The same analogies would apply to an infrasonic defense system. First, infrasound does not lose its intensity when travelling very long distances across the ground. They remain at the same intensity as when released from their deadly sources. Also, because of the ground clinging effect, infrasonic sources cannot be located without special appliances. This would work well for those who used the weaponry of infrasound. But suppose some hostile force were themselves using infrasonics? Infrasonics are inaudible. The battle would be over before anyone knew it had begun. How would one know of an infrasonic attack? The first line of defense would therefore be the detection of the “unperceived enemy”. The development of an adequate infrasonic weapons systems would first require an infrasound detector.
Dr. Gavreau first concentrated on developing infallible infrasonic detectors for the personal safety of his operators as well as for eventual tactical deployment. He experimented with several designs which followed the arcane analogues of old wireless detectors. One such design used enclosed flames to detect infrasonic pitches. They were reminiscent of those flame detectors developed by Lee De Forest just before his invention of the triode. The flame detectors of Gavreau employed variable resonant cavities. Flame amplitudes shifted with specific infrasonic pitches. He could calibrate the infrasonic intensity as well as the pitch with these detectors. But, flames are dangerous and fickle, not being very reliable in battle.
Dr. Gavreau next experimented with enhanced mechanical barometers. These coupled large resonant cavities with very fine barometer tubes. They displayed great sensitivity. Steady increases in barometric pressure were registered when large cavity bellows were compressed by infrasounds. The sensitivity of these barometers increased as the bellows capacity was increased. They were adequate, but frail.
Another embodiment resembled the early mechanical television designs of John Logie Baird. It utilized large tympani skins, mirrors, lights, and photocells. A mirror was fastened to the tympanum. A light beam flickered when infrasound struck the mirror. The photocell recorded these flickers as an electrical signal. This detector system was very reliable.
By far, the most advanced detectors which gavreau designed and tested utilized an electrolytic process. In this analogue of systems developed by Fessenden to measure faint wireless signals, chemical solutions and fine wirepoint electrical contacts were used. Chemical solutions, separated by an osmotic barrier, were forced to migrate through the barriers whenever infrasound traversed the system. This chemical mixture was then measured as an increased electrical conductivity in a sensitive galvanometer. This system was reliable and accurate. All of these systems suffered from one possibility. The offensive use of an incredible infrasonic amplitude would burst them into vapor.
Claims were issued by french authorities, stating that Dr. Gavreau was not developing weapons at all. Several patents, however, betray this conspicuous smoke-screen. While it is impossible to retrieve the actual patents for the infrasonic generators, Dr. Gavreau is credited with extensive development of “infrasonic armor”. Why would he “waste” such time and expense if not for an anti-weapons program?
Thus use of infrasonic weaponry necessitates the development and implementation of infrasonic shields. Dr. Gavreau spent more time developing infrasonic shields than on developing efficient infrasonic horns. Infrasound could not adequately be blocked, as Dr. Gavreau discovered early in his research. Infrasonic devices require extremely large baffles.
Furthermore, no one would dare initiate an infrasonic barrage on any invasive force without adequate protection. Infrasonic horns can project their sounds in a given direction, but natural environments “leak” portions of the sound in all directions. Infrasounds saturate their generators, flooding and permeating their sources in a few seconds. They “work their way back” toward those who dispatch their deadly signals. Infrasounds “hug the ground” and spread around their sources. Unfortunately, those who would release infrasonic energy would themselves be slaughtered in the very act.
The first method of Gavreau involves the conversion of infrasound into successively higher pitches, until the infrasonic pitch is “lost”. This was achieved in his passive “structural” method, an enormous layered series of baffles and resonant cavities. This form is “passive” since it merely stands and waits for infrasonic barrages, absorbing and converting them into harmless audible tones.
The second method of Gavreau is more active and “aggressive”. It actively engages and nullifies any offensive infrasonic power. The nullifier uses a well known physical principle for its operation. As an “active” shield, it transmits tones whose opposing wavefronts destructively interfere with incoming infrasound. Infrasonic attacks are nullified, or at least brought to much weaker levels.
This method requires high speed detection and response systems. The process involves determination of an attack pitch, generation of the same, and projection of the pitch “out of phase”. The active nullifier method is not completely accurate or protective by any means. A highly modulated, mobile infrasonic source would be nearly impossible to successfully neutralize without extremely sophisticated electronics.
But an elegantly simple approach was imagined, one which would not require the defender to be exposed to his own infrasonic projections. While fixated on the old notion of gun installations and stations, Gavreau and the team had momentarily forgotten their first research endeavor. Robotics!
Let us recall that Dr. Gavreau and his team of pioneers were in the business of robotics. They developed industrial and military automaton systems. How difficult would it have been to couple his newfound weaponry with robotic applications? Dr. Gavreau combined the organ pipe and whistle format. The device was housed in a block of concrete. It was less than a cubic meter in volume. The primary whistle was poised within its interior. At its flared opening were placed several resonant pipes. The device was operated by highly compressed air. Its output was frightful. It was capable, in a conventional engagement, of utterly destroying an aggressor.
This infrasound whistle design was once sealed in an 880 pound concrete pier for tests, a concrete baffle placed over its projective end. Even with these precautions, the device succeeded in absolutely shaking a fan-shaped portion of Marseille. It broke through its supportive concrete pier and destroyed the baffle covering in an instant. Macabre. No sound was ever heard.
- ELECTRIC FLYING MACHINES: Thomas Townsend Brown
- THE FUSOR REACTOR: Philo Farnsworth