One wag has dubbed the problem “Terra and the Pirates.”
The pirates, ostensibly, are marauders from another solar system;
their victims include a growing number of troubled human beings who
insist that they’ve been shanghaied by these otherworldly visitors.
An outlandish scenario — yet through the works of such authors as
Budd Hopkins and
Whitley Strieber, the “alien abduction”
syndrome has seized the public imagination. Indeed, tales of UFO
contact threaten to lapse into fashionability, even though, as I
have elsewhere noted, they may still inflict a formidable social
price upon the claimant.
Some time ago, I began to research these claims, concentrating my
studies on the social and political environment surrounding the
events. As I studied, the project grew and its scope widened.
Indeed, I began to feel as though I’d gone digging through familiar
terrain only to unearth Gomorrah.
These excavations may have disgorged a solution.
Among ufologists, the term “abduction” has come to refer to an
infinitely-confounding experience, or matrix of experiences, shared
by a dizzying number of individuals, who claim that travellers from
the stars have scooped them out of their beds, or snatched them from
their cars, and subjected them to interrogations, quasi-medical
examinations, and “instruction” periods. Usually, these sessions are
said to occur within alien spacecraft; frequently, the stories
include terrifying details reminiscent of the tortures inflicted in
Germany’s death camps. The abductees often (though not always) lose
all memory of these events; they find themselves back in their cars
or beds, unable to account for hours of “missing time.” Hypnosis, or
some other trigger, can bring back these haunted hours in an
explosion of recollection — and as the smoke clears, an abductee
will often spot a trail of similar experiences, stretching all the
way back to childhood.
Perhaps the oddest fact of these odd tales: Many abductees, for all
their vividly-recollected agonies, claim to love their alien
tormentors. That’s the word I’ve heard repeatedly: love.
Within the community of “scientific ufologists” — those lonely,
all-too little-heard advocates of a reasonable and open-minded
debate on matters saucerological — these claims have elicited
cautious interest and a commendable restraint from
conclusion-hopping. Outside the higher realms of scientific ufology,
the situation is, alas, quite different. In the popular press, in
both the “straight” and sensationalist media, within that
journalistic realm where issues are defined and public opinion
solidified (despite a frequently superficial approach to matters of
evidence and investigation) abduction scenarios have elicited two
basic reactions: that of the Believer and the Skeptic.
The Believers — and here we should note that “Believers” and
“abductees” are two groups whose memberships overlap but are in no
way congruent — accept such stories at face value. They accept,
despite the seeming absurdity of these tales, the internal
contradictions, the askew logic of narrative construction, the
severe discontinuity of emotional response to the actions described.
The Believers believe, despite reports that their beloved “space
brothers” use vile and inhuman tactics of medical examination —
senseless procedures most of us (and certainly the vanguard of an
advanced race) would be ashamed to inflict on an animal. The
Believers believe, despite the difficulty of reconciling these
unsettling tales with their own deliriums of benevolent off-worlders.
Occasionally, the rough notes of a rationalization are offered: “The
aliens don’t know what they are doing,” we hear; or “Some aliens are
bad.” Yet the Believers confound their own reasoning when they
insist on ascribing the wisdom of the ages and the beneficence of
the angels to their beloved visitors. The aliens allegedly know
enough about our society to go about their business undetected by
the local authorities and the general public; they communicate with
the abductees in human tongue; they concern themselves with details
of the percipients’ innermost lives — yet they remain so ignorant of
our culture as to be unaware of the basic moral precepts concerning
the dignity of the individual and the right to self-determination.
Such dichotomies don’t bother Believers; they are the faithful, and
faith is assumed to have its mysteries. Sancta Simplicitas.
Conversely, the Skeptics dismiss these stories out of hand. They
dismiss, despite the intriguing confirmatory details: the multiple
witness events, the physical traces left by the ufonauts, the scars
and implants left on the abductees. The skeptics scoff, though the
abductees tell stories similar in detail — even certain tiny
details, not known to the general public.
Philip Klass is a debunker who, through his appearances on such
television programs as Nova and Nightline, has been in a position to
affect much of the public debate on UFOs. In his interesting but
poorly-documented work on abductions,
Klass claims that
“abduction” is a psychological disease, spread by those who write
about it. This argument exactly resembles the professional
press-basher’s frequent assertion that terrorism metastasizes
through media exposure. Yet for all the millions of words
expectorated by newsfolk on the subject of terrorism, terrorist
actions remain quite rare, as any statistician (though few
politicians) will admit, and verifiable linkage between crimes and
their coverage remains to be found. For that matter, there have also
been books — bestsellers, even — on unicorns and gnomes. People who
claim to see those creatures are few. Abductees are plentiful.
Both Believer and Skeptic, in my opinion, miss the real story. Both
make the same mistake: They connect the abduction phenomenon to the
forty-year history of UFO sightings, and they apply their prejudices
about the latter to the controversy about the former.
At first, the link seems natural. Shouldn’t our thoughts about UFOs
color our thoughts about UFO abductions?
They may well be separate issues. Or, rather, they are connected
only in this: The myth of the UFO has provided an effective cover
story for an entirely different sort of mystery. Remove yourself
from the Believer/Skeptic dialectic, and you will see the third
As we examine this alternative, we will, of necessity, stray far
from the saucers. We must turn our face from the paranormal and
concentrate on the occult — if, by “occult,” we mean secret.
I posit that the abductees have been abducted. Yet they are also
spewing fantasy — or, more precisely, they have been given a set of
lies to repeat and believe. If my hypothesis proves true, then we
must accept the following: The kidnapping is real. The fear is real.
The pain is real. The instruction is real. But the little grey men
from Zeti Reticuli are not real; they are constructs, Halloween
masks meant to disguise the real faces of the controllers. The
abductors may not be visitors from Beyond; rather, they may be a
symptom of the carcinoma which blackens our body politic.
The fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.
Substantial evidence exists linking members of this country’s
intelligence community (including the Central Intelligence Agency,
the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Office of
Naval Intelligence) with the esoteric technology of mind control.
