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A psychic soldier sits at a table in some undisclosed military installation and “sees” in his mind every detail of an underground terrorist location. Using his gift of “remote viewing” he is able to determine the number of terrorists, their firepower, the location of the hostages, and the identity of the terrorist leader. Armed with this vital information, a precision strike team is deployed, the hostages are rescued and the terrorist threat is neutralized.

Does this scenario sound far fetched, sound like something out of a science fiction novel or movie? While a scene like this may never have been played out in real life, it is a known fact that intelligence communities from various governments around the world have had psychics and psychic soldiers secretly working within their ranks.

Russia was the first country to recognise that psychic abilities like psychokinesis, ESP, remote viewing, or clairvoyance could be useful in certain military applications. All they needed to do was identify test subjects and fine tune the special abilities of these future “psychic soldiers”. Russian scientists began doing serious research into military applications of parapsychology as early as the 1940’s.

Unsubstantiated reports claim that the CIA got involved with the study of psychic phenomena as early as 1961. Documented reports differ, saying the US Intelligence agencies didn’t get seriously involved in the psychic soldier game until 1974. The CIA’s first RV, or “remote viewer” was a man by the name of Pat Price. Remote viewing is a form of ESP or extra-sensory perception. Mental powers, properly focused, can “see” faraway people, places and situations.

Price’s first round of tests went well and by the end of 1974 an additional $50,000 was added to the psychic research fund. Dr. Kenneth Kress was named the project officer and managed the day to day operations of the studies. Russel Targ and Harold Puthoff, two Stanford University physicists and authors of various books on the paranormal, were also key in the CIA’s ongoing research.

The CIA lost Price in 1976 to a heart attack and after only a few apparently successful tests. Their subject’s death might have shut down the project but CIA Director George Bush wanted answers as to why there were so many reports surfacing about advances in Soviet parapsychology. Congress listened and by 1977 the budget for para-normal and psychic research grew to $750,000.

The majority of the research done by the CIA were known as “beacon and viewer” tests. A person assigned as a sender,or “beacon”, went to a remote location and looked at photos or other objects. The RV, or remote viewer, would then attempt to describe where the beacon was, either by drawing sketches of the beacon's surroundings or by verbal reporting. A second test method that was studied was called “remote observation”. In this case the RV would “mentally” tune in to a subject, then attempt to change that person’s physiology.

By 1995 the CIA finally admitted to being involved in parapsychology projects and that this clandestine research had already cost the government over 20 million dollars. The project even had a name -- Star Gate. Once the news got out, the CIA commissioned private analysts to submit a report which was released that same year. The study concluded that Star Gate psychics managed to get information right about 25% of the time. As for the other research that was done in the Star Gate project, all of it was regarded as vague and general with no real scientific base.

After these 1995 revelations, investigations have uncovered other government agencies that used psychic spying as a means to search out enemy targets, hostages, Russian subs or downed US spy satellites. Memoirs by a few actual “psychic soldiers” hit bookstores and outlined exactly what the their roles were during their
participation in the Star Gate project.

Kenneth Kress summed up Star Gate by saying that “circumstances, biases and fear of ridicule prevented the CIA from completing a scientific investigation of parapsychology and its relevance to national security”.

The idea of mentally spying on terrorists is not that far-fetched after all. Governments have admitted that research has gone on for decades. It’s not hard to imagine that in another decade or two “psychic soldiers” may well become the new warriors of the future.