Top Secret Military Inventions Revealed

Let's unveil some of the most top secret military inventions ever!


War is big business, and countless incredible technological marvels have been devised on behalf of this controversial industry. Understandably, the development of these game-changing weapons has to be kept a super secret. So, from nuclear-powered tanks to covert heart attack guns, here are some of the most unbelievable top-secret military weapons revealed!

Telepathic Ray Guns

It might sound like a sci-fi plot but a US official once demanded secretive research be carried out into telepathic ray guns. A declassified US Army report from 1998 revealed that at one point the CIA was considering utilizing a selection of energy weapons capable of disorienting targets, creating artificial fevers, and even beaming voices into people’s heads.

While some of these insane weapons stayed purely conceptual, others were actually tested! The wildest was something akin to a telepathic ray gun. Essentially, when fired at someone, it could make them hear things that weren’t audible to anybody else.


It worked using something called the Frey Effect. It turns out that due to its dimensions, the human head is a good antenna for picking up microwave radiation. Because of this, microwaves can induce a slight temperature change in certain parts of our brain and auditory system.

This change causes them to expand slightly, becoming temporarily misshapen, and causing us to hear sounds, like clicking and buzzing, that technically aren't really there. So, by shooting a tightly focused beam of microwaves at someone’s head at the right frequency, even deaf people can be made to hear things, but the sounds only exist inside that person’s head.


You can imagine the potential the CIA would’ve seen in this for mind control or something! Fortunately, it seems that despite successful testing, the weapons were never actually used in the field.

V3 Supergun

Throughout WW2, Allied and Axis forces decimated each other’s cities with air raids. But as the war raged on, Germany wanted a new, more effective way to strike directly at the heart of London, without the British knowing what was coming. Their solution was the enormous, 430-foot-long mega cannon known as the V-3.


But how do you keep a project this big even remotely secret from the Brits? You construct the weapons 100 feet underground, within a sprawling hidden fortress of course! The Germans began installing the ginormous guns in Axis-occupied Northern France so they could be aimed perfectly across the channel at London.

These guns were devised to hit their target from up to 100 miles away! The massive barrels were fitted with pairs of explosive boosters which triggered when the projectile was fired up the chamber past them, propelling it faster and further. And there wasn’t going to be just one or two of these monstrosities. 25 were commissioned to be built!


As an extra precaution, the German military referred to the project as Hochdruckpumpe, or high-pressure pump, so any prying ears wouldn’t know what they were talking about. But London wasn't doomed because building a huge underground fortress filled with 25 massive cannons isn’t so easy to keep secret.

A special RAF surveillance unit quickly noticed the suspicious operation, and though they weren’t sure what it was, correctly assumed it wasn’t good news. So, in November 1943 British forces dropped over 4,000 tons of aerial bombs onto the site. Despite all this firepower though, the attacks had little impact due to the strength of the underground structure.

However, a redoubled effort in 1944 fared much better. The second attempt used special deep penetration bombs and ended up obliterating the cannons, causing the fortress to cave in and ultimately saving London. As it turns out though, the guns might never have fired anyway! We now know that the V 3 was plagued with technical problems from day one and initial tests weren’t very promising.

SR-71 Blackbird

From the end of WW2 through until 1991, the US and Russia were locked in a battle of conflicting ideologies known as the Cold War. Though not a war in the traditional sense, it was a time of great paranoia, with both sides constantly trying to develop new ways of spying on one other. US manufacturer Lockheed Martin had a solution: the SR-71 Blackbird.


Introduced in 1966, but in secret development for years beforehand, it’s widely considered one of the most advanced reconnaissance planes in existence. That unique, angled shape reflects enemy radar signals and a special paint covers the jet which absorbs any signals that aren’t bounced off, making it tough for enemy systems to detect.

Outside of its stealth prowess though, the SR-71 had another stunning advantage: this spy plane was fast. Despite being built around 50 years ago, it still holds the speed record for sustained flight, capable of hitting Mach 3.3. Put simply, Mach speed is when an object moves faster than the speed of sound.

So, Mach 3.3 is roughly 3.3 times faster than the speed at which soundwaves travel, or about 2,100mph. If this jet black jet was under attack, rather than beginning evasive maneuvers it’d simply accelerate to avoid enemy missiles.


During the Blackbird’s development in the 1960s, Lockheed needed a way to transport the beast from its factory in California all the way to the test site in Area 51 without revealing what they were moving. They set up a fake delivery company called Roadrunner Internationale!

