Maxwell's Silver Hammer

By Dr. Robert Becker

archived 020101
Archive file# re020101a.html

The more we do to you, the less you seem to believe we are doing it.
- Joseph Mengele

From The Body Electric, 1985 -
Reproduced for research purposes only.

Invisible Warfare

The Soviets have led the way in learning about the risks of electropollution, and, as we have seen, they've apparently been the first to harness those dangers for malicious intent. However, the spectrum of potential weapons extends far beyond the limits of the Moscow signal, and Americans have been actively exploring some of them for many years. Most or all of the following EMR effects can be scaled up or down for use against individuals or whole crowds and armies:

  •  The crudest of these armaments would be a sort of electromagnetic flamethrower with a greater range than chemical types. Dogs were cooked to death in experiments at the Naval Medical Research Institute as long ago as 1955, and high-power transmitters using short UHF wavelengths can severely burn exposed skin in seconds.

    Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a term designating the immensely powerful, near-instantaneous surge of electromagnetic energy produced by a nuclear explosion. It was first discovered in the late 1960s. The EMP from one detonation a few thousand miles above the earth would destroy all electrical systems throughout an entire continent. In the early 1970s new types of EMR generators emitting power levels ten or twenty times higher than ever before were developed in an effort to simulate EMP and help devise communications systems shielded from it. In 1973 these transmitters were described in an invitation-only seminar at the Naval Weapons Laboratory in Dahlgren, Virginia, where their use for antipersonnel and anti-ballistic-missle energy beams were discussed. No information about their subsequent development has since been made public, and the difficulties of long-range missle tracking argue that ABM beams haven't yet become feasible, but there are no such difficulties in the way of EMR beam weapons for use against unshielded people.

  • At some UHF power densities there's an insidious moth-to-the flame allurement, which would increase such a weapon's effectiveness. As discoverer Sol Michaelson described it in 1958, each of the dogs used in his experiments "began to struggle for release from the sling," showing "considerable agitation and muscular activity," yet "for some reason the animal continues to face the horn." Perhaps as part of the same effect, UHF beams can also induce muscular weakness and lethargy. In Soviet experiments with rats in 1960, five minutes of exposure to 100,000 microwatts reduced swimming time in an endurance test from sixty minutes to six.

  • Allen Frey's discovery that certain pulsed microwave beams increased the permeability of the blood-brain barrier could be turned into a supplemental weapon to enhance the effects of drugs, bacteria, or poisons.

  • The calcium-outflow windows discovered by Ross Adey could be used to interfere with the functioning of the entire brain.

  • In the early 1960s Frey found that when microwaves of 300 to 3,000 megahertz were pulsed at specific rates, humans (even deaf people) could "hear" them. The beam caused a booming, hissing, clicking, or buzzing, depending on the exact frequency and pulse rate, and the sound seemed to come from just behind the head.

    At first Frey was ridiculed for this announcement, just like many radar technicians who'd been told they were crazy for hearing certain radar beams. Later work has shown that the microwaves are sensed somewhere in the temporal region just above and slightly in front of the ears. The phenomenon apparently results from pressure waves set up in brain tissue, some of which activate the sound receptors of the inner ear via bone conduction, while others directly stimulate nerve cells inthe auditory pathways. Experiments on rats have shown that a strong signal can generate a sound pressure of 120 decibels, or approximately the level near a jet engine at takeoff.

    Obviously such a beam could cause humans severe pain and prevent all voice communication. that the same effect can be used more subtly was demonstrated in 1973 by Dr. Joseph C. Sharp of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Sharp, serving as a test subject himself, heard and understood spoken words delivered to him in an echo-free isolation chamber via a pulsed-microwave audiogram (an analog of the word's sound vibrations) beamed into his brain. Such a device has obvious applications in covert operations designed to drive a target crazy with "voices" or deliver undetectable instructions to a programmed assassin. There are also indications that other pulsed frequencies cause similiar pressure waves in other tissues, which could disrupt various metabolic processes. A group under R.G. Olsen and J.D. Grissett at the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory in Pensacola has already demonstrated such effects in simulated muscle tissue and has a continuing contract to find beams effective against human tissues.

