Declassified CIA Documents: CIA Considered Weaponizing Lightning

lightning bolts

Ed Maker/The Denver Post via Getty Images/CIA

  • The CIA once considered making a weapon out of artificial lightning.
  • The weapon could be used without directly implicating the CIA or the rest of the U.S. government.
  • Although the weapon was scientifically sound, the CIA ultimately never pursued it for reasons unknown.

    The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) once considered the idea of using lightning as a weapon system. In the late 1960s, an unknown scientist proposed the service use lightning strikes as a weapon that would leave behind “little or no evidence,” making it difficult to identify the U.S. government as the perpetrator. The CIA, despite always being interested in covert weapons, never developed the idea. Probably.

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    The pitch, which Forbes discovered in declassified CIA files, involved using “artificial leaders” of thin metal wires to “cause discharges to

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