HAARP: not just death beams and mind control!

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PHOTO:Edward Kennedy/ U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

Nature magazine has what might be the first-ever definitive report on the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility that the U.S. Department of Defense runs up near Gakona, Alaska.

HAARP has been a magnet for conspiracy theorists since the Pentagon started building it about 2 decades ago. Its purpose is to defend, by way of radio waves, against hypothetical killer electrons released by an even more hypothetical nuclear blast by, say, North Korea. Of course the researchers there mostly undertake much more reasonable experiments, but visions of nuclear armageddon helped fund the ionospheric research lab.

Part of the reason HAARP is shrouded in mystery is that the Naval Research Lab, one of the entities that runs the show, is an impenetrable fortress-- for years, all you could glean about the place was what the conspiracy theorists were telling you.

The reason for this silence, as usual, was secrecy for secrecy's sake, as is often the case with government. Apart from occasional press blitzes, NRL has refused for years to do interviews, answer questions, or do anything more than maybe toss a few insults at the few journalists who have dared to ask why there's a giant space heater sitting in Alaska.

The good news? The government is not trying to control your mind. The bad news? They made me type that.

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