by Jerry E. Smith

“Others are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves.” – William S. Cohen, U.S. Secretary of Defense, 1997

The above startling statement was made during a Q&A session following Secretary Cohen’s keynote address to a Conference on Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and U.S. Strategy. At the time he was speaking in his official capacity as United States Secretary of Defense, so this statement can be taken as an official understanding of the U.S. government.

After events like the 2004 Asian tsunami and 2005’s record-shattering Atlantic hurricane season, many people have wondered just how “natural” those disasters were. Could terrorists or rogue states, or even the U.S. government, have been involved? Is it really possible to “alter the climate, set off earthquakes and volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves”?

While the military’s use of electromagnetic waves (radio and other frequency weapons) is exceedingly difficult to prove, there are indeed many such weapons systems out there, both on the drawing board and in the arsenal. One discussed recently in the mainstream press is the Vehicle Mounted Active Denial System (VMADS), which is like a giant microwave oven designed for crowd control. It heats the skin of those on whom it is trained to 180 degrees in less than two seconds. But it’s a far cry from stunning protesters to altering the climate or setting off earthquakes — or is it?

Altering the Climate

Control of the weather, at least to some degree, is an established and expanding field of scientific and commercial endeavor. For example, BusinessWeek reported on 24 October 2005: “Rainmaking and hail prevention are considered established arts in some countries. China has 35,000 people engaged in weather management, and it spends $40 million a year on alleviating droughts or stemming hail that would damage crops.” In the U.S. this activity is mainly confined to local governments and privately owned commercial enterprises, like Weather Modification, Inc. (WMI) of Fargo, North Dakota. WMI provides services to universities, governmental agencies, and private sector entities across the country and around the world, including hail suppression in Argentina, snowpack augmentation in Idaho, and cloud seeding in Nevada.



Intentional hostile control of the weather and other environmental processes is collectively called geophysical warfare. In his chapter entitled “How to Wreck the Environment,” in the 1968 book, Unless Peace Comes, Dr. Gordon J. F. MacDonald wrote: “The key to geophysical warfare is the identification of environmental instabilities to which the addition of a small amount of energy would release vastly greater amounts of energy.”

At the time he penned those words Dr. MacDonald was Associate Director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He was also a member of the President’s Science Advisory Committee, and was later made a member of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality. In an article entitled simply “Space” (in Toward the Year 2018, 1968), Dr. MacDonald elaborated on the possibilities of geophysical warfare:

By the year 2018, technology will make available to the leaders of the major nations a variety of techniques for conducting secret warfare, of which only a bare minimum of the security forces need be apprised. One nation may attack a competitor covertly by bacteriological means, thoroughly weakening the population (though with a minimum of fatalities) before taking over with its own overt armed forces. Alternatively, techniques of weather modification could be employed to produce prolonged periods of drought or storm, thereby weakening a nation’s capacity and forcing it to accept the demands of the competitor.

If, as Dr. MacDonald wrote, only a few in the military or scientific community need know what is actually taking place, how would the general public know if such a war were being fought? Were the dead and displaced of New Orleans victims of an invisible battle? Many people around the world are convinced that a covert weather war has, in fact, been raging for years, possibly decades.

Dr. MacDonald was also a member of the Board of Directors of the MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit federally funded R&D company. He was also a member of two organizations that have been accused of engaging in globalist conspiracies by anti-New World Order researchers: the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the secretive JASON Group. The CFR, with such related organizations as the Trilateral Commission and the World Federalist Association, is a prominent supporter of globalization and of global governance schemes, as can be read in their own magazine Foreign Affairs. JASON is a select group of world class scientists who conduct studies for different agencies of the U.S. government. JASON was created in the 1950s as an elite division within the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) one of the nation’s highest level military think tanks.

Dr. MacDonald published numerous papers and articles on future weapons technology in which he may have been doing more than merely speculating. His position at the top of the Military-Industrial-Academic pyramid gave him an unobstructed view of what was really on the drawing boards. He died under suspicious circumstances and some researchers believe he was taken out for revealing too much. He wrote of such coming “advances” as manipulation or control of the weather and climate, including destructive use of ocean waves and melting or destabilizing of the polar ice caps; intentional ozone depletion; triggering earthquakes; and control of the human brain by utilizing the earth’s energy fields. Today the polar ice caps are indeed melting and holes in the ozone layer are growing. Could these be the handiwork of advanced weapons?

Project Faultless

Scientists around the world have recognized and documented several mechanisms by which human activities have resulted in earthquakes. Scientists from the Institute of Dynamics of Geospheres at the Russian Academy of Sciences have observed:

Induced seismicity, or seismic activity caused directly by human involvement, has been detected as a result of water filling large surface reservoirs, development of mineral, geothermal and hydrocarbon resources, waste injection, underground nuclear explosions and large-scale construction projects. If the stress change is big enough, it can cause an earthquake, either by fracturing the rock mass — in the case of mining or underground explosions — or by causing rock to slip along existing zones of weakness.

