Tech UPTechnologyStargate, the CIA program to spy using paranormal powers

Stargate, the CIA program to spy using paranormal powers


Information is power. The fear of losing world hegemony in some potentially dangerous field causes research to be financed that may seem like the person commissioning it has lost its grip. Thus, in 1984 the Army Research Institute asked the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to study all those techniques that would increase the performance of its soldiers, such as the use of psychic powers, visualization, learning during sleep. .. The committee in charge of evaluating these techniques, made up of fourteen experts – almost all of them psychologists – concluded that it found “no scientific justification in the investigations carried out over 130 years to consider the existence of parapsychological phenomena .” Evidently the report, published in December 1987, did not sit well in parapsychological circles. It was accused of bias because two of its main reviewers, Ray Hyman and James Alcock, were known skeptics. But in reality, what the Army Research Institute had done was ask for a second opinion, since in 1985 it had already obtained a report on parapsychology research from John Palmer, a well-known parapsychologist.

But everything that happened was little compared to what he was going to bring to light with the change of the decade. In November 1995, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) revealed the existence of a Top Secret project under the code name of Stargate , suspended and declassified during the spring of that year. Passionate believers in the paranormal rubbed their hands together: it was living proof of the intelligence services’ interest in psychic phenomena , and surely it provided evidence in favor of its existence.

remote viewing experiments

It all started in the early 1970s, when the CIA financed a program to see if so-called ‘remote viewing’ might be of interest to its operations. An experiment in remote viewing consists of the following: in an isolated room the ‘gifted’ is placed and asked to concentrate on the image that someone else is looking at in another place, and draw or describe it. Then it is checked whether you have given an accurate description of the target. This research was done at the Stanford Research Institute, under the direction of two well-known parapsychologists, Harold Puthoff and Russell Targ. Also, other gifted people were used to see if they could provide real and useful information for the CIA . In the late 1970s, the CIA abandoned the program and the DIA took over, expanded it and codenamed it Stargate . For twenty years the North American government spent more than 270 million pesetas on the project at the time. It was divided into three parts: the first was to monitor what other countries were doing in the field of psychic warfare and espionage; the second, the ‘Operations Program’, consisted of keeping six ‘endowed’ on the government payroll so that the different government agencies could use their services; and the third was laboratory research carried out first at the Stanford Research Institute and then at the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in California.

The declassification of the program in early 1995 allowed an external analysis of its results. Due to some controversy regarding the program, a Senate committee decided to transfer it back to the CIA. The CIA, before deciding the fate of the program, contacted the American Institute of Research (AIR) to evaluate it. The AIR hired a University of California statistician and parapsychologist, Jessica Utts, and skeptic Ray Hyman to analyze SAIC’s investigations, while the AIR itself would review the Operations Program. The AIR’s analysis of the work of psychics with real targets was devastating: “Our conclusion is that at this time it would be premature to assume that we have a convincing demonstration of paranormal phenomena.” Furthermore, ” remote viewing has not been shown to have value in intelligence operations ” and that “there is no reason to continue funding the operational component of this program.”

On the other hand, Utts and Hyman agreed in their analysis that the best experiments produced positive results above those expected by chance . Did we finally have solid proof that extrasensory perception existed? Unfortunately it had a major flaw : the judge who decided the hits was the main investigator and not someone who had nothing to do with the program. It would be necessary to wait for independent judges to be used to be able to decide the importance of these investigations. From here Utts and Hyman did not agree. Despite this, for Utts it was proof enough of the existence of psychic powers; for Hyman, no . Not until independent researchers replicated the results and until parapsychology “provides a positive theory that allows us to decide when psi is present and when it is absent.”

It was never tried again, so we will never know to what extent the results obtained were an indication of something that remains to be discovered.


Mumford, MD; Rose, A M.; Goslin, DA. (nineteen ninety five). An Evaluation of Remote Viewing: Research and Applications. The American Institutes for Research

McMoneagle, Joseph (1997). Mind trek: exploring consciousness, time, and space through remote viewing, Hampton Roads Pub

Jacobsen, A (2017), Phenomena: The Secret History of the US Government’s Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis. Little, Brown.

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