Welcome to the seventh and final installment in my examination the notorious 1930s fascist William Dudley Pelley. The first two installments in this series (which can be found here and here) primarily dealt with Pelley's creation of the paramilitary Silver Shirts organization and his ties to the fascist underground both before and after World War II. Beginning in the third installment I began to consider Pelley's extensive, if little acknowledged, involvement in occult and metaphysical circles beginning in the late 1920s and lasting for the rest of Pelley's life.
From there, parts four, five and six dealt with some of the more incredible aspects of Pelley's metaphysical tradition, most notably its emphasis on the Sirius, the Dog Star, and his early advocacy of what would eventually become known as ancient astronaut theories (Pelley believed that the white race was descendant from type of extraterrestrial beings from Sirius). The notion of ancient astronauts originating from Sirius would of course become popular in New Age circles by the late 1970s thanks to the publication of Robert K.G. Temple's The Sirius Mystery in 1976. Part six of this series considered in depth whether Temple's research had been influenced by Pelley, or his followers (many of whom adopted Pelley's system wholesale with few variations). Based upon the evidence presented in that installment, this researcher personally believes that such a scenario is a real possibility.
As was noted in that installment, Temple was a part of a loosely-affiliated network of artists, scientists, and intellectuals centered around two well connected individuals, Arthur Young and Andrija Puharich. Both Young and Puharich were inventors who would become deeply involved in metaphysical studies after World War II and would have an enormous influence on the modern day New Age movement. Given the circles either man traveled in, but most especially Puharich, it is highly likely that they at least had a passing knowledge of Pelley and his metaphysical system. What's more, both men had ties to powerful figures within the Pentagon and US intelligence community.
In this installment I would like to consider whether or not the research contributed by the Young-Puharich network concerning Sirius may have been partly inspired by elements within the United States national security apparatus who were curious as to whether or not there was any merit to Pelley's claims.
With the mission statement out of the way, let us now begin examining the defense/intelligence ties Young and Puharich possessed. I shall start off with Young, but shall avoid a thorough examination here as I already wrote on the intelligence ties of his extended family at length during my examination of the Kennedy assassination (which can be found here). In brief: Young married Ruth Forbes Young, a member the famed Forbes family of Boston. Prior to her marriage to Young, Ruth Forbes had been married to George Lyman Paine, the scion of two other American blue blood clans: the Paine family and the Cabots. The Cabot family had ties to the US intelligence community since World War II.
|Ruth Forbes Young|
|Ruth and Michael Paine|
"... Andrija Puharich, the man who introduced the controversial Israeli psychic Uri Geller to the world. Puharich, who passed away in 1995 under circumstances never resolved... was an Army officer in the early 1950s. During that time, Puharich was in and out of Edgewood Arsenal and Camp Detrick, meeting with various high-ranking officers and officials, primarily from the Pentagon, CIA, and Naval Intelligence. The purpose of the meetings was Puharich's relentless attempt to convince the military and Intelligence agencies to take the potentials of parapsychology seriously.
"In February 1953, Puharich gave a lecture on extrasensory perception to the Pentagon's Advisory Group on Psychological Warfare and Unconventional Warfare. A few months later, he was asked to give a similar presentation to the Air Force Aviation School in San Antonio, Texas.
"In November 1953... Puharich was invited to the Pentagon to meet with CIA officials and psychological warfare experts. The group was interested in funding his research into extrasensory perception, but made it clear that funds would have to go through a university that would act as what Puharich termed 'a blind.' He agreed to the proposal, but nothing happened for several months, until his commanding officer, Col. Norman W. Elton, at Edgewood Arsenal, asked if he would consider doing another lecture on extrasensory perception before a select group from Edgewood, Camp Detrick, and the CIA. The request set off a discussion on the subject between the two men, during which Elton voiced some skepticism..."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli Jr., pg. 53)
It was at this point that Puharich would have us believe that his involvement with the Pentagon and CIA concerning parapsychology came to a conclusion but the great H.P. Albarelli Jr. (whose A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments is easily the definitive account of the various Pentagon and CIA "medical experiments" conducted in the mid-20th century) discovered that Puharich's involvement was far more extensive than a few lectures and informal discussions.
