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Old 09-20-2007, 02:02 PM   #1
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Speaking of tasers...new raygun can inflict pain from 1/2 mile away

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Run away the ray-gun is coming : We test US army's new secret weapon
By MICHAEL HANLON - More by this author » Last updated at 23:21pm on 18th September 2007
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1965

Modern face of warfare: The Silent Guardian
"Where do I put my finger? There ... OK? Nothing's happening ... is it on?"

"Yes, it's on. Move your finger a bit closer."

"Er ... ow! OW!" Not good. I try again. "OWWW!" I pull my hand away sharpish. My finger is throbbing, but seems undamaged.

I was told people can take it for a second, maximum. No way, not for a wimp like me.

I try it again. It is a bit like touching a red-hot wire, but there is no heat, only the sensation of heat. There is no burn mark or blister.

Its makers claim this infernal machine is the modern face of warfare. It has a nice, friendly sounding name, Silent Guardian.

I am told not to call it a ray-gun, though that is precisely what it is (the term "pain gun" is maybe better, but I suppose they would like that even less).

And, to be fair, the machine is not designed to vaporise, shred, atomise, dismember or otherwise cause permanent harm.

But it is a horrible device nonetheless, and you are forced to wonder what the world has come to when human ingenuity is pressed into service to make a thing like this.

Silent Guardian is making waves in defence circles. Built by the U.S. firm Raytheon, it is part of its "Directed Energy Solutions" programme.

What it amounts to is a way of making people run away, very fast, without killing or even permanently harming them.

That is what the company says, anyway. The reality may turn out to be more horrific.

I tested a table-top demonstration model, but here's how it works in the field.

A square transmitter as big as a plasma TV screen is mounted on the back of a Jeep.

When turned on, it emits an invisible, focused beam of radiation - similar to the microwaves in a domestic cooker - that are tuned to a precise frequency to stimulate human nerve endings.

It can throw a wave of agony nearly half a mile.

Because the beam penetrates skin only to a depth of 1/64th of an inch, it cannot, says Raytheon, cause visible, permanent injury.

But anyone in the beam's path will feel, over their entire body, the agonising sensation I've just felt on my fingertip. The prospect doesn't bear thinking about.

"I have been in front of the full-sized system and, believe me, you just run. You don't have time to think about it - you just run," says George Svitak, a Raytheon executive.
Ugh, this thing is so going to fall into the wrong hands and be used to torture people.
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Old 09-20-2007, 02:06 PM   #2
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What an odd emotion...I'm simultaneously amused by the idea of a raygun, yet horrified by the possibilities of it. Strange feeling.
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Old 09-20-2007, 03:46 PM   #3
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Better than a bullet, or for that matter plenty of other means of torture.
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Old 09-20-2007, 04:16 PM   #4
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I'm more worried about it being liberally used in crowd control situations. Sure, it won't kill like rubber bullets can sometimes, but like all stun-type weapons it is bound to be abused.

I am all about cool rayguns, but this sounds like the kind of sustained pain that I never want to experience in my lifetime.
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Old 09-20-2007, 04:18 PM   #5
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I can't imagine that this doesn't have the potential to do permanent damage. I mean, they say not to ride rollercoasters if you have a heart condition, are pregnant etc...it seems like the raygun in conjunction with existing conditions could kill. Just guessing of course.
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Old 09-20-2007, 04:19 PM   #6
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Only if they turn it up to 11
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Old 09-20-2007, 04:24 PM   #7
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Originally posted by CTU2fan
I can't imagine that this doesn't have the potential to do permanent damage. I mean, they say not to ride rollercoasters if you have a heart condition, are pregnant etc...it seems like the raygun in conjunction with existing conditions could kill. Just guessing of course.
Deeper down in the article, the journalist mentions that test subjects were told to remove eyeglasses and contact lenses before being chased by the damn thing.

That's never a good sign.
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