The Holie Terra

Seeking a way to use technology to win the tunnel warfare in Vietnam, Nelson Frost of Byram, Connecticut invented the "Holie Terra." Although in the write-up for the patent he received (No. 3,395,641), he referred to it more formally as a "remotely controlled tunnel exploration and destroying means."

From his patent:

In certain types of warfare, for example, insurgency as practiced in Southeast Asia, enemy infiltrators and insurgents resort to extensive tunnel networks to hide from the established forces. The tunnel system in any one area may be elaborate and may traverse several levels and numerous branches with the arrangement being such that the insurgent forces are disposed in the system in such a position that a high explosive detonated at the tunnel entrance will have little effect on those hiding in the tunnels because of their labyrinthine construction whereby the direct force of an explosion is screened from the occupants. Because of the danger of booby traps or ambush it is not practical for attacking forces to enter the tunnels with the result that heretofore there has simply been no way to kill or dislodge insurgents hiding in the tunnels and the broad object of the present invention is to provide means for exploring tunnel networks by a self-propelled device which can be safely controlled from a remote position outside of the tunnel network.

More particularly, it is an object of the invention to provide a tunnel exploring device which may be maneuvered from a remote position deep into the tunnel network and there be detonated so that there is a much higher kill probability of the enemy forces with greater safety to the attackers than has been possible by any means employed heretofore.

Montgomery Advertiser - Aug 15, 1968

     Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 23, 2020
     Category: War | Weapons | Patents | 1960s

I once knew a guy who had served in Viet Nam who was sent into one of those tunnels and received some serious injuries as a result. He probably would have liked having this device.
Posted by David Plechaty on 08/26/20 at 12:53 AM
Israel has a problem with terrorists infiltrating through tunnels. They've developed technologies to thwart this, but they're mostly classified.
Posted by ges on 08/26/20 at 11:52 AM
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