February 23, 2003 |
They still think about the rainmaker, still remember him fondly, especially when a beautiful cloud rolls by. They still talk about the rainmaker, over cups of coffee at the Home Cafe or beers at the Ryegate Bar. They can't help it -- they miss him. They wish he would return. They would give anything to see the rainmaker drive up in his dusty old truck, setting forth his grand theory of life and promising to wring a few good storms from their dried-out sky.
February 19, 1993 |
What's wrong with this picture? On a day when freeways disappeared under water, houses teetered on their foundations and rescuers kept a wary watch on swollen flood control channels, a cloud-seeding company was collecting $400 from Los Angeles County to stand by in case anyone needed rainmakers.
March 1, 1993 |
The Mayans threw middle-age women into wells to appease their rain god. The English of the 1700s sent bell ringers into church towers, hypothesizing that loud noises shook moisture from the clouds. The practice was banned after lightning killed too many bell ringers. Keith Brown cringes when reminded of such history. As a modern cloud-seeder, he is paid good money to increase rain and snowfall in places around the world, including Los Angeles.
May 24, 1987
China's worst forest fire has moved to within six miles of vast virgin forests in Inner Mongolia, and among forces sent to the area are nearly 300 men equipped with 18 artillery pieces that can fire shells containing rain-making chemicals, the official media reported. The Beijing Evening News said the blaze had broken through a firebreak 75 miles long and was continuing to spread south. In the last two weeks, the fire has killed more than 200 people, left 50,000 homeless and devastated almost 1.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2001 |
A starchy Quaker sewing machine salesman who billed himself as a "Moisture Accelerator" owns a unique place in Southern California history, somewhere between meteorology and jurisprudence. Before the Los Angeles and Colorado River aqueducts brought reliable water supplies to the Southland, there was the rainmaker: Charles Mallory Hatfield.
April 18, 2000 |
A twin-engine plane on a cloud-seeding mission crashed just after takeoff Monday, killing all three people aboard. An engine on the Navy surplus plane failed after the aircraft left Stead Airport, said John Doherty, a spokesman for the University of Nevada's Desert Research Institute. The institute had contracted for the use of the plane with Advanced Aviation of Reno for a cloud-seeding mission in the Sierra Nevada south of Lake Tahoe.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 6, 1988 |
Cloud-seeding to increase rainfall on Santa Catalina Island will begin this month, with airplanes sprinkling dry ice into the clouds over the island, Southern California Edison Co. officials said. The program will begin around Dec. 15, when Fresno-based Atmospherics Inc. will start monitoring Catalina's weather to determine optimum times for sending up a plane to induce or increase rainfall, said Keith LeFever, Edison's district manager for the island.
July 29, 1993
Vincent J. Schaefer, 87, chemist who invented cloud-seeding to produce rain. Dropping out of high school to support his family, Schaefer began working for General Electric at 15 and eventually won a transfer from the machine shop to the research laboratory. Mentored by chemists there, he helped devise such World War II inventions as gas-mask filters, submarine detectors and a smoke machine for concealing military maneuvers.
February 10, 1991 |
Despite the looming onset of water rationing because of the drought, Los Angeles County officials won't resume a cloud-seeding program that produced small but significant amounts of rain on the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys until it was shelved 13 years ago. County officials said they worry that renewed cloud-seeding over the San Gabriel Mountains would lead to large numbers of lawsuits if flooding resulted.
May 8, 2005 |
Planes stationed at airfields around Thailand take to the skies almost daily, flying sorties in a campaign of national importance -- a war on the country's worst drought in seven years. They take off loaded not with bombs but with rainmaking chemicals -- prepared to specifications personally developed by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is commanding the operation. On the flight line in this seaside town, aviators wear uniforms with shoulder patches proudly describing their duty: "Cloud Attackers."