Vapor trail above Park City: a government conspiracy?
The Park City Police Department in early February received a highly unusual complaint from someone concerned about the vapor trail of an airplane that was passing above the city and that it was part of a government conspiracy.
The police fielded the report at a little bit before 1 p.m. on Feb. 7 from a man who went to the Park Avenue police station to talk to an officer.
Rick Ryan, a police captain, said the man told an officer he could see the vapor trails left by airplanes.
"The air over the city was being polluted by commercial air travel," Ryan said, describing the complaint to the police.
Ryan said the man claimed that the government was intentionally spreading some sort of aluminum aerosol chemical through the airplane’s vapor trail.
"This individual believes the government is putting an aluminum aerosol chemical into the atmosphere," Ryan said.
The man is 28 years old and lives on the East Side of Summit County, Ryan said. The police did not identify the man. Ryan said the police referred the man to the Federal Aviation Administration. A police officer also took photos of a vapor trail visible when the report was filed.
Public police logs indicated the man called the vapor trail an "environmental hazard" and that the skies were filling with pollution. The man requested photos be taken, the police logs indicated.
Ryan, a 27-year veteran of the Police Department, said he could not recall a similar complaint during his tenure with the department.
The police did not have details such as the direction of the airplane, the apparent length of the vapor trail and the altitude of the plane. Some airplanes that have just taken off from Salt Lake City International Airport or are preparing to land there are flying low when they pass overhead in Park City or surrounding Summit County.
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Arlene Loble served as the Park City manager in the 1980s, a pivotal period that prepared the community for the boom years that would follow in the 1990s. Loble, who recently died, is credited with introducing a level of professionalism to the municipal government that was needed amid the growth challenges.