NPJ Book Review: Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government’s Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis by Anne Jacobsen


Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government’s Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis by Anne Jacobsen (2017)

Jacobsen has written some excellent investigative works, including last year’s The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top-Secret Military Research Agency now offers in her most recent book, Phenomena, a study about overlapping nature of top-secret work – scientists, psychics, the Pentagon and quantum entanglement.

My take: The story essentially begins post WWII and the government’s fascination in anomalous mental phenomena, extrasensory perception (ESP), psychokinesis (PK), map dowsing and in effect, a variety of divination methods. Is there anything new to the author’s findings? The answer is yes and no depending on the knowledge of the reader. This study appears nonlinear at times but we are forced to open an intellectual door. Doubt is healthy.

Historians in general attempt to look at, review, research, discover, uncover or expose, compare and apply various historical / scientific methods to affirm, question or disprove while stimulating people’s curiosity look further. Context is everything.

For myself with an interest in the government’s “Project Star Gate” program I was drawn to this work. The idea behind the program was in essence how the military sought to harness psychic phenomena for spying and military use. It’s about control…whether physical, emotional and or mental. Star Gate wasn’t the only project but a deeply fascinating one. The author covers a lot of ground between that project and others.

Though there are differing opinions about how selective the author was in her efforts, she has amassed a great amount of information while trying to connect the dots between government projects. For the reader unfamiliar with the scientific experiments of the government in psychic phenomena the author opens the door for further research and those curious about the inner workings of a formerly classified agency of the government while causing one to wonder “what is it that do I not know that I would like to or should know for my own intellectual or mental well – being?” This is a tantalizing study in how far human agencies (government-military-corporate) will go in collecting information and using that information to channel ideas and thinking. The military-industrial complex is alive and well. This book opens a gate to one arena among many, of what humans are willing to do to mitigate human generated insecurity.

We only have knowledge of that which we have access to, study and experience…