Death Ray Effective On Snakes (Aug, 1936)

Yes, kill a snake in only eight and a half minutes! Of course this would only really work on animals that aren’t allowed to move. It seems like stepping on the snake would have been more effective.

Death Ray Effective On Snakes
A DEATH ray which proved its effectiveness before a San Francisco jury has been developed by Henry Fleur, Pacific Coast inventor. The apparatus which employs a light beam impregnated with infra-red rays successfully killed a snake in 8-1/2 minutes. A lizard was put to death in less than 6 minutes with only 30 seconds required to kill certain termites. Mounted on an adjustable tripod, ray can be aimed at objects in the same manner as a searchlight. The beam transmits a stream of high frequency vibrations.

  1. Firebrand38 says: December 10, 20077:36 am

    I found out that the reason he was demonstrating it’s effectiveness to a jury is because he was being sued by his investors.…
    If I understand correctly it was supposed to kill insects like termites. After the demonstration he was acquitted and he allegedly swore he would never develop it to kill people.

  2. Eli says: December 10, 20079:43 am

    I think 8.5 minutes is the amount of time it’ll take a few strong people to lift the death ray and drop it on the snake.

  3. Casandro says: December 10, 20071:15 pm

    I guess a lamp with the same amount of power would kill a snake in 8,5 minutes.

  4. Rick Auricchio says: December 10, 20072:31 pm

    “The beam transmits a stream of high frequency vibrations.”

    Uh, yeah. That’s what light is!

  5. Eamonn says: December 10, 20075:25 pm

    As far as I can tell it was a really high-powered lamp. I bet that that snake was nice and crispy.

    Does anyone have any more information about him? I can’t seem to find anything.

  6. nlpnt says: December 10, 20075:51 pm

    “Something seems to be wrong with our Death Ray. I’m standing right in it, and I’m not dead yet.”
    — Jamie Hyneman, “Mythbusters”

  7. Firebrand38 says: December 10, 20077:33 pm

    Eamonn I even did a search of the patent database and there are no inventions patented by someone named Henry Fleur.

    He’s mentioned in a contemporary account in an out of print book The Death Ray Man: The Biography of Grindell Matthews, Inventor and Pioneer by Ernest Haydn Garnet Barwell

    On Page 101 we find:”Henry Fleur, another San Francisco inventor, announced that his was a cold ray which could pierce an eighteen-inch wall seven miles away, and kill every living thing within the radius of the light..”

    He must have had a forerunner of the O.J. jury at his trial.

  8. Eamonn says: December 10, 200711:26 pm


  9. Oliver says: March 30, 20085:21 pm

    But doesn’t it look great? i think I’ll build one. I estimate I could kill an attacking rhinocerous in as short a time as fifteen days,eight hours, sixteen and a quarter minutes. Having previously informed the rhinocerous in advance, by letter.

  10. Bill Fanning says: July 23, 20082:33 pm

    The story about Henry Fleur and his death ray appeared in the Fort Worth Star Telegram (newspaper) on Thursday, 14 May 1936, on page 1. I could not find it in the New York Times, but I do have a copy of the Star Telegram article, which is genuine. Fleur simply repeated an operation conducted by a number of people–both charlatans and serious scientists–but its effectiveness was limited to only a few feet. The problem with all the death rays, even those that worked, was that it was technologically impossible to generate enough energy to project them at distances sufficient to be effective as a military weapon.

  11. EC says: June 2, 20099:33 pm

    Was he also working on a ‘stand still ray’ so the enemy wouldn’t move during the 9 and a half hours needed for the death ray to kill them?

  12. Toronto says: June 3, 200912:27 am

    There is such a thing as a stand still ray, only we normally call it “television.”

  13. Indigo_JP says: February 15, 20101:30 am

    How fun! It all looks & sounds so contemporary. This is an amazing science! From where we r now in these fields it kind of makes this machine look like a joke. BUT if you want to look into things of this nature i would recomend reading about Nikola Tesla. (He too had real insight into the world of electricity.)
    TESLA sites:… or…

  14. Brent Eades says: April 8, 201011:03 am

    When I was about eight I developed a similar light-based death ray that could kill insects in a few seconds. Probably would have worked on a smallish snake too, though I never tried it.

    I called this lethal device “my magnifying glass.”

  15. blokeice says: October 14, 20101:03 pm

    MUAHAHAH!!! our war against the sloths is all but won!

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