Monday, July 28, 2008

"Those Voices In Your Head" Part 2

Part One HERE (Previous Dojo Rat Post)

Oops, the MEDUSA Mind Control Ray Gun Will Actually Kill You

As part of the U.S. Navy's investigation into futuristic nonlethal weaponry, the Sierra Nevada Corporation is building a microwave energy pulse gun that can produce a painful screaming sound inside a person's head from a long distance away. The inescapable sound, which is inaudible to untargeted bystanders, can be set to irritate, nauseate or even incapacitate people and animals that lie within range. Future applications may include crowd control, military use and even incapacitate people and animals that lie within range.
Future applications may include crowd control, military use and even shopping mall security, provided it proves safe from permanent side effects.
The science behind it also has the potential to give hearing to certain deaf people, or even projecting voices into peoples' heads.
The Sierra Nevada corporation has signed a contract with the U.S. Navy to follow up on successful recent testing of a non-lethal crowd control weapon that uses microwaves to project high-intensity sounds in the heads of targets, according to New Scientist magazine.
The MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio) system makes use of the well-established Microwave Auditory Effect, in which microwave stimulation causes parts of the ear around the cochlea to expand thermally, which is interpreted as sound by the brain. The effect is a sound that appears to originate in the target's head, and can't be heard by anyone not directly in the beam's path.
This is not to be confused with Raytheon's Active Denial System, another crowd control weapon in development which uses a similar directed energy beam to cause unbearable but non-damaging heat pain in the top few layers of a target's skin.
Because MEDUSA's sound doesn't vibrate the eardrum itself, and thus the eardrum is not exposed to the damage potential that loud acoustic noise produces, traditional noise level limits don't have to apply with the MEDUSA system. So it's possible to dial in any level of sonic deterrent from mildly annoying up to physically and mentally incapacitating levels that the target has no way of blocking out of their head.
The MEDUSA system has the ability to be aimed at specific targets, multiple targets or even cover large areas with a broad beam, which will make it an effective security deterrent for the perimeters of protected areas. The same technology, on a smaller scale, could be used as an invisible sonic scarecrow to keep certain areas free from birds, as birds appear to respond to very low levels of microwave audio.
There are certain side effects - in 1961 testing of the first Microwave Auditory Effect system, Allen H. Frey noted dizziness, headaches and pins and needles in his subjects - and little is known about what further effects might occur when power levels are turned up to an incapacitating level. The potential for serious neural damage can't be ignored when you're effectively microwaving the inside of somebody's head - and if it does turn out to be lethal, the research may continue down that path and the technology may end up being used as a microwave death ray.
Beyond being used to generate an annoying high-pitched scream, the Microwave Auditory Effect has shown itself to hold interesting peacetime possibilities if it can be proven safe. By modulating the projected frequency, Sharp and Grove showed in 1975 that it's possible to "plant" voices, music and other sounds directly into the head.
Because the eardrum is not involved in the transmission of this sound, there have been hopes that patients with outer ear problems might be able to listen to music or voices through microwave transmission. On a more sinister note, it's easy to see how one might abuse the ability to direct "voices" straight into a person's head, as would appear to be feasible using the device described in this 2002 patent.
Still, the MEDUSA system is expected to be testable within one year and a mobile deployment unit built within another 18 months. And if it can be proven not to be harmful, it could be deployed within a few years in warzones, protest situations and shopping malls.

How it kills (Part Three)


Ikigai said...

Cripes, wicked stuff. kills people at this point. I wonder if they are going to try to dial it back for crowd control effectiveness, or just run with it as-is and make it a military grade weapon.

Thanks for posting up about this, I doubt I would have heard of it otherwise.


Bob Patterson said...

They can't touch me.



Dojo Rat said...

Actually Bob, you're not too far off.
I read how the other microwave system that makes your skin feel like it's on fire can be defeated. You construct a woven matrix of metal, like a fishnet, with a ground wire dragging off it.
The same thing that is in the glass door of a microwave oven.
--Really, these new weapon systems are Uber creepy sci-fi shit...

Hand2Hand said...

This has been going on for decades. I saw a great History Channel show about secret weapons in WWII.

It spoke about how a Japanese scientist (whose name escapes me) was commissioned by the government in the 1930's to come up with a secret weapon to be used if and when the U.S. entered the war.

He proposed two ideas - a death ray and an atomic bomb. Thankfully, their government decided to put their efforts into death ray research.

This death ray used microwaves to cook the enemy from the inside out. It worked very successfully in laboratory tests on animals and possibly POWs.

The plan was to use it along the Okinawan coastline to turn the tide for the war for Japan and stop the allies in their tracks.

The idea was abandoned when it was determined to use it on a wide scale to defend Okinawa's shores would have taken every bit of electric energy the Japanese could produce.

Bob Patterson said...

Yeah on a serious note it is creepy. I saw that same History Channel special. Heck the gov. subjected our soldier to LSD.

As long as there is governments there will be stuff like this!

Scott said...

I know this is part of a dark paranoid jag, but have you heard about the microwave room at MIT? It sounds like everyone goes in there to eat lunch and do their homework...naked!!! It feels really warm and sensual on the inside and yet cool on the skin.