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Hereward Fenton

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Contrails dissipate quickly whereas chemtrails linger?

13 May 2012

By Hereward Fenton

Categories: [ Chemtrails ]

Contrails over London in 1944

Vapour trails left by British bombers on route to attack flying-bomb sites encircle the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral. London, 1944.

All those who passionately believe that "contrails dissipate quickly" whereas "chemtrails linger" and are deeply offended by the sceptical position that TNRA takes in regard to these claims, are free to "unlike" Truth News.

If, on the other hand, you would like to engage in rational debate, you're most welcome to do so.

However, please be advised that the information I have to impart may be shocking and difficult to grasp if you have been a "chemtrail alarmist" for a long time.

The often cited claim that "normal contrails dissipate quickly" is total bunkum.

There is not a shred of science to backup that claim.  Nothing, nada, zippo!

Those who promote this idea are simply repeating something they read on a web page without checking sources.



For a contrail to form, suitable conditions must occur immediately behind a jet engine in the expanding engine exhaust plume. A contrail will form if, as the exhaust gases cool and mix with surrounding air, the humidity becomes high enough (or, equivalently, the air temperature becomes low enough) for liquid water to condense on particles and form liquid droplets. If the local air is cold enough, these newly formed droplets then freeze and form ice particles that make up a contrail.

Because the basic processes are very well understood, contrail formation for a given aircraft flight can be accurately predicted if atmospheric temperature and humidity conditions are known.

After the initial formation of ice, a contrail evolves in one of two ways. If the humidity is low, the contrail will be short-lived. Newly formed ice particles will quickly evaporate. The resulting contrail will extend only a short distance behind the aircraft. If the humidity is high, the contrail will be persistent. Newly formed ice particles will continue to grow in size by taking water from the surrounding atmosphere. The resulting line-shaped contrail extends for large distances behind an aircraft. Persistent contrails can last for hours while growing to several kilometers in width and 200 to 400 meters in height. Contrails spread because of air turbulence created by the passage of aircraft, differences in wind speed along the flight track, and possibly through effects of solar heating.

Thus, the surrounding atmosphere’s conditions determine to a large extent whether or not a contrail will form after an aircraft’s passage, and how it evolves. Other factors that influence contrail formation include engine fuel efficiency, which affects the amount of heat and water emitted in the exhaust plume.
- source

TNRA is informed by science and is not interested in propping up anyone's belief systems, and we don't apologise for that.

But, please, don't take it from me, speak to any meteorologist or any pilot and they'll tell you straight, that there is HUGE variation in the length and persistence of contrails. Sometimes they don't form at all, other times they form, but disspate quickly, other times they persist and spread out.

That's the facts folks, and it's been that way since planes first went up in the sky.

If you believe otherwise, I'm afraid you've been conned.

Forgive me if I seem rude or impatient on this topic, but every few months I come across a new wave of people who have been subjected to the same false propaganda about chemtrails, and I have to run the same arguments and cite the same articles over and over again. It does wear one's patience down.

Before making some kind of angry reply, I urge you to read this article and associated links. It's fairly detailed, and deals with most of the usual claims made by chemtrail alarmists.

Finally, let me qualify all this by saying that I do not doubt that geo-engineering programs exist, and that, indeed, some of the patented techniques discussed at international forums  include the creation of artificial cirrus cloud. Does this, however, entitle you to conclude that every spreading contrail you see is an example of such geo-engineering?

Think about it.

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Please review the Terms of Service before reading or responding to comments.

TNRA, I understand where you are coming from in as much as it can be unwise to present a case without prior thorough analysis (if that means peer reviewed, then we may have to wait a long time). As for the WW2 video, it seems those were already some type of “chemtrail” (at 0:48 one trail inexplicably stops whereas another close by plane is not emitting any trail at all - though same model of plane and altitude), reportedly to create a cloud cover for the planes. I also looked at the contrailscience site, which is imo set up to falsely debunk those legitimate questions that crop up by looking skywards. It is no doubt useful dialectically. I personnaly don’t insist on the contrail/chemtrail distinction, but rather point out (if at all) the geoengineering patents since the early 90s, the plethora of subliminal images in the media (worldwide)... Arguably, it doesn’t help much pointing out “chemtrails” without tying them in with HAARP and a solution to weather/mind/health manipulation => orgonite.

By harvey on 2012 05 14 - 03:23:12

Please go to this site:
As these people know what’s going on.

By orion on 2012 05 14 - 07:29:29

Hi Hereward,

thanks for the extra info. You can’t exactly claim to be neutral on this topic though. I wonder if you spend much time outdoors and study the skies yourself.

The video you selected is pointless, what we’re interested in is what happens after the trails are created.
Bookmarked the debunking site, if I can find an innocuous answer to why some trails start and/or stop cleanly and why sometimes only certain plane(s) leave trails then I will be happy as we may not have a weather modification program happening over our heads!

