How the Military Ran Its 1970s Psychic Intelligence Program—Many Memos, Naturally

FOR DECADES DURING THE COLD War and into the 1990s, the United States military ran a program that used “psychoenergetics”–psychokinesis, telepathy, and, most prominently in this case, “remote viewing”–to collect intelligence.

This isn’t some clever promotion for the new X-Files. The collection of records on the program released by the National Security Archive has recently expanded to 51 separate documents. As befitting a government agency, many lay out the incredibly weird protocols of psychic espionage in boring memos, endless strings of acronyms, and, of course, budget analysis. 

The program (or programs, as the collection of different psychic efforts had many different names over the years) developed an emphasis on remote viewing, which involves using psychic powers to somehow see something in a place away from where you actually are located. This began after early experimenters in the 1970s were able to provide detailed information about a Soviet R&D facility. After that, the military fielded a secret remote viewing team for years.

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