This is part three of my UFO series. Parts one and two can be viewed here and here.
And now onto the intelligence links behind the Nine. While Andrija Puharich is generally portrayed as an accomplished scientist and inventor with heavy New Age leanings, he also has a very deep background, in the Peter Dale Scott sense.
"According to Jack Sarfatti, a physicist on the fringes of the Puharich-Geller-Whitmore events of the min-1970s, Puharich 'worked for Army Intelligence in the early fifties -which perhaps implies that his 'discharge' was a cover for continuing to operate in an apparently civilian capacity. It also appears that some of Puharich's medical inventions were originally developed as part of classified Army projects.
"In 1987, Puharich himself claimed that he had been part of a US Navy investigation called Project Penguin that researched psychic abilities back in 1948. He named the head of this project as Rexford Daniels, who lived close to his home in Glen Cove in the 1950s. According to writers Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, Daniels -who studied the effects of electromagnetic waves on human beings -became convinced, in the 1970s of the existence of some kind of intelligent force in the universe operating through electromagnetic frequencies and that 'human beings can mentally interact with it.'
"Ira Einhorn, Puharich's close associate in the 1970s, told us recently that, although Puharich had worked for the CIA during the 1950s, he was no longer doing so twenty years later. However, evidence points very much in the other direction. Puharich's relationship with intelligence agencies almost certainly did not end in the 1950s. Uri Geller told us at a meeting in his home near Reading in England in 1998 that: 'The CIA brought Puharich in to come and get me out of Israel.' Jack Sarfatti goes further, claiming: 'Puharich was Geller's case officer in America with money provided by Sir John Whitmore.' And according to James Hurtak, via his Academy For Future Sciences, Puharich 'worked with the US intelligence community.' By implication this was during the early 1970s when he, Hurtak, was also working with him.
"We know Puharich was working with the CIA on experiments with various techniques for inducing altered states of consciousness, which is another way of saying he worked on the potential of mind control. We also know, at least up to a point, that Geller worked for them -they wanted to know how he could use his mind to influence inanimate objects and see distant locations -in other words, to test his remote-viewing abilities. Were the Nine somehow part of a CIA mind-control experiment?"
(The Stargate Conspiracy, Picknett and Prince, pgs. 206-207)
Further, Puharich was deeply involved in hypnosis.
"...his [Puharich] personal training in hypnosis to the level of master hypnotist, at which stage are revealed such mysteries as the 'instant command technique' so often used, and arguably abused, by stage hypnotists...
"Writer Stuart Holroyd later (rather worryingly) described hypnosis as 'a routine procedure in Puharich's investigation of pyschics', which raises some ethical questions about his methods. The altered state of consciousness known as hypnosis is by no means fully understood, but it is well known that entranced subjects are notoriously eager to please their hypnotists by creating fantasies that comply with his or her own predilections or agendas. Hypnotist and subject can soon become partners in a strange and wild dance in which sometimes one person leads and sometimes the other, although it is usually the hypnotist who calls the tune."
(ibid, pgs. 169-170)
Hypnosis can have far more sinister implications than Picknett and Prince address. Two prior blogs I wrote on hypnosis address some of these implications here and here. In the case of the Nine, many of Puharich's 'findings' occurred while the subject was under hypnosis. Continuing with Picknett and Prince:
"From the accounts of contact with the Nine, it is obvious that Puharich steered his 'contactees' very much in the direction that he wanted them to go. When he first hypnotized Uri Geller, who then began to speak of extraterrestrials, it was Puharich who asked whether or not they were the 'Nine Principles' spoken of by Dr Vinod twenty years before. Perhaps not surprisingly, the answer was yes...
"...Similarly, when Puharich put Bobby Horne into a hypnotic trance and he began to speak the words of an extraterrestrial intelligence called Corean, Puharich suggested to him that it was really the Nine, and the 'entity' immediately agreed. In fact, one of Puharich's close colleagues during this time, Ira Einhorn... confirmed Puharich's determination to turn all psychic communication into contact with the Nine, and that he was 'humanly directing' the pattern of the channelling."Puharich even went so far as to experiment on children in a hypnotic state in an attempt to induce extraterrestrial contact.
(ibid, pg. 216)
"Consider, for example, Puharich's Geller Kids or Space Kids, whom he tested and trained during the 1970s. There were twenty of them, the youngest nine and the oldest in their late teens, culled from seven different countries and taken to what became jokingly known as Puharich's 'Turkey Farm' at Ossining in order to develop their psychic potential. As we have seen, Puharich trained them in remote viewing, but target locations he set them were significant: they were military or intelligence interest and included the Pentagon, the Kremlin and even the White House. It seems clear that there was an official element to these experiments, as they were being carried out at exactly the same time (1975-8) that defense and intelligence agencies were studying remote viewing in adults. We can speculate that the Ossining establishment was chosen for the children's project because it was a conveniently 'civilian' location: questions would certainly have been asked if youngsters had been experimented on inside military facilities.
"The Ossining programme had even more disturbing elements: Puharich experimented on the children in order to contact extraterrestrial intelligences. As with Geller and Bobby Horne, he regularly hypnotized his young subjects, apparently in the belief that their powers did indeed come from 'aliens'. As Steven Levy wrote: 'The Kids describe strange cities with science-fiction trappings and claim to be messengers from these distant civilisations.'
"Given Puharich's obsession with extraterrestrial influence, not to mention his indiscriminate use of the most powerful sort of hypnosis, it would be strange if the Space Kids had not come up with such descriptions. But was Puharich simply releasing memories of real events, or was he in fact implanting them? In either case, his use of hypnosis, in what were clearly uncontrolled conditions, on children as young as nine, is extremely disquieting."
(ibid, pg. 226)
Puharich's 'Space Kids' make for some interesting implications. One of the main arguments for the existence of the Nine is that to many individuals have encountered them without direct contact from Puharich. On the other hand, what if other groups of children were 'programmed' earlier in much the same fashion Puharich is described as doing above, with the good doctor then using certain 'triggers' to bring back these memories? Consider, for instance, a strange experience Dr. Jack Sarfatti had as a child.
"Jack Sarfatti, on the other hand, had been a gifted child who won a scholarship to Cornell to study physics in 1956, when he was only seventeen years old. In 1953, however, and during the same year as Puharich and the Round Table were in contact with The Nine, Sarfatti had been getting strange phone calls at home. Much later, Puharich's book, URI, brought it all back. Sarfatti's mother began reading the book -which contains a description of the Round Table seances with the Dr. Vinod who channled The Nine -and suddenly recognized the symptoms. She brought the circumstances to her son's attention and the memory of the strange phone calls came back in full force.
"Sarfatti had been getting calls from someone speaking in a strange, metallic voice stating that it was the voice of a computer aboard a spacecraft hovering over the earth. These calls went on for a while, and would cause the young Sarfatti to wander around dazed. Evidently, the memory of the calls receded into his unconscious as he pursued his career in nuclear physics, and only the book by Puharich about Uri Geller brought it all back. The Nine claimed to be aboard a spacecraft, hovering over the earth, called Spectra. Sarfatti himself seemed selected at a very early age for something of importance. He was being tutored in a separate program for gifted children by a founder of American MENSA, Walter Breen, in a program that was funded (at least in part) by the Sandia Corporation. Some of this extracurricular training included lectures on patriotism and anti-Communism: heady stuff for a bunch of thirteen-year-olds. It would be Breen who would recommend Sarfatti for the Cornell scholarship."
(Sinister Forces Book Two, Peter Levenda, pg. 244)
Essentially Sarfatti began receiving these phone calls at the same time as he was being groomed for his future career in nuclear physics. The possibility that the phone calls could have been related to his time in the MENSA program was not lost on Sarfatti.
"Given this background, it is tempting to speculate that Sarfatti was part of a sinister, X-Files-type experiment in 'programming' children as part of some long-term government project. Sarfatti himself acknowledges the possibility, but thinks too much remains unexplained by this scenario. Tellingly, in a question-and-answer session on the Internet in March 1998 with one Mark Thornally, when asked whether Walter Breen could have stage-managed the phone calls and computer voice, Sarfatti admitted that he could, then volunteered: 'Andrija Puharich, who was in the Army at that time I think, would have been able to do it."Is it possible that individuals like Sarfatti and Geller were experimented on as children by Puharich, or someone in the same line, in a fashion similar to the Space Kids? Was it mere chance that Sarfatti, Geller, Robert Anton Wilson, Jacques Vallee, Saul Paul Sirag, and many more were brought together in a loose collective that Ira Einhorn dubbed the 'psychic mafia' around Puharich in the 1970s or was it some how arranged through years of subtle conditioning? And was this simply the work of human agencies, or was there something else at play?
(The Stargate Conspiracy, Picknett and Prince, pg. 244)
|Robert Anton Wilson|
|Puharich and Pope|
Sarfatti takes a wise stance. I have read a lot of material on the Nine and am relatively convinced that some kind of nonhuman intelligence is at play in this whole affair. On the other hand, the obsession Puharich and others have had with making this intelligence into some kind of extraterrestrial being is most curious. As previously stated, the entity or entities calling themselves the Nine did not claim to be extraterrestrial until several years after initial contact. Is it possible that the expectations of Puharich and others heavily involved in the early stages, such as Arthur Young, for the intelligence to be extraterrestrial factor in to this direction? Or did human agencies opt to portray this intelligence as extraterrestrial for their own purposes?
One final point I would like to consider in the strange saga of the Nine is the role various 'human potential centers' have played in spreading their mystic amongst the academics, and the patrons behind these centers.
"A further integral part of this movement was the Institute of Neotic Science at Palo Alto, which was founded by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell in March 1973, and is 'dedicated to research and education in the processes of human consciousness to help achieve a new understanding and expanded awareness among all people... They were heavily involved in the psi testing of the 1970s, partly funding the Geller experiments at SRI and, until the CIA came clean about their involvement in the remote-viewing experiments in the mid-1990s, it was the Institute of Noetic Science that claimed to have funded the initial programme. At the very least, this shows that the Institute allowed itself to be used as a cover for the CIA, and perhaps even as a conduit for the funding of the agency's more controversial experiments.
"Arthur Young's highly influential Institute for the Study of Consciousness at Berkeley, founded in 1972, also provided a forum for some of the most daring thinkers of the day. It was here that Richard Hoagland had his meeting with Paul Shay of SRI, and also where he gave his first lecture about Cydonia in 1984. Later he was to acknowledge Arthur Young's personnel influence...
"Institutions and foundations only succeed because of the individuals who breathe life into them. One of the key figures on this scene was avant-garde physicist Jack Sarfatti, the first director of the Physics/Consciousness Research Group at the Esalen Institute, which was funded by Werner Erhard and money covertly channelled through from the Pentagon. His seminars were attended by Stanislas Grof, Russell Targ, Timothy Leary, physicist Saul Paul Sirag (who became director after Sarfatti), Robert Anton Wilson, Fritjof Capra, and Ira Einhorn, who was Sarfatti's literary agent.
"The work carried out by this interlinked network of organizations was imaginative and innovative, presenting a serious challenge to the previous arrogant certainties of the scientific world. It was undertaken in a genuine pioneering spirit, largely born of the idealism of the youth culture of the 1960s and a desire to change the world for the better. However, a dark shadow was cast over this early idyllic promise by the involvement of the Pentagon, CIA and other security and intelligence agencies, who soon realised that the breakthroughs of these idealists had great potential in their own spheres, such as remote viewing. And they did not fail to note that research into altered states of consciousness, including the use of LSD and other drugs, also had darker applications in the various techniques of mind control. So often this research was encouraged and funded -although often covertly, through other channels -by organizations such as the CIA and the Pentagon. One of the pioneers of LSD and consciousness research, John C. Lilly, worked at the Esalen Institute for several years, as well as for the CIA, but only on the condition that his research remained unclassified. This made things difficult for him professionally, because nearly all other researchers in the field were also working on classified projects, so he was unable to share data with them or vice versa.
"Another case of behind-the-scenes agendas in this milieu involved Dr Brendan O'Regan, research director of Edgar Mitchell's Institute of Noetic Sciences and a consultant for SRI, as well as research director for the scientist-philosopher R. Buckminster Fuller. O'Regan arranged the experiments into the strange talents of Uri Geller at Birkbeck College, London in 1975 and was also closely involved with the Puharich-Whitmore circle surrounding the Nine. And, since O'Regan's death in 1992, Jack Sarfatti has claimed that he was also working with the CIA at this time, writing:
"I was then  simply a young inexperienced 'naive idiot' in a very very sophisticated and successful covert psychological warfare operation run by the late Brendan O'Regan of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and the late Harold Chipman who was the CIA station chief responsible for all mind-control research in the Bay Area in the 70s."
(ibid, pgs. 235-237)
It goes without saying that all of these human potential centers are big on the extraterrestrial theory. I personally have attended meetings of a local branch of the Institute of Noetic Sciences which typically ended with a 45 minute mediation session in which the 'Space Brothers' were invoked to help us through the transition to the Age of Aquarius, or something along those lines anyway. While undeniably the vast majority of people involved with these organizations are genuine and well meaning truth-seekers, the specter of PSYOPs looms large.
