Friday, August 12, 2016

The Office of Security Meet The Nine Part I: Strange Things

Regular readers of this blog are no doubt familiar with my series examining the CIA's mysterious and highly controversial Office of Security (OS). Therein the reader will discover the links between the OS and many of the CIA's biggest scandals, including the Watergate break-in (noted here, here and here); the assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK (noted here); the mysterious "suicide" of Frank Olson, Mafia-sponsored plots to assassinate Castro, the OS's extensive role in Operation CHAOS (all of which was noted here); and the role it played in several of the CIA's behavior modification programs such as BLUEBIRD, ARTICHOKE and QKHILLTOP (noted here, here and here).

The Office of Security is often dismissed as a marginal component of the CIA by researchers who have chosen to focus on the far more glamorous Directorate of Operations (which included James Jesus Angelton's Counterintelligence Staff, the assassination and paramilitary-centric Special Activities Division (SAD) and Sidney Gottlieb's Technical Service Staff (TSS) until the early 1960s), much to determinate of truth seekers. The OS was far from marginal and in fact there appears to have been a decades-spanning conspiracy to cover-up the extent of the OS's dirty deeds. This is no more evident than in conventional accounts of Project ARTICHOKE, where is alleged to have been rolled into Sidney Gottlieb's MKULTRA some time between 1953 and 1955.

Sidney Gottlieb
As was noted before here, that is totally bogus. ARTICHOKE did not end in the mid-1950s, but in fact continued until 1963, at which point it appears to have been broken down into successor programs that may not have ended until 1973. Nor did Sidney Gottlieb and the TSS ever oversee ARTICHOKE. While Gottlieb and the TSS had a role in the so-called "Artichoke Committee," the project was under the control of the Office of Security from its inception until 1963, aside from a brief period from late 1951 until September 1952 when it was directed by the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI). The OSI was the OS's primary partner in ARTICHOKE and even retained control of "foreign scientific aspects" after overall control was reverted back to the Office of Security.

ARTICHOKE was, in other words, a totally separate project from the far more well-known MKULTRA, and was likely far more brutal and stranger than Gottlieb's dabblings (and dabblings they were in comparison to Morse Allen's penchant for the extreme). My initial series on the OS already covered the brutality aspects of this project, noting that the current practice of "enhanced interrogation methods" and "extraordinary rendition" is very much a legacy of ARTICHOKE.

This is hardly surprising as the principal purpose of ARTICHOKE was to develop what were initially referred to as "special interrogation" practices. Soon, however, ARTICHOKE ventured into even more exotic and bizarre pursuits. I'm sure many of you are aware that one of these pursuits was "mind control" and on the whole the OS's track record in this regard was a mixed bag (as noted before here).

Another was parapsychology. The OS subsidized the research of J.B. Rhine and his famed Duke University experiments as well as those of Martin Ebon. But even more compelling and mysterious was its support of the research of Dr. Andrija Puharich, whom the great Philip Coppens referred to as "the Father of the American New Age Movement." This may be a bit of a stretch, but there can be little doubt Puharich had a large yet little acknowledged role up until the 1980s.

In the previous series this researcher had not considered Puharich as the objective of his research appears to have gone far beyond mere mind control and parapsychology. It is this researcher's contention that part of the purpose of Puharich's research was to attempt to contact a nonhuman intelligence.

While this may seem incredible to many, bare in mind that the head of the Office of Scientific Intelligence throughout the heyday of ARTICHOKE was H. Marshall Chadwell, a man with a keen and well documented interest in UFOs. It is by now fairly well known that Chadwell was an early advocate of CIA investigations into UFOs and that he was behind the creation of the infamous Robertson Panel. Less well known was Chadwell's involvement in ARTICHOKE, which he briefly headed, as well as his friendship with Vannevar Bush that dated back to at least their time working together in the WWII-era National Defense Research Committee (all of which was noted before here).

H. Marshall Chadwell
While evidence of the Office of Security's interest in UFOs is scarce, there can be little doubt now that the OS sponsored Puharich's bizarre research for ARTICHOKE. And this research does indeed appear to have been geared towards the fantastic --"supersoldiers" and even establishing contact with a nonhuman intelligence. This series shall explore such possibilities and may reveal a truly disturbing prospect underlining the Pentagon and CIA behavior modification experiments.

But before getting to all of that I must first consider Puharich's contact with an alleged extraterrestrial intelligence that referred to itself as "The Nine" for they are at the heart of this mystery. Long time readers of this blog (and those of you who glance over to the side bar) are probably well aware that I've written a prior post on The Nine, but much time has passed since then and I have come into additional compelling information. But beyond that, the timing of Puharich's alleged contacts with The Nine is most important, and here I will have a chance to outline the different eras.

Origins, Vinod and the Round Table Foundation (1947-1952)

So, with the statement of purpose out of the way, let us get on with the story. It all begins with a chance encounter with "a Hindu scholar and sage from Poona, India" (Uri, Andrija Puharich, pg. 13) whom Puharich first met at some point in December of 1951. This individual is known only to posterity as "Dr. D.G. Vinod." No record of Vinod appears to exist outside of Puharich's accounts of his initial encounters with The Nine, which has led many to believe that D.G. Vinod was a pseudonym and I see no reason to question this.

Christopher Knowles of The Secret Sun provides one of the best accounts of modern references to The Nine that predate Puharich's involvement in the second part of his essential "The Secret Star Trek" series. There Knowles notes that a story published in Fantastic Adventures, a pulp magazine edited by the legendary Ray Palmer of Amazing Adventures (and who originally published the bizarre "Shaver Mysteries"), contained a short story from November of 1947 that bore an uncanny resemblance to the later manifestation of The Nine. The story, "Son of the Sun," was written by Millen Cooke under the pseudonym Alexander Blade. Cooke had a keen interest in the occult and UFOs and was deeply involved in the West Coast occult community during this era. Knowles speculates that "Dr. Vinod" may have been a part of this circle:
"... Missus Cooke was obvious given to visionary experience. It's unclear if her liturgy was her own personal revelation or that of a group similar to the Round Table, but it should be noted that the Cookes were instrumental in bringing Meher Baba to America, and the mysterious Dr. Vinod could well have been part of that circle. These people all seemed to know each other, though they swapped practices and enthusiasms like normal people change socks."
Millan Cooke on the left
But back to the matter at hand. Puharich's next encounter with Vinod occurred two months later, in February 1952. At this point Vinod allegedly read Puharich's past and future. The sage accomplished this by gripping the middle joint of Puharich's right ring finger with his right thumb and index finger while whistling between his teeth "as though he were trying to find a pitch" (Uri, pg. 13). After a minute or so of this Vinod began to recount detailed aspects of Puharich's past while also predicting a rosy future for the Croatian scientist.

Puharich was so impressed that he arranged another meeting with Vinod, but this time under laboratory conditions. A little less than four years before Puharich had first encountered Vinod he had set up a foundation to study such phenomenon. Both this foundation and its backers are most interesting.
"... Puharich founded the Round Table Foundation of Electrobiology in Camden in 1948, an organization whose name was usually shortened to the Round Table, or the Round Table Foundation. Thus, the hospital or clinic that had been originally planned became instead a kind of research institute specializing in the more arcane of the behavioral sciences, from cybernetics to ESP, and moved from the barn --which he lost due to some unpleasantness concerning Red baiting in the small New England town --to somewhat grander quarters in a twenty-two room house. One of the earliest experiments was with the psychic Eileen Garrett, who was placed in a Faraday Cage to test her psychic abilities, as were such other famous names in the field as Peter Hurkos and Henry Stone. In order to support his research, Puharich approached a variety of individuals for funding, including Henry Wallace. Wallace had been Secretary of Agriculture in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration and later his Vice President. Under Truman, Wallace had been Secretary of Commerce, and in 1948 ran for President himself on the Progressive Party ticket. Wallace's name is usually associated with a scandal involving a Russian mystic, one Nicholas Roerich (Wallace himself is usually credited with coming up with the pyramid and all-seeing eye design used on the back of the US dollar bill)...
"In any event, Wallace agreed to help fund Puharich's research, with a check for &4,458. 73 in April of 1949. A princely sum at the time. And he visited the Round Table --according to Eileen Garrett --sometime in 1949-1950.
"Another mysterious donor to the Foundation was one Walter Cabot Paine, of Boston, who donated $3,000. When a researcher attempted to interview Walter Paine, he was rebuffed immediately, and Paine did not answer any questions. Arthur Young, the Bell Helicopter designer and eventual guru himself, told the same researcher that Paine was an associate of his and an oil executive who wished to remain anonymous. Mr. Young was being a little disingenuous, for he was related to Walter C. Paine through marriage. Arthur Young would remain a close friend and associate of Puharich during the 1950s and it is this relationship that --in the context of all we have been discussing so far --is absolutely stunning in its implications, for Arthur Young was married to a Forbes heiress, one Ruth Forbes Paine, who was a descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson. In other words, very old, very white money. Walter Cabot Paine was the son of Robert Treat Paine, a wealthy Boston Brahmin and art patron who made a special study of Japanese art, and was a direct descendant of the Robert Treat Paine who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. W.C. was directly related to Ruth Forbes Paine Young's previous husband, George Lyman Paine (who is also descended from Colonial American 'royalty,' the Lyman family). Her son by that previous marriage, Michael Paine, married Ruth Hyde."
(Sinister Forces Book I, Peter Levenda, pgs. 238-240)

Henry Wallace is of course a long time bugaboo of the conspiratorial right. In addition to his association with mystic Nicholas Roerich, he was also a Freemason and had dabbled in Theosophy for nearly a decade before abandoning it at some point in the 1930s. He remained a self-professed Christian for his entire life, however.

The presence of Arthur Young and Ruth Forbes Paine Young, along with their distant relation Walter Cabot Paine, on the donor list are most interesting as well. The latter two were of course very old money, stretching back to the Colonial days. And they were not the only "Boston Brahmins" to become involved in the sage of The Nine either, as we shall see. Certainly then Puharich appears to have been receiving support from elements within the oldest branch of America's aristocracy.

Arthur Young
But there are indications that Puharich was getting even more generous contributions for his research, the sources of which have never been identified. But this was no inconsiderable amount of money. The great Philip Coppens notes: "Fortune often walked together with these, as in 1951 he somewhat miraculously received a research grant of close to $100,000 to build a solid sheet metal Faraday cage, to test Garrett." This is quite impressive, considering that Puharich was from a rather humble background and yet a mere five years or so after graduating from medical school he seemingly had access to ample amounts of funding for rather arcane research.

It is also interesting to note that Arthur Young was living near Philadelphia during this time frame and would continue to maintain a residence with Ruth Forbes Paine Young in that general area for years to come. As was noted in my examination of the Office of Security, a lot of strange things appear to have been happening in Pennsylvania during this era in general. Another of Puharich's close associates, whom he would first encounter towards the end of 1960s, Ira Einhorn, was also based out of Philadelphia for years.

Even more curious is Ruth Forbes Paine Young's son from a previous marriage, Michael Paine. As noted above, Michael Paine was married Ruth Hyde. This young couple would go on to befriend to Lee Harvey and Marina Oswald during their time in Dallas in early 1963. Marina Oswald and her child would later move in with Ruth Paine, after she had separated from Michael, later in 1963 and was rooming there at the time of the assassination. There are many disturbing implications about the Paines and their possible intelligence ties, which I addressed before here. There is also a possibility that the Office of Security had some tie to the Paines, especially Ruth Hyde Paine whose father the OS had an extensive file on (as noted before here). But moving along.

Early Contacts with The Nine (1952-1953)

Puharich's next session with Vinod, this time under laboratory conditions, did not occur until December 31, 1952, New Year's Eve. By all accounts, it was well worth the wait as this was the first formal contact Puharich had with The Nine.
"... On December 31, 1952, Dr. Vinod and I took a plane from New York to Maine. We landed in Augusta at 7:30 P.M., and Hank Jackson, the administrator of the laboratory, the Round Table Foundation, was there to meet us. We drove over the country roads in the snow, chatting all the way. We entered the great hall of the laboratory, and without saying a word or even taking off his overcoat, Dr. Vinod found his way to the library and sat down on a sofa. Hank and I followed him. We realized that he had gone into a trance. We sat opposite him, waiting expectantly. Curious enough, the house was always bustling with activity, but on this New Year's Eve there was not a sound in the house from child, man, woman or animals. There was the hushed silence of expectancy as Hank and I watched our entranced sage.
"Then, at exactly 9 P.M., deep sonorous voice came out of Dr. Vinod's mouth, totally unlike his own high-pitched, soft voice, saying in perfect English without an accent:
M calling: We are Nine Principles and Forces, personalities if you will, working in complete mutual implication. We are forces, and the nature of our work is to accentuate the positive, the evolutional, and the teleological aspects of existence. By teleology I do not mean the teleology of human derivation in a multidimensional concept of existence. Teleology will be understood in terms of a different ontology. To be simple, we accentuate certain directions as will fulfill the destiny of creation...
"When Dr. Vinod awoke from his trance after some ninety minutes odd speech by the Nine, he had no recollection or knowledge of what had been said. Hank and I worked for a month with Dr. Vinod, listening to the profound wisdom of the Nine. It was a deeply moving experience, ad we really believed every word that we heard purely on the internal evidence. This work was interrupted in February 1953 when I had to serve as a captain in the U.S. Army during the Korean War."
(Uri, Andrija Puharich, pgs. 13-16)
the location in Glen Cove, Maine where Puharich and the Round Table Foundation conducted the initial seances with The Nine
And so ended the first of a series of seances that would have profound implications for the history of the United States. As such, it is largely immaterial as to whether or not The Nine actually existed for their influence would begin to greatly effect American popular culture by at least the early 1960s and would continue to do so for years afterwards in some of our most revered franchises. And certainly it would seem that powerful forces within both the public and private sphere would have a keen interest in them. But more on that later.

As for what exactly The Nine are/were, this is a bit ambiguous. It is commonly reported (even by your own humble writer) that they initially claimed to have been the Great Ennead, a group of nine Egyptian deities whose cult center was located at Heliopolis. During the Old and Middle Kingdom eras they were usually at the top of Ancient Egypt's pantheon.

the Great Ennead of Ancient Egypt
This researcher has not been able to determine if The Nine ever actually stated this to Puharich, however. It would seem that Puharich made the connection via a series of sessions in the mid-1950s with the psychic Harry Stone in which Stone claimed to be channeling Rahotep, an Egyptian pharaoh of the 17th Dynasty. Puharich believed that he had detected references to the Ennead in some of these sessions. It would appear that upon making this connection Puharich became convinced that these communications were linked to the earlier ones with The Nine. But more on the Stone sessions in a moment.

Eventually The Nine claimed to be an extraterrestrial race from the planet Hoova who were now located in a city-sized spacecraft known as Spectra. They did not, however, appear to exist in physical form (aside from the spacecraft), but had evolved to the point that they had forgone their flesh-and-blood bodies many centuries ago. In some accounts they were said to have advanced to such a state that now they existed outside of time and space, multidimensional beings that none the less still had an interest in the development of the human race. Or something like that.

The next contact occurred in February of 1953 and for this session Puharich had brought in some big guns to join Vinod, Henry Jackson and himself.
"Some months later, on June 27, 1953, the night of the full moon, Puharich gathered around him what was to be a core group of the Round Table Foundation for another session with Vinod. The membership of this group of nine members --a la The Nine --is illuminating. Henry Jackson, Georgia Jackson, Alice Bouverie, Marcella Du Pont, Carl Betz, Vonnie Beck, Arthur Young, Ruth Young, and Andrija Puharich. Dr. Vinod acted as the medium. Imagine the Fellowship of the Ring, with government funding and a security classification that was, well, 'cosmic.'
"In this group, we find immediately a Du Pont and a Bouverie. Du Pont is self-explanatory, but for those who do not have a copy of the New York Social Register to hand, Alice Bouverie was born Ava Alice Muriel Astor, and was a descendant of John Jacob Astor, and the daughter of Colonel John Jacob Astor IV, builder of the Astoria Hotel and author of the book A Journey to Other Worlds (1894); her father was also one of the ill-fated passengers aboard the Titanic when it went down in April 1912... 
"... Henry Jackson was Puharich's administrator and was married to Georgia Jackson. Carl Beck was involved in alternative energy research, and had visited the laboratory of one Thomas Henry Molay, a Mormon scientist and erastz alchemist living in Salt Lake City who claimed to have identified a source of 'free energy' which he termed 'radiant energy.' Developing alternative energy sources (a la Nicola Tesla) would be a preoccupation of Puharich in the years to come. (The only member of the original Nine that the author has been unable to satisfactorily identify is Vonnie Beck, who may have been the same Vonnie Beck who was a pilot for the US Navy during World War II, but at this time there is no further information on Beck.)
(Sinister Forces Book I, Peter Levenda, pgs. 244-246)
A few points: Having a former Navy man such as Beck present at the seance will make ample sense in the next installment, so this research is inclined to believe that Levenda located the right individual. As for Carl Betz (and not Beck), this is not the famed actor, but an alternative energy researcher as Levenda indicates. The Henry Jackson present at the meeting has no connection, as far as this researcher can discern, with the longtime Democratic Senator Henry Jackson, who was close to the American Security Council (ASC, which this researcher has explored in depth before here).

