It’s been a suspected death beam, a secret tool to control the weather and even a weapon to manipulate the human mind. Now, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, better known by its acronym, HAARP, has reached the final stage of its strange journey that began with Cold War concerns about nuclear war: Next month, the Alaska-based research station will be transferred to civilian control.
HAARP will be handed over in August to the University of Alaska, confirmed Othana Zuch, an Air Force spokesperson. A ceremony for the handover is also scheduled for that month.
“The Air Force Research Lab has control of the HAARP facility until Aug. 11,” Marmian Grimes, a university of spokesperson, wrote in an email to The Intercept. “After that, the university will have access to the site under the terms of an agreement between [University of Alaska Fairbanks] and the Air Force. That agreement allows access for two years, which will provide the university and the Air Force time to negotiate an agreement regarding the transfer of the land.”
Located on a site near the town of Gakona, Alaska, HAARP consists of 360 radio transmitters and 180 antennas, which are used to generate radio waves that heat up the ionosphere by accelerating electrons, allowing scientists to conduct experiments.