An experimental Pentagon weapon which was intended for use in varying scenarios from deterring pirates on the high seas to riot control in city streets in cases of mass unrest is subject of fresh controversy after documents of its field trials surfaced.
Two decades ago the DoD revealed a weapon called an Active Denial System (or ADS), nicknamed the ‘pain ray’ or also ‘heat ray’ which was capable of inflicting an invisible zap of pain upon protesters failing to disperse, or alternately could deter hostile boats approaching a battleship.
It works by directing a blast of energy at a target, causing subjects brief but excruciating pain – as if skin is on fire – which leaves no lasting or permanent injury. It essentially hits a subject with a blast of intense, searing heat. A 2007 field test later leaked to Wired revealed however that an airman serving as test subject was severely burned by the device.