Not everyone believes in the power of psychics. Their supposed abilities certainly raise eyebrows but, at one point in history, the United States government decided that psychic skills were weapons they needed on their side. Thus began in 1978 what would later be titled Project Sun Streak.
This project focused on creating psychic spies capable of seeing places remotely using psychoenergetics. Though psychoenergetics - an offshoot of psychotronics - may sound like a term straight out of a science fiction novel, it refers to the supposed connection between the human psyche and energy. Over its 20-year operation Project Sun Streak had various names and was eventually labeled Project Stargate overall. It tapped into psychic and entertainment communities and even called upon Scientologists.
The CIA declassified documents relating to the project in 1995, and while the information they contain is certainly ludicrous, hilarious, and utterly astounding you can decide if their effort appear supernatural. Here are the insane particulars of CIA Project Sun Streak's crazy efforts to tap into the power of the paranormal.
So just how did the U.S. Military first buy into the notion that creating psychic spies was a necessity? Because the Soviets were doing it, of course.
In the late '60s and early '70s, at the height of the Cold War, the CIA started to get nervous about reports that the Soviet Union was researching and experimenting with psychotronics. The most obvious reason for such research would be for spying purposes but initially the U.S. didn't sweat such preposterous measures.
When the CIA discovered in 1970 that the Soviets were, in fact, spending around 60 million rubles on their research each year, they started to get concerned. And then within five years, Soviet spending in the area quintupled, and the CIA realized the Soviets must have had a breakthrough that was worth worrying about. Not to be outdone in the area of psychic espionage, the CIA funded a research project called SCANATE (scan by coordinate), which was based at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, California.
Project Sun Streak wasn't - and wouldn't be - always thusly named. In the early '70s, at the Stanford Research Institute, two scientists coined the term "Remote Viewing." It was this ability - to see with one's mind things happening elsewhere - that would be the focus of Project Sun Streak.
Previously, Project Gondola Wish had been a major military initiative tasked with finding similar ways to replicate what the Soviets might be doing with psychics. By 1978 Project Gondola Wish was retitled Project Grill Flame (which really makes one think they were quite "hungry" to get ahead.) Over the years the project would shift focus - and funding - to become Project Center Lane and then finally Project Sun Streak. Eventually, all the various operations would be given the overarching title Project Stargate. It's the Sun Streak era, however, that really shows how weird this project got.
For any truly weird idea to carry weight with professionals on the level of the CIA, there has to be one enthusiast championing the project. For Project Sun Streak, that man was Major General Albert Stubblebine.
Put simply, this guy was one weird dude. Throwing military propriety to the wind, he unabashedly shared his enthusiasm for the mystical. He was known to hold spoon-bending sessions with his staff and soldiers and would make his generals walk through fire as a way of tapping into inner wisdom.
In the early '80s, Stubblebine was responsible for the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM). At the time, Stubblebine got into hot water for his practice of sending his men to the Monroe Institute, an organization using the "hemi-sync" treatment to trigger out of body experiences. One of the men sent to the institute was pushed to mental instability and was found wandering around nude. Eventually Stubblebine would be pushed into retirement due to his audacious interests, but by then he'd championed Project Sun Streak to the point of major funding.
So other than the U.S.'s competition with the Soviet Union, what else could justify all this effort to train psychic spies? Well, they had a very particular mission statement initially: Find the location of a crashed Navy aircraft. And according to a CIA briefing on Project Sun Streak, the vessel was located within fifteen miles of where a psychic remote viewer said it would be.
As the project grew and evolved, the mission statements broadened and focused on more practical applications for remote viewing. The people involved in the program were asked to find hostages such as Terry Waite, who they claim to have found. They were tested with questions about what information was inside of classified envelopes and asked to describe locations they weren't familiar with or near.