Published On: Mon, Jun 24th, 2013

Scientists claim that ‘X-ray gun’ built by Scott Crawford, Eric Feight would never work

Radiation scientists say the portable X-ray weapon two upstate New York men are accused of trying to build to secretly sicken Muslims and enemies of Israel isn’t feasible.

Glendon Scott Crawford, age 49 and Eric J Feight, age 54, have been charged with conspiracy to “provide material support, or resources, intending that they be used in preparation for, or in carrying out, a violation of Title 18, U.S.C. § 2332a (use of a weapon of mass destruction).” In layman’s terms, Crawford and Feight were allegedly trying to create a truck-mounted, remote controlled, radiation death beam.

According to an FBI affidavit written in support of the criminal complaint and arrest warrants for Crawford and Feight, Crawford specifically identified “Muslims and several other individuals/groups as targets.”

Radiation safety experts at the University of Rochester and University of New Mexico said victims would have to face prolonged exposure from radiation at close range; therefore, their “weapon” would never work.

They Live obey speaker photo“There is no instant death ray. … It’s not feasible. It’s the stuff of comic books,” said Dr. Frederic Mis, radiation safety officer at the University of Rochester Medical Center, after reading the criminal complaint describing their alleged plan. “That’s going to be the interesting thing for the court to face because their designs would not have worked.”

Mis said prolonged X-ray exposure does kill tissue, with skin ulcerations appearing from a week to months later. “What we worry about in radiology primarily is skin damage,” he said.

For safety, they advise staff to limit entering or performing diagnostics in an X-ray area, Mis said. There are accounts of Russians fatally injecting or feeding radiation to victims, and even planting it in a chair a victim repeatedly sat in, he said, noting the possibility the designers here could have hurt themselves or accidentally someone else.

“What if they find someone sleeping on a park bench? What if they backed up the van, opened the door, and turned the device on for eight hours?” Mis said. “Even these guys might stumble upon somebody and hurt somebody.”

Dr. Fred Mettler, former chairman of the Department of Radiology at the University of New Mexico, was unfamiliar with the specifics of Crawford’s plans but said it’s unlikely such a device could work. Radiation can be narrowly beamed, as it is in some cancer treatments, but the accelerators require huge amounts of electricity, are not easily portable and any target would have to remain still for a long time, he said.

“I don’t know of any of these that you can use like a gun to aim at someone on the street,” said Mettler, also U.S. representative on the United Nations’ Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation,

The actions of Crawford and Feight were detailed in the 65-page affidavit filed in federal court last week. Over the past 14 months, the pair, helped by others, allegedly built and tested the remote control device.

Within six weeks of his unsuccessful outreach to the two Jewish organizations, the FBI had put a confidential source in touch with Crawford. During a meeting with that source on May 30, 2012, Crawford allegedly gave that confidential source a webpage printout of the specs of the radiation emitting device, a printout of the Wikipedia page on Acute Radiation Sickness, a two page hand-written sketch of a radiation emitting device, and a business card for the United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Crawford told the source he was a member.

A few weeks later, the source set up another meeting with Crawford, and this time an undercover FBI agent joined in. The source allegedly told Crawford that the undercover agent was willing to support Crawford’s plan, and Crawford referred to the populations he wanted to target with his device as “medical waste.”

The FBI actually had Crawford cornered from two sides. In August, Crawford drove down to North Carolina to meet with a person described in the court document as a “ranking member” of the Ku Klux Klan. Crawford pitched his death ray plan to the klan leader. But the Klan leader didn’t help. Instead, he became a cooperating witness in the FBI’s investigation. In October 2012, in Greensboro, N.C., the Klan leader introduced Crawford to two undercover FBI agents posing as Klan members and “Southern businessmen of means.” At the meeting, Crawford allegedly described the device he was planning and asked for money for the purchase of an industrial strength x-ray system.

On Nov. 14, 2012, Crawford and Feight met one of the undercover agents at a coffee shop outside Albany. At the meeting, Feight spoke with some hesitation about his involvement.

“Yeah, yeah,” Feight said at one point, according to the affidavit. “So, I mean, I, I, I have to admit having never been involved in anything like this before, you know, at first it made me a little bit nervous and, I’m like, okay, well, you know, as long as I still have some, you know, real good separation, plausible deniability, you know.”

According to the affidavit, both Crawford and Feight cited political motivations as part of their reasons for getting involved in the plot. At the same November meeting, Feight talked about his “nervousness about how much involvement I was gonna get in this kind of got outweighed, uh, quickly with, you know, when I started seeing how things, the direction things were going and then certainly after the elections.”

“It’s like well, okay, you know, that old saying is right,” Feight continued. “You know, the only thing necessary for evil to trump is for good men to do nothing.”




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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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