Tuesday, May 26, 2020

More History of 'Pentagon Woo' from Annie Jacobsen - Part 2

Continuing the Discussion of Annie Jacobsen's 2017 book Phenomena
Continued from Part 1

  • "The potential of prophecy as a military intelligence tool was also being investigated by the Defense Intelligence Agency under the Sun Streak banner," Project P (p. 336)! It was "a utility assessment initiated to determine a remote viewer's ability to function effectively in a purely predictive mode."
  • Another innovative project undertaken by Sun Streak was "Written Remote Viewing" (WRV, p. 340). Some remote viewers objected that this amounted to "channeling," which of course it did. But I don't see how you can maintain that spoken descriptions constitute valid "Remote Viewing," while written descriptions are bogus and mystical.
  • Project "Sun Streak" was later changed to "Star Gate," which would "identify people with 'talent'... The concept of Extraordinary Human Functioning developed by Albert Stubblebine and John Alexander in the early 1980s would be reintroduced" (p. 362).
  •  "In 2014, the Office of Naval Research embarked on a four-year, $3.85 million research program to explore the phenomenon it calls premonition and intuition, or 'Spidey sense,' for sailors and Marines... The Pentagon's focus is to maximize the power of the sixth sense for operational use" (p. 380). This description was published in 2017; did this program attain its goals by 2018? Was it extended, and still ongoing?
    A scene from the movie The Men Who Stare at Goats (to test using  'psychic powers' to harm enemy soldiers). This actually was done. Jacobsen mentions this only in an endnote, calling the book "satirical" (it was indeed funny, but also factual). She notes that the book and the movie "enhanced negative perception of remote viewing" ("deservedly," I would add).

  • "Starting in 2011, as part of a research program called Power Dreaming, soldiers plagued by PTSD-related nightmares have used biofeedback techniques similar to those studied by Colonel John Alexander in the Intelligence and Security Command's Beyond Excellence program, under Geneeral Stubblebine" (p. 382)
  • "The Pentagon currently [2017] supports more than fifty qigong-based programs for soldiers and veterans, the majority of whom suffer from PTSD" (p. 383). "Qigong" is based on "chi," an ancient Chinese belief in mystical energies that has no basis in science. I would think that soldiers and veterans deserve treatments based on solid medical science, not ancient quackery.
  • "Since 1985, Hal Puthoff has been chief scientist at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin, in Texas... The Institute's Research arm, Earth Tech International, manages thirty-two subcontracts, mostly military and intelligence related" (p. 388). One of the researchers at Earth Tech is astrophysicist Dr. Eric Davis, who formerly worked for Bigelow's NIDS, and stayed at the Skinwalker Ranch trying to study its supposed paranormal phenomena. Davis told reporter George Knapp that one time a poltergeist followed him home from Skinwalker Ranch! (I hate it when that happens.) Davis also also the author of five of the 38 papers on Weird Science paid for by AAWSAP, on subjects like "wormholes" and "anti-gravity."
  • "Sources at the Defense Intelligence Agency confirmed to me that Earth Tech International has for years maintained a Defense Department contract to investigate what are known as 'excess energy' claims" (p. 389). "Excess energy" is a euphemism for "energy from nothing," or "a perpetual motion machine." Puthoff says that the Defense Department comes to them to "disprove" extraordinary excess energy claims. "So far we have disproven all of them." I'm glad to hear that, but I don't see why the Defense Department needs to spend taxpayer money refuting such claims. But in any case, Puthoff is a big proponent of "zero-point energy," or 'free energy' from the vacuum of space. "To harness zero-point energy could, Puthoff posits, lead to a general theory about ESP and PK phenomena" (p. 390). Fortunately, Jacobsen also took the trouble to consult physicist and CSI fellow Dr. Lawrence M. Krauss, a well-known skeptic. Kraus told her (correctly, in my view) that "Zero-point energy is the lowest [energy] point in the universe. If you could extract energy out of it, there would have to be a lower point. There isn't a lower step on the staircase."  
  • The supposed "Atacama humanoid," which was identified by Dr. Nolan.
  • "Dr. Green teamed up with Nolan lab at Stanford University, run by Gary Nolan, one of the world's leading research scientists specializing in genetics, immunology, and bioinformatics" (p. 398). Gary Nolan was a member of To The Stars Academy's Advisory Board when it was founded in 2017. However, Dr. Nolan resigned in October of 2018, citing "conflicts" with his other work agreements. However, he added that he still is "fully supportive" of TTSA and its goals. Nolan also was responsible for the genetic analysis of the so-called Atacama humanoid, which was being promoted by Steven Greer as a likely ET. Nolan reported that, alas, this specimen, while deformed, was nonetheless a female human fetus
Jacobsen trveled to Detroit to do an in-depth interview of Dr. Kit Green. Much of this interview has been excerpted on her Blog by by Pauline Wilson. Those who are concerned about possible 'unauthorized secret medical experiments' at the Skinwalker Ranch need to read this interview. Green tells us exactly what he is studying:
Using the technology available to him. Green orders brain scans, specialized blood, DNA and endocrine test and compiles the results. At present he has more than one hundred active patients. His original hypothesis was that a majority of his patients had "been exposed to technology from black programs," he says, that is, advanced state-of-the-art, high-energy technologies developed in Special Access Programs. "Nonlethal weapons programs. Holograms. Cloaking devices. Drones. Twenty five percent of my patients die within five to seven years of my diagnosis, and I have no idea of how any programs I knew about years ago can do these things," Green says....In effect, Kit Green and Gary Nolan are searching for a gene for paranormality. Or, as Green prefers to say, "The genomics of supernormality" (p. 400).
"Supernormality," as in Uri Geller or Ingo Swann - what combination of genes supposedly convey psychic super powers?.

