Shelley Bridgeman – Chemtrails Enthusiast

One of the worst opinion piece writers in Aotearoa me Te Wai Pounamu is Shelley Bridgeman, whose opinion pieces show a shallow understanding of the way the world works combined with a love of name-dropping. Her work is so astoundingly banal and predictable that there is now a bit of a game going on at the Dim Post to emulate the “heights” of her writing with respect to classic New Zealand novels.

However, nothing bets the real thing, and Bridgeman’s latest piece is terrible to behold, for she has found out about HAARP and chemtrails, and is asking the hard questions:

Unlike aircraft condensation trails, these lines didn’t dissipate and disappear. They seemed to be almost permanent fixtures – not moving, changing or fading in any way. My mind went back to when I first became aware of claims that chemtrails with a purpose were being laid across our skies.


It’s been difficult separating fact from fiction on this issue but here’s my best attempt. HAARP? It does exist. Can it trigger earthquakes? I have no idea but it has inspired a couple of great titles: specifically an article called Is baked Alaska half-baked? and a book entitled Angels Don’t Play this HAARP.

I don’t really have anything to say: I just want to note that, yes, I’m aware that the largest newspaper in the country has published an opinion piece about chemtrails and that, yes, it seems to be endorsing, rather than critiquing, the notion that someone, somewhere, is up to evil weather manipulation. We are, I think, doing quite well at the moment, as a nation, in the “Being stupid” stakes.

You can read more of Bridgeman’s wisdom here.


Robyn says:

The final paragraph is hilarious. Basically “Are chem trails real? I don’t know, but I once on holiday I saw some lines in the sky.” Far out, bro.

Spitfire says:

What I found curious was the lack of interest by you in the cranks who commented on her column/opinion piece….who is madder? SB or her commentators/conspiracy theorists? I can’t make up my mind but I’m sure of one thing – the first 10 I read can write better than she can. I’d love to know what you make of the responses as much as the piece itself.

Keep up the good work.

That’s a good point: my lack of interest is solely due to the fact that I never read the “Your Views” section of the Herald as it makes me even crankier than normal when reading the Herald. I’ll go have a look at the comments and report back.

Well, that set of “Your Views” are a fantastic mix of skepticism, fanaticism and people not reading other people’s comments. Some of them feature marvellous gems like:

Such are the real facts.

And feature YouTube citations as evidence for claims of conspiracy (which goes to show that some people will believe anything as long as its in audio-visual form).

I did quite like this comment, which is the kind of theory I’d almost be willing to endorse.

Probligo almost got it right, but actually chemtrails contain extreme gullibility inducing chemicals so that US citizens will worry about absurd conspiracy theories, rather than the rescuing of corrupt and incompetent banks, and the buying up of large parts of the legislature, and all that other stuff that would be inconvenient if they thought about.

Over all, though, the selection of comments basically confirmed what I already thought to be the case: lots of people in Aotearoa me Te Wai Pounamu believe in chemtrails and most of it is based upon anti-American sentiment and references to studies where people have tried to engage in weather manipulation. There’s probably a paper to be written on the hypothesis that “If they tried it once, then they are probably still trying it now” when it comes to claims of mind control, weather control, et al studies by both the Americans and Russians during the Cold War.