Underground nuclear explosions have set off earthquakes. The best documented of these occurred deep in the vast Nevada desert in 1968. Under the codename “Project Faultless,” the U.S. government set off a nuclear weapon on a fault line to see if they could induce an earthquake — and got one! The U.S. has been engaged in testing nuclear weapons since 16 July 1945, when the atomic test code-named “Trinity” was conducted near Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Project Faultless was detonated on 19 January 1968 at a depth of 3,200 feet below ground surface in a remote part of Nevada. Officially, Faultless was designed to study the behavior and characteristics of seismic signals generated by nuclear detonations and to differentiate them from seismic signals generated by naturally occurring earthquakes. It was intentionally placed on a fault line to see if the high yield explosion would set off an earthquake. It has been argued that the scientists in charge were convinced that such was impossible, hence the name “faultless.”

Michon Mackedon has served as Vice Chairman of the Nevada Commission on Nuclear Projects since 1986. She tells us the story of this successfully induced, albeit seemingly unintentional earthquake in her article, “Project Faultless: Central Nevada’s Near Miss as an Atomic Proving Ground”:

It has been said that the Trinity test let the nuclear genie out of the bottle, but it learned to dance on the deserts of Nevada. In 1951, the Nevada Test Site (NTS), located 90 miles north of Las Vegas was selected to serve as the nation’s continental atomic proving ground.

Over the next four decades, The Nevada Test Site became home to 928 nuclear tests. One hundred of the tests conducted there were atmospheric tests — dropped by aircraft or exploded from towers, balloons, or cannons — producing the signature mushroom cloud and dangerous radioactive fallout. In 1963, under the terms of a Limited Test Ban Treaty signed by President Kennedy and Russia’s Kruschev, all the tests were moved underground. The remaining 828 NTS nuclear tests were conducted in shafts and tunnels. […]

The move to underground testing, while reducing fallout danger, produced ground motion which could be felt in Las Vegas. The larger the test the greater the ground motion: the swaying earth and occasional shattered glass window were making tourists, residents, and casino operators quite nervous. … [Casino owner] Howard Hughes stepped into the picture to add more pressure on the AEC to move megaton testing away from Las Vegas to central Nevada. Hughes became convinced that the increasingly large underground tests at NTS would ruin the Vegas gaming industry. He became quite vocal in his opposition to megaton testing at NTS, and his organization even tried to delay one of the larger NTS tests. …

On 19 June 1992 the U.S. conducted an underground atom bomb test at the NTS which was followed by another test just four days later. A series of heavy earthquakes as high as 7.6 on the Richter scale rocked the Mojave Desert 176 miles to the south three days after the second test. Only 22 hours after that an “unrelated” earthquake of 5.6 struck less than twenty miles from the NTS itself. It was the biggest earthquake ever recorded near the test site. It caused one million dollars in damage to buildings at Yucca Mountain, the intended site of the nation’s high-level repository for radioactive waste. The Yucca Mountain facility was only fifteen miles from the epicenter of the earthquake.

In a statement issued on 14 July 1992 responding to the “understandable unease” expressed by the public, the Department of Energy (DoE) in Washington, D.C. — having conveniently forgotten Project Faultless — asserted the relationship between nuclear testing and earthquakes was “nonexistent.”

Evidence for this “nonexistent” connection may well be seen in events that occurred prior to the largest earthquake of the 20th Century, which took place in Tangshan in North-East China on 27 July 1976. It measured 8.2 and killed 800,000 people. Only five days earlier the French had tested a bomb in the Mururoa atoll in the Pacific. Four days later the United States tested a bomb in Nevada. Twenty-four hours later the earthquake hit China. Merely a “coincidence”? Many scientists don’t think so. For example, New Scientist reported on 12 October 1978:

Geophysicists in Germany and England believe the 1978 earthquake in Tabas, Iran, in which at least twenty-five thousand people were killed, may have been triggered by an underground nuclear explosion. … British seismologists believe the Tabas earthquake implies a nuclear test that has gone awry. … Moreover, a seismic laboratory in Uppsala, Sweden, recorded a Soviet nuclear test of unusual size — ten megatons — at Semipalitinsk only thirty-six hours before. … One German scientist specifically implicated this test in the origin of Tabas disaster.

It Starts with a Ripple

Another scientist studying the link between nukes and earthquakes is Gary T. Whiteford, Professor of Geography at the University of New Brunswick in Canada. Whiteford made a study of all earthquakes of the 20th Century that were stronger than 5.8 on the Richter scale. “Below that intensity,” he explained, “some earthquakes would have passed unrecorded in the earlier part of the century when measuring devices were less sensitive and less ubiquitous. But for bigger quakes the records are detailed and complete for the entire planet.”

