Bioeffects of Sound

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Bioeffects of Sound

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:21 pm



Alex Davies BFA Honours

"…any unwanted sound, soft or loud, sweet or nasty, creates a multidimensional envelope that does more than intrude - it takes over not only your acoustic space, but your mind space as well. Acoustic intrusions reduce your freedom of thought. There is no escaping sound. It meets your body and forcibly enters your mind, not just through your ears but also via your bones, your flesh, and your body cavities."

The work is an investigation into the effects of low frequency sound and infrasound via the design and construction of experimental acoustic emitters. Once installed in a particular space the work will have a profound effect on the surrounding sonic environment and the physiology of human subjects present. This is achieved by the resonant interactions between the subject’s body and the acoustic space.

It is beyond the limited scope of this paper to explore the physicality of sound and psychoacoustics in its entirety due to the vast nature of the subject area. However, this paper will investigate various key facets of the field relating to the work.

Human Auditory Perception


It is important to give some technical insight into the nature of sound in order to gain an understanding of the concerns and issues raised in this paper.

It is generally accepted that sound is perceptible to humans in the range of 20hz to 20khz (1Hz is one complete cycle per second of a sinusoidal wave). Although this is the accepted human auditory range most people, depending on age and gender, cannot hear sound above 14 to 18Khz. Contrary to popular assumption, careful measurements have shown that hearing does not abruptly stop at 20 Hz but the ear is capable of registering infrasound as low as 1Hz if sound pressure is sufficient. Frequencies above 20 kHz are considered ultrasound whilst frequencies beneath 20Hz are considered infrasound.

The range of audible sound is also differentiated into 3 main categories. Subsonic or low frequency sound is defined in the range of 20Hz to about 500Hz. Midrange frequencies inhabit the realm of 500Hz to 6KHz (6000Hz) with high frequency sound defined in the remaining 6KHz to 20KHz. To give these figures some relevance to tangible notions of sound, the musical tone of Middle C is 261.6 Hz.

Although acoustic energy in all areas of both audible and non audible frequencies display intriguing biological effects, the particular regions of sound that the work focuses on is in the subsonic and infrasound region.

There are two other key aspects of low frequency sound and infrasound that are worth noting. The first is that low frequency sound has a relatively long wavelength and low material absorption rate, hence has the ability to travel vast distances. These properties make it possible to achieve a profound effect on vast tracts of acoustic space with the production of high sound pressure level (SPL) acoustic waves. The second issue regarding low frequency sound is that it is very non directional in it’s propagation and therefore has the effect of enveloping the individual without any discernable localized source.

The opposite of these properties is characteristic of high frequency sound which can readily be absorbed by materials and is highly directional and as such has been an asset in the design of acoustic weapons.

The perceived loudness of a sound is measured in a unit called the decibel (dB). The decibel utilizes a logarithmic scale rather than a linear one, as the human ear perceives loudness in a similar manner. A 3dB increase equates to an actual doubling of the sound level. However, perceptively, a 10dB sound level increase is considered to be about twice as loud.Frequency and perceived loudness are intrinsically linked, with greater intensity sound being required at low frequencies to produce the same amount of perceived loudness.

All objects have a property known as resonant frequency. Resonance involves the "re-enforcement of vibrations of a receiving system due to a similarity to the frequencies of the source". One of the most famous examples of natural resonance is Tacoma Narrows Bridge at Puget Sound Washington. After being exposed to gusts of wind the bridge began to vibrate at its natural resonant frequency and subsequently began to swing wildly and finally shake itself to pieces.

In a similar manner sound may be exploited and tuned to particular resonant frequencies inherent in humans. It is this way that sound can be utilized to provide a diverse range of psychophysiological effects.

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Re: Bioeffects of Sound

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:25 pm

Physiological Effects of Sound


Any severe extreme imposed on the sonic environment has a profoundly destabilizing effect on the individual. This becomes evident in both the areas of high intensity acoustic energy and also its complete absence. Anechoic chambers, which create an environment void of sound, have the ability to produce similar feelings of disorientation and disturbance that are evident with high intensity sound. The silence envelops the individual in a suffocating manner causing both psychological trauma and also physiological disturbance in the form of balance and other related body function.

It is clearly apparent that the human organism is in an extremely delicate state of equilibrium with the sonic environment and any profound disturbance of this system will have subsequent ramifications on the individual.

Although various facets of acoustic ecology have been examined there is little publicly available material on the effects of low frequency sound on humans. Thus, speculation and unsupported allegations related to the field have become prevalent. This lack of available research material is predominantly due to the fact that the Department Of Defense and related private research organizations conduct the majority of experimental research in this arena and hence the material is often of a restricted nature. Jürgen Altmann conducted the only extensive survey of the area in 1999 although this was of a purely theoretical nature without any experimental research.

What also becomes apparent after a survey of the literature is that much of the material available is conflicting in nature. This adds further to the general mystery and confusion surrounding the area and promotes the rapid spread of mythologies and misinformation on the subject, highlighting an obvious need for a current comprehensive experimental study to be undertaken.

References to sound as a violent entity date from the biblical trumpets that brought down the walls of Jericho to current trends in acoustic weapons research including the work conducted by organizations such as Scientific Applications And Research Associated Incorporated (SARA). Various musicians such as The Halfer Trio and Throbbing Gristle have utilized these assaultive sonic properties in live performances with alleged degrees of success. Entire musical compositions have been composed around the manipulative qualities of sound.

In a 1973 article in Crawdaddy ,William Burroughs discusses such notions with Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame. He asked Page about the potential of using infrasound to enhance the musical experience and produce euphoric effects. However, the article tends to deliver broad and hazy allegations regarding low frequency sound such as ‘he (Vladimir Gavreau) had an infrasound installation that he could turn on and kill everything within five miles. It can also knock down walls and break windows. But it kills by setting up vibrations within the body’. Such statements are typical of the alleged effects of low frequency and infrasound on the body. Where Burroughs obtained such a figure from is unknown as no reference was made to such a device or physiological effect in Gavreau’s own writings. Statements like the one above continue to propagate rumors, and in a similar manner to ‘Chinese whispers’ these are slowly distorted over time.

The pinnacle of sensational notions related to low frequency and particularly infrasound came after the publication of Gavreau’s findings in Science Journal in 1968. At this time a variety of unsubstantiated and sensational reports appeared in the media, such as the Miami Herald’s article relating to Gavreau’s work entitled ‘Sound Ray Developed as A Killer — French Working On A War Machine’ ,and the London Observer’s report on the 7th January 1968 "Sound As a Weapon Of War". Perhaps the most sensational and absurd effects attributed to infrasound was reported in the Melbourne Sunday Press (7th September 1973). Entitled "The Low Pitched Killer", the article is concerned with the lethal effects of infrasound generated by open car windows. This document, as well as "Does Infrasound Make Drivers Drunk" published in New Scientist 1972, claimed that infrasound generated by automotive travel is responsible for a variety of dubious physiological effects including ‘motorway madness’.

_________________
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Re: Bioeffects of Sound

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:27 pm

Typically sensational, the article states:

"But much more sinister are the unnoticed effects of infrasound at lower levels: in an ordinary car travelling at speed the infrasound noise is more than enough to mimic the effect of drunkenness in the driver. With the sense of euphoria that infrasound also induces, it may therefore be responsible for many inexplicable crashes."