  • In the 1960s Frey also reported that he could speed up, slow down, or stop isolated frog hearts by synchronizing the pulse rate of a microwave beam with the beat of the heart itself. Similiar results have been obtained using live frogs, indicating that it's technically feasible to produce heart attacks with a ray designed to penetrate the human chest.

In addition to the methods of damaging or killing people with EMR, there are several ways of controlling their behavior. Ross Adey and his colleagues have shown that microwaves modulated in various ways can force specific electrical patterns upon parts of the brain. Working with cats they found that brain waves appearing with conditioned responses could be selectively enhanced by shaping the microwaves with a rhythmic variation in amplitude (height) corresponding to EEG frequencies. For example, a 3-hertz modulation decreased 10-hertz alpha waves in one part of the animal's brain and reinforced 14-hertz beta waves in another location.

Some radar can find a fly a kilometer away or track a human at twenty-five miles, and several researchers have suggested that focused EMR beams of such accuracy could bend the mind much like electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB) through wires. We know of ESB's potential for mindcontrol largely through the work of Jos Delgado. One signal provoked a cat to lick its fur, then continue compulsively licking the floor and bars of its cage. A signal designed to stimulate a portion of a monkey's thalamus, a major midbrain center for integrating muscle movements, triggered a complex reaction: The monkey walked to one side of the cage, then the other, then climbed to the rear ceiling, then back down. The animal performed this same activity as many times as it was stimulated with the signal, up to sixty times an hour, but not blindly - the creature still was able to avoid obstacles and threats from the dominant male while carrying out the electrical imperative. Another type of signal has made monkeys turn their heads, or smile, no matter what else they were doing, up to twenty thousand times in two weeks. As Delgado concluded, "The animals looked like electronic toys."

Even instincts and emotions can be changed: In one test a mother giving continuous care toher baby suddenly pushed the infant away whenever the signal was given. Approach-avoidance conditioning can be achieved for any action simply by stimulating the pleasure and pain centers in an animal's or person's limbic system.

Eventual monitoring of evoked potentials from the EEG, combined with radio-frequency and microwave broadcasts designed to produce specific thoughts or moods, such as compliance and complacency, promises a method of mind control that poses immense danger to all societies - tyranny without terror. Scientists involved in EEG research all say the ability is still years away, but for all we could _sense_ of it, it could be happening right now. Conspiracy theories aside, the hypnotic familiarity of TV and radio, combined with the biological effects of their broadcast beams, may already constitute a similiar force for mass standardization, whether by design or not.

The potential dangers of televised lethargy are no yawning matter. It's well known that relaxed attention to any mildly involving stimulus, such as a movie or TV program, produces a hypnoid state, in which the mind becomes especially receptive to suggestion. Other inducers of hypmoid states include light sleep, daydreams, or short periods of time spent waiting for some predetermined signal or action, such as a traffic light.

The Central Intelligence Agency funded research on electromagnetic mind control at least as early as 1960, when the notorious MKULTRA program, mostly concerned with hypnosis and psychedelic drugs, included money for adapting bioelectric sensing methods(at that time primarily the EEG) to surveillance and interrogation,as well as for finding "techniques of activation of the human organism by remote electronic means." In testimony before the Senate Sub-committee on Health and Scientific Research on September 21, 1977, MKULTRA director Dr. Sydney Gottlieb recalled: "There was a running interest in what effects people's standing in the field of radio energy have, and it could easily have been that somewhere in the many projects someone was trying to see if you could hypnotize somebody easier if he was standing in a radio beam."

Hypnotists often use a strobe light flashing at alpha-wave frequencies to ease the glide into a trance. It seems forover thirty years the Communist bloc nations have been using an ELF wave form to do the same thing undetectably and perhaps more effectively. Ross Adey recently lost most of his government grants and has become a bit more loquacious about the military and intelligence uses of EMR. In 1983 he organized a public meeting at the Loma Linda VA hospital and released photos and information concerning a Russian Lida machine. This was a small transmitter that emitted 10-hertz waves for tranquilization and enhancement of suggestibility. The most interesting part was that the box had an ancient vacuum-tube design, and a man who'd been a POW in Korea reported that similiar devices had been used there during interrogation.

