“Lack of scientific rigor” gave cause for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health’s (IJERPH) retraction of environmental scientist J. Marvin Herndon’s research paper suggesting that jets are releasing toxic chemicals into the air.
The phenomenon in question is referred to as “chemtrails.” A press release that appeared in conjunction with the journal’s August release of the research referenced the launch of the “modern environmental movement,” suggesting that these chemtrails are the new front on “global environmental public health.”
IJERPH reviewed Herndon’s work after receiving complaints for publishing the research. Mistakes and “lack of scientific rigor” found during the course of the review led the journal to retract the work, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune (U-T).
At the crux of Herndon’s argument was the assertion that coal fly ash is being pumped out into the “troposphere by tanker-jets for geoengineering, weather-modification and climate-modification purposes,” according to the initial release.
Occupy San Diego has expressed support for the chemtrails theory. In a December 2013 social media post, the left-wing group included an article with the headline, “Chemtrails 101: An Introduction: Seeing #Chemtrails Clearly as the Silent but Deadly Betrayal.” In May of this year, Kylie Jenner of Kardashian family fame hopped on the chemtrail question bandwagon with a series of posts to her Twitter account.
In a message regarding the early September retraction of Herndon’s research, IJERPH editor Paul B. Tchounwou wrote, “The language of the paper is often not sufficiently scientifically objective for a research article.”
Herndon told the U-T in a Sunday email that the retraction was due to a systematic attack on his paper. “The very aggressive campaign to have my two scientific papers on tropospheric coal fly ash retracted is good evidence that I am right on target. You may quote me as saying that I will continue to oppose the retraction until truth and reason prevail.” His message included references to details on the alleged attacks and to Herndon’s communication with San Diego officials in the form of emails to which he claims to have received nearly no response.
UPI’s story on Jenner reported that the theory has been previously debunked.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana.