live broadcast sound collage

The High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program may be the most controversial radio phenomenon in the world.  An array of 180 antennas in lonely Gakona, Alaska, powered by a 3.6 million watt transmitter, and designed to broadcast high-frequency radio waves to a targeted area 30-miles in diameter, 100 miles above the Earth, HAARP and its clandestine purpose have been a topic of speculation for both the curious and conspiracy prone since before it was constructed.  

Jointly managed by the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), and the University of Alaska, HAARP has been theorized to be a space laser, a mind control tool, a radio relay to nuclear submarines, a weather machine, and a global-warming causing doomsday device.  

The mission statement of the program:  HAARP is a scientific endeavor aimed at studying the properties and behavior of the ionoshpere, with particular emphasis on being able to understand and use it to enhance communications and surveillance systems for both civilian and defense purposes.

In any case, what is of interest to Special Collections is not what HAARP does but how it sounds.

HAARP’s broadcast frequencies lie above the AM band and below CB – between 2.7 and 10 MHz – and it’s four signature electromagnetic patterns have been investigated and recorded by HAM radio operators worldwide. This program features recordings of HAARP’s signal being received on shortwave radio around the world.

The HAARP facility was defunded by Congress in 2014. It has now passed into the sole care of the University of Alaska and is available on a pay-to-play basis. Stay tuned.

My bet is that HAARP was an attempt to create an electromagnetic surveillance and warfare tool but that the program proved unsuitable for weaponization. The USAF squadron to which the HAARP facility was remanded reports to Air Force Space Command and Control and 3 diesel generators and a tug boat engine are buried in a lead-lined bunker on site to power the antenna array. Electromagnetic pulse missile defense shield?


Broadcast date: September 27th 2016
KCHUNG Los Angeles 1630AM

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS is a broadcast project by Sam Rowell.
Each edition is mixed live on the air.