It doesn't matter what topic you're researching - if you go down enough online rabbit holes, you'll find yourself reading a conspiracy theory about something. The most famous conspiracy theories concern whether or not man has been to the moon and whether the Illuminati controls pop stars. Many theories also regard the mysteries of the ocean.
In the summer 2017, the devastation of hurricanes Irma and Harvey opened the floodgates for an often overlooked subset of the conspiracy world - hurricane conspiracy theories. These titans of the water, their foamy arms flailing with chaos as they rain destruction on everything in their path, arrived so close together in 2017 they must surely be the result of some nefarious government activity, Illuminati maneuvering, or corporate maleficence.
Conspiracy theories attempting to make sense of the most destructive hurricanes have a lot of moving parts; there's a NASA conspiracy, HAARP makes multiple appearances, and there's even the possibility these so-called hurricanes aren't even happening. Get ready to rattle your noggin and delve into why so many people are questioning Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey.
The simplest answer to this question is that no, there's not a government weather machine at the HAARP research facility in Alaska. The base mostly performs tests and experiments designed to improve communication technology by charging the Earth's ionosphere. Even if HAARP is a weather machine, calling it a government weather machine wouldn't be factual because the military transferred ownership of the base to the University of Alaska in 2015.
But that hasn't stopped conspiracy theorists from posting on social media and YouTube about how America is experiencing a slew of "man-made" hurricanes and tornadoes caused by a government weather-modification program that seeds the sky with nanoparticles containing "gigaflop microprocessors" and chemicals that cause massive storms after being "activated" by anything from lasers to radio signals (depending on the conspiracy theorist).
With so many major issues facing the world in 2017, why would the government go out of its way to create weather patterns powerful enough to destroy major cities in Gulf states and cause massive damage in territories and trading partners in the Caribbean? They know they'll have to pay for the repairs, right?
Those who don't believe Uncle Sam used HAARP to conjure hurricanes still have conspiracy theories about these storms. Rush Limbaugh and his fans believe the feds, with help from the lamestream media, attempted to trick people in Texas and Miami into believing their homes were going to be destroyed and/or lose power.
Limbaugh believes it was a ruse to boost local economies by causing a run on supplies like water, batteries, and canned goods. This type of event can also be used as a major diversion, to deflect attention away from big moves the feds are making behind the scenes. Why Limbaugh, who seems to love the free market and the opportunities offered by capitalist feed frenzies, would have a problem with people making runs on stores remains unclear.
Some conspiracy theorists believe HAARP is messing around with the weather, pumping out Extremely Low-Frequency waves as a cover for its real mission - to turn you into a killing machine. Or something like that? According to this theory, HAARP uses its emissions to control the human mind. What the sinister forces behind this conspiracy hope to accomplish by playing with the brainwaves humans emit remains unclear.
But, as per the theory, with the "twist of a knob," scientists at HAARP and The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA, a division of the Department of Defense) can tap into your brain to see what you're thinking and maybe even control you.
Most pictures of HAARP floating around the Internet show its high-frequency radio transmitter, which is made of 180 interlocking sets of antennae pumping 3.6 megawatts of power into the ionosphere. (To put this into perspective, FM radio stations are limited to using 100,000 watts, or one-tenth of one megawatt.) This transmitter might look very sci-fi, but it's not as terrifying as conspiracy theorists make it out to be.
The point of those transmitters shooting their wattage into the ionosphere is to shake up radio waves about 60 miles above the surface of the Earth, thereby giving scientists data to help develop new forms of communication technology. Because the Earth is curved and most waves used for communication are flat, comms systems are trickier than you might expect to develop. That's the baseline science they're working with.