Microwave weapons


I don’t know if this is even considered a conspiracy, but I was wondering if anybody has seen this doc and what your takes on it are.

It deals with microwave weapons, pulse bombs, etc., and it deals with a very strange event that happened to a town in Val Island, Newfoundland.

What’s the scoop on microwave weapons?


Perhaps the OP could summarize the movie’s relevant points for folks who don’t want to watch 45 minutes to figure out what the specific question is?

This stuff causes water to heat up in your skin?

I wonder what effect it has on the eyes…

Makes the target close them instinctively? Beyond that, I got nothin’.

I saw the thread title and thought this was a Hot Pockets rant.

Are you asking if microwaves can kill someone? The obvious answer would be yes. If you’re asking about scalar weapons…well that’s another thread

Basically, the doc is about how the U.S. began developing this kind of technology back when the first bombs were detonated and they noticed that unshielded electronics got fried. Fast forward to Newfoundland in 1978 and a little town named Bell had some kind of fiery ball come out of the sky and hit a guys barn. It wasn’t a meteor (no big hole, no debris) and the guys chickens were fried barbique style with far less structural damage than if a big rock from the sky had hit it.

From Wikipedia: The Bell Island Boom
On April 2, 1978, there was a loud explosion on Bell Island that caused damage to some houses and the electrical wires in the surrounding area. Two cup-shaped holes about two feet deep and three feet wide marked the major impact. A number of TV sets in Lance Cove, the surrounding community, also exploded at the time of the blast. Weather men confirmed that atmospheric conditions at the time were not conducive to lightning. The blast was heard 45 kilometers away in Cape Broyle. Apparently U.S. Vela satellites picked up the event. The incident was investigated promptly by two representatives from a U.S. weapons laboratory at Los Alamos, according to the news media.(1)
It has been speculated that the explosion was ball lightning. However, a recent documentary aired on The History Channel about electromagnetic pulse weapons speculated that it may have been a result of top secret experiments by either the Russian or U.S. governments, involving high energy beams focused into the ionosphere that where attracted by the iron in abandoned mines.
From The History Channel:
On a calm Sunday morning in 1978, residents of Bell Island, Newfoundland hear an odd, high-pitched hum, immediately followed by a sudden and terrifying blast resounding for hundreds of miles. Witnesses observe a “straight shaft of light” descending from the sky, and a barrage of violent electrical phenomenon. Outbuildings are destroyed, livestock electrocuted, televisions explode and power lines vaporize. Observed from space, the light emissions from the “boom” are more powerful than those of the Hiroshima blast.

Ah. 1970s style “death rays”.

ETA : dammit, beaten to the punch by Grey

Your eyes, and if you are male your testicles, are the organs most easily damaged by microwaves. It doesn’t take much to go from “ow that hurts” to “holy fuck you blinded me you bastard!” which makes me more than a little leery about using this sort of thing for crowd control.

Actually, the U.S. began developing this kind of technology back in World War II, though they weren’t using nukes to generate the pulses. It was hailed as THE NEXT BIG THING because the ENEMY BOMBERS WERE JUST GOING TO FALL OUT OF THE SKY!!! The weapons didn’t live up to the hype. They were able to get bomber engines to stop running in controlled tests, but in the real world the weapons proved to be almost completely ineffective.

The only difference with nuke generated pulse weapons is you get a bigger pulse. They still don’t quite live up to the hype, though. EMP weapons have two basic problems which limit their effectiveness. The first is the inverse square law. Your EMP drops off at a rate equal to the square of the distance. So at 10 feet it’s 1/100th, not 1/10th, as powerful as it was at 1 foot. At 1000 feet, it’s 1/1,000,000th as powerful. This is why you need a nuke to generate an effective EMP. Anything smaller pretty much won’t be effective at any usable distance. The second problem is that any metal box or structure makes a natural Faraday cage, protecting what is inside of it. A shopping mall is an effective EMP shield to some degree just because the roof and a lot of the structure is made out of steel.

As for Bell Island, the History Channel lately has become very fond of throwing up all kinds of psuedoscience nonsense and presenting it as if it is accepted fact. It seems to me that they are trying to play to the UFO and conspiracy theory crowd in an effort to get ratings. I wouldn’t put a lot of weight on their speculation.

More than you’d think, since the specific frequency of microwave used doesn’t penetrate water very well. These area denial weapons are designed to penetrate just deep enough to put heat on the nerves, which is not very deep at all, and are not very powerful, simply because not much energy is need to stimulate the nerves when the energy is applied right next to them.

So the chances of retinal damage, or optic nerve damage are really slim, being behind an inch or more of water. Some corneal damage could occur though. Same with testicular damage, being inside the sack(and the scrotum is protected from most directions by your thighs anyway)… you’d have sunburned scrotal sack, but your boys would be alright.

It may be more dangerous for your eyes than gases, but certainly far less dangerous than non lethal ballistic rounds.

My chief worry about the device is the lack of evidence it was used may make them more likely to use it. ‘Its not like it hurts them, it just causes pain.’

Kinda like the waterboarding techniques.

Actually, from my understanding useful EMP weapons do exist, despite them being much weaker than a nuke.

Yes, using it for deniable torture was the first thing I thought of us doing with it when I heard of the technology. We can hardly plausibly claim “Oh, we wouldn’t do anything like THAT” at this point. It has also occurred to me that a device that throws out a beam causing agonizing pain would be a good way to kill a huge number of people by creating a panicked stampede. Make a crowd of thousands feel like they are on fire and you’ll have plenty of casualties.

And I’d hate to be a soldier in an army that used such things and be taken alive by the people I used it on.

This isn’t exactly a weapon and it’s a bit of a tangent, but there is an interesting story that posted about using microwave ovens as radar decoys. Some guy had a website about things you can do with microwaves; this was before Youtube. Someone wrote in saying he was a Serbian air-defence officer, and that they used to rig microwave ovens to run with the doors open so that American anti-radar missiles would attack them instead of the real radars.


Or tasers.

Some more 1920s Style Death Rays in development:

These are lasers, not microwave weapons.