How Rogue Scientist J. Marvin Herndon Disproved the Last Resort of the Chemtrail Theory

Mick West

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Scientist J. Marvin Herndon Recently published two papers that argued that there's a secret climate modification program being carried out worldwide involving loading ash from coal power stations into planes, and then spraying it into the upper atmosphere to block the sun.

Update: the second of these two papers has been retracted by the publisher

The evidence he presents is essentially taking a rough chemical profile for dirt or ash, and then testing dirt (dust or soil in air and water), and then noting that the profiles are similar within a huge range of possible values. This is fairly standard stuff in the "chemtrail theory".

But the really interesting thing is that Herndon's papers, which have been lauded by the chemtrail community as validation of their claims, actually disprove one of the most fundamental claims of evidence underpinning the theory - the claim that people have accurately observed changes in the sky.

The majority of chemtrail evidence claims are quite straightforward to address (even if the answers are generally ignored). Chemtrail believers generally start by claiming that "normal" contrails can't persist - and yet contrails, as noted in 70 years of books on clouds, are just clouds and like clouds they can persist for hours in the right conditions. The chemical tests are really just tests that match dirt in a variety of situations. The videos of "spraying" are usually just aerodynamic contrails. High bypass engines actually make more contrails, not less. The patents and documents about climate engineering are all talking about the future.

But after you've gone though this laundry list of claims, the hardest one to address is the claim that "the skies were not like this before I started seeing chemtrails". People tend to think that normal contrails should not persist and cover the sky because they personally don't remember them doing so. To question their memory is generally taken as a great personal insult. They are very observant, they watch the sky all the time, they have great observational skills, they have excellent recall. So you can't really debunk it. At least not for them personally.

Of course, there's lots of problems with this claim. For a start there's plenty of photographic and video evidence of contrail persisting and spreading, exactly as they do now, dating back many decades. There are people who do remember contrails spreading. And then there are people who only just noticed it - and curiously everyone seems to have noticed it at different times, sometimes as much as fifteen years apart, even when they live in the same city.

Enter J. Marvin Herndon. In his discussions, letters, books, and papers he makes very clear that he only noticed the trails in 2014

"Herndon's Earth and the Dark Side of Science" - December 2014
Evidence of Coal-Fly-Ash Toxic Chemical Geoengineering in the Troposphere: Consequences for Public Health - Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 11 August 2015
Letter from J. Marvin Herndon to San Diego City Council, Jan 16, 2015
J. Marvin Herndon Interview, June 2015
Aluminum poisoning of humanity and Earth’s biota by clandestine geoengineering activity: implications for India - CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 108, NO. 12, 25 JUNE 2015
So here we have the most well credentialed scientist ever to back the chemtrail movement, someone with a Ph.D. and several published papers to his name, claiming that "chemtrails" in San Diego only started in 2014, and that before that you were luck to see one contrail a day, in the distance, maybe.

The problem with this, and the reason it disproves the more general "the skies don't look like I remember" claim of evidence, is that he is demonstrably and inarguably mistaken. Many people, including many chemtrail activists have seen persistent trails in San Diego prior to 2014. And there's documented evidence, from chemtrail activists that far more than one trail has been observed over San Diego, on many days of the year, dating back decades.

For example, take the chemtrail site "SoCal Skywatch", based in San Diego, has many images of multiple spreading contrails, very like the ones that Herndon first noticed in 2014, dating back several years to when the site was set up in 2010.

https://www.google.com/search?es_sm=119&biw=1066&bih=803&tbs=cdr:1,cd_max:2013&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=san+diego+contrails+site:socalskywatch.wordpress.com&oq=san+diego+contrails+site:socalskywatch.wordpress.com
2a07e73d6eda9fbdd9d55bc1d0c6c3c8.jpg
5b5dc22d24e3999d5dd7ef7606481527.jpg
b6aef15388c52c4d8fd0ad0f93e49d9c.jpg
cdc7ae0c8fc2260d8ba7728e470b9866.jpg

And many more - this is a search of the site, restricting images to before Dec 31, 2013.


