Mar 14, 2012
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."
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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.
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The Globe and Mailreports:
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.
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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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