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The phenomenon of astral projection has long intrigued governments and intelligence agencies like the CIA due to its potential national security applications. Throughout the 20th century, various CIA programs researched remote viewing and out-of-body experiences seeking to unlock their espionage potentials.

While many details remain classified, we do know the CIA invested significant time and millions of dollars exploring whether astral projection and psychic abilities could provide an advantage in the Cold War. Declassified documents reveal some of what these covert experiments uncovered about the mysteries of consciousness.

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Early CIA Interest in Astral Projection

After WWII, with the start of the Cold War, the CIA was determined to close the intelligence gap with the Soviet Union. This led them to become very interested in unconventional areas of research like astral projection and psychic phenomena.

In 1947, the CIA began Project Grudge to analyze reports of unidentified flying objects as potential security threats. The project later evolved into more extensive programs investigating psychic phenomena like remote viewing.

That same year, the CIA reviewed research by amateur astral projection researcher Sylvan Muldoon. His books claimed humans could project an invisible astral body that could travel independent of the physical body.

The CIA saw potentials from an intelligence perspective if Muldoon’s abilities were real.

CIA Recruits Russell Targ & Harold Puthoff

In the early 1970s, laser physicist Russell Targ and parapsychologist Harold Puthoff caught the CIA’s attention with their research on clairvoyance and psychic abilities at Stanford Research Institute (SRI).

Targ and Puthoff’s initial CIA-funded work involved testing psychic Uri Geller to verify his claims of telekinesis and extrasensory perception. Then they explored training psychics for remote viewing experiments.

Impressed with results of this preliminary research, the CIA gave Targ and Puthoff approval to start a new operative program expanding their psychic investigations.

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Stargate Project and Controlled Remote Viewing

In 1972, Targ and Puthoff’s new CIA-backed program was named Stargate Project. It aimed to have military personnel astrally project and use clairvoyance for overseas espionage and reconnaissance.

The psychics would describe military bases and activities at remote locations that could not be easily surveilled otherwise. This was called controlled remote viewing (CRV) and became the main protocol for the Stargate program.

CRV training started by teaching projectors to enter a calm, meditative state to access their psychic perception. They would then mentally project and report back visual information on targets the CIA provided, which were verified by third-parties later.

Stargate remote viewers were also encouraged to try perceiving signals directly from enemies’ minds via telepathic abilities.

Early Successes and Peak Funding

In the beginning, Stargate results appeared promising enough that the CIA invested substantially more into the psychic research and expansion of remote viewing training.

By the late 1970s, multiple military projectors at Fort Meade and remote sites were being trained in CRV for practical field use. The CIA was spending about $20 million per year at the Stargate program’s peak, demonstrating their strong initial confidence.

Reports suggested Stargate remote viewers could perceive detailed information on secret Soviet sites that provided strategic advantages. This may have included preemptively spying on military preparations.

The CIA also recruited renowned astral projection researcher Robert Monroe to provide input on psychic training protocols based on his OBE methods.

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Decline in Funding and Cancellation

However, over time, confidence in Stargate’s practical usefulness started to decline. There were difficulties corroborating details that remote viewers reported and uncertainty whether results were accurate and believable enough for decision making.

Critics within the intelligence community became more vocal about inherent limitations and questionable return on investment of the psychic espionage program.

As Cold War tensions eased in the 1980s, better reconnaissance satellites became available, reducing the need for remote viewing intelligence.

By the 1990s, Stargate’s annual funding got reduced to about $1 million a year. Then in 1995, the CIA finally canceled the paranormal program after 23 years of secretive research.

While the CIA’s secretive experiments with astral projection ultimately ended in disappointment, the phenomenon remains a captivating enigma that continues intriguing open-minded researchers. The stories recounted by remote viewers about traversing unseen realms and mystical encounters compel us to keep exploring these frontiers beyond ordinary perception.

Skeptics are right to demand more concrete evidence before accepting the reality of out-of-body experiences. Yet the subjectivity of conscious experience means we must also allow for phenomena that may be impossible to conclusively demonstrate under the parameters of traditional science. Only personal experience can provide certain validation.

And there are indeed millions of ordinary people who testify to life-changing astral projections. For these individuals, OBEs are as real as any other experience, with lasting spiritual impacts. They need no CIA endorsement. Beyond any shadow of doubt, they have momentarily detached from physical senses and caught a glimpse of normally hidden dimensions.

These fleeting transcendental encounters push the boundaries of what we think is possible as human beings. At the intersection of mind and spirit, astral projection remains an elusive but alluring harbor towards which adventuresome minds can sail, mapping out new horizons for the evolution of consciousness itself. With open-minded curiosity and practice, this state of ultimate freedom awaits all individual explorers bold enough to seek it.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the CIA’s Astral Projection Research

What was the Stargate Project?

Stargate Project was a secret U.S. Army unit established in 1978 at Fort Meade, Maryland to investigate the potential for psychic phenomena like astral projection and remote viewing for intelligence gathering and espionage. The project was run by the CIA along with DIA and other agencies.

When did the CIA start researching astral projection?

The CIA first showed interest in astral projection in the late 1940s after WWII. But their major research started in 1972 at SRI with Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff’s experiments, leading to the creation of the Stargate Project.

Why was the CIA interested in astral projection?

The CIA saw astral projection as having potential strategic benefits for national security during the Cold War. They thought psychics could gather intelligence on remote Soviet targets through out-of-body experiences and remote viewing.

How much did the CIA spend on astral projection research?

At its peak in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the CIA was spending about $20 million a year on parapsychology and astral projection research. Total funding over 23 years likely exceeded $25 million.

What methods did the CIA use to induce astral projection?

The CIA experimented with various New Age and mystical techniques to induce out-of-body experiences: hypnotism, meditation, sensory deprivation tanks, psychedelics like LSD, and binaural beats technology.

Did the Stargate Project ever successfully use astral projection?

Some of the Stargate remote viewers reported compelling experiences projecting to secret overseas locations. However, the CIA could not conclusively confirm the accuracy of intelligence gained through astral projection means.

Why did the CIA end its research on astral projection?

By the 1990s, improved spy satellites and remote sensing technology had reduced intelligence value of psychic espionage. Uncertainty about the reliability and scientific validity ultimately led the CIA to lose interest and shut down Stargate.

Where can I find CIA documents on astral projection experiments?

Many Stargate documents have been declassified under the Freedom of Information Act and are available from the CIA electronic reading room online and from various UFO organizations websites.

Does the CIA still use astral projection or remote viewing?

There is no evidence the CIA has continued astral projection research since the Stargate Project ended in 1995. Some speculate they have revived interest, but any such programs would remain highly classified.

Are the CIA’s findings on astral projection still secret?

The CIA has released quite a few documents on Stargate experiments with remote viewing and astral projection, but they have not disclosed all records. Some findings may still remain classified over two decades later.

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