For decades, “spy-chiatrists” working behind the scenes — on college
campuses, in CIA-sponsored institutes, and (most heinously) in
prisons have experimented with the erasure of memory, hypnotic
resistance to torture, truth serums, post-hypnotic suggestion, rapid
induction of hypnosis, electronic stimulation of the brain,
non-ionizing radiation, microwave induction of intracerebral
“voices,” and a host of even more disturbing technologies. Some of
the projects exploring these areas were ARTICHOKE, BLUEBIRD,
PANDORA, MKDELTA, MKSEARCH and the infamous
I have read nearly every available book on these projects, as well
as the relevant congressional testimony. I have also spent much
time in university libraries researching relevant articles,
contacting other researchers (who have graciously allowed me access
to their files), and conducting interviews. Moreover, I traveled to
Washington, DC to review the files John Marks compiled when he wrote
The Search for the “Manchurian Candidate.”
These files include
some 20,000 pages of CIA and Defense Department documents,
interviews, scientific articles, letters, etc. The views presented
here are the result of extensive and ongoing research.
As a result of this research, I have come to the following
1. Although misleading (and occasionally perjured) testimony before
Congress indicated that the CIA’s “brainwashing” efforts met with
striking advances were, in fact, made in this field. As CIA
veteran Miles Copeland once admitted to a reporter, “The
congressional subcommittee which went into this sort of thing
got only the barest glimpse.”
2. Clandestine research into thought manipulation has not stopped,
despite CIA protestations that it no longer sponsors such studies.
Victor Marchetti, 14-year veteran of the CIA and author of the
The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, confirmed
in a 1977 interview that the mind control research continues,
and that CIA claims to the contrary are a “cover story.”
3. The Central Intelligence Agency was not the only government
agency involved in this research. Indeed, many branches of our
government took part in these studies — including NASA, the
Energy Commission, as well as all branches of the Defense
To these conclusions I would append the following — not as
firmly-established historical fact, but as a working hypothesis and
grounds for investigation:
4. The “UFO abduction” phenomenon might be a continuation of
clandestine mind control operations.
I recognize the difficulties this thesis might present to those
readers emotionally wedded to the extraterrestrial hypothesis, or to
those whose political Weltanschauung disallows any such suspicions.
Still, the open-minded student of abductions should consider the
possibilities. Certainly, we are not being narrow-minded if we ask
researchers to exhaust all terrestrial explanations before looking
Granted, this particular explanation may, at first, seem as bizarre
as the phenomenon itself. But I invite the skeptical reader to
examine the work of George Estabrooks, a seminal theorist on the use
of hypnosis in warfare, and a veteran of
Project MKULTRA. Estabrooks
once amused himself during a party by covertly hypnotizing two
friends, who were led to believe that the Prime Minister of England
had just arrived; Estabrooks’ victims spent an hour conversing with,
and even serving drinks to, the esteemed visitor. For ufologists,
this incident raises an inescapable question: If the Mesmeric arts
can successfully evoke a non-existent Prime Minister, why can’t a
representative from the Pleiades be similarly induced?
But there is much more to the present day technology of mind control
than mere hypnosis — and many good reasons to suspect that UFO
abduction accounts are an artifact of continuing
brainwashing/behavior modification experiments. Moreover, I intend
to demonstrate that, by using UFO mythology as a cover story, the
experimenters may have solved the major problem with the work
conducted in the 1950s — “the disposal problem,” i.e., the question
of “What do we do with the victims?”
If, in these pages, I seem to stray from the subject of the saucers,
I plead for patience. Before I attempt to link UFO abductions with
mind control experiments, I must first show that this technology
exists. Much of the forthcoming is an introduction to the topic of
mind control — what it is, and how it works.
II. The Technology
A Brief Overview
In the early days of World War II, George Estabrooks, of Colgate
University, wrote to the Department of War, describing in breathless
terms the possible uses of hypnosis in warfare. The Army was
intrigued; Estabrooks had a job. The true history of Estabrooks’
wartime collaboration with the CID, FBI
 and other agencies may
never be told: After the war, he burned his diary pages covering the
years 1940-45, and thereafter avoided discussing his continuing
government work with anyone, even with close members of the
family. Occasionally, he strongly intimated that his work
involved the creation of hypno-programmed couriers and
hypnotically-induced split personalities, but whether he succeeded
in these areas remains a controversial point. Nevertheless, the
eccentric and flamboyant Estabrooks remains a pivotal figure in the
early history of clandestine behavioral research.
Which is not to say that he worked alone. World War II was the first
conflict in which the human brain became a field of battle, where
invading forces were led by the most notable names in psychology and
pharmacology. On both sides, the war spurred furious efforts to
create a “truth drug” for use in interrogating prisoners. General
William “Wild Bill” Donovan, director of the OSS, tasked his crack
team — including Dr. Winifred Overhulser, Dr. Edward Strecker,
J. Anslinger and George White — to modify human perception and
behavior through chemical means; their “medicine cabinet” included
scopolamine, peyote, barbiturates, mescaline, and marijuana. (This
research had its amusing side: Donovan’s “psychic warriors”
conducted many extensive and expensive trials before deciding that
the best method of administering tetrahydrocannabinol, the active
ingredient in marijuana, was via the cigarette. Any jazz musician
could have told them as much.) 
Simultaneously, the notorious Nazi doctors at Dachau experimented
with mescaline as a means of eliminating the victim’s will to
resist. Jews, Slavs, gypsies, and other “Untermenschen” in the camp
were surreptitiously slipped the drug; later, mescaline was combined
with hypnosis. The results of these tests were made available to
the United States after the War.
In 1947, the Navy conducted the first known post-war mind control
program, Project CHATTER, which continued the drug experiments.
Decades later, journalists and investigators still haven’t uncovered
much information about this project — or, indeed, about any of the
military’s other excursions into this field. We know that the Army
eventually founded operations THIRD CHANCE and DERBY HAT; other
project names remain mysterious, though the existence of these
programs is unquestionable.
The newly-formed CIA plunged into this cesspool in 1950, with
Project BLUEBIRD, rechristened ARTICHOKE in 1951. To establish a
“cover story” for this research, the CIA funded a propaganda effort
designed to convince the world that the Communist Bloc had devised
insidious new methods of re-shaping the human will; the CIA’s own
efforts could therefore, if exposed, be explained as an attempt to
“catch up” with Soviet and Chinese work. The primary promoter of
this “line” was one Edward Hunter, a CIA contract employee operating
undercover as a journalist, and, later, a prominent member of the
John Birch society. (Hunter was an OSS veteran of the China theatre
— the same spawning grounds which produced Richard Helms, Howard
Hunt, Mitch Werbell, Fred Chrisman, Paul Helliwell and a host of
other note worthies who came to dominate that strange land where the
worlds of intelligence and right-wing extremism meet.)
offered “brainwashing” as the explanation for the numerous
confessions signed by American prisoners of war during the Korean
War and (generally) un-recanted upon the prisoners’ repatriation.