Disguised CIA and Air Force operatives covered the humongous cargo from prying eyes and drove it some 250 miles cross country and nobody was any the wiser. Sounds like something out of a James Bond flick, but amazingly it’s all true! Though, it is a little strange that a truck this big didn’t draw any suspicion. These days it’d be all over Twitter in an hour!

View post on X

The Kiss of Death

The Cold War era saw the use of a huge variety of secret spy weaponry, many of which are so ingenious Inspector Gadget would’ve been proud to wield them! Meet the lipstick gun, known affectionately as The Kiss of Death.


This little device looked like an ordinary tube of lipstick, but it was actually a cleverly concealed firearm! When the lipstick’s case was swiveled in the right way, a single bullet would be fired from the barrel.

You only got one shot, and it was wildly inaccurate beyond a couple of feet away, but if a covert assassin got close enough to their target, it was more than enough to do the trick. The makeup weapon was discovered in West Berlin at an American checkpoint in 1965. It was confiscated from a Soviet spy, though we can’t be sure who they were intending to use it on.

Currently, it’s safely housed in the International Spy Museum in Washington DC! Given the secretive nature of spy weapons, there’s no telling how many were manufactured, or how many were effectively used.

Avrocar Flying Saucer

Back in 1952, the Canadian government funded a project to create a vertical take-off saucer capable of flying at supersonic speeds! Meet the Avrocar. It could float by utilizing an air cushion created by the exhaust of a single jet-powered rotor on the underside of the vehicle. So, this is a literal flying saucer. Or at least, it would’ve been.


In 1958, the US took over the project after Canada deemed it too expensive to continue. The army wanted to use it as a troop transport and the air force wanted to use it as a supersonic recon plane. Two test cars were eventually produced, but neither of them was fit for either purpose. Far from being supersonic, the saucers could barely hit 35mph, about 22 times slower.

On top of this, they couldn’t make it fly any higher than 3 feet off the ground before it became completely unstable. Considering how expensive it was looking to carry on, the US decided to just pull the plug and cut its losses. While the Avrocar was undeniably cool, it couldn't defend a nation.

View post on X

F-117 Nighthawk

From the studio that brought you the SR-71 Blackbird, it’s the next step in bizarre, sci-fi-looking stealth planes! Secretly introduced to the US Air Force in 1983, the F-117 Nighthawk used similar principles to the SR-71 to remain incognito. This time, however, its radar-reflective shape was so odd that experienced pilots didn’t even believe it could get airborne when they first saw it! They were wrong of course.


Although only capable of flying at a third of the speed of Lockheed’s SR-71, the Nighthawk was a very capable flyer, designed not as a reconnaissance plane but as an attack jet. As such, Nighthawk pilots didn’t participate in dogfights, they targeted ground forces with surprise stealth attacks.

The Nighthawk was kept so secret that when it was finally acknowledged by the US government in 1988, it had already been flying for 5 years! And it wouldn’t be shown to the public for another two years after that, in 1990. Despite eventually being phased out in favor of more modern craft, these striking planes are still used for military training today and have a firm place in popular culture.

The government’s shroud of secrecy has also given rise to legends of other classified aircraft, like the Aurora black triangle!


Sightings of this mystery jet began in the 80s and persisted until the early 2000s, despite the US government denying it ever existed. According to rumors, it was designed as a successor to the iconic Blackbird and could reach outrageous speeds of Mach 6! The specifics of its capabilities vary from source to source though, as is often the case with hearsay.

Gustav Rail Cannon

For all the ingenious breakthroughs made during the Second World War, there were a fair few duds such as the Gustav rail cannon. The beastly behemoth was an enormous, 155-foot-long cannon that weighed 1,490 tons and traveled along rail tracks, in theory creating transportable ordnance of immense power.


The gun was covertly conceived by German arms manufacturer Krupp before the war had even started, to assist German forces with a potential invasion of France. The only thing was, by the time they actually did invade France in 1940, the gun wasn’t ready. It was ready however to be used in the German invasion of Russia two years later.

The only problem was, it turned out to be a complete logistical nightmare. The cannon was to be transported to Crimea in May 1942 for its first proper usage. Only, to move it, the whole thing needed to be dismantled, transported, then rebuilt again and that’s a whole lot of heavy parts.

It took thousands of soldiers over a month to set it all up and build the tracks required to move it from Germany to Crimea. Impressively, it worked and the colossal weapon was deployed in the siege of Sevastopol and fired devastating 7-ton shells at the city, day in, day out. Within a month, Sevastopol lay in ruins.


