Fact Check: Red Northern Lights In Romania NOT Caused By HAARP Experiment

Fact Check

  • by: Ioana Burtea
Fact Check: Red Northern Lights In Romania NOT Caused By HAARP Experiment Solar Flares

Was the red aurora borealis (Northern Lights) observed in Romania and other European countries on November 5, 2023, a result of a HAARP experiment conducted in Alaska? No, that's not true. The aurora borealis on November 5, 2023, was caused by solar eruptions, and HAARP does not possess the capability to generate such phenomena.

The claim originated from a video (archived here) published on TikTok by user @marianleu on November 7, 2023, with the following caption (translated from Romanian to English by Lead Stories staff):

The world has gone mad with the aurora borealis; they're telling us to our faces about the HAARP experiment; stop believing everything you hear, sheep!

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-11-09 at 14.11.40.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Nov 9 11:46:24 2023 UTC)

The TikTok user shared a screenshot of a press release by the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP). The release stated that HAARP planned to undertake a research campaign from November 4 to 7, 2023, focusing on the study of artificial airglow and very low frequency/extremely low frequency (VLF/ELF) radio waves.

However, the two events are not linked. The red aurora borealis visible from several European countries on November 5 was caused by solar eruptions and not by HAARP, according to the head of the Bucharest Astronomical Observatory Adrian Sonka.

Sonka provided this clarification in an interview with Euronews Romania:

There is no connection. Aurora borealis and australis have been explained for hundreds of years. What we're seeing on the Sun matches what we're seeing from Earth. And anyone who says it's something else doesn't know isn't familiar and has no business saying that

You cannot conduct an experiment in a certain place and make the whole planet see lights in the sky. It is technically impossible.

Physics expert Cristian Presura, renowned for his popular YouTube channel where he delves into advanced physics and dispels myths, released a video explicitly stating that what Romanians observed on November 5 has no connection to HAARP:

We see that HAARP announced experiments in the following days and encouraged people to go outside and see a glowing light in the sky. Could this be what happened in Romania? Here's how those at HAARP describe it: in case it will be visible, it will be a dim patch of red or green light. Because of how the human eye works, it will be easier to notice when people look laterally at the sky, meaning it will be hard to see.

The expert further elaborated that the experiment conducted in Alaska could not possibly be visible from Europe, given the considerable distance of 10,000 kilometers.

Lead Stories has consistently debunked the diverse theories stemming from the HAARP research program.


  Ioana Burtea

Ioana Burtea has worked in journalism for 15 years. She started her career at Mediafax news agency in Bucharest and has written for DoR magazine for over seven years. Her collaborations include publications like Europe & Me, New Eastern Europe, Balkan Insight and Washington Post. Ioana published pieces on the justice system in Romania, social affairs, politics and personal essays. In 2018,  she became a fellow of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.  In 2021, she received the first prize in the Portrait category at the national Superscrieri journalism awards.

Read more about or contact Ioana Burtea

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