After Hours

10 geeky conspiracy theories

The War of the Worlds

On October 30, 1938, in what was perhaps the start of the UFO scares and conspiracy theories, Orson Welles' reading of H.G. Wells' book The War of the Worlds sparked mass panic on the U.S. eastern seaboard. This photo is an artist's rendition of what the martian walkers looked like.

Image credit: Meinert Hansen.

For more on this topic, read the Geekend post Conspiracy theories for geeks.

30 comments
oldbaritone
oldbaritone

They needed energy for their return trip home. ;-)

GDoC
GDoC

What?!? No mention of Nikoli Tesla?? Scalar Resonance? ELF frequency free energy grid? Partical beams? COME ON! And you call yourselves geeks? Insofar as HAARP and its possible effects on climate or weather as the case may be, though HAARP has focused on propigation of signals through excited ions, the frequency could be changed to have effect on the troposphere or stratosphere as well, though any appreciable difference would, as mentioned require a huge power increase. On a related topic, if I recollect properly, several years, or has it been decades now, ago, the possibility of using orbiting solar farms to microwave energy at extremely low cost to recieving stations on earth, was shot down primarily on the grounds of the possible effects on the ionosphere as well as locallized heating of the troposphere...so maybe some actual science there...

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

Of all the conspiracy ideas, the closest to real reality is the HAARP program. Subsonic's and hypersonic's can be used to vibrate atoms remotely which can alter the normal actions and reaction of the atmosphere. This in return can and will expand the air in the atmosphere. Which in turn can alter the pathways of the Troposphere Jet Streams. In theory this can give the power to alter hurricanes and rain patterns. The biggest conspiracy from this is the Bush/Katrina rumor to kill the Dumbocrats living their. And I use dumbocrats not democrats becausee if they think this is true they are dumb, so dumb they do not think they need physical proof of such to give proof of such. The UFO ideas can become more true when they prove the existance of a multi dimensional universe but that idea is one of the ideas that has not made the top 10 list yet. Some of these ideas are or have no real physical proof to back them up. I myself do give the concept of Warp Drive a better chance of being real than their concepts and with no real physical proof to back them up. Oddity's in reality may conceive these ideas but they are just as provable as the guy who thinks he is the president claiming his almost a trillion is spending will create millions of real non government workers.

ken lillemo
ken lillemo

One reason not to wander around Area 51 is it once hosted a test stand for a nuclear powered aircraft engine. It worked well except for incrementaly taking apart the nuclear pile as it ran and littering the down range area with radioactive debris.

mkohli
mkohli

I recognized it as soon as I saw it, in the 70's I worked at the sister site in Fortuna North Dakota. This is a FPS-35, the second largest rotating dish radar in the world. It was also one of the most powerful jam proof radars ever made. It?s all vacuum tube, designed in the fifties. I did have one thing that was incredible, a Crystal delay line, a 4 ft. drum that reflected the received signal for several milliseconds, before being taped off. That?s over 200 miles traveled in a 4 ft. drum! In the 60's the 12" concrete walls of the Montauk Pt tower were cracked by the tourque of the antenna.

elleno
elleno

Where is the biggest conspiracy of all - that 9/11 was an inside job.

TheKatman
TheKatman

It is surmised that HAARP efforts of bouncing energy pulses off the Ionosphere and triangulating those efforts across the planet created the heavy monsoon season that was experienced in Viet Nam in the latter parts of the war. Jim Maars.....

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

Since their is not detection of any unexpected crapft around those areas, and when you can explain how they were able to create almost super conductive invisible pathways for the energy to transmit along. And would not this lowering of the excess energy that thus creates radiation have know were the free radical radiation that was around these Atomic plants. I'd still place the stupidity or carelessness of human people at the top of the list and UFO's at the end of it and near the trash can.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

I to thought that placing huge solar panels in NEO orbits around Earth and using microwaves to send the energy back to Earth was a great idea. At first I never understood why the brilliant idea was tossed in the trash. As I later learned about the HAARP program and the effects of EMI energy on the Ionosphere I realized why this great idea was good on paper but bad in the real world. Now if we could string a superconducting cable from the Orbiting Solar Farms back down to Earth, this idea may be able to power us back here on Earth. But economically I give Fusion a better chance of coming true first.

