Brain-frying energy weapons actually do exist, say scientists who would know

Originally published at: Brain-frying energy weapons actually do exist, say scientists who would know | Boing Boing



I’m a little baffled as to why the US has not widely distributed detectors for the bands of energy that are thought to be involved in this type of attack. I mean maybe they have and they just haven’t told us, but it doesn’t sound like they have. I would think that people in areas that have been subjected to these attacks should be wearing the microwave equivalent a dosimeter, and that the embassies themselves should be Faraday cages.


Frankly, this is horrifying.

And per the ethical concerns of the fellow interviewed, are we seriously going with “we’re the morally upstanding global citizens” here, now? Seriously?


I have seen this reported off-and-on since the Cuba incident, and the question that I always have is… why? Testing this sort of thing out on diplomats? In a tourist population there would be far fewer questions about these symptoms, and let’s be real, these nations have no shortage of political prisoners they could practice on.

So it isn’t a test, and I can’t see what it would accomplish other than showing off they have it. The whole situation makes very little sense to me. I can’t see how this is in anyone’s interest.

Apparently they have been aware for a long time:

(From The Guardian article)

“The Russians certainly had a long history of using microwave technology against US diplomatic missions. The embassy in Moscow was found to be bathed in microwave radiation in the 1960s and early 1970s, though the intention behind it was never clear. That episode erupted into a scandal when it emerged the US government had withheld the fact from its own diplomats.”


Well, somebody found a work-around for that, now didn’t they?


Brain-frying energy weapons can make quesadillas [the delish Mexican grilled cheese] very well, I’m told.


We always knew the weapons potential of microwaves (heat up water remotely, how could any evil scientist avoid seeing the potential there?) As a total geek secondary question, i wonder if they’ve ever got the destructive amplitudes remotely localized (with two or more beams cancelling until target) or if it’s just harm everything in a ~straight line…?


I read an autobiography of a high-ranking British spy chief who served during the Cold War, and was interested to learn that as far back as the early 60’s they had developed passive listening devices that were powered by microwaves beamed in from outside the building. Basically it was a simple metal object, sometimes disguised as a dish or decorative bowl, that was designed to reflect back microwaves of a certain wavelength. The object would naturally vibrate from the sound waves of nearby people talking, and the minor fluctuations of the microwaves bouncing back could then be translated back to sound. It would be impossible to detect the device except when the external microwave source was turned on, and there are no internal electronics or anything that would show up in an X-ray or other examination of the device.

So maybe this is just a case of a nasty side effect to espionage techniques? Although this has been going on long enough and the injuries widely publicized enough that there’s probably other motivations.


guards and gates in front of embassies are supposed to be ceremonial

if we can’t trust a host state to keep bad things away from its guests, we shouldn’t send diplomats there


With one or two attacks being investigated in DC tourism should be interesting this Summer.

“Jimmy, why are Bobby’s ears smoking?”


I think it is well established that was to activate “The Great Seal Bug” and presumably other devices of similar nature, that were passive resonators modulated by sound waves . (designed by Leon Theremin, also the scifi music guy)


if the USA acknowledges an attack against US citizens conducted by a foreign power, then they would have to respond to it. How? An attack in kind, i.e. one that would impair citizens of that foreign power would lead to escalation and end where? There is also be the problem that these “brain frying” attacks are hard to visualize by many, or are easy to dismiss as propaganda . Many US citizens alone would find it difficult to believe and therefore hard to justify an appropriate response
EDIT spelling . My usually over attentive spellchecker has abandoned me today. Probably because of the constant abuse I subject it to

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From what little actual evidence I’ve seen from the Havana group, there was no proof of neurological damage and no documentation of symptoms that couldn’t be explained by lots of more mundane causes.

Similarly there is no mention of why the hypothetical devices would specifically affect the brain. Sure high energy radiation will damage any living cells, but what is the supposed brain-specific effect of these microwave devices?

So my question is do we have any reason to think this isn’t all just bullshit from the world’s most paranoid profession?


Pretty sure the Grateful Dead had a beam machine that was used for effects during drums and space in the 80s & 90s, though it might’ve just been a hidden shotgun mic or wireless mics roaming in the crowd coupled with their delay towers… those effects were pretty fun to hear when they turned them on and started playing with them. Dan Healy would know.

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You mean like the military taking over and doing tests on soldiers without their knowledge or permission? Or civilians for that matter?

How many of those IED concussions were really tests? Where’s my aluminum foil hat?


It was invented in Russia!


A Republican tried to advance the same bill later but as far as I can tell they stalled.


“From what little actual evidence I’ve seen from the Havana group, there was no proof of neurological damage and no documentation of symptoms that couldn’t be explained by lots of more mundane causes.”

You haven’t been paying attention then. The DOD finally accepted that employees in Havana were seriously injured and should be offered compensation.
It is also working on ways to detect these very real and very damaging weapons going forward.


Which raises the question everyone’s been thinking but too embarrassed to ask. Would “tinfoil hats” actually be an effective mitigation strategy against these weapons?