However, despite the gun’s effectiveness, it was the only time it would ever be used. It was disassembled and moved near Leningrad in preparation for another attack, but the attack never went ahead. With no further use for it, the Germans destroyed the cannon to prevent it from being captured and reverse-engineered.

Chrysler TV-8 Atomic Tank

After WW2 ended, everybody thought everything was going to be nuclear-powered. Cars, homes, and of course, weapons. So, in the 1950s, US automobile manufacturer Chrysler began designing an atomic tank, the Chrysler TV-8.

View post on X

The idea was that everything essential would be stored safely inside that weird fishbowl turret, from the engine to the crew! Apparently, the strange shape would help the tank cope with the effects of a nuclear blast. More understandable is the fuel source. The low enriched Uranium that was to be used as fuel was a colossal 108,000 times more efficient than diesel.

So, while a traditional gasoline tank would need to be frequently refueled, the TV-8 could keep on rolling pretty much forever. Also, the turret was designed to be watertight and buoyant, and the back of the tank was equipped with jets so it could propel itself through the water!


So, why don’t we see atomic tanks rolling through battlefields today? Ultimately, they just weren’t deemed to have any noticeable advantage over conventional tanks. Sure, they could travel for ages, but most tanks are lost in battle because of other tanks, not because they run out of fuel. Plus, this thing is nuclear-powered. If it did get destroyed it’d probably irradiate a huge part of the battlefield, creating even more casualties.

Wonder Weapons

As we know, the Second World War didn’t go so well for the German Army. As the tide of battle turned against Germany, its increasingly desperate leadership scrambled to turn things around. One answer was the development of so-called “wonder weapons” or “Wunderwaffe”.

These weapons ranged from giant orbital space guns to stealth bombers and had varying levels of success. As you might’ve guessed, the space gun didn’t make it off the drawing board, but it was seriously considered.

Though development was kept tightly under wraps for most weapons, the German propaganda machine proudly showed some off to boost an ailing domestic public’s morale. One Wunderwaffe that saw actual use in the field was the STG-44 rifle, the first true assault rifle ever made, and the inspiration for both the AK-47 and M16.


But the STG is run-of-the-mill compared to some of the wonder weapons that were rumored to be in production. The most iconic of these is Die Glocke or the bell. There is not much information about it, other than it was apparently big and bell-shaped.

Some say it was a UFO, others an anti-gravity machine, others still a time machine. Whatever the mysterious machine was, it’s rumored that the technology used to create it was traded to the US after the war in exchange for a captive German officer.


However, there’s absolutely no evidence to back this up or that Die Glocke itself ever existed in the first place. If America really did gain access to this tech, where are all the UFO cars? Or time machines on street corners? Still, the rumors had to come from somewhere.

B-2 Spirit

As we’ve established, stealthy aircraft were all the rage during the Cold War. And in the early ‘80s, secretive plans were well underway for the B-2 Spirit, a US stealth bomber capable of dropping both conventional and nuclear explosives. In other words, an absolute unit.


So, it would’ve been pretty big news if the Soviets had caught the drift of it. In 1984 Thomas Cavanaugh, an aerospace engineer who was working on the bomber saw an opportunity for a big profit. At the moment, Cavanaugh was going through a tough divorce and was in a lot of debt. Needless to say, he needed a cash injection.

So, in desperation, he managed to get in contact with some Soviet spies and offer over the secrets of the B-2 Spirit! Unfortunately for crafty Cavanaugh however, the “Soviet spies” he was dealing with turned out to be undercover FBI agents! He was promptly arrested and imprisoned for 16 years.


The B-2 itself wouldn’t even enter active service until 1997 when Cavanaugh was in his 12th year of imprisonment, and by that time the Cold War was very much over. Because of that and the fact just one of these bad boys cost an astronomical $1 billion to produce, only 21 planes were ever made.

Moon Guns

The moon landing in 1969 was the culmination of an epic space race between the USA and Russia to essentially prove who had the biggest rocket. But what if both sides had reached the moon at the same time and things had gotten tense?

The Pentagon had a top-secret plan for that: Moon guns! A totally real branch of the US Army called the Future Weapons Office spent the ‘50s and ‘60s conceiving a series of weapons that could be used to battle the communists for control of the moon! As conventional guns wouldn’t be very useful in space.