seanferd
seanferd

If you are still talking about HAARP here, I'm not sure where you are getting reference to any velocities relative to "sonic". RF travels at the speed of light, as does all EM radiation. But, yes, exactly, this is what HAARP does - heats a patch of ionosphere minutely (which really has no effect on weather) to increase reflectivity for over-the-horizon communications. Such a device certainly could be used to heat the atmosphere's lower regions to increase temperature differential in a storm, but you'd need a heck of a lot more power and focus to make any noticeable difference.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

There's nothing geeky about that one, or the Kennedy assassination, or Roosevelt knowing about Pearl Harbor in advance, etc. That's why they don't show up on this particular list.

marcedhk
marcedhk

How would it have been advantageous to the US troops to have it raining like crazy? Wouldn't that actually skew things in favor of the Viet Cong who would be much more accustomed to dealing with those kind of conditions??? I suppose they're also using it to make it hotter in Afghanistan as well.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Anybody with rain making capability would have better (more profitable) things to do with it. Any famine relief fund would cough up millions of telethon dollars to make it rain in drought-stricken lands. That ain't happening, and no one would sit on this technology when they could be raking in the money by the truckload.

GDoC
GDoC

Truely massive Solar farms could be put into Geosynchronous orbits with less groundstation variance than those in NEO, thus lesser impact on the ionosphere. Our present usage of coal and other petrochemical substances here on earth are causing more damage to our entire atmosphere, and the exo/ionosphere than strickly targeted microwave feeds from these "farms".

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

Sub sonic is 0 to 80Hz. And they in ways act wave form wise like the upper EMI channels. Hyper sonic is 20KHZ to 500KHZ and basically cover the RF spectrum from above human hearing to just below where AM radio starts. Both these EMI wave form types create harmonic vibrations in Atomic structures of Atom's and orbital paths of atomic parts. Some sub sonic waves effect jet stream paths and velocities. I will not state here what frequency's create what actions because that would be adding those that desire to harm things. But this effect is best demonstrated by making a wine glass shatter. Atmosphere and the ground are very different in density of their objects but sonic (even sub or hyper) can be used in similar ways for destruction by creating resonate vibrations to break apart structured order of things. The field of this Science is known as Acoustical Harmonics. And has been used way back in the Old Testament of the Bible or as far forward as Klingon Disruptor Pistols. And even today's Army is researching Sonic Disrubtors that use hyper sonic waves to disrupt soldiers metabolisms. But they also are using Microwaves to heat up the interior body's of soldiers to interfere with the bodies metabolism. Who knows HAARP may one day let us control the weather on Planet Earth. But like most new technology's harm is more profitable the aid that can be offered by its actions. Until we get over this harm first Humanity will still be an Animal. I do not know how or when this will happen, or if it ever will but if we are to last a more than a few hundred years or more humanity needs to learn to place aid before harm. And I'm not talking the neutering progress of making everyone 100% equal at every thing equal. In doing so results in the end of evolution.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

The HAARP program does not directly change weather actions, it is not like Iodine seeding of the clouds to condense moisture into rain drops that thus fall to the earth because they are no longer lighter or less dense than the air. What HAARP does is use high frequency waves with high energy to alter the behavior of the existing atmosphere. Thus altering the density of high and low pressure atmospheric density. This changes the existing paths of the high altitude jet streams. This then changes the paths that weather systems travel along in the atmosphere. As a result wet and dry regions on the earth alter. HAARP do not it's self create or diminish weather, it just changes the ease or hardship of things in the weather happening. HAARP in the 80's and begining of the 90's has made the earths atmosphere balloon out or up and aditional 15 miles or so. The given proof has been measured by space shuttles slowing down in their orbital velocity because the atmosphere expanded and gave more friction resistance to the shuttle as it travels in the mostly vacuum of space. The prbital thrusters were able to replenish the lost velosity.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

