Yes. These are real chemtrails. Nothing to do with jet planes or conspiracy theories though.

I’ve already refuted conspiracy theories based on the so-called “chemtrails” (short for chemical trails) in a previous post on this blog.

The term “chemtrail” has become quite famous in the last years since there is a lot of people who believe that the characteristic white trails of high flying aircraft are the proof of some kind of secret test performed by some nation to modify the weather (or do other bad things) by releasing chemicals or biological agents in the atmosphere.

However, those white trails are condensation trails or “contrails”, generated by the quick condensation of the water vapour contained in the exhaust of the engines and subsequent crystallization around the solid aerosol particles ejected by the aircraft’s engines.

Therefore all the images you can find by googling “chemtrails” are (obviously) harmless contrails, except few pics released by NASA showing chemical tracers used for experimental purposes.

As those in the following photo provided by NASA.

They show chemical tracers that were released from five rockets launched from NASA’s Wallops Island test flight facility in Atlantic, Virginia, in the morning of Mar. 27, 2012, as part of the Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment (ATREX).

The tracers form white clouds that allowed scientists and the public to visualize upper level jet stream winds, located 60 to 65 miles above the Earth’s surface.

Images credit: NASA via AP Photo

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Thank you, David, I’ve forwarded this to a bunch of noodniks I know on Facebook who are convinced that those contrails we’ve known and loved all these years are part of some eeeevil conspiracy. Can’t insure that it will change their minds (?) but we can but try.

  2. I don’t care what they are called. That is not the point with me. I am tired of seeing the blue skies obliterated by whatever is coming out of the planes, whether it be contrails or chemtrails. I don’t like my windows covered with an oily slime, and I don’t like to have my throat become congested every time I go out of doors on one of those “chemtrail/contrail” days. If this is normal traffic, why have there been periods of time, actually for months back in the spring of 2008, where there were no persistent trails at all?

    During the 2010-2011 winter we hardly ever saw the sun. I was at a gathering of children in February 2011, and the sun came out, and everyone was just ecstatic about it. They oooh’d and aaah’d because It was so unusual.

    Why are we arguing about what the trails are or how long they have existed? It is obvious what is happening to the sky, and it isn’t natural or normal, and it can’t be healthy any way you look at it.

  3. I have yet to see an answer to what I observe in the shy.Using flight tracker and weather balloon information to get the temps and humidity at different altitudes.This is what I found.
    Planes leaving trails that persist more than 30 minuets are doing so at too low of an altitude on most days. Also the temps and humidity at the altitude these plans are flying is nowhere near the conditions for a vapor trail to exist.
    The explanations given do not explain observation.

Comments are closed.