In fact there have been enough people looking up at persistent trails in San Diego that there was a march on city hall in 2013, the year before Herndon noticed the trails.
https://socalskywatch.wordpress.com...-march-against-chemtrails-and-geoengineering/

ecaafc969af1282c46c1475a9a2de548.jpg

And they had a table, showing photos of contrails over San Diego, at the San Diego Earth Fair, in 2012


In fact there are multiple anti-chemtrail groups in San Diego, there's a Meetup group formed in 2008, and at least two facebook groups: Blue Skies San Diego and San Diego Chemtrails, which both predate Herndon's 2014 observations.

So Herndon demonstrates that, no matter how great a scientist you are, and no matter what you think of your own observational skills and memory, you only notice and remember things when you are actually looking for them and when you are interested in them. Back when you were uninterested they were still there, you just were not paying attention.

Yet quite indisputably, other people noticed them. Other people who were interested in the chemtrail theory back then. Look at this video of the skies over San Diego from 2009:
It's almost exactly like what Herndon says was an entirely new thing in 2014, five years later.

In fact the observation of persistent trails in San Diego dates back to the early days of the chemtrail theory. Here's some from 2002. From "an avid sky watcher, day and night,"

http://www.rense.com/general32/san.htm
Notice the contrast here. We have Herndon, talking about the years before 2014
And Gunn, back in 2002
Two people, living in the same city at the same time. Both with entirely different recollections about persistent spreading trails.

This difference in recollections isn't even a new thing itself, take this story from 1971:

One person remembers seeing contrails spread out. But the other, who lived there all his life, says he never noticed it.

So Herdon's observations of a sudden change in the trails, an observation made in (apparently) peer-reviewed scientific papers, is demonstrably wrong. This does not in itself mean he's a bad scientist. It just mean that he's subject to the same cognitive biases as the rest of us. It means that you don't remember what you are not interested in. I means that if you suddenly notice something for the first time, you should check other sources before assuming you've never seen it before.

It means the next time someone tells you "contrails did not persist and spread before ...", you should show them the case of J. Marvin Herndon, PhD. Show them how he lived in the same place and looked at the same sky of 30 years, and how despite being a trained scientist he thought contrails did not persist and spread over that place before 2012, and yet he was wrong.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Regarding discussion of this topic - there's an obvious conflict between the chemtrail community lauding Herndon's paper, and Herndon's obvious error in saying there were basically no contrails in San Diego before 2014.

But if we want to communicate this to people, it's important to remember these kind of mistakes (arising from ordinary cognitive biases) are mistakes anyone could make. Please don't mock people, and please avoid saying things that (while arguably correct) might be seen as mocking, or belittling. . It suffices to point out the error, and how the error generally applies.

For this to be useful in communicating the reality of the situation, I think it's best to simply lay out the facts. Herndon is a scientist, he made mistakes, maybe you did too.
 

JRBids

Senior Member.
As many in the chemtrail crowd and the non chemtrail crowd will attest, we get a lot of trails over Long Island. HOWEVER.... even when they "fill the sky" it's still bright. Believers constantly say the sun is blocked but I don't see that UNLESS there are lots of clouds in the sky...NOT contrails. But then they think ALL clouds are chemtrails so ....
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It would be useful to gather other examples of dense contrails covering the skies over San Diego here, with sources, and dated before 2014 (pre 2010 would be great, and older even better).

This is from 1961. Probably mostly natural cirrus, but with the two contrails there is fits the bill.

Source - Flickr
Additional Source - A San Diego chemtrail group, posted in 2013.
 
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Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
Regarding discussion of this topic - there's an obvious conflict between the chemtrail community lauding Herndon's paper, and Herndon's obvious error in saying there were basically no contrails in San Diego before 2014.

But if we want to communicate this to people, it's important to remember these kind of mistakes (arising from ordinary cognitive biases) are mistakes anyone could make. Please don't mock people, and please avoid saying things that (while arguably correct) might be seen as mocking, or belittling. . It suffices to point out the error, and how the error generally applies.

