Former CIA employees shed light on several fearsome -yet surprisingly subtle- weapons given to the Other Government Agency, including a gun that could cause its victim to mimic a heart attack.
While the “heart attack gun” is nothing new (it was made public during 1975 government hearings) and sometimes resembled a conventional gun, the weapon resembles generally innocuous objects repurposed to fire a deadly payload.
In May of 1952, the US Army’s Special Operations Division gave the Central Intelligence Agency a variety of new toys, including poison dart guns, which could resemble a pen, umbrella or cane.
The darts could be lined with various toxins, including a cardiotoxin (which at the time was deemed “untraceable”) that could cause the victim to succumb to a heart attack-like death.
In hindsight, the toxin was likely a form of Saxitoxin, which -if given in a high-enough dose- could result in drastically reduced blood pressure, produced myocardial failure and finally cardiac arrest.
The deadly toxin could be administered in such a subtle way that, even after an autopsy, the tiny entry point would be relatively hard to detect.
According to SOFREP, Saxitoxin can enter the body via open wounds and a lethal dose of 0.05 mg/person. Saxitoxin is 1,000 times more toxic than the potent nerve gas sarin.
Sarin, of course, is a deadly nerve agent, which gained an infamous claim to fame in the 1995 Tokyo Subway attacks carried out by a Japanese cult, leaving 12 dead and thousands injured.
In 1960, the US Army sold the CIA an advanced (for the time) poison dart system that launched small, rocket-fuel-powered flechette darts that could deliver both a lethal and paralyzing poison, respectively.
The positions in the 5mm dart system served two different purposes. The lethal variant could kill enemies relatively quietly and was reportedly used in Vietnam. The latter, less-lethal poison could paralyze victims within seconds and lasted several hours. The paralysis poison could be used against sentries, dogs and other unsuspecting individuals that could raise alarms to an infiltrator’s presence.
Given that these fascinating weapons are already antique Cold War technology, one can only wonder what the “Boys from Langley” have in their toolboxes in the 21st Century.
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