Thursday, 14 February 2013

Kidnapping of General Dozier 1981

From 1972 to 1995, the CIA, DIA and other US government departments funded a project to try and use remote viewing for the purposes of intelligence gathering. When the operational successes of this project are listed, the episode involving the kidnapping of Brigadier General Dozier is usually among them.

Descriptions of the results vary a little from one version to the next, but broadly speaking it is claimed that the remote viewers were able to pinpoint the city in which Dozier was held (Padua), that he was held in a trunk on the second floor of a building near a university.

However, it is said that this information did not get to the Italian authorities before they were able to locate him by the more usual methods of questioning informants and they rescued him, arresting the terrorists.

Many documents from this project were released around ten years ago, and it is informative to go back and read the original session notes. Certainly, most of the things claimed by remote viewers were correct, but were buried beneath large amounts of erroneous data.

Brigadier General Dozier was kidnapped in Verona by the Red Brigade on 17 December 1981.

The remote viewing sessions began on 18 December. The notes from this day do include a reference to someone being held inside something on the second floor, but the building was described as a disused mill by a river.

By 20 December, a document was put together, combining results from two viewers. Dozier was either held in a city centre (but no name had been given) or was held in the country. This document also contains maps and a drawing of the building in the city, a low squat building down a cobble-stone alleyway.

On 5 January, the location of Dozier was, according to one viewer, a large brick building. A sort of cross between a castle and a mansion.

On 14 January, a document called “Psychic Report: BG Dozier kidnapping” contains the guess that Dozier was being held near a University, but it specifies that the psychic strongly believes he is in Verona. The rest of the document lists potential areas of Verona, as well as stating that he was near a railroad, or near an airfield, and one viewer associated a strong smell of goats to his location.

On 20 January, Padua is first mentioned. In this session, one remote viewer is describing a cabin by a lake where Dozier is being held. He mentions mountains in the distance and a town. The session notes describe this section as:

#72 (interviewer): I want you to go to an overhead position, look down at the lake, and the building. Describe any other structures in the area.


#06 (viewer): See numerous cabins, southeast... Small town. Main entry road comes from the south, southwest. Some kind of resort.

#72: What is the name of the town?


#06: I don't know. I don't get anything.

#72: All right. What is the name of the area that the town and the lake... What is it called?

#06: I get a... get an old name. Padua. Very old. 300 years. I don't know why I got that.

#72: All right. Concentrate.

#06: Belonged to a... to a Cardinal, I think, or something.

So, Padua was not identified as the location of Dozier, and it's not specifically linked to the town of small cabins that the remote viewer saw.

On 26 January, just two days before Dozier was rescued, the viewer is still focusing on the lake-side cabin, this time linking it and a nearby mountain to the name Saint Martin or Saint Michael.

Finally, on 27 January a hand-written list of “Basic Possibilities” was put together. It boiled the results down to three locations: near a large lake, in a rural area, or in “old city”. Padua is mentioned, but only as a possibility alongside Verona and Other.

On January 28, Dozier was rescued by Italian Special Forces who raided the flat and overpowered the terrorists so quickly that they didn't need to fire a single shot.

Dozier had been held captive in a building in Padua on a street called Via Ippolito Pindemonte in the south-west of the city. In other words: not in the country, not in the old part of the city, not near a lake, not near an airfield or a railway or the smell of goats, and the nearest university is almost two kilometres away.

The whole episode is a peculiar one. Although it is often said that information from the psychics was not used, documents state that data from remote viewers were twice sent to Italian authorities, without the source being specified. The information was acted on both times, resulting in two failures: one in Verona and one near the mountain town of Este, which involved over a hundred officers and back-up helicopters raiding an innocent family.

Additionally, a two million dollar reward for information leading to Dozier's release seemed to have attracted a lot of unsolicited letters from psychics. One was even flown over to Italy to see if he could recognise any locations from his remote viewing. The fact that this happened without the knowledge of the official government psychics seems to indicate a certain desperation on the part of US Intelligence.

Finally, during the evaluation phase, Dozier was shown the results from the remote viewing sessions to see if he noticed any similarities. Unfortunately, his response is blacked out so we'll never know his own opinion on the matter first-hand.

There is a script from a slide show in which someone explains the results of the project, but this anonymous speaker simply mentions the hits and, referring to the session of 20 January, even suggests that the remote viewer indicated we should concentrate on the city of Padua. This statement is accompanied by a reproduction of a map from one of the sessions which has clearly been tampered with. Below you can see the original on the left, which clearly shows that the target is to the north-east of Padua. On the right, the circle has been largely removed, to make it appear that Padua was the main focus of that particular session.

I'll leave the final word to a very terse evaluation of the Dozier remote viewing project by William A. Reed, “My input to program measurement is this: Not one of the “data packages” was useful in finding and freeing BG Dozier. The reports drained our resources, embarrassed us with the Italians, and confused crisis management. [...] The psychics were never even close.”

various declassified CIA documents
"The Psychics", Jim Hicks, Time-Life Books, 1995

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