Two people sent me emails this morning informing me that a person on Facebook whose page is dedicated to chemtrails has posted several photos that were stolen from FireAviation.com. Some of the photos are of Tanker 131 and the retardant tank, taken by the Coulson company who gave us permission to use them. Others are of Modular Airborne FireFighting System (MAFFS) aircraft tanks; one of them was taken by me, and the other by the U.S. Forest Service. I left comments on all of the Facebook posts explaining what they were, and asking that they be removed. Within minutes my comments had been deleted and I was banned from leaving any more. But the photos are still there.
In case you have not heard of chemtrails, here is part of an explanation on Wikipedia:
According to the chemtrail conspiracy theory, some trails left in the sky by high-flying aircraft are chemical or biological agents deliberately sprayed for sinister purposes undisclosed to the general public. Believers in the theory argue that airplanes don’t leave long-lasting contrails under normal conditions, but their arguments have been dismissed by the scientific community: such trails are simply normal water-based contrails (condensation trails) which are routinely left by high-flying aircraft under certain atmospheric conditions. Although proponents have attempted to prove that the claimed chemical spraying does take place, their analyses have been flawed or based on misconception.
The person who runs the Facebook site has posted dozens of photos of aircraft tanks and vapor trails in the sky, usually with no description or commentary, but the implication is that there is something sinister going on. Equating air tankers with a widespread government conspiracy to covertly spray harmful chemicals in the air is absurd.
As far as I know Facebook does not police their site for copyright violations, so I don’t know what else can be done other than getting attorneys involved.
But, if you don’t think that air tankers should be associated with a ridiculous conspiracy theory, or if you believe in copyrights, there is a way to report a Facebook post. If you have a Facebook account you can go to the chemtrail site, called MadisonStar Moon. On each post in the upper-right corner there is a hard-to-see down arrow, this is on the main page, not the individual pages for each photo. Click on it and then click on “Report/Mark as spam”. Before you do that, you can also leave a comment explaining that the photos were stolen, and that they show air tankers used for suppressing forest fires.
Below are direct links to the photos:
And here are links to some of the photos at Fire Aviation: