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"Any sufficiently developed technology is indistinguishable from magic"

- - - Arthur C. Clarke

It is the summer of 1974. In Langley, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC, a handful of CIA officers venture to the edge of espionage, launching the first documented psychic spying mission in U.S. history. The target: a secret research center in a remote region of the Kazakh Republic, USSR. At the CIA, where little is known about the facility, the Soviet site is referred to as URDF-3 (Unidentified Research and Development Facility Number 3). Pat Price, a "remote viewer" working on a CIA contract, is handed the coordinates of the target. After clearing his mind, Price peers out mentally in search of the site, and claims to observe it. A striking feature of the facility, he says, is the presence of a "damn big crane."

A CIA officer assigned to the unorthodox operation has seen the latest reconnaissance photos of URDF-3, and he marvels at what he later calls "some amazing descriptions" furnished by Price. There is indeed an unusually large crane at the site, one that Price is able to sketch in startling detail.

The day of the psychic spies had arrived....

During the so-called Cold war the Russians were experimenting with various "psychic" techniques and several talented "subjects" had been found who could seemingly manifest a variety of behaviours ranging from telepathic powers to psychokinesis(the ability to move objects with the mind). They had achieved some success with telepathy and had originally started the research in order to find a way of signalling to their underwater submarine fleet. An operational method of two-way communication was sought which would of course be a great advantage during encounters with the enemy.

In the early 1970's two Canadian authors, Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder, visited the USSR on a fact finding trip and had returned to write a book entitled "Psychic Discoveries behind the Iron Curtain" (which has recently been revised). The publication eventually came to the attention of the American intelligence services particularly the CIA who were concerned that the reality of psychic technology had been achieved by the USSR. They were justifiably worried that the Soviets would have superiority in this area.Even President George Bush discussed his concerns whilst head of the CIA at the time.
They decided to approach a respected physicist called Hal Puthoff from Stanford Research Institute who had also been a Naval intelligence officer and so they felt that they could discuss their concerns safely and openly with this particular individual. Hal Puthoff considered the matter and decided that the area of ESP would be the most promising to explore as there had already been some good research to support the fact that ESP may be a real and measurable phenomenon. The scientist in him was also intrigued as he became interested in finding out if there were any physics behind the phenomenon.

Soon Hal Puthoff and his assistant Russell Targ met a gentleman called Ingo Swann who was a well known artist and popular "psychic" in the San Francisco area. Mr Swann had claimed a little earlier that there were rings around the planet Jupiter which he had remotely viewed. It transpired that when the space probes Pioneer10 and Pioneer11 passed fairly near to the planet it was clearly shown that there were indeed gaseous rings present. Puthoff and Targ were impressed by this feat of "clairvoyance" so the scientists put him through a battery of various tests and they were very promising. Later on they were aided by another so-called viewer called Pat Price who was formerly a Police Commissioner and had had an enviable reputation for clearing up difficult to solve crimes. Very soon both Ingo Swann and Pat Price began to produce remote viewing results that could be used operationally against foreign intelligence targets.

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