It is no wonder that with absurd statements published in respected journals such as New Scientist, these ideas are evident within the population.Though these effects could perhaps be attributed to vibratory effects generated by automobiles, due to the large impedance mismatch, low frequency sound at such levels would have an insignificant impact at such levels.

Although there is no doubt that the sonic environment has considerable impact on the individual, it is quite evident with comprehensive theoretical analysis that the majority of claims in the area are sensational.

Audible Sound

Audio in the region of 20Hz-20Khz can create psychological disturbance in individuals at levels substantially below those required for bodily discomfort or trauma.

From the thunderous hypnotic drumming of Zulu warriors to riot police beating their batons on shields whilst marching towards confrontation, the psychological effects of sound have been used extensively throughout history as a warfare device. Noise has always been experienced as ‘destruction, disorder, dirt, pollution, and aggression’. All cultures associate noise with the idea of the weapon, blasphemy and plague. "Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle" (Jeremiah 19.3)". "When the drums of the resurrection sounded, they filled the ears with fear" (Al-Din Runir, Diavani, Shansi Tabriz).

Recently, psycho-acoustic warfare was allegedly used in the Waco siege at the Davidian compound in Texas, where it is said that the FBI used sounds of babies crying, dentist drills and a variety of other unpleasant sounds to mentally influence their opponents. The Waco compound was allegedly bombarded for long durations by these sounds via large public address systems.

Although this type of sonic assault can have a profound emotive effect on individuals, it relies heavily on the individuals particular experiences. This is where the actual physiological effects of sound are unique. Physiological changes in the body only start to occur at greater sound pressure levels. At about 120 dB discomfort begins in the ear and pain occurs when levels reach approximately 140dB.The eardrum subsequently ruptures at levels of about 160 dB. Pain becomes evident when the middle ear system is mechanically displaced beyond its normal operational limits

These acoustic effects are only apparent on the ear mechanism. The ear is a very easy structure to attack. Due to evolutionary processes the ear is particularly sensitive to midrange frequencies inherent in the human voice. Subsequently, all that is needed is an increased sound intensity at these frequencies for the threshold of pain to be readily reached. This is also related to the properties of the acoustic reflex in which a small muscle in the middle ear pulls the stirrup back from the oval window and subsequently reduces the amount of acoustic energy transmitted to the middle ear. This however only has a significant impact at frequencies lower than about 1000 Hz so that frequencies between 500 to 4000 Hz, the range at which the auditory center is most sensitive, are largely unaffected.

The acoustic effects on the body are more complex. Research has concluded that with low frequency sound in the region of 50 — 100Hz at levels of 150dB or more, intolerable sensations in the chest and thoracic region can be produced–even with the ears protected.

Other physiological changes that occur include chest wall vibration and some respiratory-rhythm changes in human subjects, together with sensations of hypopharyngeal fullness (gagging). The frequency range between 50-100Hz also produces mild nausea and giddiness at levels of 150-155 dB, at which point subjective tolerance is reached. At 150 to 155 dB (0.63 to 1.1 kPa); respiration-related effects include subcostal discomfort, coughing, severe substernal pressure, choking respiration, and hypopharyngeal discomfort.

Vladimir Gavreau, who worked extensively with high SPL low frequency sound at the Centre National De La Recherché Scientific states, after being subjected for five minutes to an acoustic emitter producing 196Hz at levels of 160 dB, "we became aware of a painful resonance within our bodies-everything inside us seemed to vibrate when we spoke or moved." These feelings subsequently disappeared after a period of three hours.

At medium to high audio frequencies the pronounced visceral effects that are evident with low frequency vibration are absent. However, disturbance of the equilibrium can be achieved at levels above 140 dB for unprotected ears. At even higher levels, tickling sensations and heating may occur in air-filled cavities such as those of the nose and mouth and gaps between the fingers. A 7kHz acoustic beam at a level of 165 dB produced the sensation of strong heating between the fingers of the subject that were being held close together. This was due to the high degree of friction that was created although the effect vanished when the fingers were subsequently opened apart.

High audio frequencies (above 10 kHz) and ultrasound (above 20kHz) have no pronounced effect on the individual unless the level is in the range of 140dB with more prominent effects of heating of air cavities, hair and textiles becoming apparent at levels of 160dB. Various assaultive acoustic devices have been designed to operate within this audio region. Most of these devices utilize a sonic property called heterodyning in which 2 differing frequencies combine to form the sum and difference of the initial frequencies.For example, the frequencies of 16000 Hz and 16002 Hz can be combined in the ear to form 32000Hz and 2Hz. Devices operating in the ultrasonic region in this manner also have the added advantage of operating in a very directional and focussed manner at an imperceptible frequency region.

Infrasound

The threshold for infrasound is around 140dB at 20Hz increasing to about 162dB at 2 Hz and to 175-180dB for static pressure.Due to the ethical issues regarding testing human subjects, experiments on dogs were conducted at levels of 170dB at a frequency of 0.5 Hz. Curiously the dogs stopped breathing because of lung ventilation due to the high intensity pressure changes, although the 0.5 Hz frequency of the sound acted as an artificial respirator and the dogs showed no ill effects afterwards.Many of the most profound effects of sound are attributed to infrasound in the region of 7Hz. This corresponds with the median alpha-rhythm frequencies of the brain.It is also commonly alleged that this is the resonant frequency of the body’s organs and hence organ rupture and death can occur at high intensity exposures.

Impulse noise

Shock waves from explosive blasts produce varying and perhaps the most dramatic effects in the realm of acoustic devices. At moderately high levels in the region of 140 dB temporary hearing loss occurs, which can become permanent at higher values. At acoustic levels above 185 dB the tympanic membrane begins to rupture.

At acoustic levels of about 200 dB, lungs begin to rupture, and above about 210 dB some deaths will occur.

_________________
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มนุษย์อยู่ร่วมในสังคมเดียวกัน โดยความคิดเห็นที่แตกต่างกัน ย่อมสร้างผลกระทบต่อสังคมได้ฉันนั้น

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Re: Bioeffects of Sound

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:30 pm

Sonic Violence


"Noise is violence: it disturbs. To make noise is to interrupt a transmission, to disconnect, to kill."

An acoustic attack works on several levels. The first is physiological changes that take place within the body. These vary and are directly relational to the frequency of the sound and the intensity. Next is the isolation of the individual from the environment. Not only would high intensity sound effectively mask all other sound thereby rendering the user deaf to the immediate environment, but it would also make him/her powerless in the realm of vocal communication. With the loss of effective speech comes feelings of helplessness and confusion. Humans are able to selectively filter various aspects of their immediate sonic environment to extract particular fragments from the soundscape. Such auditory filtering systems inherent in human sound perception would be rendered useless as the individual is enveloped by high intensity sound.

Low frequency sound and particularly infrasound have intrinsically mysterious effects as they generally bypass the ear mechanism and are predominantly felt and not heard. This coupling of sound directly to the body may be responsible for feelings of anxiety due to a lack of cognitive resolution within the individual.

Psychotropic Warfare

It is the human condition to try and find answers for inexplicable events or phenomena. Sonic weapons are often embraced in this capacity, as they are not only often imperceptible to the ear in their operation but also are capable of extensive physical and behavioural control. As a result sonic violence has also become a prevalent theme in the area of conspiracy theorists and ‘mind control’ victims. This has lead to the loss of credibility in an area that has an extremely significant impact on the human organism.

