Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
Can you kill a goat by staring into its eyes? That's the plot of a Hollywood film (and a U.S. army experiment!)
By Dr Danny Penman
Last updated at 8:20 AM on 23rd October 2009
At first glance, the goat shed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina could be anywhere in the world. Thirty goats are happily munching away on their hay and staring at the blank concrete walls of their stable.Every few minutes, one stops chewing, looks around, and then nonchalantly continues eating as if nothing has happened.But that is where the normality ends. For in an equally nondescript room next door, a young sergeant in combat fatigues is staring at the goats through a window fitted with one-way glass.
They would be fantastically strong and possess superior intelligence, cunning and intuition. They would use psychic powers to spy on the enemy, disable nuclear bombs with telekinesis, and effortlessly kill with the power of thought alone.Not only that, they would also have the ability to become invisible at will and to walk through walls. You might think Project Jedi was the product of Hollywood scriptwriters eager to tempt audiences with a delightfully crazy plot. Indeed, the project does lie at the heart of the soon-to-be-released Hollywood blockbuster The Men Who Stare At Goats, starring George Clooney and Ewan McGregor.
What is less well-known, however, is that the U.S. military did try to create such a breed of 'supersoldier'. And that killing goats with psychic powers was just the tip of the iceberg.
Indeed, the fruits of Project Jedi, and several other clandestine paranormal projects, have been 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 that these ideas were not considered wacky,' says Sergeant Glenn Wheaton, a Special Forces soldier seconded to Project Jedi.'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.'
One of the great proponents of psychic warfare was Major General Albert Stubblebine III - and back in 1983, he was at the height of his powers.He was one of America's most distinguished soldiers and chief of U.S. Army Intelligence, with 16,000 soldiers under his command. He was instrumental in the invasions of Panama and Grenada. In fact, 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.
Very soon, Stanford played host to more than a dozen psychic spies and their skills were even 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 soundproof room and wearing earphones playing white noise. Ping-pong balls sliced in half were placed over their eyes to obscure vision. The room was then bathed in soft red light.The map coordinates or an image of the 'target' would then be placed in an envelope and handed to the viewers. They would be allowed to touch the envelope, but forbidden from opening it.
Locked in their meditative trance, the psychic spies would then experience pictures, feelings and impressions of the target, which might be located thousands of miles away.
To the uninitiated, this approach may sound little better than guesswork. But the scientists investigating remote viewing found it to be surprisingly accurate and the military took it on with enthusiasm.Joe McMoneagle was a Vietnam veteran and also Remote Viewer No1. His role was to use remote viewing to spy on Russian military bases and gather intelligence.He spent more than 20 years as a remote viewer working for U.S. intelligence at Fort Meade, Maryland, the HQ 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 per cent,' 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".' But the military was not content to use psychics merely to gather intelligence. They wanted to go further and use them for offensive purposes, too - an enthusiasm that turned to paranoia when the Americans learned of a huge Russian programme to develop their own psychic weapons.
Nation vs nationMore than 40 Russian institutes were involved and the Americans were terrified that the Soviets would use psychics to disable their nuclear missiles.To combat the threat, American psychics were tasked with manipulating the workings of Russian computers and erasing their hard discs. They were also asked to interfere with the detonators of nuclear weapons and interrupt the guidance systems of missiles. All of this work is still highly classified.
AND things soon turned even more sinister - for the military began investigating whether human thought could inflict damage on living creatures. This is known as DMILS (Direct Mental Interaction with Living Systems).
In the late Sixties, American scientists had discovered that focusing bitter, vindictive and negative thoughts on mould inhibited its growth. In one study, 151 of 194 samples given this treatment showed retarded growth.
Other scientists 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.
'In those days, I was young and na've, 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 merely morphed into Project Jedi at Fort Bragg, headquarters of U.S. Special Forces.Sergeant Glenn Wheaton, of Project Jedi, recently told me of the attempts to kill numerous 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 chose goats, reasoning 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 onto 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.'
LeaksNews of the military's involvement with psychic spying and Project Jedi gradually leaked out. The psychic programmes had always been controversial within the military. Many opposed them on religious grounds, branding them Satanic; others saw them as deeply irrational and unbefitting of a modern military.It was hardly surprising then that General Stubblebine was quietly retired in 1984. 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 U.S. must investigate such phenomena, too.They also appointed two external scientists to investigate the research. After more than a year of waiting, the results of this audit were released.Although the first researcher, Dr Ray Hyman, remained ambivalent, the second, Professor Jessica Utts from the University of California at Davis, concluded that psychic phenomena were indeed real. She believed the U.S. Army had genuinely discovered a way of harnessing the paranormal.
It's hardly surprising, then, that some are claiming the 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 - although 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 places - and they will all be hit simultaneously.'And if psychic powers do end the war on terror? Well, at least that poor goat won't have died in vain.