Now, with all these lasers and sound beams and electrical shockwaves going around, you may be wondering if the military has ever come up with a non-lethal chemical deterrent. Why yes, yes it has – several times in fact.
Back in the Second World War, a compound designed to be used by the French Resistance was concocted. Going by the moniker of “Who, Me?” this compound smelled of the worst fecal matter imaginable, and was designed to, well, bemuse the German occupying forces. Since the sprayee often ended up smelling much like their target though, this project was quickly deemed a failure.
Nevertheless, after spending much of the 90s and 00s determining what smells people from various cultures hate the most, and after working out some of the precise psychological drivers that cause people to think a smell is inherently “bad”, a revelation occurred: Fecal matter really is quite despised by many.
To date, however, the manufacture of a weapons-grade stink bomb remains a fantasy. Odor warfare is on hold for now.
Technically called the Pulsed Energy Projectile, it’s hard to believe something like this could be real. Currently under development by the US Military, it emits a powerful and invisible infrared laser pulse that impacts a target and creates a small amount of exploding plasma, or highly energized particles.
This micro-blast produces a pressure wave that’s powerful enough to knock a person over. In animal testing experiments from the last decade, the weapon reportedly was demonstrated to trigger an acute sense of pain, and a temporary paralysis, in the targets.
Although designed to be non-lethal, the pulse energy can be upped enough to trigger a deadly plasma explosion at a fairly long distance. When news of this long-range, bullet-less technology emerged back in 2003-2005, it caused quite the uproar.