American interest in the hypnosis-EMR interaction was still strong as of 1974, when a research plan was filed to develop useful techniques in human volunteers. The experimenter, J.F. Schapitz, stated: "In this investigation it will be shown that the spoken word of the hypnotist may also be conveyed by modulated electromagnetic energy directly into the subconscious parts of the human brain--i.e., without employing any technical devices for receiving or transcoding the messages and without the person exposed to such influence having a chance to control the information input consciously." As a preliminary test of the general concept, Schapitz proposed recording the brain waves induced by specific drugs, then modulating them onto a microwave beam and feeding them back into an undrugged person's brain to see if the same state of consciousness could be produced by the beam alone.

Schapitz's main protocol consisted of four experiments. In the first, subjects would be given a test of a hundred questions, ranging from easy to technical, so they all would know some but not all of the answers. Later, while in hypnoid states and not knowing they were being irradiated, these people would be subjected to information beams suggesting answers for some of hte items they'd left blank, amnesia for some of their correct answers, and memory falsification for other correct answers. A new test would check the results two weeks later.

The second experiment was to be the implanting of hypnotic suggestions for simple acts, like leaving the lab to buy some particular item, which were to be triggered by a suggested time, spoken word, or sight. Subjects were to be interviewed later. "It may be expected,: Schapitz wrote, "that they rationalize their behavior and consider it to be undertaken out of their own free will."

In a third test the subjects were to be given two personality tests. Then different responses to certain questions would be repeatedly suggested, and nonpathological personality changes would also be suggested, both to be evaluated by new testing in a month. In some cases the subjects were to be prehypnotized into talking in their sleep, so the microwave programmer could gear the commands to thoughts already in the brain. Finally, attempts would be made to produce the standard tests of deep hypnotic trance, such as muscular rigidity, by microwave beams alone.

Naturally, since this information was voluntarily released via the Freedom of Information Act, it must be taken with a pillar of salt. The results haven't been made public, so the work may have been inconclusive, and the plans may have been released to convince the Soviets and our own public that American mind-control capabilities are greater than they actually are. On the other hand, the actualities may be so far ahead of this research plan that it was tame enough to release in satisfying FOIA requirements.

How many of the EMR weapons possibilities have actually been developed and\or used? Those not privy to classified information have no way of knowing. There are plenty of rumors. Boris Spassky claimed he'd lost the world chess championship to Bobby Fischer because he was being bombarded with confusion rays. I recall hearing about one secret American experiment in which a sceintist was supposedly set up with invitations to three conferences to give the same presentation each time. The first one went fine, but at the last two he was irradiated with ELF waves, reportedly to induce Adey's calcium efflux, and he became confused and ineffective.

Another FOIA release from the Defense Intelligence Agency in 1976 may be revealing. Prepared by Ronald L. Adams and E.A. Williams of Battelle Columbus Laboratories, it'sentitled "Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation (Radiowaves and Microwaves), Eurasian Communist Countries." the pages released merely recount Allen Frey's discoveries without mentioning his name, implying instead that only the Reds would be so dastardly as to investigate such things for use as weapons. Immediately after mention of the blood-brain barrier leak phenomenon, a paragraph was deleted, followed by the tantalizing sentence, "The above study is recommended reading material for those consumers who have an interest in the application of microwave energy to weapons." Even without this document, considering the relentless pace of arms development, we would have to be very naive to assume that the United States has no electromagnetic arsenal.

The Soviets may already be using theirs, however, on a scale far beyond that of the Moscow Signal. During the U.S. bicentennial celebration of July 4, 1976, a new radio signals was heard throughout the world. It has remained on the air more or less continuously ever since. Varying up and down through the frequencies between 3.26 and 17.54 megahertz, it is pulse-modulated at a rate of several times a second, so it sounds like a buzz saw or woodpecker. It was soon traced to an enormous transmitter near Kiev in the Soviet Ukraine.