If you look back before the LASER was created in 1962 what came before it. The MASER, and they used Microwaves instead of light. MASERs would not spread out like a radar microwave would. And they would only disrupt small confined regions surrounding the narrow beam. The major side effect would be not much diffrent that putting your backyard robin in you nuke chamber for a few minutes, but in seconds. I call the Microwave Oven the radiation chamber and cooking food in it as nuking it, because in reality that is what you are really doing.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

If you used a fuse it better be miles long. I remember in 1976 FBI people came to talk to me because I found the phone number to the Library of Congresses modem access number that government people used to call from remote sites. (i.e. from their home state offices). I had just finished writing a program on free radical neutron's. It all depended on the density of the beam on what the exposed matter would do. My purpose was to figure out why U-235 and U-238 either go fissile or boom. To not go into jail for as they said "breaking into Government Computers", I agreed to not give my Neutron Density program out and stop working on it. All because all you had to do was pick the correct elements and it would give you the critical mass point needed to make A-bombs. At 16 years old I had no understanding on the political and military levels of my program in the wrong hands. I just thought it was a simple Physics Class extra bonus points program. And the source book came from NOAA in Boulder and only 2 years old, but had over 2000 pages, the biggest book I'd ever seen. It just goes to show you with the right info and a good computer program you can try to do good stuff. But it can go bad if in the wrong hands.

neilb
neilb

is one of those things that I thought EVERYBODY knew. Alas, I appear to be mistaken. How sad. Oh, and it's a [b]femto[/b]second. And, if you do the maths, it's equivalent to the number of seconds in about 30 million years. "yoctosecond" is the shortest SI unit of time defined to date. Now that is equivalent to a BLOODY long time. :) It doesn't take much, you know, to not look like an idiot. Ten seconds on Wikipedia and you don't even have to admit to it.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

The speed of light I was quoting came from a 1974 Popular Mechanics Mag. That I re-read some 8 years ago. And why else did I say I could be wrong. I was not 100% sure myself, that is just what my brain recalled. That was back when millionths of a second was a really small slice of time. Now we are talking nano-seconds and fermi-seconds which has more ticks in a second than there ever has been seconds in time since the first second. My source for that is "Through the Wormhole", do not recall the episode but I have them all on DVD-R disks. And if I wanted to kill time I'm sure that I may be able to spend time finding another different value than we both have given here. That is find a number with proof to back it up. I'm sure the media has many other wrong statements, but they rarely give proof what they say is correct also.

neilb
neilb

If you run your own bossiness and due your taxes by yourself with no errors, your bran may be able to handel the concepts Well, if do you, and it can, then I stand (or in this case, sit) corrected. The speed of light on the Discworld was measured by a "Give me a shout when you see it, OK?" experiment involving two hills, a lantern, and an assistant with a very loud voice.

neilb
neilb

Please, PLEASE have some idea what you're posting about. Light travels at 299,792 Kilometres per second and that is 186,282 miles per second. That isn't of by a "minor amount". As for your description of sound waves, it's given me a headache! :( You know, not only have the numbers not changed since the 1980s, the numbers haven't changed much since the 1780s.

neilb
neilb

No such thing. I think you've got a few concepts mixed up. As a matter of simple fact, an atomic bomb is a pretty uncomplicated piece of engineering. The difficulty lies in getting the enriched Uranium or Plutonium. It won't kill you, either, if you take some sensible precautions. Until you set it off, that is. BANG. :)

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

If you do not even know what the concepts or word mean and you wish to understand and learn (known as get educated). The may slow your nomal thought processes, i.e. how to select the best vegies. But in doing so you make it easier for your brain to comprehend other more complex stuff later in life. As the saying goes you need to exercise your mussels to do a 26 mile marathon, So to make an atomic bomb you need to exercise your brain first. If you run your own bossiness and due your taxes by yourself with no errors, your bran may be able to handel the concepts of free radical neutrons in uranium to build a bomb. But if you have never worked with Atomic physics the radiation will get you first. So if IRS agents start vanishing, look for them in IRAN first.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

Your gave even a greater detail explanation, or really education to those that do not understand much about the topic of low end EMI. About the only fact that you left out is why sound waves are not like radio or light waves. The fact is you do not directly hear the sound wave, what you hear is the resulting interaction of a sound wave on the physical substance that the sound wave travel through. And that is why sound does not travel at the speed of light. It takes thime for a sound wave to react with atmospheric particles. Light travels at 282,295.361 miles per second and sound depending on the atmospheric density goes at roughly metween 675mph and 730mph. My numbers may be off by minor amounts because they are numbers from the mid 80's, I have not bothered to look for the current numbers that may be more accurate.