As for the Blue Bloods, if anyone was wandering, the only one of them with tenuous ties to Skull and Bones appears to be Ruth Forbes Paine Young. There was at least one Forbes, John Forbes Kerry, who became a Bonesman. Ruth Young's husband prior to Arthur Young, George Lyman Paine, had blood relations to one family (Lyman) that may have also had Bonesmen in its ranks, but this researcher has not be able to reliably confirm this. On the whole then there were no discernible ties between Skull and Bones and this gathering.

The two most interesting families present are the Du Ponts and the Astors (via Alice Bouverie). The Du Pont family had been very close to the Nazi regime, especially IG Farben, whom they almost formed a joint cartel with. As for the Astor family, the British branch is especially notorious. Like the Du Pont family, they sought a close relationship with the Nazi regime in the years leading up to World War II. They were also major players in the infamous Round Table Group.
"... the Round Table Group, and came later to be called, somewhat inaccurately, the Cliveden Set, after the country estate of Lord and Lady Astor. It included Lord Milner, Leopold Amery, and Edward Grigg (Lord Altrincham), as well as Lord Lothian, Smuts, Lord Astor, Lord Brand (brother-in-law of Lady Astor and managing director of Lazard Brothers, the international bankers), Lionel Curtis, Geoffrey Dawson (editor of The Times), and their associates. This group wielded great influence because it controlled the Rhodes Trust, the Beit Trust, The Times of London, The Observer, the influential and highly anonymous quarterly review known as The Round Table (founded in 1910 with money supplied by Sir Abe Bailey and the Rhodes Trust, and and with Lothian as editor), and it dominated the Royal Institute of International Affairs, called 'Chatham House' (of which Sir Abe Bailey and the Astors were the chief financial supporters, while Lionel Curtis was the actual founder), the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, and All Souls College, Oxford. This Round Table Group formed the core of the three-bloc-world supporters, and differed from the anti-Bolsheviks like D'Abernon in that they sought to contain the Soviet Union between a German-dominated Europe and an English-speaking bloc rather than to destroy it as the anti-Bolsheviks wanted. Relationships between the two groups were very close and friendly, and some people, like Smuts, were in both."
(Tragedy and Hope, Carroll Quigley, pg. 581)
Could Puharich's group have been named after the British Round Table Group? Certainly this is a possibility and the presence of an Astor in the group does raise such questions. But it is unknown to this researcher as to how close Alice Bouverie was to the British branch of her family. As such, this is probably an unlikely prospect, but curious nonetheless.

But back to the seance. By all accounts this one was even more impressive than the first:
"Dr. Vinod sat on the floor in the lotus posture holding in his hands a string of sacred beads, called rakshas. On his lap was a simple copper plate nine inches in diameter. On the flour to his side was a small statue of the Hindu god, Hanoum. Thus, Dr. Vinod was in the center of a circle made up of the nine people listed above. He entered a trance state at 12: 15 A.M. He spoke for about fifteen minutes and then one of the Nine, R, spoke through him, saying:
Tonight we want to create Brahmins in this world. Brahmin means a person dedicated to Brahman.
"At this instant all nine observers in the fully lighted room saw the appearance, in an instant, of what appeared to be a pile of cotton threads about three feet from Dr. Vinod. It seemed to this observer that the pile of thread had just popped right out of the wooden floor. Dr. Vinod, still in a trance state, leaned over to pick up the threads. When he untangled them, he brought forth loops of finely woven cotton cord. He handed one to each person and there was exactly one loop for each. He asked each person to slip the loop over the right shoulder and under the left arm.
"What we had witnessed was the appearance of a material substance from nowhere! All present were quite sure that the large ball of cotton material had come from the floor and no place other than the floor."
(Uri, Andrija Puharich, pgs. 16-17)
Peter Levenda writers in Sinister Forces Book One: The Nine that he believes that the statue was actually of Hanuman, the Monkey King. Hanuman was apparently a human being who was given divine powers due to his devotion and courage. Thus, if the statue was of Hanuman, it would seem especially appropriate in this context.

So to was the presence of the Boston Brahmins for a transformation into Brahmins. Here are some more details about this concept:
"A Brahmin, of course, is the highest caste in the caste-structured Hindu system. Other castes include warriors and merchants, and there is also the non-caste known as the Untouchables (who were generally involved in trades considered unclean, such as handling the dead, slaughtering, etc.). What Vinod (or, actually 'R') was telling the assembled group is that they were to be reborn as spiritual Brahmins, in charge of bringing about a mystical renaissance on earth... under the mentorship of The Nine, of course. 'R' then made an allusion to alchemy and transformation, and then a reference to Buddha. Eventually, the Hindu and Buddhist references faded out of the communications from The Nine in favor of discussions of 'supersense' and other quasi-scientific, philosophical constructs that might have seemed profound in the context of the seance but which make for rather painful reading today, fifty years later."
(Sinister Forces Book I, Peter Levenda, pg. 247)
What became of this group of "Brahmins" is unknown. Of course Puharich continued chasing The Nine for at least another two decades and a few other participants would continue to crop in and out of the story for a few more years. Arthur Young, for instance, may have been with Puharich during a trek he took to Mexico in 1956 that seemingly produced a communication with The Nine and Alice Bouverie would play a key role in the next stage of Puharich's interaction with The Nine before her death (also in 1956). But the rest of the group appears to have drifted out of the story. Of course the Jacksons, due to Henry's occupation as Puharich's laboratory assistance, may have played a further role and the same is also possible of Young's wife, Ruth Forbes Paine Young. But as far as this researcher is aware this marked the end of the involvement of Marcella Du Pont, Carl Betz and Vonnie Beck in this ordeal. This also marked the final channeling of The Nine by Dr. Vinod as well. From here on out new mediums would be located.

Thus, only two of these "Brahmins" (Puharich) and Bouverie can be reliably linked to The Nine beyond the July 27, 1953 session. There's also a strong possibility that Arthur Young remained involved until the mid-1950s as well. But everyone else appears to have already played heir role. This would hardly be the last time The Nine would set lofty goals for their followers that would eventually be abandoned.

Harry Stone and God's Flesh (1954)

Puharich's next alleged contact occurred in 1954. This was the episode involving the psychic Harry Stone noted above. As far as this researcher is aware, Puharich never appears to have linked this episode publicly with The Nine, though there are multiple indications from Puharich and his associates that there was a connection. That Puharich may have been hesitant to link these two events is easy to understand: Stone's alleged channeling of Rahotep, an ancient Pharaoh, was closely connected to the fly-agaric or amanita muscaria, an hallucinogenic mushroom. While Puharich would later go on to record these experiences in his classic The Sacred Mushroom, neither the general public (then emerging from McCarthyism) or the deep state (in which such things were highly classified) were ready for hallucinogens to be linked explicitly to nonhuman intelligences at this point.

