This week we're starting our series on the strange, absurd, and true story of Project Star Gate, the C.I.A. and D.I.A. program utilizing "remote viewers" AKA psychic spies which , lasted from 1972 until 1993 under various names and with varying levels of usefulness. Often written off as "that time the C.I.A tried to use psychics", in reality the remote viewing programs had many years of incredible successes and produced some of the weirdest tales of high strangeness we've ever heard. In part one we focus on the genesis of the program at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) with scientists Hal Puthof and Russel Targ, psychic Ingo Swann, and superhuman Christmas tree farmer Pat Price. We also meet head of the C.I.A.'s "weird desk" Kit Green and Israeli psychic/trickster/intelligence agent Uri Geller. From accidentally finding every secret there was to find about the NSA's most secret listening post, to high strangeness involving small monochrome UFOs and a floating phantom arm, it's a weird start to a weird saga.
A note on names: the source mostly relied upon for this series is Jim Schnabel’s Remote Viewers: The Secret History of America’s Psychic Spies. Written in 1997, Remote Viewers makes liberal use of pseudonyms for people who did not want to, or could not be identified. We have tried to use the characters’ real names as much as possible. In some cases, such as Dr. Christopher “Kit” Green (referred to as Dr. Richard Kennett in Remote Viewers), we were successful. In others, not so much. And in a few cases we were completely and utterly wrong. Because we’re dumb sometimes. The channeller in part III is Angela Dellafiora, a name erroneously assumed to be a pseudonym. Don't know why. We refer to her as Courtney Brown, who is an entirely different and very real person. Whoops. That’s our bad.