The aims of such systems are to influence and manipulate neural activity or to confuse or destroy the signals that normally keep the body in equilibrium. One such group of devices are silent communication systems in which non-aural carriers in the infrasound or ultrasound range are propagated acoustically or vibrationally for inducement into the brain.

They may be used to "artificially implant negative emotional states - feelings of fear, anxiety, despair and hopelessness."Such a device is outlined in the 1992 US Patent #5,159,703.

The American Defense news in 1993 describes "acoustic psycho-correction" experiments carried out by the Russians from the mid 1970’s which "could be used to suppress riots, control dissidents, demoralize or disable opposing forces". The device which operated by the "transmission of specific commands via static or white noise" showed "encouraging results after exposure of less than one minute" and operated without the upsetting of other intellectual functions.Operating as an infrasound device the acoustic psycho-correction message is transmitted via bone conduction. Due to this insidious facet, earplugs prove fruitless in protecting the individual, as whole body protection is needed. Further developments of such devices utilizing sonic communication directly to the temporal lobe may produce the most striking and profound acoustic attack. Literature by Silent Sounds, Inc. indicates that it is now possible to analyze human emotional EEG patterns and replicate them, then store these "emotion signal clusters" and, at will, "silently induce and change the emotional state in a human being".

Again, in much the same manner as the alleged effects of infrasound and low frequency sound, misinformation and sensationalism shroud data in this arena. Perhaps even more so in the case of psychological assaults, as notions of control over the will of other individuals has been sought since the dawn of humanity. One cannot help but think in the following statement that profound psychological disturbances are present when common individuals appear to be victims of extensive mind control harassment. It is apparent that the sensationalist public opinion regarding acoustic weapons and control devices is being readily drawn upon by individuals to justify and explain maladies and aberrations of the body and mind.

"Don't EVER let a psychiatrist tell you voices in your head must indicate mental illness any more! Voice to skull radio transmission is now a de-classified documented reality".

Psychotropic acoustic violence may not only work on direct speech /sound to skull transmissions but also on the manipulation of various brain functions. This psychophysical principle is called entrainment and acts on both subtle and pronounced ways. Entrainment is the foundation of music for dances, marches and work songs. Society often looks upon sound and the acoustic environment as a form of wallpaper yet rarely considers the myriad of psychophysiological influences always present. Trance inducing properties are evident at 60 beats per minute with a frequency of 72 Hz, corresponding to the frequency of human heartbeats. Frequencies corresponding to the Alpha, Beta and Theta brain rhythms have been utilized in similar manners to influence neural activity. This is perhaps why the fabled infrasound frequency of 7 Hz is so notorious as it is the median frequency of the brain’s theta rhythms. This frequency is most prominently associated with moods concerned with fear and anger. Incidentally psychopaths have a general dominance of theta rhythms. It is also allegedly the average resonant frequency of the body’s organs and hence excitation would cause organ rupture and death.

_________________
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มนุษย์อยู่ร่วมในสังคมเดียวกัน โดยความคิดเห็นที่แตกต่างกัน ย่อมสร้างผลกระทบต่อสังคมได้ฉันนั้น

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Re: Bioeffects of Sound

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:33 pm

Acoustic Ecology


"Noise becomes a parasite which threatens to dominate the environment in the same way as weeds choke a vacant block"

Natural Sources of Low Frequency Sound:

Ever since the dawn of life on earth organisms have been exposed to low frequency sound and vibration. Though ever present, the effects of such environmental sound would not begin to have a profound impact on the acoustic ecology and inhabitants until the advent of the industrial revolution. It was only then that sounds of extremely high intensity became prevalent. Prior to this these sounds were the consequence of remarkably rare environmental events.

There are several predominant sources of naturally occurring low frequency and infrasound in the environment. The entire globe is in a continual dynamic state of enveloping low frequency sound. Sources of such low frequency sound range from atmospheric winds in the range of 30 to 40 Hz to those produced by the ocean and other turbulent bodies of water. Ocean waves produce sound with a mean frequency of 16Hz. These frequencies can become more pronounced if unique geographical conditions are present and the frequency produced by the water is the same as the resonant frequency of the environment such as in bays. The thunderous crashing torrents of water in waterfalls are strong emitters of infrasound as is the gigantic shearing and fracturing of icebergs. It has been said that such low frequency tones have a continuing effect on those inhabiting such environments. Deep seismic shocks produced by earthquakes send strong infrasonic impulses to the surface of the earth. Animals are notoriously sensitive to such vibrations displaying erratic and anxious behavior well before any human perceives the impending chaos.

The explosive force of Krakatoa in August 26 —27 1883 produce massive intensities of low frequency sound and is in fact considered to be the loudest noise on earth in living memory. The apocalyptic blast was heard over nearly one — thirteenth of the entire surface of the globe at a distance of nearly 4500-Km.

Though these sounds are ever-present in the acoustic space that individuals inhabit on a day to day basis, their influence on the individuals psychological and most certainly physiological state are subdued when compared to the influence of machines.

The advent of the industrial revolution has promoted a flourish of diverse interest in acoustic ecology and the subsequent effects on society and the individual. This period has proved to be a truly unique era in acoustic ecology as sounds generated by machines powered by inhuman sources has meant that sounds readily exceed conventional human limits. Machines also have the unique properties to produce sounds that force human systems to resonate in inhuman ways.

Individuals exploring this area range from John Cage to Russulo and the Futurist Artists. Cage, generally renown for his interest in miniature sound also examined the nature of loud sounds. When asked in a 1977 interview for radio France whether there were any ‘poisonous’ sounds Cage responded "I haven’t heard any. And I have been searching. I even made the experience to hear a very loud sound". Cage refers to an incident whilst attending a concert of the Spanish group Zai. He "sat in front of the speaker for an hour turning first one ear and then the other towards it". When it stopped he states, "my ears were ringing. The ringing continued through the night, through the next day and through the next night".

Although society and the individual have embraced the machine and the industrial revolution and although utilized, it is indeed rare that a fondness for such sounds is present. Machine noise is responsible for the greatest intensity of sonic pollution present in society. Contrary to the aversions of society in general the Futurist musicians such as Russulo and Marinetti joyously embraced the noises of war. Building devices called Inonarumori to simulate these horrific sounds, musical works were constructed with these psychologically unpleasant noises.

Prior to this, in a musical context, loud sounds were traditionally "generated by the lungs and limbs of performers grouped together in massive numbers."Now however machines could be utilized as instruments. One such mechanical performance is highlighted in a disastrous rendition of George Antheil’s Ballet Mechanique in 1927.

"When the conductor Eugene Goosens gave the cue, the siren player cranked and then cranked feverishly, but absolutely no sound was produced. The moment for the siren was now long past, and Goosens was turning to the last page of the score. Disgustedly the effect’s man stopped turning the crank, as the last bars of the ballet crashed out. And then in the silence that followed there came the unmistakable sounds of a fire siren gathering speed. Louder and louder it came as the last noted of the ballet died away, and as Goosens turned to bow to the audience and Antheil rose from the piano, it reached it’s full force. We had all of us completely forgotten the simple fact that a siren does not start making any sound until it has been energetically cranked for almost a full minute. And also we had forgotten that it does not stop shrieking simply because you stop cranking. We remembered both of these things now as the wail from the infernal red thing on the stage kept dinning in our ears, drowning out the applause of the audience, covering the sound of the people picking up their coats and hats and leaving the auditorium."

