TALKING BALL LIGHTNING: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF DARPA, OR “BRINGING ...
One of the interesting things about being a community-driven website is that I never know what's going to attract people's attention, other than that people well-know I've a taste for anything that can fuel some bizarre high octane speculation. In this rare case, almost half of the people I regularly hear from sent me some version of this story, from Ms. K.M., Ms. P.H., and Ms. M.W. to Mr. V.T. and Mr. M.B. and quite a few others in between. I read all the versions, and... well, I couldn't help but think of a story called "A Day in the Life of DARPA: Eavesdropping on a fun-filled day with the guys and gals at the Diabolically Apocalyptic Research Projects Agency, or Bringing an Updated Apocalypse to a False Flag Near You." (And as always, we are perpetually indebted on this website to Mr. J.B. for coming up with the proper acronym for DARPA.)
The story goes like this:
"Well, folks," says scientist number one, "what shall we cook up today? We've got to come up with something sensational for the boss."
"Hmmm, what about upgrading the Rod of God technology to incorporate depleted uranium?" asks a lady with spectacles on a pearl necklace. (Her name is Ethyl, incidentally.)
"Can't," replies a super-genius adolescent scientist with red hair with an Albert Einstein hairdo and a bad complexion. (Her name is Lucy.) "They're already doing that at the 'gram." (Ed. note: "gram"="Pentagram," DARPA's nickname for the Pentagon.)
"Well, we could update those non-existent space-based GRASER satellites (Ed. note: GRASERS: gamma ray lasers) we've got up there with the Mossbauer Effect, so we could have multi-shot rather than one-shot capabilty", says an older white haired man in a laboratory smock, a slight German accent, and a monocle. (His name, incidentally, is Herr Doktor Merkwurdigliebe.)
This meets with nods and murmurs of approval from the rest of the group, and the lady with spectacles on a pearl necklace (Ethyl) suddenly gets an inspiration: "Oh! That just gave me a great idea! Why not weaponize epiphanies!? You know, Moses, burning bushes, talking balls of light, and so on!?"
At this suggestion, the group explodes in applause and self-congratulation, and the red-haired super-genius adolescent with the Albert Einstein hairdo (Lucy), waxes enthusiastic: "Oh! This is going to be better than Vitameatavegamin!" The older man with the monocle nods approvingly as he polishes it.
Well, you get the idea, because when I read the various versions of the story, I felt like I was reading an account of Lucy and Ethyl meet Dr. Strangelove in a Kubrickesque Hollywood apocalypse with the subtitle "How I learned to stop worrying and love DARPA." In fact, here's the real version of the story (or at least, one of them, the one shared by Mr. M.B., which has its own little story):
And just in case my little Lucy-and-Ethyl-and-Dr. Strangelove story about weaponizing epiphanies sounds over the top, this, apparently, is at least one of the things DARPA seems to be up to:
“I’m trying to get a little plasma ball to speak to you,” the head of the JNLWD’s technology division David Law told The Military Times and Defence One at a recent exhibition in Washington DC. “We’re this close to getting it to speak to us.”
And in case you're wondering how it works, here's an explanation:
One laser, called a femtosecond laser, shoots out pulses of light to create small balls of plasma — a highly charged bubble of gas.
A second laser, a nanoslaser can be shot at this plasma ball to generate a variety of effects. Users can tune this laser for a variety of outcomes: light, sound, heat.
It can already produce enough tailored sound to be a serious source of battlefield confusion, such as a volley of gunshots coming from an unexpected direction. They also want to use the device as a ‘noisemaker’ — similar to the grenades used by police and troops to stun and disorient opponents.
Ok, I can buy the battlefield-creation-of-confusion angle, but talking balls of plasma? Why on earth would anyone want to do that?
Well, indulge my high octane speculation for a moment. "Weaponizing epiphanies" only works so long as one doesn't announce that's what they want to do. Once one does, the plasma's out of the bag, so to speak, and everyone will have a certain amount of due skepticism when encountering and conversing with balls of plasma, particularly if the ball of plasma is asserting claims to divinity. "It can all be done with the miracle of science and technology. Nothing to see here, move along." Talking burning bushes that don't burn in the Sinai desert comes to mind, as do a few others. They've all been reduced to "tricks of the trade," to the extent that even if an archangel were to appear to the good guys and gals at DARPA, they probably wouldn't believe it. "We can do that too." Epiphanies, from henceforth, will have to be quite a bit grander to make an impression, and any angelic or diabolic general staffs out there will now have to factor that in. Rolling up the heavens like a curtain would certainly be grand enough even for DARPA to get the message.
As the same time, the article alludes to the multiple uses of such weaponized epiphany technology on more backward populations, or to create battlefield confusion. But I can see popular markets for such a technology. It is, for example, a literal deus ex machina ab DARPA for television evangelists and faith healers, wannabee prophets and psychics. Words of revelation can be accompanied with real talking balls of light in the ultimate in false flag operations.
But again, the technology only works so long as people aren't aware of its existence. So why announce it at all? One possibility is that DARPA is just "having a bit of fun," and not really serious at all. And so much the better if it gets the Russians and Chinese worried about an "apocalypse gap", and investing in their own program to create talking balls. Kubrik would have had a field day with this(embarrassed cough): "Our balls are bigger than your balls." "Yes, but ours are prettier. They're blue." "They have more balls than we do! We need more balls." It's farcical, yes, but after all, this is DARPA, and they're just that nutty.
So why, again, develop such a technology? One individual who sent a version of the story speculated in a very different direction. If plasmas show some signs of life - as some believe they do - then how would they communicate? And how would we communicate back? Well, information modulated into light creating such a plasma might be one way...
See you on the flip side...
Help the Community Grow
Please understand a donation is a gift and does not confer membership or license to audiobooks. To become a paid member, visit member registration.