For this to be useful in communicating the reality of the situation, I think it's best to simply lay out the facts. Herndon is a scientist, he made mistakes, maybe you did too.

This is exactly like the people who claimed that Earth had "tilted" abnormally on its axis because they have "always" watched the sunset and they are "SURE" it never used to set "THERE" before. They become deeply offended when you point out that they can't possibly be right while all the world's astronomers have missed what would arguably be the most significant event in the history of Mankind on Earth.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
I wonder if the title is accurate. Is the claim 'no persistant contrails before (insert date here)' so central to the theory that falsifying it disproves the whole thing? I think we've seen that it's not so easy.
But possibly making the title semantically correct would make it too clumsy so it's not worth being pedantic over.
 

Jay Reynolds

Senior Member.
I'm not able to do this right now, but beginning at the turn of the century the busiest place that chemtrail believers hung out was chemtrailcentral.com. A search of their forum is sure to turn up many postings from San Diego and nationwide from pre-2005 when the site host lost interest after coming to understand that ordinary passenger planes made what he had considered "chemtrails".
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I wonder if the title is accurate. Is the claim 'no persistant contrails before (insert date here)' so central to the theory that falsifying it disproves the whole thing? I think we've seen that it's not so easy.
But possibly making the title semantically correct would make it too clumsy so it's not worth being pedantic over.

It's a simplification - as I discuss in the article you can debunk all the other points with science, history etc. However there's this final sticking point that is difficult get past, difficult to debunk - the "that's not how I remember it" argument. Herndon's observations provide a way of debunking this final argument.

But it's also almost a total debunk in itself. If there was a secret spraying program, then why does nobody notice it? Why do the "awake" people all notice it at different times, even when they live in the same place?

Dane Wigington says "How do we know our skies are being sprayed? Because we have film footage of the crime, of jets spraying at altitude." But what if this is simply banal (contrails) something that you did not see before simply because you were not interested in the topic? Herndon's observations demonstrate that you can't simply rely on your memory - you need actual evidence. And we know from long experience that this evidence does not exist.
 

Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
Because we have film footage of the crime, of jets spraying at altitude."

A lot of the time he is referring to the KC-10 close up footage when he says that. He usually includes the words "nozzles visible" in that claim.
 
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J

Joe

Guest
So because he didnt notice them before 2014 everything else is Bunk ? Science :rolleyes: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/12/8/9375/htm
 
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tadaaa

Senior Member
This is exactly like the people who claimed that Earth had "tilted" abnormally on its axis because they have "always" watched the sunset and they are "SURE" it never used to set "THERE" before. They become deeply offended when you point out that they can't possibly be right while all the world's astronomers have missed what would arguably be the most significant event in the history of Mankind on Earth.

A national pastime, here in the UK is to talk (actually moan) about the weather

And around this time of year most people are complaining about the "rubbish summer" we have just had, "it used to be sunnier/dryer/hotter" we all say (me included!!)

And every year our Met office remind us that it has been a totally average summer, maybe a fraction cloudier/wetter/colder - but in reality pretty usual
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
So because he didnt notice them before 2014 everything else is Bunk ?

No, everything else is bunk. It's all stuff that's been debunked. The only point here is about the final objection that chemtrail theorists fall back on - that they don't remember the sky being like this. Herndon shows that this final objection is bunk.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
So because he didnt notice them before 2014 everything else is Bunk ? Science :rolleyes: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/12/8/9375/htm

Off topic for this thread perhaps, but do those ratios look even remotely similar to you? Bear in mind that the horizontal axis is logarithmic, not linear!
 

skephu

Senior Member.
It's called inattentional blindness. We often don't notice what we are not paying attention to.
 
