Millbrook Man Claims He's Invented Land Mine Protective Boot

Richard Lohrmann says he's come up with something that will do more than stop a speeding bullet.

"It's more of a puncture type of material," said Lohrmann.

Lohrmann showed us a thick footpad, designed to protect a soldier's foot from a land mine.

"Shrapnel will not penetrate this," Lohrmann promises.

Both sides of the pad are stitched together with Kevlar, which has been around for some time but it's the stuff in the middle what Lohrmann calls 'spectra' that makes the difference. He added the same material to the Kevlar vest. That's the vest police officers often wear.

"By sandwiching the two layers of Kevlar and the puncture proof part of it is the spectra," Lohrmann said.

He got the idea 10 years ago when people including the late Princess Di campaigned against land mines. Lohrmann even received something special from the government; a patent.

So far Richard Lohrmann has gotten a willing audience in Elmore County. Sheriff Bill Franklin tells WSFA 12 News he's 'intrigued' by Lohrmann's invention but won't consider it until it receives full certification from the National Institute of Justice. That's the last hurdle Lohrmann needs to overcome before he starts marketing his product.

"I visually saw it," Lohrmann said.

You have to wonder though does it really work.  Land mine explosions are powerful.

"It's made of dense material. Spectra is the aprons butchers wear to protect themselves against knives," Lohrmann said.

So far Richard Lohrmann has invested around $7,000 of his own money into his venture. As a former military man himself, he's convinced American soldiers could use this in war-torn Iraq.

It's taken Lohrmann 10 years to get to this point, but Lohrmann is convinced with the land mine protective footpad, he is stepping in the right direction.

The Millbrook man estimates he needs about $4,000 to produce 10 copies of the vest for the N-I-J to test it, a process that could take 3 months. If Lohrmann receives the certification, he'll then start focusing on getting the footpad certified.