"Recently uncovered document fragments from the mostly destroyed MKULTRA collection revealed Puharich had far more contact and interaction with the CIA and Army concerning drug experimentation that he indicates in any of his books. Indeed, it appears that Puharich participated in the number of secret experiments with amanita muscaria, the species of psychoactive mushrooms mentioned in his book. The experiments took place at prisons for men in New Jersey and Maryland, as well as at the Spring Grove Mental Hospital in Catonsville, Maryland. Also involved in these experiments was Dr. Amedeo Marrazzi.
"Worth noting, is that Col. Norman W. Elton, according to declassified Army documents, oversaw the 'use of volunteers in research in defense against chemical warfare,' including 'the exposure of individuals to the hazards of toxic chemicals.' These chemicals being 'standard or candidate CW agents or they may be standard or candidate therapeutic agents.'
"In a later 1953 presentation at Edgewood Arsenal that perhaps presaged the subsequent development of remote viewing, Puharich predicted the day 'in the not too distant future when a select cadre of soldiers will possess the ability to telepathically accomplish critical intelligence task, and may well hold the mental abilities to observe and counteract enemy movements and tactics.'
(ibid, pg. 54)
Albarelli also notes that Puharich was working under contract with a major defense researcher by 1953 as well.
"...Puharich, as well as with Clark Thorp, a chemist and a man named Kenneth Miller, both of whom were from the Armour Research Foundation. Puharich was working with Thorp and Miller under contract...
"The Armour Research Foundation is a research and funding institute attached to the Illinois Institute of Technology that conducts extensive scientific research for the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, including the Army's Chemical Corps. Much of this research is classified and concerns radio frequency interference reduction, as well as other projects. Armour continues to be an active Department of Defense contractor.
"Dr. Clark E. Thorp was the manager and chairman of Armour's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering in the 1950s. Thorp is considered the 'Father of Modern Ozone Research,' primarily because of his expertise concerning Ozone toxicity and its effects on humans. Scientists say that it was Dr. Thorp's work that 'led the way to clearing Ozone as a potential pollutant.' It is unclear who Kenneth Miller was, but, at the time, there were at least two Kenneth Miller's working for the CIA."
(ibid, pgs. 260-261)
|the present headquarters of Armour, now known as IIT Research Institute|
As was noted in part five, the Collins Elite is said to have had an interest UFO contactees George Adamski and George Hunt Williamson. Williamson was a protege of William Dudley Pelley, and there are strong indications that Adamski and Pelley had some type of relationship as well. Its also likely, as was noted in part six, that Andrija Puharich was aware of Williamson (who may well have been the young medium who sent the Laugheads to Puharich in Mexico, a key event in the saga of The Nine). The Collins Elite's interest in Puharich brings things full circle:
"... official documentation provided to me by Richard Duke reads as follows:
"On 3 September 1957, Dr. M. K. Savely, Chief, Aero Medical Division, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, was interviewed in his office concerning [Puharich] and stated in substance: His only contact with [Puharich] was about 2 days in August 1957 when he (Savely) and Mr. William J. Frye, Professor, Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois, visited [Puharich] in Glen Cove, Maine. [Puharich] directs from one to furteen employees consisting of Peter Hurkos, who was born in the Netherlands; Morey Bernstein, who wrote The Return of Birdie Murphy [correct title: The Search for Birdie Murphy]; and others to act as domestic help. Dr. Savely was told by [Puharich] that the Round Table Foundation operates on contributions which average from $24 to $60,000 per year. Two of the Contributors and Backers are Representative Bolton of Ohio and Mr. W. K. Belk, department store owner from North Carolina. [Puharich] uses various electronic equipment and drugs in his experiments and appears to be dedicated to the study of the science of transmitting messages from one person to another through mental telepathy. [Puharich] graduated from Northwestern University in 1948 and served his internship at Permento Hospital somewhere in California. [Puharich] served in the Army Medical Corps in 1951-1953 at the Army Chemical Center, Edgewood, Maryland. Mr. Savely feels that [Puharich's] work is worthwhile and that [Puharich] could do some good in this field. Source knows nothing of a derogatory nature of anything concerning [Puharich's] political feelings or affiliations.
