Monday, September 5, 2016

‘Close Encounters’ Wyoming landing zone may hold lessons for us today

By Steve Hammons

(This article was featured Aug. 28, 2016, in “Knapp’s News” on the Coast to Coast AM radio show website. "Coast" has the largest late-night radio audience in the U.S. and is heard internationally. Award-winning investigative journalist George Knapp of KLAS-TV News in Las Vegas is a popular "C2C" host.)

In the 1977 movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," with its amazing ending at Devils Tower, Wyoming, there were references to real situations.

For example, the police chase across the Ohio-Indiana state line early in the film resembled actual incidents in that region. 

And interestingly, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is also located near the Ohio-Indiana border in southwestern Ohio. That base is home to an Air Force foreign technology research center and closely associated with the alleged "Roswell incident" and subsequent research. 

In "Close Encounters" the clandestine logistics and security operation at Devils Tower was facilitated by U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets). In real life, some of their specialties are covert and unconventional operations. Army Special Forces also works in roles to establish rapport with indigenous populations and provide training. 

But is there more about Devils Tower that we can learn? 


Native American Indians had a very different name for the unusual geological formation known as Devils Tower.

To the Lakota and Cheyenne, it was called “Bear Lodge,” “Grizzly Bear Lodge,” or “Bear Lodge Butte.” The Cheyenne and Crow also referred to it as “Bear’s House” or “Bear’s Lair.” It was also called “Bear’s Tipi” by the Cheyenne and Arapaho. To the Kiowa, it was “Tree Rock.” 

How did Native American names associated with a bear lodge become “Devils Tower?” It is believed that an interpreter in an 1875 expedition in the area misunderstood the Indian words and translated them as “Bad God’s Tower” which was later changed to “Devil’s Tower,” and eventually to “Devils Tower” (no apostrophe). 

President Theodore Roosevelt declared the huge rock formation a U.S. National Monument in 1906. Today, the entire monument area includes 1,347 acres. 

Interesting legends and folklore about the site may also hold clues about more subtle connections at Devils Tower or Bear Lodge. 

A Lakota tale reportedly describes six Lakota girls picking flowers there when they were chased by bears. The Great Spirit helped the girls by raising the ground under them. The distinctive vertical striations of the rock were made when the bears tried to climb it but slid down, leaving huge scratch marks, according to this legend. 

A Kiowa story is similar. Seven girls playing were chased by large bears. To escape, the girls climbed a rock and prayed to the Great Spirit for help. Answering the girls’ prayers, the Great Spirit caused the rock to rise to the heavens, saving the girls as the bears tried to climb the rock, leaving their claw marks. 

As the girls reached the uppermost realms of the sky, they became the star constellation the Pleiades. This star system is sometimes associated with extraterrestrial visitors in more modern cases. 

There is another legend about several boys escaping a bear, praying to the Creator for help, being raised up on the rock and escaping back to their village with the help of an eagle.


When Army Special Forces, scientists, technicians, defense and intelligence officials, and the mysterious 12-person team infiltrate the Devils Tower or Bear Lodge region in "Close Encounters," can we make any connections to this Native American Indian lore? 

Many Indian tribes have oral histories about unusual visitors or beings of many kinds. In some legends, the visitors come from far away in the skies. In others, certain beings are native to Earth, or live nearby, and are part of the mysteries of Nature and reality. 

Even now, there are many reports of mysterious phenomena in Indian Country. And, Native American perspectives can be helpful to learn about. 

As we know, there is a troubling history of conflicts with Native American tribes over centuries as Europeans landed, conquered, took land, enslaved and destroyed or nearly destroyed native societies and cultures. 

When the United States was formed and European colonists became "Americans," regional militias and federal army troops often did the same. 

For example, in the case of the Cherokee, their ancient homeland in the Appalachian Mountain region stretched from Tennessee and North Carolina to Georgia and Alabama. Starting in the 1700s, there was a large degree of intermarriage with Scottish, Scots-Irish and English explorers and settlers, resulting in the millions of Americans today who have Cherokee DNA within them. 

But this did not help the Cherokee when in 1838 men, women, children and the elderly were forced at gunpoint and bayonet point from their homes and farms into prison camps, their land stolen, and marched to Oklahoma on the terrible and deadly “Trail of Tears.” Many mixed-ethnicity Cherokee were reportedly able to avoid this removal by self-identifying as white. 

Their experience parallels the history of many other tribes in some ways, yet is quite different in other ways. 

Today, some researchers advise us to consider the experience of Native Americans who faced a visitation or invasion of technologically superior “aliens” from England, France, Spain and elsewhere in Europe.

Could humans dealing with advanced beings from elsewhere experience a fate similar to that of Native American tribes? 

Maybe we can take another look at "Close Encounters" in light of the history of Bear Lodge or Devils Tower. That location may serve as a way to explore the many lessons about connections between American history, humanity and Nature. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Readers review metaphysical-military-intelligence adventure novel ‘Mission Into Light’

By Steve Hammons

The reader reviews below were very gratifying for me as a writer, and I felt it might be a good idea to share them.

In their comments on the page for my first novel "Mission Into Light," these readers seem to have identified some of the storytelling, narrative and strategic elements I was trying to use and achieve in both this book and the sequel "Light's Hand."

