A variety of high powered sonic weapons (SW) exist spanning the infrasonic, ultrasonic, and audible ranges. Because they are weapons which direct sound onto a target, and sound is energy, they can be considered directed-energy weapons.
These weapons produce both psychological and physical effects. They include highly directional devices which can transmit painful audible sound into an individual’s ear at great distances and infrasonic generators which can shoot acoustic projectiles hundreds of meters causing a blunt impact upon a target.
Infrasonic generators can cause negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, or depression, as well as biological symptoms like nausea, vomiting, organ damage, burns, or death—depending on the frequency and power level. Most of these weapons function between the frequency range of about 1 Hz to 30 kHz. These frequencies occur within the following waves: Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) 1 Hz to 30 Hz, Super Low Frequency (SLF) 30 Hz to 300 Hz, Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) 300 Hz to 3 kHz, and Very Low Frequency (VLF) 3 kHz to 30 kHz.1
Within the ELF region of the spectrum, there is a type of sound calledinfrasound, which occurs between 3 and 20 Hz. Infrasound is usually not heard, but it can be if the power level is sufficient. Next, audible noise begins for most people from about 20 Hz up to 20 kHz, and occurs between the upper ELF into the VLF ranges. Ultrasound begins in the VLF range at about 20 kHz, just above human hearing.
Another sound factor is power, usually described using a unit of measurement called a decibel. Decibels are used to measure the power of audible and inaudible sound, both of which produce effects. Any sound begins to become physically painful at about 120 decibels, although at lower levels it can cause discomfort. At about 130 decibels it becomes unbearable. In this chapter, words such as intensity, level, power, pressure, and decibel, are all used to describe sound power.
All of the chemical reactions in the cells of living organisms are caused by the electromagnetic oscillations, pulsations, and vibrations, which are collectively referred to as vibrational frequencies. All physical matter is vibrating at its own vibrational frequency.
Resonance occurs when a connection is made between a source and a target which are vibrating at the same frequency. When this happens, the materials become joined and are said to be resonating. Once resonance has been achieved, an energy exchange takes place on the surface of the membrane of each cell. If the source of energy is more powerful, it directly impacts the targeted material resulting in a biological reaction.
Both infrasound and ultrasound are capable of producing resonance. This link can be established in the audible or inaudible sound ranges. A natural example of this harmonious synchronicity is frogs that sing in chorus. Mechanical examples include the pendulums of multiple clocks on the same wall which all swing in the same manner, or the string of a piano which vibrates after the same note is played on a nearby guitar.
Some organic and inorganic objects can function as resonance chambers. These objects are usually enclosures with a small opening. For instance, a glass or bottle will act as one. On a larger scale, the chest/abdominal area of the human body functions as a resonance chamber. Even an entire room with an open door or window can be used as a resonance chamber. Sound can be used to shatter or explode objects after resonance has been achieved.
Resonance can be induced electromagnetically by an infrasonic pulse generator, which can establish a link, for instance, to a person’s inner organs by resonating it in their chest area. Once this connection occurs, the power level of the generator can be increased, which would automatically transfer the energy to the person. If the power level is moderate, the person may experience pain in the chest area, or their organs may vibrate. Increasing the power level will destroy their organs.
Infrasonic and Ultrasonic Weapons
Infrasonic and ultrasonic generators, also called emitters, and VLF modulators, are weaponized devices consisting of a directional antenna dish, which can send acoustic pulses to a general or a specific are. In 1972 France was using infrasonic generators which operated at 7 Hz on its civilian population.
And by 1973 the Squawk Box was used by the British Army in Northern Ireland. It was a directional weapon that could target specific individuals by producing audible sound at about 16 kHz, which turned into infrasound at 2 Hz when it coupled with the ears.
In the early 1990s Russia had developed a 10 Hz VLF modulator capable of targeting individuals over hundreds of meters, causing pain, nausea, and vomiting. It was adjustable up to lethal levels. Since at least as far back as 1997, the US DOD has had an interest in creating generators in the infrasonic and ultrasonic ranges of 7 Hz and 20-35 kHz, respectively, which can cause these effects.
Such a device could also target the brain. These changes in brain frequencies cause changes in brain chemistry, which then influence thoughts and emotions. Furthermore, transmitting directed-energy using an exact frequency and modulation will trigger a precise chemical reaction in the brain, which, in turn will produce a specific emotion in the targeted individual.2
Infrasound occurs within the ELF range from a few hertz up to about 20 Hz, which is the lower limit of human hearing. Normally the power of sound rather than the frequency determines the pain and damage threshold. However, from 1 to about 250 Hz the pain/damage threshold seems to increase with frequency as well as power.