Rahotep is the figure with his arms raised
As for Stone's experiences, the great Philip Coppens noted:
"In 1954, Puharich received a transcript from what Harry Stone had uttered during a trance. Some were in English, others in Egyptian. 'The first time this occurred, Harry had been at Mrs. Davenport’s apartment in New York. When admiring a gold pendant, in the form of a cartouche, he had suddenly started to tremble all over, got a crazy staring look in his eyes, staggered around the room, and then fell into a chair.' What fascinated Andrija was the trance description that Stone had given of a plant that could separate consciousness from the physical body. Puharich knew that the ancient Greeks and the shamans in Siberia had an ancient tradition in which men partook of a plant which could detach the soul from the body, travel far, and then return with knowledge that was otherwise inaccessible to the human mind. If he was able to master this technique, it was clear that he and those for whom he worked, would have a powerful advantage over their enemies. Stone’s drawings of the plant looked like mushrooms, and the description he gave was that of the fly agaric, or amanita muscaria.
"Puharich realised that Stone had given him the answer to his problem: this mushroom could enhance extrasensory perception in human beings. All he had to do was find it and use it. By the fall of 1955, Puharich had an ample supply of the mushroom to find out…
"Puharich tested 35 'psychically ungifted' people, but none reported anything out of the ordinary. But in the case of Harry Stone, during a visit by Aldous Huxley, Stone asked to have the mushroom administered. Rather than chew, Stone applied the mushroom on his tongue and on the top of his head, in ritualistic fashion. Five minutes later he woke up, and began to stagger around as though he were heavily intoxicated with alcohol. At that point, Puharich wanted to test whether Stone’s psychic abilities had enhanced. The results were positive. In fact, they were not just positive, but perfect. Ten out of ten. And not only that, but superfast as well. Puharich quickly administered a large dose of atropine and removed the remaining particles of the mushroom from his tongue. Within fifteen minutes, Harry was ‘normal’ again.
"This was, of course, a major revelation for Puharich and the experiments were detailed in his book, The Sacred Mushroom. But Puharich was not the only one to write about it. Aldous Huxley stated: 'I spent some days, earlier this month, at Glen Cove, in the strange household assembled by Puharich […] Harry, the Dutch sculptor, who goes into trances in the Faraday Cage and produces automatic scripts in Egyptian hieroglyphics […] whatever may be said against Puharich, he is certainly very intelligent, extremely well read and highly enterprising. His aim is to reproduce by modem pharmacological, electronic and physical methods the conditions used by the Shamans for getting into a state of travelling clairvoyance. At Glen Cove they now have found eight specimens of the amanita muscaria. This is very remarkable as the literature of the mycological society of New England records only one previous instance of the discovery of an amanita in Maine. The effects, when a piece as big as a pin’s head, is rubbed for a few seconds into the skin of the scalp, are quite alarmingly powerful, and it will obviously take a lot of very cautious experimentation to determine the right psi-enhancing dose of the mushroom.' ”
the fly-argaric
Puharich alleged that he found the original fly-argaric specimens used in his experiments near his laboratory in Maine. This occurred in 1955 while most of Puharich's efforts were geared towards locating samples in Mexico (as were the CIA's). Naturally, psychics had assisted Puharich in locating these samples. Puharich would eventually claim to have figured out a way to cultivate them so as to have a steady supply for his experiments.

There are also indications that Puharich was conducting other experiments with magic mushrooms around this time that have largely been hidden from the public, as well as the extent of the official interest in the Stone episode. This shall be addressed in a future installment. For now it is interesting to note that Alice Bouverie played a key role in this series of events as well, apparently being one of the first individuals to locate a fly-argaric in the Maine woods during 1955. Almost exactly a year later she would die suddenly. Another of Puharich's psychics, in this case the famed Dutchman Peter Hurkos, had a premonition of her death shortly beforehand:
"The next morning, July 19, 1956, I again arrived at the laboratory to find Peter in the kitchen having a cup of coffee. He was still talking about the luminous mass which he had seen two evenings ago. I quizzed him all over again as to what he thought it meant. He admitted that he had no idea what it meant, but that it had made an indelible imprint upon his mind. While I was talking to Peter the phone rang and I answered it. It was Alice Bouverie's son calling from New York City. He was very taut, and tersely announced: 'Mummy is dead.' I couldn't believe my ears, and asked him to repeat what he had just said. He repeated: 'Mummy is dead, we found her in her bedroom this morning. She had apparently died sometime during the night. I thought you would want to know.' I was so stunned that I couldn't find the right things to say. I finally asked him what had been the cause of death. He said that he did not know, but the doctor who had examined her had the idea that it probably was a stroke. She had been in perfect health when she went to bed...
"Alice's sudden death remained inexplicable. The coroner described death as due to natural causes, but could not define any single pathology that could be responsible for such sudden death..." 
(The Sacred Mushroom, Andrija Puharich, pgs. 112-113) 
Alice Bouverie
And so departed another of the "Brahmins" from the stage. Alice Bouverie had apparently helped Puharich locate a sample of the fly-argaric on July 6, 1955 and then passed away on July 18, 1956. Her contribution had consisted of passing on a "hieroglyphic message" that Harry Stone had received on July 4 and which Alice had recorded and passed on to Puharich, just in time for his improbable discovery on July 6. Whether these dates have any significance is unknown, but they are close to a shake up in the deep state that shall be addressed in the next installment and thus worth noting in this regard.

Laugheads and Brother Philip (1956)

Puharich's next contact from The Nine apparently emerged as part of a chance encounter with a curious couple in Mexico on July 26, 1956. This was of course eight days after Alice Bouverie had died and a week after Puharich had been notified of her death. At the time he was still working with Peter Hurkos, who was present for Puharich's encounter with the Laugheads (yes, a real last name).
"... Puharich was still quite busy. He found himself in mexico with his psychic friend Peter Hurkos, (and, it seems, Arthur Young) in July 1956 to 'help solve an archaeological problem.' As Puharich was involved in locating drugs that could stimulate psychic ability, it seems likely that he was there with Hurkos on just such an agenda: neither Puharich nor Hurkos had any archaeological credentials. While in the town of Acambaro, he and Hurkos ran into an American couple from Arizona who eventually claimed that they had been receiving instructions from The Nine. Neither Puharich or Hurkos had ever met these people before, but it seems they were working with a medium back in Arizona who was also channeling The Nine. To prove this, they sent letters to Puharich the following month with sealed communications from The Nine that referred to details of the specific seances that Puharich had chaired back in Maine. This was the proof that Puharich was looking for. The details went so far as to include a variation of the Lorentz-Einstein Transformation formula that had formed part of the first seance.
"If we do not want to give The Nine the benefit of a doubt, we can assume that the medium who was working with the Arizona couple --the Laugheads of Whipple, Arizona (which sounds fishy anyway_ --was the same Dr. Vinod, for no one else would have the information..."
(Sinister Forces Book I, Peter Levenda, pg. 248)
Peter Hurkos
Levenda's conclusions here are problematic. For one, it is unknown if Arthur Young was in fact with Puharich. In Uri (which Levenda used as his source for this encounter) Puharich lists only himself and Hurkos as being present. On the other hand, the above-mentioned letter that Puharich received states that "We were also instructed to send a copy to Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Young" (Uri, pg. 20), implying that the Laugheads were somehow aware of Arthur and Ruth Forbes Paine Young's involvement with Puharich and The Nine. It would certainly be logical to deduce from this that the Laugheads were aware of this connection because Young himself was present. Considering that Levenda does not seem to think much of the Laugheads, it is hardly surprising that this is his conclusion.

But Levenda is most assuredly wrong about Dr. Vinod being the one working with the Laugheads. For one thing, this medium was described as a "young man" who was involved with "the Brotherhood of one of the ancient Mystery Schools in South America" (Uri, pg. 18). This does not jive with the limited accounts we have of Vinod, but describes to a T one of the most well known and infamous contactees of the 1950s: George Hunt Williamson.

While Williamson has mostly been forgotten in recent years, he was present with George Adamski during his alleged contact with Venusian called "Orthon." After this event Williamson would go to work with for former Silver Shirt founder William Dudley Pelley on his publication Valor. During this period Williamson became keenly aware of the occult connections to the UFO mystery and even claimed to be able to contact extraterrestrial intelligence via a Ouija board. By the mid-1950s Williamson was very active in South America, especially Peru where he extensively explored the Nazca Lines. It was around this time he would establish his own UFO cult down there, which the Laugheads were likely a part of.

Dr. Charles Laughead
The Laugheads themselves were no strangers to contactee cults either. Earlier they had been involved with another alleged medium and contactee, Dorthy Martin. It appears it was through this connection that couple had first met George Hunt Williamson. Like Williamson's eventual employer William Dudley Pelley, Martin appears to have been close to the I AM movement prior to the Second World War. For much more information on this network, check here.

