The definitive history of the military's decades-long investigation into mental powers and phenomena, from the author of Pulitzer Prize finalist The Pentagon's Brain and international bestseller Area 51. This is a book about a team of scientists and psychics with top secret clearances.
For more than forty years, the U.S. government has researched extrasensory perception, using it in attempts to locate hostages, fugitives, secret bases, and downed fighter jets, to divine other nations' secrets, and even to predict future threats to national security. The intelligence agencies and military services involved include CIA, DIA, NSA, DEA, the Navy, Air Force, and Army-and even the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Now, for the first time, New York Times bestselling author Annie Jacobsen tells the story of these radical, controversial programs, using never before seen declassified documents as well as exclusive interviews with, and unprecedented access to, more than fifty of the individuals involved. Speaking on the record, many for the first time, are former CIA and Defense Department scientists, analysts, and program managers, as well as the government psychics themselves.
Who did the U.S. government hire for these top secret programs, and how do they explain their military and intelligence work? How do scientists approach such enigmatic subject matter? What interested the government in these supposed powers and does the research continue? Phenomena is a riveting investigation into how far governments will go in the name of national security.
Journalist Jacobsen (The Pentagon's Brain) continues her disturbing excavations of the inner workings of the American defense and intelligence establishment in this fascinating expos of governmental research into "anomalous mental phenomena." The U.S. government sought to surveil its enemies and gain the upper hand in what was perceived to be a very real threat on Earth as well as in space. This was not merely a war of perception: the U.S.S.R. had embarked on ESP-based efforts of its own, including the bombardment of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow with focused microwaved beams. The result was an unprecedented arms race of the psychic kind. Readers may be familiar with MKUltra, the CIA's program to develop mind-control techniques, but they'll be surprised by the breadth and dedication of the government's efforts to study paranormal activity, which included drafting the likes of science fiction author Aldous Huxley and self-proclaimed psychic Uri Geller. Attempting to stay a step ahead of their foreign (and potential otherworldly) enemies, they investigated related phenomena, most notably remote viewing, which resulted in the creation of a dedicated remote viewing program in the U.S. Army. Jacobsen artfully deals card after dutifully researched card in her enthralling reportage on one of America's most curious defense endeavors.