A comprehensive resource for safe and responsible laser use

If you are harassed by lasers

If the light is obviously coming from a laser

If you see someone holding a pen or flashlight-like object, and you can see the laser beam or laser "dot", contact local authorities such as the police if necessary.

  • Simple harassment -- a beam on your skin or clothes -- is probably not punishable unless it continues, or unless it occurs during a critical situation such as driving.
  • Deliberate aiming at your head or eyes is serious due to the unlikely but possible potential for causing eye damage. This could be considered as assault. For more on eye damage, see the information on when does a laser pointer get powerful enough to be dangerous.
  • If you have had laser light in your eyes, see the page If you are hit by a laser.
  • A partial list of laser harassment incidents is here.

For example, here is a case in 2018 of a visible green laser harassing a number of people at least five times over two weeks. The laser can easily be seen and photographed:

Pic 2018-01-26 at 2.15.24 PM squashed80pct

If you see laser beams or dots in a photo or video

First, consider all the non-laser explanations for what you are experiencing. For example, mysterious streaks or spots in photographs may not be laser beams. They may be from easy-to-explain causes such as lens flares or smear from CCD blooming.

IMG_1537-blur
The green and blue "laser" dots at lower left are actually lens flare caused by the bright sun at upper right. The sun is reflecting off elements inside the lens, causing dots or flare. The flare is almost always located diagonally mirrored from a bright light source.


Photo of a sunset, with upper and lower "beams" caused by blooming in the camera sensor.

Click on the picture below to see video of a lens flare which looks remarkably like a laser. However, it is definitely a lens flare; there are many clues as to why it is actually the sun in the upper right reflecting off the inside of camera elements:

  • Lens flare example video (click to start)
    Lens flare example video (click to start)
    Why this is not a laser: 1) The green dot does not illuminate or interact with the ground. 2) It looks like an overlay. 3) It moves diagonally opposite to the bright light source (sun), always perfectly tracking it. Example courtesy M.L., Sept. 2021. Taken with a Samsung A10 phone's rear camera.
In a case described below (in "A few cases and emails we've received"), a woman reported a uniform blue tint on her Blink security camera. The tint was not caused by a laser, but by a flaw in the camera or perhaps a lens effect.

If you see light or feel heat from an unknown source

Light


If you see light that is not from any obvious source, try blocking it. Visible laser light can be blocked by anything that also blocks conventional light, such as a solid curtain, a wall, or even a sheet of paper.

If you do see flashes when all external light paths are blocked, consult your doctor or do an internet search. There can be medical conditions that cause flashes.

The author of this page has seen "flocks of birds" in daytime and "falling stars" at night. It turned out to be minor retinal detachment that went away. This is one reason the author is sympathetic to people who experience sensations that are 100% real to them, even if the sensations come from inside their bodies.

Heat


If you feel heat spots, first try to block them, to see if they are coming from outside your body. Try using metal objects such as aluminum foil, a baking sheet or a cast-iron skillet. Hold the material over the area where you are having heat or pain, to see if it goes away.

If you continue to feel heat, consult your doctor or do an Internet search. There can be medical conditions that cause localized and/or intermittent feelings of being hot, such as fibromyalgia.

Get evidence and/or others to confirm


If you want to try and track down the beams, get photographic and/or video evidence if at all possible. Ideally this would be pictures of the beams or the laser "dot", and also pictures of any damage. Note the section above about how photos can have lens flare, sensor blooming or other things internal to the camera.

If you have family or friends who can help, ask them to stay with you or stay at your house. If others can confirm what you are seeing or feeling, then they can help you in finding the reasons why.

A number of people who contacted us, also contacted their local police. In all cases, the police either investigated but took no action, or declined to investigate. One person said their local police department no longer handled calls involving lasers.

It may be helpful to hire a private investigator. They can look into suspicious behavior and evidence, and can try to confirm reports of burn marks, burning sensations, etc. If police action is warranted, the police may take a licensed private investigator more seriously than an ordinary citizen. But beware of unscrupulous private investigators who may claim to help you, but who will only string you along to keep making money off you.

