America’s Heat Gun?

The other day, the U.S. military unveiled the newest weapon in its arsenal…Active Denial System. The Active Denial System emits invisible electromagnetic beams of intense heat, intended to disperse unruly crowds. In other words, it’s a massive heat gun.

The Active Denial System: America’s Heat Gun?

The Active Denial System heat gun is a nonlethal weapon. It’s mounted onto vehicles and used for crowd control purposes.

“You’re not going to see it, you’re not going to hear it, you’re not going to smell it. You’re going to feel it.” ~ Marine Colonel Tracy Tafolla

Supposedly, the Active Denial System heat gun doesn’t cause “cancer, or fertility problems, or birth defects.” And it’s being touted as a safe alternative to traditional crowd dispersal tactics like rubber bullets and pepper spray. That might be the case…unless, of course, something goes wrong and the heat gun burns the crowd to a crisp.

The Pentagon hasn’t placed any orders yet for the Active Denial System heat gun but expect to see it on the battlefield sometime soon. After that, it’s only a matter of time before the heat gun gets rolled out to police forces across the nation…

America’s Mysterious Space Plane?

On March 5, 2011, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle was launched into low Earth orbit. The purpose of this unmanned space plane remains a mystery. What is the X-37B?

The X-37B – America’s Mysterious Space Plane?

As mentioned earlier, the exact purpose of the X-37B space plane remains shrouded in mystery. However, plenty of possibilities exist. Although no one knows for certain, some have speculated it’s an attempt to weaponize space or a spy satellite. Here’s more on the mysterious X-37b space plane from The Daily Mail:

The U.S Air Force’s highly secret unmanned space plane was supposed to stay in space for nine months, but it’s now been there for a year and three days – and no one knows what it’s doing. The experimental craft has been circling Earth at 17,000 miles per hour and was due to land in California in December. However the mission of the X-37B orbital test vehicle was extended – for unknown reasons…

…The Air Force said the second mission was to further test the technology but the ultimate purpose has largely remained a mystery…

(See The Daily Mail for more on the mysterious X-37B space plane)

DARPA’s Real-Life Transformer?

DARPA-employed researchers are at it again. A few months back, they were trying to predict future crimes. Then they were building invisibility cloaks and creating battlefield illusions. Now, they’ve created a robotic Cheetah capable of running at 18mph, making it the “fastest legged robot” in history.

The DARPA Cheetah: A Real-Life Transformer?

Of course, Cheetah would get crushed in a race against a real cheetah, some of which can reach 70 mph over short distances. Still, 18 mph is more than enough to destroy the old robotic record of 13.1 mph, set by an MIT robot named Planar Biped back in 1989.

Eventually, researchers hope to get the prototype up to 20-30 mph. If it reaches the latter, it’ll pass another milestone, officially becoming faster than any living human (Usain Bolt reached 27.45 mph in a 100 meter race back in 2009). Science fiction has long predicted the rise of mecha warriors. It would appear we are drawing very close to the day when that fiction will become a reality.

The Hunt for Bin Laden’s Corpse: Part II

Did Osama Bin Laden really die in Pakistan? Was his corpse truly stuffed into a rubber-lined canvas body bag, weighed down with lead, and then buried in the North Arabian Sea?

Where is the Osama Bin Laden’s Corpse?

That was the subject of the second blog post ever at Guerrilla Explorer, way back on June 29, 2011. At the time, treasure hunter Bill Warren had declared his intention to recover Bin Laden’s body from the bottom of the Arabian Sea. It turns out that would probably be a huge waste of time, and not just for the obvious reasons.

Recently, WikiLeaks began publishing over 5 million emails from Stratfor, a “global intelligence” firm. Several of those emails contradict the official story about Bin Laden’s body, confirming what many of us had already suspected. That is, Bin Laden wasn’t buried at sea at all. Instead his body was transported to the United States. Here’s more on the mysterious fate of Osama Bin Laden from Business Insider:

At 5:26 a.m. on May 2, the morning after Barack Obama announced the successful raid on bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound, Stratfor CEO George Friedman sent an email with the subject “[alpha] OBL” that said: Reportedly, we took the body with us. Thank goodness.

Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice president for intelligence, followed that up at 5:51 a.m. with an email titled “[alpha] Body bound for Dover, DE on CIA plane” that said: Than [sic] onward to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda…

(See Business Insider for more on the mysterious fate of Osama Bin Laden)

Real Life Battlefield Illusions?

Those wacky folks at DARPA are at it again.

DARPA & Real Life Battlefield Illusions?

Not satisfied with creating invisibility cloaks or predicting future crimes, DARPA has turned its attention to a new project called “Battlefield Illusion.” The idea is to create hallucinations during military engagements that “manage the adversary’s sensory perception.” Here’s more on the latest DARPA project from Wired:

Arthur C. Clarke once famously quipped that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” So perhaps it was inevitable that the Pentagon’s extreme technology arm would eventually start acting like magicians — and try to create illusions on the front lines.

In its new budget, unveiled on Monday, Darpa introduced a new $4 million investigation into technologies that will “manage the adversary’s sensory perception” in order to “confuse, delay, inhibit, or misdirect [his] actions.” Darpa calls the project “Battlefield Illusion.” Of course.

“The current operational art of human-sensory battlefield deception is largely an ad-hoc practice,” the agency sighs as it lays out the project’s goals. But if researchers can better understand “how humans use their brains to process sensory inputs,” the military should be able to develop “auditory and visual” hallucinations that will “provide tactical advantage for our forces.”

