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November 4, 2016
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March 14, 2003
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PDF icon CIA-RDP96-00791R000100150005-7.pdf384.98 KB
Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00791 R000100150005-7 GROMONOFORN Proposed Star Gate Management Strategy: 1. Background: A. Congressionally Directed Action(s): In early 1995, Senate conferees directed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to transfer the "Star Gate" program from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to CIA. Specifically, the conferees directed the transfer of ten civilian billets and $500,000 in Star Gate program resources by July 1, 1995. The conferees' language also adopted a previous directed action to DIA relating to Star Gate in which the Senate Appropriations Committee requested a technical review of Star Gate going back twenty years, a declassification review, and establishment of a cooperative activity with the Russians in parapsychology. As directed, a status report on this transfer was presented by CIA to appropriate committee staff during March and April. However, while the transfer status was reviewed and a program manager was identified in those presentations, by agreement, presentation of the management strategy for Star Gate was deferred until September 30th. This date was selected in order to allow CIA to complete the requested technical review with an external blue ribbon panel commissioned by the American Institutes for Research (AIR). It was agreed by interested staff members and CIA that CIA's final proposed management strategy would be based closely on AIR's review. B. Program History, Context of Review: Star Gate is a DIA program which involved the use of paranormal phenomena, primarily "remote viewing," for intelligence collection. During Star Gate's history, DIA pursued three basic program objectives: "Operations," i.e. using remote viewing to collect intelligence against foreign targets; "research and development," or using laboratory TNOFORN Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00791 R000100150005-7 Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00791 R000100150005-7 OFORN studies to find new ways to improve remote viewing for use in the intelligence world, and finally, "foreign assessment" or the analysis of foreign activities to develop or exploit the paranormal for any uses which might affect our National Security. Prior to the advent of Star Gate in the early 1990s, DIA, CIA, and other government organizations, conducted various other programs pursuing some or all of these objectives. CIA's program began in 1972, but was discontinued in 1977. DIA's direct involvement began later and continued until Star Gate was transferred to CIA this July. During the last twenty years, all government programs involving parapsychology have been viewed as highly controversial, high-risk, and have been subjected to various critical reviews. This review is distinguished, however, in two key respects. A totally external panel of experts, operating in an open forum, with no equities concerning the ultimate fate of Star Gate as a CIA program per se, conducted the technical review. Also, in conjunction with this review, the National Intelligence Council (NIC) provided oversight during a fresh assessment of Russian programs in parapsychology. II. Preliminary Declassification: In compliance with the Congressionally directed action (CDA), and in order to facilitate AIR's technical review, the CIA declassified its past parapsychology program. In addition, CIA worked with DIA to continue declassification of Star Gate program documents, a process which had already begun at DIA in response to the CDA. At CIA's request, DIA also officially declassified the fact that it had had a parapsychology program. CIA collected all relevant CIA and DIA program files and constructed detailed bibliographies of those documents relevant to the technical review. CIA's ~OFORN Approved For Release 2003/04/18 CIA-RDP96-00791 R000100150005-7 Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00791 R000100150005-7 ?NOFORN Office of Research and Development (ORD) then contracted with AIR, based on 61 long-standing expertise in conducting studies relating to behavioral science issues, in order to conduct the technical review. The bibliographies were submitted to AIR which then made specific recommendations as to which documents would be necessary for the review. All requested documents were declassified and transferred to AIR. CIA then continued to study the long-range declassification alternatives for the remaining program files. III. Technical Review, Major Objectives: R-9 asked AIR to address a number of key objectives during the technical review of Star Gate. These included an objective and comprehensive evaluation of the research and development in this area with a focus on the validity of the technical approach according to acceptable scientific standards. It also asked AIR to evaluate overall program utility or "usefulness" to the intelligence community. believed that the controversial nature of past parapsychology programs within the intelligence community, and the scientific controversy clouding general acceptance of the validity of paranormal phenomena, demanded that these two issues of utility and scientific validity be addressed separately. In addition, AIR was asked to consider whether any changes in the operational, or research and development activities of the program might bring about improved results if the results were not already optimal. Finally, AIR was asked to advise CIA as to appropriate strategies for program activity in the future. AIR was directed to base its findings on the data and information provided as a result of DIA and CIA program efforts, since it was neither possible nor intended that AIR review the entire field of parapsychological research and its applications. AIR was directed to assemble an objective panel of experts in order to assist in this review: in fact, AIR's commissioned OILO FORN Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00791 R000100150005-7 Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00791 R000100150005-7 OFORN SQ reviewers consisted of a leading proponent of parapsychology actively involved in contemporary research and development, and a well-known skeptic who has closely followed these contemporary developments. y1 ` C. IV. Foreign Assessment: officers of the NIC and CIA but ~a + trp Ch~-t provided oversight