September 29, 2012

Weapons Inspired By Cartoons

The argument that cartoons aren’t good for anything other than dumbing down our children just lost a battle this week.

Back in 1997, one cartoon and toy craze was in full swing across the world. One such episode of this popular cartoon featured so many bright, flashing electronic pulses of light that almost 700 Japanese children began having seizures not 30 minutes later. To make this visual effect really “pop” on screen, the animators used a rapid strobe effect to create a more “virtual” explosion and lightening feel. Thus, the Pokemon Shock was born.

US Army Intelligence, always with their finger on the pulse of popular culture, took note of this phenomenon and in 1998 began work on a new way to stun and neutralize their enemies via electromagnetic energy. The plan was to overload their brains with so much energy that they’d begin convulsing and begin experiencing a “disruption of voluntary muscle control,” leaving these enemies literally wet with fear.

This new weapon is expected to be much more efficient and safer than traditional weapons, which apparently aren’t effective on 100% of the population.

“It is thought by using a method that would actually trigger nerve synapses directly with an electrical field, essentially 100% of individuals would be susceptible to seizure induction,” reads the declassified military document, which also includes several other colorful and inventive ways with which to stun or neutralize our enemies without necessarily killing them.

Though there were no pictures included in the filing, I prefer to think the gun will be designed as a nod to Pikachu, the popular Pokemon character, letting loose a little “PIKACHUUUUUUU” whenever the soldier pulls the trigger.

This kind of epileptic seizure is said to be triggered by some sort of “electrical stimulus” through the optical nerve.

“The onset of synchony and disruption of muscular control is said to be near instantaneous,” reads the report. This kind of weapon could also work from “up to hundreds” of meters away and leave the victim writing in a pile for no longer than your normal, every day seizure. According to the Army report, a normal seizure can last between one and five minutes. This doesn’t give our boys abroad much time to make a daring escape from their captors or gain entrance to some secret underground lair (is it cleat that I have no military experience?) but the report does promise the ability to tune this weapon to be most effective on different body types.

And again, the report mentions that this weapon will work on 100% of the population. Show offs.

Wired’s Danger Room got a copy of this report from a citizen who used some fancy filing footwork and the Freedom of Information Act to dig up this nearly 15 year old document.

As it turns out, many don’t appreciate these non-lethal options on the battlefield. Another weapon mentioned in the report is the Active Denial System. This weapon is essentially a giant microwave dish which sits atop a hummer. Microwaves are pumped though and aimed at rowdy crowds or tardy privates (I assume) and fires a beam which is said to give the receiver an incredible warming sensation, similar to opening an oven door.

This little machine was on its way to the battlefield in Afghanistan, but was quickly removed before it saw any use, as the US Military felt the Taliban could have used the ray in their propaganda attacks, likely portraying it as a weapon of torture.

The US Army never did create the Pokemon Ray, but if these kinds of ideas are on the table, perhaps they should begin working on other cartoon-themed weapons? Perhaps an invisible aircraft or several animalistic warrior robots which can be later combined into one large, flying humanoid robot?

It’s worth looking into, right?

Image Credit: Luvi / Shutterstock

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