(as promised in my previous article, some details on the military's interest in Puthoff and Targ’s research)
In 1977, the U.S. Government approved limited funding for a project to attempt to duplicate the success of Puthoff and Targ’s experiments under "operational conditions". Based at Fort Meade in Maryland, (the headquarters of the NSA), the project was to be managed by the Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), and supervised by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Initially, the project was codenamed "Gondola Wish", and exclusively recruited those who had some form of "previous psychic experiences", both from within the services and civilian technicians with the appropriate security clearances, such as photo-interpreters. These recruits served with the unit (designated "Detachment G") part-time, while still officially remaining attached to their original units. The programme started out with the assumption that Remote Viewing worked, and concentrated on developing a training regime to make it work better.
In early 1988, "Gondola Wish" had barely started running when all operations were halted, pending investigation into its status as "human use experimentation", with attendant consents and medical evaluations required. The six most promising candidates were eventually sent to SRI for evaluation.
Later in 1978, with all "operational" personnel certified "fit for action", the project was restarted as the "Special Action Branch", now codenamed "Grill Flame". The budget was increased, and three of the subjects were now employed full-time. The unit was treated as an "offensive spying unit", providing supplemental support to other branches of the intelligence community. A few months later, in early 1979, the SRI research programme was integrated into "Grill Flame".
In early 1983, Russel Targ left the project to form the commercial venture "Delphi Associates" with author and talented remote viewer Keith Harary and entrepreneur Tony White. The company was to apply a variation of the SRI techniques in oil and gas prospecting, along with "playing" the stock market.
The army's remote viewing unit was still operating much as per the original SRI model up until late 1983, when it was re-designated as "Center Lane", and a new "breakthrough" training regime was introduced under the personal tuition of Ingo Swann, SRI's "star" viewer since the early 1970s. His technique is said to have guaranteed successful remote viewing for any subject - until now, subjects had been "vetted" for previous psychic experience, which was considered more important than their attributes as a soldier.
The new training technique proved extremely successful, and Swann's star pupil, Captain Ed Dames, was promoted to Operations and Training Officer, using this technique to train military officers both from within and outside the project to a high degree of proficiency. Dames was still in charge of operations when the Army funding ran out, leading to the unit's transfer to become part of the DIA's "Scientific and Technical Intelligence Directorate" in late 1985. At this time, the unit was re-designated "DT-S", codenamed "Sun Streak". It was also around this time that Hal Puthoff left the project.
In 1988, Major David Morehouse joined the project. Morehouse had been shot in the head during a training exercise the previous year, and began to experience spontaneous psychic activity. He was trained in the "new regime", and hinted at some of the details in his book "Psychic Warrior", published at the end of 1997.
"...everything you get during remote viewing is filtered through the conscious mind which interprets the images, smells, tastes and emotional impressions according to what it has been conditioned to by the viewer's own previous experiences. So we were trained to differentiate between what was really 'out there' and what was stimulated by our imagination. They cautioned us against what they called 'analytical overlay'...", Morehouse explained in a recent interview (Sightings magazine, vol.2 iss.8, p.20-25), also saying that the viewers were required to acclimatise themselves to "negative energies" by systematically focusing on distressing targets such as the ovens at Auschwitz, or the destruction of flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland.
Problems arose when a new commanding officer, Fern Gauvin, decided to break with the scientific protocols in favour of more "traditional" occult methodologies - bringing civilian psychics and tarot readers onto the team, much to the irritation of the highly-trained military subjects who had to work with them! The civillians (known internally as "the Witches") had no significant success in their intelligence work, but amused visitors with "personal psychic readings"…
In 1991, the project was again re-designated, this time as "Star Gate". The dilution of the intelligence gathered by the "noise" from the civilian psychics had lowered the overall effectiveness of the group, and lost it whatever standing it had once had within the intelligence community. After a failed attempt in 1994 to have the unit attached to the CIA's Office of Research and Development, it was finally shut down in 1995. (Such is the nature of these things, however, that rumours of its existence in one form or another still persist.)
(Much of this information is distilled from pages on "The Doc Hambone Web", with sources checked where possible.)
(Ed Danes is reported to have "remote viewed" aspects of the "Roswell Incident" - details at http://www.rmdavis.demon.co.uk/ufos/roswell/roswel02.txt)
Peet, 9th June, 1998