(NEW YORK) -- It's an astonishing claim: The tornado that ravaged Joplin, Missouri last Sunday, killing at least 125 people, was not a random act of nature but the result of an obscure military-backed research program in Alaska that shoots radio waves into the upper atmosphere.
Here's another one: The shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona last January that killed six people and wounded 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was an elaborate government hoax that used actors to portray the victims.
And there is this: Osama bin Laden is still alive, and the raid in which daring Navy SEALs shot him dead was fabricated to improve President Obama's chances of winning re-election.
These are three of the bogus new conspiracy theories flying across the Internet, advanced by believers who insist the evidence to support them could not be any clearer.
"Don't know about the rest of you, but I'm telling everyone I know and don't know (sales clerks, bank tellers, waiters, etc.) about the weather manipulation," a YouTube poster named "thegreenieye" wrote, responding to a video that claims last month's devastating tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama also was caused by the atmospheric research in Alaska.
"99.5 [percent] of people are completely unaware of this," thegreenieye wrote. "Tell everyone you know (and don't know) about it. The masses need to be informed!"
The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, run by the University of Alaska and supported by the Navy and Air Force, shoots radio waves into the upper atmosphere to study how those waves are affected and develop better communications technologies. But conspiracy theorists see it as some kind of doomsday device causing havoc across the planet.
Experts say the idea that the research could cause a rain shower, let alone a tornado or an earthquake, is ridiculous.
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