Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More on Sonic Weaponry

Several years earlier, Tandy was working late in the "haunted" Warwick laboratory when he saw a gray thing coming for him. "I felt the hairs rise on the back of my neck," he said. "It seemed to be between me and the door, so the only thing I could do was turn and face it."* But the thing disappeared. However, it reappeared in a different form the next day when Tandy was doing some work on his fencing foil. "The handle was clamped in a vice on a workbench, yet the blade started vibrating like mad," he said. He wondered why the blade vibrated in one part of room but not in another. The explanation, he discovered, was that infrasound was coming from an extractor fan. "When we finally switched it off, it was as if a huge weight was lifted," he said. "It makes me think that one of the applications of this ongoing research could be a link between infrasound and sick-building syndrome." When he measured the infrasound in the laboratory, the showing was 18.98 hertz--the exact frequency at which a human eyeball starts resonating. The sound waves made his eyeballs resonate and produced an optical illusion: He saw a figure that didn't exist.*


Tandy believes that ‘ghost hunters’ could benefit from investigating the
infrasound frequencies at other ‘haunted’ locales. Not only does the 19Hz frequency create visual disturbances by vibrating the eyeball – hence the shimmering appearance of apparitions – but the frequency could also stimulate a psychological sense of disquiet (hairs on the back of the neck rising and so forth). Even the ‘drop in temperature’ associated with spectral manifestations could be an effect of infrasound: “It does not cause a measurable drop in temperature of the air,” says Tandy, but “the effect is caused by a reaction in the body.”

Effects like these could also, theoretically, be contributing to sick-building syndrome as standing waves of infrasound can be created by architectural anomalies or frequencies set up by electronic devices. sIn 1978, the artist-industrial musician Monte Cazazza and the group Throbbing Gristle (above) experimented in their East London studio with the creation of both ultrasound and infrasound frequencies. Cazazza remembers during infrasound tests using an industrial tone generator that the air began to shimmer and his clothes visibly “rippled under the waves.” The group’s ultrasound experiments were equally notorious; using an array of piezo-electric speakers (“because they were cheap” remembers Monte), they used frequencies in excess of 20,000Hz in a ‘sonic loop’, creating a continual, culminating wave. Their target was some troublesome neighbours; according to the group, the neighbours’ dogs began to bark and both people and animals exhibited aggressive irritability. Unsurprisingly, the unwanted neighbours moved shortly after the sonic attacks.

There is good reason to believe, then, that exposure to certain infrasound frequencies could stimulate aggression and exacerbate psychological disturbances. This might explain accounts of ‘temporary psychosis’ associated with some natural phenomena, such as the Mistral (in the Rhone Valley) and the Sirocco (off the Sahara), the famous winds that are said to create periods of momentary insanity. That certain gusts of wind have infrasound frequencies has been documented. 6

The link between periods of insanity and exposure to specific infrasound frequencies forms the basis for the ‘Feraliminal Lycanthropizer’, a device claimed to stimulate atavistic animality, sexual excitement, and a loss of inhibitions in its target. As described in an essay published in Dainty Viscera magazine, the Feraliminal Lycanthropizer creates two infrasound frequencies – 3Hz and 9Hz – which, combined, generate a lower, third
frequency of 0.56Hz. The machine also uses a combination of four subliminal, looped, audio tape recordings – playing both forwards and backwards – outside the normal audible pitch.

...In his essay “The Electronic Revolution”, cynical libertarian William S Burroughs suggested that riots could be triggered by playing tapes of gunshots, screams, and violent altercations at strategic locations. The idea influenced German filmmaker Klaus Maeck, who based his 1984 film Decoder on the idea of anti-muzak that creates riots. Shooting some of the film in Berlin during the annual May Day riots, Maeck found that many of Burroughs’ ideas were already employed by the crowd, who were broadcasting tapes of conflict and riot-noise.


During the Vietnam conflict in the early 70s, the US military experimented with a structured programme of psychological warfare, dubbed the Urban Funk Campaign. A sonic weapon known as the 'Curdler' or 'People Repeller' was employed to disrupt unruly crowds, and generally irritate the enemy during the night. Audio frequency oscillators were mounted on helicopters, and blasted frequencies at 'Charlie', ranging from 500-5000 Hz at an amplitude of 120dB – equivalent to the roar of a jet engine at close quarters. This was a highly effective panic-inducing weapon, which was also reputedly deployed during the height of the Northern Ireland conflict. The Urban Funk Campaign also employed an 'audio harassment' programme, Wandering Soul, in which recordings of eerie sounds said to represent the souls of the dead were played through the night in order to spook the superstitious enemy. Despite eventually realising that they were hearing a recording beamed from a helicopter, the enemy snipers could not suppress the fear that their souls would some day end up moaning and wailing in a similar fashion after death.


I wonder what these people think of the Tesla "Earthquake Machine" oscillator which was recreated in modern day. While it was found to be very short of making earthquakes, it did make a fully reinforced bridge shake.

Link to buy Lycanthropizer recording