Clearly, Annie Jacobsen is a "believer" that there was value in the government investigations of PSI functions. She hints that a better-managed program might turn up something of real value. She mentions a few skeptics, always in an unfavorable light, especially James Randi and Martin Gardner. She depicts Randi as a rather closed-minded, spiteful person who has an obsession with Geller. I have known Randi for over forty years, and I can assure you that this is not true. Like many magicians, Randi was appalled to see the media attention - and even credulous scientific attention - given to Geller, who was obviously performing the same spoon-bending and other tricks that are the magician's staple. Jacobsen tells how she visited Geller in Israel, where he is  a big celebrity recognized everywhere, and asked to bend a spoon, which he usually does. She shows no skepticism about Geller's magic powers.

At the CSICOP Conference in Buffalo, NY, 1983: Standing, Philip J. Klass. Seated: Pip Smith and Dick Smith
of Australia; the author; John Merrell; Randi. Note that Randi's fork has mysteriously bent!

Here we see the big problem with the book - Jacobsen falls for Geller's spoon-bending tricks, and thus considers Puthoff, Green, etc. to be scientists on the verge of making great discoveries. Sorry, but I have seen too much of the 'other side' to find that convincing. I used to hang out a lot with the late Bob Steiner, magician and CSICOP Fellow. Steiner used to love to do impromptu magic tricks practically everywhere he went, and the old spoon-bending trick was one of his favorites (as it was with Randi, also a close friend of Steiner). I should perhaps note that time spent with Randi and Steiner was pretty much nonstop jokes and fun. Truly fine times!

Uri Geller did a show in San Francisco in 1984. The Bay Area Skeptics went out in force to observe, and take notes. We clearly saw him cheating. I have just now placed BAS' full analysis of Geller's performance on-line.
Steiner always used to say that there were plenty of ways to bend spoons, so he was reluctant to show people any one method. They might say, "But Geller didn't do it that way, so his powers must be real!" Nope.


  1. This is a more convincing way to 'psychically' bend spoons that Uri Geller's: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF4vjpvA438

  2. When I posted a link to this article on "Above Top Secret," user Arbitrageur posted the following link from 2010, in which two NASA scientists have volunteered to test "excess energy claims" without cost, thereby saving the Pentagon sensing all that money to Puthoff:

    "NASA Overunity Test Team

    by Congress:Founder:Sterling D. Allan

    Pure Energy Systems News

    May 19, 2010

    A couple of NASA scientists, Mike Nelson and Ken House, who work on the Space Shuttle project in Huntsville, Alabama have been following the free energy world for years and would like to believe that Tesla type of technology is possible that harnesses limitless energy from the environment via electromagnetic means.

    However, this is not a free-for-all invitation for anyone who thinks they have an overunity device. Mike and Ken's pre-requisites are pretty stringent.

    In their spare time, they are willing to put their reputation at stake in validating bona fide electromagnetic overunity (more energy out than what was put in). But "spare time" is the key word. They don't have much of it, so they don't want to spend time on things that haven't first been tested to show overunity by others and they want to review the data that has been collected.

    They don't represent NASA, but at least their testing can add the clout of "NASA scientists" to it."



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