Comments on GeoEngineering Watch’s Video, “The Dimming”

Robert W. Endlich
Image by Pixabay

Over the past several years I’ve been asked to comment on the notion that there is on-going an active, presumably by the US Government, classified program to use emissions from airborne aircraft to cut down on sunlight arriving at the Earth’s surface for nefarious purposes.  The group promulgating this topic is GeoEngineering Watch.  They call the supposedly nefarious emissions “Chemtrails.”

Several years ago, in my research on the plausibility of the existence of “Chemtrails,” I gathered photographic images and provided preliminary input to those who asked.  The best example I found is still so, it is Figure 3 below.

Recently an old friend brought the subject up again, mentioning GeoEngineering Watch had produced a new, 10 March 2021, video, “The Dimming” available online for viewing.  After looking at this video, I took another look at this topic.  These are my impressions.

At first glance, the video seems very professionally produced. The music, graphics, use of movement and zoom of parts of scenes to keep viewers’ interest, the narration by GeoEngineering Watch’s Lead Researcher Dane Wigginton, and the interviews with their “experts” at first came across with an appearance of knowledge and competence.


Almost immediately, just 1 minute, 10 seconds into the video, I found the first of nearly a dozen concerning elements in the production that did not make sense to me. This began when Dane Wigginton says,

“What we are seeing in the skies is not condensation. It is sprayed particulate dispersions…”

For me, this was an immediate red flag on the technical aspects of the video’s content.

In High School Chemistry, and in Chemistry 101 at university, we learned the chemistry of combustion.  When we burn hydrocarbon fuel, such as gasoline, in an internal combustion engine, we get work, (to propel our vehicles) heat, (we need a cooling system and/or a radiator to get rid of excess heat) carbon dioxide, and water.  On cold days we could see the cloud of condensed water droplets coming out of the exhaust, and sometimes, a trickle of water running out of the tail pipe.

Back to the video, by the 1 minute, 20 second mark, Allan Buckmann, an ex-Air Force Weather Observer, makes this incredible statement:

“They (the trails behind aircraft engines) shouldn’t be there.  Jet engines burn clean.”


Another person who doesn’t know that engines combusting hydrocarbon fuel emit prodigious amounts of water as a by-product.

In fact, if you have a basic understanding of Chemistry, Geochemistry, Meteorology, and a background in aviation, especially in Military Aviation, almost nothing in the video makes sense.

By 1 minute, 30 seconds, the video has another expert, Charles Jones, Brig. Gen USAF, (Ret), and the onscreen bonafides say, “Air Force Tactical Weather Reconnaissance Pilot,” who makes this claim,

“They are absolutely not contrails.  Contrails do not linger, dissipate, and go into cloud cover.  Period! End of Report!”


Let’s review my time in the Air Force as a Weather Officer at a Strategic Air Command (SAC) base having a B-52 Wing and an F-101 Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Glasgow AFB, Montana, 1964-67. In addition to having duties as a shift forecaster for a year, I volunteered to fly missions with aircrews, flying these:  T-33s (jet trainer, used as aerial target for the F-101Bs), KC-135 Stratotanker, refuelers, and B-52 Stratofortress, bombers.

I had to learn, then later train, the SAC aircrews in the in-flight specialized weather reports done by SAC aircrews, including the specific weather reporting done on the absence or presence of contrails, the condensation trails left in the sky from the combustion of the jet fuel these aircraft consumed while conducting their missions.

In those days, the Air Force Weather units at individual bases were separate Weather Detachments, a small cadre of Weather Officers and enlisted observers and forecasters.  Consequently, many of us had “additional duties,” jobs that required specific knowledge in tasks required by regulation of all separate units, be they small detachments or larger units such as headquarters squadrons or aircraft maintenance squadrons having over 100 individuals assigned.  I’ll discuss more about additional duties later.

During the Cold War years, SAC bomber bases had about half of the B-52s “On Alert,” parked near the Alert Facility, a work and sleeping area near the end of the runway where aircrews “on alert duty” lived, 24-hours a day, usually for a 7-day period.  If attacking enemy bombers or missiles were spotted, the klaxon would sound, and the Alert Force crews would run to their aircraft and be prepared to immediately take off to attack their Emergency War Order targets.

Our Duty Forecasters prepared flight weather mission folders twice a day to provide the alert crews the weather information from Glasgow AFB to their targets and on to recovery bases, many thousands of miles away. These flight weather mission folders included forecasts of winds aloft and specific forecasts of the bases and tops of contrails they might encounter while in the “Forward Area,” where the targets were.