So, within this range, if the power level remains the same, but the frequency is increased, more damage can occur. Other than that, power is the critical factor which causes the damage, while the frequency determines what type of damage occurs.
Infrasound travels great distances and easily passes through most buildings and vehicles. It is normally sensed by the ears, but at high power levels it can couple with the body and be felt as vibrations.
Natural examples of this include: avalanches, earthquakes, volcanoes, and waterfalls. Whales, elephants, hippopotamuses, and rhinoceros use infrasound to communicate over great distances which includes hundreds of miles for whales. An electronic example would be a large sub-woofer. Infrasound is said to be superior to ultrasound because it retains its frequency when it couples with the human body.
From about 100 to 140 decibels infrasound causes a variety of biological symptoms depending on the frequency and power level. Basically, the higher the power level, the greater the damage. The effects include: fatigue, pressure in the ears, visual blurring, drowsiness, imbalance, disorientation, vibration of internal organs, severe intestinal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Higher power levels can liquefy bowels, and resonate the internal organs causing death. Infrasound can also cause feelings of pressure in the chest, choking, irregular breathing patterns, and respiratory incapacitation.
High powered, low frequency sound from about 30 Hz to about 100 Hz (just beyond infrasound) causes the following biological effects: fatigue, blurred vision, bowel spasms, pain or damage to internal organs, feelings of fullness in the chest cavity, chest wall vibration, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, choking, and respiratory impairment.
Infrasound causes a variety of psychological effects depending on the frequency and power level. It can cause the following: loss of concentration, disgust, apathy, sadness, depression, fear, anxiety, and panic attacks. “These transmissions” said John Alexander in his December 1980 article, The New Mental Battlefield, “can be used to induce depression or irritability in a target population.”
According to the Acoustic Weapons Prospective Assessment article, which appeared in the volume 9, 2001 issue of Science and Global Security, infrasound can produce localized earthquakes. A large room within a building can act as a resonance chamber to upset the foundation causing a miniature earthquake.
Sound that occurs beyond human hearing (about 20 kHz) is considered ultrasound. Animals such as dogs, cats, dolphins, and bats can hear ultrasound. Some whales and dolphins use ultrasound to detect their prey and as a weapon to stun them. It is said to be less effective as a weapon because it doesn’t retain its frequency when it couples with matter such as a human body.
Ultrasonic weapons produce a variety of effects depending on the power level and frequency. Many are the same as those produced by infrasound, plus heating and burning. They include: tickling in the mouth/nose area, discomfort, heating of the skin, nausea, abdominal pains, and vomiting. At higher decibels it causes burns and heating of body up to lethal temperatures. Another very painful effect is bone resonation, which could cause a person’s bones to literally explode.
“Aimed at the head, the resonating skull bones have caused people to hear voices,” revealed the Federation of American Scientists in their 1997 article, Non-Lethal Weapons for Military Operations other than War.
The same ELF modulators previously mentioned, which cause a variety of biological and psychological effects, can also function as emitters of infrasonic and ultrasonic projectiles.3
These weapons are basically sonic rifles and canons which can transmit invisible energy over hundreds of meters, causing a blunt impact. The Nazis are said to have developed a sonic cannon capable of shooting down allied bombers. In the early 1990s Russia had created a 10 Hz sonic cannon, which consisted of an infrasonic generator connected to a radar dish. It transmitted invisible projectiles the size of a baseball hundreds of meters affecting a blunt force on a target.4
It could also be adjusted to cause effects ranging from physical discomfort up to death. Effects short of death included abdominal pains, nausea, and vomiting. In addition, it could cause a person’s bones to resonate, which is extremely painful.
The 1997 FAS report described that the US was developing such a weapon to cause these exact same effects. Then on July 16, 2002, ABC Newsannounced in their Sonic Bullets Acoustic Weapon of the Future report, that the US Military had in its possession a sonic cannon. “This new technology,” they declared, “is likely to affect almost every aspect of our lives, in ways we can only begin to imagine.”
The Vortex Launcher, (also called the Vortex Canon, Wind Canon, and Shockwave Weapon), is capable of transmitting an invisible whirlwind of force to effect a considerable blunt impact on a target.
It can also be used to transmit chemical irritants to a specific individual or group. It will allegedly be used to disable or destroy personnel such as enemy combatants or disruptive crowds. Most of the current information pertaining to this technology is classified. But in the late 1990s the US Military is said to have developed a vortex gun in conjunction with various defense contractors, the US Army Research Laboratory, and Pennsylvania State University.
