The third season of "Jesse Ventura's Conspiracy Theory" is proving to be as awesome as it was long-awaited. In the second episode of the season, Ventura and company target the conspiracy theory that a death ray was developed by our government, and that people have been killed to cover it up.
The "Death Ray Conspiracy"
Jesse Ventura is back with a vengeance!
Ventura's biggest suspicion about this theory was raised by his understanding of the Star Wars situation in the 80s. According to Ventura's speculation, at first we were hearing a lot about Reagan's plan to protect America from nukes using a space based orbital laser platform. But then the talk about Star Wars all just sorta fizzled out without anything coming of it.
I found Ventura's understanding of Star Wars somewhat, shall we say, "interesting" for someone who has literally held public office. I would have thought that a state governor would at least be aware of the conventional wisdom regarding Reagan's political moves.
In the case of Star Wars, the conventional wisdom is that Reagan invented it whole cloth and promoted it in order to force the Soviets into bankruptcy. In trying to invent their own Star Wars, the Soviets burned so much money that it became one of the leading causes of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In many circles, Star Wars is regarded as one of the world's greatest propaganda moves. Reagan essentially destroyed the evil empire without firing a shot, or costing the American public a dime. The truth is a little bit messier, of course, but in essence, Reagan's Star Wars missile defense plan was an elegant example of the power of words and psychology to effect global change.
You would think Ventura would be all over that action. It is, after all, a proven conspiracy. But instead he gets led afield by talk of Nikola Tesla and death rays and "directed energy" and in the end it all circles back around to 9/11 and that's pretty much where I threw the whole thing out the window. Why would anyone use a death ray on the Twin Towers, when a bomb or a missile (or heck, even just crashing into them with a couple of jet planes) is a million times simpler, not to mention cheaper.
There is a lot of interesting physics on display in this episode, but none of it gets explored. Instead, we get a lot of "gee whiz this gadget is nifty" with no talk of how they are powered, how they stack up to a standard laboratory or medical laser, and so forth. The ultimate effect is both numbing and lurid. And if that sounds confusing, you should see the actual episode!