1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    There are several videos online, as well as some first hand accounts, that describe a strange white fibrous substance falling out of the sky. Those of a conspiratorial bent will often ascribe this to fallout from deliberate high level spraying - which they call "chemtrails" (thinking that the contrails behind planes are actually being deliberately sprayed). Sometimes, they say it's to do with "Morgellons Disease", a condition coined to describe a long list of symptoms, the most notable being finding fibers on your skin.

    Examples of claimed "chem-webs"

    These "chemwebs" have a very simple explanation - they are spider silk that is used by spiders to fly though the air. This is something that has been observed for centuries. Here's what it looks like for a single spider:

    Of course a single spider is not going to make much noticeable . But there are approximately one million of spiders per acre, (nearly a billion spiders in a square mile) and occasionally a large number of spiders will take to the air ar the same time (probably due to hatching at the same time based on weather conditions). The masses of silk will coat fields, get caught in trees, and sometimes get tangled up and blown into the air.

    Here's an example of what this looks like, probably the result of thousands of tiny spiders.



    This has always happened, and it's always been confusing people. It was only relatively recently (the 1700s) that people realized the "gossamer" that sometimes coats fields actually came from spider, and was thought to come from evaporated dew. Folk tales and superstitions persist, and now it seems a new folk tale is born, with "chem-webs".

    Some great first hand accounts of spider ballooning, and the resultant fibrous fallout, is found in the 1890 book American Spiders and their Spinning Work, by Henry Christopher Mc Cook, Chapter 9, pages 256-282


    And the book quotes an even older source, from 1741:

    Which seems to match modern observations quite well.

    This silk is not particularly sticky (spiders can spin both sticky and non-sticky silk). But is very light and thin, and when rolled in your fingers it will collapse upon itself, resulting in just a few specks. This can be mis-interpreted as "dissolving", but really it just that the silk occupies very little space to start out with. The silk used for flying is known as "gossamer" silk, and is one the lightest and thinnest of all types of spider silk. The thinness of the silk maximizes the surface area to weight ratio, and so creates more lift from the wind.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  2. marcel

    marcel Guest

    I blame the recent past's mollycoddled society. When they were children, they were not allowed to explare their backyards and local woods etc. so they would not find and play with spiders caterpillars worms etc. Now, they find webs and do not know what it is.

    PS. Gerry needs to stop biting the skin on his fingertips.
  3. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Well, people were confused about it hundreds of years ago as well, so that's not entirely the problem.

    [Side note, marcel - guest posts don't show up until I have a chance to approve them. If you register as a member than your posts will show up immediately]
  4. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds Senior Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
  5. firepilot

    firepilot Senior Member

    Roxy Lopez and what is obviously Spider Web

  6. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds Senior Member

    Interesting that most of these reports, mine, and even from hundreds of years past, all lie in the fall season.
    The first connection made with this and 'chemtrails' was back in 1999 by a fellow named Tommy Farmer.
    The report said he saw contrails and then saw webs falling. This prompted me to do an experiment to see both the
    horizontal and vertical rates of fall of a similar material which easily showed no possible connection.
  7. scombrid

    scombrid Senior Member

    Morning fog clinging to spider webs. Something I always find pretty. People that have been duped by Carnicom see spider webs glistening with morning dew and panic. Carnicom and his colaborators seem to be selling these people supplements.


  8. scombrid

    scombrid Senior Member

  9. FreiZeitGeist

    FreiZeitGeist Senior Member

    Just to complete this...

    in Central Europe there a not so much ballooning spiders. Chemweb-Videos and Pictures from our Area mostly shows webs from caterpilars like the "Oak Processionary" (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_Processionary ) - a moth wich caterpillars are most active in May an June.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
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  10. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds Senior Member

    I spent the last week traveling between Lafourche parish and Lafayette Parish in south Louisiana. I traveled through the area where cajunmiracle lives several times and observed the sky at least once/hour. There were very few contrails, and few which were persistent. There was heavy fog in the mornings, normal here for the time of year. Yes, spiders made webs, and you can plainly see that the webs she photographed were made by spiders, not something that fell from the sky.
  11. Belfrey