Air Weather Service (AWS) Technical Report 105-145, January 1957, “Derivation of Jet Aircraft Condensation Trail Curves,” describes the procedures that were used to provide a sound basis for contrail analysis and forecasts during technique development.

The Air Force conducted many flights of pairs of fighters from Air Defense Command to determine conditions where contrails formed or did not form.  Those missions were flown to high altitudes over stations when weather balloons, actually, rawinsondes, were to be launched or were ascending.  At altitude, the wingman “observed whether or not the lead aircraft produced exhaust trails and whether they were continuous or intermittent, distinct or faint, including bases and tops of the layer in which the trails formed.”

The information gathered by the aircrews was assembled, analyzed, and ended up as a series of curves and published in the AWS Technical Report mentioned above. These are the “Appleman Curves” named for the principal investigator, Herbert Appleman.

The upper-air thermodynamic diagrams military forecasters used then, and still use today, are called “Skew-T, Log-P diagrams,” and sometimes “graph paper for meteorologists.” The “Skew-Ts” we used daily had overprinted Appleman Contrail Curves for our use in contrail analysis and forecasting.

The presentation graphics contain information on the skew-T Log P diagrams, examples of plotted upper air data, the Appleman Curves used in contrail analysis and forecasting and the abstract of the 1953 Appleman paper published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, “The Formation of Exhaust Condensation Trails by Jet Aircraft.”  Appleman’s paper defined the principles of contrail formation used in contrail analysis. 

Figure 1 below is a diagram which illustrates some of the principles involved when contrails form.

Figure 1. Using a photo of a Navy F/A-18 in flight, we see the physical principles involved in the development of an aircraft contrail.

So, by my direct experience flying with the B-52 and KC-135 aircrews and observing operations during tanker and bomber crew training missions, I can report that yes, when conditions are right, condensation trails form, and they consist of water droplet condensate, which rapidly changes phase to ice crystals.

Depending on the temperature and the water content of the atmosphere, sometimes contrails do not form, sometimes the contrails form, then dissipate, (we call them non-persistent) and sometimes the contrails are heavy and persistent.  When the latter happens, the crews often say that aircraft is “pulling contrails.”

Of course, thousands of people see jet aircraft emitting contrails on a daily basis, especially in areas where the air is gently rising, such as when, in the cooler and colder months, a low-pressure area is moving towards the observers, from the west in the Northern Hemisphere.


At the 3 minute, 47 second mark, the video has Wigginton, narrating a film clip of a B-17 bomber mission, presumably over WW2 Germany, showing a B-17 in formation with a white contrail forming behind the engines, then the trail stops abruptly.


“We have photographic evidence from WW2 of our B-17’s, at altitude, turning OFF the sprayed dispersion materials…. clearly these bombers were used for Beta Testing…these photographs PROVE it.”

Consider the time when these photos were taken, at the height of WW2, with the war against Germany on-going in Europe, and the war against Japan on-going in the Pacific.

Dane Wigginton proposes that in the midst of these two phases of WW2 that someone, he doesn’t say who, carried on a concurrent and nefarious third campaign against Earth or elements of humanity, a war whose perpetrators he does not identify.

A Secret War, Wigginton says, is ongoing and still CLASSIFIED (!) and the belligerents are still unknown, almost 80 years after the fact.

Now, let’s return to those “additional duties” we had in my Weather Detachment.  One of my additional duties was Unit Security Officer, the person who studied the regulations and insured that all members of the unit were able to identify and protect Classified Defense Information.  So, I was the person who trained people in my unit to comply with the regulations to protect Classified Defense Information.

When Wigginton says that the Chemtrail project remains classified, after almost 80 years, it is just not believable; here’s why:

During the time I was in the Department of Defense, the Information Security Regulations required automatic, time-phased, downgrading of classified Defense materials. This means that after a specified period of time, TOP SECRET materials would automatically be downgraded to SECRET, and the SECRET classified material would be automatically downgraded to CONFIDENTIAL.  Finally, CONFIDENTIAL materials would automatically be downgraded and become UNCLASSIFIED.  Exceptions were granted only for Weapons of Mass Destruction design information and human intelligence sources and methods.


At the 1 minute, 52 second mark, Wigginton says,

Most are unfamiliar with the science term ‘Global Dimming.’  This term refers to the amount of global sunlight that is no longer reaching the surface of the Earth, caused by light scattering particles that are building up in the atmosphere.”

