12 April 2008

When the government really does beam voices into your head

According to a recent New Scientist article a declassified US Army report on the biological effects of non-lethal weapons revealed outlandish plans for "ray gun" devices, which would cause artificial fevers or beam voices into people's heads.

The Bioeffects Of Selected Nonlethal Weapons was released under the US Freedom of Information Act. Released by US Army Intelligence and Security Command at Fort Meade, Maryland, the 1998 report gives an overview of what was then the state of the art in directed energy weapons for crowd control and other applications.

Some of the technologies are conceptual, such as an electromagnetic pulse that causes a seizure like those experienced by people with epilepsy. Other ideas, like a microwave gun to "beam" words directly into people's ears, have been tested. It is claimed that the so-called "Frey Effect" – using close-range microwaves to produce audible sounds in a person's ears – has been used to project the spoken numbers 1 to 10 across a lab to volunteers'.

The report also discusses a microwave weapon able to produce a disabling "artificial fever" by heating a person's body. While tests of the idea are not mentioned, the report notes that the necessary equipment "is available today". It adds that while it would take at least fifteen minutes to achieve the desired "fever" effect, it could be used to incapacitate people for almost "any desired period consistent with safety."

However, the report does not mention any trials of weapons for producing artificial fever or seizures, or beaming voices into people's heads.

Steve Wright, a security expert at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK, warned that the technologies described could be used for torture. In 1998 the European Parliament passed a motion banning potentially dangerous incapacitating technologies that interfere with the human brain."The epileptic seizure inducing device is grossly irresponsible and should never be fielded," says Steve Wright "We know from similar [chemically] artificially-induced fits that the victim subsequently remains "potentiated" and may spontaneously suffer epileptic fits again after the initial attack."

More hare-brained stuff from the people who didn’t bring you the Gay bomb . I suppose the words in ears thing is grist to the mill of the tinfoil hat brigade. On the other had I can imagine the advertising industry would love to get their hands on such a device!


Nunyaa said...

How creepy is all that? A device to put words in through your ears and one to induce fevers. All sounds space age and yes if such devices existed, in wrong hands it could be fatal. I often wonder about the Taser gun and Pepper spray that our police now carry. What if someone is allergic to the spray, has been known to give extreme adverse reactions, in Cairns one man was put in a coma and has irreversible brain damage after being sprayed. The Taser is electric shock in small amounts but it don't take a genius to know any change to heart rhythm or brain activity can have the same devastating results. What is the alternative when faced with a rampaging out of control person , shooting them and death? Not an easy decision but these devices you write about Jams, are a bit too much for this world. Great article by the way. :-)

The Lone Beader® said...

What?? I can't hear you! Beam louder!

*covering ears*


Frank Partisan said...

One word: Why?

beakerkin said...

Maybe this can be used to sell Neil Diamond records.


jams o donnell said...

I've always been concerned about teh use of tasers and peppe sprays too Nunyaa. I'm not sure if there have been fatalities here in teh UK. It is a matter of time perhaps.

LOL LB. good one!

Ren, the answer is the same as one to "Why do dogs lick their balls?"

Because they can...

It would need full mind control for that Beakerkin!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

No need for all this expensive electronic paraphernalia. I start hearing voices after my third (or fourth) bourbon. This is why I vastly prefer Scotch.

jams o donnell said...

LOL for me the voices I hear in my head are those of the not-wife berating me for being drunk!