Finally, we come to Paul Bennewitz, who represents one of the truly barbaric and blatant instances of PSYOPs in the past 30 years. The principal figures involved in what became known as the 'Bennewitz Affair' are naturally Bennewitz himself; author, UFO researcher, and sometime disinformation agent William Moore, who we encountered in part one of this series for his role in writing The Roswell Incident; and US Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) agent Richard C Doty. However, many of the most notables in the UFO field in addition to high ranking intelligence agents, including the infamous 'Falcon', would become involved in this massive disinformation campaign before all was said and done. The end results would have enormous influence on how the public perceived extraterrestrials for the next three decades. The Bennewitz Affair goes something like this:
"The story begins in 1979 with Paul Bennewitz, a brilliant engineer and physicist in his early fifties. His company, Thunder Scientific, developed temperature gauges, compasses and other equipment for the Air Force and NASA from workshops on the border of Kirkland. Bennewitz himself lived with his wife and kids in the swanky Four Hills estate on the north side of Kirkland, from where he had a good view of the base and the Monzano mountains in particular, hollowed-out twin peaks that at the time held one of the largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons in the USA.
"In July of that year, from his roof deck, Bennewitz began filming strange lights flitting and bouncing around the Manzano area, and recorded radio transmissions that he left were associated with them. Being a responsible citizen, not to mention an Air Force contractor, in 1980 he decided to tell Kirkland Security what was going on. While an undoubtedly brilliant scientist, Bennewitz was also, like many brilliant people, a little on the eccentric side, and had reached the conclusion that the lights could only be highly advanced aircraft piloted by extraterrestrials. He also surmised that their intentions were anything but friendly, and that's what he told the Air Force.
"So far, so peculiar, but here's where it gets odder and very sinister. Bennewitz, who died in 2003, aged seventy-five, was a good man and a true patriot. The Air Force could easily have brushed him off with a 'thanks for looking out for us, these are our own classified aircraft, so we'd rather you just ignore them and didn't tell anyone about what you've seen.' Instead, they, or rather AFOSI, decided not just to encourage Bennewitz in his harmless delusions but to amplify them to a volume that would eventually push him over the brink and into madness. For the next few years AFOSI passed him fake government UFO documents, gave him a computer that appeared to be receiving transmissions from the malevolent ETs and created a fake UFO base in remotest New Mexico. All this for one eccentric scientist.
"Richard Doty's role was to befriend Paul Bennewitz and steer him deeper into his War of the Worlds fantasy. At the same time, Doty was secretly liaising with at least one respected UFO researcher, William Moore, who provided AFOSI with the latest details of ongoing investigations and research in the UFO field. Moore's information was then used to generate bogus government documents that corroborated the UFO community's suspicions of a top-level UFO cover-up and drew his fellow researchers into a rich pseudo-history of human-alien interaction that stretched back at least two thousand years. Moore, for his part, claimed to have been co-opted with the promise of genuine government UFO documents that would prove, once and for all, that extraterrestrials really were visiting planet Earth, and that the US government was sitting on the biggest story in human history.
"The twisted pretzel of a campaign lasted until the late 1980s, culminating with the fracturing of both the American UFO community and Paul Bennewitz's mind. Doty's actions were eventually exposed and, after some time working with AFOSI in West Germany, he retired from the Air Force to become a New Mexico state trooper...
"For me the really interesting part was that Doty and Bennewitz were the conduits, if not the source, for much of the UFO mythology that had emerged since the early 1980s. Stories about crashed UFOs, US government pacts with nasty ETs, alien harvesting of cattle and manipulation of human DNA, which had gained in potency and authenticity as they were retold through countless books, articles, films, and TV documentaries..."
(Mirage Men, Mark Pilkington, pgs. 11-13)
The Bennewitz/ Doty/Moore era also represents an interesting transformation in the public perception of aliens. After the whole 'Space Brothers' jive that dominated in the 1950s-1970s, when the ETs were generally perceived in human (often in the mold of an Aryan god) form, the 80s saw them taking on a distinctly nonhuman, emotionless guise of the 'grey.' Close encounters become more horrific in pop culture, losing much of the feel-good, Spielberg vibes. The ETs became obsessed with strange medical experiments which at times closely resembled rape, cattle mutilations, implants, and other cringe inducing processes. Some commentators, such as Whitley Strieber, maintained the utopian aspirations of the extraterrestrials. Others, such as Bennewitz, saw far more sinister implications. Unfortunately, few of them picked up on the role the US intelligence community has always played in the extraterrestrial belief system.
We shall finish examining that role in part IV.