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Military shutting down facility targeted by conspiracy theorists

Military shutting down facility targeted by conspiracy theorists

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A US military research facility long at the center of conspiracy theories will be dismantled and shut down this summer, if all goes according to plan. HAARP, an acronym for High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, has been implicated in everything from mind control to extreme weather like hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and tornados since the project's origins in the early ’90s. In 2010, for instance, former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the UN that the facility was responsible for devastating floods in Pakistan. But scientists have always waved off such claims as completely ludicrous.

"We're moving on to other ways of managing the ionosphere."

The research facility is located in remote Gakona, Alaska, and according to its official website (which has been offline since 2013), it has never been involved in any classified programs. Instead, the facility — which is run jointly by the US Air Force and US Navy with additional funding from DARPA and the University of Alaska — is involved in a range of studies on the ionosphere. In particular, research has focused on using the upper layer of the atmosphere to enhance communications technologies. The facility uses 33 acres of high-frequency antennas to send signals into the upper atmosphere. Those signals are reflected back and then examined to study how the ionosphere affected the signals.

David Walker, an Air Force official tasked with overseeing much of the branch's science and technology research efforts, told Congress this week that HAARP is "not an area that we have any need for in the future," according to the Anchorage Daily News. "We're moving on to other ways of managing the ionosphere, which the HAARP was really designed to do." The facility is said to cost some $5 million per year to run — unless someone steps up with those kinds of funds, it seems HAARP is destined for the history books.