Is the American Intelligence Community still in the psychic espionage business?
New information reveals psychic spy connection to Donald Rumsfeld’s Office of the Secretary of Defense. And why was NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake charged with espionage after working with U.K. psychic Chris Robinson? An update.
Original date of publication 25 May 2011
Revised and updated with new information on 5 May 2012 and 20 July 2013 and November 2015
17 September 2012 … Breaking News … Former senior NSA official Thomas Andrews Drake confirms pre-9/11 psychic intelligence to investigative journalist George Knapp on Coast to Coast AM.
(STARpod.us) — I watched the CBS 60 Minutes story about NSA whistleblowers and the espionage case against former NSA official Thomas Drake with great interest.
60 Minutes asked a whistle-blower expert, Attorney Jesselyn Radack, why Drake would be charged under the Espionage Act for taking home — but not disclosing — classified information.
“That’s a very good question,” answered Radack, “The Espionage Act was a World War One law, passed in 1917, meant to go after spies, not whistle-blowers.”
When asked if there was any evidence that Drake sought to harm the United States, Radack replied, “None, whatsoever.”
My sources had already confirmed that Drake, who had held very high level positions in the Signals Intelligence Directorate at NSA, knew a psychic named Chris Robinson. And Robinson claimed to have worked with Drake to explore his psychic spying skills for seven years.
I also knew, based upon thousands of pages of declassified government documents — covering a period from the 1960s to the mid-1990s — that the entire U.S. intelligence community had been enthralled with the use of psychic intelligence. The files proved that government interest in the use of the paranormal had extended all the way to the Joint Chiefs, where Drake had, as a Naval officer, analyzed intelligence for the Pentagon.
I had files on proposed covert psychic intelligence programs, lists of names and research facilities, once classified scientific reports from top defense contractors, thousands of pages blackened by redactions of sensitive information — but one question lingered in my mind:
Was the post-9/11 U.S. intelligence community back in the business of using psychic intelligence?
Author Jon Ronson seemed to think so, but his book — “The Men Who State at Goats” — seemed at best a superficial, if immensely entertaining investigation.
I had obtained CIA’s STAR GATE files — roughly 89,000 pages of government documentation — and had managed to network with various researchers and government officials and consultants who were familiar with the old programs.
One of my contacts, the author Gus Russo, provided us with a source on NSA use of psychic intelligence. Russo’s source confirmed that NSA had not only been in the psychic spying business, they had continued their research program following 9/11.
Russo’s NSA source told us the program was covert and compartmentalized — a so-called Special Access Program — deep inside NSA Signals Intelligence.
Why would Signals Intelligence be interested in something as esoteric and disreputable as paranormal intelligence collection?
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One reason might be the discovery of a signal carrier acting at the biological level deep inside the human mind. I knew that foreign researchers had been looking into the new field of quantum biology for communication.
A human being, and human consciousness in particular, can be modeled as a kind of ‘black-box’ where unknown processes take place. One of my contacts, a Chinese researcher based in Beijing, had proposed an experiment to see if a human observer was capable of quantum perception: the ability to perceive two possible outcomes simultaneously.
CIA files confirmed that the U.S. intelligence community was not only aware of foreign activity looking to adapt paranormal phenomena for intelligence purposes, but intended to continue to monitor the situation for developments.
In addition, Congress had pushed for open cooperation between American and foreign researchers in paranormal and alternative science — and by the time CIA closed the officially acknowledged psychic program called STAR GATE, most of the discussion had moved onto the Internet.
About the same time, alternative researchers received a boost from a notable mathematical physicist from Oxford, Sir Roger Penrose, in a series of books where he suggested quantum effects in the brain might explain the mystery of human perception.
It appeared that the field was heating up just as the intelligence community was officially winding down their interest.
Were some of the spooks covertly networking with the on-line research community? And why had Thomas Drake, then a senior official at NSA, been working with U.K. psychic Chris Robinson, who claimed to have been tasked to locate Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and to find nuclear sites in Iran?
Was NSA in the business of warrantless mind taps?
An offer I received to go down the rabbit hole added to mystery. Why was my contributing source, a British citizen named Caryn Anscomb, suddenly accused of working with MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service? Was this merely to prevent her from meeting former intelligence persons, who had now seemingly been warned off, or was there more to the story?
And another mystery would eventually emerge: Why was Laura Bradshaw Eisenhower Mahon, the great-granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, claiming she had been approached with an offer to join a secret deep-black group tied to former psychic spies and their intelligence handlers?
A fuzzy picture emerged after U.K. psychic Chris Robinson discovered hard copies of lost e-mail in his home. The messages identified Christopher Mellon at the Office of the Secretary of Defense as one of the senior Bush-era officials interested in pursuing the use of paranormal phenomena for threat scenario development and potentially in a tip-off role for future terrorist actions.