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J

Joe

Guest
No, everything else is bunk. It's all stuff that's been debunked. The only point here is about the final objection that chemtrail theorists fall back on - that they don't remember the sky being like this. Herndon shows that this final objection is bunk.
I remember when it seemed hotter outside . I thought it was a peered reviewed paper ? He is a scientist he must be right ?
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
It's called inattentional blindness. We often don't notice what we are not paying attention to.
A very common example is what happens when you buy a new car, and then start noticing that they're all over the road, and in the same color to boot.

You could just accept that now that your brain is keyed to recognize that car when you're looking for it in a parking lot, that it'll recognize it everywhere else, too. You weren't paying attention, so you never noticed before, but now you are paying attention and noticing every one of them on the road.

Or you could concoct a fabulous story about how hundreds of people in your area noticed you had a new car and raced out to the wholesale lot to get the exact same thing and now they're parking three at a time at your favorite store just to make you second guess which door you went in.
 

JRBids

Senior Member.
A very common example is what happens when you buy a new car, and then start noticing that they're all over the road, and in the same color to boot.

You could just accept that now that your brain is keyed to recognize that car when you're looking for it in a parking lot, that it'll recognize it everywhere else, too. You weren't paying attention, so you never noticed before, but now you are paying attention and noticing every one of them on the road.

Or you could concoct a fabulous story about how hundreds of people in your area noticed you had a new car and raced out to the wholesale lot to get the exact same thing and now they're parking three at a time at your favorite store just to make you second guess which door you went in.

Isn't that your reticular activating system that goes into gear?
 

Graham2001

Active Member
This is exactly like the people who claimed that Earth had "tilted" abnormally on its axis because they have "always" watched the sunset and they are "SURE" it never used to set "THERE" before. They become deeply offended when you point out that they can't possibly be right while all the world's astronomers have missed what would arguably be the most significant event in the history of Mankind on Earth.

That it is, for anyone who is interested, the Exposing PseudoAstronomy podcast did an entire episode on the 'Moving Sun/Moon' phenomenon, the money quote from that is:

The full transcript is linked below:

http://podcast.sjrdesign.net/shownotes_024.php
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
This is exactly like the people who claimed that Earth had "tilted" abnormally on its axis because they have "always" watched the sunset and they are "SURE" it never used to set "THERE" before. They become deeply offended when you point out that they can't possibly be right while all the world's astronomers have missed what would arguably be the most significant event in the history of Mankind on Earth.

It's something I had never really paid attention to until my parents moved to a house with a view of the sea. For a few weeks either side of the solstice, the sun sets out at sea as viewed from their front room, but the rest of the year the sunset is hidden by the hills as it sets further south. So you know summer is coming to an end when you can no longer see the sun setting into the sea.

Bad photo but it's the only one I have to hand (this is late July)

image.jpg

Without that kind of landmark, most people really wouldn't notice the gradual movement of the sunset. I know I didn't.
 

JRBids

Senior Member.
Trailblazer, something I am very aware of as a real estate agent, as people with the water view want to know where exactly the sun sets.

I know the sun is going to begin making its way back when it sets to the right of the platform.

DSCN8936.JPG


When It sets over the bluffs it's winter. Actually it sets way to the left in the dead of winter but I then there's nothing to take a photo of, LOL!

IP 007.jpg
 

Jim Spriggs

New Member
Hello, everybody! I was at the top of the page and I clicked on the link to one of Scientist J. Marvin Herndon's two papers:

Evidence of Coal-Fly-Ash Toxic Chemical Geoengineering in the Troposphere: Consequences for Public Health - Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 11 August 2015

...and guess what:

'This paper was retracted on 2 September 2015, see Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 10941-10942.'

(click link for details of errors)

'Consequently, we have decided to retract the article. This paper is thus declared retracted and shall be marked accordingly for the scientific record.
MDPI takes the responsibility to enforce strict ethical policies and standards very seriously. We aim to ensure the publication of only truly original and scientific works. MDPI would like to apologize to the readers of IJERPH that this article was published with the errors mentioned above. We sincerely appreciate the efforts of those who bring aspects of scientific error to our attention in an effort to maintain scientific integrity.'
http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/12/9/10941/htm
 
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