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From the early 1970s to the 1980s, the possibility of offensive microwave weapons, and the problems that their proliferation might cause, were occasionally reported in the mainstream media e.g. . From that time onwards, reports became more rare, and the many anecdotal reports by people claiming to have had such weapons tested on them without their consent were routinely dismissed as evidence of mental illness. Countermeasures, such as 'tin foil hats', also became synonymous with paranoia, 'conspiracy theory' and mental incapacity, although the mechanism by which the media moved from