May 11, 2000, 11 UpClose
Lisa Foronda: Is there a danger at the center of the latest government conspiracy theory? A theory that is being fueled by the Internet.
In tonight's UpClose report 11 reporter Ron Travino explains why some people believe harmful chemicals are being sprayed over Houston.
[Chemtrail video: Chuck Shramek] "Well, I've never seen three just in formation like that. How blatant is that?"
Bob: You can see more lines up in just a grid pattern, sometimes they would go from horizon to horizon.
Ron Travino: They look overhead, and don't like what they see.
[Lorie watching Chemtrails in sky] "Look at this guy, he's got a little trail growing."
Ron Travino: Most people would see trails in the sky as mere contrails, condensation left by jet exhaust.
[More Chemtrail video] "There is a long curving chemtrail."
[Lorie and Rhonda look at Chemtrail album]
Ron Travino: But, to a growing number of people, here in Houston and all over the country, it's something different. Instead of contrails they see what they call chemtrails, as in trails of chemicals.
[Rhonda uses inhaler]
And they believe what they see is making them sick.
Rhonda Greif: I seem to be getting better and then there'll be a heavy spray day, I'll come back down with sinuses and headaches.
Ron Travino: The chemtrail story is spreading quickly on the Internet.
[Shows Carnicom website]
[Radio] "We're talking here about what sounds like a giant conspiracy.
Ron Travino: And on radio shows that specialize in conspiracy theories.
[Radio: Will Thomas] "This is truly at the highest government levels."
Ron Travino: A hot subject on websites designed by those who believe there may be a covert government project at work, they document what they call "heavy spray days". Many of them here in Houston. Lorie Kramer of Houston has setup her own chemtrail website and is persuing this with a passion.
Lorie Kramer: It's either some type of weather modification or it has to do with biological weaponry, I hate to say that.
Ron Travino: It's a claim that is not surprisingly is shrugged off by those who fly. Col. "Snuffy" Higgs of the Air National Gaurd has been flying military jets for over 2 decades, creating and observing contrails for a long time, he says the only thing he sprays, is jet fuel exhaust.
Col. Higgs: There are a lot of people with spare time [laughs] and sometimes they let their imagination get away with them.
Ron Travino: But imagined or not, some people believe these contrails look different now, that they are forming strange patterns, they believe the government is doing something.
Dona Terry: It could be to protect the earth against the solar flares and it could be somehow to combat the greenhouse effect.
Ron Travino: But if the contrails look different now is it simply because there is more air traffic? Those who study and teach aerodynamics and fluid mechanics say...
Dr. Fazil Hussain, University of Houston: There is absolutely no basis to suspect that the contrails you see today are any different than they were ever before.
[Lorie shows Chemtrail video to Ron] "It curves and goes up..."
Ron Travino: Still, those that think something secret is going on, and that contrails are Chemtrails, continue their quest.
Lorie: I know something is not normal, and we just want to know what it is.
Ron Travino: They look to the sky and the Internet, looking for answers the experts say they will never find. Ron Travino, 11 UpClose.
Lisa Foronda: Ron says government agencies deny anything secretive is going on.