Project Cirrus: 1940′s Weather Modification

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Posted by Abrams Hap
Opsec News
April 2, 2013

Project Cirrus is the first known US governmental effort into weather modification. The five year experiment was born in February of 1947 at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. It was a joint effort of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and GE. Project Cirrus was led by Nobel laureate Dr. Irving Langmuir and his protégé Dr. Vincent Schaefer, both from General Electric (GE).

The project saw many successes and received much controversy. The US government became invloved after a Nov 13, 1946 experiment in which Schaefer dropped 1.4 kg of dry ice pellets from an airplane into a supercooled stratus cloud near Schenectady, New York, causing it to snow.

Retired Fort Monmouth physicist Sam Stine, who worked at the Evans Signal Laboratory designing experiments for Project Cirrus, stated “We flew about 37 experimental flights in the first year and a half. Flying into thunderstorms, line squalls, the tops of tornadoes, you have it.”

Project-Cirrus-planeThe project suffered liabilities after their first attempt at modifying a hurricane in October 1947. The hurricane was traveling east bound, 350 miles off the coast of Jacksonville Florida, and into the Atlantic. After 80 lbs of dry ice were introduced into the hurricane it changed direction and began traveling back towards the east coast of the United States.

Savannah GA was hit with recorded gusts of 85 MPH. The storm caused millions in damage, flooded coastal areas, and caused at least one death.

irvinglangmuirImmediately, Dr. Langmuir and his group of researchers received the blame and a barrage of lawsuits ensued. Project Cirrus relocated to New Mexico soon thereafter.

Once in New Mexico, the research continued until local tourist attractions began blaming Dr. Langmuir for the odd wet weather that had occurred since his arrival. A Congressional Hearing was initiated to explore Langmuir’s weather manipulation.

Chrissie Reilly, a Staff Historian for the US Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM),  wrote an article for the CECOM Historical Office called Rain Men: Scientists Here Tried to Change the Weather. In Reilly’s article she states, “The Signal Corps Laboratories at Fort Monmouth were at the forefront of scientific exploration. What rain dances had been attempting to do for centuries, Fort Monmouth accomplished.”

Dr.-Vincent-Shaefer-on-a-Project-Cirrus-mission-1948-278x300You can view the unclassified documents for Project Cirrus history at the Defense Technical Information Center, which is part of the Department of Defense. Also see Project Cirrus Final Report.

See what General Electric has to say on Project Cirrus.

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