"And Puharich himself was able to add more data regarding apparent official interest in his activities in 1957: 'On September 12, 1957, a military friend of mine phoned from Washington with rather startling news. He said that he had been talking to some colleagues about our research in Maine and two officials expressed an interest in visiting the laboratory. He told me that one of the men, a busy general, had picked a date to come to Maine. The date was September 27, 1957.'
"But the planned visit was canceled, according to Puharich. Richard Duke, however, maintained that the meeting did take place, and that the 'busy general' in question was an associate of the Collins Elite. Duke says that it was merely rescheduled and 'went black because of the UFO thing and the Parsons theories.' No one wanted to admit – and have Congress, the media and the public know – that they were digging into controversies suggesting a link between UFOs, demonology and altered-states of mind..."
(Final Events, Nick Redfern, pgs. 66-67)
Again, the existence of the Collins Elite is still highly questionable. The existence of another program recently linked to Puharich's research is not, however.
"... CIA project involving young people and women. This project, commencing in early 1953 and running until about 1963, involved the training of small cadres of women for work as Agency and military couriers, as well as young girls and teenagers for mostly unknown objectives apparently related to the CIA's interest in hypnosis, slight-of-hand, and telekinesis. Some of the best evidence of this project comes from the activities of CIA officer Robert Vern Lashbrook in November 1953, when he was in New York City with Dr. Frank Olson... and shortly thereafter in December 1953 and January 1954. We are fortunate to have this evidence from the assiduous research of writer and magician Ben Robinson, who reveals it in his book, The Magician: John Mulholland's Secret Life, the activities of Lashbrook concerning Dr. Andrija Puharich's research and projects.
"Additionally, former CIA scientist John Gavin, who worked in the CIA's Technical Services Division under Gottlieb, said in 1979, 'There was a project around the mid-1950s that involved children, covert operations and parapsychology of sorts. I didn't work on it, but I knew about it.' Gavin, who resigned his CIA post in the late 1950s, also stated, 'There was also one project I was aware of that trained women as couriers and covert operators. It made use of LSD in what was called "narco-hypnosis," a term devised by the Agency's Medical Office... it was operated apart from Technical Services under the ARTICHOKE Project and involved the development of special interrogation techniques.' A May 19, 1952 CIA document sent from the Agency's Medical Staff chief to the Assistant Director of Scientific Intelligence reads in part:
"Reference is made to the attached draft, subject 'Special Interrogations.' At the meeting of 14 May 19 the Medical Office outlined its position regarding the Artichoke Project and requested that the term 'Narco-hypnosis' be used to those responsibilities within the interim program that are basically medical.... It was also agreed at the meeting of 14 May 1952 that field activities would be under the command of the chief of field station concerned, provided that instances of this agreement would be referred back to headquarters for final decision.
"In late 1998, when this author interviewed Dr. Sidney Gottlieb... the former Technical Services Division chief said, 'Yes, I have some trace memories of that project. I think it began before MK/ULTRA was approved... with an unrelated program Morse Allen initiated around [Dr. Andrija] Puharich's work. It was never a formally sanctioned TSD program, but we were interested and [Dr. Henry] Bortner stayed with it for a while.... It was one of those projects that would be greatly misunderstood today.'"
(A Secret Order, H.P. Albarelli Jr., pgs. 42-43)It's tempting to speculate just what type of research involving children and telekinesis Puharich may have inspired, especially considering the latter research Puharich did on developing the psychic abilities of kids as part of his "Space Kids" program (a public operation that was surely child's play compared to what elements within the Pentagon and Intelligence community may have used his research for). But such a topic would be far beyond the scope of this series. What is interesting about the above quote is the linkage of Puharich with Project Artichoke.
Project Artichoke was one of the various projects the Pentagon and CIA initiated in the 1950s to research "behavior modification" techniques, at least superficially. Project MK-Ultra was the most infamous of these programs. Contrary to frequent claims, Project Artichoke was not a predecessor program to MK-Ultra that was rolled into it some time during 1953. In point of fact, not only did Project Artichoke predate MK-Ultra, but it continued to run concurrent with it for almost a decade under different leadership and within a different section of the CIA.
