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ESP and the U.S. Government
#1
E. Flowers had posted a thread about the U.S. government still studying ESP, based on an article by Annie Jacobsen. She is the author of 2016's The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency, and 2017's Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government's Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis. Here's an interview with her:



Annie Jacobsen is an investigative journalist and best-selling author who writes about war, weapons, U.S. national security and government secrecy. Her Area 51 was an international best seller and The Pentagon’s Brain was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Now, she has written what she says is the definitive history of the military's decades-long investigation into mental powers and phenomena. Jacobsen says that for more than 40 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 agencies involved include the CIA, DIA, NSA, DEA, Navy, Air Force, Army and even the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Now, for the first time, Jacobsen tells the story of these radical, controversial programs, using never-before-seen declassified documents as well as exclusive interviews with more than 50 former CIA and Defense Department scientists, analysts and program managers, as well as the government psychics themselves.

*(Her 2017 book includes info about the Tom DeLonge UFO program.)
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#2
(12-23-2017, 11:46 PM)Ninshub Wrote: Now, she has written what she says is the definitive history of the military's decades-long investigation into mental powers and phenomena. J

Ian, those in the know (May, Targ, Tart et al.) have a very different opinion of Jacobsen's book. For details, see my posts at Skeptiko:

http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/di...ost-119644

http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/dr...ost-119704
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#3
Thanks Doug. Serves me right for not checking into Skeptiko. Smile
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#4
For what it's worth, this was my review of her book from Amazon:

Great as a story, but misleading as a history

This book is almost as remarkable in its depth of research as the topic of ESP is! It describes the history of the how governments have tried to utilize psychic powers, starting with the Second World War. Some would argue that the story goes back further than that, but I guess she had to keep the book down to a reasonable length.

There are some nice surprises. It’s good to see Puharich given a little more attention than he usually does in paranormal literature where he tends to be described in relation to Uri Geller rather than on his own terms.

Also, while some reviewers have questioned the downplaying of Targ and Puthoff, it was nice to see a decent amount of time given to Angela Dellafiore’s story. Her role in the latter stages of the remote viewing project is often dismissed by writers as the kind of new-age nonsense that got the whole thing shut down in 1995, so I’m very happy that Jacobsen has gone some of the way to rectify that.

On the down side, some of the claims of success of the US government's remote viewing project are reported without any attempt at a fact check. She implies that one remote viewer got very emotional when trying to view the Iranian hostage crisis at the exact time that the rescue operation went terribly wrong, ending in the loss of life. Except that session never happened. The quotes and session number belong to a different remote viewer and the time is wrong.

Also, Dellafiore is given credit for her successes in describing the circumstances of the hostage Higgins, but Jacobsen doesn’t mention that she conducted around fifty sessions over more than a year. And the transcript for the one session she specifically mentions doesn’t back up Dellafiore’s version of events. Jacobsen also fails to mention that Dellafiore continued to claim that Higgins was alive even after the video of his body had been released.

Other episodes are related (such as the Dozier kidnapping and the search for Charlie Jordan among others) without any real attempt at a critical evaluation but then, perhaps that’s not the point of the book.

Its a story about fascinating characters achieving remarkable things. Taken like this, it’s a successful book. But some people will come to this book looking for evidence for the existence of psi and, in that respect, it falls a long way short.
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#5
(12-24-2017, 06:55 AM)ersby Wrote: For what it's worth, this was my review of her book from Amazon:

Great as a story, but misleading as a history

This book is almost as remarkable in its depth of research as the topic of ESP is! It describes the history of the how governments have tried to utilize psychic powers, starting with the Second World War. Some would argue that the story goes back further than that, but I guess she had to keep the book down to a reasonable length.

There are some nice surprises. It’s good to see Puharich given a little more attention than he usually does in paranormal literature where he tends to be described in relation to Uri Geller rather than on his own terms.

Also, while some reviewers have questioned the downplaying of Targ and Puthoff, it was nice to see a decent amount of time given to Angela Dellafiore’s story. Her role in the latter stages of the remote viewing project is often dismissed by writers as the kind of new-age nonsense that got the whole thing shut down in 1995, so I’m very happy that Jacobsen has gone some of the way to rectify that.

On the down side, some of the claims of success of the US government's remote viewing project are reported without any attempt at a fact check. She implies that one remote viewer got very emotional when trying to view the Iranian hostage crisis at the exact time that the rescue operation went terribly wrong, ending in the loss of life. Except that session never happened. The quotes and session number belong to a different remote viewer and the time is wrong.

