GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The trails left behind by airplanes can be explained by simple chemistry-- air and moisture mixing in the atmosphere make white trails in the sky.
They're called contrails but some believe those trails are more than a mixture of moisture.
A controversial theory is gaining popularity-- a theory that has some saying those contrails are the government using the sky as their own personal chemistry experiment; an experiment that some fear is dangerous.
The technical term is Geo-engineering.
"The plans to put chemicals into the atmosphere will pollute our air, our water and our soil."
President of the Agriculture Defense Coalition Rosalind Peterson says chemicals are being sprayed into the air via jet planes, all in an attempt to combat global warming.
"They’re changing our climate and they're reducing the amount of sunlight that's reaching the earth,” says Peterson.
Grand Junction resident Derrick Snider has photographed hundreds of local contrails over the past year.
"You’ll see a lot of checkerboard patterns in the sky or a lot of cross patterns or X patterns,” says Snider.
Snider says these trails in the sky are part of a government experiment.
"They’re using aerosol spraying techniques to bounce sun rays back into the atmosphere,” says Snider.
He says high levels of aluminum and other toxic chemicals can be measured in the atmosphere.
"Chemicals like aluminum oxides, barium, beryllium and sulfur,” says Snider.
Government atmospheric testing shows these chemicals are in the air but there is no proof higher levels over time are because of chemical trails.
Contrails are exhaust coming from these jet planes, mostly water but what some conspiracy theorists believe is that those trails are actually chemical trails, or chemtrails purposefully filled with deadly toxins.
Retired FBI agent Ted Gunderson says these chemicals are slowly killing the planet.
"Birds are dying around the world. Fish are dying by the hundreds of thousands. This is genocide. This is poison. This is murder,” says Gunderson.
Not all buy the hype.
"It’s very difficult to tell if it's anything other than normal plane exhaust,” says James Ayers, a Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at Colorado Mesa University.
He says it's unlikely the government is experimenting with human lives.
"People have talked about the idea of putting particles into the atmosphere to try and observe cooling kind of like volcanoes do, but it wouldn't be very practical; the amounts you'd have to put in and the potentially toxic side effects would be extreme,” says Ayers.
He says lingering contrails have to do with one element.
"It has to do with the atmospheric conditions; so if you look in the air and it’s particularly cold or moist, a contrail may persist for a long time,” says Ayers.
Peterson says these persistent contrails rarely existed before 1980 and they've only gotten worse.
"Definite impacts on our health, our crop production and our trees,” adds Peterson.
Snider insists the plumes are more than just exhaust and wants the government to recognize that publicly.
"We need to have some type of meaningful discourse from our government about this phenomenon,” explains Snider.
Peterson says because of geo-engineering, less direct sunlight makes its way into the atmosphere causing massive deficiencies of Vitamin D among humans.
She says rickets and other childhood diseases are on the rise as a result of the lack of Vitamin D.
All government agencies deny the existence of chemical trails.