Project Artichoke emerged from an earlier program, Project Bluebird. It was long alleged that Project Bluebird was initiated on April 20, 1950 (which would have been the sixty-first birthday of Adolf Hitler), but H.P. Albarelli Jr. placed Bluebird's start date a bit earlier in A Terrible Mistake. Curiously, Project Bluebird was given the go ahead by Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, the first Director of the CIA. Upon his retirement from the Navy in 1956 Hillenkoetter joined the board of governors of the National Investigative Committee On Aerial Phenomenon (NICAP), one of the first major civilian UFO research groups.
A fascinating figure who played a key role in such endeavors for the CIA was the famed stage magician John Mulholland. It is now of course relatively well known as the Mulholland prepared a sleight-of-hand manual for the Agency and instructed field agents in such arts during the 1950s. This was not the full extent of Mulholland's work with the Agency, however.
Mulholland had followed in the footsteps of his friend Houdini in debunking paranormal phenomenon during his years operating as a stage magician. The CIA and MK-Ultra would put this skill to good use in determining the legitimacy of some of the more arcane projects Agency was perusing during this era.
"Mulholland's duties were not only writing at his desk to detailed the deployment of drugs to unwitting subjects. He was also utilized as an on-site consultant to the CIA's experiments in parapsychology. The MK-ULTRA team of Gottlieb, Lashbrook and the members of the Technical Services Staff were interested in 'real magic' or the study of parapsychology. Gottlieb was hired as head of the operation because he took a more academic approach than his ARTICHOKE predecessor Morse Allen.
"Consequently, to investigate this area, under the rubric of 'powers of the mind' they hired 'a complete, unconventional magician' to quote Mulholland's friend George Gordon. Mulholland was an intellectual at heart, and like many of their agents, a former educator.
"He was hired to help navigate the CIA's way through the world of ESP, clairvoyance, and telekinesis (the ability to move objects with the mind alone). One paradoxical goal of the Agency of the time was to 'brainwash' the U.S. agents so they could not be brainwashed by enemy countries. The delusion of paranoia took a foothold."
(The Magician: John Mulholland's Secret Life, Ben Robinson, pg. 177)
"Mulholland showed Gordon a paper he wrote for 'an intelligence agency' and of that paper, Gordon remarked, 'John's work for the CIA was not esoteric or strange. The CIA have been presented with a man who said he could send and receive thoughts or codes long distance by mental telepathy. So, they employed John to tell them if this was the real McCoy. And this man was no more a mind reader than fortunetellers can tell fortunes. The man was simply using tricks the magicians used to give the illusion of being able to read minds of others. John wrote how the charlatan was trying to take the CIA for a ride.
"Mulholland's report titled A New Type of Experiment in Parapsychology dated November 11, 1953, is extensive regarding Dr. H. K. Puharich's experiments for 'The Round Table Foundation.' Dr. Puharich was also the same doctor who 'verified' the controversial Hungarian-born Uri(ah) Geller as being a genuine psychic in the 1970's. Puharich changed his first name shortly after their initial meeting, possibly to obscure his past.
"Mulholland was firm in his recommendation that the government was wasting money on parapsychological experiments without solid controls. In other words, they were throwing money after experiments that could have deceptive results due to out and out cheating by doctors and subjects who were shielded by Faraday cages."
(ibid, pg. 178)
|Puharich experimented extensively with Faraday cages|
With the possibility that Puharich's research was chiefly of interest to Project Artichoke personnel established, let us now consider the two men who chiefly guided the program. Of them, Jeffrey Kaye and H.P. Albarelli Jr. noted:
"The CIA initiated Project Artichoke in August 1951 at the direction of CIA director Walter Bedell Smith and the Agency's Scientific Intelligence Director, Dr. H. Marshall Chadwell. The code name 'Artichoke' was selected with sardonic humor from the street appendage given to New York City gangster Ciro Terranova, who was referred to as 'the Artichoke King.'
"Following a brief period of bureaucratic infighting over which CIA department would have jurisdiction over Artichoke, it was decided that the project would be overseen by the Agency's Security Research Staff, headed by Paul F. Gaynor, a former Army Brigadier General, who had extensive experience in wartime interrogations.