The performance highlights the all-encompassing and pervasive nature of industrial sound. Matt Heckert’s Mechanical Sound Orchestra provides a contemporary presence of mechanical sound art and acoustic emitters. Although Heckert’s work draws upon the futurist machine music it also explores notions of the body as an instrument. One group of orchestral devices known as the ‘resonators’ create sonic environments that interact with the audiences body. Consisting of Cannon like pipes they are pulsed via a mechanically actuated diaphragm. The work is ‘music for the body, not just for the ear or the mind’. Exhibited at Biomachines, the work encouraged the audience to sit in succulent chairs and be enveloped by the variety of modulated frequencies produced.

Similar concerns also extend to the work of Eric Hobjin with the Dante Organ. The Organ is an "installation consisting of 10 to 15 flame-throwers with pillars of fire 13 to 20 meters high, creating an environment dealing with the aesthetics of violence". The thunderous sounds produced by the pipes assault the viewer, forcing them to "abandon the pure artistic aspects of the piece to deal with the real and present danger."

The use of high intensity sound in such works creates unique sonic spaces in which, as Douglas Kahn states "any performance space could be turned into a resonant chamber, much like the body of a very large instrument in which humans are played".

_________________
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มนุษย์อยู่ร่วมในสังคมเดียวกัน โดยความคิดเห็นที่แตกต่างกัน ย่อมสร้างผลกระทบต่อสังคมได้ฉันนั้น

sunny

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Re: Bioeffects of Sound

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:38 pm

Acoustic Weapons


Infrasound has been used in the context of war since WW1, although at this stage it was related to sensitive devices used to measure infrasonic emissions and hence identify the location of artillery. Though there are references to assultive acoustic devices being created as early as WW2 it was not until the 1960’s that research in the area became more vibrant. Early references to such devices come only as fragments or hearsay. One such device is explained as follows

"... consisted of a parabolic reflector, 3.2 meters in diameter, having a short tube which was the combustion chamber or sound generator, extending to the rear from the vertex of the parabola. The chamber was fed at the rear by two coaxial nozzles, the outer nozzle emitting methane, and the central nozzle oxygen. The length of the chamber was one-quarter the wavelength of the sound in air. Upon initiation, the first shock wave was reflected back from the open-end of the chamber and initiated the second explosion. The frequency was from 800 to 1500 impulses per second. The main lobe of the sound intensity pattern had a 65-degree angle of opening, and at 60 meters' distance on the axis a pressure of 1000 microbars had been measured. No physiological experiments were conducted, but it was estimated that at such a pressure it would take from 30 to 40 seconds to kill a man. At greater ranges, perhaps up to 300 meters, the effect, although not lethal, would be very painful and would probably disable a man for an appreciable length of time. Vision would be affected, and low-level exposures would cause point sources of light to appear as lines."

Whether such a device was truly effective can never really be known however there are currently several organizations conducting research in area of acoustic weapons. Due to this continuing research in the area one can speculate that there has never been a truly successful device. Interestingly this is also reflected in recent statements by research groups such as Scientific Applications and Research Associates (SARA) who have apparently taken previous allegations on face value when quoting the alleged effects of some of the impulse noise acoustic devices under construction. Despite such extensive inconsistencies in regards to the alleged effects of acoustic energy current research still flourishes in the area. A similar, albeit more compact device to the one described above, was outlined by Primex Physics International Company in 1998. Still relying on impulse noise technology, it achieved levels of 165dB at a distance of 50 feet and "appears to have very desirable risetime and pulsewidth characteristics that are essential for optimal acoustic-psychological coupling to targets.

The applications of this current research is predominantly based in the development of non-lethal acoustic devices for use in such circumstances as "embassies under siege, for crowd control, for barriers at perimeters or borders, for area denial or area attack, to incapacitate soldiers or workers." Regarding to the non — lethal properties of such devices, the purported effects with respect to humans seem extremely inappropriate for temporary incapacitation with no long term side effects.

The most recent alleged effects from SARA’s current research are stated as:

"Infrasound at 110-130 dB would cause intestinal pain and severe nausea. Extreme levels of annoyance or distraction would result from minutes of exposure to levels 90 to 120 dB at low frequencies (5 to 200Hz), strong physical trauma and damage to tissues at 140-150 dB, and instantaneous blastwave type trauma at above 170. At low frequencies resonance’s in the body would cause hemorrhage and spasms; in the mid-audio range (0.5-2.5 kHz) resonance’s in the air cavities of the body would cause nerve irritation, tissue trauma and heating; high audio and ultrasound frequencies (5 to 30 kHz) would cause heating up to lethal body temperatures, tissue burns, and dehydration; and at high frequencies or with short pulses, bubbles would form from cavitation and micro-lesions in tissue would evolve."

If would be interesting if such allegations prove to be plausible when backed up by experimental data in the future however at this juncture it does not seem to be the case.

There are several possible paths that can be taken regarding the design of a high acoustic output device suited to sonic violence. Conventional loudspeakers are not particularly suitable for the task for several reasons. The primary reason is efficiency. Only about 1% -2% of energy is efficiently used in a conventional voice coil loudspeaker. Efficiencies of between 10%-50% can be achieved with the use of rear loaded exponential horn speakers.Subsequently to obtain the high sound pressure levels needed for an effective unit an impractical array of speakers and amplifiers would be needed to compensate for this. The second flaw with the use of conventional speakers as a suitable emitter is the limited frequency response in the low frequency sound region. An alternate to voice coil technology is that of pneumatic emitters. These include whistles and horns. A whistle acts as a resonant cavity with a mouth similar to that found in a pipe organ. These devices are able to achieve efficiencies of up to 70% and are capable of generating frequencies well into the infrasound region.

Impulse noise devices offer the capability of extremely high SPL via an acoustic shock pulse. These may be generated via any explosive mixture in the form of a fuel/air mix or explosive compound. Due to the nature of combustion however, byproducts of the ignited fuel/air mix would pollute the immediate surroundings hence necessitating an outdoor environment and loss of flexibility of the device. The pneumatic acoustic emitter is not as self sufficient as that of the combustion based counterpart as generally 3 phase power is required to provide enough energy to operate the device. The combustion-based device however may run as long as fuel is present and hence would be more appropriate for remote locations without the use of generators. A greater degree of control over specific frequency ranges is apparent in the whistle design. This enables the generation and subsequent observation of the effects of very precise frequencies in the subsonic and infrasonic region.

Humans interact with the acoustic environment in many complex ways. The human hearing system not only consists of the ear but also encompasses conduction and mediation via bones, flesh, and body cavities. Acoustic energy has the ability to profoundly influence an individual’s brain waves, respiratory cycles, nervous system, muscle function, heart rate and glandular function. As such, a benign acoustic space can readily be turned to violence against the individual. Although this has been well documented throughout history a great deal of misinformation and blatant sensationalism has lead to the creation of a area still void of any concrete findings. Due to this the complex and significant pychophysiological influences still remain a mystery to a large degree.

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Re: Bioeffects of Sound

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:43 pm

Bibliography

Attali, Jaques, Noise — The Political Economy Of Music, Manchester University Press, UK, 1977.

Broner, N, The Effects Of Low Frequency Noise On People — A Review, Journal Of Sound And Vibration 58 (4), England, 1993.

Bryan, Michael and Tempest, William, Does Infrasound make Drivers "Drunk"?, New Scientist 16th March 1972.

