posted on Nov, 16 2003 @ 11:35 PM
I don't have a link too this becuse it was on my file
The prospect of using sound as a weapon is something that has been considered feasible for many years. In fact, acoustic warfare is very real and can
be seen regularly in nature. For instance, it has been discovered that dolphins have the ability to produce a powerful ultrasonic pulse, with which
they stun their prey. Similarly, the deadly tartan bagpipe crab, which lives in the deep ocean trenches of the North Atlantic, can emit a loud,
discordant wailing noise in order to paralyse passing tuna. And the South American Ringo monkey, commonly found in the rainforests of Brazil and
Uruguay, is able to confuse predators by playing the drums noisily and irritatingly.There are also examples from human history that suggest an
ability to harness the destructive power of sound. It is said that Alexander the Great had a mighty bell constructed and when he sounded it the
sturdiest of fortifications would be reduced to rubble. According to legend, Alexander's enemies lived in mortal fear of his mighty clanger.
Another tale claims that, when roused, Hannibal - that's the chap with the elephants - could bellow so loudly that he struck ice cold terror into the
hearts of men and ruptured the eardrums of dogs and young children. There is even a legend, described by Plato, of an ancient king of Ethiopia who
demonstrated the most remarkable talents in times of crisis. It was at such times that 'his digestion being troubled, he would vent his displeasure
by producing a fearsome thunderclap from the very depths of his being, and a terrible wind would spring forth.'"The Nazis eventually came up with
the Mark IV Volkstuba - the people's tuba."Though such tales are fanciful and unfounded, various attempts develop an acoustic weapon have been made
throughout history. During the Second World War, the Nazis put a great deal of effort into such research and eventually came up with the Mark IV
Volkstuba - the people's tuba. The instrument was so big that it had to be carried on the back of a flatbed truck, but it was remarkably effective
at producing low, infrasonic frequencies, capable of destroying enemy troops and equipment by literally shaking them to pieces. Fortunately, it was
never employed in combat, as it proved equally effective at destroying its operator, the truck on which it was mounted and, eventually, itself.
At the same time, allied forces were developing a sonic weapon of their own. The Whitfield and Stanley Combat Whistle was small enough to be carried
as part of a soldier's standard kit, and could be deployed at a moment's notice. When used, it would emit a shrill, piercing shriek. This wasn't
powerful enough to cause any actual physical damage but it was, nevertheless, bloody annoying.Subsequent research into sonic weaponry has been
shrouded in much secrecy, but there are rumours that significant advances have been made in certain quarters. It is claimed by conspiracy buffs that,
during the seventies, the American military pioneered a method of brainwashing using high frequency sound waves. Meanwhile, documents reveal that the
Russians successfully experimented with a hand-held infrasonic device that could destroy enemy vehicles. And more recently, British scientists have
developed Geri Halliwell - a devastatingly efficient long-range slapper, who causes feelings of panic and nausea amongst enemy troops.However, the
most exciting research has been taking place in Australia. Back in the fifties, technicians at the top secret Kiri Te Kanawa Research Station on the
outskirts of Brisbane, were interested in the ability of certain talented opera singers to produce frequencies capable of shattering glass. They saw
the potential for a new kind a weapon and so, under the guidance of project leader Professor Dave O'Farrel - Skippy to his friends - they started
to look at ways of concentrating these sound waves.
"They managed to put together a device made from papier mâché, string and aluminium foil."
Lack of funding proved to be their biggest obstacle, but with the invaluable assistance of children from the local primary school, they eventually
managed to put together a device made from papier mâché, string and aluminium foil. When operated by a trained singer this device was able to direct
a beam of pure sound energy at the test subject. Professor Skippy found that different results could be obtained by using different singers.
Generally speaking, a falsetto would produce headaches and nausea, whilst a tenor would induce stomach cramps and uncontrolled defecation.
The project was so successful that it led to increased funding for Professor Skippy and his team. They set about constructing a much more powerful
version of the device; one that could be used in all conditions, and didn't go all limp and soggy when it rained. After months of detailed
experiments and careful study, they eventually came up with Sydney Opera House.
As far as most people are concerned, Sydney Opera House is a perfectly normal - if somewhat striking - building. Not so, there's more to the Opera
House than meets the eye. It is, in fact, an incredibly powerful sonic collector, capable of concentrating sound into a devastatingly destructive
beam of pure energy. Its position on Sydney Harbour is no accident, as it was placed there deliberately to protect the city from attack from the
sea. With a full choir on stage, it can produce a wall of sound so powerful that any enemy ships would be shaken to their rivets.
"Such a huge, unwieldy building lumbering across the battlefield would be a sitting target"
Despite the work that had gone into its preparation, no one was really sure just how powerful it would be. On its first test run, the Opera House
surprised everyone by melting all the lampposts in the western half of the city. Professor Skippy and his team were delighted, but the work was only
just beginning. Whilst Sydney Opera House would prove most effective as a deterrent, its lack of mobility made it totally unsuitable for use as an
offensive weapon. Such a huge, unwieldy building lumbering across the battlefield would be a sitting target, and its distinctive profile could be
spotted many miles away, losing the all-important element of surprise.
Professor Skippy's next task was to make a smaller, less unwieldy version of the Opera House, which was capable of rapid deployment. Though he
worked on the project incessantly for the rest of his life, the secrets of miniaturising his creation were to elude him. Then, just as it seemed that
he was on the verge of a breakthrough, a cruel accident took him away. During an experimental dress rehearsal in 1976, an unstable soprano exploded.
Professor Skippy was killed instantly.
Perhaps the most tragic consequence of Professor Skippy's untimely death was the fact that his work died with him. The Australian government ruled
that sonic research was too dangerous and cancelled the project for good. But Professor Skippy isn't completely forgotten. Every year, on the
anniversary of his death, Sydney Opera House plays host to a special tribute concert - which damages the foundations of nearby buildings and rattles
everybody's teeth within a five mile radius.