Cops: Conspiracy Theorists With 'Arsenal' Arrested

Men allegedly planned to free souls by attacking research facility
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2016 1:14 PM CDT
Cops: Men Planned Attack on Research Facility to Free Souls
James Dryden Jr. and Michael Mancil.   (Coffee County Sheriff's Department)

(Newser) – Some men want to save our souls through religion. Two Georgia men arrested last week allegedly wanted to save them by shooting up an Alaska research facility that has been at the center of multiple conspiracy theories. Det. Michael Vickers tells the Alaska Dispatch News the men—30-year-old Michael Mancil and 22-year-old James Dryden Jr.—claim "that God told them to go and blow this machine up that kept souls, so souls could be released." Some conspiracy theorists believe the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP, can control people's minds and the weather. Vickers tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Mancil believes it keeps people's souls from getting to heaven.

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Last week's arrest of Mancil and Dryden started with an investigation into Mancil for allegedly dealing drugs, WALB reports. Georgia authorities believe the men were bound for Alaska when they were arrested last Thursday in South Georgia. Sheriff Doyle Wooten says the men had an "arsenal": four AR-15 rifles, four handguns, another rifle, thousands of rounds of ammo, and two flak jackets. Vickers tells the Dispatch News the men planned "to try to find a scientist, to steal his car and ID badge to gain access." A spokesperson for the University of Alaska Fairbanks, which took over HAARP from the government in 2014, says they've had threats before but nothing "quite this extreme." HAARP researches Earth's ionosphere, which has an impact on communication and navigation systems. (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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