These confessions alleged that the United States used germ warfare
in the Korean conflict, a claim which the American public of the
time found impossible to accept. Many years later, however,
investigative reporters discovered that Japan’s germ warfare
specialists (who had wreaked incalculable terror on the conquered
Chinese during WWII) had been mustered into the American national
security apparat — and that the knowledge gleaned from Japan’s
horrifying germ warfare experiments probably was used in Korea, just
as the “brainwashed” soldiers had indicated.
Thus, we now know that the entire brainwashing scare of the 1950s
constituted a CIA hoax perpetrated upon the American public:
deputy director Richard Helms admitted as much when, in 1963, he
told the Warren Commission that Soviet mind control research
consistently lagged years behind American efforts.
When the CIA’s mind control program was transferred from the Office
of Security to the Technical Services Staff (TSS) in 1953, the name
changed again — to
MKULTRA. Many consider this wide-ranging
“octopus” project — whose tentacles twined through the corridors of
numerous universities and around the necks of an army of scientists
— the most ominous operation in CIA’s catalogue of atrocity. Through MKULTRA, the Agency created an umbrella program of a positively
Joycean scope, designed to ferret out all possible means of invading
what George Orwell once called “the space between our ears” (Later
still, in 1962, mind control research was transferred to the Office
of Research and Development; project cryptonyms remain
What was studied? Everything — including hypnosis, conditioning,
sensory deprivation, drugs, religious cults, microwaves,
psycho-surgery, brain implants, and even ESP. When MKULTRA “leaked”
to the public during the great CIA investigations of the 1970s,
public attention focused most heavily on drug experimentation and
the work with ESP. Mystery still shrouds another area of study,
the area which seems to have most interested ORD: psychoelectronics.
This research may prove key to our understanding of the UFO
Perhaps the most interesting pieces of evidence surrounding the
abduction phenomenon are the intracerebral implants allegedly
visible in the X-rays and MRI scans of many abductees. Indeed,
abductees often describe operations in which needles are inserted
into the brain; more frequently still, they report implantation of
foreign objects through the sinus cavities. Many abduction
specialists assume that these intracranial incursions must be the
handiwork of scientists from the stars. Unfortunately, these
researchers have failed to familiarize themselves with certain
little-heralded advances in terrestrial technology.
The abductees’ implants strongly suggest a technological lineage
which can be traced to a device known as a “stimoceiver,” invented
in the late ’50s-early ’60s by a neuroscientist named Jose Delgado.
The stimoceiver is a miniature depth electrode which can receive and
transmit electronic signals over FM radio waves. By stimulating a
correctly-positioned stimoceiver, an outside operator can wield a
surprising degree of control over the subject’s responses.
The most famous example of the stimoceiver in action occurred in a
Madrid bull ring. Delgado “wired” the bull before stepping into the
ring, entirely unprotected. Furious for gore, the bull charged
toward the doctor — then stopped, just before reaching him. The
technician-turned-toreador had halted the animal by simply pushing a
button on a black box, held in the hand.
Delgado’s Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilized
Society  remains the sole, full-length, popularly-written work on
intracerebral implants and electronic stimulation of the brain (ESB).
(The book’s ominous title and unconvincing philosophical rationales
for mass mind control prompted an unfavorable public reaction —
which may have deterred other researchers from publishing on this
theme for a general audience.) While subsequent work has long since
superceded the techniques described in this book, Delgado’s
achievements were seminal. His animal and human experiments clearly
demonstrate that the experimenter can electronically induce emotions
and behavior: Under certain conditions, the extremes of temperament
— rage, lust, fatigue, etc. — can be elicited by an outside operator
as easily as an organist might call forth a C-major chord.
“Radio stimulation of different points in the amygdala and hippocampus in the four patients produced a variety of
effects, including pleasant sensations, elation, deep, thoughtful
concentration, odd feelings, super relaxation, colored visions, and
The evocative phrase “colored vision” clearly
indicates remotely-induced hallucination; we will detail later how
these hallucinations may be “controlled” by an outside operator.
Speaking in 1966 — and reflecting research undertaken years previous
— Delgado asserted that his experiments,
“support the distasteful
conclusion that motion, emotion, and behavior can be directed by
electrical forces and that humans can be controlled like robots by
He even prophesied a day when brain control could be turned
over to non-human operators, by establishing two-way radio
communication between the implanted brain and a computer.
Of one experimental subject, Delgado notes that,
expressed the successive sensations of fainting, fright and floating
around. These ‘floating’ feelings were repeatedly evoked on
different days by stimulation of the same point...”
may recognize the similarity of this sequence of events to abductee
reports of the opening minutes of their experiences. Under
subsequent hypnosis, the abductee could be instructed to misremember
the cause of this floating sensation.
In a fascinating series of experiments, Delgado attached the
stimoceiver to the tympanic membrane, thereby transforming the ear
into a sort of microphone. An assistant would whisper “How are you?”
into the ear of a suitably “fixed” cat, and Delgado could hear the
words over a loudspeaker in the next room. The application of this
technology to the spy trade should be readily apparent. According to
Victor Marchetti, The Agency once attempted a highly-sophisticated
extension of this basic idea, in which radio implants were attached
to a cat’s cochlea, to facilitate the pinpointing of specific
conversations, freed from extraneous surrounding noises. Such
“advances” exacerbate the already-imposing level of
Twentieth-Century paranoia: Not only can our phones be tapped and
mail checked, but even Tabby may be spying on us!
Yet the ramifications of this technology may go even deeper than
Marchetti indicates. I presume that if a suitably-wired subject’s
inner ear can be made into a microphone, it can also be made into a
loudspeaker — one possible explanation for the “voices” heard by
abductees. Indeed, I have personally viewed a strange,
opalescent implant within the ear canal of an abductee. I see no
reason to ascribe this device to alien intrusion — more than likely,
the “intruders” in this case were the technological inheritors of
the Delgado legacy. Indeed, not many years after Delgado’s
experiments with the cat, Ralph Schwitzgebel devised a
“bug-in-the-ear” via which a therapist — odd term, under the
circumstances — can communicate with his subject.
