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Update: the second of these two papers has been retracted by the publisher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