The appeal to ignorance is a reflex response to novel information. Kristen Meghan‘s first reaction on hearing talk of “chemtrails” was to feel professionally affronted. She was an industrial hygienist and environmental specialist working for the Air Force in bio-environmental engineering. She joined up after 9/11 and was committed to her oath of service, and when in 2006 friends started coming to her with questions about chemicals being sprayed from military planes she felt professionally affronted. Her responsibilities included environmental impacts, compliance with EPA standards, and approving and tracking hazardous materials. It was her job to know what chemicals were imported into her air force base, and their precise and approved end use and disposal. Naturally enough, the appeal to ignorance immediately came into play, along with an appeal to her own professional authority:
“If this was happening I would know about it.
I do not know about it.
Therefore it is not happening.”
She decided to prove it. She set about debunking the ‘conspiracy theory’ – and failed. Going through the computer system, checking all the Air Force Form 3952 Approvals of Hazardous Materials, she started finding large quantities of materials which she could not account for. She checked and double-checked, found Material Safety Data Sheets without manufacturer names, lacking key information in required fields. She stopped approving such orders. Questioned, and asking questions in return, she was, in her words, progressively demonized over the next two years by her superiors.
Eventually she was transferred to another National Logistics Center at Warner Robins in Georgia. Asking the same questions of her new superiors, she soon found herself threatened with psychiatric coercion.
“Is there something wrong with you?
You’ve been looking really depressed lately…
You know I can put you under mental evaluation for up to 120 days.
Who would take care of your daughter?”
What she was finding was large quantities of aluminum, barium and strontium oxides and sulfates. Having methodically eliminated all legitimate usages, she then sought evidence of these chemicals in the environment; sampling soil, air and water near bases in Oklahoma, Georgia and Illinois she found anomalous amounts of these metals. At this point, approaching her re-enlistment date, she left the service and devoted herself to publicizing the ‘chemtrails’ issue. Wisely, and correctly, she confines herself rigorously to her own discipline and does not broach the Why? question, leaving that for others to address.