Subsequent Electrode Implant Research
Other researchers have made notable contributions to this field.
Robert G. Heath, of Tulane University, who has implanted as many as
125 electrodes in his subjects, achieved his greatest notoriety by
attempting to “cure” homosexuality through ESB. In his experiments,
he discovered that he could control his patients’ memory, (a feat
which, applied in the ufological context, may account for the
phenomenon of “missing time”); he could also induce sexual arousal,
fear, pleasure, and hallucinations.
Heath and another researcher, James Olds, have independently
illustrated that areas of the brain in and near the hypothalamus
have, when electronically stimulated, what has been described as
“rewarding” and “aversive” effects. Both animals and men, when given
the means to induce their own ESB of the brain’s pleasure centers,
will stimulate themselves at a tremendous rate, ignoring such basic
drives as hunger and thirst. (Using fixed electrodes of his own
invention, John C. Lilly had accomplished similar effects in the
early 1950s.) Anyone who has studied the abduction phenomenon
will find himself on familiar territory here, for the abductee
accounts are replete with stories of bewildering and inappropriate
sexual response countered by extremely painful stimuli — operant
conditioning, at its most extreme, and most insidious, for here we
see a form of conditioning in which the manipulator renders himself
invisible. Indeed, B.F. Skinner-esque aversive therapy, remotely
applied, was Heath’s prescription for “healing” homosexuality.
Ralph Schwitzgebel and his brother Robert have produced a panoply of
devices for tracking individuals over long ranges; they may be
considered the creators of the “electronic house arrest” devices
recently approved by the courts. Schwitzgebel devices could be
used for tracking all the physical and neurological signs of a
“patient” within a quarter of a mile, thereby lifting the
distance limitations which restricted Delgado.
In Ralph Schwitzgebel’s initial work, application of this technology
to ESB seems to have been limited to cumbersome brain implants with
protruding wires. But the technology was soon miniaturized, and a
scheme was proposed whereby radio receivers would be mounted on
utility poles throughout a given city, thereby providing
24-hour-a-day monitoring capability. Like Heath, Schwitzgebel
was much exercised about homosexuality and the use of intracranial
devices to combat sexual deviation. But he has also spoken ominously
about applying his devices to “socially troublesome
persons”...which, of course, could mean anyone.
Bryan Robinson, of the Yerkes primate laboratory has conducted
fascinating simian research on the use of remote ESB in a social
context. He could cause mothers to ignore their offspring, despite
the babies’ cries. He could turn submission into dominance, and
Perhaps the most disturbing wanderer in this mind-field is Joseph A.
Meyer, of the National Security Agency, the most formidable and
secretive component of America’s national security complex. Meyer
has proposed implanting roughly half of all Americans arrested — not
necessarily convicted — of any crime; the numbers of “subscribers”
(his euphemism) would run into the tens of millions. “Subscribers”
could be monitored continually by computer wherever they went.
Meyer, who has carefully worked out the economics of his
mass-implantation system, asserts that taxpayer liability should be
reduced by forcing subscribers to “rent” the implant from the State.
Implants are cheaper and more efficient than police, Meyer suggests,
since the call to crime is relentless for the poor “urban dweller” —
who, this spook-scientist admits in a surprisingly candid aside, is
fundamentally unnecessary to a post-industrial economy. “Urban
dweller” may be another of Meyer’s euphemisms: He uses New York’s
Harlem as his model community in working out the details of his
If we are to take seriously abductee accounts of brain implants, we
must consider the possibility that the implanters, properly
perceived, don’t look much like the “greys” pictured on Strieber’s dustjackets. Instead, the visitors may resemble Dr. Meyer and his
brethren. We would thus have an explanation for both the reports of
abductee brain implants and, as we shall see, the “scoop marks” and
other scars visible on other parts of the abductees’ bodies. We
would also have an explanation for the reports of individuals
suffering personality change after contact with the UFO phenomenon.
Skeptics might counter that the time factor of UFO abductions
disallows this possibility. If estimates of “missing time” are
correct, the abductions rarely take longer than one-to-three hours.
Wouldn’t a brain surgeon, operating under less-than-ideal conditions
(perhaps in a mobile unit) need more time?
No — not if we accept the claims of a Florida doctor named Daniel
Man. He recently proposed a draconian solution to the overblown
“missing children problem,” by suggesting a program wherein
America’s youngsters would be implanted with tiny transmitters in
order to track the children continuously. Man brags that the
operation can be done right in the office — and would take less than
Conceivably, it might take a tad longer in the field.
A Question of Timing
The history of brain implantation, as gleaned from the open
literature, is certainly disquieting. Yet this history has almost
certainly been censored, and the dates manipulated in a
nigh-Orwellian fashion. When dealing with research funded by the
engines of national security, one can never know the true origin
date of any individual scientific advance. However, if we listen
carefully to the scientists who have pioneered this research, we may
hear whispers, faint but unmistakable, hinting that remotely-applied ESB originated earlier than published studies would indicate.
In his autobiography The Scientist, John C. Lilly (who would later
achieve a cultish renown for his work with dolphins, drugs and
sensory deprivation) records a conversation he had with the director
of the National Institute of Mental Health — in 1953. The director
asked Lilly to brief the CIA, FBI, NSA and the various military
intelligence services on his work using electrodes to stimulate
directly the pleasure and pain centers of the brain. Lilly refused,
noting, in his reply:
Dr. Antoine Remond, using our techniques in Paris, has demonstrated
that this method of stimulation of the brain can be applied to the
human without the help of the neurosurgeon; he is doing it in his
office in Paris without neurosurgical supervision. This means that
anybody with the proper apparatus can carry this out on a person
covertly, with no external signs that electrodes have been used on
that person. I feel that if this technique got into the hands of a
secret agency, they would have total control over a human being and
be able to change his beliefs extremely quickly, leaving little
evidence of what they had done.
Lilly’s assertion of the moral high ground here is interesting.
Despite his avowed phobia against secrecy, a careful reading of The
Scientist reveals that he continued to do work useful to this
country’s national security apparatus. His sensory deprivation
experiments expanded upon the work of ARTICHOKE’s Maitland Baldwin,
and even his dolphin research has — perhaps inadvertently proved
useful in naval warfare. One should note that Lilly’s work on
monkeys carried a “secret” classification, and that NIMH was a
common CIA funding conduit.
