Did FEMA create Hurricane Matthew? Inside the wild theory that liberals created the storm
"[Hurricane] Katrina, Sandy, now Matthew. They are made on purpose."
That's Jeremy*, a 37-year-old Californian who runs a Facebook page about chemtrails — the theory that the government is poisoning us with airplane emissions. Jeremy believes there are people in power who control the weather, and they created Hurricane Matthew to keep the rest of us in line.
He's not alone.
A growing number of conspiracy theorists believe Hurricane Matthew is a government creation — one of several major storms the White House has designed, built and managed.
They insist President Barack Obama wants to "inflict major damage ... so FEMA and the government can have more control," in Jeremy's words.
"The government uses weather against its citizens," Walt Johnson, a 49-year-old former disk jockey from Louisiana, said in a message.
It's a dangerous belief. At the moment, Matthew is barreling into the southeastern U.S., hitting Florida, South Carolina and Georgia. The death toll in Haiti has risen to at least 475, with 27 reported injured, according to BBC News, CBS News and the Associated Press.
Hurricanes "are getting more powerful and inflicting more damage than ever before," Jeremy said. "And it's not an accident."
They believe our government has the technology.
It's currently hurricane season. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph. In 2015, the North Atlantic basin experienced four hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
These storms happen every year. So why do some people believe the government controls them, and how?
"Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen warned that other nations are using an electromagnetic technology by which they can create hurricanes, steer hurricanes and create earthquakes," Terry Lawton, known as @WI_Chemtrails on Twitter, said on The Richie Allen Show, an alternative-news radio program, on Wednesday. "The concern about these types of technologies has been raised, even in Congress, so it's far from conspiracy theory to talk about this. This is all documented fact."
Cohen did basically say this, though he never implicated the U.S. — and that claim has been thoroughly debunked. Cohen was referring to a fictional scenario dreamed up by futurist writer Alvin Toffler.
Do pilots guide the hurricane? Jeremy pointed to a BBC interview with an Air Force pilot to prove the government's involvement. The pilot says he flew through Matthew's eye. He was "steering the storm," Jeremy suggested.
"We absolutely believe that they [the government] have the technology to do it," host Richie Allen said in the interview above. "It's absolutely credible that the current named Hurricane Matthew might very well have been deliberately started by those who are pursuing this agenda."
What, exactly, is that agenda?
Some say it has to do with the upcoming election.
They believe Hurricane Matthew is hitting Florida for a reason.
Conspiracy theories argue it's no coincidence this hurricane is pummeling the Sunshine State just a month before Election Day.
Hurricane Matthew is hitting Florida hard. The state's governor has urged 1.5 million Floridians to evacuate.
Florida is also a swing state that could make or break the 2016 election. The New York Times has said the state could be a "tipping point" this year.
"If you're trying to throw a wrench into the Florida state government, there's no more effective way than to geo-engineer a hurricane and send it northward into the sun-drenched peninsula," alternative news site WorldTruth.tv wrote.
Hurricane truthers believe the government's goal is to create unrest and distract the masses from election fraud — namely, the left's attempt to rig the election for Hillary Clinton.
"Given the unparalleled significance of the 2016 election cycle, the politicos at the federal level would love to sow seeds of chaos any way they can in order to create cover for an election theft," WorldTruth.tv wrote.
They believe this is just the beginning.
Hurricane Matthew isn't the first or the last time powerful people have controlled the weather, conspiracy theorists claim. According to WorldTruth.tv, "The NWO cabal that controls Planet Earth frequently utilizes various forms of weather warfare to accomplish its goals," referring to the New World Order theory, which contends that a secret organization aims to control the world.
"Any time someone pisses off the elite who run things, weather is often used as a weapon," Walt Johnson said.
What does the government have planned for us after Hurricane Matthew? "I think we will see a large earthquake next," Jeremy said.
*Last name has been omitted to let source speak freely on sensitive matters.