Glendon Scott Crawford and Eric Feight's X-Ray Weapon Not Feasible, Scientists Say
Police have arrested two New York men, Glendon Scott Crawford and Eric J. Feight, for allegedly planning to kill President Obama and others using an x-ray weapon
The FBI says that Crawford, 49, of Galway, N.Y., were developing an x-ray weapon system that would emit deadly radiation while stashed inside a truck. Crawford recruited Feight, 54, of Hudson, N.Y., and both men were arrested on Tuesday.
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According to the Times Union of Albany, Crawford was taped saying he wanted to create "Hiroshima on a light switch."
The intended victims of Crawford and Feight's x-ray weapon would be "subject to this X-ray radiation, [and] would not immediately know that they had been harmed until some days later when they would either be injured, or it could result in their death," said John Duncan, executive assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New York.
The FBI said that the x-ray weapon that Crawford and Feight were developing was only in its very early stages, but if completed would have been "functional" and "lethal." Feight had built and tested a remote control for the x-ray weapon by the time authorities arrested the two men.
Crawford, a self-described member of the Ku Klux Klan, planned to sell x-ray weapons to the KKK or to Jewish groups. One synagogue in Albany contacted officials after Crawford asked them if they'd be interested in technology that could kill "Israel's enemies while they slept."
According to the FBI, a "political figure" and Muslims were named by Crawford as potential targets of the x-ray weapon. Citing "sources familiar with the investigation," ABC News claims that the political figure discussed was President Obama.
Crawford wrote in a text message on April 15, the day of the Boston marathon bombings, that "Obama's policies caused this...He directed the [government] to start bringing [Muslims] here without background checks...They don't have to follow any laws, and this administration has done more to enable a government sponsored invasion than the press can cover up."
Undercover investigators were onto Crawford from the early stages. In June 2012, an undercover agent supplied Crawford with x-ray tubes to test for his weapon, and in July the agent gave Crawford technical specs for the tubes. In November, Crawford brought Feight to a meeting with an undercover agent to discuss the x-ray weapon.
But was the x-ray weapon that were Crawford and Feight developing even scientifically feasible?
Not really, say radiation scientists at the University of Rochester and University of New Mexico. A remote-control, truck-mounted x-ray weapon could be built, but unless the intended victims were exposed to the x-rays for a prolonged period of time, they wouldn't be killed by the exposure.
"The idea of it might be theoretically possible," said Peter Caracappa of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, "but is extremely infeasible because of the tremendous amount of power and or cooling that would be required to deliver a lethal radiation dose in a short period of time."
Crawford, an industrial mechanic, and Feight, a contractor who has engineering skills, met at GE, where the two worked.
GE said they have "no reason to believe" any crimes "took place on GE property," and that they are cooperating fully with the investigation.
Crawford and Feight face up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted, according to a Department of Justice press release.
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