For one, the extreme temperatures could cause the firearms to either freeze up or explode. Secondly, recoil in zero gravity could quite literally send a soldier flying off backward after firing!


To remedy this, the space shooters were conceived as gas-powered or spring-loaded dart weapons that would work whatever the temperature and have minimal recoil. And some of them were utterly wild. One of them was a handheld claymore rifle and the claymore at the end would detonate and fire shrapnel forward at foes.


Then this one in the image below is a so-called “micro gun.” It's some kind of pistol-style dart gun.


Finally, we’ve got something in the image below that looks more like a BB gun than anything capable of doing damage. Regardless, the wacky concepts never made it out of the design phase.


The Sea Shadow

After the massive success of the Nighthawk jet, Lockheed Martin set their sights on using the same stealth tech on different things. The goal was to apply the stealth principles of the Nighthawk to a boat, which they called the Sea Shadow.


This robotic-looking ship was manufactured in 1984 in complete secrecy. To keep the project under wraps, its entire construction took place inside a submersible barge in California as it’d be way too obvious to have huge parts lugged down to the docks every day!

The image below shows how a piece of one of the UK’s Dreadnought submarines was transported, and it's clearly not a very subtle operation.

View post on X

For all the effort that was put into keeping the Shadow a secret, after its testing phase it mysteriously ceased development and we don’t really know why. Eventually, in 2006, the US Navy put the boat up for sale under one condition. The buyer couldn’t actually sail it and it was only to be used for scrap. So, unsurprisingly, it didn’t garner much interest.

CIA's Heart Attack Gun

Back in the 1970s, the US public’s faith in their government was at a historic low point. President Nixon had just been found guilty of corruption, and Congress had been forced to investigate America’s intelligence agencies. That's when they found something utterly insane: A modified Colt M1911, aka, a CIA heart attack gun.

Watch on YouTube

The pistol was designed to silently fire darts made from frozen water mixed with deadly shellfish toxin. Straight after penetrating the victim’s skin, the darts would melt, releasing the toxin within and shutting down the victim’s cardiovascular system.

To an onlooker, and indeed even post-autopsy, it’d appear to have been nothing more than a natural heart attack. Shellfish toxin is incredibly hard to detect, and with no bullet, there’s no way to trace something like this back to its source. with nobody to hold accountable. Whether the pistol was actually ever used or not, we don’t know.


Hellfire R9X Missile: The Ninja Bomb

Next in the “super wacky weapon catalog” is the US military’s latest and greatest the R9X missile. Also known as “The Ninja Bomb,” this thing is absolutely crazy. Unlike most missiles, the R9X doesn’t actually explode. So, what is the point?


When the missile is about to make an impact with its target, six massive metal blades fold out of it, like some enormous, angry Swiss army knife. The idea is that this unconventional weapon will land directly on top of its target and get to work, without any collateral damage or unnecessary casualties.

As recently as August 2022, President Joe Biden announced the removal of a number one operative in Afghanistan and it turns out, the then-classified R9X was responsible! It may sound like something out of Itchy and Scratchy, but it definitely seems effective!


CIA Weaponizing Lightning

In 1967, a US scientist wrote to the CIA with a seemingly bonkers idea, what if we could control lightning? Rather than throw the letter straight into the trash, the CIA genuinely considered the logicalities of harnessing lightning storms as deadly weapons.

The core principle was very basic. Lightning is formed of electricity, which is attracted to metal. So, by unfurling long lines of metal wire from an aircraft, the CIA hoped the wires would attract lightning, manipulating its path and sending it wherever the US commanded.


Also, it’d be almost impossible to pin the blame for such an attack on anybody. In other words, it was the perfect covert weapon. But there were a few glaring issues. First, you’d only be able to utilize lightning if a lightning storm was about to happen. Which is one pretty huge “if”.

And if the weather was on your side, your target would need to be practically inside the storm for the plane to successfully fly overhead, catch lightning on the wire, and lead the electrified wire close enough to the target to shock them. And there’s also the difficulty of flying a plane through a storm in the first place.

If you were amazed at these top-secret military inventions, you might want to read our article about futuristic military tech. Thanks for reading!

icon Top Picks For You

Top Picks For You

Facts That Will Make You Say 'I Had No Idea!'
Incredible Secrets of Abandoned Places Forgotten by The World
Shocking Airplane Secret Features Airlines Don’t Want You To Know About
Car Secrets Only The Most Experienced Drivers Know
icon Popular


icon More From Fun Facts

More From Fun Facts

icon More From Secrets

More From Secrets