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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Military funding of paranormal spies and warriors

Another of those things stranger than fiction. From a review of Jon Ronson’s The Men Who Stare at Goats originally published in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May/June 2005:

Then, in 1995, the story broke that for the previous 25 years the U.S. Army had invested $20 million in a highly secret psychic spy program called Star Gate (also Grill Flame and Scanate), a Cold War project intended to close the “psi gap” (the psychic equivalent of the missile gap) between the United States and Soviet Union. The Soviets were training psychic spies, so we would as well. The Men Who Stare at Goats, by British investigative journalist Jon Ronson, is the story of this program, how it started, the bizarre twists and turns it took, and how its legacy carries on today. (Ronson’s previous book, Them: Adventures with Extremists, explored the paranoid world of cult mongers and conspiracy theorists.) In a highly readable narrative style, Ronson takes readers on a Looking Glass-like tour of what U.S. Psychological Operations (PsyOps) forces were researching: invisibility, levitation, telekinesis, walking through walls, and even killing goats just by staring at them (the ultimate goal was killing enemy soldiers telepathically). In one project, psychic spies attempted to use “remote viewing” to identify the location of missile silos, submarines, POWs, and MIAs from a small room in a run-down Maryland building. If these skills could be honed and combined, perhaps military officials could zap remotely viewed enemy missiles in their silos, or so the thinking went. Initially, the Star Gate story received broad media attention—including a spot on ABC’s Nightline—and made a few of the psychic spies, such as Ed Dames and Joe McMoneagle, minor celebrities. As regular guests on Art Bell’s pro-paranormal radio talk show, the former spies spun tales that, had they not been documented elsewhere, would have seemed like the ramblings of paranoid cultists. (There is even a connection between Ed Dames, Art Bell, and the Heaven’s Gate cult mass suicide in 1997, in which 39 UFO dev
I've listened to Ed Dames on Art Bell's show many a night. I won't jump into the debate of whether he's credible or not. I will point out that I believe it was proven he had a better track record of accuracy than other, mundane methods used by the CIA and DIA, but then again, looking at some of their failures of late, that's not saying much. I do know I'm looking forward to reading the book, The Men Who Stare At Goats.

I'll also point out that the FBI consulted the military during the siege of Waco. We all saw how well that turned out.


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