probably did get into a bit of NASA's network. They may have even attempted to crash a $200 million dollar drone that was just doing science projects to help forecast the weather. They did this because they believed in the chemtrail theory. That's the harm. They were so swept up in the belief that there's something nefarious going on that they thought it was fine to crash one of NASA's science aircraft.

That's why I think it's important to debunk the baseless claims of theories like these. If a misunderstanding of how contrails works can lead to losing $200 million of taxpayer money, and disruption of valuable science projects, then I think debunking that misunderstanding is worthwhile endeavor.

[This is a summary post from material in the thread below. The original first post follows]


  • Anonsec Nasa Hack - Pruned.txt
    48.8 KB · Views: 1,083
Last edited:


Senior Member.

There's 276Gb of data. I'm sure there'll be plenty used in future bunk. for the data (Password "anonsec")
for the 'zine'.
Last edited by a moderator:


Senior Member.
Not sure what to make of this.



Senior Member.
No, this data was released today. They exploited NASA networks for months, apparently as per their statement motivated by the fact NASA is involved in 'chemtrail' research and/or operations. Given the data is 'unauthorised' I'd expect the usual chemtrail proponents will be all over this.

Hard to verify but they certainly appear to have tried to crash a Global Hawk aircraft. The data includes lots of flight logs for various types.

The contrail research mentioned in the story occurred in 2014.

Edit: It does appear very superficially similar to the documents discussed previously, albeit much larger. I guess we'll see what response, if any, this gets from NASA or the wider media. I'm not about to download the archive to dig deeper.
Last edited:

Mick West

Staff member
The supposed #OpNASADRONE is what is referred to in the other thread (which started earlier, but was updated in 2015) starting in post #15

I suspect that even if it is "new", it's essentially the same thing. A bunch of data from NASA that's basically innocuous stuff like air sampling missions data that was actually publicly available, bundled up to make it look interesting.


Senior Member.
No, this data was released today. They exploited NASA networks for months, apparently as per their statement motivated by the fact NASA is involved in 'chemtrail' research and/or operations. Given the data is 'unauthorised' I'd expect the usual chemtrail proponents will be all over this.

Hard to verify but they certainly appear to have tried to crash a Global Hawk aircraft. The data includes lots of flight logs for various types.

The contrail research mentioned in the story occurred in 2014.

I agree from my brief looksee. What I don't understand is why anonsec want NASA to admit something that, presumably, can be evidenced from the dox they hacked?


Senior Member.
Given the data is 'unauthorised' I'd expect the usual chemtrail proponents will be all over this.

Yes, I have already seen claims of "undeniable proof" regarding this data...despite not actually seeing anything related to geo-enginneering or "chemtrails" except for some editorializing on the part of the hackers (at least from what is available in the box in your first post)


Senior Member.



Senior Member.
I'm sure there'll be plenty used in future bunk.


Cynthia Khos
14 hrs

NASA Gets Hacked! What Was Leaked Turns This Conspiracy Theory Into Fact…


and one more for good measure

United Legion Of Anonymiss

5 hrs·
Anonymous have leaked information that they claim originate from NASA servers, showing evidence of an extensive drone weather modification program that prove that Chemtrails exist.

Anonymous Release NASA Documents Proving Chemtrails To Be Real –...
Anonymous have leaked information that they claim originate from NASA…


Staff member
I don't see anything new, this was doing the rounds ages ago. Basically they seem to think that NASA missions to study atmospheric aerosols = proof of chemtrails. The word "aerosol" seems to make people go funny...


Senior Member.
Looks like they found some data on the ACCESS II (Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions) series of experiments where NASA tested whether mixing biofuel into JP-8 jet fuel would reduce emissions and whether it would have any effect on contrails. Of course there is nothing secret about this and many articles have been published about it, e.g. NASA: ACCESS II confirms jet biofuel burns cleaner.
They found that soot emissions were reduced by ~50% when using the blended fuel, although the effect on contrails is not clear.


Senior Member.
NASA denies that their drone was hacked:


Senior Member.
Yep, aside from the usual confirmation-bias sharing, a certain group seem unusually mute on discussion as these comments sum it up nicely.

Douglas E De Vries
Shocking. They spent months in NASA servers and all they found was an alternative fuels testing program that was already publicly known.

If anything, this should demonstrate that there is no secret chemtrail program.
Like·Reply·1 hr

Mi Lena
oh, no comments from the trolls, i'm surprised
Like·Reply·31 mins

Douglas E De Vries
Hardly. A group spends months inside NASA servers, and all they can come up with is a program that was not a secret? Come on.
Like·Reply·24 mins


Senior Member.
So..... debunked.... again?
From the large text file that AnonSec posted, it really appears that they managed to intrude into some servers. They describe the details of how they gained access. Whether they gained control over the drone, I don't know.


Senior Member.
From the large text file that AnonSec posted, it really appears that they managed to intrude into some servers. They describe the details of how they gained access. Whether they gained control over the drone, I don't know.

I know. The thread claims aren't so specific but...
They admit they bought access from another hacker.
The data is publicly available (according to NASA and others).
They didn't crash the drone and NASA says there's no indication it ever was under another's control.
There's no evidence of chemtrails.
So what's left?

Mick West

Staff member
So what's left?

What's left is a piece of chemtrail mythology. This has been presented by Inforwars and others as "proof" of chemtrails, and so of course people will believe it.

I'll write up a summary "debunked" explanation to go at the top of the threads. I was just on the NASA web site "hacking" some Global Hawk GPS tracks.


Senior Member.
Has someone been busy getting sites/tweets taken down? is down for instance

its back up:



Senior Member.
Good work Mick, thanks.

Response from NASA spokesman here:



Senior Member.
Jim Lee's reaction:

But the commenters under his post seem to misunderstand him, thinking that he's complaining that it was him who exposed the program rather than AnonSec.
It strikes me that this data dump is different from other more famous leaks like the Panama papers and the Snowden material. In this case it seems to have been published unfiltered and unexamined by professional journalists. The more important and revealing leaks are being backed up by hardworking news organisations like The Manchester Gaurdian which is itself set apart from the mainstream media by being owned by a charitable foundation and having a history of making trouble for the authorities.


Senior Member.
It's different from those leaks because this was all already public information. They didn't hack anything, steal anything, or even reveal anything. They just grabbed a bunch of random things off media and academic servers and claimed it said something that it never did. The scientific media took a look, said, "Hey, a lot of that seems to be off the public FTP," NASA answered, "Yep, and the rest is off these more obscure public servers over here," and long before the mainstream media cycle even began it was already all in writing that nothing had actually happened.
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