But the most important aspect of Lilly’s statement is its date.
1953? How far back does radio-controlled ESB go? Alas, I have not
yet seen Remond’s work — if it is available in the open literature.
In the documents made available to Marks, the earliest reference to
remotely-applied ESB is a 1959 financial document pertaining to
MKULTRA subproject 94. The general subproject descriptions sent to
the CIA’s financial department rarely contain much information, and
rarely change from year to year, leaving us little idea as to when
this subproject began.
Unfortunately, even the Freedom of Information Act couldn’t pry
loose much information on electronic mind control techniques, though
we know a great deal of study was done in these areas. We have, for
example, only four pages on subproject 94 — by comparison, a
veritable flood of documents were released on the use of drugs in
mind control. (Whenever an author tells us that MKULTRA met with
little success, the reference is to drug testing.) On this point, I
must criticize John Marks: His book never mentions that roughly
20-25 percent of the MKULTRA subprojects are “dark” — i.e., little
or no information was ever made available, despite lawyers and FOIA
Marks seems to feel that the only information worth having
is the information he received. We know, however, that research into psychoelectronics was extensive; indeed, statements of project goals
dating from ARTICHOKE and BLUEBIRD days clearly identify this area
as a high priority. Marks’ anonymous informant, jocularly named
“Deep Trance,” even told a previous interviewer that, beginning in
1963, the CIA and military’s mind control efforts strongly
emphasized electronics. I therefore assume — not rashly, I hope
— that the “dark” MKULTRA subprojects concerned matters such as
brain implants, microwaves, ESB, and related technologies.
I make an issue of the timing and secrecy involved in this research
to underscore three points: 1. We can never know with certainty the
true origin dates of the various brainwashing methods — often, we
discover that techniques which seem impossibly futuristic actually
originated in the 19th century. (Pioneering ESB research was
conducted in 1898, by J.R. Ewald, professor of physiology at
Strasbourg.) 2. The open literature almost certainly gives a
bowdlerized view of the actual research. 3. Lavishly-funded
clandestine researchers — unrestrained by peer review or the need
for strict controls — can achieve far more rapid progress than
scientists on “the outside.”
Potential critics should keep these points in mind should they
attempt to invalidate the “mind control” thesis of UFO abductions by
citing an abduction account which antedates Delgado.
We have amply demonstrated, then, that as far back as the 1960s —
and possibly earlier still — scientists have had the capability to
create implants similar to those now purportedly visible in abductee
MRI scans. Indeed, we have no notion just how advanced this
technology has become, since the popular press stopped reporting on
brain implantation in the 1970s. The research has no doubt
continued, albeit in a less public fashion. In fact, scientists such
as Delgado have cast their eye far beyond the implants; ESB effects
can now be elicited with microwaves and other forms of
electromagnetic radiation, used with and without electrodes.
So why — if we take UFO abduction accounts at face value — are the
“advanced aliens” using an old technology, an Earth technology, a
technology which may soon be rendered obsolescent, if it hasn’t been
so rendered already? I am reminded of the charming anachronisms in
the old Flash Gordon serials, where swords and spaceships clashed
Do they also watch black-and-white television on Zeta Reticuli?
Hypnosis provides the (highly controversial) key which opens the
door to many abduction accounts. And obviously, if my thesis is
correct, hypnosis plays a large part in the abduction itself. One
thing we know with certainty: Since the earliest days of project
BLUEBIRD, the CIA’s spy-chiatrists spent enormous sums mastering
I cannot here give even a brief summary of hypnosis, nor even of the
CIA’s studies in this area. (Fortunately, FOIA requests were rather
more successful in shaking loose information on this topic than in
the area of psychoelectronics.) Here, we will concentrate on a
particularly intriguing allegation — one heard faintly, but
persistently, for the past twenty years by those who would
investigate the shadow side of politics.
If this allegation proves true, hypnosis is not necessarily a
The abductee — or the mind control victim — need not have physical
contact with a hypnotist for hypnotic suggestion to take effect;
trance could be induced, and suggestions made, via the intracerebral
transmitters described above. The concept sounds like something out
of Huxley’s or Orwell’s most masochistic fantasies. Yet remote
hypnosis was first reported — using allegedly parapsychological
means — in the early 1930s, by L.L. Vasiliev, Professor of
Physiology in the University of Leningrad. Later, other
scientists attempted to accomplish the same goal, using less mystic
Over the years, certain journalists have asserted that the CIA has
mastered a technology call RHIC-EDOM. RHIC means “Radio Hypnotic Intracerebral Control.”
EDOM stands for “Electronic Dissolution of
Memory.” Together, these techniques can — allegedly — remotely
induce hypnotic trance, deliver suggestions to the subject, and
erase all memory for both the instruction period and the act which
the subject is asked to perform.
RHIC uses the stimoceiver, or a microminiaturized offspring of that
technology to induce a hypnotic state. Interestingly, this technique
is also reputed to involve the use of intramuscular implants, a
detail strikingly reminiscent of the “scars” mentioned in Budd
Hopkin’s Missing Time. Apparently, these implants are stimulated to
induce a post-hypnotic suggestion.
EDOM is nothing more than “missing time” itself — the erasure of
memory from consciousness through the blockage of synaptic
transmission in certain areas of the brain. By jamming the brain’s
synapses through a surfeit of acetylcholine, neural transmission
along selected pathways can be effectively stilled. According to the
proponents of RHIC-EDOM, acetylcholine production can be affected by
electromagnetic means. (Modern research in the psycho-physiological
effects of microwaves confirm this proposition.)
Does RHIC-EDOM exist? In our discussion of Delgado’s work, I have
already cited a strange little book (published in 1969) titled
We Controlled?, written by one
Lincoln Lawrence, a former FBI agent
turned journalist. (The name is a pseudonym; I know his real
identity.) This work deals at length with RHIC-EDOM; a careful
comparison of Lawrence’s work with MKULTRA files declassified ten
years later indicates a strong possibility that the writer did
indeed have “inside” sources.