William Dudley Pelley during the Silver Shirt years
There can be little doubt now that Williamson was the medium the Laugheads were using when they allegedly received communications from The Nine. Consider:
"Let us note that Dr. Laughead and his wife are quoted in the famous book by Dr. Andrija Puharich, Uri Geller. During a journey in Mexico in July 1956, the Laugheads met by chance, or synchronicity, Dr. Puharich in Acambaro and spoke to him of 'a young man, a very fine voice channel or medium' who was in contact with extraterrestrial intelligences who communicated through him. Having returned home in August in Whipple, Arizona, the Laugheads sent to Puharich three messages received by this 'young man.' Puharich was stunned by their similarity to those received by his own medium, Doctor Vinod. The identity of the 'young man', who was anxious to remain anonymous, became known only in the 1970s.
"It was George Hunt Williamson..." 
(The Incredible Life of George Hunt Williamson, Michel Zirger & Maurizio Martinelli) 
The great Greg Bishop and the equally great Kenn Thomas confirm this account by Zirger and Martinelli in this old article that originally appeared in a 1999 issue of Fortean Times. Thus, there seems to be little question of Williamson's involvement in the saga of The Nine, though many researchers still seem to avoid making this connection. But a casual reading of Williamson's work reveals more than a few allusions to The Nine.

Williamson appears to believe that the universe was structured according to the "Spectrum of Awareness" that consisted of nine levels. The eighth level was the "Thought Universe," in which beings that reached it moved beyond physical existence. The ninth level was the "Energy Universe" in which a union with the "Creative Spirit" could be sought.

At the top of Williamson's cosmology were beings whom he referred to as "El's" after the ancient Semitic word for "god" or "lord." Williamson describes these beings as thus:
"For countless ages, after their arrival upon the Earth planet, the 'El's' had been attempting to achieve a Timeless condition, that is, to reach a place where they could not only create by mere Thought, but also escape the binding chains of physical existence, to break for ever the ties that bound them to physical planets and systems --the conquest of Matter, Energy, Space and Time. They searched for thew secrets of Timelessness that would make them Immortal so they might march across Time and the Stars unfettered and free." 
(Traveling the Path Back To The Road in the Sky, George Hunt Williamson, pg. 42)
George Hunt Williamson
Curiously, Williamson was obsessed with a Hopi legend concerning the incredible flight of a bluebird that returned from "beyond the sky."
"In every Hopi kiva and by every Hopi fireside the origin legend is related over and over again. The story also tells how the people thought there might be land where it rains 'beyond the sky' and the crops would grow and everybody would be happy again. This indicates the dwindling water supply on Mars and the need for some of the people to migrate elsewhere since the small supply wouldn't take care of a large population. The legend speaks of the Hopi chief and leaders talking over the situation and deciding to try to find out what 'the other side of the sky' was like. The chief summoned different birds and asked them to fly up towards the sky and attempt to go through the 'hole'. The birds were unable to penetrate this 'hole' and every time a bird was sent it failed in its mission. Every new bird sent was able to go a little further, but the 'hole' was not penetrated.
"After each bird would return unsuccessful, the chief and the leaders talked over the situation and always decided to make another attempt. Finally the 'bluebird' was chosen to make the journey. Everyone waited for a long time, and they began to think that the 'bluebird' had been lost and they would never see it again. A long time passed, and at last the people could see a little speck far up in the sky. This speck grew larger and larger and came nearer and nearer to them. Soon they could hear the 'bluebird' singing, and in a little while it reached the surface of their dry world. All the people crowded around and the 'bluebird' told them: 'Yes, there is country up there beyond the sky. There is much land that would make good fields, there is much water from flowing springs, and there are many rain clouds.' "
(Traveling the Path Back To The Road in the Sky, George Hunt Williamson, pgs. 210-211) 

In this context Williamson was speculating that the Hopi originated from Mars and that the bluebird was a space craft that went through a "hole" presumably in the sky to Earth. While this seems rather unlikely, this researcher cannot help but wander if the men of the Office of Security were aware of this folk tale. Certainly it would appear that BLUEBIRD would go through its own "hole" (or "Stargate") and return to the "wise men" who had sent it. But moving along.

Uri (1971-1975)

Puharich's next known communication with The Nine did not occur until 1971. It was in November of that year that Puharich hypnotized the famed Israeli stage magician Uri Geller and received what he later deemed to be a communication from The Nine. So began Puharich's most public flirtation with The Nine, climaxing in the publication of Uri in 1974. This was the first time the general public at large was told of The Nine. Puharich had of course dropped hints in The Sacred Mushroom and pop culture staples such as The Outer Limits and Star Trek had potentially already incorporated references to them (for more details on this, see Christ Knowles' groundbreaking "The Secret Star Trek" series at The Secret Sun),

It all began when Puharich set out to Israel in 1971 to investigate Geller, who was already a successful stage magician in Israel at the time. But Geller, of course, claimed that his powers were real and not a sleight of hand. Many have long suspected that there were intelligence indications behind Puharich's visit and this may well be true. In addition to Puharich's deep state ties (which shall be addressed in the next installment), there are ample indications that Geller was already working for the Mossad at this time (he would go on to allegedly do work for US and British intelligence as well).

Regardless, Puharich brought Geller to the US in the early 1970s. On the one hand, this enabled Uri to pursue his stage career in the entertainment capital of the world. But on the other, Puharich was able to bring Geller into both Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in 1973-1974 and 1974-1975 respectively. Geller's initial test run at SRI showed great promise. Philip Coppens reports:
"In August 1972, Puharich called Geller back from Europe, to start the research programme. Geller agreed reluctantly. They flew to Germantown, Maryland, to meet with Dr. Werner von Braun (we can only ask why), then onwards to San Francisco, to Stanford University, and back to the East Coast to meet some more scientists. It was Stanford Research Institute (SRI) where the remote viewing experiment was housed. The project was co-ordinated by Russell Targ, a specialist in lasers and plasma research, and Dr. Harold Puthoff, a specialist in quantum physics. They were sufficiently impressed by Geller’s qualities to warrant further investigation.
"A full-page report of the experiments appeared in the National Enquirer, not renowned for its scientific focus: 'A young Israeli who can apparently bend metal with his mind has undergone rigidly controlled experiments at a leading research institute. The top scientists who tested him admit they cannot explain his amazing "powers." The experiments were "cheat-proof" and the scientists reported that Geller participated in experiments where the probability that anyone could have done what he did was one in a million, and in another test, one in a trillion.'
"Geller amazed the scientists when he made a balance placed in a bell jar respond as though a force was applied to it – without touching the balance. A chart recorder monitoring the balance showed that Geller somehow produced a force ten to a hundred times greater than could be produced by striking the bell jar, or the table, or jumping on the floor. 
"He correctly identified, eight out of eight times, the numbers shown on a die shaken inside a closed metal box. Only scientists handled the box, and no-one knew what number was on the die until after Geller had made his predictions, and the box was opened. 
"He correctly identified, eight out of eight times, the numbers shown on a die shaken inside a closed metal box. Only scientists handled the box, and no-one knew what number was on the die until after Geller had made his predictions, and the box was opened."
Dr. Russell Targ (left) and Dr. Hal Puthoff (right), who famously ran SRI's legendary remote viewing program in the early 1970s
While Geller performed well at SRI, the tests at Livermore Laboratory became the stuff of legend (or nightmare, depending upon one's point of view):
"What was to become a mounting hysteria, practically a mass-possession, began when one of the group, a security officer, Ron Robertson, was speaking on the phone to Geller, and Geller proceeded in mid-conversation, his voice having oddly changed and gone up an octave, to give him a detailed prediction of three family dramas, all of which happened to the officer the following Saturday. Then, in the makeshift lab, an infrared camera started recording unexplained patches of radiation high up on a wall. Kodak, the film manufacturer, was discreetly asked to examine the results. The company could not even begin to explain them. Shortly afterwards, a tape recorder picked up a peculiar, unintelligible metallic voice, a voice no one had heard when the machine was on. When Green later examined the metallic voice tape, one of the few recognizable words on it was the codename for an unconnected top-secret project, which he happened to know about, but nobody at Livermore could have any inkling of.
"As Uri became an occasional fixture around the laboratory, some members of the team and their families began to see fuzzy, 3D hallucinations or visions, or something, of miniature, comic book-style flying saucers hovering in the centre of various rooms. Other visions the scientists reported, in mounting terror, took the form of giant birds, which would walk across their gardens, or, in the case of one physicist, Mike Russo, and his wife, the foot of their bed.
"After a few weeks, another physicist, Peter Crane, called Dr. Green at CIA, almost in desperation. Green came down and met Cane in a coffee shop in Livermore town, near the lab. He later met the other team members, and was astonished to find them swearing and weeping openly as they described what had been happening. Decades later, as a medical doctor, Green was still pondering the implications of this apparent assault on the team's state of mind.
"Knowing that group hallucinations are extremely rare, and additionally, that all affected Livermore personnel, as a part of their high security clearance, were known to be unusually stable psychologically, Green doubted the hallucination theory even more. 'I was confident at the time, as I am now, that there was no psychiatric pathology,' Dr. Green says today of these almost extravagantly weird events of 40 years ago. 'I realized quickly that it had none of the signs of mass hysteria. There was no endogenous psychopathology on behalf of the individuals there. They were not psychiatrically ill. But that doesn't mean they didn't get scared to death.'
"You can see why, when it turns out that Russo, after telling Green what had been happening, then received a phone call from the metallic voice, insisting that the Livermore group cease its work on Geller --something the scientists, who were only volunteers after all, did with some alacrity, and whereupon the phenomena gradually stopped.
"One of the last but most extreme of the phenomena appeared to a physicist called Don Curtis and his wife. It consisted of a holographic false arm in grey suiting material and was hovering in their living room then rotating like it was on a spit. The arm had no hand, but a hook..."
(The Secret Life of Uri Geller, Jonathan Margolis, pgs. 45-47)
Uri at Livermore Laboratory
The CIA scientist mentioned above was Christopher "Kit" Green. As was noted before here, at the time of these experiments Green was a member of the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI). The OSI had been the Office of Security's primary partner in ARTICHOKE, even heading the project briefly from late 1951 until September of 1952. At the time of the Geller experiments Green was tasked with performing an overall evaluation of the various parapsychological work being done by the CIA, most notably at SRI. But moving along.

