The story of how the CIA was about to turn lightning into a deadly weapon

In the late 1960s, a meteorological scientist, whose name is still classified, suggested that the CIA leadership use lightning bolts as a weapon. This would almost completely eliminate the possibility of identifying those who use it - that is, US operatives. Physically it was quite possible, but, fortunately, the project was never realized.

The use of lightning was reported by Forbes, which studied the declassified materials of the CIA. The main striking element was to be artificial conductors, consisting of ionized wire several thousandths of a centimeter thick and several kilometers long.

True, such a conductor could only be used under certain conditions: the object to be destroyed had to be in the epicenter of the storm, where the coil of wire was delivered by plane and then dropped by parachute. As conceived by the developer, the unwound wire was supposed to carry away a powerful lightning discharge of about 300 million volts and hit the target without arousing the enemy's suspicions.

However, no matter how tempting the use of such a climate weapon may seem, the use of lightning in particular has serious problems, which is why the CIA abandoned this idea. Firstly, for the lightning to “work”, it is necessary to wait for a thunderstorm, and secondly, to maximize the effect of the discharge, the artificial conductor must be in close proximity to the target, which is also not easy to achieve.