    Belfrey Senior Member

    We have numerous silk-spinning caterpillars here, too (my field is forest pests & disease). Some of them - including the notorious gypsy moth caterpillar - disperse by "ballooning". Others build silk nests or just cover everything with silk webbing as they wander. Periodically there are outbreaks that really alarm people, such as this outbreak of oak leafrollers and leaftiers last year in Pinellas Co., FL:
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
  12. scombrid

    scombrid Senior Member

    Yes I have seen webworms, tent caterpillars, wolf spiders, funnel web spiders, spiny backed orb weaver, ballooning baby spiders, ballooning baby caterpillars, etc... all show up in "chemweb" videos. As a kid I always looked forward to foggy late summer and fall mornings and the glistening webs. I marvel that people didn't notice them before a Roxy Lopez or Cliff Carnicom pointed them out as "unnatural" and "dangerous" products of chemtrails. I further marvel that people accept the word of people like Carnicom and Lopez but dismiss as a "shill" or "troll" anybody that offers natural explanations.
  13. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds Senior Member

    Guys the key to debunking these is to ask the readers why a guy like Carnicom or the others don't do an actual lab analysis of them. The amino acids are pretty clear for many of these. When these claimants fail to get a proper analysis, it's over for them if you point out that fact clearly enough, and if the fail to do so for over a decade as Carnicom has.
    http://goodsky.homestead.com/files/silk.html (http://archive.is/jMKFZ)

    There is probably much more available now than when I wrote that web page.

    first key to debunking is show the claim:
    http://www.carnicom.com/labstop.htm (http://archive.is/zJoUK)
    http://www.carnicom.com/labtest.htm (http://archive.is/egIya)

    Then show how the claim could have been documented, and how it never has been.

    Game over.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  14. BrassTacks

    BrassTacks New Member

  15. solrey

    solrey Senior Member

    Here's another youtuber, superdeltabravo1, who has numerous videos of spider silk and gossamer he thinks are chemwebs/chemfibers. He claims to have had some of it analyzed yet I'm not aware of any videos he's made that actually show the reports. I've asked him to send me a personal message with copies of those reports.

    http://beagleproject.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/ballooning-with-spiders/ (http://archive.is/taHMe)

    http://artsandsciences.colorado.edu/magazine/2010/12/spiders-disperse-on-strands-of-silk/ (http://archive.is/lzlC1)
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  16. scombrid

    scombrid Senior Member

    Carnicom is leading superdeltabravo1 and cajunmiracle around by the nose.
  17. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds Senior Member

    I ran across this article describing an observation of adult spiders ballooning:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  18. Stupid

    Stupid Senior Member

    I came across a Wikipedia entry for something called "Aeroplankton".
    I believe this is just a descriptive term for any microorganism that has become airborne......as in the study of Aerobiology.
    (open a virgin prtri dish, see what lands on it, and grows)

    However the images on the wiki page are quite deceiving, as these are just bugs photographed around a light, at a slow camera shutter speed. Although the caption does describe this, it seems an easy image to get misused (along with a funky name like "aeroplankton")
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The description of the photo seems reasonable, if a little wordy:

    They also show the same light, illuminate by flash.

    I suspect someone just likes the word, and use it where "insects" will do.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  20. Barnacle

    Barnacle New Member

  21. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Another story on the french fibers reported on Twitter with just the headline:

    The actual story

    Google translate:
  22. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds Senior Member

    The analysis of spider silk is pretty straightforward. If such silk is analyzed properly using high performance liquid chromatography
    (HPLC), and the constituent amino acids known to comprise ordinary spider silk are found, you have identified the material.

    Over a decade ago, I did some research on this after chemtrails related claims began to be made:

    At that time I had some personal communication with Dr. Merri Lynn Casem who told me:

    However, there seems to be some large variability between spider species, individual spiders, and even the same spider from one time to another:

    Additionally, an analysis of sticky spider silk needs to take into account that it will likely pick up contamination from the environment, whatever it touches becomes part of your sample, be it smoke from a fire, exhaust from a passing truck, blowing leaves, pollen, and dust from the air.

    It might be helpful to obtain such an environmental atmospheric sample separate from the silk which might help sort out the different sorts of environmental contaminants present from the actual silk itself.

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