For years, no military program has sparked more fevered speculation from conspiracy theorists than the mysterious High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP. And for years, the Pentagon has been pooh-poohing speculation that the enormous collection of transmitters, radars, and magnetometers in Alaska was some sort of superweapon.
Since its inception, there's been a huge range of opinion on what HAARP actually does: everything from a giant mind control facility to a space nuke countermeasure to a weather controller to an ionosphere-boiling mad science experiment to the mother of all pork projects has been suggested. But now that the program is actually up an running, military managers say the electronics array has much more benign use. "HAARP's main job is to produce radio waves to probe the ionosphere," an Air Force Research Laboratory officer said in October.