Files released reveal CIA interest in Scottish paranormal research
Almost 930,000 files containing around 13 million pages are available after a long freedom of information campaign.
The files include spoon-folding experiments at the University of Edinburgh, an attack on the US Consulate, and rallies of Communist sympathizers all dating back to the 1980s.
Several research from the parapsychic department of the university have been kept by the CIA as part of its Stargate program on the paranormal.
They include an article by Deborah Delanoy, a leading parapsychologist, in which she denounces a teenage metal scammer in 1983-84.
His subject, Tim, was a “bright and very affable” 17-year-old who the research team considered an ideal subject.
“Tim claimed to have started bending metal, mostly cutlery, at the age of four and has been doing it ever since,” Ms. Delanoy’s report on file with the CIA reads.
After seven and a half months of lab tests, researchers began to suspect that Tim was a fraudster and used a hidden camera to expose him.
The report says, “Tim confessed to deceptive behavior. She said that he was a practicing magician who wished to see if it was possible for a magician to successfully pass himself off as a medium in a laboratory.
The main lesson from the research, Ms. Delanoy documents, was that “we must never let ourselves be forgotten that our subjects can deceive us.”
Other University of Edinburgh documents held by the CIA concern extrasensory perception – or experiences not explained by known physical or biological understanding. A spokesperson for the university said: “We are doing research in a wide range of fields and it is understandable that major global institutions are interested.”
The Stargate program has long fascinated conspiracy theorists and is widely credited with influencing Jon Ronson’s 2004 book The Men Who Stare at Goats.
In the book, adapted for theaters in 2009 starring George Clooney and Ewan McGregor, US special forces attempt to harness paranormal powers as a weapon.
Edinburgh psychologist Drew McAdam said the CIA’s interest in the paranormal is well documented.
He said: “They [the CIA] were interested in anything because they had information that the Russians were interested in it. It was a case where if they did, we should.
“I’m not a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic,” McAdam says. “Just because they don’t understand it, people call it psychic, but that’s just things the human mind can do. “
Stargate memos reveal how Gueller was able to partially reproduce images drawn in another room.
Previously, the CIA only released its declassified historical documents for in-person viewing in its Maryland archives.
A campaign to have the files posted online lasted for over two years and often went to wacky extremes.
Freedom of Information nonprofit MuckRock sued the CIA to force it to download the collection.
While journalist Mike Best has funded over £ 12,000 to visit the archives and print and then publicly download the files one by one.
“By printing and scanning the documents at the CIA’s expense, I was able to begin to make them freely available to the public and financially incent the agency to simply put the database online,” Best wrote.
The published documents date back to the 1940s and include documents from Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
The articles also include reported UFO sightings and invisible ink recipes – as well as CIA research, development and operations.
Documents have also been kept on Nazi war crimes while internal letters refer to the Watergate scandal that toppled President Nixon in the 1970s.
The worldwide release of the files has piqued the interest of conspiracy theorists, media and academics around the world.
The Washington Post reported how the files expose the “grim details” of the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation program.
They document how a terrorist suspect died in Afghanistan in 2002 after being “sprayed with water and chained to concrete floor as temperatures fell below freezing,” the newspaper reports.
“The posting of these documents demonstrates the CIA’s commitment to increasing the accessibility of declassified documents to the public,” said Joseph Lambert, director of information management for the CIA.
“Access to this historically significant collection is no longer limited by geography. The American public can access these documents from the comfort of their homes. “