Reader reviews on Amazon ...

Excellent story from a gifted writer! The book was difficult to put down. I recommend it highly and am buying a second copy for a gift. It was fast-moving with lots of action. The short chapters made it easy to read and a lot of fun. The book ties many relevant and cutting edge topics into an incredibly interesting story. I particularly liked the scientific and government intelligence issues. Don't miss this one!  
–Franklin J. Fields, Jr. 

Very interesting story. I enjoyed it, but I have to say that if any part or parts of the story had a basis in what might have actually happened, that would make it a fascinating read that I would not soon forget and certainly desire more of!!!!!!!! The fact that one of the characters has a similar background to the author's causes me to suspect that this story does have its roots in fact but can’t be presented in that way for reasons only known to the author. Is he framing true information within a false story because it's the only way acceptable to those who govern the truth?? I will continue to search for clues to confirm my theory of its fact based core. His second book is soon to be delivered and I'm very much looking forward to it.  –Ralph 

As [Franklin D. Fields, Jr., Esq.] Esquire said so much better than I could, this was a great read! I couldn't put it down. And now I've ordered the next one. And I'm going to see what else Hammons has to offer. I'm glad I got this book.  –CB 

Very well written. Always something happening. The story flows well and ties in very well with the [sequel] … Light's Hand. The ending will bring tears of happiness to your eyes. Don 

This is pretty spot on to reality and keeps ones interest. I highly recommend it.  –Jeanette Z. Phillips


The novels are available worldwide in 6"x9" paperback and e-book from most online booksellers. For more information, visit the books' Amazon site here.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Reagan’s 1987 UN speech on ‘alien threat’ resonates now

By Steve Hammons

(This article was posted on the CultureReady blog of the U.S. Defense Language and National Security Education Office dated 8/5/15.)

On Sept. 21, 1987, then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan gave an address to the United Nations General Assembly. In an often-quoted section of his speech, Reagan asked rhetorical questions and commented about the nations and cultures of the world uniting in common efforts to live in peace and avoid wars and bloodshed.

Cannot swords be turned to plowshares? Can we and all nations not live in peace? In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity,” Reagan said.

“Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond,” Reagan continued.

“I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And yet, I ask you, is not an alien force already among us? What could be more alien to the universal aspirations of our peoples than war and the threat of war?

In these statements, Reagan seems to be noting that in addition to the diverse cultures and societies around the world, we should also keep in mind the larger human culture. And despite conflicts and wars throughout human history to the present day, this larger human culture has many unifying elements.


Among these are the major accomplishments of humanity, including the survival of our human species on this planet over hundreds of thousands of years. The development of agriculture, language, education, art, music and technology are common to most human cultures.

Reagan urged us to see the big picture – “how much unites all the members of humanity.” He warned us to take the long view instead of “our obsession with antagonisms of the moment.”

Of course, the nations of the world already engage in significant cooperation on many levels. These include efforts to improve trade and economic prosperity, share cultural resources and viewpoints, protect global public heath, and respond to disasters and humanitarian challenges.

Yet, there is room for significant improvement in how nations and cultures interact, and how individual humans treat one another.

These conflicts, of course, are not just between countries and cultures. Within the many nations and cultures on Earth, we often see internal conflict and strife when people within a society are divided and angry about real or perceived injustice, oppression, ethnic and religious differences or some other cause.

In his address, Reagan theorized that these many sources of discord and conflict around the world “would [quickly] vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.” And, he put forth the idea that, “Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond.”

Was Reagan correct? Would certain adverse developments help bring the human race together? Would the human race unify in the face of a devastating impending meteor strike, severe global disease pandemic, worldwide natural disaster or other threat?


Reagan appeared to hold an optimistic view of humanity. He seemed to indicate that he felt the human race would pull together in greater unity in the face of a larger danger. As a result, a greater awareness about what we have in common as humans would help us overcome the perpetual wars, death and destruction that have been a large part of the experience of the human race on Earth.

Implicit in his speech, the former president told us that we have the potential to transcend these destructive behaviors and seize opportunities to focus on unifying instincts, developments and events.

Would it really require “an alien threat from outside this world” for the people of Earth to make significant progress toward peace and prosperity instead of perpetual conflict?

Or, might we stumble on this truth without an impending disaster? Can we reach a tipping point when it becomes evident and obvious that our “universal aspirations” are more important and fundamental than war and destructive competition?

Instead of “an alien threat,” what if a positive kind of development emerged? Such a development could include scientific discovery of a remarkable nature or a change in global human psychology and consciousness.

Instead of Reagan’s concept of an “outside, universal threat,” what might happen if there was an inside, universal breakthrough that takes the human race on to the next levels of our development? 

(The article was also featured 7/26/15 in “Knapp’s News” on the Coast to Coast AM radio show website. "Coast" has the largest late-night radio audience in the U.S. Award-winning investigative journalist George Knapp of KLAS-TV News in Las Vegas is a popular "C2C" host.)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Japanese-American U.S. Army intelligence unit helped win WWII

By Steve Hammons

(This article was 
posted 4/22/15 on the CultureReady blog of the U.S. Defense Language and National Security Education Office

The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California, traces its roots to the secret World War II U.S. Army intelligence unit comprised of Japanese-Americans – the Military Intelligence Service (MIS).

Then, as now, we needed to succeed militarily and also communicate with other cultures and nations.

The MIS was started in late 1941 as a unit to train Japanese-Americans (Nisei) to conduct translation and interrogation activities. MIS men came mostly from Hawaii and the West Coast.

The missions of the MIS were highly classified and still are not widely known. Much information about MIS activities remained classified until 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed Executive Order 11652 making certain WWII intelligence documents eligible for declassification. 

After the Pearl Harbor attack, the people of the United States found themselves in a war with the military of a culture quite different from our own: Japan. The Japanese military and Japanese society had, in many ways, a different social fabric, a different psychology, different spiritual traditions and was a different ethnic group in significant ways.


After Pearl Harbor, first- and second-generation Japanese-Americans in Hawaii and California faced tough scrutiny by our defense and national security community. Were there spies and saboteurs among them? Were they loyal to America or Japan, or torn between the two? 

In California, in part due to racial prejudice and hate-mongering, patriotic Japanese-American farmers, merchants, professionals and their families were forced into harsh detention camps in remote regions of the West for the duration of the war. 

In Hawaii, where Japanese-Americans were well-integrated into the community, there reportedly were fewer attempts to randomly suspect or imprison them. Nisei living in Hawaii generally did not experience the extreme measures faced by those on the West Coast.

Meanwhile, many young men from these families and communities joined the U.S. military, in part to prove their patriotism. Many ended up in the MIS as well as the famed and highly-decorated U.S. Army 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion, fighting in Italy and elsewhere in Europe. 

They did all this while many of their family members were behind barbed-wire fences in detention camps back in the U.S. 

Young Japanese-American men joined the military for many reasons including proving their loyalty to the United States and proving that they were good Americans. Many had been raised as somewhat typical American kids.


The MIS organization included an administrative group, an intelligence group, a counterintelligence group and an operations group. The MIS performed a very wide range of important and often dangerous activities.  

As American and allied forces move into the Pacific theater to engage the Japanese navy and army,  MIS men were on the tip of the spear, attached to U.S. Navy, Army and Marine units as well as the joint Australian-American "Allied Translator and Interpreter Service." MIS members served with "Merrill's Marauders," the famous Army Ranger unit that conducted operations in Burma against the Imperial Japanese Army. 

MIS personnel were active in nearly all major campaigns and battles in the Pacific as well as in Burma and China. 

According to some assessments, MIS missions may have shortened the Pacific war by up to two years.

They performed intelligence and counterintelligence tasks such as intercepting radio messages, interrogating prisoners, translating captured maps and documents, helping in psychological and information operations efforts, infiltrating enemy lines and flushing caves  convincing civilians and Japanese soldiers to leave caves on remote islands, and persuading many Japanese troops to surrender. 

MIS interrogators reportedly used psychological and cultural understanding to obtain valuable intelligence. Interestingly, MIS men reportedly provided decent treatment for Japanese prisoners and obtained information by building rapport with captured Japanese troops.

After the war, more than 5,000 MIS personnel worked in Japan during the occupation by the U.S. from 1945 to 1952. They were assigned to the occupation military government in disarmament, intelligence, civil affairs, finance, education and land reform. The MIS also helped develop the Japanese constitution.


The United States fought a long military struggle in the Pacific. Then, we occupied Japan with the goal of rebuilding and rehabilitating that society by implementing a peaceful democracy. Both of these efforts were successful. 

Men of the MIS also demonstrated intelligence and compassion both during the war and in the occupation. They helped win a military victory, then helped make peace and win friends for the United States. 

They were key in rebuilding the nation of Japan and helping that society recover from devastating social, psychological and physical damage. 

In examining the MIS, we must also ask why did these Japanese-American young men, mostly from the west coast and Hawaii, join the MIS (and the 442nd RCT and 100th Infantry Battalion)? Why did they side with America against the military of the land of their parents, grandparents and ancestors?

Although most were raised as American kids, they experienced significant racial prejudice and discriminatory laws. After Pearl Harbor, Japanese American families had been stripped of property and businesses and forced into the infamous relocation camps. MIS men emerged out of this environment. 

Now may be the time to review the activities of the MIS and apply lessons learned. These WWII veterans are now up in years and many have passed on. 

Our special operations forces and intelligence personnel would be wise to consult these MIS vets whose language and human skills were so crucial in WWII. How did the MIS conduct their intelligence and rapport-building operations? What can MIS vets teach us? 

As we deal with global issues today, information about the MIS may provide useful perspectives.


For more information:

Review of a book about the MIS available on the Central Intelligence Agency website: “Nisei Linguists: Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service During World War II.”

Go For Broke National Education Center website.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Phoenix conference on UFOs reveals new insights

By Steve Hammons

(As a freelance, independent journalist, I was issued media/press credentials by Open Minds Production of Tempe, Arizona, to cover this fascinating conference. My thanks to Open Minds Production and Maureen Elsberry.) 

The audience at the 24th annual International UFO Congress Convention & Film Festival near Scottsdale, Arizona, heard some fascinating presentations that were at times both hopeful and frightening.

From ancient accounts in Native American lore to ongoing scientific developments, speakers explored many aspects of research about UFOs.

Sensitive U.S. military bases like Wright-Patterson Air Force base in southwestern Ohio and Area 51 in southern Nevada have played key roles associated with this challenging situation, according to presentations at the conference.

The Rendlesham Forest incident at a U.S. air base in the UK and UFO crashes around the U.S.-Mexican border were also discussed. Cattle mutilations and human abductions, including group abductions, were examined as well.

While some speakers perceived alleged visitors as hostile and dangerous, others put forth accounts of advanced and benevolent beings who want to help the human race survive and develop.

In fact, we may be facing several kinds of visitors that will require intelligence on our part to understand and deal with, the audience was told.

The conference was sponsored by Open Minds Production of Tempe, Arizona. Open Minds covers the UFO topic through its investigators and journalists, website, and online radio and TV programs. Additional Open Minds activities include networking with other U.S. and international researchers and sponsoring the annual UFO conference.

The five-day conference, film festival and related activities took place Feb. 18 – 22 at the Wa-Ko-Pa resort, east of Fountain Hills and Scottsdale, in the northeast metro Phoenix region.


Several speakers addressed the national security and global security issues involved in this alleged situation. Due to the nature of what has been discovered about UFOs and visitors, operational security and secrecy of U.S. and international activities have been very robust, according to some of the speakers.

No one knows this better than conference guest Bob Lazar. The live, in-person interview of Lazar by award-winning investigative TV journalist George Knapp of KLAS-TV in Las Vegas was one of the many highlights of the conference. 

Back in November 1989, after a number of unique circumstances, Knapp interviewed Lazar for a news segment on KLAS-TV. That is when the nation and the world began to learn about secret facilities in a remote desert location known as Area 51.

Lazar stated in that interview that he had been working on a project involving saucer-shaped craft that did not originate in the U.S. or any other nation on Earth.

At last week’s conference, Knapp again questioned Lazar about his claims of working at a compartmented secure site in 1988-89 that was within Area 51 but separate from the main air base at Groom Lake.

Called S4, this facility included multiple hangars carved into the side of a rocky desert hill and expertly camouflaged, Lazar said. Inside the hangar bays were several craft, some disc-shaped. Lazar was assigned to help analyze and back-engineer components and systems of one of the saucers, he stated.

Lazar said he first thought these were U.S.-made craft that explained the many UFO sightings over past decades. However, upon examination of the craft and other information that came to his attention, it became clear that the craft was not ours and was tremendously far in advance of our technology at that time.

From the background information provided by both Knapp and Lazar, and the straightforward way they presented their stories to the audience, many in attendance seemed increasingly convinced that Lazar’s accounts were true.


Former U.S. Air Force military police officer John Burroughs spoke about the December 1980 incident in Rendlesham Forest, UK. While on-duty at a U.S. air base nearby, he and other USAF personnel (including the deputy base commander) encountered very unusual unknown objects in the sky and on the ground.

Historian Richard Dolan told conference attendees that advanced technologies and knowledge related to UFOs have been obtained, but are closely held by a relatively small number of people.

Dolan advocated for the release of more information about this situation. Though recognizing the need for security and safety, he said he feels it is potentially dangerous for our society and our democracy to keep such important information and technology secret.

He said he feels it is just a matter of time until more information is put forward about the reality of visitors from elsewhere and the situation is acknowledged and accepted more widely.

James Clarkson explored the story of June Crain, who reportedly worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the 1940s and was exposed to information about UFO research being done at the base.

Wright-Patterson in Dayton, Ohio, has long been a center for aircraft research over the decades, particularly the engineering and capabilities of the aircraft of our adversaries.

Mark Pilkington’s research has included a close look at how elements of our defense and intelligence community have dealt with the UFO phenomena, and how they may have leveraged it for certain purposes. He told the audience there is much more than meets the eye regarding the UFO situation. It may be much more complex than many of us realize, he said.

Speaker Ruben Uriarte talked about UFO incidents in regions along the U.S.-Mexico border. Both U.S. and Mexican militaries have been involved, he said. Though less well-known than the Roswell case, he reviewed other incidents that are similarly compelling.


In separate presentations about their different cases, Thomas Reed and Charles Foltz recounted the strange circumstances of their abductions by non-humans decades ago.

Reed and family members were allegedly taken aboard a craft and examined by very strange-looking beings.

Foltz was one of four young men on a canoe and fishing trip in a remote wilderness area in Maine when they, too, were taken aboard a craft and examined. This case is known as the Allagash incident, named after the Maine wilderness area.

Both men, and their families and friends, learned more details only later with the help of researchers and investigators, and other methods to help them recall the traumatic events, they said.

Cattle mutilations remain a mystery, said speaker Christopher O’Brien. Some may be conducted by U.S. personnel monitoring the beef supply for various kinds of contamination, such as mad cow disease or other threats to human health, he stated. Yet, that scenario may not seem to fit each and every case of cattle mutilation, he indicated.

Investigator Derrel Sims expressed serious concerns about the intentions of at least some of these visitors from elsewhere. He views them (at least the type he has encountered) as adversaries to be exposed and resisted. Abductions of humans are real, he said, and implants are often placed in abductees' bodies.

Mexico TV host Jaime Maussan showed video of many UFOs over Mexico City and other areas of his country and the U.S. Maussan seemed hopeful that these visitors are here to help us, and may even be signs of an upcoming positive spiritual development for humankind.

James Gilliland appeared to be on the same page with Maussan in some ways. He told the audience about frequent UFO sightings above his ranch near Mt. Adams in Trout Lake, Washington. Gilliland indicated there are both enlightened and unsavory beings of several kinds and we need to be able to deal with several aspects and scenarios.


Linda Zimmerman spoke about the UFO sightings in the Hudson Valley area of New York state. She said the wave of sightings in the Hudson Valley in the 1980s dovetails with other reports of UFOs there in the early 1900s.

Cheryl Costa also shared stories of close encounters in New York state. She noted that the state has been the site of odd UFO incidents possibly going back centuries. 

That matches the information from Clifford Mahooty, an elder of the Zuni tribe of Native Americans in New Mexico. Mahooty said ancient oral histories of his tribe and other Native peoples make repeated mention of non-human visitors from elsewhere. 

Extraterrestrial artifacts on Earth were a focus of the presentation by Frank Kimbler. The study of such artifacts is known as xenoarcheology, he said. As an assistant professor of earth sciences at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico, he has had the opportunity to extensively research the alleged 1947 crash in the Roswell region, Kimbler explained.

Montana was the focus of Joan Bird’s presentation. Leveraging her background in zoology and psychology, she examined several aspects of the UFO phenomena and how society is moving forward to acknowledge the situation at hand.

The Asheville, North Carolina, region was the subject of Joshua P. Warren’s talk. The “Brown Mountain lights” have been seen for more than 100 years he said. Odd, large glowing balls of light periodically appear and dance around that area in the Appalachian Mountain region.

Warren’s extensive scientific research leads him to suspect they are balls of plasma energy that are generated by unusual but natural factors in the environment there. However, some of those factors may also be involved in creating electromagnetic effects that could alter gravity. This, in turn, can result in strange changes in the environment, he indicated.


Documentary filmmaker Jeremy Corbell shared his research into the mysteries of the UFO situation and his contacts with people who helped him understand and document, via film, various elements of the topic. He said he plans to continue to make films on the UFO subject and get them distributed for larger audiences.

Video crews from the Discovery Science channel were on hand to cover parts of the conference. Exclusive previews of upcoming Science Channel UFO-related shows were shown, promoting “Are We Alone?” week starting March 2.  Science Channel will present a week of UFO and alien programs including the shows “NASA’s Unexplained Files,” “Close Encounters,” “What on Earth” and “UFO Conspiracies.”

Several excellent independent films related to UFOs were screened at the film festival. When the winner was announced, makers of the documentary “Travis” were overjoyed with their win of the EBE Award, and then with the People’s Choice Award based on the votes of the audience.

The title refers to Travis Walton who was present during the conference. He joined the filmmakers and other researchers featured in the film on stage for the award.

The film chronicles the case of Walton and his forest-clearing crew from the Snowflake, Arizona, area. After a day of work in a nearby national forest, the young men saw a saucer-shaped craft. Walton got close … too close, and was reportedly abducted and taken on board the craft, only to reappear several days later.

The case was the subject of the partly sensationalized, and not entirely accurate, 1993 Hollywood movie “Fire in the Sky.”

The late surgeon Roger Leir, MD, was posthumously awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from Open Minds Production. Leir is well-known for surgically removing highly-unusual implants embedded in the bodies of suspected abductees. He passed on just last year, March 14, 2014.

For those who were unable to attend the conference, DVDs of the speakers’ presentations are available from Open Minds Production. DVDs of presentations from past conferences are also available.

For more on the conference:

For more on Open Minds Production:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Navy research project on intuition aims to optimize discoveries

By Steve Hammons

(A version of this article was posted 4/6/15 on the CultureReady blog of the U.S. Defense Language and National Security Education Office.)

The U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) has begun a four-year project to identify, understand and use “intuitive decision-making” and what is being termed “implicit learning.”

Based on other formal research and anecdotal reports over the years, the ONR study, called “Enhancing Intuitive Decision Making Through Implicit Learning,” will attempt to determine how rapid or apparently spontaneous intuitive impressions can be used by military personnel and others.

Often referred to as “gut instincts,” “hunches” and the “sixth sense,” scientific research indicates that these can be legitimate sources of accurate information and understanding. Intuition may be simply acquiring and processing information in different ways, researchers indicate.

Valid impressions can be arrived at via various kinds of information coming to us through normal sensory perception, absorption of past training and experience, our unconscious minds, our bodies and even somewhat mysterious areas of quantum physics, according to some research.

When these potential sources of information and understanding are used (often in combination) military personnel may be better-prepared to quickly integrate and process information, gain improved “situation awareness” and make rapid, effective decisions, ONR and other researchers point out.


According to a June 2014 article in the Navy Times, Marine Corps Times, Army Times and Air Force Times, “the  new four-year, $3.85 million program to explore the phenomenon is a joint effort among ONR, DSCI Mesh Solutions, Charles River Analytics, Defense Group Inc., Northwestern University, University of California-Los Angeles and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”

In a March 2014 media release from the ONR, more details about the new project were explained. “ONR has embarked on a four-year basic research program to enhance intuitive decision making through implicit learning. A team of scientists will study factors such as memory and perception to better understand how decisions are made and whether there are ways to improve premonition through training,” according to the press release which was also posted on the Navy News Service website.

The media release quoted Lt. Cmdr. Brent Olde, ONR Warfighter Performance Department's division deputy for human and bio-engineered systems: “A seasoned warfighter develops a gut instinct through experience.”

Olde was also quoted as explaining, “If we can characterize this intuitive decision-making process and model it, then the hope is to accelerate the acquisition of these skills through simulation and scenarios; thus, providing our sailors and Marines with years of experience in a matter of days and greatly improving their ability to make split-second decisions.”

Also included in the ONR press release were statements from Dr. Peter Squire, program officer for human performance, training and education in ONR’s Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism Department. 

Squire said, “Ultimately, this is about sailors and Marines being able to harness their gut instincts in situations where they need to act quickly. But first, we have to understand what gives rise to this so-called ‘sixth sense.’ Can we model it? Is there a way to improve it through training?”

The article published in the Military Times also reported additional comments by Squire about stories of troops in combat who took actions based on intuitive-type perceptions: “These are quick decisions made unconsciously. Troops can’t tell you what made them stop or act, but we believe something different in what is usually a regular environment triggered a reaction.”

“At ONR, we push science to support our warfighters, to make sure they are equipped for a fair fight. But this also has implications for society at large,” Squire was quoted as saying.

The Military Times article included the following: “According to Squire, if the researchers understand the process, there may be ways to accelerate it – and possibly spread the powers of intuition throughout military units. The research could have applicability well beyond the military.”

The same article summarized the critical importance of these kinds of perceptions. “Troops often return from patrols with stories of how they survived intact through some hairy situation because they had a premonition something was amiss.


In recent years the U.S. Army has also initiated research into hunches and intuition. Those studies found that two kinds of American troops in combat areas seemed to be better able to detect hidden improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

One type included those troops raised in rural areas in a natural environment and who were involved in hunting and similar activities. They seemed to have better instincts and were possibly more alert about dangers around them. The other category was the Army soldier or Marine who grew up in tough urban settings where they had to be aware of danger from crime and assault.

This type of research is not new. Universities and previous defense-related research going back to the 1970s explored and utilized unconventional, alternative and complementary kinds of perception that humans are believed to possess naturally, and can be enhanced through training.

Probably the most well-known of these efforts is now referred to as Project STAR GATE. That program developed methods to attempt to acquire accurate and reliable information using human consciousness. 

Though this research-and-operational program appears to be more forward-leaning in its goals and methods than the new ONR implicit learning project, there seem to be several areas of significant overlap.

Based on the successes of Project STAR GATE, a former Navy SEAL officer developed the concept of “transcendent warfare” that he explored in a graduate-level research paper. The transcendent warfare model involves learning more about new discoveries related to human perception and using that knowledge in appropriately robust ways. The ONR research project also appears to dovetail with transcendent warfare ideas.

The validity of different (though complementary) modes of human perception, and processing those perceptions, appear to be well-established by much previous research. 

The new ONR project reportedly attempts to further explore these abilities and add to existing training and education efforts about them.

For more information see:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

New thinking proposed to prevent, mitigate damage from ‘insider spies’

By Steve Hammons

(This article was featured 9/21/14 in “Knapp’s News” on the Coast to Coast AM radio show website. "Coast" has the largest late-night radio audience in the U.S. Award-winning investigative journalist George Knapp of KLAS-TV News in Las Vegas is a popular "C2C" host.)
An article by intelligence reporter Jeff Stein published in Newsweek magazine and dated Sept. 6, 2014, explores an innovative new proposal by a private-practice psychiatrist who has worked with the U.S. intelligence community.

The article, titled “Building a Better Mole Trap,” examines the concept put forward by David L. Charney, MD, to prevent and mitigate the damage to the U.S. by “insider spies” – U.S. defense and intelligence personnel who make a decision to give classified and sensitive information to international adversaries, competitors and “frenemies” of the U.S.

Charney has worked as a psychiatrist with U.S. insider spies who were caught and he says he derived much insight and understanding about their motives and, importantly, their regrets about spying. Charney believes that different approaches based on psychiatry and the practical nuts-and-bolts elements of spying can prevent insider spying in the first place and also stop it once it has begun.

Additionally, if classified information was given to adversary nations’ intelligence services, Charney’s proposal aims for a prompt and thorough “damage assessment” to mitigate harm from the spying.

So what is Charney’s bright idea? It’s actually a combination of many elements that he explained in a recently-published white paper. Part one was titled “True Psychology of the Insider Spy.” Part two was “Proposing a New Policy for Improving National Security by Fixing the Problem of Insider Spies.”

Charney calls for the creation of a “National Office for Intelligence Reconciliation (NOIR).” The word “noir” is also French for “black,” an appropriate descriptive element of the problems of, and solutions for insider spying.


Based on his experience as a psychiatrist who has had contact with the intelligence field, Charney claims many insider spies are motivated by personal problems and crises of the kind that many people face from time to time. These can include marriage and family problems, financial stress, professional frustrations, self-esteem issues, life disappointments and similar challenges most of us face sooner or later.

Due to these kinds of very human stressors, an otherwise dedicated and patriotic member of the defense and intelligence community might be seduced by adversary intelligence agents to become an insider spy, according to Charney.

And once this terrible step is made, there is no turning back. Charney says the insider spy soon realizes he is trapped and in the clutches of ruthless intelligence agents from another nation’s government and has reached a point of no return. Life in prison probably awaits if he is caught, which will probably happen eventually.

If the insider spy thought things were bad before, he now realizes they have become much worse for him. But the insider spy must stay on the path of continued spying because there is no option to change course. Damage to the U.S. continues through the ongoing spying. It’s a lose-lose situation, Charney points out.

According to the NOIR proposal, a number of interventions would be implemented to prevent and resolve insider spying. These include, but are not limited to, establishing channels for insider spies to turn themselves in and be granted reduced penalties for their spying.

The NOIR concept includes specific ideas for how this could work in real life and the significant benefits for the U.S. defense and intelligence community, becoming a win-win scenario, Charney says.

Charney has submitted his well-thought-out proposal to key decision-makers and a wide swath of people in the defense and intelligence community as well as to other professionals and the general public. He and his associates have developed a very effective website.

In the “About” section of the site, the effort is explained further: "NOIR for USA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to educate and promote to the US Intelligence Community, policymakers and the public the NOIR concepts and ideas which are intended to improve our national security by fixing the problem of insider spies in an innovative way.”

The section also notes, "Dr. Charney is joined in his efforts by former CIA clandestine service officer John Irvin, who is researching, writing and briefing NOIR concepts. Assisting in the marketing and communications is Cindy Kwitchoff, former Program Manager of the CIA’s counterintelligence awareness and training program.”

The NOIR concept clearly seems ready for prime time. But can the powers-that-be in the U.S. government understand and implement the intelligent and insightful recommendations of Charney and his associates?


Although Charney has found that many or most insider spies are motivated by personal psychological stressors and dilemmas, he also recognizes that some are truly motivated by moral and ethical beliefs and perspectives. These are a somewhat different category of insider spies and potential insider spies, he states.

In the recent Newsweek article, an email from 29-year CIA veteran Carlos D. Luria to Charney is noted (reportedly with Luria’s permission). Luria told Charney, “I liked the steps toward reconciliation though I fear that the ‘moralists’ in our dysfunctional Congress will tar and feather you for even suggesting them.”

Luria was referring to the flexibility proposed by Charney regarding the harshness of punishment for insider spies who voluntarily reverse course, turn themselves in and help with a full damage assessment.

Another key point was made by Luria about the motivations of some insider spies. He wrote that the “motivational matrix” contributing to insider spying can sometimes include moral and ethical concerns about U.S. society and the U.S. government.

Luria is quoted in the Newsweek article as explaining that this motivational matrix “as CIA’s case officers know, is a complex one, usually embracing a host of factors, but the one to which I believe your paper gives short shrift is the conscious and deliberate willingness to risk and sacrifice oneself for ideological reasons.”

According to the Newseek article, Luria wrote Charney that, “It is what drove [the Russian moles] Popov, Penkovsky, Tolkachev, Kuklinski and a host of others to volunteer their services to CIA. It was the insufferable disparities of Britain’s social order that motivated Kim Philby and the Cambridge Five [to spy for the Soviet Union]. It was the U.S. carpet bombing of non-strategic North Korean villages that tipped [British double agent] George Blake to volunteer to serve the KGB.”

Luria is also quoted as saying that some U.S. personnel may be disillusioned by “the shameful atrocities of Abu Ghraib” and could be “motivated to work secretly to undermine an unconscionable foreign policy.”

He also notes that, “The joblessness, the ever-growing income disparity, the seemingly reckless excesses of NSA’s intercept programs, the greed of Wall Street and the total paralysis of Congress provide plenty of reasons for disaffection.”

Luria may have a point. The "more perfect union” that our founding fathers aimed for is still a work in progress. 

From the pre- and post-Revolutionary War land-grab from Native Americans and destruction of Native American societies to African-American slavery to multi-ethnic discrimination to exploitation of working Americans and ongoing injustices of many kinds, with millions of Americans (including children and adolescents) living in poverty and hopelessness, there are plenty of legitimate reasons for dissatisfaction with American society.

The Vietnam War era certainly was a wake-up call for many Americans about the serious mistakes our government and military can make. More recently, the invasion of Iraq immediately after the 9/11 events as well as the way that invasion was conducted raised many serious questions and much soul-searching by many patriotic Americans, including those inside the defense and intelligence community.