By Steve on 2012 05 14 - 17:28:26


on the Contrailscience site, have a look at the article Broken Contrails and Why do some planes leave long trails, but others don’t.

By Josh on 2012 05 15 - 17:27:38

The Contrailscience site is seeking gullible people to follow it and regard it as ‘The trustworthy science site’ when it is typical of a data mining site set up by the very criminals wanting to cover up their Stratospheric Aerial, Geo-engineering operations for mass control of the entire globe.
Whatever the term is that is used, certain chemicals and substances and particles leave a mark when sprayed in the atmosphere and mere water vapour disipates quickly and other particles disperse and spread out.
Once when a message was sprayed in the sky like and ad for people to see while laying on the beach and the puffy white message would be vanishing before the rest of the message was completed.
Now we have messages being sprayed as with Easter Friday and tghose numerous messages that were sprayed over Sydney did not vanish but the substances were blown into sirrus cloud formation.
It is the substances and chemicals we want tested and this is extremely difficult to do and they know it.
We have people blocking this investigation from EVERY angle.
We need help not hinderance to obtaining this research and it is a shame TNRA does everything to block and ridicule and deride and such research.
It is very disappointing TNRA cannot help in this matter.

By orion on 2012 05 17 - 10:16:48

orion, how do you come to the conclusion that contrails are “vapor” that “dissipates quickly”?

That is just plain wrong. Ask anyone doing atmospheric science. Don’t rely on YouTube videos. That is not science.

Contrails are ice. Just like cirrus clouds. They can stay as long as cirrus clouds do.

Do you know how cold it is 11 km above the ground? Even in the desert?

Look up “Lapse Rate” on Wikipedia.

By Josh on 2012 05 17 - 13:48:28

“The often cited claim that “normal contrails dissipate quickly” is total bunkum.”

Really? because you say so?  I often see planes flying, with a contrail behind, some last for mere seconds, others perhaps a minute or two.

“There is not a shred of science to backup that claim.  Nothing, nada, zippo!”

Oh look, it took me two seconds to find a video of one on youtube.

Alternativly, you could just step outside and look up!

It might also be possible for contrails to persist for much longer, but to use that as some sort of legitimate argument against “chemtrails” - is BUNKUM!

By Unliked on 2012 05 27 - 14:01:10

Citing Youtube videos is not very convincing. What does the video poster know about the atmosphere?

Why don’t you quote anyone with a meteorological education or a pilot?

Fact is, contrails are man-made cirrus clouds. They linger sometimes, just like natural clouds. It depends on the current conditions which can vary a lot, even at high altitude.

By Josh on 2012 05 28 - 20:37:08

Most believers claim that trails that don’t dissipate quickly are chemtrails. Countering that claim is indeed a very legitimate argument against chemtrails.

By Josh on 2012 05 28 - 20:42:11

Hey Josh

You stated above that “Why don’t you quote anyone with a meteorological education or a pilot?”  Well, here is a series of photographs taken by a pilot with a meteorological background

I would appreciate your comments.


By Christine Haynes on 2012 05 29 - 08:41:56


the link you gave points to a person named Carl Needham. The only hint of him being a pilot is his claim on his Flash-heavy web site: “... thousands of hours of command instrument flying ...”.

You can do this in a single-engine Cessna, flying through Cumulus clouds, but never come even close to the flight levels where commercial jets are cruising. There is no hint of him being a commercial pilot. See his LinkedIn page.

As for his claims, regrettably he is quoting “sources” in his paper which are long debunked inside and out, like Cliff Carnicom, Michael J. Murphy and others. His main point is “[these clouds] can not be satisfactorily explained in terms of either common jet vapour contrails or supersaturated persistent contrails”.
While he does not give any explanation for that claim, it’s worth to note that he is aware of the existence of persisting contrails - which is the whole point of the article on the top.

By Josh on 2012 05 29 - 23:25:46

The contrails/chemtrails non-debate is a boring more-than-ten-year-old irrelevancy. The question is why the moratorium passed by the UN Conference on Biological Diversity at Nagoya in 2010 on most forms of geoengineering, including “solar radiation management”, is not being enforced.  The ETC group, who lobbied for the moratorium, as the price they pay for being admitted to the proceedings, are required to be disingenuous and not raise this question. Nobody else, including Hereward Fenton as far as I can see, is under any similar obligation.

Why then does he do it?  He knows, and he is not saying.

By Wayne Hall on 2012 05 31 - 17:28:59

Surely the physical appearance of these trails is beside the point.Shouldn’t we be more concerned with unusual levels of certain chemicals in the atmosphere and on the earth beneath them as well as the incidence of Morgellons Disease and whether it is caused
By Chemtrail Spraying?
The outbreak in south Texas which made big news recently has thus far provided no answers as to the source of the disease. There is a wall which exists in the scientific community, which is as difficult as climbing Mt. Everest for scientists thinking “outside the box.” Scientists are inherently bound by peer review and the very culture that awards them their doctorates, to stay away from so-called “fringe sciences.” This very mindset makes solving the source of this disease nearly impossible.