Campbell, Murray, The Musicians Guide To Acoustics, Dent, England, 1987

Davis, Gary & Jones, Ralph, Sound Reinforcement Handbook, HP, USA, 1989

Gavreau, Vladimir, Infrasound, Science Journal 4 (1), USA, 1968

Hecht, Jeff, Not A Sound Idea, New Scientist, UK, 20th March 1999

Kahn, Douglas, Noise Water Meat — A History Of Sound In The Arts, MIT Press, USA, 1999

Keith, Jim, Mind Control World Control — The Encyclopedia Of Mind Control, Adventures Unlimited Press, USA, 1997

Kientzle, Tim, A Programmer’s guide To Sound, Addison-Wesley, USA, 1998

Madsen, Virginia, Notes Towards Sound Ecology In The Garden Of Listening, Essays In Sound 2, Technophobia, Australia, September 95

Neal, Charles, Tape Delay, SAF Publishing LTD, UK, 1987

Rodwell. R., Army tests New Riot Weapon, New Scientist, UK, 20th September 1973

Schaefer, Murray, Soundscape, Cultures 1 (1),Unesco, 1973

Seashore, Carl E., Psychology Of Music, Dover Publications Inc., USA 1967

Simon, Leslie E., Secret Weapons of the Third Reich, WE Inc, USA, 1971

Swezey, Stuart, Amok Journal — Sensurround Edition, Amok, USA, 1995

T.A.G.C., Meontological Research Recordings Teste Tones, Soleilmoon Recordings USA, 1988

Toop, David, Ocean Of Sound, Serpent Tail, USA, 1995

Tuzin, Donald, Miraculous Voices- The Auditory Experience Of Numinous Objects, Current Anthropology 25 (5), USA, 1984

Wall, Judy, Military Use Of Mind Control Weapons, USA, Nexus October / November 1998

Yost, William A., Fundamentals Of Hearing, Academic Press, Inc., USA, 1994

Patents

Adams, Guy Emery, Noise Generator & Transmitter, Untied States Patent 4,034,741, July 12 1977

Brunkan, Wayne B., Hearing System, United Stated Patent 4,877,027, October 31 1989

Drewes, William, Sonic Weapon System, United States Patent 4,349,898, September 14 1982

Flanders, Andrew, Psycho-Acoustic Projector, United States Patent 3,566,347, February 23 1971

Lowery, Oliver M, Silent Subliminal Presentation System, United Stated Patent 5, 159,703, October 27 1992

Naff, John T., & Shea, James, Acoustic Canon, United States Patent 5,973,999, October 26 1999

Puharich, H.K., Means For Aiding Hearing, Untied States Patent 2,995,633, August 8 1961

Wilson, Joseph, Superimposing Method And Apparatus Useful For Subliminal Messages, United States Patent 5,134,484, July 28 1992

Internet: Note — All URL’s referenced are current as of time of publishing (november 1999) however due to the dynamic nature of the Internet certain articles may not be accessible in the future.

Non Lethal Weapons

Lewer, Nick, Forum — Nonlethal Weapons,

http://forum.ra.utk.edu/summer99/nonlethal.htm

Murhpy, Michael, Biological Effects Of Non Lethal Weapons,

http://www.dtic.mil/stinet/ndia/NLD3/murp.pdf

Paternak, Douglas, Wonder Weapon, http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/970707/7weir.htm

Welsh, Cheryl, Nonlethal Weapons — A Global Issue, http://www.calweb.com/~welsh/8.htm

Acoustic Weapons & The Psychophysiological Effects of Sound

Altmann, Jürgen, AcousticWeapons — A prospective Assessment, Universität Dortmund / Institut für Experimentalphysik III April 1999

http://www.einaudi.cornell.edu/PeaceProgram/acousticweapons.pdf

Day, Fergus, Deadly Silence,

http://www.profreedom.free4all.co.uk/deadly_silence.html

King, Benson, Nonlethal Acoustic Weapons,

http://www.dtc.army.mil/tts/1997/proceed/king/sld014.htm

Scientific Applications And Research Associated Incorporated (SARA), Technologies, http://www.sara.com/Capability/Tech.html

Schewe, Phillip & Stein, Ben, American Institute Of Physics-Acoustic Surgery,

http://www.aip.org/enews/physnews/1998/split/pnu380-1.htm

Vassilatos, Gerry, Hearing Through Wires: The Physiophony Of Antonia Meucci, http://www.borderlands.com/archives/arch/hearing.htm

Pellegrino, Ron, The Effects Of Sound / Music On Digestion,

http://www.microweb.com/ronpell/FXofSndMscONHumnDigstn.html

Nichols, B, Deadly Vibrations — A Brief History Of Sonic Warfare,

http://www.overloadmedia.co.uk/library/deadvibr.htm

Woodward, David, Trumpets Of Jericho,

http://www.davidwoodard.com/jericho-index.html

Vassilatos, Gerry, The Sonic Weapon Of Vladimir Gavreau,

http://www.borderlands.com/archives/arch/gavreaus.htm

Walonick, David, Effects Of 6 — 10 Hz ELF on Brain Waves, http://www.borderlands.com/archives/arch/elf.htm

Sikorsky, Smurfing On Sine Waves, NoiseGate # 3

http://www.rfbaker.demon.co.uk/noisegate/articles/ngsmurf.html

Primex Physics International Company, Non Lethal Defense III - Acoustic Blaster,

http://www.dtic.mil/stinet/ndia/NLD3/sze.pdf

Kranidiotis, Argiris A. Human Audio Perception FAQ,

http://mambo.ucsc.edu/psl/audfaq.txt

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Re: Bioeffects of Sound

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:43 pm

Sound Art

Wendt, Larry, Luigi Russulo And The Art Of Noise,

http://cadre.sjsu.edu/switch/sound/articles/wendt/folder6/ng632.htm

Scarbourough, Kim, The Art Of Noises,

http://www.unknown.nu/futurism/noises.html

Hobijn, Eric, The Dante Organ And The Aesthetics Of Violence,

http://flux.thing.de/parasites/Dante/

Baker, Keneth, Body Sound: Other Music At Artspace,

http://www.MattHeckert.com/Press/SF_Chronicle.html

Acoustics & Acoustic Ecology

Pellegrino, Ron, Loud Music And Hearing Loss,

http://www.microweb.com/ronpell/LoudMusicNHearingLoss.html

Bottum, J, The Soundtracking Of America,

http://www.theatlantic.com/cgi-bin/o/issues/2000/03/bottum.htm

Pellegrino, Ron, Why are Audio Engineers The Enemies of Our Ears,

http://www.microweb.com/ronpell/EnemiesOfOurEars.html

Pellegrino, Ron, Sound Deserves its Own Pollution Category,

http://www.microweb.com/ronpell/NsNSndPltnFndmntPrncpls.html/SndDsrvsOwnPltnCtgry.html

Christophe, Charles, Poisonous Sounds, http://www.microweb.com/ronpell/NsNSndPltnFndmntPrncpls.html/PoisonousSound.html

United States Air Force, Sonic Boom, http://www.af.mil/news/factsheets/Sonic_Boom.html

Cody, John, Infrasound,

http://www.borderlands.com/archives/arch/infra.htm

Miller, Wreford, Silence In The Contemporay Soundscape,

http://interact.uoregon.edu/MediaLit/FC/readings/Thesis.pdf

Silverman, Andrew, Acoustics FAQ,

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/physics-faq/acoustics/index.html