JackOfAllTech
JackOfAllTech

I was about to post a similar, albeit much shorter, correction.

seanferd
seanferd

Had an attack of SIWOTI syndrome. Plus, my brain has to dump somewhere.

santeewelding
santeewelding

I barely have my shopping list made out for the vegetable section of the market tomorrow. Should I read these things, I may become confused before I get there.

seanferd
seanferd

(Sorry I missed your reply until now.) They are two entirely separate things. They both have wave natures, and both can, of course, be measured in Hertz. But they are in no way related in the sense you mean. You are constantly mixing the two in your posts. Humans cannot hear or otherwise detect RF unaided. I'll assume that you mean EM (electromagnetism) when you refer to "EMI". I notice also that you conflate several different terminologies. Subsonic Speed of movement or propagation lower than the speed at which sound propagates in a given medium. Supersonic Speed of movement or propagation higher than the speed at which sound propagates in a given medium. Hypersonic More or less arbitrarily Mach 5 and above. Infrasonic Sound with a frequency below the average threshold of human hearing. 20 Hz. Ultrasonic Sound with a frequency above the average threshold of human hearing. 20 KHz. Sound Pressure waves traveling through a medium. Electromagnetic Radiation E.g., radio (RF), visible light. Can be viewed in its particle aspect as quantized radiation (photons) radiated by electrons dropping to a lower energy state. Can be viewed in its wave aspect as a propagation of oscillating magnetic and electric fields, where these fields are at right angles to each other and the direction of propagation. Average wavefront propagation is c (299,792,458 m/s, give or take a meter per second) in a perfect vacuum. Applying these definitions, we see that Sub sonic is 0 to 80Hz. And they in ways act wave form wise like the upper EMI channels. is wrong straight off the mark. Let's assume I accept this as your definition of infrasonic, although it is officially defined with a lower top end: Infrasonic sound wave frequencies lie between 0 and 80 Hz. But next it is asserted that that sound waves with frequencies below 80 Hz behave "wave form wise" (what does this even mean?) like "upper EMI channels" (again, meaning what?). So, I'll play the parsing game, and you tell me if I misrepresent your idea. Wave form behavioral similarity: EM and sound both propagate as sine waves, but that gives no relationship between infrasound and whatever range of frequencies you consider to be in the upper EM. [Channels are arbitrary mental constructs of human broadcasting to allow allocation of spectrum for use so that any broadcaster do not interfere with another's signal quality - I'll stick with frequency. ] And whereas EM propagates as a 2-dimensional transverse wave in space, sound travels as a three-dimensional longitudinal wave in a material medium, but in solids there is also a transverse shear component. These describe types of waves, not wave forms, but neither change behavior across frequencies. Upper EM: This would have to be in the realm of gamma radiation or hard x-rays, unless you intended to indicate some other relative scale, such as high-frequency radio. What I am left with, from these two sentences, is that, in some manner you have not defined, a low note on a cello or piano shares some important characteristic with gamma rays. I must admit I do not see it. Moving on, Hyper sonic (ultrasonic ) is 20KHZ to 500KHZ and basically cover the RF (no, people cannot hear radio waves) spectrum from above human hearing to just below where AM radio starts. Ultrasonic-range sounds have no connection to RF. A spectrum with human hearing on one end and AM radio band on the other makes no sense. AM radio spectrum may be loosely defined as lying between 120KHz and 30MHz (likely a bit narrower), but what of it? AM radio is not audible sound. Which is why we have those little radio receiver things with transducers in them. Yeah, HAARP and other projects do make use of ELF radio (OTH communication, subterranean imaging), but these are not sound waves. There is no magic connection between the range of human hearing measured in Hertz, and some sub-range of the AM band measured in Hertz, and the weather. From here, i'm just going to ignore any reference to anything "sonic" and I'll work under the assumption that some range of RF frequencies is what you are talking about. Both these EMI wave form types create harmonic vibrations in Atomic structures of Atom's and orbital paths of atomic parts. Some sub sonic waves effect