Buy A $30 Million Pentagon Lightning Gun On eBay For $5,000

Lightning GunThe device controller for sale on eBay

Photo: eBay

In 2005,

JInThe $30 million Joint Improvised Explosive Device Neutralizer

Photo: USMC

electronics company Ionatron (ION) finagled a $30 million contract to create a remote-controlled “lightning gun” to discharge IEDs where they sat. The project was a flop and the tens of millions of dollars was written off as one more project that failed to “reach maturity” — all that is history.But the amazing story of what happened to those lightning gun parts was just uncovered by Wired.

Inventor Corey Oliver was attempting to create the perfect life sized remote-controlled car to take to this years Burning Man. His quest started with finding a control system without any interference issues, so hit up eBay and bought a pair of $1,000 Omnitech Robotics NGCM1 controllers — the kind that would normally go for tens of thousands of dollars.

When Oliver saw the buttons labelled “Enable Weapon,” “Weapon On” and  a red button in the centre screaming “STOP!” he knew something was up. Soon the inventor realised he was dealing with Pentagon scraps.

Oliver was also shocked to realise what cheap material the government contractors had used, including various over the counter parts from Best Buy. To top it off, the serial numbers on the household router had even been filed off.

When Omnitech went belly up they dumped all their equipment on Tuscon’s Southwest Liquidators, who are now selling it off on eBay. They still have some left, though the price has gone up.

Read more at Wired >

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