Woodward, David, The Tarcoma Narrows Bridge Disaster,

http://www.davidwoodard.com/tacoma.html

Vassilatos, Gerry, Nocturnal Disturbances and the Infrasonic "Hum",

http://www.borderlands.com/archives/arch/nux.htm

Karlow, Edwin A., Loud Music And Hearing Loss,

http://www.microweb.com/ronpell/LoudMusicNHearingLoss.html

Torp-Olsen, Eric, Whistle Physics, http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Museum/4915/02.HTM

Psychotronic Warfare

Project Freedom, Remote Mind Control Weapons,

http://www.profreedom.free4all.co.uk/part1.html

White, Eleanor, Subject Index to Articles,

http://www.raven1.net/ravsubjx.htm

Synetic Systems Inc., The Science of Light and Sound,http://www.ecst.csuchico.edu/~andrewc/synopsis_of_articles.html

_________________
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Re: Bioeffects of Sound

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:52 pm

Acoustic Weapons

http://www.scribd.com/doc/2582436/Acoustic-Weapons


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Re: Bioeffects of Sound

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:56 pm

Effects of infrasound on people : The Sonic Weapon of Vladimir Gavreau

Effects of infrasound on people
[very important... please read]
MICHAEL SPITZER
Sat, 17 Mar 2001 03:14:09 -0800

Dear Editor,

Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at
Brown University, Arnold L. Weinstein comments in his taped
course The Soul and the City: Art, Literature, and Urban Life,
"City dwellers are connected by waves of sound." In the l990's,
excluding the most obvious airplane and highway noise, an
inaudible antagonist has proliferated.

In the early l990's both GE and EMD (Electro Motive
Division of General Motors) began experimenting with and
manufacturing locomotives with AC powered traction motors. From
an economic viewpoint it made sense. There are no brushes or
commutators to wear out in AC motors, and a computer controlled
thrysistor maintains tractive effort to reduce wheel slip and
motor burn out. Locomotive efficiency is increased and
maintenance reduced propelling the rail industry back into the
Fortune 500 from near bankruptcy in the l980's.

In l982 there must have been a reason why politicians
lobbied to dismantle and stop funding the federal Office of Noise
Abatement under Ronald Reagan. Trains are noisy, but at least
you know what it is when you hear it...or do you?

The thrysistor is a software controlled electronic device
that varies the frequency and voltage of AC. On diesel/electric
trains, a turbo-charged diesel engine drives an alternator that
produces alternating current. A rectifier converts it to DC
where it is controlled by a computer, whence an inverter changes
it back to AC to power the traction motors. When the traction
motors are producing electricity by the inertia of the moving
train, the electricity is fed back to a grid to dissipate the
energy. This is called dynamic braking. All in all controlling
electricity, not diesel power, moves the train.

A few years ago the Evening News did a story on the
elusive Taos Hum. [The sound of an ongoing hum in Taos, New Mexico]
Residents were hearing an annoying hum
twenty-four hours a day. No one seemed to know the source. In
Fayetteville and Columbus I was hearing a hum that fit the
description of the Taos Hum.

The hum is produced by low voltage AC drives controlled
by the thrysistor. Near Taos, there is a Molybdenum mine in
Questo a few miles away. There is a long conveyor belt that
moves the metal from the mine to the refinery. There are also
two mines near Littleton, Colorado.

The Union Pacific railroad was the first to experiment
with AC powered locos, mostly for logging work. There is also a
thrysistor in the Bonneville Power Administrations power grid in
the Pacific Northwest.

What does this have to do with a standing wave? Seattle
and Portland, the birthplace of Grunge is in the Pacific
Northwest. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Attention Deficit
Disorder, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Panic Disorder, and Sleep
Paralysis have all escalated in the last decade. Rockers got
dark, rappers got violent, and teenagers began shooting at their
classmates. The medical establishment has no physiological cause
for any of these. What could be causing this downward trend in
mental health in the last decade? The answer is infrasound.

Vladimir Gavreau, a French Scientist, experimented with
the effects of very low frequency sound, inaudible sound waves
below 20 Hertz. Many speculated he was working on a non-lethal
weapon for the military. Officials soon realized it was difficult
to control the dispersion of omni-directional infrasound and
abandoned it. It killed the operator as well as the enemy.
Infrasound travels faster through water and solids and does not
dissipate. Its physical and psychological effects are varied but
the overt characteristic is an intense feeling of oppression.
Fatigue, blurred vision, irritability, headache, nausea,
difficulty concentrating, tingling skin, and aching limbs are all
effects of infrasound.

Low frequency electro-magnetic waves have similar
effects. David S. Walonick did a study of the effects of 6-10 Hz
ELF on brain waves. Brain electrical activity in the theta and
alpha (the creative, insightful and meditative states) centers
around 6-8 Hz. Most of our awake thinking is in the Beta range,
above 12 Hz. Brain wave frequency ranges can be associated with
mood or thought patterns. He determined the brain "locks onto"
artificial electro-magnetic energy. It attempts to fight the
invasion, then locks onto the electric energy. Likewise it can
work at the cellular level causing disease.

AC drives produce both. As a composer, the AC traction
motor locomotive has invaded nearly every aspect of my life.
NASA has documented 17 Hz infrasound produces extreme blurring of
vision. After two cornea transplants, even with 20/20 vision
with glasses my eyes produce vision akin to the Comedy Channel's
Dr. Katz show. Images pulsate almost 24 hours a day. With 48
inch cooling fans for the power inverters, I either have high
volume white noise, infrasound, or audible hum in my home most of
the day. Tinnitus accompanies all of this. Likewise I experience
all the physical and psychological symptoms associated with EMF
radiation and infrasound. I don't think my brain has operated in
the theta stage since I moved to Columbus. I wake up with a
backache from my mattress resonating. I am irritable, nervous,
and can't concentrate. I have no privacy because my home is
connected to all the other city dwellers by a huge tsunami-like
standing wave.

When I recorded recently in Nashville in a professional
studio, the electro-magnetic waves in the air produced by AC
powered locomotives destroyed five ADAT digital recorders. They
disturb television reception and produce an audible buzz in my
stereo system. On the phone voices have a ghostly echo.
Electro-magnetic waves manifest themselves on preexisting wires
carrying current.

The engineers in Nashville didn't know what was causing
it. They grounded equipment and put down insulating material but
to no avail. What can you do when it is in the air? All you
have to do is listen for the rushing white noise outside.

For GE and GM, there is one issue that is substantial.
If my right to privacy is being revoked by two corporations, that
makes their practices unconstitutional. If they knowingly
designed and manufactured a device that produces infrasound and
the effects are documented, then they are negligent.

Because infrasound is invisible and inaudible, it seems
apparent they were irresponsible and abandoned sound thinking and
a sense of well being for humanity in exchange for the dollar.
Everyone has suffered and will continue suffering until something
is done.

It is no coincidence people are depressed, sick, and
violent. With a country that now hums 24 hours a day with
dangerous infrasound both through the ground and through the air,
where are we to go. I guess NASA has the answer, although it
seems noise is a big problem in space too.

Sincerely,
Paul A. Reichle III

read more : http://journal.borderlands.com/1996/the-sonic-weapon-of-vladimir-gavreau/

_________________
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Re: Bioeffects of Sound

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:25 pm

Infrasonic Fear Generator



$ 950.00 Monster-Tronics.com

The Infrasonic Fear Generator is the first commercial product of its kind. Simply put, the Fear Generator can cause a range of strange feelings, anxiety, sorrow, chills, unnerving feelings, heightened emotions, including visions and vibrations in the chest and other parts of the body, in a large percentage of people.

