The KKK tried to build a death ray

In summary, two KKK members attempted to create a radiation cannon using medical equipment, were caught by law enforcement, and the device is not feasible.
  • #1
jack476
328
125
I know it's old-ish news, but I just heard about it in an engineering class recently while we were talking about ethics. Apparently two guys, one a member of the KKK, decided that they would try to hack some medical equipment into a serviceable X-ray "cannon" that would expose those they deemed "enemies of Israel" (read: Muslims) to a lethal dose of radiation. Thankfully, they were caught in time by law enforcement.

But the story still kind of frightened me. I know it's a bit of a heavy subject for PF (involving some not-too-cheery subjects like racism and terrorism) but I really feel I need to ask...what if they hadn't been caught? Would such a device even be feasible, do I need to worry about lunatics running around with deadly homemade radiation guns?
 
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  • #2
jack476 said:
I know it's old-ish news, but I just heard about it in an engineering class recently while we were talking about ethics. Apparently two guys, one a member of the KKK, decided that they would try to hack some medical equipment into a serviceable X-ray "cannon" that would expose those they deemed "enemies of Israel" (read: Muslims) to a lethal dose of radiation. Thankfully, they were caught in time by law enforcement.
Hi jack, apparently you did not read our rules before posting. Please post the peer reviewed study published in an accepted journal that verifies your claim, We don't accept anecdotes.
 
  • #3
Evo said:
Hi jack, apparently you did not read our rules before posting. Please post the peer reviewed study published in an accepted journal that verifies your claim, We don't accept anecdotes.

He's not making a claim Evo. This was a news story...

Pretty sure there are no peer reviewed journals out there discussing KKK members constructing death rays.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/20/justice/new-york-x-ray-plot/
 
  • #4
Rick21383 said:
He's not making a claim Evo. This was a news story...

Pretty sure there are no peer reviewed journals out there discussing KKK members constructing death rays.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/20/justice/new-york-x-ray-plot/

We still don't discuss a lot of stuff that shows up in 'The National Enquirer' or 'Weekly News of the World', either.

You boys don't have a lot to worry about, at least, if you're not Muslim.
 
  • #5
SteamKing said:
We still don't discuss a lot of stuff that shows up in 'The National Enquirer' or 'Weekly News of the World', either.

You boys don't have a lot to worry about, at least, if you're not Muslim.

CNN is comparable to the National Enquirer?
 
  • #6
Evo said:
Hi jack, apparently you did not read our rules before posting. Please post the peer reviewed study published in an accepted journal that verifies your claim, We don't accept anecdotes.

It was in the national news from nearly every outlet I could find. I am only saying that I first heard about it in a class on engineering/technology ethics.

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-06/man-attempts-build-x-ray-gun-use-it-evil

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/nyregion/2-accused-of-trying-to-create-a-weapon.html?_r=0

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way...ts-accuse-two-of-plotting-deadly-x-ray-weapon

And a copy of the official investigation report may be found here:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/148803884/Full-Criminal-Complaint-against-Crawford-and-Feight
 
  • #7
SteamKing said:
You boys don't have a lot to worry about, at least, if you're not Muslim.

I'm not, but that's not the question I'm asking. What I'm worried about is whether, if some malcontent were so inclined, for a radiation weapon such as that described in the news reports could even exist and be used.

I'm particularly curious because issues related to nuclear/WMD disarmament (I know it's not truly a nuclear weapon, but it still feels pretty similar) are very important to me.
 
  • #8
Rick21383 said:
He's not making a claim Evo. This was a news story...

Pretty sure there are no peer reviewed journals out there discussing KKK members constructing death rays.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/20/justice/new-york-x-ray-plot/

I don't blame him, it does sound pretty ridiculous. But then again, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
 
  • #10
Enigman said:

Ah, her, my mistake. Sorry, Evo!

Thanks. That answered my question. Obviously if it was possible we'd hear about more people doing this, really should have thought of that before starting to worry.

Also, I found the "90% less wrong than Michio Kaku" line in the scienceblogs article very amusing...not too difficult to do these days though :P
 
  • #13
It has been getting exhausting having to read a new peer-reviewed study after each post about Ukraine and the missing plane, so I'm glad the forum is relaxing its rules a bit...
 
  • #14
jack476 said:
Apparently two guys, one a member of the KKK, decided that they would try to hack some medical equipment into a serviceable X-ray "cannon" that would expose those they deemed "enemies of Israel" (read: Muslims) to a lethal dose of radiation.

The KKK opposes Israel, not Muslims. Sure, they oppose everybody who is not themselves. But Jews are generally hated more than Muslims by the KKK. I guess this is an exception. I saw a documentary once on a group of neo-nazis who collaborated with some muslims on some anti-israel action. Enemy of my enemy type of thing...
 
  • #16
ModusPwnd said:
The KKK opposes Israel, not Muslims. Sure, they oppose everybody who is not themselves. But Jews are generally hated more than Muslims by the KKK. I guess this is an exception. I saw a documentary once on a group of neo-nazis who collaborated with some muslims on some anti-israel action. Enemy of my enemy type of thing...

Assuming the story is real and not something that's just completely blown out of proportion by the media or otherwise bizarrely elaborate hoax, I think it's safe to say the guy is crazy enough for specifics not to matter.
 
  • #17
Good point!
 
  • #18
Rick21383 said:
He's not making a claim Evo. This was a news story...

Pretty sure there are no peer reviewed journals out there discussing KKK members constructing death rays.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/20/justice/new-york-x-ray-plot/
Lol, you're right, sometimes I just paste the standard blurb if I get interrupted while moderating. You guys are smart though and know when a mainstream article is appropriate. If you're not sure, just PM me and ask me if I posted the wrong instructions.
 

Related to The KKK tried to build a death ray

What is the KKK?

The KKK, or Ku Klux Klan, is a white supremacist hate group that originated in the United States in the 19th century. They have a long history of violence and discrimination against marginalized groups, particularly African Americans.

What is a death ray?

A death ray is a hypothetical weapon that uses focused energy to cause harm or destruction to its target. It is often portrayed in science fiction as a powerful and destructive force.

Did the KKK actually try to build a death ray?

There is no concrete evidence to suggest that the KKK ever attempted to build a death ray. The idea that they did is likely a myth or conspiracy theory.

Why would the KKK want a death ray?

The KKK's ideology is based on white supremacy and the belief that they are superior to other races. A death ray would align with their desire for power and control over those they deem inferior.

Is it possible to build a death ray?

While there have been advancements in technology that could potentially create powerful energy weapons, a death ray as portrayed in science fiction is not currently possible. It is important to critically evaluate claims about such weapons and consider the motivations behind them.

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