Christopher "Kit" Green
Things seemed to be going so very well for Puharich and Geller. Puharich's close associate (and eventually, a convicted murderer) Ira Einhorn had procured a book deal for Puharich in which he would reveal Uri's extraordinary powers. Einhorn and allegedly Geller saw a paragram shift coming in which the psi phenomena would become as scientifically accepted as gravity. And then Uri was published, and it all went out the window. Chris Knowles describes Puharich's meltdown as thus:
"... There's a wafer-thin membrane between visionary and madman, and Puharich seemed to cross it. Running around the deserts of Israel chomping mushrooms and chasing saucers with Uri Geller seemed to kick something loose in Puharich's skull. And his meltdown would be all too public...
"Puharich's unique blend of mushroom madness and Jerusalem Syndrome would be spelled out in his 1974 biography on Uri Geller. The young Israeli was already under growing scrutiny from the skeptics for his increasingly extravagant claims of psychic power and Puharich's mad travelogue/Saucercult liturgy blew the lid off the pot. Here's a typical passage:
Hal Puthoff and Russ Targ arrived in Ossining on January 27 to show us the movie film they had made of the experiments with Uri. They told us that the management of SRI had decided to stand firm, to back Hal and Russ, and to make a public announcement backing their findings with Uri. This was heart-warming news for us.
On February 2 we were driving from New York City toward Ossining at we were turning into Exit 7A at Elmsford, New York, we both saw a welcome sight. There, some thirty feet in front of and above our car, was Horus. He was fluttering in the rain and air, hovering over us so that we could see him. I slammed the car to a skidding halt. Horus glided to a nearby dead tree, landed, and looked down upon us from his imperial height. How happy Uri and I were to see him, after a whole year! 
We looked at Horus for some ten minutes, then he glided silently down into the woods and vanished. Uri and I looked at each other; we both knew the meaning of Horus's appearance. We were in danger again! But we were also protected.
When we got to the house, Uri and I sat in my study to discuss our situation. The tape recorder started to run. But this time there was no message. The tape recorder ran on and on, blank. Then a letter appeared on top of the tape recorder. I picked up the letter.  It was dated 1949, with no month or day.
It was from my departed friend, Dr. Eugene Milne Cosgrove...(w)here had it come from? With Horus on the scene, and this acute reminder of the nameless terror of impending death, what was in store for us?
"Now, remember this book was supposed to be written in order to kosher Geller with the scientific community and it's one occult ritual after one UFO encounter after another."
Geller (left) and Puharich (right)
Indeed. And not only was all of it so bizarre, but Puharich also proclaimed from the rafters that The Nine had big plans for himself and Uri:
"... The mysterious aliens, from a world called Hoova, and sometimes calling themselves Rhombus 4D, had assigned Puharich and Geller a variety of tasks, which would test their faith and abilities. The Nine had given the pair a central role in preventing war, as well as making them foot soldiers in a grand design for Earth, which they admitted was principally for their own needs and benefit, but which would, at the same time, be the greatest thing mankind had ever experienced. They reassured Puharich, through Uri, that they had been directing his, Puharich's, life and career for decades, as well as Uri's. They explained that their city-sized spacecraft, called Spectra, was responsible for Uri's odd powers, and the way mankind received Uri Geller would determine whether and how Hoova's Earth-development proggramme would continue, as well as the planet's general fate. For some subtle, cosmic reason, Uri was deliberately being sent into the world under the cover of a clownish, comic act."
(The Secret Life of Uri Geller, Jonathan Margolis, pg. 196)
Despite the fate of humanity allegedly hanging in the balance, Geller soon began to distance himself from Puharich and by late 1975 seems to have totally abandoned any pretext of being a prophet of The Nine. This no doubt had something to with the fact that being a "clownish, comic act" likely payed much better than being the messiah of vaguely defined alien gods. And there may have also been deep political implications, as shall be explored in the next installment.

Lab Nine (197?-1978)

Puharich appears to have been involved in the saga of The Nine until the late 1970s despite losing Geller. In many ways this was the apex of The Nine saga. Puharich and his associates would be hobnobbing with a host of celebrities and prominent scientists throughout this era. A relationship with Gene Roddenberry would famously emerge sometime around 1975-1976, which would eventually lead to elements of The Nine's story being incorporated into the Star Trek franchise. Or so official history goes, anyway. Over the course of the groundbreaking "The Secret Star Trek" series Chris Knowles compelling argues that both Star Trek and the original Outer Limits (as well as Incubus) had allusions to The Nine by the 1960s. And of course there was the atrocious 1977 made-for-TV movie that Roddenberry produced and co-wrote known as Spectre that was clearly based upon the misadventures of Puharich and Geller. But moving along.

