It's been widely speculated that the U.S. military has been developing weapons with the capacity to scramble brain activity and basically turn your mind into mush. If so, we might be seeing a new kind of arms race as a new report claims that the Russia government has been testing a gun that does exactly that.
The weapon in question uses electromagnetic technology, such as microwave beams, to disrupt the central nervous system. Indeed, previous research has shown that certain kinds of low-frequency radiation can cause "a sensation of buzzing, clicking or hissing in the head," according to a report by MSNBC. So along that line of logic, taking it up a few notches would lead to weapons that can potentially fry eyeballs, stop the heart from beating and even turn people into zombies.
Right now there's no indication that anyone's perfected anything close to an actual "zombie gun," although the Australian publication The Herald Sun reports that Russia's main man, President Vladimir Putin, plans to have them ready within a decade as a defensive measure against enemies of the state or unruly dissidents, such as protesters.
According to their report:
Plans to introduce the super-weapons were announced by Russian defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov. While the technology has been around for some time, Mr. Tsyganok said the guns were recently tested for crowd control purposes.
“When it was used for dispersing a crowd and it was focused on a man, his body temperature went up immediately as if he was thrown into a hot frying pan," Mr Tsyganok said. "Still, we know very little about this weapon and even special forces guys can hardly cope with it,'' he said.
But the effort to come up with something that can enable bona fide mind control has proven immensely challenging, despite decades of work by some of the brightest mad scientists. For instance, while the U.S. military has harnessed similar technology to produce a heat ray that creates a burning sensation hot enough to break up crowds, it still takes hours to power up and is a lot less effective when it rains.
MSNBC's science editor Alan Boyle says he's skeptical of Russia's claims and that we probably shouldn't expect a brain-frying gun for a very long time:
The bottom line is that Russia certainly seems to be on track to set up its own DARPA-like "Department of Mad Scientists,"working on heat rays, mind-altering electromagnetic beams and heaven knows what else. But there's nothing in the comments from Putin and Serdyukov to suggest that the Russians are anywhere close to having psychotronic weapons. In fact, Putin makes it sound as if the next frontier in warfare won't be the zombie ray gun but the coordinated cyber-attack. And that's scary enough for me.