Paranormal research and investigations into UFOs are considered career killers in the academic world.
In the field of journalism, mainstream publications rarely explore the topics as anything more than entertaining curios delivered with a chortle and a smile. However, a newly declassified cache of documents released by the CIA confirms the government has been researching — and actually employing — psychics for decades.
The STARGATE program, popularly known as the real-life government research lampooned by the film The Men Who Stare At Goats, was among the top-secret programs revealed in a recent CIA document dump that included 930,000 declassified files and 12 million pages. Much of this was previously available to the public only at the National Archives in Maryland. Thanks to freedom of information activist groups like Muckrock, which applied pressure on the CIA for years, these files can now be found in the CIA’s CREST searchable database.
The CIA’s mission statement for the STARGATE program, which contained a stamp specifying the materials should not be released to foreign governments, reads:
To establish a program using psychoenergetics for intelligence applications.
The William A. Tiller Institute for Psychoenergetic Science defines psychoenergetics “as energy exchanges that can be influenced by consciousness.”
The study of whether human intention can have an effect on the material world around us has been the subject of several multidisciplinary approaches over the decades. It appears the government was deeply involved in this research and that local law enforcement agencies have extensively used psychics.
The cache of documents reveals that the CIA has been experimenting with psychic researchers for decades and, in some cases, actually conscripting them into the Cold War as potential spies.
Other documents revealed the use of psychics in spy operations conducted by the government. Articles from decades past, written by columnist Jack Anderson, describe the CIA project Grill Flame, which involved psychics using remote viewing to try to infiltrate military installments within the Soviet Union. Anderson describes the “Twilight Zone research” as “psychic warfare.” Multiple projects were funded by the Defense Department and the CIA, one of which involved trying to erect a “psychic shield” to block Soviet psychics, who were suspected of being more advanced in their ESP programs.
The files also elucidate the CIA experiments involving Uri Geller, a controversial celebrity psychic. In 1973, according to the new memos, Geller underwent multiple experiments to test his psychic abilities. In one test, the word “bunch” provoked test subjects to draw grapes. In response, Geller — who was completely isolated from the control group in a separate room — described seeing purple circles. This was just one of multiple tests that led CIA investigators to conclude that Geller “demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in a convincing and unambiguous manner.”
In the decades since, skeptics such as James Randi have attempted to debunk or disprove Geller’s abilities. Incredibly, the new CIA documents actually contain a formal rebuke of James Randi’s critique, debunking the debunker and further corroborating the fact the CIA firmly believed Geller had demonstrated evidence of extrasensory perception.
Organizations such as the Global Consciousness Project claim to have produced evidence that human consciousness affects physical matter in a way that we do not truly understand. On its website, the group states:
When human consciousness becomes coherent, the behavior of random systems may change. Random number generators (RNGs) based on quantum tunneling produce completely unpredictable sequences of zeroes and ones. But when a great event synchronizes the feelings of millions of people, our network of RNGs becomes subtly structured. We calculate one in a trillion odds that the effect is due to chance. The evidence suggests an emerging noosphere or the unifying field of consciousness described by sages in all cultures.
The book The Margins of Reality summarizes a series of experiments conducted at Princeton University that suggest human intention can have a measurable impact on random number generators.
The declassified CIA STARGATE files reveal that the government has invested considerable money and resources into programs operating on the premise that there are powers of the mind that transcend the five traditional senses.
Multiple files in the declassified trove also corroborate police departments all across the country routinely using psychics in criminal investigations. Detectives will often hire psychics to perform remote viewing in order to try to recover a missing person or apprehend a criminal. In a document entitled, “Use of Psychics in Law Enforcement,” the utility of psychic research was directly stated:
All of the police officers said they had used a psychic in a case as described in the newspaper articles. Eight of the officers said that the psychic had provided them with otherwise unknown information which was helpful to the case. In three of these cases, missing bodies were discovered in areas described by the psychic.
Alongside the STARGATE files, the new CIA documents also contain dozens of documents pertaining to UFOs. One file contains a report made by police officers in Moscow, who submitted eyewitness testimony of a UFO:
They noticed a spherical object hanging and ‘pulsing,’ alternately shrinking and expanding.
This is just one of possibly hundreds of files on UFOs released.Another file discloses a CBS Radio Network news bulletin from 1981 in which a news anchor (Dan Rather’s temporary replacement) addresses a UFO activist group called Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUSE). In 1977, the group sued the government over CIA/NSA documents pertaining to UFOs as a “military threat.” They believed the government possessed “tantalizing information….a report on a UFO which supposedly shot down a Russian MIG over Cuba.”
Investigations into UFOs have intensified in recent years, as high-ranking government and military officials continue to disclose anomalous interactions, such as the following NASA report of amilitary encounter with a UFO:
As the F-4 approached a range of 25 nautical miles it lost all instrumentation and communications. When the F-4 turned away from the object and apparently was no longer a threat to it, the aircraft regained all instrumentation and communications. Another brightly lighted object came out of the original object. The second object headed straight toward the F4.
It will take a sustained effort by many independent investigators to weed through the files and stitch together the truths contained in STARGATE and other recently released CIA files. If nothing else, it’s a fascinating inside look into how one of our government’s most powerful agencies approached psychic research and the UFO question.
You can find the CIA database here.