- Sonic weaponry
Sonic and ultrasonic weapons (USW) are weapons of various types that use sound to injure, incapacitate, or kill an opponent. Some sonic weapons are currently in limited use or in research and development by
militaryand policeforces. Others exist only in the realm of science fiction. Some of these weapons have been described as sonic bullets, sonic grenades, sonic mines, or sonic cannons. Some make a focused beam of soundor ultrasound; some make an area field of sound. Although many real sonic and ultrasonic weapons are described as " non-lethal", they can still kill under certain conditions.
Designed to emit sound as an irritant
Extremely high-power sound waves can break the
eardrums of a target and cause severe pain or disorientation. This is usually sufficient to incapacitate a person. At higher energy levels, a subsonic shock wave is theoretically powerful enough to do damage (see Earthquake).Fact|date=February 2007 The possible effects have been the subject of much speculation. The EMF Dosimetry Hand Book will provide further results of the bio-effects and expectations of these weapons. [http://www.emfdosimetry.org/handbook4/handbook4.pdf] Less powerful sound waves can cause humans to experience nausea or discomfort. The use of these frequencies to incapacitate persons has occurred both in counter-terrorist and crowd control settings.
The possibility of a device that produces frequency that causes vibration of the eyeballs — and therefore distortion of vision — was apparently confirmed by the work of engineer Vic Tandy [ [http://skepdic.com/infrasound.html skepdic.com. infrasound] ] [cite journal |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors=Tandy V. & Lawrence, T |year=1998 |month= |title=The ghost in the machine |journal=Journal of the Society for Psychical Research |volume= |issue=62 |pages=360–364 |id= |url= |accessdate= |quote= ] while attempting to demystify a “haunting” in his laboratory in
Coventry. This “spook” was characterised by a feeling of unease and vague glimpses of a grey apparition. Some detective work implicated a newly installed extractor fan that, Tandy found, was generating infrasoundof 18.9 Hz, 0.3 Hz, and 9 Hz.
2005 CNNreported that the crew of the cruise ship " Seabourn Spirit" used a long range acoustic device(LRAD) to deter pirateswho chased and attacked the ship [http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/africa/11/07/somalia.pirates.sonic.ap/index.html] . Its actual efficacy, however, has not been established.
The BBC reported in Oct 2006 on a 'mobile' sonic device which is being used in
Grimsby, Hull and Lancashireand is designed to deter troublesome teenagers from lingering around shops in target areas. The device works by emitting an ultra-high frequency blast (around 19-20khz) that teenagers or people under approximately 20 are susceptible to and find uncomfortable. Age-related hearing loss apparently prevents the ultra-high pitch sound causing a nuisance to those in their late twenties and above, though this is wholly dependant on a young person's exposure to high sound pressure levels.
Demonstrated infrasonic weapon
The U.S. DOD has demonstrated phased arrays of
infrasonicemitters. The weapon usually consists of a device that generates sound at about 7 Hz. The output from the device is routed (by pipes) to an array of open emitters. At this frequency, armor and concrete walls and other common building materials allow sound waves to pass through, providing little defense. [ [http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/noise/research/lowfrequency/pdf/lowfreqnoise.pdf Low Frequency Noise Report 2003] ]
Lethal sonic weapons, in air
These are hypothetical or conceptual weapons possibly in development:
Vortex ring gun, a weapon that fires an acoustic air vortex that knocks people down.
*Sonic bullets are being planned to be used in anti-hijack packs in planes. [ [http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn1564 Sonic bullets for use against hijackers] ]
*A tight beam of focused sound used as a weapon like the focused light in
ultrasoundbeam which can liquify living tissue.
*A powerful low frequency sound designed to get buildings or structures to resonate and cause them to collapse.
Lethal sonic weapons, underwater
The use of sonic weapons underwater has been widely speculated about.
*Ultrasound disintegration of solids in liquids is well known in industry, and could be adapted into a weapon.
*It has long been known that ultrasound in water will kill small water animals.
*There have been unconfirmed reports of
scuba diverdeaths and mass deaths of fish from being caught in powerful undersea ultrasound beams used by navies for communicating with submarines. Also see anti-frogman techniques.
*It is suspected that massive whale beachings are caused by submarine sonar disorienting or deafening underwater mammals.
Tiger pistol shrimpuse a focused wave of sound to stun prey
*It is suspected that
sperm whales and dolphins use powerful ultrasound to stun or kill their prey.
*There have been unconfirmed speculations about development of lethal underwater ultrasound anti-
*The UPSS/IAS diver-detecter
sonarsystem includes an underwater shockwave emitter.
Long range acoustic device(LRAD)
Sone(a unit of loudness of sound)
Sound energy flux
* [http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techinnovations/2005-11-07-cruise-blast_x.htm USA Today report on cruise ship attack] — [http://www.atcsd.com/pdf/LRAD_SellSht-0728-2.pdf Data on device used by cruise ship] (
* [http://www.hbci.com/~wenonah/history/gavreau.htm Information about a pioneer in infrasonic applications such as weaponry.]
* [http://www.forteantimes.com/features/articles/256/sonic_weapons.html Jack Sargeant, with David Sutton. "Sonic weapons". ForteanTimes, December 2001]
* [http://www.futurehorizons.net/sonic.htm Sonic Devastator] by Future Horizons, described in [http://download.2600.com/mediadownload/www.hopenumbersix.net/mp3/16/weird_technology.mp3 Weird Technology] at HOPE Number Six
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