[Editor’s note for the record: Christopher Mellon’s LinkedIn page lists his 2002 position at the Office of the Secretary of Defense]
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
Department of Defense
Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Military industry
November 1999 – December 2002 (3 years 2 months)
Advisor to the DoD leadership on intelligence issues and activities. Responsibilities included: Oversight of sensitive DoD intelligence operations; review of DoD special access programs; and coordination of DoD interests with National Foreign Intelligence Program (NFIP) agencies.
Based upon the messages I have seen and information provided directly by Robinson, following a proposed psychic intelligence unit promoted by Dr. Gary E. Schwartz at the University of Arizona, and Robinson’s warning to CIA of airplanes used as cruise missiles against the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City shortly before 9/11, senior intelligence officials were exploring the potential use of psychic spies to prevent future terror attacks. The chain of command appears to have originated with Donald Rumsfeld and was a closely held secret among a group of roughly twenty senior officials at the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Robinson conducted a series of experiments at several U.S. locations and worked in part with Thomas Drake who at the time was a senior NSA official. According to another source, the covert NSA program was deeply compartmentalized and involved the participation of research centers including Johns Hopkins and The Monroe Institute. Another parallel program, possibly involving U.S. Special Forces, may have already been in place when Robinson was unofficially recruited.
In a recent article, former senator and Secretary of Defense William S.Cohen told Newsweek, “I was impressed with the concept of remote viewing … The results may not have been consistent enough to constitute actionable intelligence, but exploration of the power of the mind was and remains an important endeavor … I did support the Star Gate program, as did Senator Robert Byrd and other members of the committee … There seemed to be a small segment of people who were able to key into a different level of consciousness. It doesn’t mean [sources] in the Star Gate program possessed psychic powers that could predict the future or peer into the past and retrieve lost information. But there were a number of remote-viewing tests conducted that I found impressive.”
Was Drake, who worked for NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate, involved in officially sanctioned intelligence operations involving U.S. persons and U.K.-based foreign nationals?
Here’s what we know:
1994: An official U.S. government Memorandum reports that SAIC, a top ten defense contractor, claims potential breakthroughs in the scientific study of paranormal phenomena. Head of the DIA covert research program is Dr. Ed May. Dr. May and Larissa Vilenskaya, his research associate from Russia, report on their contacts with paranormal researchers from the Former Soviet Union. At the time, May is covertly reporting on foreign paranormal research to the DIA.
1995: STAR GATE, a DIA psychic spy program, is transferred to the CIA by Congress and is soon shut down and partially declassified, after meetings to discuss the “phenomenology issue” at classified hearings of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Among those present: Christopher Mellon and Chris Straub. According to paranormal researcher Dan Smith, he met with Straub several times, and at least one time with Dr. Ron Pandolfi of CIA present.
1997: In a now declassified article from “CIA Studies in Intelligence” journal, government historian Gerald K. Haines writes, “There is a DIA Psychic Center [presumably a reference to the now-defunct STAR GATE project], and the NSA studies parapsychology, that branch of psychology that deals with the investigation of such psychic phenomena as clairvoyance, extrasensory perception, and telepathy.”
1998: A CIA scientist named Ron Pandolfi is called before the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify about alleged technology transfers to China. The story is reported in The New York Times.
Shan Gao, a researcher in Beijing, posts several papers at the Los Alamos physics archive suggesting a potential communication technology based upon human extrasensory perception. Gary S. Bekkum contacts Shan Gao by e-mail and introduces him to Sir Roger Penrose’s associate Dr. Stuart Hameroff and his Quantum Mind Internet Discussion Group, to draw attention to Shan Gao’s quantum mind telepathy experiment.
2000: A friend of Pandolfi, Dan T. Smith, son of Dan Throop Smith, a former tax advisor to the Eisenhower and Nixon Administrations, claims there is a government “phenomenology problem” and implies Pandolfi is collecting intelligence on persons involved in paranormal and alternative science research.
Later, during a 2005 video interview with Smith, Dr. Jack Sarfatti, a physicist, claims Pandolfi came to see him in San Francisco with questions about Dr. Hal Puthoff, a former CIA scientist who worked on psychic research, and Bob Bigelow, who had funded paranormal research.
June 2001: Dr. Ed May’s Russian associate, Larissa Vilenskaya, is killed on 13 June 2001 when she accidentally steps in front of a train.
August 2001: U.K. psychic Christopher Robinson conducts experiments with Gary E. Schwartz at the University of Arizona. Robinson reports visions of aircraft crashing into tall buildings in New York City.
September 11, 2001: Al Qaeda terrorists crash hijacked passenger aircraft into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. A fourth plane flown by hijacker Ziad Jarrah fails to reach the U.S. Capitol Building
September 2001: Gary E. Schwartz proposes a paranormal intelligence unit and begins to seek funding for the operation, citing Robinson’s pre-9/11 warning as an example for future terror prevention.
October 2001: Psychic Uri Geller, who had been recruited by CIA in the 1970s for his alleged paranormal powers (according to declassified government files) tells author Jon Ronson that he has been “reactivated” for the new Bush War on Terror. When pressed to name names, Geller tells Ronson that the man who had reactivated his services is called “Ron.”
