The truly remarkable thing, however, was that this attempt was considered a success. One of the government officials said the design of a pyramid “may represent the white triangular section of the garment” in Mother Teresa’s photo. Another argued that part of the image “could represent the face”.
They concluded by saying that there was a “possibility” that the individual had “accessed some of the characteristics of the target”. The experiments therefore continued.
Officially, the purpose of these experiments has never been confirmed. But when the details were first reported in 2007, experts had no doubts it was related to 9/11 – especially given the project’s timeline. “You don’t spend that kind of time and effort to find money on the back of the couch,” said Nick Pope, who led the Defense Department’s UFO research project. “We need to talk about bin Laden and weapons of mass destruction.”
The problem was, the human brain likes to see patterns, even where there aren’t any. We find it hard to understand that some things are just a coincidence. It is this trait that breeds rumors of satanic “back masking” in music, or claims of divine prophecy in “biblical code”.
In fact, when mathematician Brendan McKay argued that the coded predictions found in the Bible were just a coincidence, he was challenged to find similar predictions in ‘Moby Dick’. He was successful – finding hundreds of “predictions” including the death of Princess Diana.
But for governments and security services, the stakes are higher. For decades, they’ve wandered off believing the hype, just in case it’s true.
Mediums of the Cold War
The Department of Defense tests in 2001 appear to be the only serious exploration of psychic powers by the British military. But America and Russia had long competed in an “ESP race”.
The role of psychics in the modern military may be traced back to a French magazine article in the 1960s, which claimed that the US Navy had successfully communicated with a nuclear submarine telepathically. Western intelligence agencies didn’t care, realizing that the magazine had fallen into a hoax trap. But the Soviets took it seriously, and avid researchers used it as ammunition to get funds from the Communist Party.
In true Cold War style, Russian scientists quickly bragged about amazing results and even published a groundbreaking 1930s study claiming to show successful displays of telepathy.
As the Americans watched the extraordinary claims come out of Moscow, it was their turn to be gullible. After all, if the Soviets had truly harnessed psychic power, it would give them a huge military advantage that could be disastrous for the United States. And since it was difficult to categorically refute that all of this was real, the scientists who opposed were ridiculed as “conservatives” while the psychic believers were labeled “progressives.”
“The old familiar division occurs between those who do and those who do not need an acceptable theory before recognizing a new fact,” said a scientific article in 1961. “It has always been so when de new discoveries are emerging. “
The following year, the CIA sent an agent to the UK to speak to senior academics in Oxford, Cambridge and London interested in studying psychic powers. Notes from the visit suggest that the British “experts” on the subject were perhaps more cautious in their approach than the Americans. “The people I interviewed are interested in discussing ESP,” the CIA agent wrote, “but they are unwilling to go into details.”
The United States acted differently, however, by bringing a small army of self-proclaimed psychics into the CIA, using the principles of remote viewing. It is not known how many of these people genuinely believed they had extrasensory perception, but the CIA remained interested.
In the early 1980s, he commanded a psychic mission to Mars. The individual involved recovered from his trance, claiming that he had seen “ancient people” wearing strange clothes. A full transcript of the episode has since been released by the CIA, reading it as someone hallucinating while on drugs.
In 1987, another medium drew the American President sitting at his desk. The writing underneath reads, “Although this is denied, President Reagan is terminally ill and will not complete his term.” Reagan ended up living another 17 years.