By: Rahul Adhikari
March 2 2023
A satirical article from 2013 has been falsely shared, claiming Snowden exposed HAARP's global assassination plan.
A video circulating on social media claims that Edward Snowden has revealed the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program's (HAARP) "global assassination agenda." Snowden, a whistleblower and former intelligence contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA), revealed in 2013 that the agency monitored telephone and online communications as part of a surveillance program called Prism. After Snowden was charged in the U.S., he fled and was granted asylum in Russia in 2022.
One post featuring the video on Facebook has garnered more than 27,000 views and 826 interactions. A tweet captioned, "If you don't think there's a evil cabal with a depopulation agenda, it's time you wake the hell up, (sic)," has received more than 70 thousand views.
The video in question shows a news article published by Internet Chronicle on July 10, 2013, attributed to author Oliver Wilis. The narrator scrolls through the article, identifies Snowden as the "WikiLeaks guy," and proceeds to read excerpts claiming HAARP has engaged in assassination programs and mind control.
The news article seen in the viral video is a piece published in 2013 by the website Internet Chronicle. We found that the article claims that Snowden released documents to the website's reporters that prove that HAARP "is definitively engaged in a program of assassination and mind control." The article also quotes Snowden making sweeping statements about HAARP and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), apparently speaking to the website's reporters at Sheremetyevo Airport's Hotel Novotel in Russia. However, there is no evidence provided in the article to support Snowden's purported claims.
The article also includes an image of Snowden purportedly speaking to the reporters at the hotel, credited to Internet Chronicle. However, we found that the image was made by combining two stock images of the hotel and Snowden, proving that the reporters did not take the photo.
Further, while the "About Us" page of Internet Chronicle does not explicitly state that they are a satirical publication, the description indicates that. "Sadly, chronicle.su is not of this earth. After crash landing in an asteroid December 30th, 1976, the alien husks of Chronicle editors rapidly adapted to Earth climates and bacterial flora. They are able to survive naturally in the wild and reproduce freely," the About Us page states, adding, "Untruths at chronicle.su are punishable by mutilation or death." Further, Reuters reached out to James Galloway, editor of the Internet Chronicle, who confirmed that the website creates satirical content.
HAARP, a project based in an observatory in Alaska that studies the ionosphere's properties and behavior using radio transmitters, has been the subject of conspiracy theories since its inception in the 1990s. Over the years, several people have claimed that HAARP is a mind-control device, while many others have claimed that it can control the weather. Speaking to the AP in 2018, Bob McCoy, director of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, which operates HAARP refuted these persisting claims. “No, it's not a weapon, and it couldn't be…The way high-frequency radios work is that the atmosphere is transparent to those signals. If we made this 10 times bigger and tried, we still couldn't affect the weather. Minds? Electrical signals in the mind are very low frequency. HAARP is very large frequency, the waves are meters-long. So there's no way they could control minds," he said, according to the AP.
The topic of HAARP has been trending on social media since earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria on February 6. Several fact-checking organizations, including Logically, have debunked claims that HAARP was behind the quakes.
Former U.S. intelligence contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden did not reveal HAARP's "global assassination agenda." A satirical news report published in 2013 is being falsely shared now. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.