FACT CHECK: Threads Post Falsely Claims Recent Auroras Were Made By HAARP

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Threads claims May 2024 aurora sightings were purportedly created with the University of Alaska, Fairbanks’ High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP).

Screenshot captured via Threads

Verdict: False

The claim is false. According to a May 13 press release from the university, a solar storm, not HAARP, is responsible for the recent aurora sightings.

Fact Check:

Experts believe the next time the aurora borealis will be visible in the U.S. is between November 2024 and March 2026, according to Newsweek. Alaska and Maine are typically the two best states in the U.S. to see the phenomenon from, the outlet reported.

“Don’t look up what HAARP is or when they tested it or what conspiracy theory says it can do. Just don’t worry about it,” the Threads post, which includes an image of a colorful aurora sighting, reads. A similar iteration of the claim shared on Facebook also purports recent aurora sightings were created with HAARP.
The claim is false, however. According to a May 13 press release from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, a solar storm, not HAARP, is responsible for the recent aurora sightings.
“Night skies over the weekend erupted with vivid colors and awed people all around the globe as the solar wind from a severe geomagnetic storm produced by our sun entered Earth’s upper atmosphere and created auroral displays. The sun’s activity was closely monitored and the storm’s effects reported multiple times over the weekend by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center. NOAA predicted such a storm and has been preparing scientists for the event,” the release reads in part.
In the same press release, HAARP Director Jessica Matthews also iterated that the aurora sightings were not linked to HAARP experiments conducted May 8-10.
“We have been responding to many inquiries from the media and the public. The HAARP scientific experiments were in no way linked to the solar storm or high auroral activity seen around the globe,” Matthews explained. A spokesperson for HAARP directed Check Your Fact to the press release.
Likewise, Check Your Fact did not find any credible news reports to suggest that recent aurora sightings were created by HAARP. In fact, the opposite is true. Both Politifact and AFP reported the claim is false via May 13 and May 15 articles, respectively. (RELATED: Image Claims To Show Russian Troops Inside Of US Base In Niger)
Furthermore, according to Space.com, recent aurora sightings represent some of the strongest aurora sightings “seen in 500 years.”

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter