(TMU) — If the CIA created a dragonfly drone in the 1970s we can only imagine what they have at their fingertips today!
In the 1970s, the CIA developed a dragonfly drone deemed the “insectothopter” to be used for spying during the Cold War. It could fly for only 60 seconds to deliver a payload. Now documents just recently declassified have revealed details about how the CIA created such an impressive micro-robotic insect controlled by lasers, Popular Mechanics reported.
The documents have been released thanks to the efforts of John Greenwald, founder of the government transparency website The Black Vault. Greenwald put in a request for documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
“I’ve learned over the years, the U.S. military and government often will acknowledge something or confirm something exists, and many times that largely satisfies the public’s curiosity,” Greenwald told Popular Mechanics. “However…we often don’t get the full story. So I go after documents never-before-released to tell either more of the story, or the real story.”
The CIA previously tried implanting a cat with a microphone, but the project ended in utter disaster. The agency also tried using birds for their spying prospects under Project Tacana, attaching a camera weighing 1 ¼ ounces to a pigeon. However, results for that haven’t yet been declassified.
The CIA has also explored using retroreflectors, tiny glass beads that reflect laser light back at its source. The CIA was then able to analyze the beam vibration in glass and recreate the vibrations that disturbed it, basically extracting sound from light.
According to the documents, it was the need to develop a smaller spying device that spurred the idea for a dragonfly drone equipped with these tiny glass beads. Don Resier, deputy head of the CIA’s Office of Research and Development, was the man who came up with the alternative. Resier assigned Charles Adkins to lead the project which had the goal of building a device that could fly 200 meters and deliver 0.2 grams of retroreflector beads under stealthy conditions.
To build the device scientists used a tiny fluidic oscillator, a device with no moving parts that is completely driven by gas produced by lithium nitrate crystals. Initial tests showed that the prototype was unable to carry the required 0.2 gram payload so the designers added additional thrusts by venting exhaust backward, much like modern-day jet propulsion. The robot’s “eyes” were the glass retroreflector beads that were to be used for spying on targets.
Next, the CIA needed a way to control a tiny drone without adding extra weight. So CIA scientists utilized the same lasers used for the retroreflectors and a portable laser unit, known as “ROME,” that produced an invisible infrared beam. The laser would then heat a bimetallic strip that would open or close the dragonfly’s exhaust. While effectively restricting the device’s “engine,” another laser would act as a rudder to steer the drone to its desired location.
It has been fifty years since, but advancements in insect robotics has continued full steam ahead, as Daily Mail reported in 2016 when the British military announced their own dragonfly drone. The U.S. hasn’t stopped its own aspirations either and in 2014, the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency said it wanted smarter insect drones.
In 2013, the technology they developed at the time was showcased and reported by the Atlantic in a now-deleted video. Then years later in 2017, the Pentagon reported having successfully tested micro-drone swarms. Finally, in 2019 last year it was reported by LA Times that “swarms of small attack drones that confuse and overwhelm antiaircraft defenses could soon become an important part of the modern military arsenal.”
Watch the CIA’s insectothopter below:
Man Tried To Steal Every Newspaper In Town To Hide Story About Him Stealing Election Signs
It was like something out of a movie or a cartoon. An Iowa man attempted to steal every newspaper in his small town, just so his neighbors couldn’t see that he was listed in the police blotter for stealing election signs. Unfortunately for him, his outrageous plot to cover up his local act of election interference backfired, because the case ended up making national headlines.
Peter De Yager got a small mention in the September 2nd edition of the Dickinson County News and he wasn’t happy about it. De Yager had recently pleaded guilty to stealing a Joe Biden election sign from a neighbors yard, so his name was listed in the crime roundup section of the paper. Just three sentences were dedicated to De Yager on the third page of the paper, but he seemed determined to keep news of his arrest private.
After the issue featuring De Yager was released, the staff at Dickinson County News began getting reports that entire stacks of papers had gone missing from numerous locations around town.
Dickinson County News staff writer Seth Boyes told As It Happens guest host Peter Armstrong that a delivery driver was the first to notice that something was wrong.
“He told us that there were no papers anywhere along his route that day. And he also happened to mention that there was one location, at least, that told him they had some footage of a guy stealing all the papers on their on their security cameras. So from that point, I started making some calls,” Boyes said.
De Yager is a well-known businessman in the area, and a regular customer at many of the stores that he stole from, so he was identified immediately. In fact, one of the store owners recognized De Yager and didn’t even call the police, but just confronted him the next time that he came into the store.
Boyes said the staff at the newspaper also figured things out pretty quickly.
“I got to thinking about why anyone would want to take all the papers. And it did occur to me that we’d run that police blotter, what we call the Sirens, in that week’s edition. It was kind of a long shot, we thought, but, you know, maybe it was,” he said.
As Boyes pointed out, most news is distributed on the internet these days, and print editions are more commonly sent to the homes of subscribers.
“The paper is not only available online, but subscribers get the paper directly mailed to the residents. So stealing papers out of the racks is going to have an effect, but not as large an effect as one would think,” Boyes said.
Only one of the stores, a Jiffy station, decided to press charges, while the other locally-owned stores simply accepted an apology and a repayment.
“We went around to the various convenience stores, and some of them opted not to press charges if he agreed to come in and pay for the papers,” Spirit Lake Police Lt. Daren Diers said.
