Australia news outlet the Herald Sun recently reported that current Russian Prime Minister and President-elect, Vladimir Putin, has confirmed that the Russian military is indeed working on a mind-altering “psychotronic” gun. The concentrated energy gun would be capable of attacking the central nervous system of its targets — inflicting varying levels of pain, and essentially turning enemies into “zombies.”
The weapon – which sounds like something from a campy 1970’s science fiction flick – is said to use electromagnetic radiation, and was first announced by Russian defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov. According to Russian officials, the weapon was developed as means to strategically control and disperse unruly crowds in a non-lethal manner.
Russian officials have likened the experience to being thrown into a “hot frying pan,” citing the gun’s ability to greatly alter the body temperature of its intended targets. And according to Mr.Putin, because of the energy weapon’s perceived effectiveness it will allow for a new and efficient means of achieving political and strategic goals.
Of course mind-controlling, non-lethal crowd control weapons aren’t exactly new. Both the United States and Russia are said to have been developing them since the 1950’s. The United States has also been working on a similar type of weapon called the Active Denial System (ADS), which is capable of directing concentrated 95 gigahertz electromagnetic beams at its targets, and stopping them in their tracks by elevating body temperature to unbearable levels.
Making your targets cook from the inside like a microwave isn’t the only perceived benefit, though. Over time, research surrounding low-frequency electromagnetic waves has suggested that it could affect brain cells and potentially alter thought – turning targets into real-life zombies. Indeed, one could argue that TVs have been doing this for decades.
Could this increased focus on developing the ultimate “psychotronic” weapon prove analogous to the frightening nuclear arms race experienced during the Cold War? Not likely. But that hasn’t stopped Mr. Putin from making some parallels. According to the Herald Sun, Putin stated, “…the technology is comparable in effects to nuclear weapons but more acceptable in terms of political and military ideology.” Despite Mr. Putin’s convictions, we’re not quite sure how utilizing electromagnetic radiation can be deemed as “acceptable.” Regardless, from a political, military, and law enforcing perspective, the application of this technology in its final form could prove invaluable — especially in contested political climates.
While we know the United State’s ADS is real, other than what Russian officials have released to the press we don’t know if the Kremlin’s “zombie gun” actually exists (Russian officials claim they have already tested it), or if this all political posturing coming out of Moscow. But according to the Herald Sun, Defense minister Serdyukov said the weaponry based on new physics principles — direct-energy weapons, geophysical weapons, wave-energy weapons, genetic weapons and psychotronic weapons — were part of the state arms procurement program for 2011-2020. In other words: if it doesn’t fully exist now, it won’t be long before it does.
It might be time to start making those tin-foil hats again.