Many towns are lousy with crude, spray painted signs advising you to Google chemtrails.

Conspiracy nuts hold that chemtrails are evidence that the government is spraying something, without our knowledge or consent, from high altitude jets. As evidence, proponents hold that normal contrails, the white, linear trails that form when aircraft move through the air, do not persist, and thus any contrail that persists for more than a few minutes is in fact some kind of horrifying chemical agent.

The alleged content of these sprays varies wildly depending on which tinfoil hatter you ask. Some believe the chemicals are some kind of behavioral modifier, something to keep the general population calm.

I never thought I’d say this, but apparently it is possible to watch too much Firefly.

Others suggest the chemicals tests of biological, chemical, or radiological weapons. Still others assert that chemtrails are part of a last-ditch effort to reverse climate change. The trails are blamed for everything from asthma to depression.

However, the physics of contrails is well understood. Persistent contrails are not in any way, shape, or form unusual. Due to public requests for information (re: too many people bugging them about it), the EPA issued a statement explaining contrails in great detail. Under some circumstances, contrails just persist for hours.

The irony is that the government has sprayed various biological and chemical agents on the general population, and it had nothing to do with ChemTrails. Unfortunately, during the Cold War, the government did engage in some very unethical research, sometimes involving unsuspecting test subjects. However, one of the less shady experiments actually shoots down chemtrails. In June of 1966, the United States Army Research Institute of Infectious Disease or USAMRIID, released non-pathogenic (non-disease-causing) bacteria in the New York subway system to see how a biological attack would unfold. While the bacteria were entirely harmless, the test showed the subway system to be extremely vulnerable to bioweapons, since USAMRIID was able to detect the bacteria all over the city within a few hours.

The irony is that these tests suggest that if you want to contaminate an area with biological or chemical agents, it works best near the ground on an overcast day. In other words, if the government was spraying dangerous chemicals, it wouldn’t look like contrails. So if we are being exposed to anything dangerous, it wouldn’t look like pretty little clouds in the sky and we’d probably never see it coming. Sleep tight!

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