Where can you go to avoid chemtrails

True wave

Leonie Feuerbach

To person

Leonie Feuerbach is editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (F.A.Z.), currently at the magazine. Before that, she worked as a freelancer at the German Press Agency (dpa) and volunteered at the F.A.Z.

According to the chemtrail theory, powerful personalities are said to spray chemicals over the vapor trails of aircraft in order to manipulate the population. Why do people believe in it?

"Rea 51": Home shopping on True Wave (& copy Turbokultur / bpb)

It's actually quite simple: contrails are clouds that are created behind aircraft by water vapor and exhaust gases. Depending on how much movement there is in the air, how high the aircraft are flying, whether the aircraft is sinking or rising, is old or new, the contrails look different. Without any chemicals. As early as 2011, the Federal Environment Agency wrote: "There is no scientific evidence for the introduction of aluminum compounds into the atmosphere and the formation of so-called chemtrails." Anyone who, like presenter Kai from our fictional home shopping channel, thinks that they are in possession of the real truth is convinced: Contrails that are unusually shaped or stay in the air for a particularly long time are in reality chemtrails, i.e. contrails with chemicals ( in English "contrails", short for "condensation trails"). According to theory, these poisons are sprayed on behalf of the "elite" - for example business people, Angela Merkel or the Queen. The USA is particularly often suspected. The theory goes on to say that the sprayed poisons should actually slow down climate change, but would have undesired consequences. Sometimes it is also said that they are able to control people's thoughts. Or that they slowly poison people - supporters of the chemtrail theory are not entirely in agreement. The theory does not explain what interest Merkel or the Queen might have in destroying humanity. There are various reasons why people still believe in them: Some explain storms and natural disasters, others their illnesses such as recurring severe headaches. So-called cloudbusters should help, for example. These are structures made of copper pipes that are said to be able to divert pollutants from the atmosphere into the ground. Some "chemmies" also believe that headgear made of aluminum foil can protect them from the toxic substances in the air - at least that's what is often assumed. This goes back to a science fiction story in which the protagonist can ward off telepathy by wearing an aluminum hat.

Chemtrail believers are often ridiculed not only because of the aluminum hat, which has become synonymous with conspiracy theorists. While Reich citizens, for example, are considered right-wing extremists and potentially dangerous, "Chemmies" are often dismissed as harmless, nature-loving weirdos. In fact, there are links to right-wing extremism in the chemtrail scene as well. Right-wing conspiracy theorists have tried to use this theory to tie the environmental and peace movement to the right-wing scene. How successful this was was shown by the so-called peace demonstrations on Mondays in front of the Reichstag in Berlin, where Reich citizens protest together with chemtrail supporters.

A certain closeness to right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism is also inherent in the reptilian conspiracy theory. These are supposed to be reptilian beings who can take on a human form, celebrate satanic festivals, abuse children - and, as in the anti-Semitic myth of the "Jewish world conspiracy", strive for world domination. According to a survey, four percent of all Americans believe that they have already succeeded. Just why? Ultimately, it's similar to chemtrails: people come up with an alternate explanation for something they don't understand. In the case of the reptilians and many other conspiracy theories, this is how society and politics work. The fact that people act in complex social systems who have been socialized in a similar way, but do not discuss each other and that unplanned things also happen: many cannot imagine that, explains the expert Michael Butter from the University of Tübingen. Instead, they assume that small groups of powerful people will purposefully put their will into practice. Depending on the conspiracy theory, these can be Freemasons or Lizard beings. But mostly it is the USA - or the Jews. Even newer conspiracy theories do not change this old narrative.