The signal is so strong it drowns out anything else on its wavelength. When it first appeared,the UN International Telecommunications Union protested because it interfered with several communications channels, including the emergency frequencies for aircraft on transoceanic flights. Now the woodpecker leaves "holes"; it skips the crucial frequencies as it moves up and down the spectrum. The signal is maintained at enormous expense from a current total of seven nations, the seven most powerful radio transmitters in the world.

Within a year or two after the woodpecker began tapping, there were persistent complaints of unaccountable symptoms from people in several cities of the United States and Canada, primarily Eugene, Oregon. The sensations - pressure and pain in the head, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, lack of coordination, and numbness, accompanied by a high-pitched ringing in the ears - were characteristic of strong radio-frequency or microwave irradiation. In Oregon, between Eugene and Corvallis, a powerful radio signal centering on 4.75 megahertz was monitored, at higher levels in the air than on the ground. Several unsatisfactory theories were advanced, including emanations from winter-damaged power lines, but most engineers who studied the signal concluded that it was a manifestation of the woodpecker. The idea was advanced that it was being directed to Oregon by a Tesla magnifying transmitter. This apparatus, devised by Nikola Tesla during his turn-of-the-century experiments on wireless global power transmission at a laboratory near Pikes Peak, hasn't been much studied in the West. It reportedly enables atransmitter to beam a radio signal _through_ the earth to any desired point on its surface, while maintaining or even increasing the signal's power as it emerges. Paul Brodeur has suggested that, since the TRW company once proposed a Navy ELF communications system using an existing 850-mile power line that ended in Oregon, the Eugene phenomenon might have been the interaction between a Navy broadcast and Soviet jamming.

Be that as it may, the woodpecker continues in operation, and there are several unsettling possibilities as to its main purpose. A former chief of naval research has privately discounted the idea that it's directed against the U.S.population. However, Robert Beck, a Los Angeles physicist who regularly serves as a DOD consultant, toldme that the signal has a threefold purpose. He said it acts as a crude over-the-horizon radar that would pick up a massive first strike of U.S. missles if Soviet spy satellites and other detectors were knocked out. Second, the signal's modulations are an ELF medium for communicating with submarines underwater. Third, he claimed the signal has a biological by-product about whichhe promised further information. Of course, I haven't been able to contact him since.

Several educated guesses can be made, however. Adey's research suggests that the best way to get an ELF signal into an animal is to make it a pulse modulation of a high-frequency radio signal. That's exactly what the woodpecker is. Within its frequency range, it could be beamed to any part ofthe world, and it would be picked up and reradiated by the power supply grid at its destination.

Raymond Damadian has theorized that the woodpecker signal is designed to induce nuclear magnetic resonance in human tissues. Damadian, a radiologist at Brooklyn's Downstate Medical Center, patented the first NMR scanner, a device that gives an image of internal organs similiar to CAT scanners but using magnetic fields rather than nuclear radiation. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, NMR could greatly magnify the metabolic interference of electropollution or EMR weapons. Maria Reichmanis calculated the pulse frequency that would be required to do this with a radio signal in the woodpecker's range, and she came up with a band centered on the same old alpha rhythm of 10 hertz. And in fact, the signal's pulse is genrally about that rate, although it is often a two-part modulation of 4 + 6, 7 + 3, and so on. The available evidence, then, suggests that the Russian woodpecker is a multipurpose radiation that combines a submarine link with an experimental attack on the American people. It may be intended to increase cancer rates, interfere with decision-making ability, and/or sow confusion and irritation. It may be succeeding.

I keep hearing persistent rumors of American transmitters set up to try to nullify the Russians' signal or to affect their people in a similiar way. In 1978, Stefan Rednip, an American reporter living in England, claimed access to purloined CIA documents proving the existence of a program called Operation Pique, which included bouncing radio signals off the ionosphere to affect the mental functions of peoplein selected areas, including Eastern European nuclear installations.

