Chemtrails: A Fortean View

By Colin Bennett

Phenomena Magazine, January 22, 2005

Chemtrails: What's Going On?

The so-called "chemtrails" that are seen almost everywhere in the skies of the world are an incredible phenomenon of our time, if only because like UFO sightings, the broad span of social, political, and intellectual life of major nations largely ignores such things utterly. Even those with imagination (artists, playwrights, novelists, poets) ignore such anomalistic things as UFOs and chemtrails, even though they offer images, symbols, metaphors, intrigue, mysterious technology, and much more besides!

This changing of the skies of the world full previously of traditional pantomime clouds to a sky scored by lines of whitish-grey streaks is totally ignored by major news, media, and communication outlets. This is strange again given that the effects are quite spectacular and beautiful when lit by the evening sun. The trails spread out at different rates, they come from different angles, and the aircraft that create them can be seen streaking across the sky, often several at once, and at extremely high speeds.

The word "chemtrails" is used here for lack of a better word, but it is unlikely that what we see spreading out across the sky are chemicals of some sort. Such an amount of chemicals would surely have the most immediate and obvious effect on both our minds and environment. We would be pleased to hear from environmental groups who have more specialized knowledge about any kind of chemical/environmental approach.

Over the past year, the Combat Diaries team have conducted a special investigation of chemtrails over Britain. With the help of specialists (some ex Royal Air Force), we conducted a 16 hour period of observation by web, telephone, and amateur radio of the skies over America and Central Europe, from first light to last light, taking into account time differences. The results were quite disturbing. It was obvious that simultaneous operation by large numbers of quite visible aircraft were being mounted over continental areas on both sides of the Atlantic. Through contacts, we managed also to get reports on this selected same day from the civilian staff of merchant and cruise ships crossing the Atlantic. They reported that sky trails were visible whilst sailing in mid Atlantic.

Thus we concluded that chemtrails represent a continuous operation of incredible magnitude. The aircraft involved show remarkably similar characteristic and performance, though their profile we have yet to find in any book of aircraft recognition. Roughly, they resemble in shape and size the Boeing 757 (the type that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11), but carried no markings. This is remarkable in itself, because technically it is illegal. Measured by range theodolite and ex-service hand-held rangefinders, they were doing approximately the same speed at the same height. The speed was steady, quite precisely maintained, being 1200-1400 mph. This is somewhat high for an outmoded passenger aircraft type, meant for inland short/medium range commuter flights at a top speed of 450 mph!

These things are wonders in themselves, but it is the sheer number of these pseudo 757-type aircraft that is beyond belief. On this chosen sample day, our reporters in France, Germany and Holland, Spain, Italy and Israel alone reported at noon the sky trails of no less that 234 almost identical aircraft at between 40-50,000 feet. Since this hourly rate continued during the day it represented some 2340 sorties over ten hours. Worldwide, multiplying the quite reasonable factor of 10, we have 23,400 sorties per day by planes of a non-military non-supersonic configuration, travelling at speeds equivalent to the combat speed of F16 or Typhoon Euro-fighter.

By comparison, NATO figures for annual full-scale exercises amount to something like 300 (jet supersonic) combat sorties at full stretch for the same time period, involving some no more than 150 aircraft. Again, the absence of reported noise is strange. Even a single Tornado on afterburner over central London would shake the population up considerably.

Since our observers at military and civilian airfields reported no such activity by any such aircraft, we have here a modern mystery in our skies visible to all on a clear day. National airspace regulations don't appear to be a problem at all with any country as far as these infringements are concerned.

This vast number of aircraft appear to have no detectable bases, they have no apparent air-refuelling needs, they do not carry drop tanks, and the routes appear to stretch across the sky from all compass points, often crossing one another on a pretty random basis. They appear also to have no detectible manufacturers, support base, or refuelling facilities. And they don't appear to land or take off! Again, since no air force in the world (not even the United States Air Force) has any supersonic transport aircraft, the presence of many hundreds of supersonic transport aircraft is rather strange!

The cost such of such visible operations on a worldwide basis by approximately the same type of powerful aircraft must be stupendous. The maintenance, fuelling, and repair facilities of such a great number of high-performance aircraft can only be imagined. The training schemes and accommodation of the personnel appear not to exist! Since no such numbers of this aircraft type are on manufacturer's lists, and the number that have been manufactured are all busy on conventional routes flying conventional passengers and cargo, we have here a true mystery of our time.

Where are they from, and what are they doing on their seemingly purposeless routes across the sky?

Investigations are continuing. We are trying, by various means to monitor their VHF, but they do not appear to have any measurable frequency signature and neither do they appear to make any physical noise. This again is amazing because the represent a very great number of aircraft that are entering and leaving (an indeed manoeuvring) inside national airspace at will, with no recognition signals, and no visible identification. Since they are supersonic, they are over the visible horizon in seconds (the comparatively lazy motion of a 400-mph 747 Jumbo may be compared to them). Where these many aircraft all break into Mach 1 is another mystery.

We have discovered something else that multiplies these astonishments. Using (passive) night scope infrared amplifiers, we found that the operations did not cease after nightfall!

This means that roughly speaking we can possibly multiply the scale of operations by a factor of two, bringing us into absurd realms as regards cost, maintenance, and purpose.

Our collective "not-seeing" is unusual if only because chemtrails are much more visible and more frequent than UFO visitations. We are forced to consider the idea that levels of conscious acceptance and recognition within a culture have often nothing to do with how much "evidence" is available. All anomalistic structures have this common peculiarity. Somehow, like a bioelectric switch, as a society we turn most anomalies "off" as far as social cognition is concerned. This is a most common effect. The phenomenon may be large or small, fantastic or mundane, it makes no difference. We cannot see the kitchen matchbox in front of us, say, because we are have been diverted into thinking about something else. We don't have enough RAM to hold all our files open at the same time!

From a Fortean point of view, the phenomenon of chemtrails might enable us to construct a new and healthier definition of what we mean by "skepticism." We might see skepticism not a revealing of mundane truth, so much as an automated control mechanism by means of which maintain a kind of wonder-management rather than differentiate fact from fiction. This was Charles Fort's original view of the function of skepticism. It puts "doubt" in a new dynamic context rather than it being seen as a depressing semi-automated denial of all that is wondrous and magical in the world.

Meantime, we are starting the long, hard road of corresponding with the appropriate civil and military authorities about chemtrails.

We can hear both Franz Kafka and Charles Fort laughing from their graves!

About the author:

Colin Bennett was born in Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest, within arrow-shot of the Sheriff of Nottingham's castle. He left school after studying science and mathematics, became a professional musician, then a mercenary soldier before winning a scholarship to read English at Balliol College, University of Oxford.

After leaving Oxford, he had several plays performed on the professional stage in London including the Royal Court Theatre before retraining as an electronics engineer to cure what he calls "a bad dose of left-liberal decadence." After his reconstruction, he then ran his own electronics consultancy and printing firm. He has had two novels published, and now lives within a spear-throw of Portobello Road, London, and hopes he has done with reconstructions. He is frequently consulted on security, conspiracies, and computer hacking. He now heads a team who spend all their time running the Combat Diaries web site at

His third biography is due out in March 2005. This is An American Demonology (Head Press) the story of Captain Edward Ruppelt, who headed Project Blue Book in the early 1950s. This Project was the official United States Air Force investigation into the UFO phenomenon. Both the above books are available on Amazon.