Photo doesn’t show interior of ‘chemtrail plane’

24 March 2023
What was claimed

A photo reveals the interior of a “chemtrail plane”.

Our verdict

The photo actually shows the inside of a firefighting plane. There is no evidence any of the equipment pictured is used to create “chemtrails”.

A number of posts shared on Facebook question whether a photo has revealed the interior of a “chemtrail plane”. 

The posts show what appears to be a large tank on board an aircraft, with the caption: “Does this internet photo show the interior of a chemtrail plane?”

They also highlight a blurred area of writing on the tank, which they say says “patent number: 7413145”, claiming that this is a patent for: “‘Systems and Methods For Aerial Dispersion of Material’ (filed by none other than the CIA’s EVERGREEN AIR)”. 

Versions of this post have circulated on social media for many years, with Full Fact finding examples dating back almost a decade.  

But this isn’t a “chemtrail plane”. It’s a firefighting aircraft, designed to help put out wildfires. 

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What are ‘chemtrails’?

As we’ve written many, many times before, the term “chemtrail” refers to a popular conspiracy theory claiming that the white lines often seen trailing behind planes are actually chemicals being deliberately sprayed. 

The alleged reasons for this differ, but it is commonly claimed that the chemicals are either designed to poison or control the population in some way, or to control the weather or climate.

The white lines sometimes seen trailing behind planes are in fact contrails—consisting of water vapour that freezes in the cold temperatures at high altitude forming long thin lines of cloud. 

Depending on the humidity of the air, these tiny water droplets either change directly from a solid to a gas—becoming invisible after a few minutes—or remain as water droplets or ice crystals. 

Photo shared online is of a firefighting plane

As we’ve already mentioned, the photo used in the post is from an article published by a website about wildfires. 

The article is about a “supertanker” aircraft which toured a number of different countries during the summer of 2009. The original caption on the photo identified the objects pictured as “the pressurized retardant tanks on the 747 Supertanker”. 

The patent highlighted is for a system designed for aircraft in order to allow them to spread fire retardant chemicals during wildfires. 

The US patent, filed in 2004, states: “A method and apparatus for aerial fire suppression utilizing a potable [sic] fire retardant chemical dispensing system, readily adaptable, without extensive aircraft modification, to various makes of aircraft, for dispensing current types of forest and range fire fighting chemicals.” 

We can find no evidence that this system has been repurposed to spread “chemtrails”. 

Image courtesy of Adrian Pingstone

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