Infrasound refers to extreme bass waves or vibrations, with a frequency below the audibility range of the human ear. Even though these waves can't be heard by us, they can be felt and sensed and have been shown to produce a range of effects in some people.

Based on previous studies, 20% to 60% of people have reported strange feelings when tests were performed at concerts, in pressure chambers, at home, and in test facilities. No tests were conducted in a scary environment. We believe the percentage of people affected in a haunted house setting will be even greater. Most people will feel vibrations in parts of their bodies (commonly the chest area) similar to audible bass but won’t know where it is coming from since they can not hear it. Vibrations in the chest are a common symptom of extreme terror.

Infrasound is very difficult, if not impossible, to recreate from a standard stereo system. Most subwoofers are only rated down to 40 Hz and the amplifiers, filters, and crossover systems can limit the low frequencies you need to hit even further. The Fear Generator is specially designed to produce a specific infrasound frequency that has been scientifically tested to produce these effects in people.

One of the best places to put the Fear Generator would be near your wait line, where anticipation and anxiety start to build naturally.

NOTE: A large pipe is required for the Fear Generator and is not included.

_________________
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Re: Bioeffects of Sound

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:29 pm

Sound Proofed Institute of Research into Acoustic Weapons Logistics

S.P.I.R.A.W.L. (Sound Proofed Institute of Research into Acoustic Weapons Logistics) is a web documentary about the sonic landscape and the pioneering use of sound weapons within it.

Scientific fact: Everything in the known universe has a resonant frequency. Humans can only hear a small range of these frequencies, from 20 –20,000 Hz. But there are many frequencies which exist outside our range of hearing that we are exposed to everyday. The audible fields of sound are mapped out, managed and regulated in the same way as any physical territory. The inaudible frequencies, however, represent a free zone. This free zone is now being staked out chaotically with an ethical disregard reminiscent of the way the American West was ‘won’. We locate our documentary in this sonic landscape and go in search of the aural boundaries that are being quietly pioneered by military and civilian police forces through the use of sound weapons.

There are sound weapons that operate with the frequencies of infrasound. Infrasound consists of frequencies under 20 Hz that are below the threshold of human hearing. Weapons manipulating these frequencies can cause overwhelming nausea, loosening of the bodily organs and ultimately death. One of these weapons, as it is described in its patent (Subliminal Acoustic Manipulation of Nervous Systems, US Patent 6, 017, 302) “causes disorientation and drowsiness in law enforcement standoff situations.”

Our culture is one that relies heavily on the visual senses to tell us what is right or wrong, what is supported or rejected and what will harm us and what will not. We are taught that our eyes will ultimately deliver answers to these questions, as the saying goes “seeing is believing.”

But what happens when you cannot see what will harm you, when you cannot tell what is right or wrong, when you cannot perceive whether civic or humanitarian ideals are being upheld or muted? The recent proliferation of non-lethal weapons, which utilize frequencies outside the human range of hearing to control, maim and ultimately kill enemies and political agitators, bring these questions to bear. Ultimately they beg the questions, what does democracy sound like and what does war sound like?

This documentary maps the sonic terrains of the local and the foreign through times of war and peace, to uncover whether our democratic rights exist, in a landscape where we cannot see what is being dissolved and where we have not yet learnt to listen.

Sound weapons are classified as ‘non-lethal’ and are increasingly being deployed as part of the US and UK Military’s arsenal under the moniker of ‘spreading democracy’. Devices such as ‘The Long Range Acoustic Device’ (LRAD) are capable of blasting an ear splitting 150 decibels. They were used in Desert Storm in 1991 and are still being used by US troops in Fallujah, Iraq. The developer of the LRAD, American Technology Corp. of San Diego, recently received a $1.1 million contract from the U.S. Marine Corps to supply the devices deployed to Iraq.

These sound weapons are tested in times of war and are then bought back home to be used on socially and politically motivated demonstrators. During the protests at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, police were armed with the LRAD. Carl Gruenler, vice president of military and government operations for American Technology Corp concedes that the device is powerful enough to cause permanent auditory damage. There are dozens of other non-lethal weapons that have been tested in times of war and subsequently used on civilian populations in times of ‘peace’ with names such as – ‘The Curdler’ used by the British Army in Northern Ireland in the 1970’s, The Vortex Ring Generator and The Ultrasound Pain Generator, to name but a few. These are real devices with patents that can be located easily online and have already been used.

In 1999, Maxwell Technologies of San Diego patented the lethal ‘Hypersonic Sound System’ weapon. The highly directional device uses ultrasound and is designed to control hostile crowds or disable hostage takers. The company says it can cause eardrum rupture at 185 decibels (dB), pulmonary (lung) injury at 200dB and death at 220dB.

_________________
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มนุษย์อยู่ร่วมในสังคมเดียวกัน โดยความคิดเห็นที่แตกต่างกัน ย่อมสร้างผลกระทบต่อสังคมได้ฉันนั้น

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Re: Bioeffects of Sound

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:33 pm

The reason that weapons development companies, militaries and police forces around the world have decided to inhabit and pioneer the territories of the sonic landscape is brazenly voiced in the March, 2000 Overview Brief by the U.S Department of Defense Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program. One of their three focuses for the development of these types of weapons is the ‘Media Factor’. This is extrapolated in no ambiguous way; that non-lethal sonic weapons are media friendly because they do not leave marks for the television viewer to witness. The majority of citizens experience war, protest and sanctioned violence through television reports and documentaries. It should come as no surprise that non-lethal weapons have been developed with their media representation in mind. Governments and military leaders around the world understand this only too well and have learnt how to play the media game that Marshall McLuhan spoke about in the 1960s. In fact they have not so much learnt how to play, but have gone further and changed the location, from one thats visable to one that’s not.

With conventional weapons of war and civilian control we can see the democratic lifeblood of the social body bleeding away when the riot police hit protestors with batons or shoot them. We psychologically feel for defenceless people when their blood is spilt or if they are choking for air due to pepper spray. Sonic weapons are clean weapons; they do not cause blood or bruising. Their initiation into the public sphere has been camouflaged. Indeed, who would consider an amplifier or a speaker system a hostile weapon? What defence or protection is there against such a device?

The U.S., Canada, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, Israel, Sweden, Japan, Poland, Yugoslavia, and Denmark have acoustic weapons programs. There is an urgent need for broad public disclosure about ‘non-lethal’ weapons, particularly weapons that utilize sonic frequencies for offensive purposes. "This is patently quite dangerous and irresponsible," says human-rights activist Dr. Steve Wright, who, as director of the Omega Foundation (UK), works with Amnesty International to monitor ‘non-lethal’ weapons. A 1998 report prepared for the European Parliament classified non-lethal weapons as techniques of political control. In an appraisal of those techniques, the Omega Foundation recognized non-lethal crowd control weapons as a growing arsenal of political technologies that pose a threat to civil liberties.

