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Thursday, September 28, 2006

US Army report on animal ESP released after 50 years


Here is a recently declassified report commissioned by the US Army to study ESP in animals from a site edited by Russ Kick - The Memory Hole. From the abstract:

In the early 1950s, Dr. Joseph Banks Rhine, based at Duke University, was the foremost researcher in the field of parapsychology, or, using the term he coined: "extrasensory perception." The Army hired Rhine and his Parapsychology Laboratory to research the possibility of using dogs and other animals to detect buried landmines.

The final report for one such contract with Duke University, dated 10 July 1953, remained classified as Confidential for more than 50 years, until it was recently declassified after a long, laborious process. It took ten separate offices five years to clear this short report for release.

The narrative report describes a series of experiments involving German shepherds trying to locate buried landmines. The results appeared promising but also suggested that at least some of the positive results were attributable to the dogs' remarkable sense of smell. The report also examines the possibility of ESP in cats and pigeons.

Rhine was the first to attempt a scientific investigation of paranormal phenomena of this type, and many of his experimental results have been attacked as being the result of a general lack of stringent experimental controls and the possible falsification of records by his laboratory assistants.

The document was obtained by researcher Michael Ravnitzky.

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