Stargate Project: An Investigation Into Psychic Phenomena

What happened to the Stargate project? Why did its documents arouse so much controversy when they were declassified? What conclusions were drawn from the study? In this article, we'll try to answer these questions
Stargate Project: An Investigation Into Psychic Phenomena
Sergio De Dios González

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Written by Edith Sánchez

Last update: 15 April, 2023

The 70s were a boom time for psychics or individuals with exceptional mental abilities, related to supernatural capabilities. For instance, telepathy and remote viewing. Stargate Project was a United States Government program. It was dedicated to recording and verifying these unusual abilities.

In principle, the plan was a secret program. It remained so until 1995 when the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) declassified all the documents related to it. It ended because its directors considered that it hadn’t been useful.

Basically, Stargate sought out and recruited individuals who appeared to possess exceptional abilities. They evaluated them and established whether the government could use them for specific purposes. However, the results were mixed and the project was terminated. That said, out of the experience came a book and a movie entitled The Men Who Stare at Goats.

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.”


The origin of Stargate project

The project started in the 70s. The American intelligence services started to randomly investigate people who presented themselves to the world as psychics. It’s believed that the Soviet Union was simultaneously doing the same.

There was increasing interest in the phenomenon known as remote viewing. This is defined as the ability to receive information about situations or people that are far away. It’s a phenomenon of extrasensory perception. However, to date, there’s no supporting scientific evidence for it.

In 1972, physicists, Russell Targ and Harold E. Puthoff began evaluating those who appeared to have the ability to carry out remote viewing. Their results were encouraging enough to arouse the interest of the White House. They hired the psychologist, Ray Hyman to analyze a young man named Uri Geller, who appeared to be highly capable.

However, Hyman’s report identified Geller as a fraud. But, other people were tested who weren’t as publicized as the Israeli. They continued to arouse interest. The most obvious case was that of Rosemary Smith. In 1976, she located a Soviet spy, supposedly via remote viewing.

Extrasensory ability of the Stargate project
The aim of the Stargate program was to exploit alleged extrasensory abilities on behalf of the US Government.

Stargate project

Most people had no idea what Stargate Project was. In fact, it wasn’t until 1995 when it was declassified that it was publicized. The writer, Jim Popkin, was probably the first person to publish certain details of the plan in a comprehensive press report.

He claimed they invested $20 million in the target and used it to locate secret training camps in Libya and identify kidnapped citizen detention sites. Furthermore, Popkin stated that the project had confirmed the phenomenon of remote viewing. However, there wasn’t enough evidence to corroborate his statement.

Some claim that, although Stargate Project ended, the activities that were carried out are continuing today. They allege that they moved from the CIA to the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency). In fact, Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Defense once told Newsweek magazine that “the study of the power of the mind is and remains an important endeavor”.

CIA documents
Stargate Project became public knowledge in 1995 after the declassification of CIA documents.

Truth or myth?

When the Stargate documents were declassified, the United States ABC network made a television program. Robert Gates, former director of the CIA, and Edwin May, one of the scientists at the head of the plan, participated in this production. Yet, the two gave diametrically opposed versions. While Gates pointed out the experience as useless, May claimed it had obtained important achievements.

Whatever the case may be, there’s no evidence to suggest that the project continued in any way or that it delivered any useful results. Moreover, to date, there’s no scientific endorsement of remote viewing.

The only possible evidence there could be to support it are some declassified documents that detail certain episodes that are difficult to explain. There are also certain testimonies. For example, that of Army Petty Officer Joseph McMoneagle, Agent 001 of the experiment. But, beyond this, there’s a lack of support for the supposed paranormal abilities of humans.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.