The whole business sounds too much like an undeclared electrmagnetic war. however, there are persistent complaints that the American effort is being hampered in a strange way. Shortly after the rigged National Academy of Sciences report on Project Seafarer, for example, the Navy sent a delegation to a meeting at the National Security Agency to complain about an alleged "zap gap" between the United States and the USSR, and to ask other delegates to push for more research money for turning nonthermal EMR effects into weapons. According to one of my Navy contacts, the NSA sent several "experts" who had never done any research on EMR and who firmly advised the Navy to abandon its program. Later he voiced the same suspicions I'd already heard from others: Given the allegedly vigorous Soviet electroweapons research program and the underfunding of ours, he concluded that there is a mole highly placed in the American military science establishment, perhaps in the NSA itself, who is preventing us from acquiring any clear competence in this field.

Unfortunately, my source, having served as a hatchet man for defunding research on the environmental dangers of electropollution, isn't exactly reliable. Complaints of a mole could easily be a blind for a large and intense U.S. EMR weapons program. That there's more going on than meets the eye is clear from my last communication with Dietrich Beischer. In 1977 the Erie Magnetics COmpany of Buffalo, New York, sponsored a small private conference, and Beischer and I both planned to attend. Just before the meeting, I got acall from him. With no preamble or explanation, he blurted out: "I'm at a pay phone. I can't talk long. They are watching me. I can't come to the meeting or ever communicate with you again. I'm sorry. You've been a good friend. Good-bye." Soon afterward I called his office at Pensacola and was told, "I'm sorry, there is no one here by that name," just as in the movies. A guy who had done important research there for decades just disappeared.

The crucial point to me is that both sides may be embarking on hostilities whose consequences for the whole biosphere no one can yet foresee. Even if the Soviets have begun an electrmagnetic war and we're totally unprepared to fight back, I doubt that a simple buildup and retaliation are the best course for our own survival.

The extent of the danger can be dramatized best by considering one last potential weapon. Around 1900, Nikola Tesla theorized that ELF and VLF radiation could enter the magnetosphere, the magnetic field in space around the earth, and change its structure. He has recently been proven right.

The magnetosphere and it Van Allen belts of trapped particles produce many kinds of EMR. SInce they were initially studied through audio amplifiers, the first kinds to be discovered, around 1920, were given fanciful names like whistlers, dawn chorus, and lion roars. Many of them result from VLF waves produced by lightning, which bounce back and forth from pole to pole along "magnetic ducts" in the magnetosphere. This resonance amplifies the original VLF waves enormously.

Satellite measurements have proven that artificial energies from power lines are similarly amplified high above the earth, a phenomenon known as power-line harmonic resonance (PLHR). Radio and microwave energy also resonantes in the magnetosphere. This amplified energy interacts with the particles in the Van Allen belts, producing heat, light, X-rays, and, most important, a "fallout" of charged particles that serve as nuclei for raindrops.

Recent work with sounding rockets has matched specific areas of such ion precipitation with the energy from specific radio stations, and established that the sifting down of charged particles generally occurs east of the EMR source, following the general eastward drift of weather patterns. In 1983, measurements from the Ariel 3 and 4 weather satellites showed that the enormous amount of PLHR over North America had created a permanent duct from the magnetosphere down into the upper air, resulting in a continuous release of ions and energy over the whole continent. In presenting this data at the March 1983 Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility in Zurich, K. Bullough reminded the audience that thunderstorms have been 25 percent more frequent over North America between 1930 and 1975 than they were from 1900 to 1930, and suggested that the increased energy levels in the upper atmosphere were responsible.

Since the mid-1970s there has been a dramatic increase in flooding, drought, and attendant hardships due to inconsistent, anomolous weather patterns. It appears likely that these have been caused in part by electropollution and perhaps enhanced, whether deliberately or not, by the Soviet woodpecker signal. It now seems feasible to induce catastrophic climate change over a target country, and even without such weather warfare, continued expansion of the electrical power system threatens the viability of all life on earth.