CIA considered weaponizing lightning – Popular Mechanics

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.

The pitch, which Forbes discovered in declassified CIA files, involved using “artificial leaders” of thin metal wires to “cause discharges to occur where and when we desire them.” The wires, a few thousands of an inch in diameter, would unfurl from aircraft or rockets launched into the atmosphere.

Then, once lightning occurred, it would be drawn to the metal wire and strike the ground where the wire terminated. The idea seems to be that the wire would be close enough to fry whomever the CIA wanted to assassinate with 300 million volts of electricity.

Source: Declassified CIA Documents: CIA Considered Weaponizing Lightning