De Yager pleaded guilty to theft and trespassing for taking about $20 worth of newspapers from the Jiffy gas station, and has paid the other convenience stores back for the papers that were taken.
Scientists Discover New Organ In The Center Of The Human Head
Medical researchers have made a shocking historical anatomical discovery by finding a new organ located at the center of the human head that has been lurking there all along.
The finding was reported in Radiotherapy and Oncology. Researchers discovered the organ by accident thanks to doctors in the Netherlands, who were examining 100 patients for prostate cancer while performing an advanced type of scan called PSMA PET/CT. This diagnostic process when paired with injections of radioactive glucose highlights tumors in the body.
However, in this case, the researchers found something else entirely, nestled in the rear of the nasopharynx. The nasopharynx functions as an airway in the respiratory system. Also contained within the nasopharynx are the adenoids, or pharyngeal tonsils.
The new organ looks to be a mysterious set of salivary glands that have been hidden inside the human head. How this was discovered in 2020, missed for centuries is unknown, but until now, the human body has had three major salivary glands — parotid, submandibular, and sublingual glands.
“People have three sets of large salivary glands, but not there,” explains radiation oncologist Wouter Vogel from the Netherlands Cancer Institute. “As far as we knew, the only salivary or mucous glands in the nasopharynx are microscopically small, and up to 1,000 are evenly spread out throughout the mucosa. So, imagine our surprise when we found these.”
Now, we can add a fourth located behind the nose and above the palate, close to the center of the human head.
“The two new areas that lit up turned out to have other characteristics of salivary glands as well,” said one of the first author of the study, oral surgeon Matthijs Valstar from the University of Amsterdam.
“We call them tubarial glands, referring to their anatomical location [above the torus tubarius].”
These tubarial glands were seen to exist in the PSMA PET/CT scans of all the 100 patients, revealing visible draining duct openings towards the nasopharyngeal wall.
“To our knowledge, this structure did not fit prior anatomical descriptions,” the researchers explained in their paper.
It’s worth noting that there are an additional approximately 1,000 minor salivary glands situated throughout the oral cavity and the digestive tract. Although, these are not seen without a microscope according to Scientific Alert.
The researchers suggest the organ is found at a poorly accessible anatomical location under the skull base, which explains why it has been missed all of these centuries. The medical professionals note that it’s possible they may have noticed the duct openings, but it’s unlikely they would have realized the structures were apart of a larger gland system. But thanks to newer technology allowing advanced PSMA-PET/CT imaging techniques, seeing the macroscopical organ was possible.
The study needs to be replicated and validated. However, pathologist said that the team may be on to something and if its real it could change the way we view diseases in that region of the skull.
“It seems like they may be onto something,” pathologist Valerie Fitzhugh from Rutgers University, who wasn’t involved with the study, told The New York Times.
“If it’s real, it could change the way we look at disease in this region.”
Pastor Says God Intended Earth As A ‘Disposable Planet’ In Climate Sermon
American pastor John MacArthur made headlines this year for his defiance of COVID restrictions, which has brought new attention to his catalog of sermons, and they contain some outrageous claims, as many would suspect.
In one sermon where he discusses environmentalism, he claims that Earth is a “disposable planet.”
“God intended us to use this planet to fill this planet for the benefit of man. Never was intended to be a permanent planet. It is a disposable planet. Christians ought to know that,” MacArthur said
He went on to say that, “Yes its beauty can be seen. I’ve been everywhere on this planet, and I’ll tell you, it is a stunning and glorious thing to stand and look at a distance at the beauty of this planet. But the closer you get to it, the more deadly it becomes. I’ve seen the beauty of the great Alps, the Southern Alps and the Northern Alps. But I’ll tell you what, I don’t want to be up there by myself for a week. I’ve seen the beauty of the great deserts of the world, but I don’t want to be out there alone without water by myself. I want to be somewhere where there’s a building and that building has air conditioning and water. I want to go where people have subdued the creation. I’m not under any foolish assumptions that if we just let it go wild, we’ll preserve life. If you let it go, the wilder it is, the more deadly it is.”
In the same sermon, he goes on to say that he would prefer all of nature to be tamed, and even praised the De Beers diamond mines. He went on a strange rant admitting that slave labor was used to mine diamonds, but then added that “God loves jewelry.”
“Get all the pearls you can. Dig up all the diamonds you can. Get all the natural resources you can, the replenishable resources, natural gas and oil and everything that God has put in this planet. It’s an absolutely staggering little piece that’s floating around in infinite space,” he said.
The sermon is called “The End of the Universe Part 2” and can be seen below:
The transcript can be read here.
He has been acknowledged by Christianity Today as one of the most influential preachers of his time and was a frequent guest on Larry King Live as a representative of an evangelical Christian perspective. MacArthur has written or edited more than 150 books, most notably the MacArthur Study Bible, which has sold more than 1 million copies and received a Gold Medallion Book Award. Other best-selling books include his MacArthur New Testament Commentary Series (more than 1 million copies), Twelve Ordinary Men (more than 500,000 copies), and the children’s book A Faith to Grow On, which garnered an ECPA Christian Book Award.
MacArthur has been involved with multiple controversies regarding his outspokenness on certain topics. MacArthur is very open about opposing same-sex marriage, against female pastors, and the social justice movement.
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