The Army’s Telepathic Ray Gun

A newly declassified report details the Defense Department's mind-control weapons concepts

What we imagine the telepathic ray would look like

Erin Silversmith

The U.S. Defense department has tested some spooky weapons, but those involving mind control and telepathic attack may be near the top of the list. A newly declassified 1998 document released under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (download the pdf here), describes potential weapons for crowd control, such as a microwave gun that could beam words directly into people's ears, and an electromagnetic pulse that causes epilepsy-like seizures.

The report also discusses a weapon that can heat a victim's body internally, producing an artificial fever. It is unknown whether the fever-inducing technology was actually tested, but the report notes that the equipment needed "is available today" and that the resulting fever would keep a victim incapacitated for "any desired period consistent with safety."

In an interview with New Scientist, Steve Wright, a UK security expert at Leeds Metropolitan University, warned that such technologies could be used for torture. "The epileptic seizure-inducing device is grossly irresponsible and should never be fielded," He said. "We know from similar artificially-induced fits that the victim subsequently remains 'potentiated' and may spontaneously suffer epileptic fits again after the initial attack."