'Like Opening Up An Oven Door'—Watch 'Heat Ray' Feds Wanted to Use on Protesters in Action

"Heat Ray" technology was first developed by the U.S. military twenty years ago, but it recently came into mainstream consciousness when reports emerged of federal officials asking about crowd control devices hours before protesters were cleared from the public square near the White House on June 1.

That was the day that President Donald Trump cleared Washington, D.C streets in order to walk from The White House to stand in front of the nearby St. John's Episcopal Church where he held a Bible and posed for photographs.

One of the crowd control devices asked about was the Active Denial System (ADS), which uses millimeter wave technology to heat the skin of people targeted by its invisible and silent ray, giving it the name of "heat ray" technology.

The video below, from AFP News Agency filmed in 2012, shows a demonstration of ADS in action:

"It felt like opening up an oven door, almost mixed with a sting, from about my sternum to my neck. So I could really feel it on my neck before I had to jump out of the way," said a journalist who took part in the demonstration.

The reach of the rays can be up to 1,000 metres, the AFP reported.

A Q&A page from the Joint Intermediate Force Capabilities Office, part of the U.S. Department of Defense Non-Lethal Weapons Program, says that ADS does not use lasers and it is not radioactive.

The page also states that the system was tested by way of "13,000 exposures from volunteers, both in static demonstrations and in realistic operational assessments" to demonstrate the effectiveness and minimal risk of injury from ADS.

Adverse reactions are "extremely rare, temporary and consist of skin blisters", the page says, and it also states that normal, innate, self-protection behaviours such as eye blink, head turn and aversion response minimize the risk of injury.

There have been two reported injuries, both second-degree burns, when ADS was being deployed which have required medical attention.

The page says that the first incident occurred in January 1999 and stemmed from a laboratory mishap. The second incident occurred in April 2007 when an airman was injured during a training exercise at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.

The New York Times reported in August that the Trump administration considered using ADS technology on migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border days before the 2018 midterm elections. Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of Homeland Security at the time, shot the idea down.

More recently, NPR and The Washington Post reported that on June 1 Major Adam DeMarco of the D.C. National Guard was copied on an email from the Provost Marshal of Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region to the D.C National Guard, in which the provost asked about two methods of crowd control.

At the time, protests were happening across the country and in D.C. in response to police brutality and the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

A long-range acoustic device, a kind of sound cannon known as an LRAD, and ADS were enquired about. The major replied that the National Guard did not have either technology.

Humvee Military police
A military police Humvee blocks the street as demonstrators protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C. on June 1, 2020. It has been reported that military police leaders considered deploying a "heat ray" against protesters. Jose Luis Magana/Getty Images