The horror... the horror... 
And of course, Puharich continued his search for more mediums to contact The Nine with. It would appear that at some point in the late 1960s or the early 1970s that Puharich had established a base of operations for these schemes. As with everything else involving The Nine, it was quite elaborate.
"... Puharich had bought --using whose funds, it is not known --a magnificent 15-room house with six acres, a brook and a pond at 87 Hawkes Avenue, Ossining, New York. This became his base for what was, at his Uri Geller apogee, a virtual Puharich cult. The Puharich place was known in Ossining as a hangout for oddballs, otherwise 'The Turkey Farm' or 'Lab Nine'. 
(The Secret Life of Uri Geller, Jonathan Margolis, pg. 198)
Up to this point Puharich had had at least three known mediums that he used to channel The Nine: Dr. Vinod, George Hunt Williamson (whom Puharich likely never met, but who channel messages from The Nine and sent them on to Puharich via the Laugheads) and Uri Geller. Harry Stone may have also been involved, but Stone channeled Rahotep, and not The Nine themselves (though he possibly gave Puharich an invaluable tool in the magic mushroom for contacting them). It was at Lab Nine that he would have regular meetings with both of the last two mediums he used to contact The Nine (at least officially). One of them, a most peculiar woman, would go on to be involved with The Nine for years to come after Puharich had allegedly dropped out.
"One of the most useful and colourful characters with whom Puharich surrounded himself at Ossining was Phyllis Schlemmer (nee Virtue). Born of Italian and Irish ancestry in Pennsylvania, from an early age she was aware of her gifts as a medium. At her Catholic college the priests often asked her to accompany them on exorcisms, as she could 'see' possessing spirits leaving the victims. As she grew older, she regularly channelled a number of spirit guides. After the break-up of her first marriage, she moved to Florida where she developed her career as a psychic, working for the police and mining companies, and even broadcasting her own television show. She founded the Psychic Center of FLorida in Orlando, a school for developing psychics, in 1969. Her main spirit guide was an entity called 'Dr. Fiske', but in 1970 a new control simply named 'Tom' 'came through'. She assumed it must be her grandfather Thomas, who died when she was just five.
"Phyllis Schlemmer met Puharich at a conference in the late 1960s, and the two were in regular contact thereafter. In January 1974, a cook from Daytona Beach, who is referred to in Nine-related literature only by the pseudonym 'Bobby Horne', enrolled at Schlemmer's Psychic Center, developing healing talents so remarkable that she recommended him to Puharich as a potential subject for further study. It was not to be a fortuitous recommendation for poor Bobby.
"Puharich travelled to Miami to meet Horne in March 1974. On their first meeting... he hypnotised the young man, who began to channel an extraterrestrial entity called Corean. Puharich was delighted, believing he had found a worthy successor to Geller in his quest to establish regular contact with the Nine. He went on to have several channelled 'interviews' with Corean, but refused to let Horne himself hear the tapes of these sessions, claiming that this specifically followed Corean's own instructions. It was decreed that Horne should be told neither the identity of the entity nor the content of its communications. Puharich behaved in a highly unethical way for a hypnotist, asking obviously leading questions of Corean, such as if he was connected with Hoova, the civilisation supposedly in contact with Uri Geller. In fact Corean had not mentioned Hoova, but afterwards this became a regular subject of discussion for him. Then, amazingly, Puharich compounded his already extraordinarily unethical behaviour by implanting a posthypnotic suggestion in Horne's subconscious mind to enable Schlemmer to continue to put him into trance in his, Puharich's, absence...
"With Horne replacing Geller as the new 'Chosen One', a circle formed around him, with a nucleus consisting of Puharich, Schlemmer and Sir John Whitmore, the heir to an aristocratic British family. Educated at public school and the elite military academy of Sandhurst, he later became a successful racing driver. At the time of the Lab Nine operation he owned houses in England and the Bahmas. He had first become seriously involved with this bizarre set-up in April 1974; the previous year he had spent some time with James Hurtak in California as one of his inner circle of 'disciples'...
"Puharich, Whitmore, Schlemmer and an increasingly reluctant Bobby Horne began to proselytise in both the United States and Britain in the spring and summer of 1974, although they kept the group small and intimate, not intending it to explode into a mass movement, at least in the immediate future. Meanwhile Bobby Horne was suffering from increasing pressure from the Nine, being expected to drop all other activities to follow the group around the world to channel at any time of the day or night and produce phenomena almost constantly. He began to make excuses or fail to show up, and even became suicidal as the demands of the exhausting business spiralled out of control. (Later, Whitmore was to airily dismiss Horne as showing 'signs of instability'.) The Nine eventually decided to let him go --their second failure, after Geller --and announced that from then on Schlemmer would be their 'transceiver', with Tom as their spokesman."
(The Stargate Conspiracy, Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince, pgs. 173-176)
Phyllis Schlemmer
Schlemmer would remain involved with The Nine presumably up until the time of her death in 2013,  but her promotions of them became less frequent after the 1990s. It was in that decade that she published The Only Planet of Choice, supposedly their manifesto. Curiously, Schlemmer also had a tie to Pennsylvania, but this researcher has been unable to determine where her old stomping grounds were.

The use of Bobby Horne, a Daytona Beach-based cook, is also interesting. Daytona is located in Volusia County, a region that has experienced its own fair share of high weirdness and channeling. There is of course Cassadaga, a Spiritualist commune founded near DeLand in the late nineteenth century by members of the Spiritualist Church. Allegedly spirit guides were used to determine the location of the camp.

On the topic of DeLand, the creator of the "weird tale" himself, H.P. Lovecraft, would also visit there regularly. His good friend R.H. Barlow was a resident, you see. There have of course been some very, very curious musings about the nature of Lovecraft's relationship with Barlow, who during the time of the DeLand visits was a teenager. Barlow eventually become Lovecraft's literary executor after Lovecraft's death. Barlow would go on to commit suicide at the ripe old age of 32 in January of 1951. But moving along.

HP Lovecraft and RH Barlow to the left with Barlow's parents on the right
Now that I've established Puharich's two final mediums from the Lab Nine years, it is time to consider one of the most curious aspects of the Ossining operation: the so-called "Space Kids." This project began in 1975, just as Puharich's involvement with The Nine was allegedly winding down. After the fiery end of this project, Puharich would have nothing to do with The Nine again (at least publicly). But I'm getting ahead of myself. First, let us consider the few details available to us concerning this project.
"... Puharich had assembled a group of around twenty youngsters from seven countries. He called them 'Gellerlings,' or 'Space Kids.' They ranged in age from nine to the late teens. Supposedly, they had the psychic powers of Uri Geller. The idea was to train the kids, educate them on their powers and how to use them. Puharich also initiated trance sessions where he attempted to find out where these powers came from. In an unpublished book he wrote about this psychic summer camp; he prints substantial portions of these interviews, which, if they are to be believed, seem to indicate that the Space Kids indeed hail from unearthly locations. The Kids describe strange cities with science-fiction trappings and claim to be messengers from these distant civilizations. Puharich marshals his evidence that they bear messages to save Earth from nuclear destruction.
"Many of the sessions were rather benign. For instance, Holly Maddux spent a lot of time with a young woman simply doing ESP exercises. Other times, though, the Space Kids were asked to do things that upset them. One who was fourteen that summer says that he began to feel suspicious about the whole experience when his trainers asked him to do remote viewing at specific locations --to leave his body and report what he saw and heard. What disconcerted him was that the locations included politically sensitive areas, like the Kremlin."
(The Unicorn's Secret, Steven Levy, pgs. 166-167) 
Holly Maddux
Puharich's frequent partner in these experiments was the Philadelphia-based New Age guru Ira Einhorn who, as noted above, had helped Puharich secure his book deal for Uri. The above-mentioned Holly Maddux was Einhorn's girlfriend at the time and assisted in the experiments. In 1977 Maddux broke up with Einhorn and a few weeks later she went missing. In 1979 her rotting body was found in a trunk in Einhorn's Philadelphia-based apartment. Einhorn would go on the run and was convicted in absentia in 1981.

Einhorn was adept at raising money, procuring wealthy donors for Puharich's experiments such as Barbara Bronfman of the wealthy Canadian family. Likely with support from such sources (many of Einhorn and Puharich's New Age associates long insisted on Einhorn's innocence) Einhorn was able to hide out in Europe until 1997, when he was located in France. It was not until 2001 that he was extradited back to the United States, however.

Ira Einhorn
Another participant in the Space Kids program was the British-based American Joyce Petschek, who had apparently married into considerable money.
"... She was, for a period, the companion of Andrija Puharich, and was a participant in the Space Kids experiments --indeed, two of her own teenage children were among the junior Gellers. American-born, she had married into a wealthy family of Jewish industrialists who had fled the Continent before World War II..."
(The Unicorn's Secrets, Steven Levy, pg. 195)
a Joyce Petschek, but it is unknown if this is the same one who befriended Puharich
There is of course a host of baseless speculation online about what nefarious activities may have unfolded at Lab Nine involving these kids. This researcher would like to stress that he has found no evidence of physical or sexual abuse. What's more, such things being conducted at Lab Nine seems rather improbable. While there is certainly evidence that Andrija Puharich was involved in some questionable experiments involving children during the 1950s (which shall be addressed in the next installment), it is unlikely that he would try to recreate such things at Lab Nine. It was far too open and public.

The fact that at least one of Puharich's own donors (and potentially girlfriend for a time) would subject her own teenage children to these experiments further indicates that they were fairly benign. Surely if Puharich wanted to do something truly nefarious, he would be far more low key and not use test subjects that could so easily be traced back to him.

