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When you see contrails in the sky over the city, is someone really spraying us with aluminum chemicals?

Conspiracists call them chemtrails, but those long, thin clouds, says JPL climatologist William Patzert, are merely the carbon dioxide and water vapor produced when jet fuel burns at high altitudes. In 2000, the United Nations teamed with the EPA, FAA, NASA, and NOAA to issue a statement attesting to their benign nature. As for me, I’m keeping an open mind: I’ve met with Raelians, who believe that life on Earth was created by extraterrestrials, and some- times I listen to Coast to Coast AM, the late-night radio show that delights in the paranormal. Whatever those contrails are, my tinfoil hat will protect me. 

Illustration by Jason Schneider