Posted: July 05, 2000
By Erik German
Is Czech mind control equipment science-fiction or science-fact? Declassified U.S. documents show that unsuccessful attempts were made to control our thoughts ... or is that what we were meant to think?
In 1975, the United States Defense Intelligence Agency had hot news. Very hot news.
According to the agency, which spent much of the Cold War supplying presidents, generals and admirals with data, Soviet scientists had spirited several baby rabbits from their mother and murdered them - one by one - aboard a submarine.
The reason the DIA took an active interest in the massacre was not concern over Soviet rabbit abuse.
No, the Washington agency cared was because it had reason to believe the rabbits were psychic.
The Cold War has produced many documents that, when examined now, appear to generously entwine the sublime with the ridiculous. Few, however, are quite as earnest as the 1975 report that attempts to detail Czech and Soviet advances in parapsychology
So it was that the administration of President Gerald Ford learned of the dead rabbits - assassinated, said the DIA, because they were believed to have demonstrated a capacity for telepathic communication.
Worse still, wrote the alarmed agency, the East appeared on the verge of the unthinkable: total mind control. Even human murders, they suggested, might be triggered by the mind.
Soviet and Czech citizens, specially trained in mind-power, could hone their psychic powers, the agency warned.
And what then?
"Such a cadre of trained but anonymous individuals could be used for any number of covert activities."
What might Moscow and Prague do with ultimate mind technology?
"If the Soviet reports are even partly true," the DIA harangued, "and if mind-to-mind transference can be used for such applications as interplanetary communications or the guiding of interplanetary spacecraft, the Soviets have accomplished a scientific breakthrough of tremendous significance."
Some 30 years later, a chatty Zdenek Reidak, president of the International Association for Psychotronic Research, relaxes in the kitchen of his rural house in Chvalkovice, two hours' drive northeast of Prague.
"You always take an interest in what you don't have," he says of the solemn 71-page report, released under the U.S. Freedom of Infor-mation Act and now posted on the DIA's Web site, www.dia.mil. "The Russians are a more mystically inclined people. They were also willing to make serious and systematic investigations."
The 65-year-old Reidak, who has organized dozens of parapsychology conferences since 1973, is mentioned repeatedly in DIA documents. "The Americans' approach was kind of naÂ?ve," he says. "There is a difference between the existence of a [psychic] phenomenon and the possibility for its practical use."
But that didn't deter the DIA, which openly feared a growing "psychic gap" between the East and West.
It claimed communist scientists were "far ahead of their Western counterparts" in understanding and applying psychic phenomena. It suggested the East was on the verge of creating machines capable of harnessing mental energy for military purposes.
Among the key researchers was a Czech named Robert Pavlita, who died in 1991. Pavlita created the so-called "psychotronic generator." The "generators" seem simple enough. Some look like steel rings. Others are shaped like wooden boxes. Most are no larger than a paperback.
But size didn't matter. Pavlita believed - and to some extent so did the DIA - that "the secret is in the form." The generators were allegedly able to amass human mental energy and release it mechanically or electromagnetically.
The DIA said that "when flies were placed in the gap of a circular generator, they died instantly." It added: "The generators can do some of the things a psychic subject can do.
The "things" included turning rotors, magnetizing nonmagnetic materials and killing flies - a process the DIA was convinced would be turned on human beings.
Pavlita's research, while benign, only further unnerved U.S. intelligence: "Pavlita aimed a generator at his daughter's head from a distance of several yards ... she became dizzy and her equilibrium was disrupted."
And the DIA's prognosis
wasn't good. "Soviet or Czech perfection of psychotronic weapons would pose a severe threat to enemy military, embassy or security functions," the agency said.
One man's research
Even now, while they discuss the research willingly, Pavlita's colleagues are hampered by the Czech scientist's penchant for secrecy. "The problem is that Pavlita never told anyone how the generators functioned," said Ladislav Sir, 70, who directed Pavlita's experiments in the early 1980s.
"I think that [the generators] worked as talismans," says the appropriately cryptic Sir. "Once they had accumulated the mental energy of the activating person, they could release it in other ways. If there such a thing as voodoo, I think the generators work on the same principle."
Voodoo or not, the authors of the DIA report took psychotronic findings seriously.
Atomic fears trumped other Cold-War paranoias, and the DIA darkly noted "the increasing validity" of Soviet claims that new psychic energy findings were "of no less significance than the discovery of atomic energy."
Using similar words one year later, Air Force Intelligence chief George Keegan warned the U.S. intelligence community against the soon-to-be infamous - yet nonexistent - Soviet "death ray." Based on blurry photos of a nuclear facility in Kazakhstan, Keegan was convinced that the Soviets were developing a particle beam weapon capable of annihilating U.S. missiles with massive electron "lightning bolts."
Keegan called it the "most important strategic undertaking since the development of the atomic bomb."
Last year, The Washington Post tied Keegan's public stumping against the death ray in 1977 to the rebirth of the multi-billion dollar Strategic Defense Initiative, known as "Star Wars." After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1992, the Russians revealed they had only been developing rockets at the facility.
Unlike the death ray, however, some remain convinced that the psychic research was legitimate.
"The psychotronics report was declassified by the Americans for one of two reasons," says Sir. "One: it doesn't work and therefore doesn't matter. Two: their own research continues, top secret, and they simply want to make people believe that it is nonsense. I don't think that it is nonsense."
Reidak is less certain about Pavlita's findings but believes they were significant. "I don't think that Pavlita was dealing with 'psychic energy,' " he says. "Pavlita discovered a way to harness the interaction between living and inanimate matter."
Reidak said he became friends with Pavlita after publicly de-fending him against charges of fraud.
"I saw him conduct his experiments. Some of it I didn't understand, but I know that what I saw was real," he says.
But Reidak added that Pavlita seemed to be the only one able to make the machines work. He thinks the Americans lost interest in Pavlita's research because the findings could not be duplicated.
All of which makes Robert Richardson laugh.
Richardson works in the DIA's Freedom of Information Office. "I couldn't say much one way or the other about the content of the documents, but people just love these things. We give 'em out like candy. But most people want to know about the UFOs."
Erik German's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
"Ermolayev is reported to have the ability to levitate (suspend) objects in midair by concentrating psychic energy at a focal point in space. *footnote"
- Page 44
* [source cited:
The National Enquirer]
"Control and manipulation of the human consciousness must be considered a primary goal."
- Page 31
"The usual way of charging the device with psychic energy is to touch the temple area of the head with the hand, then touch the device."
- Page 47
Excerpts from: Soviet and Czechoslovakian
DIA Task PT 1810-12-75
Published September 1975
By Erik German