"A US company claims it is ready to build a microwave ray gun able to beam sounds directly into people's heads. Bankrolled by the US Military, the device – dubbed MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio) – exploits the microwave audio effect, in which short microwave pulses rapidly heat tissue, causing a shockwave inside the skull that can be detected by the ears. A series of pulses can be transmitted to produce recognisable sounds.
The device is aimed for military or crowd-control applications, but may have other uses.
Lev Sadovnik of the Sierra Nevada Corporation in the US is working on the system, having started work on a US NAVY (Small Business Innovation Research or SBIR) contract.
MEDUSA involves a microwave auditory effect "loud" enough to cause discomfort or even incapacitation. Sadovnik says that normal audio safety limits do not apply since the sound does not enter through the eardrums. "The repel effect is a combination of loudness and the irritation factor," he says. "You can’t block it out."
Sadovnik says the device will work thanks to a new reconfigurable antenna developed by colleague Vladimir Manasson. It steers the beam electronically, making it possible to flip from a broad to a narrow beam, or aim at multiple targets simultaneously.
James Lin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois in Chicago says that MEDUSA is feasible in principle."I would worry about what other health effects it is having," says Lin. "You might see neural damage. There are health risks, he notes. But the biggest issue from the microwave weapon is not the radiation. It's the risk of brain damage from the high-intensity shockwave created by the microwave pulse.
Clearly, much more research is needed on this effect at the sort of power levels that Dr. Sadovnik is proposing. But if it does prove hazardous, that does not mean an end to weapons research in this area: a device that delivered a lethal shockwave inside the target's skull might make an effective death ray.
Dr. Sadovnik also makes the intriguing suggestion that, instead of being used at high power to create an intolerable noise, it might be used at low power to produce a whisper that was TOO QUIET TO PERCEIVE CONSCIOUSLY but might be able to SUBCONSCIOUSLY INFLUENCE SOMEONE. The directional beam could be used for targeted messages, such as in-store promotions. Sadovnik even suggests SUBLIMINAL ADVERTISING (THOUGHT CONTROL, BEAMING INFORMATION THAT IS NOT CONSCIOUSLY HEARD (a notion also spotted on the US Army's Voice-To-Skull web page which was removed after this article's publication)." -David Hambling, (Excerpt: NewScientist.com,7.6. 2008)
"In Greek mythology, Medusa (Greek: Μέδουσα (Médousa), "guardian, protectress, queen", a sea nymph, was one of three gorgon sisters, and the most beautiful. She was courted by Poseidon, and made love to him in a temple of Athena. Furious, Athena transformed Medusa into a monstrous chthonic beast with snakes instead of hair, whose frightening face could turn onlookers to stone. She was beheaded while sleeping by the hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head as a weapon until giving it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield." -Wikipedia
"Medusa has historically been seen as the archetype of the nasty mother, however she is far more complex. She symbolizes the following:
Sovereign female wisdom. The female mysteries. All the forces of the primordial Great Goddess: The Cycles of Time as past, present and future. The Cycles of Nature as life, death and rebirth. She is universal Creativity and Destruction in eternal Transformation. She is the Guardian of the Thresholds and the Mediatrix between the Realms of heaven, earth and the underworld. She is Mistress of the Beasts. Latent and Active energy.
Connection to the earth. The union of heaven and earth. She destroys in order to recreate balance. She purifies.
She is the ultimate truth of reality, the wholeness beyond duality. She rips away our mortal illusions. Forbidden yet liberating wisdom. The untamable forces of nature. As a young and beautiful woman she is fertility and life. As crone she consumes by devouring all on the earth plane. Through death we must return to the source, the abyss of transformation, the timeless realm. We must yield to her and her terms of mortality. She reflects a culture in harmony with nature."
-Alicia Le Van, (Excerpt: Final Paper-"Women in Antiquity", 5.7.96. Image: Perseus and Medusa. Benenuto Cellini. Bronze, 18 feet high. Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence, Italy, 1545-54.).