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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

HowStuffWorks "Top 5 Crazy Government Experiments"

Top 5 Crazy Government Experiments

by Robert Lamb

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Your tax dollars at work!

What comes to mind when you hear the words "government experiment"? If Google Image Search can truly gauge this sort of thing, then your head's likely swimming with comic-book super soldiers, conspiracy theories, mutated animals and -- oddly enough -- country music singer Kenny Roger's face.

Outside the world of comics and horror flicks, funding is pretty tight, especially for mad scientists. You'd be surprised how hard it is to snag a government grant when your proposal includes snippets like "a deep penetrating dive into the plasma pool" and "bow down before me." As such, most government-funded research tends to stay away from atomic supermen.

Countless constructive, life-changing breakthroughs trace back to government-funded labs, from various vaccines to microwave ovens. The comfy insoles in your shoes, for instance, are just one everyday wonder brought to you by NASA.

Still, the occasional oddball premise slips past the people who control government grant applications. Regardless of the possible benefits to humanity, these are the government experiments that garner the most attention. After all, the prospect of genetically modified flying piranhas is troubling enough, but tack on "tax-funded" and you have a real public outcry on your hands.

In this article, we'll leave behind the drive-in theaters and the horror aisles of the video store and breeze through five of the craziest real-life government experiments we could find.

3. Zero Gravity, Black Budgets and UFOs

Messerschmitt 163 Komet
Blueviking63/Creative Commons license
Some experts believe the Luftwaffe's rocket-powered Messerschmitt 163 Komet may have been classified as a "foo fighter" by Allied pilots.

The subject of secret Nazi experiments generally follows two paths; it either dives into the horrors of the Holocaust or explores the ridiculous annals of conspiracy theory, complete with whisperings of a secret Antarctic base and Hitler's UFO escape into the Hollow Earth. Is a shred of truth mixed in with the fantasy?

British journalist Nick Cook thinks there might be. As detailed in his book "The Hunt for Zero Point," the former Jane's Defence Weekly aviation editor explored the possible existence of Nazi antigravity experiments; that is, research into "zero point energy," a quantum effect caused by virtual particles winking in and out of existence [source: Kleiner].Cook argues that some of this technology was glimpsed by Allied pilots as unidentified "foo fighter" aircraft. He even argues that some post-war UFO sightings may be due to U.S. and Russian programs based on seized technology.

As a decorated journalist and noted authority on the black budgets that fund top secret government projects, Cook stands apart from most conspiracy writers. Plus, his case for Germany's wartime antigravity program gains some credibility given current projects by the likes of Boeing and NASA to develop gravity-shielding technologies.

Go there and see the rest...


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