• Short Summary

    U.S. FORCES IN SOUTH VIETNAM HAVE BEEN EQUIPPED WITH A "PEOPLE SNIFFER," A DEVICE WHICH?

  • Description

    U.S. FORCES IN SOUTH VIETNAM HAVE BEEN EQUIPPED WITH A "PEOPLE SNIFFER," A DEVICE WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO DETECT THE PRESENCE OF A HIDDEN ENEMY BY SMELLING HIM. MILITARY SOURCES SAY ALL U.S. FORCES IN VIETNAM WILL HAVE IT SOON.

    IN USE, THE POINT MAN OF AN INFANTRY SQUAD ON PATROL CARRIES THE DETECTOR OF THE DEVICE ON HIS RIFLE, FASTENED NEAR THE MUZZLE. TUBES CARRY THE AIR COLLECTED BY THE DETECTOR TO A 24-POUND CHEMICAL ANALYZER THE SOLDIER WEARS ON HIS BACK. THE ANALYZER INDICATES WHEN AN ODOUR IS PRESENT BY A READING ON A DIAL FASTENED TO THE DETECTOR AND BY CHANGING THE PITCH OF A "BEEP" WHICH THE SOLDIER HEARS THROUGH AN EARPHONE CONNECTED TO THE ANALYZER.

    AN ODOUR IS ACTUALLY A GROUP OF TINY PARTICLES SUSPENDED IN AIR. THE DEVICE SEPARATES THESE PARTICLES FROM THE COLLECTED AIR AND CAN BE SET TO DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN CERTAIN CLASSES OF PARTICLES. IN COMBAT USE, IT IS SET TO DETECT THESE PARTICLES RELEASED BY HUMANS OR ANIMALS. OR, IT CAN BE SET TO DETECT PARTICLES RELEASED BY FIRE -- EITHER COOKING FIRES OR THE FIRE FROM WEAPONS.

    THE SOLDIER USING IT HAD CARRIED THE DEVICE FOR ABOUT A WEEK AND A HALF WHEN THIS FILM WAS SHOT. HE SAID IT HAD DETECTED AN EMPTY VIETCONG CAMP AT A DISTANCE OF 150 METRES (YARDS) SIMPLY FROM THE ODOUR LEFT IN THE ATMOSPHERE. AN INDIVIDUAL HUMAN OR ANIMAL CAN BE DETECTED ONLY AT CLOSE RANGES.

    THE DEVICE DOES NOT, OF COURSE, DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN FRIENDLY AND ENEMY SOLDIERS, BUT THE ASSUMPTION IS THAT THE PRESENCE OF FRIENDLY FORCES WILL BE KNOWN AND CAN BE DISCOUNTED WHEN DETECTED. ONE PROBLEM IS THE WEIGHT OF THE DEVICE. THE FOOD AND OTHER GEAR NORMALLY CARRIED BY ITS OPERATOR MUST BE SPLIT UP AMONG THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE PATROL.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA5ZPQQHTCFT9S4PK7YW5XVWAU6
    Media URN:
    VLVA5ZPQQHTCFT9S4PK7YW5XVWAU6
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    21/01/1967
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:04:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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