to an assessment of current Russian parapsychology research and development. This recently concluded assessment was conducted largely by DIA Star Gate program officers on special, temporary assignment to CIA. These officers conducted their assessment under the direct supervision of both the National Intelligence Officer for Science and Technology, and the CIA's Office of Scientific and Weapons Research. [Their assessment was ca? reviewed by various s t' 41,1114 A q, --s- tro it was not coordinated U- ~~Ut44 telence community. The recommendations relating to futur' foreign assessment ;%'g arapsychology research and de opment are c osely based on this assessment. V. Proposed Management Strategy: Based on the general conclusions of AIR's completed technical review regarding utility and scientific validity, the NIC's assessment of Russian parapsychology, discussions with various CIA elements having declassification authority, and after conducting additional discussions with Star Gate customers, CIA now proposes a management strategy for the Star Gate program. That strategy is presented below in the form of key recommendations. It includes recommendations addressing the future of all three program elements: operations, research and development, and foreign assessment. ~iOFORN Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00791 R000100150005-7 Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00791 R000100150005-7 NOFORN It also includes a proposed allocation of future program resources consistent with the CDA's objectives relating to declassification. Attached to these recommendations is -mac IVQ-- AIR final report and the NIC's assessment. A. Key Recommendations : 1. Terminate remote viewing operations within the intelligence community. The American Institutes of Research, after interviewing multiple current users of remote viewing and, concluded that "... the information provided by remote viewing is vague and ambiguous, making it difficult if not impossible for the technique to yield information of sufficient quality and accuracy for actionable intelligence." 2. Terminate research and development relating to remote viewing within the intelligence community. The American Institutes for Research, after performing a technical analysis on CIA and DIA sponsored research spanning over twenty years, concluded that " remains unclear whether the existence of a paranormal phenomenon, remote viewing, has been demonstrated. The laboratory studies do not provide evidence regarding the sources or origins of the phenomenon..." This does not mean that research in parapsychology is not important or that it should not continue in the public domain, but it does argue strongly that despite significant past investment over many years, government- sponsored programs have not been successful in proving the existence of remote viewing as a paranormal phenomenon. 3. Perform a comprehensive declassification review of all DOD and CIA program file to prepare them for official transfer to the National Archives. It was stated in the CDA that "The Committee also believes that the time has come for a re-evaluation of the classification of the existence of this effort as well as the results that have been obtained over time." In addition, it was directed that "The DCI's declassification committee should review the history and nature of this program to determine what parts of it may ST-WiOFORN Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00791 R000100150005-7 Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00791 R000100150005-7 RN be declassified and be converted into an open world activity. " Full declassification review will require an allocation of resources given the volume and diversity of the records in question. The records relate to a least five different programs including Star Gate, Grill Flame, Center Lane, Sun Streak, and SCANATE. The eventual release of these records will allow public examination of twenty years of government-sponsored research efforts in parapsychology. 4. Apply no additional resources to the assessment of foreign developments in parapsychology. After overseeing the recent assessment of Russian programs, The CIA Directorate of Intelligence in coordination with the NIC states that "Among the areas of science and sociological change we are monitoring, we view developments in parapsychology as a relatively low threat to the United States and, consequently, as a low priority among all the threats we are trying to monitor and assess." In addition, the DI stated that "In none of this Russian research do we see credible evidence of developments that could significantly add to the threat that Russia currently poses to National Security." B. Proposed Resource Allocations: rther Declassification, Archiving, FOIA request processing: Since Star Gate was officially transferred to CIA on July 1st, 1995, under EO 12958 CIA is now responsible for records management as though it were the originating Agency of the Star Gate program files. These program records actually consist of 43 document boxes of diverse program material relating to at least five past CIA and DOD parapsychology programs at various government agencies including SCANATE, Sun Streak, Center Lane, Grill Flame, and Star Gate. The records are highly diverse, including documentation of operations, training, internal memoranda, assessments, program reviews, etc.&-,They span a period of time from the early 1970s to 1995. Some of these records TTOFORN Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00791 R000100150005-7 Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00791 R000100150005-7 ?NOFORN remain sensitive due to sources and methods of other intelligence organizations and operations which are discussed. The Congressionally Directed Action requests a comprehensive declassification review of these program records. We believe this review should involve the declassification, transfer, and eventual release of appropriate records to the National Archives. The CIA's Review Declassification Team believes that four person-years will be required to accomplish this task An estimated $400K in each of FY96 and FY97 also would be for contract labor and capital investments in computer hardware and software necessary to allow scanning and text searching of the documents in question. In addition, reproduction of all transferred records will be necessary consistent with the standards for permanent records set by the National Archives. ~iBNOFORN Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00791 R000100150005-7