THIS is apropos of Pervez Hoodbhoy's article 'Case of bogus science' (Nov 16). Mr Hoodbhoy has twisted things out of context and criticised my article 'The wondrous world of science' (Oct 17).

In my article I had described the work going on at a very secret US military research facility in Alaska for the last several decades on developing weapons that can alter weather patterns (HAARP).

Mr Hoodbhoy has dismissed the article as being a case for 'bogus science' and gone on to attribute to me a number of statements that were never made. He had in the past bitterly criticised the tremendous achievements of Pakistan in higher education during my tenure. So his criticism is not surprising.

The facts are as follows:

(1) The European Union in an unprecedented move officially condemned the US for the research being conducted at this US Alaskan secret facility.

The EU, resolution No. 24 of Jan 28, 1999, states: “considers HAARP by virtue of its far-reaching impact on the environment to be a global concern and calls for its legal, ecological and ethical implications to be examined by an international independent body before any further research and testing; regrets the repeated refusal of the United States administration to send anyone in person to give evidence to the public hearing”.

Dr Hoodbhoy has dismissed this resolution as being based on 'bogus science' and gone on to defend the US by stating that the European Union members who passed this resolution may not have been scientists.

Not surprisingly, Dr Hoodbhoy claims to be more learned on such matters than members of the EU Commission!

(2). Twelve US patents have been granted to ARCO power Technologies Incorporated (APTI) since 1985 on the use of HAARP for altering weather patterns. The first of these 12 patents was US Patent 4686605 entitled : “Method And Apparatus For Altering A Region In The Earth's Atmosphere”, linked to the Star Wars Defence system.

These patents do NOT represent 'bogus science' as claimed by Dr Hoodbhoy but two decades of serious research on which hundreds of millions of dollars were spent which raised deep concerns of the European Union.

APTI was sold in 1994 to 'E-Systems', one of the largest intelligence contractors in the US, and E-Systems was later acquired at a price of $2.3bn by Raytheon Corporation, a large US company with several military contracts.

What is Raytheon doing with HAARP if there are no military applications? The power levels described in the patent are billions of watts, and all the patents granted by the US patent office, after careful independent evaluation by scientists, support the claims that the technology can affect weather.

Dr Hoodbhoy again claims to be more knowledgeable than US Patent Office specialists who vetted and approved these patents.

(3) Nowhere in my article have I stated that the technology caused earthquakes — I did state that these allegations had been made by others, including the president of Venezuela.

Dr Hoodbhoy twists these statements out of context, conveniently forgets to mention that these were allegations of others as correctly mentioned by me, and then goes on to criticise me for making them.

Dr Hoodbhoy will be well advised to do some serious physics research and make some genuine contributions to science in Pakistan rather than distort facts and criticise others.





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