If we think critically about this statement, it means that the material supposedly sprayed from aircraft accumulates in the atmosphere.  It means that the “sprayed dispersion products” would remain aloft.  He seems to proclaim that the processes by which material falls out of the sky overnight on calm nights, would not apply. The solid materials sprayed from aircraft would not fall out and could and would not be observed by us on the ground, for instance, the particles accumulating on the windshields of vehicles parked outside.

To test Wigginton’s statement, that (“chemtrail-emitted”) materials are accumulating in the atmosphere over time, I used search terms: “time series solar radiation intensity decreasing over time.”

One report I found, “Time series analysis of temperatures and insolation of the Earth’s surface at Kara-Dag using satellite observation,” showed time series data from an observation site in Crimea near the Black Sea, Kara-Dag. The report shows the intensity of solar radiation, the insolation, INCREASED over the period of observation 1984-2020, and clearly did not decrease as claimed by Wigginton.

Another report from AGU, “Surface insolation trends from satellite and ground measurements: Comparisons and challenges,” showed a pattern of brightening and then dimming of the intensity of solar radiation, but this report also found no long-term dimming.


At the 7 minute, 57 seconds mark the video shows a graphic with Wigginton expressing deep concern that the presumed “particle dispersions” contain the metal oxide Al2O3. This is Aluminum Oxide, which he found at, above, and below high cloud layers and also found deposited in precipitation, and subsequently collected from the surface, over wide areas.

Wigginton is ignorant that natural processes explain his observations. Dust devils, thunderstorm outflow dust storms called haboobs, and especially strong spring storms which often spawn tornadoes, are mechanisms which transport huge amounts of dust aloft locally, regionally, and trans-continentally.  Further, the most frequent constituent of common dust is clay.  A common clay mineral, Kaolin, is a complex hydro-alumino-silicate, whose chemical composition is (Al2O3.2SIO2.2H2O). Kaolin frequently forms as a weathering product of rocks, especially in hot and humid climates.


From the 4 minute, 15 second mark to past the 5-minute mark, the video gets into weather modification, an operation in which I was an active participant during the Vietnam War. We seeded supercooled clouds over Laos to enhance rainfall.  My post on this work is at,

The next expert on Geoengineering Watch’s video, Richard H. Rolleig, Maj Gen, USAF, (Ret) says,

“Weather was a weapon (we) used over Vietnam. Would you expect it to be deleted from the availability? NO! (and) to be available to your portfolio of weapons to be used, would be a natural process. Therefore, should you expect (us to have) the ability to change the weather on demand? ABSOLUTELY!”

Unfortunately, Gen. Rolleig is just wrong.  Our Operation was shut down after word of it was compromised, published in the press, and then the subject of intense Senate criticism.

There is another chapter in this story, the notion that the US Army could “Own the Weather,” by using mesoscale weather forecast models run over high resolution terrain data to understand details of weather’s effects on military operations at Battle Scale to achieve tactical advantage, a notion championed by then-US Army Chief of Staff Gordon Sullivan in the 1990s.

In the US military, operational weather support is provided to the Army warfighting units by the US Air Force, a job I had later in the Cold War, and mentioned in this post,

In 1996, a group of Air Force students in the Air War College proposed an Air Force “Own the Weather” capability which included weather modification, to be available by 2025. The proposal was disavowed by then-USAF Chief of Staff General Michael E Ryan, and as far as I know, that initiative died.

At that very time, I was working in the US Army’s Research and Development project called IMETS, the Integrated Meteorological System, part of the Army’s Battle Command System, where we first used computers, both on the battlefield, and in command-and-control facilities, to aid Military Command and Control. In those years, my job was IMETS Technology Transfer Team Leader, and I tested, trained, and evaluated how well this new system worked during Amy Warfighting Experiments, field tests of the system being used by active-duty troops during Test and Evaluation events.

Wigginton found an old article on the Air War College students’ proposal and in the video, pitches the idea of using weather modification as if it was still a viable project, an ongoing DOD effort, with these words at the 4 minute 55 second mark in the video:

“Climate Engineering is the Crown Jewel of the Military Industrial Complex.”


Now, to flesh out my photographic evidence that “Chemtrails” are merely aircraft Contrails. To start, consider the conditions where upward and downward atmospheric vertical motions are plainly visible; these are the meteorological situations when mountain waves are visible. Figure 2, below, is a textbook example of mountain wave activity in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, taken by flight instructor Kurt Kleiner.

Figure 2. “Textbook Example” of mountain wave clouds from Slide 98 from the presentation graphics, from a photo taken by Flight Instructor Kurt Kleiner in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, looking south, taken in December 2019.  Strong westerly winds are forced over then downward while flowing over the Bitterroot Mountains which are located west of the photographer and out of the field of view of this image.

