Cloud seeding, an early form of Geoengineering, began October 13, 1947 with Project Cirrus.
“Right after World War II, science could do anything,” says Hugh Willoughby, an atmospheric scientist at Florida International University in Miami. “No one had thought through what would happen if you seeded a hurricane. They didn’t know about the cloud structure in a hurricane. It was just kind of, ‘Let’s do it!’”
And so they did!
On the morning of October 13, 1947, a Boeing B-17 loaded with 180 pounds of crushed dry ice took off from MacDill Field in Tampa, Florida.
Two days earlier, a hurricane that had wreaked havoc in Cuba and Miami, but had since been treading water 350 miles off Jacksonville, seemed ready to wind down and was drifting out into the Atlantic.
All predictions had it remaining at sea without further landfall, making it the perfect test subject for the newly minted Project Cirrus, a U.S. government- backed project bent on discovering a way to disable deadly hurricanes.
And so on October 13, 1947, the U.S. Air Force B-17 rendezvoused with the storm and climbed 500 feet above its dark upper clouds, where the Project Cirrus scientists dumped a few thousand white peas of dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) into the swirling storm clouds at the western edge of the hurricane, which was “supposed to be heading harmlessly out to sea.”
The airplane circled for a while, then turned for home. For reasons as obscure as they were controversial, the hurricane followed.
What happened next was a worst-case scenario!
Instead of dissipating, the storm which had been drifting harmlessly to the northeast, suddenly furiously swung nearly 130 degrees to the west, executing a full pivot, as if tracing a “7” from the bottom up.
Gathering momentum, it barreled toward the Atlantic coast and slammed ashore near Savannah, Georgia, where it chewed up terrain for miles inland, killing a few people and causing $23 million in damage ($220 million today).
Pretty soon, reports about the B-17’s actions began circulating in southern newspapers. The military, of course, “denied” that the experiment had diverted the storm, and commanders refused to release flight details and scientific data.
Threats of lawsuits soon followed, with Georgia residents blaming the government for the devastation. Furious locals denounced the shadowy mission as a “low Yankee trick.”
Meanwhile, safe in his lab in upstate New York, the Yankee in question, Irving Langmuir, GE scientist and Nobel laureate, analyzed the storm data with grim satisfaction, sympathizing with Savannah but confident he’d proved that humans could, at last, control the weather. However, fearing lawsuits, GE pulled its support of the project.
Road to Project Cirrus and more
The road to Project Cirrus began with Vincent Schaefer, a meteorologist for General Electric. In November 1946, Schaefer dumped dry ice from an airplane into cloud cover and proved his concept by starting a snowfall in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. It wasn’t long until the experiments at General Electric “garnered attention from the government. “
Together with GE, the various branches of the government and military formed a coalition — headed by GE scientist Irving Langmuir — called “Project Cirrus,” which was to investigate the possibilities of cloud seeding, an early form of geoengineering, for a host of potential uses, like producing rain in arid regions. However, the plans didn’t stop with simply making rain.
Project Cirrus quickly set its sights on a bigger obstacle: “weakening the destructive force of a hurricane.” If an injection of dry ice could disrupt the structure of the storm, the project’s scientists reasoned, then perhaps the hurricane would dissipate.
Project Cirrus did not entirely stop the government’s interest in weather modification. In 1962, various branches of the government, the Navy and National Weather Bureau, commissioned “Project Stormfury,” Project Cirrus’ descendant, and began a new wave of hurricane cloud seeding projects. Of course, weaponizing the atmosphere fit right in! Seeding with Project Stormfury lasted more than 20 years.
To the average person, it looked like Project Cirrus was to blame. Time Magazine reported, “In Savannah last week, Southern blood bubbled toward the boiling point. A Miami weatherman had hinted that last month’s disastrous hurricane might have been not an act of God, but just a low Yankee trick.”
Conclusions about the storm . . . ?
What is conclusive about the destructive hurricane that pummeled Georgia in 1947, is that the storm had taken a sudden westward turn and made landfall just outside of Savannah.
And so, in your opinion, did Project Cirrus cause a geo-engineered hurricane disaster in Georgia? Or does the responsibility for the death and destruction caused by the disastrous hurricane fall on Mother Nature,, both or neither, something else?
As always you be the judge of that!
- Excerpts from article by Meg Marquardt
- Excerpts from Smithsonian Magazine, July 2010.
- Excerpts from Elana Freeland’s book, “Chemtrails, HAARP, and the Full Spectrum Dominance of Planet Earth”