We all got a good laugh recently when a CBS affiliate in California discovered that the Pentagon considered building a “gay bomb,” which could purportedly turn enemy soldiers gay. Apparently, however, that’s not the only wacky idea on which Pentagon officials have been willing to spend money.
Creating armor that renders a soldier invisible. Stimulating the brain to suppress sleep for days. Arming sharks with chemical implants and cameras to work as spies.
This year the Pentagon will spend $78 billion — about half of all government research and development dollars — on a variety of projects, according to the American Association for the Advancement for Science (AAAS). The vast majority - about $68 billion - goes to traditional spending, like weapons development and space systems. But some fringe research mimics the best of science fiction.
Or perhaps the worst. The ABC News report included quite a few gems, including the “gay bomb,” a lengthy study into “psychic teleportation,” and research into brain implants that intended to “steer sharklike dog fish with a phantom odor.”
When Austin Powers jokes start to resemble actual research, it’s not a good sign.