Mountain waves form when stable air flows over mountainous or even irregular terrain. Mountain waves become visible when humid air in the rising part of the wave cools to saturation as the air cools adiabatically. When the air flow passes the crest of the wave, the air subsides and warms adiabatically, and the wave cloud soon dissipates.

Mountain waves are part of a family of wave motions which can exist in fluids; they are also called gravity waves and may exist well downwind from the ridge line or terrain which initiated the wave motion. The key to their being observed is the humidity of the air, and whether or not the lift of the “air parcel” in the airflow brings the water vapor in that parcel to saturation, and subsequent formation of water droplets or ice crystals in the shape of a wave.

Figure 3 below, from the presentation graphics illustrates these points.  It starts with a photo I took in February 2017, in Las Cruces, NM.  In the photo there are two types of cloud present:

ONE: Ordinary Cirrus Clouds, the wispy, ice-crystal clouds.

TWO: Contrails. Some of the contrails are discontinuous, and some are continuous.

The yellow arrows point to the discontinuous contrails, which have an appearance similar to mountain wave clouds. Notice that the discontinuous contrails appear ONLY in the vicinity of other cirrus clouds. Also notice that where the contrails disappear, there is blue sky, or deep blue sky, an indication that the discontinuous contrails appear only in the areas where the air is rising under the influence of mountain waves or gravity waves, and they disappear in the blue-sky areas where the air is sinking.

The disappearance of the contrails in the blue sky indicates that it is vertical motion, not prompt shut-off of aircraft spraying “particulate dispersions,” as proposed by Dane Wigginton in the video.

Figure 3. Photo taken by the author in the winter of 2017 shows discontinuous contrails in a sky where patchy cirrus clouds also exist.  The discontinuous contrails exist ONLY in close proximity to the cirrus clouds, and the discontinuous contrails disappear in the presence of blue or deep blue sky.  This shows that the notion that humans in aircraft are not intermittently spraying “particulate dispersions;” it shows that contrails are staying in areas where the air is ascending, cooling adiabatically, and losing the ability for water to remain in the vapor phase.  Conversely, the contrails do not exist in blue and deep blue areas of the sky, where mountain wave-induced vertical motions are downward, warming the air, and making the ice crystals sublimate and disappear, often rapidly in space and time.

The presentation graphics Slide 105 shows another example which demonstrates this phenomenon, which displays that the on-and-off nature of trails behind aircraft is explicable by observing that mountain waves indicate areas of rising and descending air. Aircraft contrails explain the presence of the line clouds in the sky which form when aircraft operate in humid atmospheres.

Table 1 of AWS TR 93-001 also shows the data plots which demonstrate that contrail formation is very sensitive to upward vertical motions in the atmosphere.


“The Dimming” is a well-produced 2-hour video bringing the message that our weather and climate is being geoengineered to decrease the amount of solar radiation by accumulating aerosols in the air.  Unfortunately, their message is wrong because Geoengineering Watch is sadly ignorant of many basics of Chemistry, Geochemistry, Meteorology, Atmospheric Fluid Dynamics and Thermodynamics.  They can’t/won’t find easily searchable explanatory info.

Geoengineering Watch does not understand the Chemistry of Combustion and the enormous amounts of water liberated in combustion engines. Nor do they understand the geochemistry of weathered rocks, yielding clays, which are then dried by the sun and blown to great heights by storms, and then over transcontinental distances.  This mass-movement of clay minerals by storms explains the Geoengineering Watch observations of Al2O3 and Barium minerals aloft and at the surface.

For decades, military forecasters have used techniques derived from empirical in-flight data collected from contrail and no-contrail observations, then compared with radiosonde data, to achieve good predictive capabilities for contrail appearances to achieve military advantage in flight operations.

The sudden appearance and disappearance of supposed Chemtrails are only contrails whose appearance and disappearance are often governed by vertical motions of the atmosphere.

Overall, many important statements in this video are plainly wrong and the scientific and technical bases required for a video of this sort are severely lacking.  Together, these render the video as a useless and unsubstantiated conspiracy theory.



Author: Robert Endlich

Robert W. Endlich served as Weather Officer in the USAF for 21 Years. From 1984-1993, he provided toxic corridor and laser propagation support to the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility at White Sands Missile Range. He has published in the technical literature and worked as software test engineer. He was elected to Chi Epsilon Pi, the national Meteorology Honor Society, while a Basic Meteorology student at Texas A&M University. He has a BA degree in Geology from Rutgers University and an MS in Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University.