Whiteford plotted the earthquake rate for the first half of the century, before nuclear testing, and compared it to the rate for 1950 to 1988. His data showed that in the fifty years prior to testing, large earthquakes of more than 5.8 occurred at an average rate of 68 per year. With the advent of nuclear weapons testing the earthquake rate rose “suddenly and dramatically” to a nearly doubled average of 127 a year.

As Whiteford comments, “The geographical patterns in the data, with a clustering of earthquakes in specific regions matched to specific test dates and sites, do not support the easy and comforting explanation of ‘pure coincidence.’ It is a dangerous coincidence.”

If Whiteford’s correlations are correct, more than a million people may have died in earthquakes triggered by nuclear tests. Of course, the governments of the nuclear nations claim these results are merest coincidence. Officially, the DoE maintains that even their most powerful nuclear tests had no impact beyond a radius of fifteen miles. Whiteford speculated that although the reverberations may fade within fifteen miles of a test, they are merely the first ripple of a wave that travels through the planet’s crust and spreads around the globe.

In a 1991 interview with California State seismologist, Dr. Lalliana Mualchin, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation inquired into the long-term effects of nuclear weapons testing. Mualchin was asked if the cumulative effect of testing might be to trigger earthquakes and volcanoes. His answer was: “A single nuclear test may have little effect on the earth, like that of an insect biting an elephant. But the cumulative effect might move the earth’s tectonic plates in a manner similar to how a swarm of insects might start an elephant running.”

Mualchin added, “If an insect bites an elephant in a sensitive spot, such as an eye or an ear, then there might be a vast movement out of all proportion to the size of the bite.” This statement is a stunning analogy to Dr. Gordon MacDonald’s assertion that, “The key to geophysical warfare is the identification of environmental instabilities to which the addition of a small amount of energy would release vastly greater amounts of energy.”

Earthquakes and Electromagnetic Waves

Let’s return to Secretary Cohen’s contention that eco-terrorists may be able to produce earthquakes using electromagnetic waves. Perhaps, as the DoE maintains, a nuke really cannot transfer physical mechanical energy beyond a few miles but what if it is something else? Could the wave that Whiteford spoke of have an electromagnetic component?

The Washington Times reported 29 March 1992 on the incidence of extremely low frequency (ELF) radio signals being associated with earthquakes, stating: “Satellites and ground sensors detected mysterious radio waves or related electrical magnetic activity before major earthquakes in Southern California during 1986-87, Armenia in 1988, and Japan and Northern California in 1989.” An Athens University physicist was also reported to have observed electromagnetic signals in six out of seven quakes in Greece over several years.

Scientists have demonstrated that under certain conditions, and if subjected to high enough pressure, crystals can be forced to give off a flow of electricity, called piezoelectricity. These earthquake precursor signals, then, could have been the result of tectonically induced piezoelectricity. That is, pressure in the earth’s crust could squeeze some types of rocks so hard that they discharge electricity. The electrical flow would have electromagnetic effects, including a “broadcast” in the ELF range.

Elizabeth A. Rauscher Ph.D. was a staff researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in Berkeley, California, for over nineteen years and taught at Berkeley, Stanford, J.F. Kennedy University and the University of Nevada. She holds three U.S. patents with Dr. William L. Van Bise, Sc.D., an electrical engineer. They called the Earthquake Prediction Registry at the Library of Congress on 8 January 1994 to report impending events likely to occur within thirty days. Unique signals from the earth indicated that one or more quakes would occur in or near the Los Angeles area. The Northridge quake struck nine days later on 17 January. Unusual surges of signals from 3.8 to 4.0 Hz were recorded beginning two weeks before the quake.

Previously, Drs. Rauscher and Van Bise had attended an International Workshop held at Lake Arrowhead, California, 14-17 June 1992 with the title: “Low Frequency Electrical Precursors: Fact or Fiction?” Rauscher and Van Bise presented a paper on measurements of ELF signals. Rauscher announced that a magnitude 7 or greater earthquake would strike “in the region of the conference, very soon.” On 28 June the Landers quake, (M7.5), struck 44 miles east of the conference site; several hours later Big Bear Lake, only twenty miles east, was hit by a M6.6 temblor.

ELF waves may be a natural component of earthquake phenomena. The question is, by mimicking natural forces or by exploiting weaknesses in nature as Dr. MacDonald suggested, could the military, rogue states or terrorists cause earthquakes by generating the right sort of ELF waves?

