secrecy {fragments}

~ musings on secrecy ~

Weather Mod / Geoengineering Secrecy

Approximately a year ago, I used W. R. Derrick Sewell’s article “Weather and Climate Control” as a basis for a Freedom of Information Act request. In his article, Dr. Sewell cites a table that outlines planned and estimated funding for weather modification projects by federal agency. According to Interdepartmental Committee for Atmospheric Science (ICAS) data cited by Sewell, the Bureau of Reclamation (Department of the Interior) and National Science Foundation received the largest amount of funding during the years 1966-1973, with the Department of Defense, third in line (Sewell, 1973, p. 34). Using this information, I requested “any and all records regarding the historic use of weather modification, climate modification, geoengineering, and environmental and geophysical warfare operations and programs.” In the request, I also asked for records on Project Foggy Cloud, Project Overseed, Project Skyfire, the Santa Barbara Project, GLOMEX, BOMEX, NORPAX, Pop Eye, Blue Nile, Intermediary, and Compatriot. An exercise in FOIA futility, I received little response from agencies.

Agencies responded to requests as follows:

Air Force: Forwarded from DIA, the National & Air Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) responded:

A classification review was conducted with the utmost diligence to determine if the record you requested may be released in whole or in part. After reviewing the document it has been determined that some information can be released, but the FOIA requires that other portions be withheld because of classification and personal privacy interests. Listed below are the exemptions that apply to the requested document: United States Code, Title 5, Section 552(bxl);  Executive Order 13526; united states Code, Title 5, Section s52(bx3), l0 u.s.C. 424. Section f.a(c); and United States Code, Title 5, Section 552(bX6).

NASIC released one document, heavily marked and not dated. The markings are fascinating reading as is the section on “low-tech” weather mod: NASIC_weathermod_FOIA

CIA: Forwarded from DIA, the CIA responded they

Reviewed the material and determined it is currently and properly classified and must be denied in its entirety on the basis of FOIA exemptions (bXl) and (bX3). Exemption (b)(3) pertains to information exempt from disclosure by statute. The relevant statute is the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949,50 U.S.C. $ 4039, as amended, Section 6, which exempts from the disclosure requirement information pertaining to the organization and functions,-including those related to the protection of intelligence sources and methods.

DARPA: Released Climatic Reconstruction: A Synopsis of Methods and Data authored by N.A Frazier (August 3, 1971). The report discusses the Advanced Research Project Agency’s Nile Blue project.

Department of the Interior referred me to the Weather Modification and Atmospheric Research Reports, 1952 – 1993 (Record Group 115: Records of the Bureau of Reclamation, 1889 – 2008). DOI also sent the following enclosure, which upon review has little to do with my request: BOR-2013-00110.

DIA fowarded the request to the Air Force, CIA, NSA, and “other government agencies”:

A search of DIA’s systems of records located four documents (17 pages) responsive to the subject of your request. All documents have been referred to other government agencies for their review and direct response to you as they did not originate with DIA.

NSA (DIA referred) found:

The responsive document has been reviewed by this Agency as required by the FOIA and has been found to be currently and properly classified in accordance with Executive Order 13526. This document meets the criteria for classification as set forth in Subparagraph (c) of Section 1.4 and remains classified TOP SECRET as provided in Section I.2 of Executive Order 13526. The document is classified because its disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security. Because the document is currently and properly classified, it is exempt from disclosure pursuant to the first exemption of the FOIA (5 U.S.C. Section 552(bX1)).

I did not file any appeals with these agencies.


1. Dr. Sewell cites the table as originating in the following document: Interdepartmental Committee for Atmospheric Science. (1971). A national program for accelerating progress in weather modification, Report 15a. PB 203793, ICAS Report 15a. Springfield, VA: National Technical Information Service.

2.See the  Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, December 10, 1976. Article 1 states “Each State Party to this Convention undertakes not to engage in military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects as the means of destruction, damage or injury to any other State Party.”

3. Project Censored’s  Most Comprehensive’ Assessment Yet Warns against Geoengineering Risks, VIN (Validated Independent News).

4. In his address at the Conference on Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and U.S. Strategy (University of Georgia, Athens, GA, April 28, 1997), former Sec. of Defense William D. Cohen’s mentions “eco-terrorism” through manipulation of the climate.

5. Shearer, Christine, Mick West, Ken Caldeira, and Steven J Davis. (2016). Quantifying expert consensus against the existence of a secret, large-scale atmospheric spraying program. Environmental Research Letters, 11 (8). doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/8/084011

Bibliography & Update

Earth’s Future. (2017). Special section on geoengineering. March.

Gertner, J. (2017). Is it O.K. to tinker with the environment to fight climate change? The New York Times, April 18.

Keutsch Research Group, Harvard University. (n.d.). Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx).

Lukacs, G. (2017). Trump presidency “opens door” to planet-hacking geoengineer experiments (and response). The Guardian, March 27.

Pierrehumbert R. T. (2017). The trouble with geoengineers “hacking the planet.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, June 23.

Sewell, W. R. (1973). Climate and weather control. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 216(1), 30-41.

Temple, J. (2017). Harvard scientists moving ahead on plans for atmospheric geoengineering experiments. Technology Review, March 24.

Wood, Graeme. (2009).  Re-engineering the earth The Atlantic. July-August.


With the CIA’s CREST now full text, the sky’s limit in terms of archival research. Below are several docs I discovered while browsing in the platform:

1952? ~ Research from Germany of “basic physics research which can be applied to meteorology and weather modification. The experiments were performed in physics laboratories but they could be applied to the natural atmosphere with essentially the same conclusions.”

October 7, 1965 ~ An interesting memo with numerous attachments from CIA’s Chief, Astro-Geophysics Branch, GSD/SI to Chief, General Sciences Division/Si (sorry, didn’t have time to do the research for names during this time period). The memo discusses the importance of the World Weather Watch system, but it is the strongly worded attachment from the Weather Services of the Environmental Science Services Administration that calls for “a vigorous national program to exploit the possibilities of weather modification should now be mounted” that is of relevance to building a history of weather modification. The memo also includes as chart of federal support for weather modification by agency 1959-1967 from the Federal Council for Science and Technology.

August 1, 1972 ~ Memo titled “International Aspects of Weather Modification” written by the NSC Under Secretaries Committee (USC) to several the Director CIA, Chairman, Joint Chiefs, and other national security figures. The memo outlines the USC’s responsibility in the “field of weather modification: continuing review of the international aspects of weather modification generally and of U.S. activities affecting other countries or outside U.S. territory;  instituting and overseeing implementation of appropriate guidelines for such U.S. activities; and reviewing any requests from other countries for assistance in weather modification activity.” The memo also discusses Nixon NSDM 165 “International Aspects of Weather Modification” (May 1972).



Written by S.

June 13, 2015 at 1:51 am