At first glance, the goat shed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina could be anywhere in the world. Thirty goats were happily munching on their hay and staring at the blank concrete walls of the stable. Every few minutes one of the goats would stop chewing, begin gasping for breath, and then nonchalantly carry on eating as if nothing had happened.
In an equally non-descript room next to the shed, a young sergeant in combat fatigues was staring at the goats through a window fitted with one way glass. Two soldiers and a general were anxiously watching the sergeant. Every so often, the general would shake his head slightly and a worried look would cross his face.
The sergeant took another swig of coffee and then something extraordinary happened. Goat Number 17 let out a silent bleat, keeled over, and died.
“My God,” said the general. “It works.”
The sergeant nodded silently. He’d just managed to kill the goat using nothing more than the psychic power of his mind. Finally, after years of research, the US Army’s Project Jedi seemed to be on the verge of success.
Project Jedi was a top-secret military project to create a breed of ‘super-soldier’. If all went according to plan, the Jedi Warriors would revolutionise warfare. They would be fantastically strong and possess superior intelligence, cunning and intuition.
They would use psychic remote viewing to spy on the enemy, disable nuclear bombs with telekinesis, and effortlessly kill with the power of thought alone. But not only that, they would have the ability to become invisible at will and to walk through walls.
You might think that Project Jedi had been dreamt up by Hollywood scriptwriters eager to tempt audiences with a delightfully crazy plot. Indeed, the project does lie at the heart of released Hollywood blockbuster The Men Who Stare At Goats starring George Clooney and Ewan McGregor.
But what is less well known is that the US military did try to create a breed of ‘super-soldier’ capable of walking through walls and killing by thought alone.
Even more bizarrely, the fruits of Project Jedi and several other clandestine paranormal projects were actively used in battle and are almost certainly being employed in the war on terror and the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.
“You have to understand,” says Sergeant Glenn Wheaton, a Special Forces soldier seconded to Project Jedi. “These ideas were not considered wacky. They were seen as the next military frontier. We needed to know whether it was possible to use paranormal forces for military ends. We also needed to know how to protect ourselves should they be used against us.”
Back in 1983 Major General Albert Stubblebine III was at the height of his powers. He was one of America’s most distinguished soldiers and chief of US Army Intelligence with 16,000 soldiers under his command.
General Stubblebine controlled the army’s signals, photographic and technical intelligence, and numerous covert spying operations around the world. He was instrumental in the US invasions of Panama and Grenada. It is no exaggeration to say that Albert Stubblebine III was at the heart of America’s military machine.
He was also a man who tried to walk through walls.
Visitors to General Stubblebine’s offices at Arlington, Virginia, tell of him repeatedly walking at walls – only to bounce painfully off them. In his mind, there was never any doubt that the ability to pass through solid objects would one day be a common tool in the intelligence gathering arsenal. Nonetheless, he was continuously frustrated by his own inability to walk through walls.
“I still think it’s a great idea,” says General Stubblebine. “I simply kept bumping my nose. It’s a disappointment. Same with the levitation.”
In the late 1970s General Stubblebine became convinced that America’s next war would be fought with the psychic powers of the mind as well as with conventional bombs and bullets.
His reasoning lay in the numerous covert psychic projects (all with bizarre names) that the US military had been secretly funding for decades. Very few in the military had even heard of the Stargate Project, MK Ultra and Project Jedi. General Stubblebine, however, had been following them intently and funding some of them lavishly.
The military initially focused on ‘remote viewing’, the scientific term for clairvoyance and ESP. They reasoned that training soldiers to view distant locations using nothing more than the power of their mind could be immensely useful on the battlefield. And so they created the Stargate Project to explore such phenomena.
The directors of Stargate began by funding scientists at the Stanford Research Institute in California, one of America’s most prestigious science academies. Very soon, Stanford played host to more than a dozen psychic spies. Their skills were once demonstrated to President Jimmy Carter when they were used to search for a downed aircraft.
The remote viewers used a deceptively simple method based on what is known as the Ganzfeld technique. The psychic spies induced an altered state of consciousness by seating themselves in a sound proof room and wearing earphones playing white noise. Ping pong balls sliced in half were placed over their eyes to obscure vision. The whole room was then bathed in soft red light.
The map coordinates of the ‘target’ would be written on a piece of paper, placed in an envelope and handed to the viewer. He would be allowed to touch the envelope but forbidden to open it. Alternatively, pictures of the target location would be sealed in the envelope.
The remote viewers would then slip into a light meditative trance and their “minds eye” would be drawn to the target location. Pictures, feelings and impressions would then drift into their minds from the target, which might be located thousands of miles away.
To an outsider, this approach might appear to produce only hopelessly vague results that were no better than guesswork. But the scientists investigating remote viewing found them to be surprisingly accurate and the military found them useful too.
Joe McMoneagle was a Vietnam veteran and “Remote Viewer Number 1”. His primary role was to use remote viewing to look inside Russian military bases and gather intelligence.
He spent over 20 years as a remote viewer working for U.S. intelligence at Fort Meade, Maryland, the headquarters of the National Security Agency. His work eventually earned him the Legion of Merit, America’s highest military non-combat medal.
