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!