From alleged psychic powers to alien encounters, thousands of people in the United States have claimed that they have experienced something out of this world. Are they all crazy, or is there something really going on? It turns out that even the U.S. government wanted to know the answer to this question, and they hoped that the existence of psychic phenomenon could actually give them a tactical advantage against their enemies.
From in 1972 to 1990, an partners of the CIA- the DIA and INSCOM became the real-life X-Files. This was classified under multiple names, including Project Sun Streak, Project Grillflame, and Project Stargate. In the original briefing, the CIA states that its mission was to establish if foreign threats exist, and learn how to exploit it for our own benefit.
Since the project was closed for years, the CIA has declassified their secret files, making all of these amazing stories available for the public to read. In 2017, Project Farsight was formed to take over where Stargate left off. So, what, exactly were they investigating? Here are some of the most out-of-this-world experiments from Project Stargate.
How it All Started
During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union were both in an intense rivalry to outdo one another. The U.S. believed that anything Russia could do, they could do better. They were particularly interested in extrasensory perception, or ESP, and psychokinesis, which is the ability to move objects with one’s mind.
If psychic powers truly were real, that meant whoever had psychic spies on their side would have a clear advantage. The major difference between the Soviet’s approach was that they were conducting experiments with the scientific method. At that point, the United States had only looked at the potential existence of psychic powers from a psychological perspective. As early as the 1920’s, Leningrad State University was working together with Russian soldiers in their attempt to send telepathic messages to submarines, and recording the results. By the 1970’s, there were over 30 centers in the USSR that were studying paranormal activity, or “parapsychology”.
The Soviets believed in something called “Bioenergetics”, which is the belief that all living things give off an energy. So if they were able to tap into that energy, they could read minds and move things at will. Unlike their other experiments, American scientists did not really want to dive in to the ideas of Bioenergetics, because they didn’t think there was enough to go on.
The United States government did, however, think that studies with hypnosis were very interesting. They were interested in knowing about the power of suggestion, and what it can do to someone’s mind. While information about hypnosis was still new in the 70’s, it is widely recognized today as a legitimate psychological technique that can help people cope with trauma, relax, quit smoking, and so many other things.