Army's Psychic Animal Pals

Psychic_Sheila.jpgIn 1953 the U.S. Army commissioned a report by Dr. Joseph Banks Rhine to ascertain "whether dogs could, as claimed, locate buried landmines under conditions that gave no normal sensory cues." The conclusions of this report were considered so dangerous embarrassing they remained classified until today.The Memory Hole has been hard at work obtaining a copy of Rhine's "Final Report for Contract DA-44-009-ENG-1039" -- codename "Animal E.S.P."According to Dr Rhine, "an investigation of the available reports, and visits to England to learn what the British Army had found, led to a serious question as to whether the claim was well founded". Dr Rhine's experiments focused on German Schu mines buried in a few inches of moist sand. A tough nut to crack, you'll agree. Only 2 years and 15 grueling typed pages later, Dr Rhine concluded "dogs can be trained to locate mines...and there can be no doubt but that, for the most part, this is a sensory function, olefactory in type". Stop the presses.That didn't end the Pentagon's fascination with E.S.P., author Jon Ronson notes in his book The Men who Stare At Goats. He explains, "In 1979 a secret unit was established by the most gifted minds within the US Army. Defying all known accepted military practice - and indeed, the laws of physics - they believed that a soldier could adopt the cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls and, perhaps most chillingly, kill goats just by staring at them." However, it's not entirely clear from Mr. Ronson's work whether the classic 'crook' or more painful 'stink eye'was used.Unfortunately the affects of Dr Rhine's work penetrated deep within the Army psyche altering the course of 'black' operations for years to come. Disasters associated with programmes such as pSychic Warfighter Insertion/Nautical Extraction, or the "Bay of Pigs" as it was known, forced many subjects underground and left the rest of us with memories of psychic animals we'd rather forget.-- Steven Snell

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