If the harassment seems mysterious, ongoing, or well-organized

Some people are sure they are being deliberately targeted over a long period of time, by angry neighbors or by agencies such as the CIA. These persons may think there are cameras or infrared viewers being used so their unknown enemies can know where they are, and can aim beams at them.

These persons clearly feel effects. But their symptoms are often inexplicable by normal means. For example, they can feel heat on their skin which they believe is from beams going through solid walls. There are some types of electromagnetic radiation, such as terahertz waves and microwaves, which can go through objects. But visible laser light — which is also electromagnetic radiation — is stopped by any material or substance that would also stop conventional light such as from a flashlight.

You are not alone …


If you are a person plagued by mysterious, unknown causes, the good news is you are not alone. At LaserPointerSafety.com, we get calls every month or two from persons who say they are being continually harassed by light and energy beams. Clearly they and you are seeing and feeling something. We understand you are not imagining your sensations — they are real to you.

… but the cause is unknown


But the bad news is that what you are feeling usually does not have any plausible physical explanation. This means it is very unlikely that mysterious beams or exotic devices are able to cause your symptoms.

It is highly unlikely that ordinary persons can buy or otherwise obtain powerful directed energy beams that go through walls. Such devices are exotic and expensive. Even if someone works for the police or military, this would not be regular issue "take home" equipment.

Also, there is usually no reason that your neighbors would undertake a prolonged, continual, and expensive attack against you. (Frankly, if they did want to harass or harm you, there are easier and less costly ways to do so.)

If you are having such symptoms, the cause, in our view, is most likely something that has gone wrong in your body.

  • It may be your nerves are misfiring, leading you to see light or feel heat when there is no external source. [In experiments published in 2007, subjects had low-level laser light shined on a rubber hand that was positioned over their own hand. Sixty-six percent of subjects reported heat or tactile sensations from the laser light — even though 1) the light was on a rubber hand, not their own and 2) the laser power was low enough that it would not noticeably heat up even on a real hand.]
  • If you are seeing flashes of light at night, or dark swarms (like a flock of birds) during the daytime in your peripheral vision, this can be due to retinal detachment.
Further bad news is that doctors may not be able to find an underlying condition. We have heard from people who have gone to neurologists or other qualified medical experts. But so far we have not heard of a case where a doctor was able to find any medical cause.

If you are feeling harassed by inexplicable causes, we advise that you see one or more medical specialists such as neurologists. Describe your symptoms to the doctor without going into detail about the potential cause (beams) or reasons (angry neighbors). You can tell the doctor "it feels like this is coming from outside my body" but concentrate on describing the symptoms of what you are experiencing physically and mentally.

  • If a medical reason is found for your issues, this is reassuring that you are not a victim of organized harassment. Hopefully you can be treated and the sensations will go away.
  • If there is no medical reason initially found, keep in mind that does not mean that the alternative explanation (angry neighbors are getting exotic beam weapons and aiming them at you) is true. It may be there is a deeper or unknown medical reason. Again, other people have reported similar symptoms, so there must be some common underlying cause in the body or mind.

For more information, see the section below "An example case - trying to help a friend".

Be careful not to escalate the situation

If you are the subject of harassment, don't let it get out of hand.

  • In a 2018 case, a man in Arkansas shot and killed a neighbor who, among other harassments, had allegedly aimed red, blue and green lasers into his house. When the neighbor went to pick up a laser pointer, the man thought it was a gun and killed him in claimed self-defense. (The man was acquitted by a jury of first-degree murder charges.)
  • In the example case of "H" which is listed below, a woman who believes her neighbors are harassing her with light and heat beams is going around to their homes with a loaded gun, looking for the source. This may not end well.

Whatever the level of harassment, let law enforcement look into it and (hopefully) solve the problem.

A few cases and emails we've received

More information about mysterious or ongoing attacks

We cannot help in mysterious or non-obvious cases

At LaserPointerSafety.com, we are not experts in any directed energy. We are only experts in visible lasers. The light from visible lasers can be seen with the eye and can be recorded by a camera. If you have family or friends with you, they should be able to see the same lights.

We do not have expertise about non-visible lasers or directed energy devices. If you are experiencing this, you should check the links above about covert harassment and directed energy devices.