"Gaynor was notorious among CIA officials for having his staff maintain a systematic file on every homosexual, and suspected homosexual, among the ranks of Federal employees, as well as those who worked and served on Washington's Capitol Hill. Gaynor's secret listing eventually grew to include the names of employees and elected officials at State government levels, and the siblings and relatives of those on Capitol Hill.
"In early January 1953, State Department employee John C. Montgomery, who handled considerable classified material, hanged himself in his Georgetown townhouse after learning of his addition to Gaynor's list. In 1954, U.S. Senator Lester C. Hunt (D-WY) killed himself in his senate office after he was threatened by Republicans, using information provided by Gaynor's staff, to publicly expose his son's homosexuality. By the early 1960s, according to one former Agency employee, 'It was pretty much routine to consult Gaynor's "fag file" when conducting background or clearance checks on individuals.'
"Gaynor's veiled and more despicable activities also extended to racist matters, a fixation he seemed to share with many of the CIA's early leaders, as well as with some of the Pentagon's early ranking officials. According to one former CIA official, Gaynor was once informally cautioned by Allen Dulles concerning his overt support of former Congressman Hamilton Fish III, a strident Nazi sympathizer, and for associating, along with fellow CIA official Morse Allen, with John B. Trevor Jr., an ardent racist, anti-Semite, pro-Nazi, who called for amnesty for Nazi war criminals. Before the CIA was formed, Gaynor was also associated with Trevor's father, John B. Trevor Sr., a Harvard-educated attorney who worked with Army intelligence and who once strongly advocated arming a group of citizens with 6,000 rifles and machine guns to put down an anticipated Jewish uprising in Manhattan that only took shape in Trevor's twisted mind.
"In 1997, former CIA Technical Services chief, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, who had been born into a Jewish family, said, 'Throughout the 1950s, and for some time beyond, the Agency was less than a welcoming place for Jews and racial minorities. Those who were actually ever hired or involved in operations learned rather quickly to keep their heads down when certain matters were discussed or rallied round.'"
|Paul F. Gaynor|
What's more, Trevor Jr. was an associate of General Pedro Del Valle, a member of the Sovereign Order of Saint John (SOSJ). As was noted in part two of this series, Pelley was linked to the SOSJ in the 1930s. Gaynor's other buddy, Hamilton Fish III, also had some type of association with clerical fascist Gerald L.K. Smith. As was also noted in the second installment, Smith had a long time association with Pelley.
|Hamilton Fish III|
"... That the CIA had any early interest in UFO's may surprise some people, but in December 1952, Dr. H. Marshall Chadwell, CIA chief of scientific intelligence, sent a memorandum to then-DCI Walter Bedell Smith, warning that:
"[U]nexplained objects a great altitudes and traveling at high speeds in the vicinity of major U.S. defense installations are of such nature that they are not attributable to natural phenomena or known types of aerial vehicles.
"Earlier in September of that year, Chadwell had expressed his concern to Smith that the Soviets may be attempting manufacture a UFO-type incident to confuse the U.S. military and the Air Warning System and perhaps mount an attack because 'a fair share of our population is mentally conditioned to the acceptance of the incredible.' It seems that Chadwell really did not know what to think about the unexplained objects in the sky."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli Jr., pg. 265)
|Chadwell's letter to DCI Smith|
|George Adamski: Artichoke subject?|
And what of the Collins Elite, who are said to have been dominated by military intelligence officers in the early days. Artichoke seems to have also featured an extensive amount of former military men as well, though it was initiated prior to the founding of the Collins Elite (which seemed to have occurred in 1952, though a proto form of the group had been active since the late 1940s). Still the mutual interest Artichoke and the Collins Elite seem to have had in Puharich's work as well as in ESP would indicate that the two programs likely had some type of contact with one another. And then of course there's the fact that the Collins Elite seems to have been greatly interested in the circle of early UFO contactees, many of whom had ties to Pelley... the same circle of UFO contactees that may have played a key role in the later projects of Young and Puharich.
|George Hunt Williamson, easily the most curious and controversial of the early UFO contactees|