Here is how Lawrence describes RHIC in action:
It is the ultra-sophisticated application of post-hypnotic
suggestion triggered at will [italics in original] by radio
transmission. It is a recurring hypnotic state, re-induced
automatically at intervals by the same radio control. An individual
is brought under hypnosis. This can be done either with his
knowledge — or without it by use of narco-hypnosis, which can be
brought into play under many guises. He is then programmed to
perform certain actions and maintain certain attitudes upon radio
Other authors have mentioned this technique — specifically
Walter Bowart (in his book
Operation Mind Control) and journalist
Moore, who, in a 1975 issue of a periodical called Modern People,
claimed to have secured a 350-page manual, prepared in 1963, on RHIC-EDOM. He received the manual from
CIA sources, although —
interestingly — the technique is said to have originated in the
The following quote by Moore on RHIC should prove especially
intriguing to abduction researchers who have confronted odd
“personality shifts” in abductees:
Medically, these radio signals are directed to certain parts of the
brain. When a part of your brain receives a tiny electrical impulse
from outside sources, such as vision, hearing, etc., an emotion is
produced — anger at the sight of a gang of boys beating an old
woman, for example. The same emotion of anger can be created by
artificial radio signals sent to your brain by a controller. You
could instantly feel the same white-hot anger without any apparent
Lawrence’s sources imparted an even more tantalizing — and
frightening — revelation:
...there is already in use a small EDOM generator-transmitter which
can be concealed on the body of the person. Contact with this person
— a casual handshake or even just a touch — transmits a tiny
electronic charge plus an ultra-sonic signal tone which for a short
while will disturb the time orientation of the person affected.
If RHIC-EDOM exists, it goes a long way toward providing an
earthbound rationale for alien abductions — or, at least, certain
aspects of them. The phenomenon of “missing time” is no longer
mysterious. Abductee implants, both intracerebral and otherwise, are
explained. And note the reference to a “recurring hypnotic state,
re-induced automatically by the same radio command.” This situation
may account for “repeater” abductees who, after their initial
encounter, have regular sessions of “missing time” and abduction —
even while a bed-mate sleeps undisturbed.
At present, I cannot claim conclusively that RHIC-EDOM is real. To
my knowledge, the only official questioning of a CIA representative
concerning these techniques occurred in 1977, during Senate hearings
on CIA drug testing. Senator Richard Schweicker had the following
interchange with Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, an important MKULTRA
Schweicker: Some of the projects under MKULTRA involved hypnosis, is
Schweicker: Did any of these projects involve something called radio
hypnotic intracerebral control, which is a combination, as I
understand it, in layman’s terms, of radio transmissions and
Gottlieb: My answer is “No.”
Schweicker: None whatsoever?
Gottlieb: Well, I am trying to be responsive to the terms that you
used. As I remember it, there was a current interest, running
interest, all the time in what affects people’s standing in the
field of radio energy have, and it could easily have been that
somewhere in many projects, someone was trying to see if you could
hypnotize someone easier if he was standing in a radio beam. That
would seem like a reasonable piece of research to do.
Schweicker went on to mention that he had heard testimony that radar
(i.e., microwaves) had been used to wipe out memory in animals;
Gottlieb responded, “I can believe that, Senator.”
Gottlieb’s blandishments do not comfort much. For one thing, the
good doctor did not always provide thoroughly candid testimony.
(During the same hearing he averred that 99 percent on the CIA’s
research had been openly published; if so, why are so many MKULTRA
subprojects still “dark,” and why does the Agency still go to great
lengths to protect the identities of its scientists?) We should
also recognize that the CIA’s operations are compartmentalized on a
“need-to-know” basis; Gottlieb may not have had access to the
information requested by Schweicker. Note that the MKULTRA rubric
circumscribed Gottlieb’s statement: RHIC-EDOM might have been the
focus of another program. (There were several others: MKNAOMI,
MKACTION, MKSEARCH, etc.) Also keep in mind the revelation by “Deep
Trance” that the CIA concentrated on psychoelectronics after the
termination of MKULTRA in 1963. Most significantly: RHIC-EDOM is
described by both Lawrence and Moore as a product of military
research; Gottlieb spoke only of matters pertaining to CIA. He may
thus have spoken truthfully — at least in a strictly technical sense
— while still misleading the Congressional interlocutors.
Personally, I believe that the RHIC-EDOM story deserves a great deal
of further research. I find it significant that when Dr. Petter
Lindstrom examined X-rays of Robert Naesland, a Swedish victim of
brain-implantation, the doctor authoritatively cited Were We
Controlled? in his letter of response.] This is the same Dr.
Lindstrom noted for his pioneering use of ultrasonics in
neurosurgery. Lincoln Lawrence’s book has received a strong
Bowart’s Operation Mind Control contains a significant interview
with an intelligence agent knowledgeable in these areas. Granted,
the reader has every right to adopt a skeptical attitude toward
information culled from anonymous sources; still, one should note
that this operative’s statements confirm, in pertinent part, Lincoln
Most importantly: The open literature on brain-wave entrainment and
the behavioral effects of electromagnetic radiation substantiates
much of the RHIC-EDOM story — as we shall see.
Robert Anton Wilson, an author with a devoted cult following,
recently has taken to promoting a new generation of “mind machines”
designed to promote creativity, stimulate learning, and alter
consciousness — i.e., provide a drug-less high. Interestingly, these
machines can also induce “Out-of-Body-Experiences,” in which the
percipient mentally “travels” to another location while his body
remains at rest. This rapidly-developing technology has spawned
a technological equivalent to the drug culture; indeed, the
aficionados of the electronic buzz even have their own magazine,
Reality Hackers. I strongly suspect that we will hear much of these
machines in the future.
One such device is called the “hemi-synch.” This headphone-like
invention produces slightly different frequencies in each ear; the
brain calculates the difference between these frequencies, resulting
in a rhythm known as the “binaural beat.” The brain “entrains”
itself to this beat — that is, the subject’s EEG slows down or
speeds up to keep pace with its electronic running partner.
The brain has a “beat” of its own.
This rhythm was first discovered in 1924 by the German psychiatrist
Hans Berger, who recorded cerebral voltages as part of a telepathy
study. He noted two distinct frequencies: alpha (8-13 cycles per
second), associated with a relaxed, alert state, and beta (14-30
cycles per second), produced during states of agitation and intense
mental concentration. Later, other rhythms were noted, which are
particularly important for our present purposes: theta (4-7 cycles
per second), a hypnogogic state, and delta (.5 to 3.5 cycles per
second), generally found in sleeping subjects.
