No, HAARP did not create aurora lights over the U.K. or other parts of the world

By: Emilia Stankeviciute
May 14 2024

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No, HAARP did not create aurora lights over the U.K. or other parts of the world

Screenshots of the video shared online. (Source: Instagram/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

Fact-Check

The Verdict False

HAARP's technology is limited and cannot create widespread auroras. Experts confirm these are due to natural increases in solar activity.

Claim ID 6a1af2ba

Context

Skywatchers around the globe were able to witness uncharacteristic displays of aurora lights overnight from May 10 to May 12, 2024. Auroras were visible in locations far from the typical high-latitude auroral zones, including cities like Vancouver, Seattle, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Brussels, Warsaw, Wellington, and Hobart. The AuroraWatch UK service, which monitors auroral activity in the U.K., confirmed that there were opportunities to see the aurora in multiple locations throughout the British Isles.

After a weekend of aurora sightings, a video shared on Instagram claimed that the colorful lights observed over the U.K. and other parts of the world were created by the High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) as part of a test to manipulate the Earth's ionosphere. This claim attracted considerable attention, with the video gaining over 20,000 likes.

“If you’ve been experiencing headaches and sickness over these dates it could be caused from heavy metal toxicity from EMF [electromagnetic fields],” the video caption added.

Screenshot of a post shared on social media. (Source: Instagram/Screenshot)

In fact

HAARP is a research program operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks designed to analyze the ionosphere, a layer of the Earth's atmosphere that contains a high concentration of ions and free electrons, and develop potential associated radio and surveillance technologies. While HAARP does have the capability to influence the ionosphere by heating it, the scale of such modifications is nowhere near what would be required to produce aurora visible over broad geographic areas. HAARP-related activities are localized and could not cause auroras to appear in the diverse and disparate locations reported.

HAARP does emit EMF as it operates a high-power, high-frequency phased array radio transmitter. However, these emissions are non-ionizing, and the levels of EMF produced are regulated and monitored to ensure they do not pose health risks to humans or the environment. The type of EMF emitted by HAARP is similar to that of other large-scale radio frequency transmitters, which are considered safe under international safety standards.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks confirmed in a statement on May 13, 2024, that recent experiments conducted by the organization from May 8 to May 10, 2024, were solely focused on academic research purposes, specifically aimed at studying the detection mechanisms for orbiting space debris. These experiments were not related to the geomagnetic storms or auroral activities observed, and their timing relative to the solar storm was entirely coincidental.

The widespread visibility of the aurora borealis can be attributed to a peak in solar activity, coinciding with the solar maximum in the sun's 11-year cycle. This period of heightened solar activity leads to more frequent and intense geomagnetic storms, which are responsible for the auroral displays​.

During these solar maximums, the sun emits larger quantities of solar wind and coronal mass ejections (CMEs), streams of charged particles that can interact with Earth's magnetic field. When these charged particles collide with gases like oxygen and nitrogen in our atmosphere, they emit light, creating the colors of the aurora​. This year's solar maximum has been particularly strong, resulting in auroras appearing much further south than usual, which is why places normally not privy to such displays have experienced them​.


Picture of aurora over Idaho, taken on May 11, 2024. (Source: NASA)

HAARP has been at the center of various conspiracy theories for years. Initially funded by the military, its secretive nature and advanced technological capabilities have fueled speculative claims about its purpose and functions. One of the most persistent theories suggests that HAARP can manipulate the weather, controlling climate and natural disasters across the globe. Others believe that it has the potential to control minds, influencing human thoughts and behaviors from a distance.

Logically Facts has previously debunked numerous claims of this nature.

Verdict

The claim that HAARP created aurora lights over the U.K. and other parts of the world is false. Although HAARP's capabilities are advanced, they are localized and not sufficient to create auroras visible over large areas. Experts have confirmed that the auroras observed were the result of natural increases in solar activity, which is typical of the solar maximum phase.

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