2002: Declassified files reveal that in 2002 the British Ministry of Defence was exploring the potential use of psychic perception, known as remote viewing, for intelligence collection. Redactions in the documents appear to cite an on-going program in a foreign nation, possibly a reference to the United States. Documents obtained by STARstream Research from U.K. psychic spy Christopher Robinson identify Christopher Mellon at the Office of the Secretary of Defense as one of the senior U.S. government intelligence officials interested in using paranormal phenomena for the (then) new Bush War on Terror. Dr. Ed May is cited as a key research contact.
One document reads in part:
“I’m learning more about the history of what went before us. It seems that at least one program was too accurate and caused a bigwig to believe that they had to be lying, that they got the information elsewhere, so he closed it down. Also the guy you met with who was involved with the program and his colleagues didn’t believe any of this had anything to do with God. Some of them, I’ve been warned, are downright dangerous.”
2004: Jon Ronson writes about “Ron” in his book, “The Men Who Stare at Goats.” It is later assumed that “Ron” is CIA’s Dr. Ronald Pandolfi. Pandolfi will eventually be cited as the key person responsible for an Office of the Director of National Intelligence MITRE JASON study on high frequency gravity waves. Several of Pandolfi’s associates, including Paul Murad and Mark Pesses, are also cited in the study.
In May, cold fusion researcher Eugene Mallove is murdered. In September, paranormal researcher John Mack is struck by a car driven by a drunk driver and dies while visiting in London.
2005: Dan Smith leaks e-mail messages suggesting senior U.S. officials are aware of a phenomenology problem.
2006: One of Murad’s e-mail messages includes a government security certificate that identifies the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics. A journalist working with Murad later claims to have been recruited by military intelligence persons from Ft. Meade — presumably either Army intelligence from INSCOM or the NSA.
STARstream Research receives a mysterious message via the encrypted e-mail service Hushmail with an offer to “go down this rabbit hole.”
Ron Pandolfi leaks a series of e-mail messages concerning the polygraph test of Richard C. Doty, a former AFOSI agent, alleged to have spread UFO disinformation. The accusations against Doty distract paranormal researchers who had previously been seeking information on the alleged phenomenology problem.
2007: Dan T. Smith hires investigative author Gus Russo to write a story about known past and present U.S. intelligence officials who were interacting with citizens of the U.S. and the United Kingdom. During his investigation, one of Russo’s sources advised that STAR GATE, a psychic spy program run by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, had been moved to CIA, and then secretly transferred to the NSA. Russo’s source is allegedly in contact with someone directly involved in the program. NSA sponsored research is alleged to take place at Johns Hopkins and The Monroe Institute.
Dan Smith’s allegations of an investigation by Pandolfi of U.S. and Chinese high frequency gravity wave research are later proven with the release of a Director of National Intelligence sponsored JASON Study.
2008: Chinese paranormal researcher Shan Gao is introduced, in Beijing, to Dr. Christopher ‘Kit’ Green, Pandolfi’s colleague and a former CIA analyst and DIA consultant who once worked on CIA’s psychic research. Green and Gao discuss a possible communication experiment that would involve the use of fMRI technology. Green publishes “Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience” for the DIA’s TIGER Technology Warning Committee.
2010: Laura Bradshaw Eisenhower Mahon, great-granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and daughter of Obama Administration energy consultant Susan Eisenhower, claims to have been recruited into a ‘deep black’ program associated with former CIA paranormal researchers and John L. Petersen’s future directed think-tank The Arlington Institute. Ms. Mahon claims to have paranormal powers.
Thomas Drake is indicted on ten counts including “willful retention of national defense information,” “obstruction of justice” and “making a false statement” for his whistle-blowing efforts.
Christopher Robinson — a British psychic who was studied in the United States in 2001 at the University of Arizona and would later claim to have warned American intelligence services of airplanes used as cruise missiles just prior to the 9/11 attacks — recognizes Drake from news stories about his indictment. Robinson learns that the man he worked with for seven years was a senior intelligence official with the NSA.
2011: Sources confirm Chris Robinson’s claim of knowing Drake. One source identifies John L. Petersen and The Arlington Institute as a key point of contact. Robinson goes public concerning his relationship with Drake. Questions are raised as to whether or not Drake’s involvement was a personal or an official matter, by STARpod.org.
2012: The remote viewing magazine Eight Martinis publishes “Is NSA in the Psychic Spy Business?” by Gary S. Bekkum. Shortly after publication, Robinson provides new e-mail messages supporting his claimed involvement with officials from Donald Rumsfeld’s Office of the Secretary of Defense, notably Chris Mellon and Linton Wells II. According to STAR GATE files, both men had previously been briefed on DIA’s paranormal foreign collection effort in the 1990s.
Copyright (c) 2013, 2012, 2011 by Gary S Bekkum / STARstream Research. All rights reserved.