(See Darpa’s Magic Plan: ‘Battlefield Illusions’ to Mess With Enemy Minds for the rest)

Preserved Remains…from World War I?

On February 4, 2012, Florence Green passed away at the ripe old age of 110. She’d served as an officers’ mess steward with the Women’s Royal Air Force during World War I. It’s believed she was the last surviving veteran of that war and thus, her death marked the end of an era.

Preserved Remains…from World War I?

However, news of that war continues to surface from time to time. Most recently, French archaeologists uncovered a World War I underground shelter. To their surprise, they discovered the preserved remains of twenty-one German soldiers. The incredible preservation of these World War I combatants was due to the lack of water, air, or light that could penetrate the area.

“It’s a bit like Pompeii. Everything collapsed in seconds and is just the way it was at the time. Here, as in Pompeii, we found the bodies as they were at the moment of their death.” ~ Michael Landolt, Archaeologist

Here’s more on these World War I remains from The Telegraph:

Nearly a century later French archaeologists stumbled upon the mass grave on the former Western Front during excavation work for a road building project.

Many of the skeletal remains were found in the same positions the men had been in at the time of the collapse, prompting experts to liken the scene to Pompeii.

A number of the soldiers were discovered sitting upright on a bench, one was lying in his bed and another was in the foetal position having been thrown down a flight of stairs…

(See German soldiers preserved in World War I shelter discovered after nearly 100 years for the rest)

Mutiny during World War II?

In 1942, U.S. Congressman Lyndon Baines Johnson conducted a secret visit of a U.S. military base in Australia. For seventy years, the reason for his visit has remained a mystery. But new evidence suggests a horrific event that led to the death of one soldier and serious injuries to many others. Did members of the 96th Battalion, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commit mutiny?

The Townsville Mutiny?

According to historian Ray Holyoak, the answer is yes. It turns out that African-American members of the unit were subjected to ongoing discrimination and violence from their white counterparts. In retaliation, some of them seized control of machine guns and anti-aircraft guns and proceeded to rake their aggressors with more than 700 rounds. Here’s more from the Australian Broadcasting Company on the Townsville Mutiny:

An Australian historian has uncovered hidden documents which reveal that African American troops used machine guns to attack their white officers in a siege on a US base in north Queensland in 1942…

“For 70 years there’s been a rumour in Townsville that there was a mutiny among African-American servicemen. In the last year and a half I’ve found the primary documentation evidence that that did occur in 1942,” Mr Holyoak told AM.

During World War II, Townsville was a crucial base for campaigns into the Pacific, including the Battle of the Coral Sea…About 600 African-American troops were brought to the city to help build airfields…This was the site for a large-scale siege lasting eight hours, which was sparked by racial taunts and violence…

(See Secret documents lift lid on WWII mutiny by US troops in north Queensland for more on the Townsville Mutiny)

A Bullet…that Steers Itself?

The world is full of strange “future weapons.” But is it ready for self-steering bullets, capable of hitting targets over a mile away?

Future Weapons: A Bullet that Steers Itself?

So, what kind of future weapons is the world ready for? Is it ready for self-steering bullets, capable of hitting targets over a mile away? The military and Lockheed Martin seem to think so. Apparently, this new “future weapon” could be used to “minimize civilian casualties.” Unless, of course, civilians happen to be the targets in the first place. Here’s more on this strange new “future weapon” from BBC News:

A self-guiding bullet that can steer itself towards its target is being developed for use by the US military. The bullet uses tiny fins to correct the course of its flight allowing it to hit laser-illuminated targets.

It is designed to be capable of hitting objects at distances of about 2km (1.24 miles). Work on a prototype suggests that accuracy is best at longer ranges. A think tank says the tech is well-suited to snipers, but worries about it being marketed to the public…

(See the rest on this “future weapon” at BBC News)

Bulletproof…skin?

Will soldiers of the future eschew bulletproof vests for bulletproof skin?

Will Soldiers of the Future have Bulletproof Skin?

By integrating spider silk into human skin cells, researchers have developed human tissue that can withstand a bullet (okay, a bullet fired at half-speed). Still, it’s a pretty impressive achievement. Here’s more on this new bulletproof skin from New Scientist:

What if your skin could resist a speeding bullet? Now a new futuristic tissue designed by artist Jalila Essaïdi, which reinforces human skin cells with spider silk, can stop a whizzing projectile without being pierced. Although its threads may look fragile, a spider-silk weave is four times stronger than Kevlar, the material used in bulletproof vests.

…But its resistance has its limits: when shot at a full speed of 329 m/s, the bullet pierces the material and travels through it.

(See more on bulletproof skin at New Scientist)

The American Empire?

Is there really an American Empire?

The American Empire?

According to many people, the answer is yes…the American Empire is a very real thing. After all, the U.S. has somewhere between 700 to 1,000 military bases in dozens of countries around the world. About 500,000 troops are estimated to occupy these bases. Of course, those numbers are just estimates. Exact figures on the “American Empire” are impossible to determine.

“Whether the most accurate total is 900 bases, 1,000 bases or 1,100 posts in foreign lands, what’s undeniable is that the US military maintains, in Johnson’s famous phrase, an empire of bases so large and shadowy that no one – not even at the Pentagon – really knows its full size and scope.” ~ Nick Turse

For a better look at the American Empire, check out this very interesting graphic from Lew Rockwell (original credit to the National Post). It shows the global extent of the American military. Does it constitute an American Empire? You decide…