This was a press release released in 2001. It has been cited in many articles (such as this one by researcher Frank Morales: http://extra.shadowpress.org/sin001/crowdcon.htm) about new high tech military weapons. Yet the original article is gone from cyberspace. To preserve it for future generations to cite, I republish it here. Republishing this does not indicate support for the Air Force (if you could not figure it out with my several anti-U.S. military articles here already.)
PDF version: new-technology-drives-away-adversaries 2-22-2001
United States Air Force
Air Force Research Laboratory, Office of Public Affairs
3550 Aberdeen Avenue S.E., Kirtland AFB, NM 87117-5776
(505) 846-1911; Fax (505) 846-0423
U.S. Marine Corps Contact
Maj David Andersen
Phone: (703) 614-2019\
February 22, 2001
U.S. Air Force Contact
CONTACT: Rich Garcia
PHONE: (505) 846-1911
DE RELEASE NO. 2001-09
New Technology Drives Away Adversaries
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A breakthrough technology, designed to project an energy beam that drives away adversaries without injuring them, is now undergoing advanced testing, Pentagon officials anounced today.
Defense officials note that this technology could save lives by driving away adversaries without having to use deadly force.
The tests are being conducted in field conditions by the United States Air Force at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. The are using a transmitter that sends a narrow beam of energy to a test subject hundreds of yards away. Traveling at the speed of light, the energy reaches the test subject and penetrates less than 1/64 of an inch into the skin, quickly heating up only the skin’s surface.
Within seconds, a subject feels pain that stops when the transmitter is shut off or when the subject moves out of the beam. In conflicts, targeted adversaries are expected to simply flee.
The technology was developed by two Air Force Research Laboratory teams: one from the laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate at Kirtland AFB, N.M., and the other from the Human Effectiveness Directorate at Brooks AFB, Texas.
The two team leaders, Lt. Col. Chuck Beason and Dr. Kirk Hackett, emphasize that the effect exploits a natural defense mechanism – pain – that has evolved to protect the human body from damage. They point out that heat-induced pain identical to that produced by this technology can be experienced by briefly touching an ordinary light bulb that has been left on for a while. Pain from the heat makes a person remove his finger from the light bulb before a burn can happen. Similarly, exposures from this non-lethal weapon technology causes repel but not damage.
According to Dr. Michael Murphy, head of the biological effects research team at Brooks AFB, Texas, “We’ve done a lot of research on this technology and have shown there are no harmful health effects. There isn’t any injury because of the low energy levels that are used. The beam only needs to be on for a few seconds to achieve its purpose,” notes Murphy.
“This revolutionary force protection technology gives U.S. service members an alternative to using deadly force,” notes Marine Corps Col. George Fenton, director of the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program at Quantico, Va. “It was developed in response to Department of Defense needs for alternative options to the more traditional weapons that can cause serious injury or death. A weapon like this could be particularly useful when adversaries are mixed with innocent persons.”
The project is being funded under the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. Approximately $40 million has been spent on this technology over the past decade.
All testing is being conducted with strict observance of the procedures, laws and regulations governing animal and human experimentation. The tests have been reviewed and approved by the Air Force Surgeon General’s Office and are conducted by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Human Effectiveness Directorate.
Although testing is expected to continue into this summer, officials have begun examining the technology for use on a vehicle-mounted version. Future versions might also be used onboard planes and ships.
The Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program was established in 1997 under the U.S. Marine Corps to recommend, develop and field less-than-lethal weapons for U.S. armed forces.
The two Air Force Research Laboratory directorates leading this project conduct research into a variety of directed energy technologies and effects.