August 6, 2008
A conspiracy theory that says government agencies are using jets to dump poisonous heavy metals into the atmosphere moves today from the realm of late-night talk radio call-in shows to the Shasta County supervisors chambers.
The Shasta County Board of Supervisors, acting as the Air Pollution Control Board, will hear at its 1:30 p.m. meeting a presentation by Dane Wigington and others about “heavy metal contamination” — referred to by some as the “chemtrails” conspiracy.
Wigington, a 46-year-old renewable energy consultant from Bella Vista, like a growing number of conspiracy theorists, thinks a government cabal is using jets to dump metals into the atmosphere to combat global warming — or for other, more nefarious purposes.
The theorists say the contrails of the jets provide the most visible evidence of the dumping, since on clear days, the vapor trails are unnaturally slow to dissipate and often appear in gridlike patterns.
But the proof locally is in soil and snow samples, Wigington said.
Area scientists have taken more than 40 samples in the north state, including on the sides of Mt. Shasta, and all of them showed abnormally high levels of heavy metals like aluminum, he said.
The metals are new and in places where they shouldn’t be, he said. The dumping may also be contributing to disastrous weather patterns, Wigington said.
“It’s tough not to connect to that with what happened in June with the 3,000-plus lightning strikes we had,” he said, adding that it’s important the public hear more about the alleged dumpings’ detrimental effects on the environment. “This is certainly a public health hazard.”
Shasta County Supervisor Mark Cibula said he requested that the board discuss the matter after receiving requests from community members.
Other board members also have expressed interest on the topic, he said.
Although he’s not sold on the conspiracy, Cibula said, he thinks it’s appropriate to hear what Wigington’s group has to say.
“Let’s look at the information and see what we’ve got there,” Cibula said.