As to whether or not the deep state had any interest in these experiments, this is also difficult to say. The events that would lead to the destruction of Lab Nine, in August of 1978, would seem to indicate that at least someone in the intelligence community wanted Puharich to cease and desist, if Puharich himself is to be believed. Consider:
"... Puharich's three-story frame house in Ossining, New York, the headquarters for the mind-blowing experiments of the Space Kids, had burned down. The one fatality was a German shepherd dog who had been felled by smoke. The police had ruled the case arson.
".... The house on 87 Hawkes Avenue was empty: Puharich was long gone, rumored to be in Mexico. Talking to neighbors, Olver learned of strange doings at the Turkey Farm --people all over the world coming for unspecified, and possibly unnatural, experiments...
"Olver later contacted the arson investigator who had looked into the case for the Insurance Company of North America. The investigator had concluded that a would-be psychic researcher, spurned by Puharich, was the main suspect. This suspect had once left statements on Puharich's answering machine such as, 'I don't know what's happening to me! I'm going crazy!' He had appeared at the Turkey Farm one day and demanded that everyone listen to his personal problems. One of these problems was, as he explained it, harassment from extraterrestrials.
"... the investigator found Puharich's conversation fantastic: 'It is noteworthy to mention,' he wrote, 'that Puharich stated he has observed numerous UFOs and has communicated with extraterrestrial beings.' Though Puharich confirmed the strange behavior of the rejected would-be researcher --the doctor had been in Los Angeles during the fire --he suggested that the fire might have been started by the Central intelligence Agency. This would have been a 'warning' to him because he had been circulating evidence of Soviet experiments in psychic warfare. Puharich spoke of sending reports to President Carter and Prime Minister Trudeau detailing how the Russians were sending ELF waves that were 'softening people's brains.' Obviously, if Puharich had actually torched his home, he would offer a more digestible alibi. 'Despite the baroque tale spun by Dr. Puharich, we found nothing to implicate him or the occupants of his residence in the cause of the fire,' wrote the investigator."
(The Unicorn's Secret, Steven Levy, pgs. 218-220)

Pretty much everyone dismissed Puharich's CIA claims. Mainstream journalists and investigators would of course give no credence to such claims, but conspiracy researchers are equally dismissive. But there is compelling evidence that Puharich was genuinely scared by the fire. What's more, he would soon find himself in conflict with one of the most powerful Overworld in the world. This would mark Puharich's permanent fall from grace.

By the late 1980s Puharich was all but forgotten and he would ultimately die destitute in 1995. This was an astonishing fall from grace for a man who had once had virtually unfettered access to the highest corridors of power, who routinely rubbed elbows with celebrities, blue bloods and powerful figures in the deep state.

The question then becomes, what exactly happened and what was really going on behind the scenes throughout the years in which Puharich was allegedly doing the bidding of The Nine. In the next installment I shall attempt to answer these questions and more. Stay tuned dear reader.


  1. C.hester I.gnatius A. ssparagusAugust 17, 2016 at 12:08 PM

    So...what's the point? I've read 90% of this elsewhere.
    As a matter of fact, since the rise of the Interputz, intelligence groupies such as yourself seem to endlessly prattle on about the same boring shite. Although, since most of these people are dead you should rename your bloggie thing-a-ma-jig "Parapolitical Necrophilia."
    It would be a tad bit more honest.

    I have to admit, I do enjoy how Interspurt vanity publishers continually refer to themselves as "researchers" just because they apparently have tons of free time to Googley Eye shit.

    One more thing pal, Peter Lavenda is one piss poor source for anything other than pure unadulterated bullshit.

  2. The Astor connection is interesting given the confluence of occult and intelligence matters linked to the family in Britain. In addition to the pro-Nazi stuff in the 30's, if you don't already know, check out the Profumo affair, the spy/sex scandal of the early 60's. The prostitute Christine Keeler was introduced to cabinet minister Profumo at Cliveden by Stephen Ward who lived on the estate. Ward has been accused of being deeply involved in the occult by no less a person than the late Michael Bentine (familiar to British readers as a comedian and children's TV personality). Bentine also belived that Ward was murdered.

    Bentine himself was a spiritualist and, during WWII, a member of MI9 (the intelligence department responsible for POWs) where he served under Airey Neave. Both Bentine and Neave were later implicated in various right wing plots to overthrown Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson in a coup. Neave was killed in an INLA bomb attack in 1979.

  3. Anon-

    Yeah, I'm aware of Ward's alleged interest in the occult, but with so much material to cover, I couldn't really go to in depth on the Astors in this series.

    Its interesting to note that several of the families closely linked to the CLiveden Set and very prominent in the early Round Table group --most notably Amery and Lothian --would become staunch supporters of the far right Le Cercle network by the mid-1970s, right around the time coup plots to remove Wilson were being bantered about.

    Over on the other side of the Atlantic, the Council on Foreign Relations would apparently descend into a fist fight in 1969 over Vietnam. Shortly there after the "Prussian" faction began to flock to the American Security Council and the Committee on Present Danger (which were closely aligned to Le Cercle by the mid-1970s) while the traders would head for the more global-centric Trilateral Commission.

    Curiously, Puharich appears to have fallen afoul of one of these "traders" around the mid-1950s, around the time Alice Bouverie died. I'm not sure how much geopolitics played into this development back then, but it clearly seems that by the 1970s he was knee deep in the ongoing civil war among the Anglo-American elite. This will be addressed in the next installment.


  4. Thanks Recluse, can't wait for the next part. Ignore Mr Ignatius Assparagus, your research is terrific and definitely adds a great deal to the existing body of para-political analysis. Which is no doubt why you get attacked by trolls like that.

  5. Hello Recluse,

    I was a personal friend of Arthur Young from 1981 until his death in 1995 and I am also an Internet friend of Peter Levenda due to my connection with Arthur. I can thus verify definitively that Peter's speculation about Arthur being in Mexico with both Puharich and Hurkos in 1956 is, in fact, fact.

    My source? The autobiography of Arthur Young, published in 2004, called Nested Time.

    On page 181, you can read this opening sentence in a sidebar:

    In the summer of 1956, Ruth and I visited Acambaro with Andreja Puharich and the Dutch sensitive Peter Hurkos, who we hoped would be able to locate a cave containing more figurines.

    There are 2 photographs on that page, one of Ruth Young herself photographing the figurines at Waldemar Julsrud's home and a 2nd photo showing Puharich, Julsrud and Ruth Young sitting at a table together.

    If you want a copy of Arthur's autobiography, check out this page on his website

    Tom Mellett
    Van Nuys, CA

  6. A note on Vinod: After Sinister Forces was already published I managed to make contact with the family of Dr. Vinod in India. In fact, one can find some (albeit scant) information on him online via the Rotary Club of which he was an active and enthusiastic member. His family told me, however, that they had no knowledge of him ever being a medium or a psychic. Further investigation reveals that he was introduced to Puharich at a social gathering in New York City and then later met Puharich by chance on a train at which time Puharich told him about his psychic experiments. They seem to have bonded over this, and Vinod spent considerable time at Puharich's operation in Maine. There is even a newspaper article about them both in a Maine newspaper from that era. I mention all of this only to show that Dr Vinod did, indeed, exist and that was his real name. I am not sure how he became a medium during his stay in the US as it seems to have been news to his family back in Poona, India. He was very interested in religion, however, and was in the States initially because of a conference on world religions. I will try to find the Vinod correspondence and get back with more details.

  7. Steve-

    Thanks so much for your kind words! I did not find this post to be especially original myself, but I felt it was necessary to establish the time line for events discussed in the next installment. I hope that you enjoyed it.


    Thank you so much for confirming Young's presence in Mexico. I had felt his presence there was highly probable, but I tried to go by what Puharich had actually stated for much of this post when at all possible. But it would certainly be most interesting to see Young's comments on this trip. Thanks so much for the link and your response.

    Mr. Levenda-

    I can not been to describe to you how unbelievable flattered I am that you would leave a response on my blog. You are by far my all time favorite nonfiction writer and I consider your "Sinister Forces" trilogy to be among the most groundbreaking books ever published.

    Thank you so very much for providing this information concerning Vinod here and for confirming that Vinod was this mysterious figure's real name. I like many had considered the possibility that Vinod may have been a pseudonym. But this only adds to the mystery and the curious cast of mediums Puharich employed.

    There is a certain question I have that is some what related to this topic that I would be incredibly grateful to you for answering, if at all possible:

    Do you have any idea if Morse Allen knew L. Ron Hubbard? I've seen reports online that they both attended George Washington University (a rather spook-tacular institute) during the early 1930s, but I have been unable to confirm Allen's enrollment. There are also allegations that the two men may have served in the ONI together in New York some time around 1942. The timeframe for this seems possible but there are not many details available concerning Allen's time with the ONI.

    If they did know one another, this may help explain Allen's keen interest in some many fringe topics (i.e. hypnosis, magic mushrooms, psi, etc) that were later incorporated into ARTICHOKE.

    Thank you so much again for your information on Vinod.


  8. Here is some more information on doctor Vinod and his work with ESP etc: