|For 10 years at
the end of his Army career, Joseph
McMoneagle says, he dressed in civilian
clothes, rarely saluted and went to work
most days in a numberless, converted mess
hall at Fort Meade, Md.
Neither his wife
nor his closest companions had any
inkling of his mission. Only his
immediate superiors knew that he was part
of a highly classified group of psychics
that the federal government paid to
conjure up the whereabouts of friend and
foe alike literally.
one knew anything, so nobody really asked
questions," said McMoneagle, now
retired and living in Nelson County.
week, the heavyset 49-year-old former
intelligence officer is embarking on a
highly visible publicity campaign
intended to preserve the dignity of his
little-known unit and to buttress the
murky scientific basis beneath it.
are trashing 20 years of scientific work.
It's unconscionable," he said
network television last night, in
interviews and in a one-hour special
scheduled tomorrow night on ABC,
McMoneagle is trying to champion a
little-understood, still-secret military
intelligence program that he says has
wrongly become a target of ridicule.
only recently, according to McMoneagle,
the team of psychics with "remote
viewing" abilities fell into
disfavor as the military began recruiting
people from the private sector that
McMoneagle describes as too zealous and
too warped by a blind belief in their
were getting sort of goofy," he
of using known psychic abilities for
specific suitable objectives, the
military tried to adapt their abilities
inappropriate missions. "They began
putting the cart before the horse,"
that the Army, CIA and other govenrment
agencies used psychics "will floor a
lot of people," McMoneagle said.
will be some people who will be very
offended . . .
it's amazing how people will simply not
believe that there is another reality out
there beyond the one they see in the
spokesman confirmed the use of the
psychics yesterday, according to The
Associated Press, which also quoted
researchers who said the government spent
as much as $20 million over two decades.
Missions ranged from psychic searches for
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to searches
for plutonium in North Korea.
was one of the major players in the
project and continued working for the
government on a contract basis long after
his 1984 retirement.
named "Stargate," the psychic
team was so secret that a Legion of Merit
awarded to McMoneagle describes it only
as "a unique intelligence project
that is revolutionizing the intelligence
is going public in response to studies
that are labeling the project as
night on the taped ABC special,
McMoneagle gives an eerily specific
description of a location in Houston
after he's shown a picture of a woman
located there. He had never been in the
release describes McMoneagle's
performance as "one of the most
spectacular demonstrations of paranormal
abilities ever presented on network
performance should create a
It's hardly old hat to the
Miami native even he was stunned
by the accuracy of his taped television
appearance but he said he gained a
reputation as one of the military's best
practitioners of the art.
involvement, many details of which are
still secret, never fit a
cloak-and-dagger image, much less one of
a roadside palm reader.
his job in a Spartan office decorated
with nothing more than a drawing of the
crab nebula that he did himself; he made
standard Army wages of $2,500 a month.
lived in the barracks; got up and
showered and got dressed and went to
work," he said.
major missions rarely amounted to
anything more than being handed an
envelope with a picture of someone and
trying to sense a related location.
as learning experiences
go out on the town when we had a good
day," McMoneagle said. Failures were
regarded as learning experiences,
examples of improper sensory
loneliness of the job destroyed marriages
and ruined careers, said McMoneagle, who
lasted longer than most. "I really
have the feeling that I was doing
something to help our country; I had a
real sense that what I was doing was
enlisted in the Army after high school
and was a chief warrant officer when he
retired, frustrated by the isolation his
job demanded and by the disrespect
traditional intelligence operatives held
for the band of remote viewers.
was nothing unusual about secretiveness
in the intelligence community, McMoneagle
said. "But to be suddenly and
totally compartmented away for something
so abnormal is to hear the death
the Iranian hostage crisis, McMoneagle
and other viewers were asked to look at
black-and-white pictures of people known
to be inside the American Embassy,
were quite accurate'
those, the viewers were able to develop
psychic images of the embassy's damaged
interior, land mine locations and other
were quite accurate, it turned out,"
McMoneagle said, stressing that the
psychic intelligence was never relied on
his retirement, McMoneagle has worked
with scientists studying the paranormal,
notably at the Cognitive Sciences Lab of
SRI-International in California, which
once was associated with Stanford
operates Intuitive Intelligence
Applications, a consulting company.
Clients have ranged from individuals
looking for relatives to petroleum
companies looking for reserves.
recently released book about his
experiences, "Mind Trek,"
McMoneagle traces his ability to a
near-death experience in 1970 and then
charts the gradual development of his
remote viewing powers.
been a remarkable path.
wouldn't do it again for $10 million, but
you couldn't pay me $30 million for the
experience," said McMoneagle, who
spends $5 a week on the lottery but so
far hasn't hit the jackpot.
use whatever numbers come to mind,"