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Re: Bioeffects of Sound

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:36 pm

Issue 5 Evil Winter 2001/02
The Acoustics of War
Daria Vaisman

By the early 1990s, the United States was reassessing its self-image. The major conflicts of the last century—the two World Wars and Vietnam—had, for the most part, already been consigned to history (for a younger generation, they were only more media kitsch). But a protracted Cold War had kept the United States in a defensive posture for decades; now that the USSR had dissolved, the US no longer worried about the threat of a nucle ar attack. The military wanted weapons that reflected the US’s new international role. What to do? In 1991, the Pentagon issued a directive to test an emerging class of arms: Called "non-lethals," these weapons were meant to disable their targets "in such a way that death or severe permanent disability was unlikely."

Most international policy was, at that point, riot control. The US had become a peripatetic interventionist, dabbling in United Nations sanctions and adjudicating regional skirmishes as if they were protests at a college rally. For an optimistic military administration, non-lethals were the humanitarian antidote to atom bombs. By 1996, the US had invested nearly $37 million in research for non-lethal weapons.

The ideology behind "non-lethal" weapons was not new. Police had used chemical sprays and rubber bullets, to name just two, to quell domestic riots in the US throughout the 1960s. A second-wave of non-lethals were introduced in the Gulf War and then, later, in Somalia in 1994: sticky foams to adhere a person to an object or another person; caustics to dissolve tires and roadways; lasers to disorient and temporarily blind; acoustic weapons that used high-decibel noise to cause pain, or infrasound to cause unbearable nausea. The US had already discovered, while dropping bombs over Vietnam, that sudden, high-decibel noise would deafen people, though this was not what non-lethal researchers had intended. (The 1907 Hague Convention clearly prohibits the use of "arms, projectiles, or materials calculated to cause unnecessary suffering.") But it presented an interesting question: Was it possible to project sound at a precise decibel level that caused pain without permanent ear damage? Furthermore, there was anecdotal evidence suggesting that at the right frequency, infrasound would "liquefy [people's] bowels and reduce them to quivering diarrheic masses."1

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Re: Bioeffects of Sound

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:37 pm

By the mid-90s, most of the major papers had reported on the emergence of non-lethal technology. A Lexis-Nexis search with the keywords "acoustic weapons" and "acoustic warfare" turned up a cluster of articles from 1994 to 1999. International papers reported that acoustic weapons were "close to becoming reality." In 1997, a US News & World Report feature on non-lethals quoted the CEO of SARA [Scientific Applications & Research Associates, the Pentagon's leading acoustics research arm] as saying that they had already built prototypes for acoustic fences, and that acoustic cannons would be available in as little as one to two years. By 1999, Human Rights Watch issued a memorandum suggesting that a new protocol dealing with acoustic weapons be added to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

This was the last reference to non-lethal weapons in the media at large. I assumed that the Pentagon was in its last stages of development and had bumped the project up to top-secret mode, but a SARA press agent cagily informed me on the phone that they were no longer involved in non-lethal acoustics research. "We couldn't find an appropriate mechanism to pursue," I was told. "Acoustics didn't prove out." When I called Penn State's Institute for Non-Lethal Defense Technologies, I was directed to Dave Swanson, an acoustician sent in by the Pentagon to assess the acoustics research being done.

Swanson told me that the Pentagon decided to stop acoustic funding to SARA largely on the basis of his findings. High decibel sound could inadvertently deafen its target, he explained, and the US had not figured out how to build a portable weapon with enough energy to power and direct low-frequency infrasound across any considerable distance. Swanson thought that it would remain physically impossible to do so because of the huge energy demands of low-frequency sound. In his experiments, Swanson had not found a single repeatable case of low-frequency sounds affecting a large population the way the Pentagon had hoped. "Their attitude was, 'If we can't put them on the ground, we don't want to hear about it.'"

In addition to requiring large quantities of energy and being difficult to use with a portable device, infrasound works poorly in air where sound waves tend to reflect off the body.2 Low-frequency sound travels in all directions and is hard to direct. (Infrasound is measured at 20 Hz and below, ultrasound at 20 KHz and above.) Wavelength is in a ratio to the aperture of the device that is directing it, so that infrasound needs a very large aperture. As a matter of contrast, ultrasound uses a very small aperture. It is cheap to generate and relatively easy to direct, but ultrasound burns surface tissue and destroys organs (medical ultrasound is used to break up kidney stones) and therefore has not been adapted for non-lethal purposes.

Infrasound is an amazingly effective weapon under the right conditions. A small percentage of the population is so unbearably sensitive to infrasound that they become nauseous near the ocean (which naturally generates low-frequency signals) and can sense, or "hear," earthquakes hundreds of miles away. Ultra-low frequencies will nauseate and disorient most people under the right conditions (that is, if the sound can easily couple with their bodies, which it does under water or in a high-pressure chamber).

There are notable cases of people encountering low-frequency sounds under such conditions. In one case, Walt Disney and his team of cartoonists slowed down the 60-cycle tone of a soldering iron in a short cartoon. At a low-frequency 12 cycles, they became sick for days afterwards. The inventor Nikola Tesla experimented with low-frequency vibrating platforms that he motored using simple "eccentric" wheels. He found that standing on the platform for a minute created a pleasant buzz through the body. Remaining on the platform for any longer than a minute aggravated his subjects' hearts and dangerously raised their blood pressure. His friend Mark Twain once got on the platform and refused to descend. As the author Gerry Vassilatos writes, "Tesla's concern was drowned out by both the vibrating machine and Clemens' jubilant exaltations and praises. Several more seconds and Clemens nearly soiled his white suit."3

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Re: Bioeffects of Sound

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:41 pm

Ultimately, however, Swanson is more wary of infrasound and high-decibel acoustic testing. When I asked SARA's point man if it had ceased acoustics research because of the difficulty in directing low-frequency sound, I was told, "No. You can direct it pretty well. There just wasn't a real dial-in capability." He explained that a weapon dialed in at, say, 137 decibels and meant for a target 100 feet away could easily cause deafness in someone ten feet away. Non-lethal technology can turn "worse-than-lethal," in the words of Harvey Sapolsky, head of Security Studies at MIT and one the first people to look at non-lethals in the US. When I spoke to Sapolsky over the phone, he told me stories he heard of Israelis stripping rubber off bullets and Americans using lasers to illuminate Somali targets in order to shoot them.

"Our ears are our primary sensor," Swanson tells me. "Sound can cause anxiety and stress, but a loud sound won't put you on the floor and keep you there. It won't make 100% or 70% [of people] sick the way it will work for 1% or .01% of the population. Nausea is not a repeatable effect for the general population, but deafness is. If you make everybody deaf, your weapon doesn't work that well."

Sapolsky agrees: "In third world countries, illiteracy means that hearing loss could be a worse handicap than amputation. If you made everybody deaf, you're better off killing them, better off killing women and children than sending them home blind." Sapolsky believes that people will eventually use earplugs to protect themselves. "I'm coming in from the policy side of things, and this technology won't get you far. It's great for civilians and for riot control, but eventually people get defenses against them. It's only good if you face enemies that don't have weapons." For Sapolsky, using acoustics raises the issue of intervention in the first place. "You should be asking whether the situation is worth doing at all. My idea? You're going to think I'm crazy. Leave them presents, for example: On the border of North and South Korea, leave all sorts of stuff from shopping malls, stuff they've never seen before. Wrap it up really well so it takes a long time to unwrap. Slow them down—that's the logic behind landmines."


Douglas Pasternak, "Wonder Weapons," US News & World Report, July 7, 1997.
In water, however, projected soundwaves penetrate the body.
Gerry Vassilatos, "The Sonic Weapon of Vladimir Gavreau,"
Ibid.

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