Bulgarian Socialist Party presidential candidate and former air force commander Roumen Radev may have made a significant sortie into the conspiracy theorist vote with a promise that if concerns about “chemtrails” – claimed in conspiracy theories to exist, to manipulate the population – strengthen among the public “we can arrange a check”.
The chemtrail – a word made up from “chemical” and “trail”- conspiracy theory is that chemical or biological agents are sprayed at high altitudes by aircraft for sinister purposes concealed from the public. Scientists and governments repeatedly have rejected allegations that chemtrails exist.
In a video posted online on YouTube of a campaign meeting, Radev is heard saying, “if there is such a thing we will take steps, but at the moment I am not aware that there is such a thing such as deliberately, consciously spraying”.
Radev, a pilot who was air force commander before being recruited as the opposition BSP’s presidential candidate, said that such trails from planes could occur from 9000 to 11 000 metres, a result of “air humidity and so on”.
Should anxiety about the matter continue, a check would be done and if deliberate spraying was found, “we will take action”.
As noted in the Wikipedia entry on the matter, while there is no scientific proof of chemtrails, there are contrails, condensation trails, “streaks of condensed water vapor created in the air by an airplane or rocket at high altitudes.”
Contrails are the result of normal emissions of water vapour from piston and jet engines at high altitudes in which the water vapour condenses into visible clouds. They are formed when hot humid air from the engines mixes with the colder surrounding air. The rate at which contrails dissipate is entirely dependent on weather conditions and altitude. If the atmosphere is near saturation, the contrail may exist for some time. Conversely, if the atmosphere is dry, the contrail will dissipate quickly.
It is well established by atmospheric scientists that contrails can persist for hours, and that it is a perfectly normal characteristic for them to spread out into cirrus sheets.
Bulgarians go to the polls on November 6 in presidential elections, to choose a successor to head of state Rossen Plevneliev, who has not made himself available to stand for election to a second term as President. Radev will be one of a long list of candidates from various parties, coalitions and “initiative committees”.
Reliable opinion polls show Bulgarians as lacking credence in the country’s institutions. This may in part explain why conspiracy theories of various kinds, however outlandish, gain popularity as a sub-culture spread via the internet.