Also, Dellafiore is given credit for her successes in describing the circumstances of the hostage Higgins, but Jacobsen doesn’t mention that she conducted around fifty sessions over more than a year. And the transcript for the one session she specifically mentions doesn’t back up Dellafiore’s version of events. Jacobsen also fails to mention that Dellafiore continued to claim that Higgins was alive even after the video of his body had been released.

Other episodes are related (such as the Dozier kidnapping and the search for Charlie Jordan among others) without any real attempt at a critical evaluation but then, perhaps that’s not the point of the book.

Its a story about fascinating characters achieving remarkable things. Taken like this, it’s a successful book. But some people will come to this book looking for evidence for the existence of psi and, in that respect, it falls a long way short.
You gave no link for your review Great as a story, but misleading as a history, ersby. Here is a link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Phenomena-Gover...0316349364 (see first review by ersby).
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#6
(12-24-2017, 06:55 AM)ersby Wrote: For what it's worth, this was my review of her book from Amazon:

Great as a story, but misleading as a history

This book is almost as remarkable in its depth of research as the topic of ESP is! It describes the history of the how governments have tried to utilize psychic powers, starting with the Second World War. Some would argue that the story goes back further than that, but I guess she had to keep the book down to a reasonable length.

There are some nice surprises. It’s good to see Puharich given a little more attention than he usually does in paranormal literature where he tends to be described in relation to Uri Geller rather than on his own terms.

Also, while some reviewers have questioned the downplaying of Targ and Puthoff, it was nice to see a decent amount of time given to Angela Dellafiore’s story. Her role in the latter stages of the remote viewing project is often dismissed by writers as the kind of new-age nonsense that got the whole thing shut down in 1995, so I’m very happy that Jacobsen has gone some of the way to rectify that.

On the down side, some of the claims of success of the US government's remote viewing project are reported without any attempt at a fact check. She implies that one remote viewer got very emotional when trying to view the Iranian hostage crisis at the exact time that the rescue operation went terribly wrong, ending in the loss of life. Except that session never happened. The quotes and session number belong to a different remote viewer and the time is wrong.

Also, Dellafiore is given credit for her successes in describing the circumstances of the hostage Higgins, but Jacobsen doesn’t mention that she conducted around fifty sessions over more than a year. And the transcript for the one session she specifically mentions doesn’t back up Dellafiore’s version of events. Jacobsen also fails to mention that Dellafiore continued to claim that Higgins was alive even after the video of his body had been released.

Other episodes are related (such as the Dozier kidnapping and the search for Charlie Jordan among others) without any real attempt at a critical evaluation but then, perhaps that’s not the point of the book.

Its a story about fascinating characters achieving remarkable things. Taken like this, it’s a successful book. But some people will come to this book looking for evidence for the existence of psi and, in that respect, it falls a long way short.

Thanks for that. I suspected that these books might have that worth you allude to - the research and the amount of topics covered, and that in that way they could be interesting if you go in knowing their limits.
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#7
Hi all,

If you are interested in  a greater work of fiction, may I recommend reading the book by Jacobsen. I was part of the government program of which she writes from 1975-1995 and the research director of what is known as Star Gate from 1985-1995. My tenure is longer than anyone else associated with that program; yet, according to Ms. Jacobsen her book is an authoritative account of the program.  One problem: (A) I was never contacted, (B) some of the people she claimed to have interviewed tell me that they never spoke to her. 

Here is a reference for a multi-author book review: Review (2017). Review of Ms. Annie Jacobsen’s book Phenomena. Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 296-311. 

PestMay
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#8
(01-15-2018, 11:36 PM)DPestmay Wrote: Hi all,

If you are interested in  a greater work of fiction, may I recommend reading the book by Jacobsen. I was part of the government program of which she writes from 1975-1995 and the research director of what is known as Star Gate from 1985-1995. My tenure is longer than anyone else associated with that program; yet, according to Ms. Jacobsen her book is an authoritative account of the program.  One problem: (A) I was never contacted, (B) some of the people she claimed to have interviewed tell me that they never spoke to her. 

Here is a reference for a multi-author book review: Review (2017). Review of Ms. Annie Jacobsen’s book Phenomena. Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 296-311. 

PestMay
 Busted or what?
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