Scalar Weapons

Another possibility is use of the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) to generate earthquakes. An EMP is a burst of radiation released as part of a nuclear explosion. The EMP is essentially an electric field and a magnetic field moving away from the blast. The electromagnetic pulse burns out electronic circuitry, destroying communications systems, computers, and other sophisticated electronic instruments. An EMP released by a single large nuclear explosion over the central United States could cause an electrical blackout devastating the entire country.

According to Defense News 13-19 April 1992, the U.S. deployed an electromagnetic pulse weapon in Desert Storm (Gulf War I). The EMP not only exists, but means have been found to generate it artificially and to use it as a weapon. If the EMP is the part of the atom bomb explosion that triggers distant earthquakes, it is but a short step to building EMP/earthquake weapons.

Some researchers, like Capt. Bruce L. Cathie, believe that the Earth is surrounded by an electromagnetic field that exists in more than four dimensions. If true, this could explain a lot of effects without discernable cause events, and the existence of an entire class of weapons undreamt of in conventional Newtonian physics, known as “scalar” weapons.

Dr. Andrija Puharich was an experimental researcher and physician, and one of the world’s leading “mad” scientists with numerous patents granted in medicine and electronics. Puharich designed devices emitting extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic waves that he believed could affect the mind.

In January 1978, Dr. Puharich issued a detailed research paper entitled “Global Magnetic Warfare: A Layman’s View of Certain Artificially Induced Unusual Effects On The Planet Earth during 1976 and 1977.” He was primarily looking into the Soviet experiments with a technology originally developed by the Yugoslavian-American genius Nicola Tesla, called the Tesla Magnifying Transmitter (TMT). Controlled earthquakes, he believed, were part and parcel of that work. Of them he wrote: “Of the many great earthquakes of 1976, there is one that demands special attention — the July 28, 1976 Tangshan, China earthquake.”

Earlier, we examined that quake and the possibility that French and American nukes could have triggered it. Puharich also believed that it was artificially induced. Some of his evidence was reflected in a piece in the New York Times which reported that on 5 June 1977, “just before the first tremor at 3:42 AM, the sky lit up ‘like daylight.’ The multi-hued lights, mainly white and red, were seen up to 200 miles away. Leafs on many trees were burned to a crisp and growing vegetables were scorched on one side, as if by a fireball.”

In FER DE LANCE: A Briefing On Soviet Scalar Electromagnetic Weapons, Lt. Col Thomas E. Bearden (ret), Ph.D. contends that “the future of humanity has been hi-jacked for more than fifty years by the weaponization of scalar electromagnetics and … the Western scientific community has been blind-sided by dogmatic adherence to 1867 electrical theory.” Lecturing at a symposium of the United States Psychotronics Association in 1981, Bearden defined the Soviet weapons as TMTs:

Tesla found that he could set up standing waves … in the molten core of the earth, or, just set it up through the rocks, the telluric activity in the rocks would furnish activity into these waves and one would get more potential energy in those waves than he put in. He called the concept, the magnifying transmitter.

Bearden elsewhere described the working of TMTs:

They will go through anything. What you do is set up a standing wave through the Earth and the molten core of the Earth begins to feed that wave (We are talking Tesla now). When you have that standing wave, you have set up a triode. What you’ve done is that the molten core of the earth is feeding the energy and its like your signal … is gating the gate of a triode. … If you change the frequency one way (dephase it) you dump the energy up in the atmosphere beyond the point on the other side of the earth that you focused upon. You start ionizing the air, you can change the weather flow patterns (jet streams, etc.), you can change all that if you dump it gradually … you influence the heck out of the weather … its a great weather machine.

Could this be what Secretary of Defense William Cohen was referring to in his Q&A session on eco-terrorism and WMDs when he stated it was possible to “alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves”? In the use of these alleged weapons we see all of these factors combined.

If it is possible to set off earthquakes via electromagnetic waves or other means, can tsunamis be caused by underwater earthquakes? Bearden claims that after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian scientists sold this technology to other hostile elements such as the Yakusa, the Japanese “Mafia,” who used it to create the 2004 Asian tsunami.

This brings us back to Secretary of Defense Cohen’s claim that terrorists possess this technology. It is really possible? Or, it is all just a vast hoax intended to frighten us into demanding more big government?

©2007, Jerry E. Smith. Jerry has been a writer, editor and activist for nearly four decades. In the early 1990s, he was the Executive Director of the National UFO Museum in Reno, Nevada. His bibliography of published works includes scores of articles and reviews, over a dozen ghost-written books, and three non-fiction works published by Adventures Unlimited Press: Weather Warfare: The Military’s Plan to Draft Mother Nature (2006), HAARP: The Ultimate Weapon of the Conspiracy (1998), and Secrets of the Holy Lance: The Spear Of Destiny In History & Legend (2005), co-authored with George Piccard, author of Liquid Conspiracy: JFK, LSD, the CIA, Area 51, and UFOs (1999).


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