24 September, 2019

Was the Recent California Fire Started by the U.S. Government Using Space Lasers?

A conspiracy theory involving lasers, the government, and California wildfires began circulating on social media this week in the wake of the catastrophic Camp Fire in California.


One YouTuber suggested that the fires were started by a “Directed Energy Weapon” (e.g. a laser) in order to distract us from the mass killing in Las Vegas last year (he also posited that the 2017 Gerard Butler movie Geostorm was “mostly outer space reinforcement propaganda”).

“The government is starting these fires,” one Facebook user said. “Marinate on this …”

Well, TWS Fact Check did “marinate on this” and found that the images were not connected to the California “Camp Fire.”

The first image, on the left, is of a SpaceX rocket launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California this summer. The image on the top right is of a controlled “flare off” from a refinery in Ohio this January “due to a compressor problem” the Canton Repository reported at the time. (The beam of light is most likely a light pillar, a very natural phenomenon caused by light reflecting off ice crystals—remember, Ohio in January—in the atmosphere.)

This last photo, tweeted out from the Forest Service of Klamath National Forest, is of a California fire. But the fire burned this May and is not a part of the “Camp Fire.” The strange line on the photo seems to be nothing more than some sort of streak on the camera lens, as this video explains. (But this is unclear and the Forest Service did not care to explain what the line was. They did however note that the fire was “ contained and 100% mopped up” on the same day it started.)

Laser weapon systems are being developed by companies like Lockheed Martin primarily for missile and drone defense (and they’re pretty sweet), with plans to equip certain military planes with the system.



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