I. Introduction

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[1] and Whitley Strieber,[2] the “alien abductionsyndrome has seized the public imagination. Indeed, tales of UFO contact threaten to lapse into fashionability, even though, as I have elsewhere noted,[3] 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.

The Problem

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,[4] 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 alternative.

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.

The Hypothesis

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 MKULTRA.

I have read nearly every available book on these projects, as well as the relevant congressional testimony.[5] 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.”[6] 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 conclusions:

1. Although misleading (and occasionally perjured) testimony before Congress indicated that the CIA’s “brainwashing” efforts met with little success,[7] 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.”[8]

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 renown expose, 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.”[9]

3. The Central Intelligence Agency was not the only government agency involved in this research.[10] Indeed, many branches of our government took part in these studies — including NASA, the Atomic Energy Commission, as well as all branches of the Defense Department.

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 heavenward.

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.[11] 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.

Go Back


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.[12] The Army was intrigued; Estabrooks had a job. The true history of Estabrooks’ wartime collaboration with the CID, FBI [13] 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.[14] 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, Harry 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.) [15]

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.[16] 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.[17])


Hunter 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.[18] Thus, we now know that the entire brainwashing scare of the 1950s constituted a CIA hoax perpetrated upon the American public: CIA 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.[19]

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.[20] 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 unrevealed.[21])

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.[22] 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 abduction phenomenon.


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.[23] 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.[24]

Delgado’s Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilized Society [25] 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.

Delgado writes:

“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 other responses.”[26]

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 push buttons.”[27]

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. [28]

Of one experimental subject, Delgado notes that,

“the patient 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...”[29]

Ufologists may recognize the similarity of this sequence of events to abductee reports of the opening minutes of their experiences.[30] 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.[31] 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.[32] 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.[33]

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.[34]

Heath and another researcher, James Olds,[35] 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.[36] (Using fixed electrodes of his own invention, John C. Lilly had accomplished similar effects in the early 1950s.[37]) 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.[38]

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.[39] Schwitzgebel devices could be used for tracking all the physical and neurological signs of a “patient” within a quarter of a mile,[40] 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.[41] 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.[42]

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 vice-versa.[43]

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 mind-management system.[44]

Abductee Implants

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 20 minutes.[45]

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.[46]

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.[47] One should note that Lilly’s work on monkeys carried a “secret” classification, and that NIMH was a common CIA funding conduit.[48]

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 requests.


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.[49] 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.[50]) 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.

The Quandary

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 continually.

Do they also watch black-and-white television on Zeta Reticuli?

Remote Hypnosis

Hypnosis provides the (highly controversial) key which opens the door to many abduction accounts.[51] 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 Mesmer’s art.

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 person-to-person affair.

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.[52] Later, other scientists attempted to accomplish the same goal, using less mystic means.

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 Were 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 signal.[53]

Other authors have mentioned this technique — specifically Walter Bowart (in his book Operation Mind Control) and journalist James 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.[54] He received the manual from CIA sources, although — interestingly — the technique is said to have originated in the military.

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 reason.[55]

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.[56]

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 administrator:

Schweicker: Some of the projects under MKULTRA involved hypnosis, is that correct?

Gottlieb: Yes.

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 hypnosis.

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.”[57]


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?[58]) 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.[59]] This is the same Dr. Lindstrom noted for his pioneering use of ultrasonics in neurosurgery.[60] Lincoln Lawrence’s book has received a strong endorsement indeed.

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 Lawrence’s thesis.[61]

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.

That’s Entrainment

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.[62] 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.[63]

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.[64] 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.[65]

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 canal.

There’s more than one way to entrain a brain. Michael Hutchison’s excellent book 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 state?

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.[66] 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.[67]

This last statement is particularly evocative. In 1984, a violent 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.[68]

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 Christic Institute.[69]

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 claims.

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.[70] 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,[71] 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.[72]

What can low-level microwaves do to the mind?

According to a DIA report released under the Freedom of Information Act,[73] 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.[74] In 1970, a RAND Corporation scientist reported that microwaves could be used to promote insomnia, fatigue, irritability, memory loss, and hallucinations.[75]

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.[76] (Adey has also done extensive work on the use of electrodes in animals.[77]) According to another prominent microwave scientist, Allen Frey, other frequencies could — in animal studies — induce docility.[78]

The controversial researcher Andrijah Puharich asserts that,

“a weak (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 vomiting.”

Conversely, an 8 Hz magnetic sine wave has beneficial effects.[79] Though some writers question Puharich’s integrity (perhaps correctly, considering his involvement in the confused tale of Uri Geller), his claims here seem in line with the findings of less-flamboyant experimenters.

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 induce.[80]

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![81] 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.[82]

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.[83] 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.[84]

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 assassin.”[85]

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 consciously.

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.[86] His instincts on this latter point coalesce perfectly with findings of professional hypnotists.[87]

Schapitz’s work was funded by the Department of Defense. Despite FOIA requests, the results have never been publicly revealed.[88]

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 exposure. [89] 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.”[90] 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[91] 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 spectrum.

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.[92]

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 dozes comfortably.

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[93] 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.


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