Moving forward toward “a more perfect union,” two elements of interest may provide insight and give us more ideas about possible solutions: 

1) A concept called “transcendent warfare” put forth in a graduate-level academic research paper by a former Navy SEAL officer and more recently by a U.S. State Department professional

2) The experiences of the World War II U.S. Army 442nd Regimental Combat Team, 100th Infantry Battalion and Military Intelligence Service (MIS) 
 Army units comprised of Japanese-Americans


“Transcendent warfare” refers to the concept proposed by a now-retired SEAL officer in his 2001 graduate paper at the Marine Corps War College, Marine Corps University, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia. The paper was titled “Unconventional Human Intelligence Support: Transcendent and Asymmetric Warfare Implications of Remote Viewing.”

The SEAL officer’s paper explored the discoveries in human consciousness that resulted from research and operational activities in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s and funded by the U.S. defense and intelligence community. After a series of classified code names for the program, it has generally come to be known as Project STAR GATE.

This was leading-edge and forward-leaning research at the time (and still is), much like Charney’s NOIR concept. And, like Charney’s proposals, the nature of human psychology and human consciousness was the key element.

The idea of using advanced consciousness to gather intelligence using methods that came to be known as “remote viewing” was so far-out that many people doubted the validity and usefulness of such an approach. Many people still have trouble accepting the validity of the research findings and operational successes (many of which remain classified).

An updated view of Project STAR GATE activities was presented in a 2010 graduate paper by a U.S. State Department professional. It was titled “Anomalous Human Cognition: A Possible Role within the Crucible of Intelligence Collection.” The paper was submitted as part of academic requirements at the National Defense Intelligence College and was cleared for open publication in 2010 by the Department of Defense Office of Security Review.

These papers and a robust amount of open-source information about remote viewing and Project STAR GATE provide ongoing insight for us about human nature, human consciousness, advanced scientific discoveries and how these and many other puzzle pieces might fit together.

The research from Project STAR GATE appears to be directly applicable to Charney’s NOIR concept. Advanced human consciousness involves getting good intelligence information and then making intelligent decisions.

This is key to Charney’s ideas of reaching out to the defense and intelligence community and U.S. government decision-makers and hoping they will also make intelligent decisions based on the credible intelligence about human psychology that Charney puts forth.


On the challenging issue of the low morale that many Americans sometimes feel about our checkered history as a nation, our leadership in Washington, DC, missteps of our defense and intelligence activities, the functioning of our society and other problems, it might be helpful to look at the experience of a unique group of American patriots during WWII.

After the Pearl Harbor attack, first- and second-generation Japanese-Americans in Hawaii and California faced tough scrutiny by our defense and intelligence community. Were there spies and saboteurs among them? Were they loyal to America or Japan, or torn between the two?

In Hawaii, where Japanese-Americans were well-integrated into the community, there reportedly were fewer attempts to randomly suspect or imprison them. However, in California, in part due to racial prejudice and hate-mongering, patriotic Japanese-American farmers, merchants and professionals, and their families were forced into harsh detention camps for the duration of the war.

Meanwhile, many young men from these families and communities joined the U.S. military, in part to prove their patriotism. Many ended up in the famed and highly-decorated Army 442nd Regimental Combat Team and 100th Infantry Battalion, fighting in Italy and elsewhere in Europe.

Others were assigned to a top-secret Army intelligence outfit called the Military Intelligence Service or simply the “MIS.” MIS personnel were sent to the Pacific theater, where they served in nearly all major campaigns and battles including in China and Burma.

MIS personnel were involved in many types of intelligence and counterintelligence activities. These included interrogating prisoners, intercepting and translating radio messages, and translating captured maps and documents.

They infiltrated enemy lines and helped flush out the island caves where Japanese soldiers and civilians hid. They helped convince many Japanese troops to surrender. MIS personnel also were active in psychological operations and information operations.

They did all this while many of their family members were behind barbed-wire fences in detention camps located in harsh and remote environments back in the U.S.

After the war, more than 5,000 MIS personnel worked in Japan during the occupation by the U.S. from 1945 to 1952. They were assigned to the occupation military government in disarmament, intelligence, civil affairs, finance, education and land reform. The MIS also helped develop the Japanese constitution.

The story of the 442nd RCT/100th and the MIS tells us that Americans and others can be conflicted and can have grave concerns about the actions of the U.S. government and its many moving parts at any given time.

And many of these concerns can be very legitimate. Injustices and inappropriate activities by elements of the U.S. government and within American society are very real indeed.

But, the more perfect union awaits us. It may be within our grasp. We must look for it, visualize it, use our perception and situation awareness to see and feel it.

As the retired Navy SEAL officer noted in his research paper when addressing the current issue of unconventional warfare, “The real challenge for the United States is not asymmetric warfare, but rather what this writer calls transcendent warfare, the ability to conceptualize and subsequently actualize an entirely new form of warfare that transcends all previously known models." 

The SEAL is correct. We need to transcend the old models, recognizing and acting on new intelligence obtained from innovative and state-of-the-art research. And this is where Charney’s NOIR concept seems to fit in.


For more information about NOIR, visit their website and read the Newsweek article.

For more information about remote viewing and Project STAR GATE,  read the research paper by the State Department authorthe report by Hal Puthoff, PhD, and visit the International Remote Viewing Association website.

For more information on the 442nd/100th and MIS, visit the Go For Broke National Education Center website.