“My success rate was around 28 percent,” says Joe McMoneagle. “That may not sound very good but we were brought in to deal with the hopeless cases. Our information was then cross-checked with any other available intelligence to build up an overall picture. We proved to be quite useful ‘spies’.”
The military was not content to use psychics merely to gather intelligence. They wanted to go further and use them for offensive purposes too. This drive soon turned to paranoia when the Americans learned of a huge Russian programme to develop psychic and ‘psychotronic’ weapons. Over 40 Russian institutes were involved.
Psychotronic weapons use sound, radiation or powerful electromagnetic fields to scramble the mind. The Americans were terrified that the Russians would use psychics to disable their nuclear missiles and psychotronic weapons to drive their soldiers insane. They were unaware that the Russians had discovered that psychotronics were a damp squib.
In any case, American laws (and ethics) forbade the development of psychotronic weapons, so they focused their attention on such psychic abilities as psychokinesis – the supposed power to move objects using the power of the mind.
American psychics were soon tasked with manipulating the innards of Russian computers and erasing their hard discs. They were then asked to interfere with the detonators of nuclear weapons and interrupt the guidance systems of missiles. All of this work is still highly classified.
Things soon turned far more sinister. The military began studying the power of human thought to inflict damage on living creatures. In technical parlance its known as DMILS (Direct Mental Interaction with Living Systems). It’s the basis of spiritual healing – and its flip-side, the Gypsy’s curse.
In the late 1960s, American scientists discovered that focusing bitter, vindictive and negative thoughts on mould – the scientific equivalent of the Gypsy’s curse – inhibited its growth. In one study, out of 194 mould samples ‘cursed’, 151 showed retarded growth.
And if all that wasn’t strange enough, in later experiments some of those attempting to influence the mould were stationed 15 miles away. Other scientists soon found that negative thoughts could also slow the growth of the food poisoning bug E. coli.
The military immediately saw the implications of this work. If DMILS could be harnessed by their psychic spies, they would become the perfect assassins.
It was only natural, then, for the military to turn to their most accomplished psychics for help. One of them, a youthful Uri Geller, was asked to kill a pig. There was just one problem, which hadn’t occurred to his handlers – Uri was a vegetarian with an abiding respect for all life.
“They asked me to kill the poor creature using thought alone,” Uri says. “I cannot tell you how shocked I was. I love animals. My powers cannot be used to harm. It’s as simple as that.
“In those days I was young and naïve but in that moment I realised who I’d become associated with. I catapulted myself out of that room and left the programme.”
The military, of course, didn’t abandon the project just because Uri had left. It morphed into Project Jedi at Fort Bragg, headquarters of US Special Forces.
Sergeant Glenn Wheaton, a special forces soldier and a member of Project Jedi, recently told me of the attempts to kill numerous different animals. First they tried dogs but the psychic soldiers couldn’t bring themselves to kill them, especially when the creatures were looking at them with their big brown eyes.
They finally latched onto goats. They reasoned that no one could empathise with a creature as ugly as a goat.
“One of the special forces soldiers, Michael Echanis, could stop the heart of a goat just by thinking about it,” says Sergeant Wheaton. “I watched him do it.
“Blood began to drip from its nose. Froth then started to bubble from its mouth. The creature fell on to its side, had a fit and died. I can’t have taken longer than 30 seconds. It was chilling to watch.”
“We realised soon after that everything comes with a cost. Michael suffered a sympathetic injury to his heart. Maybe it was karma.”
News of the U.S. military’s involvement with psychic spying and the Jedi Warriors gradually leaked out. The psychic programmes had always been controversial within the military.
Many opposed them on religious grounds, they were seen as Satanic, others saw them as deeply irrational and unbefitting for a modern military. It was hardly surprising then, that General Stubblebine was quietly retired. The Stargate Project was then downsized and eventually transferred to the CIA before being closed down.
In 1995, the Pentagon finally confirmed that they had indeed investigated paranormal phenomena “in the national interest”. They argued that because the Russians were using psychics, the US must investigate such phenomena too.
To diffuse the row, they immediately appointed two external scientists to investigate their research. It was a classic fudge. They knew that everyone would focus their attention on the more ‘believable’ Stargate remote viewing programme. The rest was deniable.
After more than a year of waiting, the results of the external audit of the military’s work was released. One researcher, Ray Hyman, concluded that the military had proven scientifically that psychic powers appeared to be real phenomena – but could not bring himself to actually believe in them.
The other, Professor Jessica Utts from the University of California at Davis, concluded that psychic phenomena are indeed real. The US Army had genuinely discovered a way of harnessing the paranormal.
It’s hardly surprising then, that some are claiming that the US military has re-activated its psychic spying programme. I have spoken to four former psychic spies. All agree that the U.S. is actively hunting for Bin Laden using remote viewers. Only one, Sergeant Glenn Wheaton, would go on the record.
“Sooner or later Bin Laden will be found,” he says. “His location will be narrowed down to four or five locations. They will all be hit simultaneously.”
And what of Project Jedi? That’s dead and buried. Well, that’s the official line anyway.
Written by Danny Penman