Debunked: Lack of "Cooling Zone" behind plane in Geoengineeringwatch Video. [Perspective]

Mick West

Staff member

In this video, the speaker, Dane Wigington, shows a photo of a plane leaving contrails, viewed from an acute head-on angle, and says:

There's several things wrong there. For a start high bypass turbofan jet engine are actually more conducive to producing such trails. And while there is a "cooling" zone, the length of that zone varies greatly, based on several factors.

But what seems to have been missed here is perspective foreshortening. This is when things look shorted when you look at them end on.

The actual photo used is a 2004 photo of and Airbur A340-541 over Syria:

For comparison, here's an A340 leaving contrails viewed from below:

We can put these side by side, but that's not telling us much, as the real situation is three dimensional.

So what I did was download a model of an A340 from the Sketchup Library, and added some simple contrails the same distance behind the wing as in the photo (modified model attached)

I then rotated this to match the photo:

And overlaid it on that photo

As you can see, the rear engines representing the contrails are coincident with the apparent start of the thick trails in the photo. They "start" in a position that is largely hidden by the the wing, which if you zoom in on the photo, is exactly where the trails in question start.

And this is actually being fairly conservative, the trails on an A340 can start much closer to the engines than I have in my 3D model.

Conclusion: There's nothing odd about this photo. It's just perspective.


  • A340 with two sets of wings.skp
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Senior Member
With all the great effort put into this, it is a shame that it will (probably) be lost (**) on the viewers of Dane Wiginton's site.

(**) Meaning, just for clarity....that Mr. Wigington would likely never allow this to be seen, by his site viewers.


Senior Member.
Good job, Mick! But I find it incredible that something as relatively easy to understand as perspective has to be explained in so much detail. And, as WeedWhacker said, it will probably either never reach the intended audience or be disregarded as misinformation. But, again, great job!

Mick West

Staff member
I originally had this post with a plane with two sets of wings to show where the contrails started. That was a bit distracting, so I remodeled it with some simple contrails.

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Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
The real mystery is how Dane shows lots of other planes leaving trails which have cooling gaps and ignores that detail, calling it "spraying".


Senior Member.
A short clip of Wigington saying the quote in the OP:

Link to the original video and the start time of where he said it are in the notes.

Please mark it as a favorite or add it to a playlist or do whatever you do so the next time someone posts a picture of an airliner allegedly spraying contrails and you can see the always-present cooling zone behind the engines, you will be able to prove to them using Dane's own words that that's a contrail.

Marin B

Active Member
Yeah, he just debunked the entire chemtrail conspiracy.
This was my thought too after looking at this same video on another thread, so I did a Google images search of Geoengineering watch but couldn't find a good side profile image of a jet showing a cooling zone/gap.

I originally had this post with a plane with two sets of wings to show where the contrails started. That was a bit distracting, so I remodeled it with some simple contrails.

What's striking to me in the image shown in the Wigington video is that the contrails seem so thick. My guess is that this is another trick of perspective - at what appears to be about 1 airplane length in the DW image, the trails are nearly merged into a single thick trail. But in this model, the 4 trails appear well-separated. Following the trail lines shown in the model, it looks as if they would begin to converge within about 1-2 plane lengths (if they were to be extended that far). It would be more convincing to me if the model demonstrated this.
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Mick West

Staff member
It's perspective compression and perspective foreshortening. A combination of the angle (looking along the trails), an the zoom factor (the long focal length of the lens).

The model was just to show the gap. You'd need to model the shape of the trails to duplicate the image fully.
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