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Details of US microwave-weapon tests revealed

VOLUNTEERS taking part in tests of the Pentagon's "less-lethal" microwave weapon were banned from wearing glasses or contact lenses due to safety fears. The precautions raise concerns about how safe the Active Denial System (ADS) weapon would be if used in real crowd-control situations
Details of US microwave-weapon tests revealed
22 July 2005
NewScientist.com news service
David Hambling
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VOLUNTEERS taking part in tests of the Pentagon's "less-lethal" microwave weapon were banned from wearing glasses or contact lenses due to safety fears. The precautions raise concerns about how safe the Active Denial System (ADS) weapon would be if used in real crowd-control situations.

The ADS fires a 95-gigahertz microwave beam, which is supposed to heat skin and to cause pain but no physical damage (New Scientist, 27 October 2001, p 26). Little information about its effects has been released, but details of tests in 2003 and 2004 were revealed after Edward Hammond, director of the US Sunshine Project - an organisation campaigning against the use of biological and non-lethal weapons - requested them under the Freedom of Information Act.

The tests were carried out at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Two experiments tested pain tolerance levels, while in a third, a "limited military utility assessment", volunteers played the part of rioters or intruders and the ADS was used to drive them away.

The experimenters banned glasses and contact lenses to prevent possible eye damage to the subjects, and in the second and third tests removed any metallic objects such as coins and keys to stop hot spots being created on the skin. They also checked the volunteers' clothes for certain seams, buttons and zips which might also cause hot spots.

The ADS weapon's beam causes pain within 2 to 3 seconds and it becomes intolerable after less than 5 seconds. People's reflex responses to the pain is expected to force them to move out of the beam before their skin can be burnt.

But Neil Davison, co-ordinator of the non-lethal weapons research project at the University of Bradford in the UK, says controlling the amount of radiation received may not be that simple. "How do you ensure that the dose doesn't cross the threshold for permanent damage?" he asks. "What happens if someone in a crowd is unable, for whatever reason, to move away from the beam? Does the weapon cut out to prevent overexposure?"

During the experiments, people playing rioters put up their hands when hit and were given a 15-second cooling-down period before being targeted again. One person suffered a burn in a previous test when the beam was accidentally used on the wrong power setting.

"What happens if someone is unable to move away from the beam?"A vehicle-mounted version of ADS called Sheriff could be in service in Iraq in 2006 according to the Department of Defense, and it is also being evaluated by the US Department of Energy for use in defending nuclear facilities. The US marines and police are both working on portable versions, and the US air force is building a system for controlling riots from the air.

From issue 2509 of New Scientist magazine, 22 July 2005, page 26
watches 24.Jul.2005 00:21

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Microwaving citizens is a form of terrorism and lethal assault. 24.Jul.2005 09:38

who are the "terrorists"?

Are people more at risk from the Bush / Blair / Martin / Howard / Sharon governments, or from alleged Islamic "terrorist groups"?

An objective risk assessment would surely demonstrate that our proto-fascist "western" governments are the greatest threats to our freedom, wealth, rights, life and well-being.

How to protect ourselves from those who are terrorizing us? Create viable independent media alternatives. Creative viable political alternatives (better political parties) and / or take over and transform existing political parties, if this is possible. Priorize your time and resources. Form strategic alliances. Earn the resources to achieve the above by studying either real estate investment or forex trading, practise and perfect some skills, and seize wealth to be used for the common good.

Microwaves are not healthy. Proto-fascist governments are our real threats. Remove Bush / Blair / Martin / Howard / Sharon and all of their ilk from positions of responsibility. These are the most dangerous terrorists in the world.