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Weaponized Sound

A staggering taste of Steve Goodwin’s new book Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear, from a review by Geeta Dayal at Rhizome:

Goodman catalogs a litany of military uses of sound that seem like sinister science fiction fantasies. The “Urban Funk Campaign” was a suite of audio harassment techniques used by the military in Vietnam in the early 1970s. One such technique was called “The Curdler,” or “People Repeller,” a panic-inducing oscillator with the ability to cause deafening impact at short distances. The Windkanone, or “Whirlwind Cannon,” was a sonic weapon planned by the Nazis. The “Ghost Army” was a unit of the U.S. Army in World War II that impersonated other units to fake out the enemy, employing an array of sonic deception techniques with the help of engineers from Bell Labs. “The Scream” was an acoustic weapon used by the Israeli military against protesters in 2005. That same year, the Israeli air force deployed deafening sonic booms over the Gaza Strip—producing powerful physiological and psychological effects. “Its victims likened its effect to the wall of air pressure generated by a massive explosion,” Goodman writes. “They reported broken windows, ear pain, nosebleeds, anxiety attacks, sleeplessness, hypertension, and being left ‘shaking inside.’ “

LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device)

The LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device)



February 05, 2010, 4:10pm

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