It has a distance of at least 50 meters. The UK, Russia, and Germany have also expressed interest in this technology. This weapon dates back to World War II when an Austrian-born Nazi scientist, Dr. Zippermeyer, invented a device known as the Wind Cannon (windkanone) intended to shoot down Allied bombers.
It was an explosion-driven vortex capable of transmitting a high-velocity whirlwind of smoke at least two hundred meters. It consisted of a combustion chamber the size of a building which generated the explosion, and a specialized nozzle at the end of a tube attacked to the chamber, which formed the vortex.
In addition to the explosion-driven method previously mentioned, the air pressure which passes through the nozzle can also be produced by an infrasonic generator. Although the projectile can be generated acoustically, the actual energy projectile which collides with a target consists of air or gas.5
After the air is generated, it exits the chamber through a special nozzle that forms the vortex. It works in the following way: As the burst of air exits, the air in the center of the nozzle moves much faster than the air on the sides, so it curves around from the center to the outer edges and forms a fast-moving circular air current (a vortex). A natural example of this is a tornado or the smoke ring of a cannon.
As far as movement is concerned there are a couple of considerations. First, the speed at which the whirlwind rotates, plus the speed at which it travels to its target. Both contribute to the blunt force effect upon the target. The faster the whirlwind itself rotates the more stable and solid the vortex. The vortex can be transmitted slowly, similar to the way a tornado whirling at two hundred miles an hour moves across the landscape at only a few miles an hour. Or it can reach its target very quickly.6 A vortex can hold chemicals, which it can accurately deliver over a great distance.
A vortex can be composed of smoke, steam, or just air. Because smoke and steam are lighter than air, they allow for a more stable vortex. But an efficient vortex can be made using just air. Normally, a burst of air passing through the atmosphere is impeded by friction and quickly loses its momentum. But because the outer edges of the vortex are circulating very fast, an almost frictionless environment is created around it, which allows it to freely glide along great distances. It strikes with the force of a solid object and can even bounce off structures and continue in a different vector.
Electromagnetic Personnel Interdiction Control
The Electromagnetic Personnel Interdiction Control (EPIC) is a portable acoustic weapon created by Invocon Incorporated. The US Navy describes this as a developing technology which interferes with a person’s equilibrium by sending acoustic pulses of energy which disrupt the chemical and mechanical processes of the vestibular system.
The vestibular system is a part of the inner-ear that determines how sound and positions are processed by the brain. So this results in disorientation, confusion, extreme motion sickness, and vomiting. The Navy declared that the weapon will operate through walls and other protective mediums that now provide cover for combatants in urban warfare situations.
Long Range Acoustic Device
The Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), also called the Sound of Force Protection, was developed by American Technology Corporation (ATCO). There are several models including the 1000, 500, RX, and X.
The weapon emits a tightly-focused beam of audible sound to an individual or group at up to 1 kilometer. A focused beam, which can be transmitted directly into an individual’s ear, would be inaudible to others in the area. While the exact frequency is unknown, it has a power level of up to 150 decibels. It is weather resistant, lightweight, has a low power consumption, and very portable. It can be equipped with an autonomous tracking feature.
The weapon can transmit MP3 sound files, an ear-splitting warning tone, or an operator’s voice which can be automatically translated into a different language. Its intended uses include, area denial and crowd control. According to its manufacturer, it is to be used for behavior modification and psychological operations. Reportedly, at high power levels it can cause loss of equilibrium, migraines, nausea and vomiting. It is now in use by the military.
Directed Stick Radiator
The Directed Stick Radiator (DSR), a creation of American Technology Corporation, is a small portable acoustic weapon, which fires a focused, painful, audible sound up to 100 yards. It is a 1-meter long, battery operated stick made of polymer. It operates in the 10 kHz region, and is adjustable up to 140 decibels.
The device contains a series of internal electric disks that function as amplifiers. It works in the following manner: An electrical signal is sent to the first disk in the rear, which sends a pressure pulse to the next disk, which amplifies the pulse, then passes it along to be amplified by the next disk. This process of amplification continues until the pulse exits the weapon. “It shoots out a pulse of sound that’s almost like a bullet,” described Elwood Norris, ATC’s chairman.
The weapon can transmit speech and other sounds. It can also act as a directional microphone in reverse operation. According to its manufacturer, its kinetic effect is so intense that it can knock someone back and cause migraine headaches. Business Wire and the BBC have stated that in addition to being used to remotely incapacitate a specific individual it will be used for psychological operations.
A similar device is the person-portable Sonic Firehose developed by SARA. It can allegedly knock people to the ground by transmitting a high-decibel sound up to 1 kilometer. Universal Guardian Holdings has developed the Acoustic Defender which can deliver debilitating sound at up to 100 yards.