By Tony on 2012 06 01 - 10:29:32

Tony said: “Surely the physical appearance of these trails is beside the point.”
The physical appearance of the trails is the central argument of chemtrail proponents. Without it, there is no reason to assume they are anything else than ice crystals.

If there are elevated levels of elements and coumpounds on the ground and in people, the source can be anywhere - and there are countless possibilities right on the ground around us.

Most published blood measurements of chemtrailers are in normal ranges though; there is much misinterpretation involved.
The notorious water and snow tests were botched because of bogus sampling methods, including dust and mud in the sample and comparing the results to the official values for “water” (which has to be filtered before testing it).

By Josh on 2012 06 01 - 13:29:18

The point that I am making is not being addressed, doubtless because the armies of co-ordinated debunkers at work in this area have not found a better response than ignoring it. There is a moratorium in force on “solar radiation management” and it is not being enforced.

The people who worked to have the moratorium passed, the ETC Group, are not saying anything about the non-enforcement, because if they had had the orientation of “chemtrails” activists they would not have been admitted as participants in the discussions at Nagoya.

The problem of chemtrails activists is really the same as the problem of 911 Truth Activists: if the other side does not wish to acknowledge evidence, they will not acknowledge it. It is as simple as that.

Just as someone is allowing the ETC group a little leeway to be oppositional if they play dumb about aspects of the geoengineering scenario (namely that it is already in global implementation), so 911 Truth Oz is given some leeway to talk about 911 Truth if they play dumb about chemtrails.

By Wayne Hall on 2012 06 01 - 20:29:48

The “big picture”, including Morgellons, is addressed by Sofia Smallstorm in her “From Chemtrails to Pseudolife: the dark agenda of synthetic biology”:

By Wayne Hall on 2012 06 03 - 10:08:46

Wayne Hall said: “The point that I am making is not being addressed”

It may be worth addressing if anyone produces evidence of contrails being actually chemtrails. Evidence does not mean photos and YouTube videos of persisting contrails and funny clouds.

Do you think that the moratorium you mention is broken? What is your specific evidence?

By Josh on 2012 06 03 - 17:15:57

Whether something “is worth” doing is a political, not a scientific, question.

The political problematic I choose to accept is not the problematic “you” evidently seek to impose: chemtrails vs contrails. I do not care what you or anyone calls these obscenities that are to be seen in the skies, everywhere. 

If you are really looking for evidence on whether the moratorium on geoengineering is being observed, you should seek a response from those who are situated on your side of the political dividing line, in the world of pretence.  The successes the ETC Group have notched up so far are based on this fact:  they “play the game”.

The answer the ETC group will or would give you is not the same as the answer I would give you, if it were my policy to engage in direct dialogue with positions such as yours. Which it is not. I talk about geoengineering with those who are against it. Not with those who want to talk about whether or not chemtrails exist.
Before contacting the ETC Group check out what “the Moratorium” is:

Then ask the question of whether the moratorium is being observed to Pat Mooney

ETC Headquarters
180 Metcalfe St, Suite 206
Ottawa, ON K2P 1P5
Tel: 1-613-241-2267 (Eastern Time)
Fax: 1-613-241-2506

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) /
or Diana Bronson: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Probably the question can be asked of other members of the ETC group if Mooney or Bronson are not available.

I am not going to ask them the questions you ask me because to the extent that intelligent chemtrails activists have discussions with the ETC Group, the discussions are situated within a shared problematic that do not include your concerns. 

From your viewpoint it is possibly worthwhile to take up my challenge.  I do not know what they will say to you.  They may say something that you can use against “chemtrails” activists. I am being daring issuing this challenge.  It may boomerang on me.  If you are daring too, you will take it up.

By Wayne Hall on 2012 06 03 - 23:19:34

Wayne Hall, what you call “obscenities that are to be seen in the skies” is what I call “weather”. It is as simple as that.

I have learned a bit of contrails and the processes in the atmosphere during my studying for the glider pilot’s exam. You can talk about politics and challenges all day long, but you still don’t have evidence that atmospheric science can’t explain what you see.

My suggestion to you is to learn about air traffic, its routes, its increase in the last decades, the improved jet turbine technology, how kerosene is burnt to water and carbondioxide, the atmospheric lapse rate, supersaturation, jet streams, cirrus clouds, warm and cold front effects, sun halos, contrail shadows, aerodynamic contrails and probably cloud seeding. That should cover most of it.

A conspiracy is not needed here. Yes, it’s about science and reason.

By Josh on 2012 06 04 - 04:04:22

All that I note is that you are not interested in hearing from the people who successfully lobbied for the moratorium on geoengineering, including “solar radiation management”, whether they consider that this moratorium is being observed, despite the fact that you claimed to be interested in finding this out.

By Wayne Hall on 2012 06 04 - 04:27:04

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