What can one man see in another man’s mind?


“I AM GOING to give this movie five stars on Amazon,” Baxter confessed.

“I am too.  I don’t know why “Subject Zero” did not get more hype at the box office, when it was released,” Ronnie agreed.  “It was fantastic!”

Baxter and Ronnie had just caught the movie, together, on TV, when local programming ran it as a filler.  The sporting event that was to appear was canceled due to inclement weather.

Ronnie added, “When I kept noticing the psycho guy in the movie, he looked familiar.  I couldn’t place him, but the acting was so good.  Then, it dawned on me.  It’s Gandhi!  It’s the guy who played Gandhi in the movie of the same name—Ben Kingsley.  In “Subject Zero” he has hair and is playing a remote viewer who has been driven mad by the crimes he has witnessed in his head, due to remote viewing.”

“Yeah.  He is great in this movie.  I have an idea.  Let’s go see if we can wring any info out of Uncle Rodger about the government’s clandestine use of remote viewing.  I think they used it most during the Cold War, but they may still be using it.”

“Great idea,” Ronnie agreed with Baxter.

*     *     *

     “Well, I can’t tell you boys anything, because, it’s classified!”  Rodger Linden chuckled.  He loved rattling that sentence off to the curious.  Rodger had been retired from an unknown and presumed top-secret government position for over twenty-five years.  He was still alive, all in one piece and moved about freely, so the boys assumed that he was lower echelon.  Still, he knew stuff, they were convinced.  Secret stuff.  And….he got a damn good benefit package.

They weren’t going to leave until he spilled a few beans so Rodger decided to do a little sharing and hoped they would clear out of his condo before Bletchley Circle came on.  “Okay, I will let you boys in on some of it, as most of it has been released to the general public.”

The boys made themselves comfortable, while Rodger Linden pulled his armchair closer, and he began.

“In the fifties and sixties, the Soviet Russians were dabbling in everything.  They were blasting dogs into space, experimenting with sensory deprivation, spying on everyone, and doing research on off-beat subjects.  They were competitive and trying to develop an edge over other countries.  They got very aggressive with psychic research, telekinesis and mind control.  While other countries were laughing at this, the Soviet Russians seemed to be making some real headway.  By unknown means, video clips of their experiments leaked out into the world.”

“We should try to see if some of those are on You Tube!” Baxter interjected.

Rodger smiled, then, continued.  “At some point the U.S. government,” Rodger cleared his throat loudly, “decided they had better start some research in some of these areas themselves, or they would get left behind, or be outsmarted.  The Russians had allocated the equivalent of twenty-one million dollars per year on such research, and the United States, none.”

“Oh, boy,” Ronnie lamented with a grimace.

“Rumors flew back and forth between the two countries, fueling the Cold War even more.  There were many dark possibilities, including mind control of enemy personnel.  By about 1952, the U.S. State Department decided to experiment with exercises to increase psychic powers in certain hand-selected employees.  The CIA even published a memo encouraging psychic research.  Then, two authors who had attended an ESP conference in Moscow released a book, ‘Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain.”  You two know what the Iron Curtain was, don’t you?”

Baxter and Ronnie nodded.

“The authors, Ostrander and Shroeder claimed that the U.S. was fifty years behind the Soviets in this area.  Their book created a surge in American interest in Psychic Warfare.  Eduard Naumov, the Soviet biologist who hosted the ESP conference in Moscow was sentenced to two years in a labor camp for revealing too many secrets at the conference and the Soviets either curtailed their research at this point or took it deeper under cover.”

“Wow!”  Baxter exclaimed.

“The Office of the Surgeon General conducted a study in 1972 that speculated that the Russians might be able to learn contents of top secret documents or find top secret location of ships, troops, or the business of military operations.  Some fringe thinkers were even convinced that strategic psychic waves could deflect military operations or create diseases or medical conditions.”

“That is literally mind-boggling, Uncle Rodger,” Baxter blurted out.

“The U.S. continued psychical research on its own often contracting the services of California’s Stanford Research Institute, SRI.  In one scenario they wanted to find out if psychics could detect electromagnetic energy.  If so, they could track deeply submerged submarines.  The whole report is classified, but it basically involved asking psychics to sense if a light was flashing in a distant room.  They then made the tests for psychics more complex.  Sometimes they were asked to draw scenes in distant rooms.  The results were often startlingly accurate.   They even began training astronauts to hone their ESP skills.”

“Astronauts?”  Ronnie asked with a laugh.

“In 1973, the SRI took on an ambitious assignment from the CIA to further develop techniques for Remote Viewing.  The first experiments involved psychic, Ingo Swan, and a police official with psychic abilities.  They were to view distant locales with the mind.  They asked Swan to project himself into a secret military location with his mind and relay secret information he saw there.  He reported nine key words or phrases that he ‘saw’ on classified documents and he also gave the name of three officials there, and their ranks.  You can see the benefit of developing these abilities.  They were even trying to use these extra-sensory abilities to eavesdrop on satellites.  Remember, at the time, technology itself was not as advanced as it is today.”

“That is just bizarre, but also very cool,” said Ronnie.

“We can only guess how far the CIA got with all of these experiments and how many times and how successfully the techniques have been used.  But since I am in the business, I would be willing to say it has been taken pretty far and with a large amount of success.  Mind you, they select their remote viewers for their already-developed sensitivity, their powers of ESP, and then they take it to the highest levels imaginable.”

“This is fascinating,” Baxter said.  “Thank you, Uncle Rodger, for taking the time to explain some of this to us, especially from your viewpoint.”

“Of course.  But I have a confession to make.”

“What?”  Ronnie wanted to know.

“I must admit I did see ‘Subject Zero’ when it was first released. I wanted to see how the movie industry handled this topic.  You understand that remote viewers do not quite have the fantastic ability that Ben Kingsley’s character has in the movie.  Also, they do not seem to be evilly possessed and go through the robotic movements he portrayed in the film, but many of them are almost as effective, and I have witnessed some of these viewings personally.  Keep mum about that!  The good ones can do it to a high degree of accuracy.”

“Yeah, we get it.”  Baxter said as they stood to go.

“I also think it promising that they could possibly use it to get into the minds of serial killers, as the film implied.  Something to work on, wouldn’t you say?  Or find missing children.  Many fantastic things could be possible.”

“See ya!” Baxter called as they went out the door of Rodger’s condo.

“Ah…Bletchley Circle,” Rodger said aloud.  “The Brits really know how to do up a good mystery.”


Please click the book cover image to read more about The Scavenger’s Song.

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