The hemi-synch — and related mind-machines — can produce alpha or
theta waves, on demand, according to the operator’s wishes. A
suitably-entrained brain is much more responsive to suggestion, and
is even likely to experience vivid hallucinations.
I have spoken to several UFO abductees who describe a “stereophonic
sound” effect — exactly similar to that produced by the hemi-synch —
preceding many “encounters.” Of course, one usually administers the
hemi-synch via headphones, but I see no reason why the effect cannot
be transmitted via the above-described stimoceiver. Again, I remind
the reader of the abductee with an implant just inside her ear
There’s more than one way to entrain a brain. Michael Hutchison’s
Mega Brain details the author’s personal experiences
with many such devices — the Alpha-stim, TENS, the
Synchro-energizer, Tranquilite, etc. He recounts dazzling,
Dali-esque hallucinations, as a result of using this mind-expanding
technology; moreover, he offers a seductive argument that these
devices may represent a true breakthrough in consciousness-control,
thereby fulfilling the dashed dream of the hallucinogenic ’60s.
I wish to avoid a knee-jerk Luddite response to these fascinating
wonder-boxes. At the same time, I recognize the dangers involved.
What about the possibility of an outside operator literally
“changing our minds” by altering our brainwaves without our
knowledge or permission? If these machines can induce a hypnotic
state, what’s to stop a skilled hypnotist from making use of this
Granted, most of these devices require some physical interaction
with the subject. But a tool called the Bio-Pacer can, according to
its manufacturer, produce a number of mood altering frequencies —
without attachment to the subject. Indeed, the Bio-Pacer III (a
high-powered version) can affect an entire room. This device costs
$275, according to the most recent price sheet available. What
sort of machine might $27,500 buy? Or $275,000? What effects, what
ranges might a million-dollar machine be capable of?
The military certainly has that sort of money.
And they’re certainly interested in this sort of technology,
according to Michael Hutchison. His interview with an informant
named Joseph Light elicited some particularly provocative
revelations. According to Light:
There are important elements in the scientific community, powerful
people, who are very much interested in these areas...but they have
to keep most of their work secret. Because as soon as they start to
publish some of these sensitive things, they have problems in their
lives. You see, they work on research grants, and if you follow the
research being done, you find that as soon as these scientists
publish something about this, their research funds are cut off.
There are areas in bioelectric research where very simple techniques
and devices can have mind-boggling effects. Conceivably, if you have
a crazed person with a bit of a technical background, he can do a
lot of damage.
This last statement is particularly evocative. In 1984, a
neo-Nazi group called The Order (responsible for the murder of
talk-show host Alan Berg) established contact with two government
scientists engaged in clandestine research to project chemical
imbalances and render targeted individuals docile via certain
frequencies of electronic waves. For $100,000 the scientists were
willing to deliver this information.
Thus, at least one group of crazed individuals almost got the goods.
Wave Your Brain Goodbye
Every Senator and Congressional representative has a “wavie” file.
So do many state representatives. Wavies have even pled their case
to private institutions such as the
And who are the wavies?
They claim to be victims of clandestine bombardment with
non-ionizing radiation — or microwaves. They report sudden changes
in psychological states, alteration of sleep patterns, intracerebral
voices and other sounds, and physiological effects. Most people
never realize how many wavies there are in this country. I’ve spoken
to a number of wavies myself.
Are these troubled individuals seeking an exterior rationale for
their mental problems? Maybe. Indeed, I’m sure that such is the case
in many instances. But the fact is that the literature on the
behavioral effects of microwaves, extra-low-frequencies (ELF) and
ultra-sonics is such that we cannot blithely dismiss all such
For decades, American science and industry tried to convince the
population that microwaves could have no adverse effects on human
beings at sub-thermal levels — in other words, the attitude was, “If
it can’t burn you, it can’t hurt you.” This approach became
increasingly difficult to defend as reports mounted of
microwave-induced physiological effects. Technicians described
“hearing” certain radar installations; users of radar telescopes
began developing cataracts at an appallingly high rate. The
Soviets had long recognized the strange and sometimes subtle effects
of these radio frequencies, which is why their exposure standards
have always been much stricter.
Soviet microwave bombardment of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow prompted
the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Project PANDORA
(later renamed), whose ostensible goal was to determine whether
these pulsations (reportedly 10 cycles per second, which puts them
in the alpha range) could be used for the purposes of mind control.
I suspect that the “war on Tchaikovsky Street,” as I call it,
was used, at least in part, as a cover story for DARPA mind control
research, and that the stories floated in the news (via, for
example, Jack Anderson’s column) about Soviet remote brainwashing
served the same propaganda purposes as did the bleatings of Edward
Hunter during the 1950s.
What can low-level microwaves do to the mind?
According to a DIA report released under the Freedom of Information
microwaves can induce metabolic changes, alter brain
functions, and disrupt behavior patterns. PANDORA discovered that
pulsed microwaves can create leaks in the blood/brain barrier,
induce heart seizures, and create behavioral disorganization.
In 1970, a RAND Corporation scientist reported that microwaves could
be used to promote insomnia, fatigue, irritability, memory loss, and
Perhaps the most significant work in this area has been produced by
Dr. W. Ross Adey at the University of Southern California. He
determined that behavior and emotional states can be altered without
electrodes — simply by placing the subject in an electromagnetic
field. By directing a carrier frequency to stimulate the brain and
using amplitude modulation to “shape” the wave into a mimicry of a
desired EEG frequency, he was able to impose a 4.5 cps theta rhythm
on his subjects — a frequency which he previously measured in the
hippocampus during avoidance learning. Thus, he could externally
condition the mind towards an aversive reaction. (Adey has also
done extensive work on the use of electrodes in animals.)
According to another prominent microwave scientist, Allen Frey,
other frequencies could — in animal studies — induce docility.
