“It is recommended that future experiments focus on understanding how this phenomena works, and how to make it as useful as possible.”— Professor Jessica Utts, University of California Davis | The CIA’s Assessment of Psychic Functioning
Throughout recorded history, kings and queens have sought the consultation of oracles and seers, eager to gain insight into their futures – whether they should be victorious or defeated in battle, bare children, or uncover plots to overthrow them – the humans who once claimed to possess these extraordinary abilities have managed to heavily influence, and even turn the tides of world history.
Mystical abilities were of high importance in historical societies, and even today, there are people that claim to possess those same abilities. These people have often been met with ridicule and disbelief, but equally, there are those of us which are open to the possibilities of the supernatural – unwilling to disregard what the laws of science are unable to explain.
While we struggle to prove for certain that these abilities, such as psychic phenomena exist, seers such as Mother Shipton, Nostradamus, Baba Vanga and Edgar Cayce, have managed to successfully challenge our perception of what may be possible.
More recently, the US government released files on the study of Psychic phenomena, and declared it to be real. The CIA has even released documentation relating to the secret government programs that were designed to research and utilize these enhanced abilities as a means of covert warfare.
One of those secretive programs was endorsed by the CIA, under the name Project Stargate.
During the cold war, the US government was actively looking at new ways in which they could infiltrate the Soviet Union, and some of the more outlandish theories were through mind-reading, and remote-viewing.
In the 1970s, scientists took to a research lab in California, intending to carry out extensive research and testing on paranormal phenomena, before moving to a more classified location – a military base in Maryland in order to continue their studies.
People who claimed to have powers of extrasensory perception were recruited to undergo testing by the CIA, the military and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Those recruited became known as “remote viewers”, who would help in gathering intelligence on remote enemy activities, such as finding the locations of hostages, and tracking down America’s most wanted.
Over a 22 year period, the US government had funded psi research to the sum of around $19.933 million. The program ran all the way up until 1995, when it was eventually shut down.
You can view the CIA’s findings on Psychic Functioning here – *SPOILER ALERT* They concede it exists, and all humans are capable of it to some extent or another.
A Nazi Obsession
As the German army found itself defeated in 1945, the race was on to retrieve as much Intel as possible, in regards to the secretive experiments that had been undertaken by Nazi scientists.
Though often linked with brutal experiments, Nazi scientists had worked on some of the most ambitious projects of the war, and proven themselves to be among the best in the world.
Under the guise of Operation Alsos, U.S officials made their way to Berlin in the hopes of retrieving as much information as possible, and they were highly successful in discovering a trove of documents which belonged to Himmler’s science organization, the Ahnenerbe. This would lead the US government to take Nazi scientists to the U.S, to continue their studies under what became known as Operation Paperclip.
Heinrich Himmler and other high-ranking Nazi officials were obsessed with the occult and black magic, even creating a branch of scientists to work on the “Survey of the So-called Occult Sciences”.
Himmler gave the orders for SS officers to launch raids on occupied territories, desperately looking for ancient artefacts relating to the occult, even raiding Museums to try and find significant pieces. They set out to try and locate mysterious objects such as the Lance of Destiny (the spear thought to have pierced the side of Christ), as well as the Holy Grail.
Their obsession with magic and occult lead them away from physical artefacts, and into the study of the practices themselves.
Himmler had his own personal astrologist, Wilhelm Wulff, and in 1943 there were around 3,000 tarot readers in Berlin. The paranormal obsession in Nazi Germany was deeply rooted.
The Nazi’s became obsessed with psychic and paranormal phenomena, and heavily funded research into the use of these paranormal abilities against their enemies. Though their research was never completely published or even found, it’s entirely possible that they continued their studies elsewhere.
The Soviet Union Funds Experiments
The CIA’s initial program into remote viewing and psychic phenomena can be traced back to a similar program in the Soviet Union. Reports had reached the US in 1972 that the Soviet Union was funnelling large amounts of funding into similar research, involving the use of psychokinesis and extrasensory perception.
US officials were deeply concerned as to how advanced the studies were, and if they would soon be able to locate facilities, military vehicles, and even control the minds of the most high ranking US officials.
This report from 1975 claims that Soviet and Czechoslovakian scientists were attempting to challenge skeptics, by researching and developing new theories in regards to extrasensory perception, telepathy and psychokinesis – all under strict laboratory conditions.
The most famous psychic of the Soviet Union was World War II hero Ninel “Nina” Kulagina. She is said to have been able to stop an animal’s heart beating using psychokinesis.
A Discovery In Africa
The chief of Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio employed a secretary, Rosemary Smith, who claimed she had psychic abilities.
In her book, Phenomena, Annie Jacobsen writes about the secret remote-viewing team:
“It was a very small-budgeted program, because most people thought it was bananas,” Jacobsen says, but in 1976, the remote viewing team were given a colossal task.
“A Soviet bomber had gone down in the jungles of Africa, and the CIA and military intelligence had used every intelligence collection means available to them, from satellite technology, to sig-int, to human intelligence, and they had absolutely nothing.
The military then contracted Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and “put the secretary, Rosemary Smith, on the job, and she was able to draw maps that pinpointed where this aircraft was, within a few miles,” Jacobsen says. “The cable was sent to the CIA, and they sent a paramilitary team out to the jungle, and near the area where Rosemary Smith said it would be, they saw a villager carrying a piece of aircraft out of the jungle”.
While scientific evidence may be sparse when it comes to proving psychic abilities, there’s no shortage of scientific professionals that side favourably with the existence of the phenomena.