Man-made 'Yolanda'? UP scientist debunks viral video

Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - November 11, 2013 - 5:14pm

MANILA, Philippines - University of the Philippines scientist Mahar Lagmay belied a video claiming that supertyphoon "Yolanda" was a man-made phenomenon controlled by US-run technology emitting microwave pulse.

"Those claims must first demonstrate that the microwave was the one that formed," Lagmay said in a televised interview with ANC on Monday.

Lagmay, who spearheaded the online weather monitoring platform Project NOAH under the Department of Science and Technology, said that YouTube user DutchSince who created and lent his voice on the video may not himself believe his claims.

"From the images he was showing, it would appear that the typhoon was already developed when he was showing the microwave pulses that were being transmitted. And the second thing that I noticed was that he was also relating the microwave pulses with the occurrence of earthquakes, and what we know about earthquakes is that they form because of the accumulation of energy due to earth movements. And through time, this energy is accumulated along faults and it does not at all relate to any type of microwave he was referring to," he said.

"He is just pulling a trick on us ... As of the moment, there's no reason to believe this person," Lagmay added.

The video uploaded last November 8 gained attention on YouTube amid overwhelming news on the catastrophe wrought by the powerful cyclone. Dutchsince, voicing over moving satellite images of the typhoon's movement, said that a US facility based in Alaska manipulated the direction and strength of the weather disturbance.

"We can follow this storm's formation ... and what we've seen several times is out here near Guam, of all places, we see a large microwave-shaped spiral pulse that comes from the north," the narrator said.

The conspiracy theorist also claimed that microwave pulse is now controlling a new weather system named "Zoraida" spotted off the Philippines.

Lagmay refused to be convinced, addressing concerns of netizens whether Dutchsinse's claims are based on facts.

"There's a long, rigorous process to demonstrate that microwave is related to formation of clouds, curves shown in the video," he said. "Let’s just put it this way. In science, you have to demonstrate it. It must be repeatable and it must be testable. He was not able to do that and, therefore, it’s not proven."

"As a scientist, I prefer to see the evidence ...He must demonstrate it well, clearly and must be reputable," Lagmay added.

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