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"You're Gonna Feel It:" U.S. Military Unveils New Crowd Control "Heat Ray"

Marine Col: "I think our forces will figure out the many different applications that it would have.”

Common Dreams staff

The U.S. military has unveiled its newest approach to crowd control, the Active Denial System, a heat ray that sends out a high-frequency electromagnetic ray. People hit with the ray feel an intense, unbearable heat.  The military touts the ray's "far-ranging" capabilities and is looking at "many different applications" for its possible use.

Marine Col. Tracy Taffola said at the public unveiling of the system at a U.S. Marines base near Washington, D.C.:

"You're not gonna see it, you're not gonna hear it, you're not gonna smell it: you're gonna feel it." 

* * *

In a video to demonstrate the new weapon, USFORCESTV explains that the heat ray "boasts a reach far beyond any other non-lethal system" -- a reach of "about 7 footballs fields."

The video shows various volunteers quickly running away from the heat ray, a situation unlikely to be available when the ray is aimed at a large crowd or if protesters are penned in in some way, as was witnessed by the pepper-spraying of Occupy protesters by police officers at very close range.

* * *

The Globe and Mail reports:

The Pentagon has been experimenting with killer beams for decades. A laser so powerful that it can destroy nuclear-tipped missiles shortly after launch has been mounted in a much-modified Boeing 747 and is being tested. [...]

Various development versions of the heat ray have been tested for years. One was sent to Afghanistan – but never used – in 2010. Police departments have shown interest.

* * *

David Pugliese adds this comment from Marine Col. Tracy Taffola foreshadowing far-ranging use of the weapon:

“It could be used across the military spectrum of operations, perimeter security, crowd control, entry control points. You name it. I think our forces will figure out the many different applications that it would have,” Tafolla said.

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