jet stream paths and velocities. I will not state here what frequency's create what actions because that would be adding those that desire to harm things. But this effect is best demonstrated by making a wine glass shatter. Atmosphere and the ground are very different in density of their objects but sonic (even sub or hyper) can be used in similar ways for destruction by creating resonate vibrations to break apart structured order of things. Interpretation: LF and HF AM waves can raise electrons to higher energy levels in atmospheric gases. Some LF waves affect the jet stream. (Please provide proof of this. Do you have any idea how much energy one would have to put into the jet stream to affect it noticibly? I sure don't, but it would have to be a staggering amount.) Now you try to pretend you are witholding evidence for the safety of the planet. You don't know anything than anyone couldn't look up - absoption spectra for atmospheric gasses. And since RF at these alleged special frequencies cannot alter the jet stream, I reject your security-classified lack of proof. Sorry. But this effect is best demonstrated by making a wine glass shatter. (What effect? This example is entirely irrelevant , there is no connection. One cannot impart a harmonic resonance upon the jet stream with radio or sound. And heating due to irradiation is very little to do with harmonic resonance.) Atmosphere and the ground are very different in density of their objects (irrelevant to your point, but given) but sonic (even sub or hyper) can be used in similar ways for destruction by creating resonate vibrations to break apart structured order of things. (Sure, vibration can shake apart anything, especially if you hit a harmonic resonance. But that isn't radio, and is not limited to sound - any well-timed kinetic input will do. The analogy between sound and EM does not hold - the best you can do is ionize atoms a bit, temporarily. High-intensity EM, e.g., a powerful laser, can ionize and heat objects rather effectively, but it neither fits the wineglass analogy nor your overall concept.) The field of this Science is known as Acoustical Harmonics. Yes, that would cover the wineglass but nothing else. And has been used way back in the Old Testament of the Bible or as far forward as Klingon Disruptor Pistols. So you are going to compare two fictions in attempt to legitimize a field of study which needs no legitimization? And even today's Army is researching Sonic Disrubtors that use hyper sonic waves to disrupt soldiers metabolisms. Sonic weapons, generally infrasonic, are real, but the power of the pressure waves is as important, if not moreso, than frequency. They can make you feel really ill, like any vibration, particularly when cavitation is caused inside your body. Still, this has nothing to do with radio, EM in general, or HAARP, and is not analogous, either. But they also are using Microwaves to heat up the interior body's of soldiers to interfere with the bodies metabolism. Again, true. How do you think microwave ovens work? You use a lot of power on a frequency which heats water molecules (and others) by making them vibrate due to the fact that water is a charge dipole, with which microwaves interact very well. The amount of energy needed to cook a man entirely cannot possibly be scaled up enough by man to cook the jet stream with AM radio. Who knows HAARP may one day let us control the weather on Planet Earth. But like most new technology's harm is more profitable the aid that can be offered by its actions. Given enough power, but more importantly, much better meteorological knowledge and real-time data, one may be able to affect weather with a HAARP-like system. The energy requirements will be vast, and knowing where to create some extra heat to disturb storm formation ahead of time requires practical omniscience at this time. But HAARP sure can heat up a small patch of ionosphere (far, far above the jet stream) a bit, which is exactly what the main obvious instrument was designed to do. No big deal, not Earth-threatening. Until we get over this harm first Humanity will still be an Animal. I do not know how or when this will happen, or if it ever will but if we are to last a more than a few hundred years or more humanity needs to learn to place aid before harm. And I'm not talking the neutering progress of making everyone 100% equal at every thing equal. In doing so results in the end of evolution. While I wouldn't put it that way, and although most people seem to understand evolution even less than high-energy particle physics, I more or less have a similar sentiment. Cheers!