The controversial researcher Andrijah Puharich asserts that,
(1 mW) 4 Hz magnetic sine wave will modify human brain waves in 6 to
10 seconds. The psychological effects of a 4 Hz sine magnetic wave
are negative — causing dizziness, nausea, headache, and can lead to
Conversely, an 8 Hz magnetic sine wave has beneficial
effects. Though some writers question
(perhaps correctly, considering his involvement in the confused tale
of Uri Geller), his claims here seem in line with the findings of
As investigative journalist Anne Keeler writes:
Specific frequencies at low intensities can predictably influence
sensory processes... pleasantness-unpleasantness, strain-relaxation,
and excitement-quiescence can be created with the fields. Negative
feelings and avoidance are strong biological phenomena and relate to
survival. Feelings are the true basis of much “decision-making” and
often occur as subthreshold impressions... Ideas including names [my
italics] can be synchronized with the feelings that the fields
Adey and compatriots have compiled an entire library of frequencies
and pulsation rates which can affect the mind and nervous system.
Some of these effects can be extremely bizarre. For example,
engineer Tom Jarski, in an attempt to replicate the seminal work of
F. Cazamalli, found that a particular frequency caused a ringing
sensation in the ears of his subjects — who felt strangely compelled
to bite the experimenters!
On the other hand, the diet-conscious may be intrigued by the
finding that rats exposed to ELF (extra-low-frequency) waves failed
to gain weight normally.
For our present purposes, the most significant electromagnetic
research findings concern microwave signals modulated by hypnoidal
EEG frequencies. Microwaves can act much like the “hemi-synch”
device previously described — that is, they can entrain the brain to
theta rhythms. I need not emphasize the implications of remotely
synchronizing the brain to resonate at a frequency conducive to
sleep, or to hypnosis.
Trance may be remotely induced — but can it be directed? Yes. Recall
the intracerebral voices mentioned earlier in our discussion of
Delgado. The same effect can be produced by “the wave.” Frey
demonstrated in the early 1960s that microwaves could produce
booming, hissing, buzzing, and other intracerebral static (this
phenomenon is now called “the Frey effect”); in 1973, Dr. Joseph
Sharp, of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, expanded on
Frey’s work in an experiment where the subject — in this case, Sharp
himself — “heard” and understood spoken words delivered via a
pulsed-microwave analog of the speaker’s sound vibrations.
Dr. Robert Becker comments that,
“Such a device has obvious
applications in covert operations designed to drive a target crazy
with ‘voices’ or deliver undetectable instructions to a programmed
In other words, we now have, at the push of a button,
the technology either to inflict an electronic Gaslight — or to
create a true Manchurian Candidate. Indeed, the former capability
could effectively disguise the latter. Who will listen to the
victims, when the electronically-induced hallucinations they recount
exactly parallel the classical signals of paranoid schizophrenia
and/or temporal lobe epilepsy?
Perhaps the most ominous revelations, however, concern the
mysterious work of J.F. Schapitz, who in 1974 filed a plan to
explore the interaction of radio frequencies and hypnosis. He
proposed the following:
In this investigation it will be shown that the spoken word of the
hypnotist may be conveyed by modulated electromagnetic energy
directly into the subconscious parts of the human brain [my italics]
— i.e., without employing any technical devices for receiving or
transcoding the messages and without the person exposed to such
influence having a chance to control the information input
He outlined an experiment, innocent in its immediate effects yet
chilling in its implications, whereby subjects would be implanted
with the subconscious suggestion to leave the lab and buy a
particular item; this action would be triggered by a certain cue
word or action. Schapitz felt certain that the subjects would
rationalize the behavior — in other words, the subject would seize
upon any excuse, however thin, to chalk up his actions to the
working of free will. His instincts on this latter point
coalesce perfectly with findings of professional hypnotists.
Schapitz’s work was funded by the
Department of Defense. Despite FOIA requests, the results have never been publicly revealed.
Final Thoughts on “The Wave”
I must again offer a caveat about possible disparities between the
“official” record of electromagnetism’s psychological effects and
the hidden history. Once more, we face a question of timing. How
long ago did this research really begin?
In the early years of this century,
Nikola Tesla seems to have
stumbled upon certain of the behavioral effects of electromagnetic
Cazamalli, mentioned earlier, conducted his studies in
the 1930s. In 1934, E.L. Chaffe and R.U. Light published a paper on
“A Method for the Remote Control of Electrical Stimulation of the
Nervous System.” From the very beginning of their work with
microwaves, the Soviets explored the more subtle physiological
effects of electromagnetism — and despite the bleatings of certain
right-wing alarmists that an “electromagnetic gap” separates us
from Soviet advances, East European literature in this area has been
closely monitored for decades by the West. ARTICHOKE/BLUEBIRD
project outlines, dating from the early 1950s, prominently mention
the need to explore all possible uses of the electromagnetic
Another point worth mentioning concerns the combination of EMR and
miniature brain electrodes. The father of the stimoceiver, Dr. J.M.R. Delgado, has recently conducted experiments in which monkeys
are exposed to electromagnetic fields, thereby eliciting a wide
range of behavioral effects — one monkey might fly into a volcanic
rage while, just a few feet away, his simian partner begins to nod
off. Fascinatingly, when monkeys with brain implants felt “the
wave,” the effects were greatly intensified. Apparently, these tiny
electrodes can act as an amplifier of the electromagnetic effect.
This last point is important to our “alien abduction” thesis.
Critics might counter that any burst of microwave energy powerful
enough to have truly remote effects would probably also create a
thermal reaction. That is, if a clandestine operator propagated a
“wave” from outside an abductee’s bedroom (say, from a low-flying
helicopter), or from a truck travelling alongside the subject’s
car), the power necessary to do the job might be such that the
microwave would cook the target before it got a chance to launder
his thoughts. Our abductee would end up like the victim of the
microwave “hit” in the finale of Jerzy Kozinsky’s Cockpit.
It’s a fair criticism. But Delgado’s work may give us our solution.
Once an abductee has been implanted — and if we are to trust
hypnotic regression accounts of abductees at all, the first
implanting session may occur in childhood — the chip-in-the-brain
would act as an intensifier of the signal. Such an individual could
have any number of “UFO” experiences while his or her bed partner
Furthermore, recent reports indicate that a “waver” can achieve
pinpoint accuracy without the use of Delgado-style implants. In
1985, volunteers at the Midwest Research Institute in Kansas City,
Missouri, were exposed to microwave beams as part of an experiment
sponsored by the Department of Energy and the New York State
Department of Health. As The Arizona Republic described the
experiment, “A matched control group sat in the same room without
being bombarded by non-ionizing radiation.” Apparently, one can focus “the wave” quite narrowly — a fact which
has wide implications for abductees.