The HAARP antenna array. Image Credit: USAF / Michael Kleiman
The controversial project is to be completely dismantled after it is shut down at the end of the summer.
Initially established back in 1993, HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) has been the subject of conspiracy theories for years. The project's official goals are to analyze the Earth's ionosphere and to investigate the possibilities for ionospheric enhancement technology, but now after more than three decades of experiments its funds have finally run dry with a shut down date scheduled for later this year. "We're moving on to other ways of managing the ionosphere, which the HAARP was really designed to do," said David Walker of the US Air Force. "To inject energy into the ionosphere to be able to actually control it. But that work has been completed." With a budget of more than $290 and the capacity to direct energy straight in to the ionosphere, HAARP has acquired something of a reputation among conspiracy theorists. Some believe that the project is capable of controlling people's minds or manipulating the weather, while others accuse the government of using it to produce tornadoes and earthquakes. "With all the other issues and problems and challenges facing the department at this time, we just don't see that that investment, over a long-term period, is where we would prioritize our investment," said Alan Shaffer, assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering.